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View Poll Results: Sword Art Online - Episode 12 Rating
10 out of 10 : Near Perfect.... 44 29.93%
9 out of 10 : Excellent... 31 21.09%
8 out of 10 : Very Good... 29 19.73%
7 out of 10 : Good... 20 13.61%
6 out of 10 : Average... 12 8.16%
5 out of 10 : Below Average... 3 2.04%
4 out of 10 : Poor... 3 2.04%
3 out of 10 : Bad... 3 2.04%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad... 1 0.68%
1 out of 10 : Torturous... 1 0.68%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-09-28, 02:33   Link #261
ahelo
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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
You can't just present a poor vulnerable girl (which btw was screaming to be "felt sorry for", which I also didn't buy - manufactured drama to the max) and then suddenly do a 180 and make her into some AI program and "cheat" to erase a powerful boss. And then do a 180 again and create a melodramatic scene of her fading away with both Kirito and Asuna crying over their loss.
THIS. Pulling something like is just like having no respect for the characters, having no respect in making characters (more of this), having no respect in how to develop a plot, no respect in creating real drama, and no respect in character development all at the same time.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So yeah... I really honestly don't understand the issue. The entire purpose of the conflict in this episode was to reveal Yui's identity as an AI. It's not like the plot developed this way because the author somehow painted himself into a corner -- the point is that *she is* a "God". I'm more surprised you didn't see this coming with all the hints last week...
Oh this episode definitely emphasized Yui's identity and even more. It showed us that Yui's entire purpose was to be a plot device. To be a character to inject melodrama in. To be a character we're supposed to sympathize with in two episodes. Whether or not anyone of us saw hints an episode before, the fact still remains that this is completely shoddy writing.

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Originally Posted by zRichard View Post
I don't think SAO fails to do what it tries to do as a story. The problem is that the trailers teased something different to what we got, and the fans hyped it above the heavens as something it was not.
Of all the possibilities there are to work with such a good premise, SAO took the easy road. But can you blame an author that wrote this on his late teens?* I can't, on the contrary, it's quite impressive.

It's been 12 episodes already, people should have lowered their expectations a bit by now.
Actually this is kinda true. Maybe I am still hung up with how I thought it was gonna be and the fact that people highly regarded the light novels. But really, it doesn't change the fact that this episode was bad. And yeah, I have to agree with you that SAO took the easy road with a grand setting like this.
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Old 2012-09-28, 03:16   Link #262
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Oh this episode definitely emphasized Yui's identity and even more. It showed us that Yui's entire purpose was to be a plot device. To be a character to inject melodrama in. To be a character we're supposed to sympathize with in two episodes. Whether or not anyone of us saw hints an episode before, the fact still remains that this is completely shoddy writing.
Honestly, maybe it's just because I grew up watching sci-fi shows with so-called "shoddy writing" but this seems so completely normal to me. You have your main cast of characters. They meet a new character in somewhat mysterious circumstances. They get to know them and become friends. But then, plot twist, and you discover that this character is, in fact, something unexpected (as was strongly hinted), and you'll have to say goodbye, at least for now. A dramatic scene occurs, tears are shed, but everyone moves forward to their next adventure carrying the memory of that experience with them.

Stories like that are... well, like I said, perfectly normal to me. I understand how that works. And yes, I can and do sympathise with that character even in the hour (2 half-hours) that we get to know them. Not every situation that's introduced has to be part of this long over-arching narrative that spans across long stretches of episodes. As long as it contributes to the development of the world, the characters, and the narrative on the whole, then it's still advancing the plot. Even if Yui's entire purpose -- so far -- was to be a plot device.

So yes, I get that you and Pocari_Sweat hate it. But it honestly doesn't bother me at all. If that means I'm okay with "shoddy writing"... then okay. It wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of having bad taste.
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Old 2012-09-28, 10:12   Link #263
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You know, given how she was turned into an item that can be stored locally outside of the game, Yui will probably return at a later date. You're all acting like she was only ever allowed these two episodes. Just wait and see instead of throwing around trainwreck accusations and the like.
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Old 2012-09-28, 11:57   Link #264
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Honestly, maybe it's just because I grew up watching sci-fi shows with so-called "shoddy writing" but this seems so completely normal to me. You have your main cast of characters. They meet a new character in somewhat mysterious circumstances. They get to know them and become friends. But then, plot twist, and you discover that this character is, in fact, something unexpected (as was strongly hinted), and you'll have to say goodbye, at least for now. A dramatic scene occurs, tears are shed, but everyone moves forward to their next adventure carrying the memory of that experience with them.

