Sword Art Online 25

Sword Art Online

D’aaaaaaw

キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━!!!! Asuna x Kirito first meeting IRL GET!

Wow, Sugou’s attack was done in less than 4 minutes. Kirito’s all like “fuck you, I gotta go see my soulmate first” at that part. Oh well, I think we’ve all had our fill of Sugou already. Still, the anime really overdid the “damage in virtual world affecting physical” aspect with Sugou’s eye, psychosomatic effects aren’t to be trifled with!

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HNNNNNGH seifuku Asuna~

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MOAR D’AAAAWWWWWWW

Grrrrrrr these two lovebirds really getting it on!

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Finally! More DEBAN!

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Aw yeah, the offline party. C’mon Kirito, don’t look so damn clueless like that w

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As an aside, I’m glad these two finally met each other too www. Anime staff’s little in-joke sure went far hahaha.

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Ahhh, the concert in a bottle scene. Kajiura really did well on this track, although it sure felt like it was meant more for a Kalafina track lol.

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Floating Castle Aincrad revival キタ━━━━ヽ(`∀´ )ノ━━━━!!!!

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Undine Asuna! ヽ(´ー`)ノ

So the Undine-Spriggan Alliance is really true!

Finally, to cap it off…

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Final end card by abec

>dat Heathcliff V-sign

It’s been a long half year, but finally we come to the end of Sword Art Online. While the anime never really brought out the charm of the original novels quite well enough, as evidenced by the popularity of the “anti-SAO” sentiments, it still did decently enough in my books where it mattered. Unfortunately, the anime amplified the flaws of the original as well, so the pluses and minuses pretty much cancelled each other out.

The music has been a highlight enough though, once Kajiura got out of the “recycle Fate/Zero tracks” phase at the beginning parts. It came to its own during the ALO arc, and remains a positive aspect of the series for me. Sure, I guess having the “theme” track (speculative title “swordland”) being repeatedly used might have been boring for some, and there were definitely some scenes where the use of it was puzzling (Oberon vs Kirito), but the track itself really lends the sense of grandeur the show needed, when the budget couldn’t keep up (笑). I’m looking forward to those OST’s when they come…. my only regret is that they are being bundled with the BD’s instead of having a standalone release.

Biggest gripe I do have with A-1 is the inconsistency of the production quality. While it never sunk quite low, it did have a lot of patchy spots and the action scenes were very noticeably short given how its supposed to sell on the action aspect. What I would have given for Sunrise to have done this instead of Accel World… but what’s done is done I guess.

After all that’s said and done though, SAO’s anime was a fun ride for me, but its too flawed to be anything above “decent” really. It’s still a damn good “gateway anime” though, but please no more SAO anime. Please.

(and of course that’s gonna be ignored ;_;)

45 Comments

  1. Algester Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    to the despise of many and to the love for many… ahem… GGO OVA lulz

  2. Benigmatica Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    @Algester

    I don’t think GGO would fit in an OVA format. Let’s wait for A-1 to announce another season if Reki Kawahara finishes Sword Art Online and link up with Accel World.

    Still, I wish Sugou was mind-rape by a certain vengeful Noumi’s ghost. (as Dusk Taker) Right now, I feel like I can laugh maniacally now that this nightmare is finished!

  3. kiryuu Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    I see Argo sneaking into the corner of that end card.. come to think of it.. I don’t remember her in the anime at all so it must’ve been brief appearances if that.

  4. charizardpal Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    10,000 people trapped in SAO, 300 in ALO, but society is fine with making more MMOs than ever before. And Kirito’s first thought after saving is Asuna is: lets go back and finish that SAO dungeon!

  5. Dakkar Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    SAO anime has made me unwilling to admit that I’ve read all the LN’s translated at the time of its airing. Neither do I feel like touching the stuff that’s been recently translated, at least for the time being.

    While Kirito’s narration and technical details could have been not particularly enjoyable at times in the LN’s, without them and with all the exaggerations A-1 decided to throw in every now and then, it made me feel like the show was based on a very average fanfic. Trying to order things chronologically and mix in the side stories was also a questionable decision, and the way they did it was anything but stellar.
    Well, at certain point they decided to focus on what will sell, so I expect moe and boobs to earn them enough money.

    At least SAO made me realize that Mahouka in anime format would be a disaster.

  6. meganeshounen Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    “but please no more SAO anime. Please.”

    The BluRay sales would like to have a word with you. Perhaps, in the future?

    @Dakkar:
    As much as I like Rettousei, and despite the Drama CD getting Alto and Ayase as the Shiba siblings, I kinda agree with it not getting the anime treatment… though maybe for different reasons.

  7. Steven Den Beste Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    “…please no more SAO anime. Please.”

    Too bad. The first two BDs sold 30,000 each, which pretty much guarantees a sequel.

