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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 18
10 out of 10: Near Perfect... 16 14.68%
9 out of 10 : Excellent... 30 27.52%
8 out of 10 : Very Good... 29 26.61%
7 out of 10 : Good... 20 18.35%
6 out of 10 : Average... 5 4.59%
5 out of 10 : Below Average... 2 1.83%
4 out of 10 : Poor... 1 0.92%
3 out of 10 : Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad... 3 2.75%
1 out of 10 : Torturous... 3 2.75%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-11-06, 03:09   Link #201
GoldenLand
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Sounds like a personal problem to me.

If someone have grievances towards perceived negative trends of characterization in anime or literature in general, by all means voice them, in the proper forum and/or thread. Every story should be judged individually on their own merit.

Personally, what's far more annoying than the damsel-in-distress setting is the drove of people who inevitably shows up right afterwards to complain about it.
There is a tendency for undue criticism to fall on characters who are turned into damsels in distress through no fault of their own, rather than the writers who decided to make things that way, which can be annoying. Some people will say that if a woman in media can't fight for any reason or shows any weakness, she suddenly becomes worthless - which is actually a really sexist point of view. Personally I'm not sure what to think about what Sword Art Online is doing at the moment; it'll all depend on how it treats Asuna throughout the rest of the arc. SOA has mostly treated her well.

Aside from that, I'm unsure what you're suggesting. It looks as if you're saying that people should not look at stories in the context they appear in - that stories should not be critically examined or compared to their peers or trends in any way, or that if they are, that examination should be in special forums dedicated for the purpose. If so, I think that's absurd. It would mean that people couldn't say, for example, that a series has good graphics (because there would be nothing to compare it to!). We would be unable to say "Yes, SOA has the tired imouto-love trope, but at the time it was written it had not been over-used yet, so let's not blame it for that". All those things require looking at the series in context and comparing them to their peers.

Trends, context, and problems which occur within them are not simply "personal problems". Media reflect the society that people live in, in some ways. To use another example with a similar structure to the one above - if you get a live-action British or American series A where all of the characters are, say, white except for a black guy who dies in the first five minutes, and there is no particular in-series reason for that distribution, that may be all right in isolation. But not if its peers series B, C, D, E, F, G and so forth all do the same, and a trend begins to appear, betraying racism. Somebody pointing out that racism in series A would not be wrong to do so - they would not be facing a neurotic "personal problem" - and it would not be right to dismiss them merely because other fans of series A did not want to hear any criticism of their favourite show.
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Old 2012-11-06, 13:37   Link #202
Utsuro no Hako
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Sounds like a personal problem to me.

If someone have grievances towards perceived negative trends of characterization in anime or literature in general, by all means voice them, in the proper forum and/or thread. Every story should be judged individually on their own merit.
I'd think an SAO thread is the perfect place to discuss the negative trends found in SAO -- depowerment of heroines, white knighting, threats of rape, over-powered hero, etc. -- just as people discuss bland harem leads in harem anime threads, and emasculation in Mari Okada series threads. If you don't like the sexism angle, then how about the Sughua angle -- should people put out of their minds every other "I love my big brother who's really my cousin" series when criticizing how lame this development is? Should they not say, "This is just pandering to a certain otaku fetish," because that criticism requires a wider context than the show itself?

Quote:
Personally, what's far more annoying than the damsel-in-distress setting is the drove of people who inevitably shows up right afterwards to complain about it.
Yes, it's absolutely horrible when people in a discussion forum express their opinions.
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Old 2012-11-06, 15:51   Link #203
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Originally Posted by GoldenLand View Post
snip
Points taken. However, it doesn't make the double-standard any less annoying.

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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
Yes, it's absolutely horrible when people in a discussion forum express their opinions.
Just as you have the right to be annoyed at what you see as a sexist trend, I can be annoyed at what I think is trend of people applying a double standard.

