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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 21
10 out of 10 : Near Perfect... 12 12.50%
9 out of 10 : Excellent... 27 28.13%
8 out of 10 : Very Good... 22 22.92%
7 out of 10 : Good... 14 14.58%
6 out of 10 : Average... 9 9.38%
5 out of 10 : Below Average... 6 6.25%
4 out of 10 : Poor... 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad... 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Torturous... 6 6.25%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-11-24, 13:35   Link #21
Utsuro no Hako
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Anyway, this episode was a tad slow, trying to expose what we already know, but in a snail pace. I can't say the staff won points with how "gratuitious" they had to show the tentacle "rape" there, which is quite nonsensical to have researchers using such avatars, but hey, anything can go if it is for fetish!
Asuna needed to be punished for daring to have agency instead of sitting meekly in her cage waiting for the hero to save her like a proper damsel in distress. And since Sugou's threats of rape haven't done the trick, Kawahara had to turn it up a notch by introducing tentacles. Who cares that it doesn't make a lick of sense? And its not like introducing one of the worst misogynistic elements of old school anime to the story reinforces the complaints of sexism or anything.
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Old 2012-11-24, 13:38   Link #22
Klashikari
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I didn't even think about sexism, since it isn't like Asuna can't do anything (I personally am not in that group of people thinking that Asuna is a mere damsell in distress in ALO, so no mysoginist setup perspective for me).

What actually doesn't work here is how the author had to slap a fetish in such manner with absolutely no regards of actual logic with his own setup, similarly how he had to pull a "non blood related sister that falls in love with the protagonist", but in a far more dubious and crude manner. That's about it.
That's a bit similar how we have school swimsuits being introduced in a adult environnement like Muv Luv: it is nonsensical and evidently otaku pandering feature that adds nothing to the story.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2012-11-24 at 13:56.
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Old 2012-11-24, 13:42   Link #23
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Spoiler for super interesting gifs:
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:00   Link #24
rejer
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Spoiler for super interesting gifs:
I want one for the part where Kirito puts some water into Sugu's clothes.
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:15   Link #25
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I want one for the part where Kirito puts some water into Sugu's clothes.
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:37   Link #26
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Gonna be so awkward if Suguha is around to see Kirito scream "ASUNAAAAA", and Asuna to scream KAZUTOOOOO"
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:40   Link #27
Dr. Casey
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
Asuna needed to be punished for daring to have agency instead of sitting meekly in her cage waiting for the hero to save her like a proper damsel in distress.
So why are you still in raging feminist mode if Asuna takes initiative and acts as a strong female character in this episode?
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:48   Link #28
Utsuro no Hako
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
I didn't even think about sexism, since it isn't like Asuna can't do anything (I personally am not in that group of people thinking that Asuna is a mere damsell in distress in ALO, so no mysoginist setup perspective for me).
Any time she tries to do something, the author slaps her down, humiliates her and returns her to being an object. Even if you don't think that makes her a pure damsel in distress, it's still pretty bad.

Quote:
What actually doesn't work here is how the author had to slap a fetish in such manner with absolutely no regards of actual logic with his own setup, similarly how he had to pull a "non blood related sister that falls in love with the protagonist", but in a far more dubious and crude manner. That's about it.
Certainly it's bad writing, but beyond that the fetish itself is offensive on a level far beyond ordinary fanservice.
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Old 2012-11-24, 14:57   Link #29
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So they finally arrive at the world tree.
That server maintenance was rather conveniently put.
At least she found out what a horrible man her fiance is.
Darn, she was so close to escaping... it's so not fair.
I guess Kirito is her white knight who will rescue her after all.
Oh man, Leafa is actually Kirito's sister with a serious big brother complex.
That's just not good..
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:00   Link #30
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i was hoping that Asuna would just escape on her own femme fatale style and no need her dark knight in shining armor
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:04   Link #31
Utsuro no Hako
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So why are you still in raging feminist mode if Asuna takes initiative and acts as a strong female character in this episode?
Because she doesn't. She acts like the heroine of a gothic novel who sneaks out of her bedroom at night to visit the room her fiance-kidnapper told her never to enter and discovers his dark secret before getting caught and locked back up in her bedroom where she has to wait for the dashing hero to rescue her. This device has been around since the 18th Century and Kawahara did nothing to improve upon it.
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:05   Link #32
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
Any time she tries to do something, the author slaps her down, humiliates her and returns her to being an object. Even if you don't think that makes her a pure damsel in distress, it's still pretty bad.
Because if she succeeded in doing something now the story would end. It was pretty obvious that as soon as the escaped captive was discovered, they'd be punished and returned to captivity. That itself has nothing to do with gender, but with the way the story elements need to converge.