  8. Tenryu Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    i just want ‘Caliber’ and the Accel World cross over animated… thats not too much to ask right?

  9. Kah Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    Still waiting for that Mothers Rosario feature length film :)

  10. AnimeChris Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    Sword Art Online S2 Next Years!

  11. Himajin Breaker Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Did Kirito reset his character stats at the end of the ALO arc in the novels too? Seems a bit weird considering that he’s still just as IMBA as ever in the later novels.

  12. Dakkar Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    @meganeshounen
    The main selling point of Mahouka is its setting with all the obligatory technical details. A lot of them. If you cut out the windy explanations and Tatsuya’s thoughts, leaving just his poker face and actions that are impossible to understand without said technical details… That might end up as another deus ex machina incestous harem show. Do not want. Particularly because unlike SAO, Mahouka is both more original and better thought out.

  13. Entrav Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    Well, it went better than I thought it would. Was fun to watch but by no means super great.

  14. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    Yes, yes, those blu-ray sales pretty much all but guarantee a sequel in the making already. But still, GGO is fucking terrible… sigh.

    And yes Kirito did reset all his stats at the end of ALO, but stats don’t actually affect player capabilities too much in ALO since it emphasises on the player’s own reactions and other abilities.

    So that’s why Kirito can still be pretty hax, his long experience inside the Aincrad world increased his affinity with his VR “body” so much he can react a lot faster than most other players.

  15. What? Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

    SAO should be renamed the MMO adventures of Kirito and Co.

    How awful is the GGO arc compared to ALO and SAO?

  16. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    GGO is basically Reki going “ah, let’s have a trap Kirito, make him use lightsabers, and let’s add a kuudere type of character to the series while we’re at it? Plot? Ok, let’s just have some ‘mystery’ deaths happen and we’ll solve it in the most retarded way possible”

  17. Kitan Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    >GGO is fucking terrible

    Finally, I thought I was the only one who thought that.

  18. Peanutbutter003 Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    I hope they brush Asuna’s teeth everyday or something.

    Cause that’s two years worth of bad breath there.

  19. moridin84 Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    The issues people generally complain about exist in the novels too so it’s hardly an issue with the adaption.

    I was also quite happy with all the action scenes, it’s more then you usually get in most anime, even action anime.

    I really liked GGO, perhaps because I really liked Sinon? Or guns, guns are cool.

  20. Pusiu Said,

    December 23, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    Can someone tell me why that Salamander Dude lied to General Eugene about these Undine-Spriggam union ? Cause it just cant leave my mind. :/ If its a Hardcore spoiler just tell me where i can find the answer.

  21. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    Uh… he was bluffing so they wouldn’t dare to attack the rest. Even Kirito can’t go 1 vs 60 you know.

  22. Fate T. Harlaown Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 12:27 am

    @Peanutbutter003

    I already saw a Karen x Toothbrush doujin, let’s not go anywhere near there.

  23. Himajin Breaker Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    @ Kuro: Thanks for the explanation.

    So, considering that the post-SAO VRMMOs focus more on actual player skill and reaction speed with a VR body, rather than character stats, if any of the other SAO survivors were to go play another VRMMO, wouldn’t they wreck people’s shit ingame? Not as hax as Kirito, of course, but they still did have 2 solid years of experience with a VR body. It’ll take at least 3-4 years before other players can even catch up to that amount of time spent in a VR game, and that’s with a schedule that’s entirely dedicated to playing the game all day long, minus eating and sleeping time.

    Hell, even noncombatants like those kids Asuna and Kirito rescued on the first floor would be kicking loads of arse.

  24. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 1:11 am

    Well, that’s a very interesting question that Reki has not cared at all to tackle with in the light novels.

    I suppose most of the players are still traumatized by the incident to actually even pick up the game again, and even then a big majority did not even venture outside of the Starting City.

    The other top players that make up the clearing guilds might also be somewhat like Kirito… but really, aside from Kirito, Asuna, Egil and Klein plus his guild, we never really get to see or know about other top players of SAO.

    Still, even amongst the “clearing” group, Kirito is special in the regard he’s part of the solo-only players and also he was supposedly the highest level character in the entire server before SAO was cleared. So in that sense, he’s the most refined “player” of the game.

    Interestingly enough, what if someone did spend even more time than Kirito in a VR environment… say for almost their entire teenage life? Well, let’s just say even Kirito knows when he’s outclassed *wink*

  25. Aesir Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    Yuuki. The Absolute Sword.

  26. Hayate Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    @Kuro “What I would have given for Sunrise to have done this instead of Accel World… ”
    sniff.. i thought im the only one who think that, *brohug*

    on a side note, the only reason im hooked to GGO is because of that kuudere type chara and hoping later she’ll get more deban… oh and still wished for more deban of Scilica of course

  27. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    Silica and Lizbet don’t really have any DEBAN in GGO too.