Last edited by kyp275; 2012-11-06 at 16:07.
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Old 2012-11-06, 17:40   Link #204
Dengar
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Why do people keep exaggerating this "harem" thing? So a few girls were attracted to him, big deal, it's not like he entered a relationship with all of them.
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Old 2012-11-06, 18:05   Link #205
ronelm2000
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Originally Posted by Dengar View Post
Why do people keep exaggerating this "harem" thing? So a few girls were attracted to him, big deal, it's not like he entered a relationship with all of them.
This. What harem are you guys talking about? The closest harem we ever got was a Love Triangle with Lizbeth and Asuna... and there wasn't even a competition!

Suguha is only "infactuated" with the mysterious guy Kirito, and hopelessly in love with the bother Kazuto... and she already knew that it was pointless because of Asuna. So the Harem everyone's been talking about doesn't exist.
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Old 2012-11-06, 18:37   Link #206
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
If you don't like the sexism angle, then how about the Sughua angle -- should people put out of their minds every other "I love my big brother who's really my cousin" series when criticizing how lame this development is? Should they not say, "This is just pandering to a certain otaku fetish," because that criticism requires a wider context than the show itself?
You could essentially summarize the above with "I don't like this trope because I think it's tired and unoriginal and those who like it (otaku with a certain fetish) are to blame for this being there". I'm not saying it isn't a possible opinion, but is that really useful, constructive criticism? Is it going to generate productive conversations that lead to understanding? Personally, I think this amounts to a mild form of name-calling. Rather than proclaiming it to be "Lame", and accusing it of being "just otaku pandering", wouldn't it be much simpler and less accusatory to simply say "I can't enjoy Suguha's character because I've seen too many anime with similar characters, and don't find the presentation here original enough to be interesting"... or the like? Really the heart of the message is exactly the same ("I don't enjoy it and here's why"), but it doesn't come across like you're on some sort of a mission to attack anyone or anything. I don't understand why people have to be so damn confrontational when they're presenting their opinions, like they somehow have to prove their subjective opinion is Objective Truth. I think our debates would be much more productive and interesting if people would just take a more understanding tone.

Everyone is allowed to express their opinions, but I don't think the objective on a discussion forum is just to yell your opinion as loud as possible to make sure that everyone hears it and is made to react to it. Conversations require concessions and mutual understanding, not just "You Must All Acknowledge My Right To A Different Point Of View". Of course, I understand that this obviously applies to all sides of the conversation.
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Old 2012-11-06, 18:40   Link #207
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It is the girls' attraction to him that is the "harem" part, not the established relationships (To Love Ru has not a single established relationship, for example). Basically almost every single relevant female character is attracted to Kirito, and that's what giving off the "harem" vibe, even if somewhat justified by Kirito being awesome and not the typical loser of a harem protagonist.

Which is not a problem for me, since I actually like this trope. But denying its existence is absurd, since the fact is, girls do fall heads over heels for Kirito.
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Old 2012-11-06, 18:54   Link #208
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@Sexism isuue: I'm with the people who see the sexism in the ink blot here, but it's fiendishly difficult to pinpoint where it starts and stops. I agree with a lot of what relentlessflame says, too, so I'm probably best off riffing off from one of his posts:

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
In the end, if this show is "unabashedly sexist" for the reasons you outline, then I think it's a measuring stick that an awful lot (the majority?) of anime (and entertainment of all sorts) fall short of one way or another.
Yes, pretty much. The problem, here, is to figure out what "sexism" actually means. First, I don't think "male fantasies" and their portrayals are inherently sexist. They may take on that quality, in various degrees.

SAO, the way I see it, is a male gamer's fantasy. Fight for justice, save cute girls, find a girlfriend... It's pretty harmless. It doesn't make things worse for women in the real world; it doesn't make things better for women in the real world. It is what it is. A male gamer's fantasy.

The problem starts with the reception of the show: once people start to think that Asuna is some sort of admirable model of feminity, or something. She's a strong woman because she kicks ass, so to speak. See, the action girl thread in the general discussion forum (no need to go into that). If that sort of false empowerment is used to gloss over the fact (if it is a fact; it's certainly my impression) that we're dealing with a male fantasy here, then we have a problem of the sort: well, women are equal now; why are they still complaining. It's a complacency trap.

