Sword Art Online 14

Sword Art Online

… sayonara, Aincrad.

With that ends the Aincrad arc for SAO. I know, I know, that was a pretty terrible ending but I’ll admit, the biggest weakness of Aincrad’s arc is definitely the way how it was ended so abruptly, with the use of so many Deus ex Machina’s. Never said this story was perfect. Even in the LN itself, I really hated the way how Reki ended this (even if it’s due to all sorts of practical reasons, like how it’s already over 250 pages etc etc) and anime-only viewers get an even shorter-end of the stick too, since they don’t even get the inner monologue by Kirito. What makes it even worse is how the game was never really “completed”… I really wanted to see them cover the last 25 floors and go for some more boss battles :(

Of course, the Aincrad arc doesn’t truly end here, because coming up next will the Alfheim arc, which is admittedly a lot more polished than Aincrad. Plus, fairies! And Kirito gets even more badass going further on, plus we also get introduced to the the second most important member of his ‘guild’, iykwim hehe.

Sword Art Online

Isn’t it sad, Sachi?

33 Comments

  1. Fencedude Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    I feel like they should have just said screw the novel and extended Aincrad till the end.

    Or just completely re-written Aincrad from the ground up to integrate things much better.

    Also this was the most bullshit bullshit in the history of bullshit.

  2. ThatOneAsianKid Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    This episode was really rushed. I have so many complaints.
    Asuna should have said to Kirito that, “No, Kirito … ! He’s trying to get rid of you first …”. I felt that would have been better to keep..
    When Asuna took Heathcliff’s strike, I didn’t like how they took out the “I — will protect — Kirito!!” right before showing her get hit.
    I agree on how they should used more of Kirito’s inner monologue. They REALLY should have included more on what he was thinking right as Asuna died, such as the flashbacks of memories on their house in the village.
    I’m not sure if it would have made it better, but they left out Asuna’s
    “S o r r y
    Y o u d i d g o o d” before she finally disappeared.

    Also when Kirito “died”, they had Kirito imagining himself falling backwards, shattering, but they Shouldn’t have included the part where his body came back together, forming a yellow light. That was unnecessary as it would have confused others thinking that’s what actually happened.
    Kirito was thinking so much when he got stabbed as well. A-1 really should have emphasized more on how Kirito was thinking and how he used his own will power to resist the system, “the absolute god”.

    I was expecting a bit more to how the “The Game has been cleared” scene, such as showing Liz shouting out how she loved Kirito right before being forcibly logged out, but I get this was okay since it included everyone he was involved with.

    During the conversation between Kirito, Asuna and Akihiko while Aincraid was deleting itself… Akihiko was SUPPOSED to tell them how they’re only alive right at that moment because he wanted to talk to them one last time. That is an Important piece of information as many non light novel readers have already told me how confused they were at that. Why A-1 decided to leave that out is beyond me, it wouldn’t have hurt to leave it in.

    I still enjoyed the final touching scene between Asuna and Kirito as they disappeared along with Aincraid. It animation was different than I had imagined it, but it was still alright I guess.

    And finally the scene with Kirito waking up in the hospital. I actually liked this part as they showed how malnourished Kirito was and how long his hair had grown during his two years of captivity.
    There was no possible way that they could have screwed up that scene, so I’m glad with that atleast.

    Complaints and all, I still really enjoyed this episode like when Kirito thanked Egil for supporting the middle level players and apologized to Klein on how he left him behind on the first day of the game, they did pretty well in expressing the emotion there.

    I’m really looking forward to the ALO arc now as we will be able to see Kirito get even more bad ass by showing his sheer will and determination to get to Asuna.

  3. SnooSnoo Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    Never had any expectations since the source material was bullshit anyway

  4. Fadeway Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    I’ve been disliking or outright laughing at most of the previous episodes (marriage arc yay), but this episode I actually liked and enjoyed. Didn’t expect the plot twist, the fight was good (if animated only half-decently), and the flaws, while ridiculous as always, didn’t annoy me that much (spectral Kirito/paralysis immunity Asuna/and then their virtual xp dust spread over the lands).

  5. Entrav Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I enjoyed this episode but I felt the last part of the fight between Kirito and Kayaba is lacking. I liked their conversation at the end though; the voice actors did a great job of making the moment more realistic.