  28. Neo Kyo Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    I enjoyed the series and quite satisfied with the ending despite the flaws. I think the first arc was the best, I wouldn’t mind more SAO anime if it’s more like that.

  29. Crisu Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    So… season two is romcom with Asuna-Leafa-Liz-Silica harem, rite?

    *runs*

  30. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    Yeah, Aincrad arc is still the best really. SAO was never the same anymore after that.

  31. Mentar Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    And so ends a nice ride. SAO had some occasional cringeworthy parts, but was quite a pleasant ride overall :) .. nice!

    I’d have to emphatically disagree on not turning Mahouka into an anime: Completely wrong. Yes, the story has a very detailed underlying pseudo-scientific model for magic, but that is not the show’s selling point: It’s the great characters, their interaction, and particularly the visuals of the LN/manga illustrations. I’m convinced that with the particularly strong lead pair (one of the best male MCs ever and one of the most endearing female leads who does NOT constitute a mere moeblob), an anime would work out great. At least I would kill for seeing Tatsuya-Miyuki antics properly animated, and based on the LN’s sales numbers, it would be crazy not to do a conversion. So, after all the shameless plugs in Accel World, I hope that we’ll get it in 1-2 seasons.

  32. meganeshounen Said,

    December 24, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    Some of stuff that made me like SAO in the first place were Kirito’s monologues. I’m afraid those didn’t convert quite well in the anime… unless they wanted Kirito’s thoughts to be heard often and turned him into a non-snarky Kyon.

    Now for Rettousei, some of the explanations there are done via narration or Tatsuya-sensei, plus the First High upperclassmen, with them explaining to the rest of the cast (and consequently, the readers). Unless we have a narrator of sorts in the possible anime, they might make Tatsuya sound like a know-it-all if almost all the infodumps came from him.

    That’s no so bad though, thinking about it, since his knowledge IS pretty much way past a normal Magic High School student.

    Of course, you can just say that all my reasons are bullshit and I just don’t want haters hating on a Light Novel series that I like, plus I don’t want it to become mainstream like SAO… I won’t mind. :D

  33. Benigmatica Said,

    December 25, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    Silica and Lizbet don’t really have any DEBAN in GGO too.

    Wait, don’t tell me that Asuna has no DEBAN too in both GGO and Alicalization Arc?

    On the other hand, if only Kirito GGO version is voiced by Haruka Tomatsu…

  34. susu Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 4:19 am

    ANNNNNDDDDD….Kirito is still the only Spriggan we’ve seen so far lololol.

    He’s never seen his homeland even once lol.

  35. Dakkar Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    @Mentar
    It’s possible to replace the pseudo sci-fi system for magic by the usual spell casting, where all that the viewers are privy to are the resulting effects. If you’re fine with sacrificing that part of the source material, there’s still an issue of degrading Tatsuya’s abilities that deal with magic comprehension/research, which in turns makes it harder to see why many characters are all over him.
    Aside from the magical system, a good part of narration/dialogue has to deal with politics/alternative history/social structure/customs. Dropping that as well is going to make characters’ actions and interactions hard to comprehend. You can expect some political censoring as well, because the novels aren’t particularly friendly toward China.
    While the characters are indeed one of the strong points of the novels, they’re embedded in the setting, you can’t just take them out, toss into a generic fantasy background, and retain their original charm. Reducing the complexity of the setting will make the characters flat as well.
    It might also be hard to get the pacing right. Cutting the narration, you will be burning through the source material extremely fast, which can significantly alter the overall impressions.
    Ultimately, with a decent budget you can make it into an action harem show that will still outclass its competition (it should be better than hagure yuusha, which was entertaining to watch), but that would do no justice to the source material. Still, all you need to do to make some people happy and guarantee good sales is to animate Miyuki clinging on to Tatsuya with as much moe as possible, so it’s a viable way to earn some money.

  36. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    Asuna only has DEBAN in the real world scenes of both GGO and Alicization arc, same with Lizbet and Silica. And since 80% of those arcs are mainly inside the “game world”…. so yeah! Still, she at least gets DEBAN I guess.

    Speaking of which, another reason why GGO wouldn’t work as anime is how Kirito’s seiyuu sounds. Given that Sinon is supposed to mistake him for a girl…. I don’t see how the fuck she could with that voice.

    Also, ALO’s world is horribly under-developed. We never really get to see the other fairies territories much… would make for pretty fun side stories I guess?

  37. Mentar Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    @Dakkar: No idea how you come to these conclusions, sorry. I see no reason why you can’t simply describe the technical concepts in a concise way as part of exposition via dialogue like it’s done in the manga (which is already slightly simplified compared to the LN), and this time you could even use animations to help, which would make understanding it a lot easier. It may not be as longish-detailed in the LN, but completely sufficient to give the viewer an impression of the world and how magic works.