Quote:
That doesn't necessarily mean that people can't dislike it or rally against it, but I'm not sure if I'd use this as the poster child.
It has to be shows like SAO, because the complacency trap. Overtly sexist shows, the poster book stuff (such as Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica, for example) is a no-brainer. You have to point out the ninja in the shadow, not the barbarian who rushes you head on.

Quote:
The thing people seem to be complaining most about is Asuna's "dis-empowerment" caused by her present situation, and if that's not particularly sexist, then I'm not sure there's a stronger argument about the rest, beyond "it could do more to give the other characters more agency" (which I don't disagree with at all, incidentally -- but perhaps that can happen after the crisis is over).
Actually, here's another problem I have with SAO's narrative strategy:

Kirito awakes, finds he's not as powerful in the real world as he was in a game, and has a moment of despair. It's an interesting situation, but it comes to nothing. Next? Re-empowerment. In a game.

It's the same with Asuna. Ah, backstory. She's part of a rich family. Arranged marriage? Interesting. Ah, but we'll hand her over to a cartoon villain, so that her backstory doesn't matter.

The show is aware of the limitations of a gamer's fantasy. It brings up the problems, and then... shoves them under the carpet. It's extremely frustrating. The show teases you with interesting possibilities and then goes, heh, fooled you! It's as if the show confuses bringing up issues with exploring them; as if it thinks bringing them up lends the show depth. It doesn't. It's a frustrating tease, if you're more interested in these possibilities than in the fantasy. If you're into the fantasy, though, bringing this up might actually get you thinking.

I'm watching SAO because it looks pretty. Nice character design and good voice acting make me like the characters. And any show profits from a Yuki Kajiura soundtrack. So it's really not a big deal for me, except when the show annoys me (with such tease moments, for example).

Moments like Asuna's "tasukete" in the cage basically make me roll my eyes because they remind me of how dull I find the story. The very same scene in a show that actually explores character (rather than bends characters around a fantasy) wouldn't annoy me. I actually like Asuna, but I don't feel for her predicament, because I have a hard time taking that cartoon villain seriously. What remains is a damsel-in-distress situation. It doesn't matter if she passively waits, or if she works on her end, because the only difference it makes is what the narrative's ideal waifu looks like. The narrative set-up and concept don't allow for a strong female main character.

The most interesting female character (to me) in SAO? The girl who takes care of the kids on level 1. (She's too periferal and thus escapes Kirito's gravity.)
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Old 2012-11-06, 19:25   Link #209
Vsin
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
It is the girls' attraction to him that is the "harem" part, not the established relationships (To Love Ru has not a single established relationship, for example). Basically almost every single relevant female character is attracted to Kirito, and that's what giving off the "harem" vibe, even if somewhat justified by Kirito being awesome and not the typical loser of a harem protagonist.

Which is not a problem for me, since I actually like this trope. But denying its existence is absurd, since the fact is, girls do fall heads over heels for Kirito.
Well...I'm not a huge fan of harems myself, but I at least tolerate Kirito's harem since he actually shows that he earns all that affection. The To Love Ru, Negima...heck even the Love Hina harem...all those feature a protagonist who apparently makes all of them fall in love because he smiled at them. It's slightly spoilery to say this, but almost every girl who falls in love with Kirito does so because he literally saved them from some form of crisis. Sachi's fears, Silica's tears, Lizabeth's near-death experience, Asuna's everything, Yui's existential crisis, etc. The only exception that comes to mind is Sugu, mostly because she apparently fell in love with Kazuto due to *his* crisis (hey, it was explained this Ep).
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Old 2012-11-06, 19:27   Link #210
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
SAO, the way I see it, is a male gamer's fantasy. Fight for justice, save cute girls, find a girlfriend... It's pretty harmless. It doesn't make things worse for women in the real world; it doesn't make things better for women in the real world. It is what it is. A male gamer's fantasy.
You've nailed it perfectly there. As a male gamer myself (not exactly the stereotype, but I don't want to go on a tangent), I can attest to the fact that Asuna is the quintessence of the fabled "female gamer" who actually enjoys (eventually), and is good at a serious game (none of this mario galaxy stuff). Honestly, I see her as the white whale that's rarer than a unicorn on crack than a strong female character to be looked up to.

