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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 03
10 out of 10: Near Perfect... 49 22.17%
9 out of 10: Excellent... 39 17.65%
8 out of 10: Very Good... 52 23.53%
7 out of 10: Good... 46 20.81%
6 out of 10: Average... 18 8.14%
5 out of 10: Below Average... 6 2.71%
4 out of 10: Poor... 6 2.71%
3 out of 10: Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10: Very Bad... 0 0%
1 out of 10: Torturous... 5 2.26%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-07-21, 20:53   Link #121
TJP1600
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Seeing the deaths about to happen i was like "no, please no" cause my eyes were watering. The anime did its job well in accomplishing the emotional affect, nothing too important was skipped in this episode but the skips were blatantly obvious though. Maybe if I had time to be a hardcore LN reader for this series I would be more angry at that.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:04   Link #122
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
What would've been the best way to get the audience to care about those characters, then? Split this arc into two episodes instead of one?
Maybe. Or perhaps not adapting the story at all would have been better?

I wouldn't know. But either way, the criticism still stands.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:15   Link #123
flack
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Somehow I managed to finish the episode even though right at the beginning I knew what sort of tragedy awaits them.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:23   Link #124
NaweG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
Well, there was one change from the story that really disappointed me:

Spoiler for Comparison of the endings:
Spoiler for The Way of the World:


OK, getting how music is licensed out of the way...

I watched the first episode, and then read the LN translations. I have to agree with those who felt both last episode and this episode would have been better if they were done as two episodes each. However, I'm withholding any judgement or rage to see what they do with the rest of the story. There are some future arcs they may have been trying to "buy time" for with keeping these short. If those are done well, I think these will be more understandable in terms of why they were one ep each.

Oh, and anyone else who felt like Klein's little "reminder" about you really die in this game was completely unnecessary? It was the shock point of episode 1, mentioned a couple times in episode 2. Do we REALLY need to hit folks over the head with it again and again in episode 3?

All that aside, I still gave this a 9. Which is higher than I rated last week's episode. At some future time I can hopefully discuss why
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:23   Link #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordblazer View Post
Spoiler:


This was an excellent episode. Great character development, and the plot is moving along fast. They're not dragging this out and wasting time showing us the world. They're actually focusing on the characters. This is a very rare thing on television today. I look forward to next week's episode.
Me too, I was really impressed with Kirito's development in this episode since he showed that he can interact, sympathize, and work with others. The death of the guild and Sachi's will definitely be one of the turning points that will motivate him to survive and finish everything. He truly cared for Sachi to the point where he cried after listening to her final message, and risked his life for an item that could bring her back.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:24   Link #126
MrTerrorist
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Damm it, this was a sad episode. I knew something bad might happen to the Black Cats since i saw the PVs and my worse fears came true. As Kirito was trying to fight off the enemies, one by one, his guild members were killed. I wanted Sachi(Oh why did she have the same name as the other Sachi of Tsukihime) to at least survive. I wanted Kirito to save her and mange to get out together out of that dungeon.

But it didn't. She was killed right in front of his eyes. I couldn't bear to see her last moments.
Kirito's determination to revive Sachi was admirable. So admirable that he was risking his life leveling up to prepare himself fighting Nicholas the Renegade to get his revival item or die to redeem himself. And then came the kicker. The items works but only before ten seconds after the person dies. The look on Kirito's face was depressing.

And then came the tear jerker. Sachi's Christmas message for him. I cried hearing what she wanted to say to Kirito. It was so sad.

Even though they didn't show most of the fights, the episode did hit our emotions well. 9 out 10.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:24   Link #127
Rennir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
What would've been the best way to get the audience to care about those characters, then? Split this arc into two episodes instead of one?
Two episodes wouldn't be enough. It's a lost cause hoping to generate as much empathy and understanding of the characters in an anime rather than a LN, simply due to the differences in the mediums. However, one possible solution is to establish the importance of the characters before and integrate this episode as a flashback after the main story starts. Kirito needs to develop more before viewers can relate to the Black Cats of the Full Moon.

Since episodes 2 and 3 have been sides stories and there have been times skips here and there, anime viewers haven't had a chance to fully grasp who Kirito is yet. Granted, the purpose of side stories is to fill in details and provide a richer background to Kirito and important characters, but in this case, it would've been better to air this episode later into the series. Why? Because after 5-8 episodes of the main story and more than ample screen time for Kirito, viewers would get a chance to grow more attached to Kirito. And then, when people really understood him and witness the effect that isolation has had upon him after so many floors and years, add this episode back in as a flashback. The concern that people have for Kirito would then carry through to these characters, because they'll understand exactly how paramount these events were in the development of Kirito's personality and mindset; they'll care for these people because Kirito cares for them and can't forget them no matter how much time passes.