Stories like that are... well, like I said, perfectly normal to me. I understand how that works. And yes, I can and do sympathise with that character even in the hour (2 half-hours) that we get to know them. Not every situation that's introduced has to be part of this long over-arching narrative that spans across long stretches of episodes. As long as it contributes to the development of the world, the characters, and the narrative on the whole, then it's still advancing the plot. Even if Yui's entire purpose -- so far -- was to be a plot device.

So yes, I get that you and Pocari_Sweat hate it. But it honestly doesn't bother me at all. If that means I'm okay with "shoddy writing"... then okay. It wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of having bad taste.
The problem with what you said is that those sci-fi shows very rarely invested that much emotion in a particular 'guest of the week'. The overall stoic-ness of the main characters doesn't help things at all sure, but it's also written so that the viewers think pretty much the same as the main cast: "It's sad, but life goes on". SAO isn't really that kind of show so I didn't really think of relating this episode to a classic sci-fi series at all.

I will be the first to admit that most of those episodes made me wonder about 'shoddy writing'. In fact, for those rare instances in those shows where the cast and viewer becomes emotionally attached as much as Asuna and Kirito did towards Yui, those episodes were considered masterpieces!

For this episode, I actually look at it with a similar light as those 'masterpieces'. Yes, they were only together with Yui for a couple of days. But it's a fact that Asuna truly loved her like a daughter. Yui being virtual or non-blood related/adopted doesn't matter; I think people underestimate the bond between parent and child, and you don't need a whole childhood worth of memories to form that kind of bond.
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Old 2012-09-28, 12:17   Link #265
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You know, given how she was turned into an item that can be stored locally outside of the game, Yui will probably return at a later date. You're all acting like she was only ever allowed these two episodes. Just wait and see instead of throwing around trainwreck accusations and the like.
It's kind of a given that she's gonna come back (hinting at it in the episode...) but that's completely beside the point. Is the fact that she's gonna come back anyway excusable for the fact that they pulled some half-assed melodrama here? Can it justify that they pulled a terrible deus ex machina and plot twists out of nowhere (whether or not it was hinted or not it was still bad)? And it's not like I even hate SAO; it's just that this episode was down right mediocre.

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The problem with what you said is that those sci-fi shows very rarely invested that much emotion in a particular 'guest of the week'. The overall stoic-ness of the main characters doesn't help things at all sure, but it's also written so that the viewers think pretty much the same as the main cast: "It's sad, but life goes on". SAO isn't really that kind of show so I didn't really think of relating this episode to a classic sci-fi series at all.

I will be the first to admit that most of those episodes made me wonder about 'shoddy writing'. In fact, for those rare instances in those shows where the cast and viewer becomes emotionally attached as much as Asuna and Kirito did towards Yui, those episodes were considered masterpieces!

For this episode, I actually look at it with a similar light as those 'masterpieces'. Yes, they were only together with Yui for a couple of days. But it's a fact that Asuna truly loved her like a daughter. Yui being virtual or non-blood related/adopted doesn't matter; I think people underestimate the bond between parent and child, and you don't need a whole childhood worth of memories to form that kind of bond.
Definitely subjective I guess, just as relentlessflame pointed out. I guess whether or not this episode worked for you, whether or not this rushed character development was enough for you to feel something about, still depends on the watcher him/herself.
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Old 2012-09-28, 12:22   Link #266
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Definitely subjective I guess, just as relentlessflame pointed out. I guess whether or not this episode worked for you, whether or not this rushed character development was enough for you to feel something about, still depends on the watcher him/herself.
Not defending the episode... it's got issues, but if we assume from what was said in the episode (that she can come back), why would you assume one second of her character development was wasted?