This is not to say I've never met any girls who play games, in fact, I once dated a girl who kicked my ass in CoD (the shame ); but the role Asuna takes in this anime is not one of a female heroine, but that of a fantasized female gamer.
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Old 2012-11-06, 20:00   Link #211
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
The problem starts with the reception of the show: once people start to think that Asuna is some sort of admirable model of feminity, or something. [...] If that sort of false empowerment is used to gloss over the fact (if it is a fact; it's certainly my impression) that we're dealing with a male fantasy here, then we have a problem of the sort: well, women are equal now; why are they still complaining. It's a complacency trap.
I can't speak for others, but I don't think I took it that way. Mostly, I think the characters are constrained by the narrative, and aren't given the opportunity to develop as much as they could be, and that applies to characters of both genders. We get very rough outlines of characters in the encounters we have with them, but there isn't much more there than what serves the narrative's purposes. (More on this later...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
It has to be shows like SAO, because the complacency trap. Overtly sexist shows, the poster book stuff (such as Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica, for example) is a no-brainer. You have to point out the ninja in the shadow, not the barbarian who rushes you head on.
Perhaps, but I think the intensity and vehemence we've seen goes beyond "pointing it out". I'm quite happy to have these conversations and to think the issues through. But it feels strange to me when I see people who are known fans of shows I'd easily consider much more exploitative then go on to rail against this show for what I'd see as comparatively milder "transgressions". If we're discussing these issues as part of continued vigilance against inequality, then I should hope people aren't just setting themselves up for accusations of double-standards.

My general impression is that this point has been exaggerated by some (not all) as part of an over-reaction to this show's hype/popularity ("All The Reasons SAO Sucks"), and I think that actually risks doing a disservice to the issue in some ways. If the issue is blown out of proportion or taken out of context, people may just dismiss the whole topic as "the outbursts of feminists" (or whatever) and fail to understand the subtleties of what is really at issue. (We've seen some of this sort of polarizing effect in this thread as you follow the conversation.) I think there actually is a legitimate conversation to be had here, but it is better to be reasonable and keep it in context.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
The show is aware of the limitations of a gamer's fantasy. It brings up the problems, and then... shoves them under the carpet. It's extremely frustrating. The show teases you with interesting possibilities and then goes, heh, fooled you! It's as if the show confuses bringing up issues with exploring them; as if it thinks bringing them up lends the show depth. It doesn't. It's a frustrating tease, if you're more interested in these possibilities than in the fantasy. If you're into the fantasy, though, bringing this up might actually get you thinking.
Perhaps bringing up these issues doesn't add depth, but to me it does add interest. While the story doesn't use these things to develop the characters fully, I think it does paint a bit of a better picture of who the characters are supposed to be. I sort of see it as a rough outline. I guess I appreciate the fact that this "outline" is there at least, as opposed to it not being there, even though I realize that there is a lot more they could do with the story than they chose to do with it. I understand your frustration, even if I don't feel as frustrated by this myself. Perhaps I am more able/willing to engage in the gamer fantasy than you are.


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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
I actually like Asuna, but I don't feel for her predicament, because I have a hard time taking that cartoon villain seriously. What remains is a damsel-in-distress situation. It doesn't matter if she passively waits, or if she works on her end, because the only difference it makes is what the narrative's ideal waifu looks like. The narrative set-up and concept don't allow for a strong female main character.
I'm uncertain about how I feel about this point. Even if you want to say that Asuna is the "narrative's ideal waifu", doesn't it still matter how she's portrayed to act and behave? How would they ever break her out of the mould you feel they've placed her in if not through what they show her doing and thinking? Then again, both Asuna and Kirito have been placed on the narrative pedestal so whatever they do doesn't really matter since it's sure to work out in the end. The only tension they can thus add to the story is the way they arrive at their destination, and not the nature of the destination itself. Such is the fate of the destined couple, I guess. In that sense, I suppose I can see why you find it frustrating if you're not particularly interested in the journey, but are more interested in the things on the periphery that aren't being developed.