Now, of course, the two twisted scientists were treating her as an object, but that shouldn't be surprising since they referred to all the people they were experimenting on as "dolls". They don't have an ounce of respect for human life, which makes sense given the experiment they're doing. It's not inconceivable that they could have chosen that sort of avatar because they like the fetish you find offensive (which is, of course, about power). The very theme of Sugou and his "scientist" team is having power over others and abusing that power. So this sort of fetish, displayed in that context, is par for the course. (Of course, it was shown before in the story outside of that context too.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
i was hoping that Asuna would just escape on her own femme fatale style and no need her dark knight in shining armor
Well, it would be a bit odd for the story go this far and not have Kirito play some role in the denouement. But Asuna having retrieved that access card will certainly play a role as well. There was always a limit to what she could realistically do given her situation; she's up against system administrators. If she just walked out of there and destroyed anyone who stood in her way (even if they're Administrators!), she'd be "badass" but it'd make even less sense than the various oddities that were already pointed out.


Continuing in the "Advice to Evil Overlords" series, if you're doing evil experiments, don't call the room the "Experiment Room". Give it some some netural/boring sounding name like "Waste Processing" or "Power Distribution" or something that a curious escaped captive will never find suspicious. And also, even if you've never had a security incident ever, still don't leave security cards next to (or in) their console; this is just a Bad Idea (TM).


Edit:
Other things I was going to say:
  • Someone mentioned in last week's thread that they didn't know if what was happening with Asuna was in "real-time", and I'm still not sure, but I think the insinuation was that if Asuna had been able to logout at that console, it would have been at the same time as Kazuto and Suguha were visiting her at the hospital. Another example of "so close yet so far".
  • Speaking of the Hospital, it was sort of funny how Kazuto just of casually decided to completely ignore Sugou's warning about not visiting her. Screw that!
  • The way the content kept flipping back and forth between the two perspectives during that section was a bit hard to follow, but I think it made sense if they were trying to synchronize the timelines.
  • The servers go down for maintenance and all the players are asked to logout, but somehow all the players that are being experimented on (like Asuna) clearly stay. So it's not like they're shutting the game down or rebooting the servers at least.
  • What exactly is the purpose of having objects that represent each player (with representations of their brains) in the game anyway? I guess everything connected to the game has to be represented by an object (ref: Yui), but you'd think the scientists would do their experimenting in the real world. If the people were represented in the game, you'd think they'd be like people in a prison or something (like Asuna). Perhaps having them all represented as inanimate objects and represented in the game makes it easier for the scientists to not feel guilt when experimenting on them?
  • If all the former SAO students will be attending a school together, I guess that's how everyone will be re-united once this whole whole arc is over. Sort of an odd little tidbit to throw into the middle of this episode.
  • Someone also mentioned in last week's thread about whether the other scientists knew about Asuna, and I guess this episode answers that too -- they know about her (vaguely), but she's off-limits to anyone but him.

Edit 2: Oh yeah, this also addresses a comment from a long time ago where people said that if the 5-person-tower didn't work to get to the top of the tree, why didn't they just try with more people: Because it was considered an exploit and blocked.

Now that Kazuto/Kirito knows for sure that Asuna is in the game, Kirito's sense of urgency is certainly spiked. Perhaps he was able to keep cool and be rational before because of the uncertainty, but hopefully he'll be able to stay rational now. His dash to the top of the tree is totally pointless (because she just said they put a wall), but I suppose he can't help himself.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-11-24 at 16:25.
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:08   Link #33
Dr. Casey
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
Because she doesn't. She acts like the heroine of a gothic novel who sneaks out of her bedroom at night to visit the room her fiance-kidnapper told her never to enter and discovers his dark secret before getting caught and locked back up in her bedroom where she has to wait for the dashing hero to rescue her. This device has been around since the 18th Century and Kawahara did nothing to improve upon it.
Perchance, but how do you expect a little newbie that hasn't even gotten the chance to grind to level 2 because she's been locked in a cage for all her elfen existence to defend herself against the administrator of the game? That would go against all the rules of RPG logic, Utsuro.
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:11   Link #34
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Spoiler for Comparison to the novels:
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:20   Link #35
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Spoiler for Comparison to the novels:
Spoiler for Comparison to the novels:

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-11-24 at 15:49. Reason: Please keep the comparisons in spoiler tags
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:21   Link #36
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One thing I wish to ask the readers of the source material; did they ever describe the appearance of what the scientist's avatars looked like in that scene where they captured Asuna? I'm curious whether or not my notion is correct that they were made slug monsters, despite every other avatar in the game being a faerie of some sort, was just something the adaptation did to get some service out of it.

