Jageri's avatar


  • Joined Sep 8, 2010
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Sword Art Online

This show has gotten some well-deserved hype, because it certainly looks great, and the soundtrack is nice. On top of that, it has a premise that in the beginning, looks very very interesting. 

Where this show falls down for me is that the plot is completely and utterly inconsequential.

The problem is that the show tries to head with an episodic format, while not realizing that in many successful episodic shows such as Nichijou or Working!!, the plot of each episode is removed from the others, but they focus on one group of characters.

In Sword Art Online, we see the adventures of Kirito, boy forced into a death game, ala .hack, only he isn't alone here, 9999 other players are trapped with him.  The thing is, the story has never focused on Kirito. Each episode, without fail, they introduce a new character we have not seen before, with their own story, and rest assured, you will likely never see them again after that episode. 

Even with this format, I thought the show could have worked if it had focused on Kirito, but the show changes focus to the new person and characterizes them for an episode before they drop off the face of the earth. 

In all, the only reccuring characters are cardboard cutouts, and all other characters have no consequence beyond their episode.

Although I feel a show does not have to have a good story to engage me, this show focuses entirely on the story, badly told, rather than on other aspects, like action.  By the last episode I watched at time of writing, the action scenes had been pared down to about 20 seconds per episode. 

To sum up, The show has terrible storytelling, excellent visuals, almost no action, and completely unrelateable characters. Watch it for the pretty visuals and decent soundtrack, then forget about this empty show.

3/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
1/10 characters
4/10 overall

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roriconfan says...

What Tinytox completely disregards is how stupid people would all be dead right away in a death game, something which never happened since they are all stupid.

Oct 16, 2012
Tinytox says...

Alright, that sounds more reasonable to me.

Yes, there was a -LOT- of stupidity going on there, I would imagine, probably just like in any MMO you actually go and play, someones a freaking idiot. It really DOES happen like that in MMO's, at least, though.

Yes. The black cats thing was ENTIRELY too rushed. They really do seem like they're in a hurry to push the plot along. I don't wanna spoil anything, but if you've seen the latest episodes, you would agree with your own rushing statement even more. I get the feeling the developers want to get to the resolution ASAP, as for adding to the rushing: Why the hell did He hop through like 50 floors between an episode? WTF? That's not how that works. I would have loved to see more battle plans/epic boss fights/boss solo's.

I also don't wanna spoil anything about PK, so I'm going to leave that one alone for now. You should get caught up if you aren't already. It's still very entertaining even if they do some things wrong.

I must say, even if it's bullshit, episode 14/15 still occupy a very interesting plotline twist that I wasn't expecting, but makes a lot of sense.

I'll write my own review (almost guarenteed to be a 10/10 rating, I can accept the slight issues I have with the story as part of their world, and how the story is being told to us.) I'll probably wait till ~20 episodes.

Glad to see your opinions now are a little different than your review initially said :P

Oct 16, 2012
Jageri says...

I have to say, toxi, i'll give you #3 any day. Any day. It has the best animation i've ever seen, clean and smooth with great effects. As for #2, the last episode I watched before making this review was episode 7.

Thats around 3 to 3 and a half hours of footage, so it seems a good amount to me.  But the thing is that with those new episodes, I kept getting frustrated that all the new characters never reappeared, bar some very minor appearances from klein, and i'm aware Asuna is a major character now. I just think the show could have been paced better.

They skip many, many floors, and they crammed the entire black cats arc into a single episode. Don't you think thats a bit much? I would agree that the plot is thick, but mainly because I feel that it is so rushed.  The new characters seemed interesting, but they spent an episode focusing on them and moved on, never to hear from them again. For all the tradgedy that kirito experienced when the black cats died, he sure didn't give any hints that it affected his behavior beyond that episode. We can assume that, but we're never given any evidence.

And also.. barring PKing, all the deaths from episodes 2-7 were due to someone being stupid.  The 2nd episode? The commander died because he tried to solo the boss. As he was dieing, he was refusing a potion that Kirito had in his hand.

Episode 3? The black cats died because they were training in an area roughly their level, and saw a secret room with nothing in it but a chest. How can it be any more obvious that it was a trap?  

The beast-tamer girl and her dragon? Her dragon died because she left her party in the middle of an extremely dangerous area simply because one of the members was being a bit of a bitch.  She could have gone back to town with them all and then left that party in safety. The only reason for her to run off was immaturity, or to advance the plot along.

Oct 13, 2012
Tinytox says...

I disagree with your review. And here's a few reasons I feel differently:

1) I think the storytelling is actually genius. They've been showing us who our main character is through spinoffs with other characters. Through this we've gotten to know a side of Kirito, we may have not ever seen.

2) I don't feel like all the episodes really capitalize on new characters; Though, it may be such that this review was written when fewer episodes existed.

3) The art is beautiful.

4) There is a nice drama mixed in with the anime that makes you feel closer to the main characters.

5) The plot is thick. As stated there may be consequences for not clearing the game fast enough. Watch it to find out what these may be.

6) It's dangerous, and they let you feel that it is. There have already been more than one occasion where Kirito almost Game-Over'ed. If he were to, he would be eradicated from both the game, and the real world.

7) They've already given some foreshadowing (though obvious), that their real-world bodies have effected them in the game, this leads to a sense of urgency.

8) It's based off an MMO. I'll give you that .hack was obviously former to SOA, I felt as though it was inferior. I've not gotten around to watching .hack. I've always been interested in checking it out. Perhaps SOA will drive me to do so. However, from the few episodes I've seen of .hack, they've all been less interesting than the least interesting SOA episode.

I would also like to state that I seem to deeply enjoy most animes I watch. I feel bad giving any anime a poor rating if I didn't drop it, being that it entertained me to keep me watching. I'm not trying to play the anime-list rating game, though. I'm here to have a debate about this anime, and not what my status is as an anime critic.

Oct 13, 2012
shikikywketsuki says...

I watched DBZ and yugioh when i was a child so sorry if i rated them 5 stars because they remminded me of my childhood so i genraly enjoyed them when i re watched them. oh and i only rateded hell girl because i wanted to see if there was a badge  for rating so many animes and plus i have actualy watch over half the epidsodes i just lost where i was upto after transfering it on to my new laptop.

Oct 13, 2012