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View Poll Results: Sword Art Online - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 45 21.84%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 40 19.42%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 38 18.45%
7 out of 10 : Good 36 17.48%
6 out of 10 : Average 28 13.59%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 5 2.43%
4 out of 10 : Poor 7 3.40%
3 out of 10 : Bad 2 0.97%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 3 1.46%
1 out of 10 : Painful 2 0.97%
Voters: 206. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-12-27, 03:01   Link #21
NoemiChan
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Hahaha.. just imagine watching it for 6 months.... If its like Hayate which I dropped after 10 minutes of episode 1.. I'll be called a liar...
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:03   Link #22
kk2extreme
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Could be better if they extend SAO arc i.e. put in more details and explainations, and ditch the ALO arc
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:06   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk2extreme View Post
Could be better if they extend SAO arc i.e. put in more details and explainations, and ditch the ALO arc
Yo mean up to the 100th floor? Kayaba will bored waiting for them..
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:11   Link #24
kk2extreme
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
Yo mean up to the 100th floor? Kayaba will bored waiting for them..
lol, I mean fill in more details for better story development, they did get to 70th floor right
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:45   Link #25
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Originally Posted by kk2extreme View Post
lol, I mean fill in more details for better story development, they did get to 70th floor right
That may add either extend their stay in the game or fill those gaps with fillers unless they're full of Kirito x Asuna's intimate moments... which is.. actually not a bad idea..
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:04   Link #26
maelstormCaT
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Originally Posted by kk2extreme View Post
lol, I mean fill in more details for better story development, they did get to 70th floor right
Now that the anime is over I should have some free-er reign to talk about the novel.

Your wish is a valid one, as many would wanted to see the floor by floor progression, but FYI, the light novel started at 1st floor, and then right after the end of episode one, it jump straight to the 74th floor.
There's a number of extra stories that the author wrote after he finish vol 1, but that's it.

Currently the author is rewriting the Aincrad arc to add more depth to it in Sword Art Online Progression. But as he said in his foreword, "please don't make me write it floor by floor! The thought of me doing that is just too scary!" ---not a word by word quote, but you get the idea.
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Old 2012-12-27, 08:26   Link #27
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Animation Quality: 10

Perfect! Do I need to say more about how Kirito slayed Gleam Eyes?? or how Skull Reaper appearance made me crumbling in fear??? or when Kirito and teams fought against team of valkyries??

they invest more in animation... and they got deserved response

Voice Actors: 9

not really special or outstanding.... but they have done a great job in picturing each character...

Script: 9

when I read the manga, I know this series is a promising one... When I peek on novel, I know this series will make a big hit..
then I watched the anime... and it's very good...
although ALO arc isn't as good as SAO arc, I still enjoy the script and every single things happened in the anime

Soundtrack: 11/10!!!!!

strongest point and one of the most important reason about why I watch this anime.... yes! it's the soundtrack!!! Yuki Kajiura-sama did her best again... awesome!!!!

Enjoyment and Emotional Involvement : 10

awesome.... comparing this to Accel World, I feel same RAGE when I see Nomi in AW and Sugou in SAO...
I can feel Kirito's pain.... and because I'm an online gamer, it's easy to grasp every explanation in the anime...
I can feel Suguha's pain... and I can understand Kirito-Asuna relationship as well...


a good script with strong emotional involvement, godly soundtrack, and amazing animation....
SAO is indeed a strong contender to Fate/Zero this year...
I'll say SAO is the best anime 2012 because this anime can reach every single anime watchers in the whole world including those who only watch Naruto or shounen things...

10/10... enough said
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Old 2012-12-27, 13:19   Link #28
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I like Lyfa/Leafa's design, that is all.
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Old 2012-12-27, 18:32   Link #29
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Originally Posted by maelstormCaT View Post
Now that the anime is over I should have some free-er reign to talk about the novel.

Your wish is a valid one, as many would wanted to see the floor by floor progression, but FYI, the light novel started at 1st floor, and then right after the end of episode one, it jump straight to the 74th floor.
There's a number of extra stories that the author wrote after he finish vol 1, but that's it.