  6. edlar Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

    Terrible adaptation. Almost Gonzo-tier work from A-1. Just disappointing.

    Fencedude

    Or just completely re-written Aincrad from the ground up to integrate things much better.

    The writer himself is already doing that with SAO Progressive.

  7. Di Gi Kazune Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    *snickers*
    *giggles*
    *sarcastic laughter*

    Best show of the season my dears? :P
    Looks like they learnt from how to end an arc from Shakugan no Shana and made it worse.

    Swords – check
    Art – Check
    Online – turned offline right at the end.

  8. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    I was actually pretty pleased with the adaptation, given the episode constraints involved. They just don’t have enough time to draw things out. I sure hope they have enough episodes to do Fairy Dance right.

    “No, Kirito … ! He’s trying to get rid of you first …”.

    Actually I think it’s reasonable to leave it out to leave Kayaba’s intentions more of a mystery. I don’t think he was out to kill his hostages. They’re the only reason why his entire operation hasn’t been shut down forcibly from the outside. He just made it a struggle to slow them down and buy time for his other plans to come to fruition. And honestly, without Kirito and Heathcliff, the chances of the clearing team making it all the way to the top are significantly lowered. The Skull Reaper would probably have wiped everyone out without Heathcliff. I wonder if Kayaba recognized this and wanted to give the players a fairer chance at an out, even if it meant the game ending earlier. I don’t believe he couldn’t have blocked Kirito’s last blow. He was just that impressed.

    and how he used his own will power to resist the system, “the absolute god”.

    Actually I think it’s better to leave it up to the audience to fill in the blanks in this case. Personally, I wonder if there was some Yui intervention.

    such as showing Liz shouting out how she loved Kirito right before being forcibly logged out

    No. I like Liz but this was Kirito and Asuna’s moment. This scene only worked in Liz’s personal episode. Maybe as a DVD omake but inserting it in this episode would be intrusive.

    I’m really looking forward to the ALO arc now as we will be able to see Kirito get even more bad ass by showing his sheer will and determination to get to Asuna.

    My main interest now is Suguha and how she will be portrayed. She represents the life and bonds that Kazuto left behind for 2 years and the complicated issues that created. How will they be resolved? She also represents sword arts offline, the roots of Kazuto’s talents and how the game world affects players in real life and vice versa.

    Also, Kazuto’s new avatar should have a new VA, given that Lyfa doesn’t recognize him. I’m curious how that will work too.

  9. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    Check out Kayaba’s partial list of survivors:

    Caynz
    Yolko
    Kibaou
    Grimlock
    Schmitt
    Lind
    Shivata
    Yamata
    Klein
    Dale
    Kunimittz
    Dynamm
    Issin
    Harry One
    Thinker
    Yulier
    PoH
    XaXa
    Johnny Black
    Sasha
    Ginn
    Mina
    Agil
    Lisbeth
    Tonnura
    Mosaku
    Silica
    Nishida

    Complete with face screenshots. (Except surprisingly Xaxa and Johnny) Wish we could see a blow up of PoH’s face. He’s one of the biggest loose ends of SAO. And where the heck is Agos?!

  10. Botanikka Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    Well, that was awful pandering.
    Waiting for things to get even dumber.

  11. feannatar Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    After I finally got around to read the novels (I’m just starting Volume 6), I have a few points to say:

    * I like the Aincrad arc in a whole. I liked how they put the side-stories in the middle instead of at the end.
    * I don’t mind this kind of deux ex machina ending. Sure, it isn’t top tier but it’s one of the oldest pace-quickening device in the whole history of drama. IMHO it’s even more interesting than a more direct approach of finishing all 100 floors. Also, the Alfheim arc does have a deux ex machina ending as well, doesn’t it…
    * I really wish they’ll make a second season, because I really want to see: a) Sinon, b) almost-trap Kirito with lightsaber. Ahahahaha.
    * I really look forward the next episode(s).

  12. Roarke Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    Kirito has been intense and badass several times over the Aincrad arc, but to me he was unquestionably scariest walking out of that hospital room.

  13. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    @feannatar
    Same. Plus GGO Kirito should have a female VA for his avatar. Unless Kirito’s VA has some exceptional skills………

    Wait, he played Array in Rinne no Langrage….hmmmmmmmm. Would you buy Array as female, relying only on the voice?