That's like having character's part... and complaining that all the development that character recieved was wasted because they're not around 'now'... even our character's in the show believe they'll meet again.

Dunno, again, not defending the episode, just pointing that bit out.
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Old 2012-09-28, 12:24   Link #267
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In fact, for those rare instances in those shows where the cast and viewer becomes emotionally attached as much as Asuna and Kirito did towards Yui, those episodes were considered masterpieces!
Yes, I see what you're saying. You're right that the success/failure of this sort of story structure really depends on whether they're able to build a character the audience really cares about in the time allotted. And I guess the common thread in the discussion is whether or not you were able to sympathise with what was portrayed. Some people clearly weren't able, for whatever reason, and thus the episode feels forced to them.

Now that I think about it, perhaps this is why I never really had a problem with the earlier "guest of the week" type episodes either -- I've found the characters portrayed to be quite sympathetic in the time allotted, and I was already accustomed to that style of storytelling.


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Is the fact that she's gonna come back anyway excusable for the fact that they pulled some half-assed melodrama here? Can it justify that they pulled a terrible deus ex machina and plot twists out of nowhere (whether or not it was hinted or not it was still bad)?
It must really depend on the viewer here. I didn't consider the melodrama "half-assed" because I have no trouble buying the relationship formed, even in a short time. Your point about deus ex machina is inherently contradictory -- if a plot development is foreshadowed, then it's not a "deus ex machina" plot device by definition (and if it's hinted, then it's not "out of nowhere"). The whole "god unaware" plot revolves around that very realization. Your not liking that sort of story is obviously at issue, but I think that -- clearly -- calling it "bad writing" is just a matter of opinion.
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Old 2012-09-28, 12:48   Link #268
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It must really depend on the viewer here. I didn't consider the melodrama "half-assed" because I have no trouble buying the relationship formed, even in a short time. Your point about deus ex machina is inherently contradictory -- if a plot development is foreshadowed, then it's not a "deus ex machina" plot device by definition (and if it's hinted, then it's not "out of nowhere"). The whole "god unaware" plot revolves around that very realization. Your not liking that sort of story is obviously at issue, but I think that -- clearly -- calling it "bad writing" is just a matter of opinion.
Definition (or at least what I consider to be the definition) of deus ex machina: A Deus ex Machina is when some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way (From TV Tropes).

I don't wanna get too technical but based on that definition above, I think it's safe to say it really was deus ex machina. And when I meant it hinted that Yui was an AI or whatever she is, the part where she suddenly pulls out a goddamn fire sword and kills a monster Kirito and Asuna couldn't kill is definitely NOT part of that hint. Also, of course what I consider bad writing is completely subjective, I mean it's my opinion after all and sharing opinions is the point of why there are discussions like this in Animesuki .
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Old 2012-09-28, 13:14   Link #269
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Definition (or at least what I consider to be the definition) of deus ex machina: A Deus ex Machina is when some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way (From TV Tropes).

I don't wanna get too technical but based on that definition above, I think it's safe to say it really was deus ex machina. And when I meant it hinted that Yui was an AI or whatever she is, the part where she suddenly pulls out a goddamn fire sword and kills a monster Kirito and Asuna couldn't kill is definitely NOT part of that hint.
I already discussed this in the thread earlier, but I think that definition isn't really complete/sufficient, because then any surprise or plot twist in a story could be called "Deus ex Machina", and that was never the intention of the term. The key point is that the "new event, character, ability, or object" has to be external/tangential to the narrative. But Yui's mysterious identity was at the very center of the plot in these two episodes. The conflict with the reaper was a small plot point in the context of the overarching story about Yui, and the key revelation was indeed the fact that she's a god (even though she didn't realize it). The only thing that makes it convenient is that she realized it in the moment of their need... but that's just a question of sort of "dramatic convenience" more than anything else.

Basically, I think you've mis-prioritized the plot threads. The primary plot is Yui's identity being revealed. The secondary plot is the one most-recently introduced about finding the lost guild member. The secondary plot was constructed entirely to service the primary plot. If not for Yui's identity, the whole situation would never have happened in the first place.