It's not like we didn't really know the "truth" of what ALO was for already. All we really got was a look at the facilities for the research that is being conducted.

And Suguha's heart is broken which was inevitable from the moment it was revealed she liked Kazuto. Are we over and done with this nonsense now? I sure hope so.

And how the heck does Suguha know what Asuna's avatar was named in the SAO incident and not Kazuto's? Talk about a selective memory.

So wait....they wait until NOW to tell us that the GM's patched the game so noone can fly up the World Tree after a certain height? That was rather critical information yeah? What the hell is Kirito supposed to do now?

Well I can at least sense this "arc" is slowly approaching it's climax. Whether or not it will be an interesting one is a different story.
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:39   Link #37
Utsuro no Hako
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Because if she succeeded in doing something now the story would end. It was pretty obvious that as soon as the escaped captive was discovered, they'd be punished and returned to captivity. That itself has nothing to do with gender, but with the way the story elements need to converge.
Asuna couldn't run around John McClane-style for a couple episodes fighting scientists and trying to free the minds until Kirito and Yui show up to get her out of the game?

Quote:
Now, of course, the two twisted scientists were treating her as an object, but that shouldn't be surprising since they referred to all the people they were experimenting on as "dolls". They don't have an ounce of respect for human life, which makes sense given the experiment they're doing. It's not inconceivable that they could have chosen that sort of avatar because they like the fetish you find offensive (which is, of course, about power).
"Choose" the avatar? It's not like that's one of the default character types in the game -- someone had to design it for the scientists. Why? You might argue that tentacles are more effective for manipulating multiple controls, except there's no need to physically manipulate anything in the game -- the scientists could do everything with their minds much more efficiently. But we're supposed to accept that Sugou allowed his company to spend time and money developing these tentacle monster avatars just to satisfy the fetishes of his employees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Perchance, but how do you expect a little newbie that hasn't even gotten the chance to grind to level 2 because she's been locked in a cage for all her elfen existence to defend herself against the administrator of the game? That would go against all the rules of RPG logic, Utsuro.
Given that Kirito is able to dual-wield in a game where dual-wielding isn't part of the system, it seems that computer-assisted-skills aren't necessary to being a bad-ass. So why should Kirito be the only one who's able to be OPed without computer support? Besides, Sugou's not around -- Asuna's dealing with scientists in the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
One thing I wish to ask the readers of the source material; did they ever describe the appearance of what the scientist's avatars looked like in that scene where they captured Asuna? I'm curious whether or not my notion is correct that they were made slug monsters, despite every other avatar in the game being a faerie of some sort, was just something the adaptation did to get some service out of it.
Spoiler for Novel comparison:
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:41   Link #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
One thing I wish to ask the readers of the source material; did they ever describe the appearance of what the scientist's avatars looked like in that scene where they captured Asuna? I'm curious whether or not my notion is correct that they were made slug monsters, despite every other avatar in the game being a faerie of some sort, was just something the adaptation did to get some service out of it.
Spoiler for More Novel comparison stuff:


As for the episode itself, I liked how it did a dual parallel between the RL and VR. Poor Sugu, go with Recon already LOL.
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:41   Link #39
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Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
One thing I wish to ask the readers of the source material; did they ever describe the appearance of what the scientist's avatars looked like in that scene where they captured Asuna? I'm curious whether or not my notion is correct that they were made slug monsters, despite every other avatar in the game being a faerie of some sort, was just something the adaptation did to get some service out of it.
Spoiler for Comparison to the novels:

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-11-24 at 16:31. Reason: Added spoiler tag and trimmed quote
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Old 2012-11-24, 15:44   Link #40
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I find it hilarious that the raging feminists are ignoring what Asuna did accomplish and focus on obsessing what she failed to complete. Sure just ignore the fact that she broke out all on her own, navigated her enemy lair alone, unarmed, and unprotected. Found a way out, came within millimeters of actually using it and got caught because she got surprised from behind in a blind spot. So she got captured but she still had the presence of mind to snatch the system keycard and hang on to it.

Yeah the tentacle thing was disturbing and more then a little disgusting and yes it does objectify Asuna from a certain point of view. It also is intended to display what kind of amoral monsters those scientists are who are viewing living breathing humans as little more than science specimens under the microscope for their amusement.

I also can't help but wonder if all this complaining isn't about Asuna not succeeding but just that they want to see Kirito fail. As Kirito has crushed all challenges before him with contemptuous ease cries of boring invincible hero have abounded.

The point is Asuna gave it a good try with the limited resources she had and she almost did it. Give credit where credit is due. Who knows, maybe that keycard she stole just might become critical after all. Surely it was stolen for a reason right?

Naturally of course I expect 95% of the points I made in this post to be utterly ignored.
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