    @Roarke
    Look forward to next episode. I’m not sure if we’ll get to see the new OP/ED.

    PS. Strange that next year’s SAO calendar doesn’t seem to have Suguha, Lyfa or the rest of the new cast.
    http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?gcode=CAL-13-032

    Info on the upcoming new SAO ED:
    http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?gcode=MED-CD2-11181

  14. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Heh, 2-year-in-a-coma Kirito walking out in search of Asuna right after he woke up was unquestionably the best way to end the episode. He shouldn’t even be able to move that much right after spending 2 years stuck in a bed like that.

  15. feannatar Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    @meow: Yeah, I think he should have a female VA for his GGO’s avatar. But one who does male characters regularly, I think. The combination of visual trap and VA reverse-trap sounds interesting in my brain. AHAHAHA. I don’t have a clear image of a particular one in my head yet, though.

    I’m not sure whether I’d bought Array as female though… Maybe…

  16. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    The power of love. He must have been in an incredible amount of pain. Well, this is a guy who solos final bosses without a care. I was a little impressed that they ended it like that. I was half expecting them to end it with Kirito & Asuna disappearing. A big part of me wanted to troll somebody at SCA who was cheering Asuna’s death by hinting about Kirito dying too and about the next season having a new cast and protagonist. XD

  17. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    @feannatar

    The trick is getting another VA to match another VA’s performed speech pattern. It’s still Kirito but with a female voice. Think of Kokoro Connect’s body switching arc. Could they pull it off? We’ll probably find out in the upcoming Fairy Dance. Lyfa knows Kazuto IRL yet didn’t recognize Kirito. I’m very curious who will play ALO Kirito.

    Well, hopefully it won’t be as confusing as dot hack. I couldn’t figure out who was who, especially after some of them switched avatars.

  18. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    Oh c’mon, Kirito doesn’t turn in to a girl in ALO….

  19. Chris Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    “Immortal object chaged to immortal object”.

    Dat Engrish.

  20. Asrialys Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    @Chris:

    Spelling aside, I wonder if someone was told to just copy and paste “Immortal Object” and erase the first two letters, and then that person totally forgot, thinking their job was done :P

  21. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    Pretty sure someone screwed that up since it’s “mortal object” in the novels.

    OH WELL, THAT’S WHY WE BUY THE BLU-RAYS.

  22. meow Said,

    October 7, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

    Oh c’mon, Kirito doesn’t turn in to a girl in ALO….

    We were talking about GGO. XD I’ll be shocked if Sinon couldn’t recognize that Kirito was a guy based on the voice at least. (Sorry, I don’t buy Kirito’s current VA as an otokonoko voice-wise. Looks, maybe, cos I’m pretty sure they came out with a dakimura of him somewhere on amiami.) I brought up ALO because chances are Kazuto’s new avatar there won’t sound like him either cos Lyfa couldn’t recognize him by voice. Chances are we’re going to get a new VA that has to mimic Kirito’s speech patterns/personality, kind of like how Kokoro Connect characters had to mimic each other’s personalities when they switch bodies. Otherwise, we’re looking at one heck of a plothole. ^^

    OH WELL, THAT’S WHY WE BUY THE BLU-RAYS.

    Wouldn’t it be scary if it was still in the blue-rays? XD I’m kinda worried this in K too. Lots of Engrish.

  23. feannatar Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    @meow: Yes, that’s true, but VAs should be professionals able to do that, at least in theory, LOL. They pulled it rather well in Kokoro Connect, IMHO. One more thing though, after reading more through Vol 6 and seeing more GGO kirito images, a particular voice sprang into my mind — Sawashiro Miyuki. “Clear but hoarse voice”, voiced a couple of male characters, and somehow in my mind matches the picture of GGO kirito. Well, we’ll see, hopefully.

    As for current time-line, yeah I’m pretty interested in the VA for ALO kirito. But most of all I’m totally expecting loads of fairies (especially Yui, Lyfa and Asuna) causing nutbladder explosions and bad-ass ALO kirito going all out :-D

  24. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 12:36 am

    Sawashiro Miyuki for GGO Kirito is impossible as she’s already voicing Shino.