(I can tell you what would have been deus ex machina, though. Let's say that they had never met Yui, and never setup the issue of her mysterious identity. And then, for some other unrelated reason, they go down to rescue the guild member, and encounter the reaper. Then, right in their moment of greatest need, Yui (previously unknown) appears out of the admin console with her fire sword and kills the monster, revealing that she's an AI and she has come to see them. Now that is deus ex machina, because in that case the fight is presented as a the primary plot, and the resolution is completely tangential and completely "out of nowhere".)
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Old 2012-09-28, 17:34   Link #270
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I already discussed this in the thread earlier, but I think that definition isn't really complete/sufficient, because then any surprise or plot twist in a story could be called "Deus ex Machina", and that was never the intention of the term. The key point is that the "new event, character, ability, or object" has to be external/tangential to the narrative. But Yui's mysterious identity was at the very center of the plot in these two episodes.
I'm going to have to agree with relentlessflame here. Regardless of how ham-fisted or excellent you think the development from this arc has been, the idea that Yui is a sudden Deus ex Machina a$$grab is a little... out there. It was extremely telegraphed.

Many people knew in the previous episode knew that she was an AI, so the idea that in a computer controlled world, a computer program would have 'god-like' abilities shouldn't be even vaguely surprising.

You could liken it to character's trapped in an alien 'ant farm', befriending the alien's child, and having that child save them from some sudden danger before being yanked out of the scene by the parents. You wouldn't call that a Deus ex Machina event... even though that's technically what it is.

It is not at all a 'contrived and unexpected intervention'... Now you could argue that it's silly that Kirito didn't simply waltz away from the boss, but that's an entirely different debate.
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Old 2012-09-28, 18:06   Link #271
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Now you could argue that it's silly that Kirito didn't simply waltz away from the boss, but that's an entirely different debate.
That's because if he did that he would be attacked in his back and die.

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Old 2012-09-28, 18:45   Link #272
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Spoiler for Novel reason why Kirito engaged the boss instead of getting away.:


There was no deus ex development in the arc, apart from Kirito saving Yui's data but that was a artificially created because of the way the producers choose to portray the scene (they should have shown it as a very intuitive simple and quick task... not as hacking the 3rd lvl Matrix). Yui's lack of cursor was a huge clue and the first one the anime gives. Yui said she "remembered" being what she was when she entered the room with the terminal.

As for poor writing, they didn't say much about Sinker guy. Presented as an expendable device in the anime. You are left to imagine how is he going to handle the Army now.
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Old 2012-09-28, 21:26   Link #273
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I already discussed this in the thread earlier, but I think that definition isn't really complete/sufficient, because then any surprise or plot twist in a story could be called "Deus ex Machina", and that was never the intention of the term. The key point is that the "new event, character, ability, or object" has to be external/tangential to the narrative. But Yui's mysterious identity was at the very center of the plot in these two episodes. The conflict with the reaper was a small plot point in the context of the overarching story about Yui, and the key revelation was indeed the fact that she's a god (even though she didn't realize it). The only thing that makes it convenient is that she realized it in the moment of their need... but that's just a question of sort of "dramatic convenience" more than anything else.
It feels like we're two old cranky english teachers debating on if there was a literary technique or not -__-. If you explain it like that and in so much detail, maybe it really wasn't intended to be a deus ex machina but for a casual viewer like me, it certainly FELT like it. Whether or not my terms are correct or incorrect the point still stands, Yui pulled out a goddamn fire sword out of nowhere at the most convenient time. If you say to me "well that was expected, it was hinted already an episode before that she was an AI so something like this shouldn't come off as too surprising" well sorry for being surprised (and not in a good way); but then again I'm sure most people here were surprised to at that turn of development.

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Not defending the episode... it's got issues, but if we assume from what was said in the episode (that she can come back), why would you assume one second of her character development was wasted?

That's like having character's part... and complaining that all the development that character recieved was wasted because they're not around 'now'... even our character's in the show believe they'll meet again.

Dunno, again, not defending the episode, just pointing that bit out.
I never said her development was wasted-- it was more of that it totally wasn't enough for them to pull something like this. Yui getting resurrected or not later on is completely beside the point. My complaint on this episode was not just that Yui died; I'm complaining that an episode like this needs way more buildup for it to work.
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Old 2012-09-28, 21:48   Link #274
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but for a casual viewer like me
I remain concerned about how boring and terrible this show must be for the casual viewers. It's probably one of the greatest failings of the 'show, don't tell' idea that people always clamor for...