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Originally Posted by Vmem View Post
You've nailed it perfectly there. As a male gamer myself (not exactly the stereotype, but I don't want to go on a tangent), I can attest to the fact that Asuna is the quintessence of the fabled "female gamer" who actually enjoys (eventually), and is good at a serious game (none of this mario galaxy stuff). Honestly, I see her as the white whale that's rarer than a unicorn on crack than a strong female character to be looked up to.

This is not to say I've never met any girls who play games, in fact, I once dated a girl who kicked my ass in CoD (the shame ); but the role Asuna takes in this anime is not one of a female heroine, but that of a fantasized female gamer.
I grew up playing video games with my sisters, and both of them are quite respectable gamers in their own right. My one sister met her husband partly through a MMORPG, in fact. So while obviously Asuna is only a caricature and isn't necessarily designed to be "realistic", I guess I never found the female gamers in this story quite so far out there. I guess it's within my allowance for what a story is allowed to do to glorify/package/market its characters, and I don't see it as much less than most other anime. I guess I see this show primarily as a fantasy show with a few realistic and sci-fi components, rather than a realistic show with gaming components.
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Old 2012-11-06, 20:20   Link #212
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by Vsin View Post
The To Love Ru, Negima...heck even the Love Hina harem...all those feature a protagonist who apparently makes all of them fall in love because he smiled at them. It's slightly spoilery to say this, but almost every girl who falls in love with Kirito does so because he literally saved them from some form of crisis.
Which is a staple form of the trope. Every title you mentioned have a chapter where the protagonist helps each one of the girls, which triggers or strengthens the girls' affection towards the protagonist (I'd like to put emphasis on Love Hina, Keitaro actually started out hated by everyone, but he works himself to obtain their trusts). The conflicts may not be as heavy as in SAO, but the basic formula is the same nonetheless.
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Old 2012-11-06, 20:21   Link #213
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Moments like Asuna's "tasukete" in the cage basically make me roll my eyes because they remind me of how dull I find the story. The very same scene in a show that actually explores character (rather than bends characters around a fantasy) wouldn't annoy me. I actually like Asuna, but I don't feel for her predicament, because I have a hard time taking that cartoon villain seriously. What remains is a damsel-in-distress situation. It doesn't matter if she passively waits, or if she works on her end, because the only difference it makes is what the narrative's ideal waifu looks like. The narrative set-up and concept don't allow for a strong female main character.
But how do you explain episode 10 then? There we have Kirito as the damsel-in-distress that also has a moment of weakness and only starts to fight for his life again at the thought of Asuna. I guess the narrative doesn't alow for a strong male character then either? I guess it's also sexism that had the male character lying helpless, being toyed with by the bad guy while waiting to be rescued by the female hero?

I also have to wonder what Asuna being a captive has to do with her character in the first place. It's not like she is captive because she was weak or made some kind of mistake. She had quite litterally nothing to do with that nor could Kirito have avoided the same fate if he had been in her shoes. Asuna was quite litterally beaten by a DEM.

But the bottom line is for it to be some kind of sexism involved so should there be some kind of inequality. If we have both male and female lead being captured and then resqued by the other one then I can't really understand how anyone can see it as sexism when it's the female's turn as captive. If it was she that had to be rescued all the time, then I would understand it, but this isn't the case here.