Just my two cents


Quote:
Originally Posted by NaweG View Post
Spoiler for The Way of the World:
Don't understand too much about copyright law, but wouldn't this fall under the Fair use act?
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:31   Link #128
Lantern
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
What would've been the best way to get the audience to care about those characters, then? Split this arc into two episodes instead of one?
I personally don't think it's possible, both the fact that there isn't enough source materials to do that, and the fact that it's hard to add anymore impact to characters without them playing much more significant roles into the plot. No, seeing more shallow scenes of slice of life with them isn't the answer.

Given how the format of the source material is, between stretching into two draggy episode that would add nothing and compressing into one slightly rushed episode with some but not enough impact, I'm content with the second option.

Hell, as long as new comers can get and feel some impact, I'm happy.

Though, as Rennir said above,
Making it a flashback *might* probably been better.

Last edited by Lantern; 2012-07-21 at 21:48.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:36   Link #129
ars89
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Never thought Kirito would join a guild, but in the end it did indeed turn out bad. Nice and sad that he received that message from Sachi. Good see Klein still alive.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:49   Link #130
Blue-kun
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Speaking for myself, and as an anime only viewer, I liked this episode. Sure, at first I was slightly confused by what seemed to be a timeskip to a time a bit further ahead than where last week's episode ended, but the episode itself made sense and got the point of across of how Kirito, somewhere along the road, had companions and saw them die without being able to help. I imagine this will help shape his character in regards to how he handles his interactions with other players in the future, and I thought it was pretty well done. Of course, the fact the episode looked great (as usual for this show) helps quite a bit.

As for the whole debate of 'getting attached to these characters'... really, more screentime isn't what makes a bunch of deaths any more or less meaningful and/or impactful. If you watch a certain Adachi baseball anime out there, Adachi shows you exactly how much it's possible to make someone care for a character which you have just only been introduced to. All you really need is good writing. And... well, in this episode of SAO (and I assume this holds true for the LN as well), all these guys had gigantic death flags on them from the moment they first popped up, so I wasn't expectingd to be surprised or get hit by the 'impact' of their death. The way I see it, they've fulfilled their purpose for this story, and it's not adding a bit more fluff and screentime that would magically turn this into some sort of amazing dramatic moment. Still, that's not saying it was bad, because I still thought it was pretty brutal for Kirito (and Sachi), and I think they really nailed it getting the thing about how these people will succumb to desperation in this environment just like any other human being would. And that's... well, probably more along the lines of what I felt the episode was trying to do than actually turn the deaths of some clearly marked characters into some surprising/touching moment.
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Old 2012-07-21, 21:59   Link #131
Utsuro no Hako
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Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
Perhaps. But it also might've cost more to do so? That, in turn, may have lead to worse pacing or animation. It doesn't really matter in the long run, as it's a fairly minor detail. *shrug*
Well it is unusual for a studio to not seize every opportunity to add an insert song or alternate ED to the OST. I suppose they didn't want to spring for the rights to the song, but, though it pains me to say it, they could've gone with a public domain Christmas song.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:02   Link #132
joshuafaramir
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Spoiler for Inaccurate facts about the anime vs. Novel:


Anyway, my thoughts on the episode. It was rushed. If I thought episode 2 was rushed, then this takes the cake. Seriously, even the time skip was bad. They could have done a little prologue/narration before doing a time skip.

The Good:

-They emphasized on Kirito/Sachi relationship which IMHO, is the core of the episode. This is what helped define Kirito in the coming episodes and they managed to pull it off.

The Bad:

-Klein's emo/drama part was completely unexplained. An anime viewer would wonder why Klein, who got abandoned, would hold Kirito in such high regard.
-Action. Where the hell was the "high-leveled sword skills?" Coz it looked to me like he was just swinging his sword (technically that's what sword skills are but they could've done better).
-Rushed. Nuff said.

However, looking at it from an anime-viewer only perspective, it was quite good. I definitely enjoyed it compared to episode 2.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:06   Link #133
Tsukou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennir View Post
Two episodes wouldn't be enough. It's a lost cause hoping to generate as much empathy and understanding of the characters in an anime rather than a LN, simply due to the differences in the mediums. However, one possible solution is to establish the importance of the characters before and integrate this episode as a flashback after the main story starts. Kirito needs to develop more before viewers can relate to the Black Cats of the Full Moon.

Since episodes 2 and 3 have been sides stories and there have been times skips here and there, anime viewers haven't had a chance to fully grasp who Kirito is yet. Granted, the purpose of side stories is to fill in details and provide a richer background to Kirito and important characters, but in this case, it would've been better to air this episode later into the series. Why? Because after 5-8 episodes of the main story and more than ample screen time for Kirito, viewers would get a chance to grow more attached to Kirito. And then, when people really understood him and witness the effect that isolation has had upon him after so many floors and years, add this episode back in as a flashback. The concern that people have for Kirito would then carry through to these characters, because they'll understand exactly how paramount these events were in the development of Kirito's personality and mindset; they'll care for these people because Kirito cares for them and can't forget them no matter how much time passes.