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I'm complaining that an episode like this needs way more buildup for it to work.
Does it though? It's not simply a throw-away episode that introduced us to a new 'girl of the week' and then discarded her in a fit of melodrama. Heck, it's not even the first time we've had one of these throw away 'girl of the week' episodes... it's the world-building that, IMO, is equally important... since the show again adheres to the whole show, don't tell notion. It also, in theory, could shape Asuna's and Kirito's relationship going forward. They've got another thing that's only going to be real in a MMO setting... one they're supposed to be desperate to escape from.

Remember? Just a few episodes ago Asuna was perfectly willing to sacrifice a whole village full of NPC's to make a boss fight a little easier. I'm thinking she's feeling slightly different about this NPC, and that feeling is likely going to reshape her opinions going forward (or did we all forget that one already?).

+ It re-introduced the guy from Ep2 and told us what he's been up to, what a douche he's continued to be.

+ It re-introduced us to the guys from that horribly failed boss fight, and gave us hints as to why they'd do something so utterly stupid.

+ It reminded us that people can be callous jerks, even in a video game with consequences... and that ultimately people still find ways to cope, even when they're in a hopeless / hostile environment way over their heads (although some of that was in the final minutes of last week's show).

+ It finally answered a rather important question of exactly how a MMO game once full of 10k people could be running without a staff of employee's implicit in the hostage situation.

+ It reinforces the notion that the SAO game was designed to be a 'game', not just simply as a death trap for 10k unfortunate or unlucky souls.

+ This arc showed us, for the first time since the opening minutes of the show (ep1, remember?) what's going on with the people left behind in the starter town (also some of that was from last week).

So, if you simply throw away this episode, or the last, as some pithy little melodrama vehicle... well... nuff on that topic.

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Spoiler for Novel reason why Kirito engaged the boss instead of getting away.:
Yup! But since the anime did such a rather poor job of 'showing' that confidence, and didn't tell us it either... which is unfortunate. It's easy enough to infer, but it's really missing a hook to tie "enjoying murdering hordes of weak monsters" = "Hey, this boss is probably lvl. 60, this should be a ton of fun since I'm probably 30+ levels higher than it is".

Instead we just get the "Oh snap, I've done something utterly stupid."
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Old 2012-09-28, 22:23   Link #275
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If you say to me "well that was expected, it was hinted already an episode before that she was an AI so something like this shouldn't come off as too surprising" well sorry for being surprised (and not in a good way); but then again I'm sure most people here were surprised to at that turn of development.
Well, sure, it was surprising, but to me more in a "that's one heck of a way to reveal the secret" way. I didn't know for sure that she was an AI or whatever else, but it was clear that she wasn't a normal player and certainly wasn't the cute little girl they portrayed her to be. When she vouched for the honesty of the assistant guild leader, that was another hint (along with the fact they took her along on this mission in the first place) -- for everything there's a reason.

But yeah, don't get me wrong -- it was a surprising plot twist... it's just that it makes sense when you step back and look at all the signs and put it in context. That's my view anyway...


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I remain concerned about how boring and terrible this show must be for the casual viewers. It's probably one of the greatest failings of the 'show, don't tell' idea that people always clamor for...
If by "casual viewer" you mean anime-only viewer, I don't think it's really that hard. It's not like I'd read the novels coming into the show or into these episodes. I think the main thing is to just wait for the pieces to come together. I guess it helps to pay attention so you can pick up on some of the hints and signs, but I'm quite sure that everything will come together in a way that makes sense in the end, and most things make enough sense already.