  25. Karuroso Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    so… Asuna used her will to protect Kirito to break the rules of the system and Kirito used his will to avange Asuna to also break the rules of the system?So… whats the problem with it? Cheese?C ertainly ,but happens all the time in shounens and Kayaba never said his system was perfect, oh and Neo did the same sh*t in Matrix btw

  26. Fate T. Harlaown Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 1:24 am

    The answer for GGO Kirito is clearly Hocchan since she had practice this season already wwww

    One of my friends who didn’t read the LN complained about how rushed the ending was, and even as much as a fanboy I am about SAO I can empathize a bit with him. Still loved the scene with Kirito and Asuna sitting together in the sunset though, that was really nicely done.

  27. ZeroUm Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 2:48 am

    –and how he used his own will power to resist the system, “the absolute god”.

    -Actually I think it’s better to leave it up to the audience to fill in the blanks in this case. Personally, I wonder if there was some Yui intervention.

    That was one of the first occurrences “Mind over Data” phenomenon, aka AW’s Incarnate System.

    Asuna did it twice before, one just before this moment by breaking out of the paralysis, to which Kayaba commented that he didn’t know how she did it; and supposedly one other time, during Kuradeel’s attack, when she run off to save Kirito faster than the system permitted with her current stats.

    Kayaba actually started Aincrad because he wanted to break the limits of the real world, and then it ended when his own world’s limits were broken by Kirito’s display of willpower.

  28. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    LOL, Hocchan as Kirito. Please don’t :(

    Even in the novels, I thought ending Aincrad like this was bullshit enough, so I’m not surprised at the people watching anime-only to rail about it…

    Well, this was written as an amateur piece back then anyways…

    And yeah, I guess this slowly laid out the foundation of the Incarnate System. Kirito does a few more “Over-System” shit as he goes on.

  29. [AnimePSP4] Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    Sword Art Online Episode 25 End
    Sword Art Online 2nd Next Years

  30. Andmeuths Said,

    October 8, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Well, to be fair, this is Reki’s first work, as an amatuer, and it works. I saw this blog arguing that the staff should have rewritten the whole plot.

    Well, if they had 120 Episodes to spare, perhaps SAO’s rewrite would be presented in an anime format.

  31. Roarke Said,

    October 10, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    My two cents on the whole system-defying deal is basically that Cardinal, being a very flexible and self-correcting system that monitor’s all of the player’s life signs and emotional states, bends the rules sometimes in their favor when they show extreme duress (and “extreme duress” for a death game must be ridiculous). It’s only slightly better than no explanation at all, but it almost makes a kind of sense, in my opinion.

  32. susu Said,

    October 12, 2012 @ 5:23 am

    I dont know anything about the novel, so I guess I dont feel too negative about the episode.

    Well, I do realize the anime jump around like a hopping rabbit, and things tend to end abruptly at some points too.

    I wont say the anime is best or great, but it’s good enough.

    I watch anime with a bowl of food on my hands, and I can judge how much I like it by how much I was able to eat watching it XD.

  33. charizardpal Said,

    December 11, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    Why didn’t memorize the real name, email address, facebook, youtube, pivix, deviant art account, and phone number of all the people he liked earlier? Especially his girlfriend…then he wouldn’t have to march onto the street in a bathrobe knocking on doors.

    Also it was funny watching him march out of the hospital….even with the heart monitor thing having gone dead, no one came to check why. Given such nurses in Japan, its no wonder patients have died playing SAO. What’d be funnier is if the hallway were blocked with nurses scurrying about trying to tend to all the patients who had just woken up, and someone saw him and shoved him back into his bed.

    Actually I’d have forgiven the pace-quickening if the anatagonist had given any motive for ending it at that moment…any excuse to explain why he let all those people die rather than ending the game sooner… I was actually expecting YUI to be the deus ex machina btw, or Kirito to outwit the antagonist rather than to just overcome by the power of my will to live.

    It’d be like when your head gets chopped off in a zombie game, but due to a glitch even when you’re at 0 HP and badly mauled you’re able to keep fighting, and your friends laugh while you slaughter them all unfairly. I swear that’s how half of Japanese shounen characters win–its not brains, its just their willpower! And for some reason only the main character has the willpower to live…not even the coward who desperately clings to his life more than anyone else…

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