Last edited by Znail; 2012-11-06 at 20:34.
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:00   Link #214
Oroboro
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Yknow, Relentlessflame's earlier comparison of SAO to episodic Sci-Fi/Adventure shows like Star Trek really kind of sums up my thoughts about the "Harem" thing. Kirk shacked up with some random babe every other week, but trying to call Star Trek a "harem show" will get you laughed out of the internet. SAO doesn't differ too much from that.

I wonder, if with a female Kirito and male Asuna, would people be crying sexism towards Kirito's weaker moments? Having to get rescued in Ep10? Breaking down and crying because he was scared and didn't want to risk losing what he had, failing to beat Kayaba, etc, feeling powerless in real life, etc.
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:10   Link #215
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Yknow, Relentlessflame's earlier comparison of SAO to episodic Sci-Fi/Adventure shows like Star Trek really kind of sums up my thoughts about the "Harem" thing. Kirk shacked up with some random babe every other week, but trying to call Star Trek a "harem show" will get you laughed out of the internet. SAO doesn't differ too much from that.
That's silly. Asuna, Sachi, Silica, Liz, and Suguha aren't just some random babe........are they?
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:26   Link #216
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
That's silly. Asuna, Sachi, Silica, Liz, and Suguha aren't just some random babe........are they?
No spoilers in here, so no replies either
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:27   Link #217
Oroboro
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That's silly. Asuna, Sachi, Silica, Liz, and Suguha aren't just some random babe........are they?
I wouldn't really define them as such, but the format is pretty similar. [Hero] meets [Girl] with [Problem]. [Hero] solves [Problem], then moves on and never sees [Girl] again.

Obviously Asuna sticks around as the one and true love interest, and to me Suguha just feels like a really long set up of DRAMATIC IRONY / INCOMING TRAGEDY, rather than "oh look another member of Kirito's harem lawl" The handling there is a bit heavy-handed, but to me it seems that's what the actual intention is for Suguha's arc.
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:28   Link #218
Dawnstorm
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I can't speak for others, but I don't think I took it that way. Mostly, I think the characters are constrained by the narrative, and aren't given the opportunity to develop as much as they could be, and that applies to characters of both genders. We get very rough outlines of characters in the encounters we have with them, but there isn't much more there than what serves the narrative's purposes. (More on this later...)
Well, that doesn't work for me, as Asuna - to me - got less interesting the more screen-time she had. Characters, such as Klein, escape that fate, by never doing much in first place.

Quote:
Perhaps, but I think the intensity and vehemence we've seen goes beyond "pointing it out". I'm quite happy to have these conversations and to think the issues through. But it feels strange to me when I see people who are known fans of shows I'd easily consider much more exploitative then go on to rail against this show for what I'd see as comparatively milder "transgressions". If we're discussing these issues as part of continued vigilance against inequality, then I should hope people aren't just setting themselves up for accusations of double-standards.
I actually agree. There's a time and a place, and that's not everywhere. It's - for example - not here, which is the ep18 thread. (I almost didn't post because of that. Maybe we should move this discussion to general? Or maybe a "sexism thread" and mercilessly move everything there?)

As for double standards... it's difficult to explain. I have an auto-filter that sort of puts much fanservice on auto-ignore, for example, which lead me, once, to miss much of it in the early episodes of Ben-to. I even made a post in the respective thread claiming it's not an ecchi show. I got laughed at, deservedly. But the very fact that I got laughed at shows that people who watch the more blatant shows are well aware of what they watch.

Shows like Sword Art Online? It's more subtle. I'll (hopefully) go into that when I address Znail's post.

Quote:
My general impression is that this point has been exaggerated by some (not all) as part of an over-reaction to this show's hype/popularity ("All The Reasons SAO Sucks"), and I think that actually risks doing a disservice to the issue in some ways. If the issue is blown out of proportion or taken out of context, people may just dismiss the whole topic as "the outbursts of feminists" (or whatever) and fail to understand the subtleties of what is really at issue. (We've seen some of this sort of polarizing effect in this thread as you follow the conversation.) I think there actually is a legitimate conversation to be had here, but it is better to be reasonable and keep it in context.
Yup, and I'd maybe renew the suggestion to move this disussion (either to general, or to its own thread.)