Edit: This is like how I saw on a Japanese blog a few commenters complaining about the fact that the author clarified minor details about the episodes in his tweets each week, with the insinuation being "if your story is so obscure that it takes author tweets so that you can make sense of what's going on, then you've failed". But I think that's sort of missing the point. Sure, the little details that he mentions are interesting bits of trivia, but they're not "game-changing". The problem is you have a mostly high-tech audience and a lot of people who know a thing or two about MMOs, so they get hung up on details that distract them from the more important things going on in the story. (I realize I started something similar in the thread this week, but I really did mean it mostly as a joke...) That isn't to say the details aren't important, but they're not more important than the story that is being told. In that sense I guess I would say that following this anime from an anime-only viewer's perspective may require not being too distracted by the things the anime doesn't cover in detail at that time. Perhaps it's almost a bit of an "uncanny valley" sort of thing -- the setting is a bit too close to reality for people to just dismiss it. Something like the same author's Accel World avoids some of these issues by setting itself a bit further out into the future using technology that is even less familiar than what we know.
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Old 2012-09-29, 00:23   Link #276
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I remain concerned about how boring and terrible this show must be for the casual viewers. It's probably one of the greatest failings of the 'show, don't tell' idea that people always clamor for...
You keep using that argument, yet I don't think you know how to use that argument in the context of people's complaints.

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Does it though? It's not simply a throw-away episode that introduced us to a new 'girl of the week' and then discarded her in a fit of melodrama. Heck, it's not even the first time we've had one of these throw away 'girl of the week' episodes... it's the world-building that, IMO, is equally important... since the show again adheres to the whole show, don't tell notion. It also, in theory, could shape Asuna's and Kirito's relationship going forward. They've got another thing that's only going to be real in a MMO setting... one they're supposed to be desperate to escape from.

Remember? Just a few episodes ago Asuna was perfectly willing to sacrifice a whole village full of NPC's to make a boss fight a little easier. I'm thinking she's feeling slightly different about this NPC, and that feeling is likely going to reshape her opinions going forward (or did we all forget that one already?).

+ It re-introduced the guy from Ep2 and told us what he's been up to, what a douche he's continued to be.

+ It re-introduced us to the guys from that horribly failed boss fight, and gave us hints as to why they'd do something so utterly stupid.

+ It reminded us that people can be callous jerks, even in a video game with consequences... and that ultimately people still find ways to cope, even when they're in a hopeless / hostile environment way over their heads (although some of that was in the final minutes of last week's show).

+ It finally answered a rather important question of exactly how a MMO game once full of 10k people could be running without a staff of employee's implicit in the hostage situation.

+ It reinforces the notion that the SAO game was designed to be a 'game', not just simply as a death trap for 10k unfortunate or unlucky souls.

+ This arc showed us, for the first time since the opening minutes of the show (ep1, remember?) what's going on with the people left behind in the starter town (also some of that was from last week).

So, if you simply throw away this episode, or the last, as some pithy little melodrama vehicle... well... nuff on that topic.
I think people call this a straw man? How many of these applied to Yui's development that ahelo was raising. And by development, we're talking about the connection between Kirito + Asuna & Yui which didn't connect with/convince a few viewers, not just ahelo.
It was love at first sight for Kirito and Asuna, therefore viewers were expected to follow suit. And that's it. Either you played along or you didn't.
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Old 2012-09-29, 00:23   Link #277
ronelm2000
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
If by "casual viewer" you mean anime-only viewer, I don't think it's really that hard. It's not like I'd read the novels coming into the show or into these episodes. I think the main thing is to just wait for the pieces to come together. I guess it helps to pay attention so you can pick up on some of the hints and signs, but I'm quite sure that everything will come together in a way that makes sense in the end, and most things make enough sense already.