    And sorry, a Mayumi or Mari wouldn’t change at all as a character with a Manga-Detail-Level. No idea what you mean with “Fantasy background”, the setting doesn’t have to be changed at all. If anything, I’m a firm believer that the LN would be even better if some of the Magical System fat would be trimmed (some hardcore fans may disagree here – but that’s my honest feeling). The anime would be able to do so. Also, the author’s narrative style during dialogues is a bit spotty – the anime could improve on that, too.

    Does it require good scriptwriters to pull it off? Yep. Is there any reason to believe that it couldn’t be done? Nope.

    So there’s hoping that Sunrise will do it. They sure inserted enough shameless plugs in Accel World ;)

  38. moridin84 Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    @Kurogane
    What the heck is a DEBAN anyway? I never got it.

  39. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    December 26, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    DEBAN is Japanese for “appearance” and the “more DEBAN” meme got started after Reki did this for SAO Vol. 10 back cover: http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=File:Sword_Art_Online_Vol_10_-_000b.jpg

  40. Dakkar Said,

    December 27, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    @Mentar
    I can’t be a completely fair judge of the manga because it’s behind the LN’s translations, so for me it’s more of the illustrations to the events and characters I’m already familiar with. That’s why I can’t really comment on how well it performs in terms of the character delivery, but as long as the story/dialogue is concerned, I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied.
    Essentially, they just pick particular lines from the novels and use them in the manga, and that doesn’t always work well. Forget the smooth flow of the conversation, there are times when the dialogue simply fails to deliver the explanation manga-only readers can easily understand. Sometimes it also leads to factual mistakes, like the one in the recent chapter about the info on Blanche being classified, which was already pointed out in the comments on Batoto by the time I finished it. BTW, by someone who’s not an LN’s reader.
    I don’t really see what the animation can do and the manga can’t. Actually, being able to read that kind of dialogue at a comfortable pace with an option on going back to the previous bubble/page if necessary can be an advantage over simply listening to it. Moreover, the manga already has exaggerated depictions of facial expressions/body movements to cover for the omitted lines of thoughts, if the animation pushes it further, that might very well affect the impression certain characters give.

    Of course, it’s not impossible to animate Mahouka. But at the very least, instead of picking a line from the paragraph, you would have to write a new line that gives a concise summary of the said paragraph. It takes guts, skill and time (read budget) to do so, and I’m not entirely convinced Sunrise can pull it off. Heck, KyoAni might be a safer bet, if they’re still able to recall their FMP days, that is…

  41. Algester Said,

    December 27, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    well pretty much later in Alicization Asuna also joins the fray at most spends about 1-2 years worth of accelerated in-game time much to Alice’s chargin or so… so yes pretty much only 3 characters get much screen time in Alicization arc asides from side characters and the main antagonists

  42. Mentar Said,

    December 27, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    @Dakkar: We’ll have to politely agree to disagree, then ^_^, sorry. Our opinions on whether and how to do it seem to be diametrally opposed.

    Overall, the manga reduction works pretty well, IMHO – that is also the clear consensus of those people who follow only the manga and don’t know the LNs – just read the feedback from the scanlation sites.

    I see the point you’re making about the fact that the manga tends to omit some inner dialogue from the LN, but I consider doing so an advantage, to be honest. This is IMHO exactly what this show needs, because most of the inner dialogue really isn’t all that relevant concerning the big picture. What you seem to see as something that needs to somehow be preserved is exactly what I think should better be cut.

    Finally, KyoAni would (IMHO) be a terrible pick for a studio, because of their tendency to moefy everything. Mahouka is absolutely no comedy “Moe” show, it is serious in nature and should be handled accordingly. The very thought of having Miyuki getting the “Kininarimasu” or even Rikka-Treatment is making me cringe ^_^;

  43. arigatou Said,

    December 27, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

    Season 3 seems possible, I want the other two light novels green-lit for anime.

  44. Dakkar Said,

    December 28, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    @Mentar
    It’s not like our opinions are going to affect the chances of Mahouka getting animated either way :) And if it gets animated, becomes popular, attracts new people, and results in more translators working on LN’s, then everyone can be happy. It’s possible, though, that animators would prefer to work off of manga, which hasn’t accumulated nearly enough material as of now.

    I don’t remember FMP being particularly moefied, so if KyoAni could remember their old days, why not? The problem is that when it comes to animating LN’s, it’s hard to name a studio you can rely on. I trust Sunrise on that about as much as I trust Zexcs…

  45. berz Said,

    December 29, 2012 @ 6:46 am

    but before GGO, maybe we could get a Mother`s Rosario OVA? =X

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