I actually don't have much to say about SAO. It's a fun show that looks and sounds good, and isn't exactly at the centre of my interest.

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Perhaps bringing up these issues doesn't add depth, but to me it does add interest. While the story doesn't use these things to develop the characters fully, I think it does paint a bit of a better picture of who the characters are supposed to be. I sort of see it as a rough outline. I guess I appreciate the fact that this "outline" is there at least, as opposed to it not being there, even though I realize that there is a lot more they could do with the story than they chose to do with it. I understand your frustration, even if I don't feel as frustrated by this myself. Perhaps I am more able/willing to engage in the gamer fantasy than you are.
Hm, I think that it's a gamer fantasy actually saves the show. A show that has similar story problems but no excuse is Fractale. Don't ask me what I think about that... show.

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I'm uncertain about how I feel about this point. Even if you want to say that Asuna is the "narrative's ideal waifu", doesn't it still matter how she's portrayed to act and behave? How would they ever break her out of the mould you feel they've placed her in if not through what they show her doing and thinking? Then again, both Asuna and Kirito have been placed on the narrative pedestal so whatever they do doesn't really matter since it's sure to work out in the end. The only tension they can thus add to the story is the way they arrive at their destination, and not the nature of the destination itself. Such is the fate of the destined couple, I guess. In that sense, I suppose I can see why you find it frustrating if you're not particularly interested in the journey, but are more interested in the things on the periphery that aren't being developed.
That's one of the harder parts to explain, as you can easily make people who have a different take on the show feel trapped in a damned-if-I-do-and-damned-if-I-don't szenario. That there's no pleasing me. I'll still try. See my reply to Znail's post, as I think that's very relevant.

Znail, I'm going to address your post later, when I have more time. You put the finger on a very important problem. The short version: we're not on a wave-length, but I'm sure you could tell. The long version will take some thinking and careful formulation. Basically: it's not about the choices the characters make; it's about the choices the author makes. I'll be back later (unless you're tired of the topic, which I would understand).
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:32   Link #219
Utsuro no Hako
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Znail View Post
But how do you explain episode 10 then? There we have Kirito as the damsel-in-distress that also has a moment of weakness and only starts to fight for his life again at the thought of Asuna. I guess the narrative doesn't alow for a strong male character then either? I guess it's also sexism that had the male character lying helpless, being toyed with by the bad guy while waiting to be rescued by the female hero?
Kirito was depowered for all of two minutes, then got up to save the day. Hardly comparable to Asuna being locked in a cage for a whole arc.

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But the bottom line is for it to be some kind of sexism involved so should there be some kind of inequality. If we have both male and female lead being captured and then resqued by the other one then I can't really understand how anyone can see it as sexism when it's the female's turn as captive. If it was she that had to be rescued all the time, then I would understand it, but this isn't the case here.
Besides the difference in duration, there's also the difference of how Asuna's being threatened -- Kuradeel wasn't all, "Oh, Kirito, I wanna make hot love to you whether you want to or not."

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
My general impression is that this point has been exaggerated by some (not all) as part of an over-reaction to this show's hype/popularity ("All The Reasons SAO Sucks"), and I think that actually risks doing a disservice to the issue in some ways.
I'd like to point out that I was one of the people defending the Aincrad arc. But the main reason for that was because Asuna was an awesome character, which is why I'm so harsh on the current arc.
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Old 2012-11-06, 22:40   Link #220
Dauerlutscher
I never asked for this
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
That's silly. Asuna, Sachi, Silica, Liz, and Suguha aren't just some random babe........are they?
At least two of them are exactly that, Silica and Liz.
I just think we can count Sachi, Silica and Liz out from this "harem". Only one episode focus on them and forever forgotten after that. Sachis is dead, Silica was no really a serious thing in the first place and Liz moved on since long ago. Currently there are only Suguha who has not a snowball's chance in hell and Asuna who is the only real love interest. I don't see much Harem going on here.
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