Edit: This is like how I saw on a Japanese blog a few commenters complaining about the fact that the author clarified minor details about the episodes in his tweets each week, with the insinuation being "if your story is so obscure that it takes author tweets so that you can make sense of what's going on, then you've failed". But I think that's sort of missing the point. Sure, the little details that he mentions are interesting bits of trivia, but they're not "game-changing". The problem is you have a mostly high-tech audience and a lot of people who know a thing or two about MMOs, so they get hung up on details that distract them from the more important things going on in the story. (I realize I started something similar in the thread this week, but I really did mean it mostly as a joke...) That isn't to say the details aren't important, but they're not more important than the story that is being told. In that sense I guess I would say that following this anime from an anime-only viewer's perspective may require not being too distracted by the things the anime doesn't cover in detail at that time. Perhaps it's almost a bit of an "uncanny valley" sort of thing -- the setting is a bit too close to reality for people to just dismiss it. Something like the same author's Accel World avoids some of these issues by setting itself a bit further out into the future using technology that is even less familiar than what we know.
I think the greatest problem that was posed in Sword Art Online anime is simply because of A-1's Show and Tell distillation process. In a somewhat easily brittle series such as this with a high-tech audience, information, however, detailed it is, easily becomes plot points. Stuff like "what about this, what about that", and "why don't they do this/that" that were certainly pointed in the novels can't simply be pointed out at the anime first-and-foremost simply because the novels switched everything from 1st POV to 3rd POV. Sure 1st POV is hard to manage, but it serves to tell better than a 3rd POV simply because many of the details can be explained by it.
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Old 2012-09-29, 01:17   Link #278
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Honestly, maybe it's just because I grew up watching sci-fi shows with so-called "shoddy writing" but this seems so completely normal to me. You have your main cast of characters. They meet a new character in somewhat mysterious circumstances. They get to know them and become friends. But then, plot twist, and you discover that this character is, in fact, something unexpected (as was strongly hinted), and you'll have to say goodbye, at least for now. A dramatic scene occurs, tears are shed, but everyone moves forward to their next adventure carrying the memory of that experience with them.

Stories like that are... well, like I said, perfectly normal to me. I understand how that works. And yes, I can and do sympathise with that character even in the hour (2 half-hours) that we get to know them. Not every situation that's introduced has to be part of this long over-arching narrative that spans across long stretches of episodes. As long as it contributes to the development of the world, the characters, and the narrative on the whole, then it's still advancing the plot. Even if Yui's entire purpose -- so far -- was to be a plot device.

So yes, I get that you and Pocari_Sweat hate it. But it honestly doesn't bother me at all. If that means I'm okay with "shoddy writing"... then okay. It wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of having bad taste.
If it were within forum rules, I'd sig your entire post and smack them nitpickers with it, every damn time it comes up.
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Old 2012-09-29, 04:03   Link #279
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Originally Posted by ronelm2000 View Post
I think the greatest problem that was posed in Sword Art Online anime is simply because of A-1's Show and Tell distillation process. In a somewhat easily brittle series such as this with a high-tech audience, information, however, detailed it is, easily becomes plot points. Stuff like "what about this, what about that", and "why don't they do this/that" that were certainly pointed in the novels can't simply be pointed out at the anime first-and-foremost simply because the novels switched everything from 1st POV to 3rd POV. Sure 1st POV is hard to manage, but it serves to tell better than a 3rd POV simply because many of the details can be explained by it.
Well, if this is the case, then it basically requires the audience to have an understanding and acceptance of the necessary compromise. That, due to format and time constraints, and the nature of the perspective shown, it's just not possible to provide explanations for every thing, but what is important will be shown and its meaning will be revealed in context over time. The sort of richness of detail and explanation is well-suited for a novel format, but it's hard to imagine how it could be suitably adapted into an anime format without adding a whole lot of narration that would break up the flow of time, and adding significantly more episodes to the show. And frankly, I don't think the missing details are generally necessary to understand what's going on or the key points as it relates to the characters, the on-going plot, or the overall messages of the story... it just provides a slightly richer tapestry that may help some people get even more immersed into the world.

Or, in other words, the audience needs to place some faith in the writers that the decisions they've made about what is most important to show are based on a good understanding of the story they need to tell and where they're going with all this. So far, based on the way the plot points have interconnected, I've been generally satisfied that this is the case (at least as someone who isn't doing any sort of comparison to anything else). For the things that simply aren't shown (because they're not the focus of the story), it may require some extrapolation, and I guess that can be a bit hard if the viewer is being a bit overly-literal about everything (as, to be frank, sometimes happens among a geek audience -- we live in worlds of facts not metaphors! ).
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Old 2012-09-29, 05:28   Link #280
zRichard
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Going back to the episode.

No one found it weird how Asuna was about to take someone else's child for herself and her internet boyfriend? It felt like she didn't want to find Yui's parents at some point. What kind of human being thinks like that? She's a monster.
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