Just my two cents




Don't understand too much about copyright law, but wouldn't this fall under the Fair use act?
Without having read the LN, I think between the end of episode 2 where Kirito chooses to walk the path of solitude, and episode 3, where he seems hesitant to join a group, and then in end him returning to being alone, I think it's easy to see how much it's been effecting him.

And again since I'm not an LN reader, I think instead of all the people complaining how they don't care whether or not so-and-so dies, given the amount of screen time, you should consider switching your point of view. The people who die aren't really who you're suppose to be thinking about, and caring about, you're suppose to be caring about how Kirito is dealing with what happens to the people around him. Like maybe it's different for the LN where there's probably more detail, but given the amount of time, I feel it stresses less about the actual characters who die, and focuses more about how this effects Kirito. I just think too many people are focusing on, well this person died, and I didn't really care if they died, so this sucks, and I don't think that's the intention. (Tho if the creators of the series really meant for it to be that way, that's another story, but it's still another interpretation of how these scenes can be used.)

I find it interesting tho that Asuna, who's suppose to play the heroine role, didn't make any sort of appearance. Like I am curious as to what exactly happened between episode 2 and episode 3, and why Asuna and Kirito didn't group or anything afterwards. Obviously episode 2 showed Asuna never grouped before, and yet having exceptional skills, possibly some well known beta player or someone super strong from somewhere because she looked like she wanted to hide her name in episode 2 but that's another discussion. I just wonder why the two separated, tho maybe it will be explained next week if they meet, because it seemed like at the end of episode 2 they would get along, and end up grouping from then.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:16   Link #134
Dann of Thursday
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Originally Posted by Aphrah View Post
I suppose it depends on your definition of 'in tears'; for me, it's crying or tearing up. I almost never cry, but I do tear up from time to time.
I didn't even tear up really. Even with the short story, I didn't really feel much except more sorry for Kirito in light of how he had described them in the first novel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swordstriker21 View Post
You know guys it's funny. Sometimes a series most ardent fans can also be it's worst enemy...
Well, those of us who read the novels for the most part have very high expectations it seems. Oddly, I wonder why I am so surprised. I don't think I've ever seen a truly excellent novel adaptation. Well, Fate/Zero was fantastic but it did rush parts as well as times. Looked damn good the whole time though.


To be fair regarding the time skip, that was going to happen no matter what. The only parts of the novels that really go from A to B are the main events of the first novel. All the side stories are all over the place time wise although most take place at least a year after the start.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:25   Link #135
Markerlight
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This series jumps around too much. I cant connect with the characters and their experiences because they're skipping over too many of them. I didn't care at all what happened to the Black Cat Guild, it was patently obvious they were just red shirts who were going to die quick smart.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:48   Link #136
Jarmel
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Quite frankly yes I didn't care about the guild but that's more than fine. What was important was seeing his guilt over it. It's about establishing Kirito as a character and showing his issues with trust, guilt, and overall social interactions. He pretty much fucked up and caused the death of his group. I didn't need to care for them in order to understand his guilt over it. It also further established how dangerous this game.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:50   Link #137
U<3Anime
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Originally Posted by Rennir View Post
How many times did they use a timeskip in episode 3? Anyways I thought the episode was good, but just good. The pacing definitely felt off--but not exactly in a rushed sort of way.

I said before the anime aired that I thought it would be a good idea to do everything chronologically and now I have to admit that I was wrong. While I think certain SS's should've been done chronologically (the majority of the one's involving Asuna), the rest, in retrospect, would've been better served being done as flashbacks instead. And RNR is one of the episodes better served as a flashback, because the importance of this event and how it affect's Kirito's mindset won't be revealed until much later.
I agree. The introduction of the episode could have handled better than just randomly dropping Kirito with the Black Cats guild. I think starting out the episode with Kirito reminiscing his old guild members on Christmas Eve would have served as a better segue to setting the whole tone of this story arc. Alas, seems like the anime staff have decided to play out the story chronologically.

They did do a pretty good at the message scene at the end though as it still managed to stir some emotions out of me.
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Old 2012-07-21, 22:56   Link #138
Dann of Thursday
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I sort of feel more bad for the leader. I mean, those were all his friends from school and they formed the group to stick together. Then they go off while he does some business and all get killed.
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Old 2012-07-21, 23:08   Link #139
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I'm surprised I didn't shed a single tear over this episode, seems like the kind of thing I would do

I also feel it was a bit rushed (I'm an anime-only viewer), which is probably why I wasn't emotionally into it. Had Sachi been around for 3-4 episodes, though, I'd probably be bawling my eyes out. I thought for sure he was going to be able to resurrect her with that item, though, so at least it caught me a bit off guard. I just hope the rest of the series goes at a slower pace.

Spoiler for Clannad ~After Story~ reference:
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Old 2012-07-21, 23:11   Link #140
Dark Wing
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Don't understand too much about copyright law, but wouldn't this fall under the Fair use act?
It's not about copyrights. They didn't have the voice actress sing because the studio would've had to pay her more money for singing rather then just reading lines from as script.
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