Currently the author is rewriting the Aincrad arc to add more depth to it in Sword Art Online Progression. But as he said in his foreword, "please don't make me write it floor by floor! The thought of me doing that is just too scary!" ---not a word by word quote, but you get the idea.
There are a lot of side-stories to expand and they could have always added something original in the spirit of all MMO games and the like. They could have even included more details to the ones they did add.
Instead they cut details from everything and forced the first part to move quite fast. I mean there's so much room to improve and add in such a vast world over a span of two years. I just feel like they wasted a lot of the potential it had.

Also, as far as I know the first volume is without the side-stories and jumps like that because the story had to be 120 pages to be published. The original was something like 190. (If I remember corectly from the afterword) so it went into volume two with volume one holding the key parts. Might be just me misunderstanding things.
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Old 2012-12-27, 18:46   Link #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maelstormCaT View Post
Currently the author is rewriting the Aincrad arc to add more depth to it in Sword Art Online Progression. But as he said in his foreword, "please don't make me write it floor by floor! The thought of me doing that is just too scary!" ---not a word by word quote, but you get the idea.
It's understandable why he doesn't want to write it floor by floor. I read the summaries for the first three floors, and he's shoehorned a lot of Kirito x Asuna in already, even though they obviously didn't really do much together until later floors.
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Old 2012-12-27, 20:17   Link #31
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Originally Posted by Joe_fh View Post
Instead they cut details from everything and forced the first part to move quite fast. I mean there's so much room to improve and add in such a vast world over a span of two years. I just feel like they wasted a lot of the potential it had.
While it's always nice to imagine what could have been if they had unlimited time and budget, every production is always constrained in some ways. There are a number of reasons why it made sense to pair the first two arcs in a single show (because they're directly related to each other), and this pace ensures that there's a chance of adapting the entire series before the franchise goes cold. In the end, they had to settle on some rather clear compromises (i.e. minimize narration and inner thoughts, focus on the action plot, show everything in chronological order) but this is the sort of "lossyness" that you might expect whenever a book is adapted for a visual medium. In the end, the main point is that this story doesn't actually revolve around SAO, but that is only the starting point for a larger story that spans multiple game worlds. In that sense, making the transition sooner rather than later helps set the tone for the kind of work this is.
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Old 2012-12-27, 20:42   Link #32
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
While it's always nice to imagine what could have been if they had unlimited time and budget, every production is always constrained in some ways. There are a number of reasons why it made sense to pair the first two arcs in a single show (because they're directly related to each other), and this pace ensures that there's a chance of adapting the entire series before the franchise goes cold. In the end, they had to settle on some rather clear compromises (i.e. minimize narration and inner thoughts, focus on the action plot, show everything in chronological order) but this is the sort of "lossyness" that you might expect whenever a book is adapted for a visual medium. In the end, the main point is that this story doesn't actually revolve around SAO, but that is only the starting point for a larger story that spans multiple game worlds. In that sense, making the transition sooner rather than later helps set the tone for the kind of work this is.
A very good point indeed.
I honestly feel they could have gone with a 32-36 episode thing. Sadly we almost never see that happen I assume mostly due to the budget constraints you mentioned.
And I get what you mean about the adaptations. It happens a lot thus it's somehow expected to begin with. Yet one can always dream~

The last point you made is a very reasonable one. But to be honest, while I find the whole thing enjoyable, the SAO ark seems a lot more powerful comapred to the rest. For me it's what set it apart. True ALO (and the future arks) have dark and serious moments but honestly they can't even begin to compare. Basically, for me, the SAO ark made it stand out from the rest, mostly because it could go in so many directions at any point yet still remain enjoyable, engaging and intriguing. An endless world of possibilities, so to speak.

I guess that applies to the source material as well to begin with. Not that it's a bad thing that SAO is the beginning of a whole saga - I just feel it could be so much more.
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Old 2012-12-28, 02:33   Link #33
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It certainly seems like the popularity it garnered throughout its life would have allowed for a greater ability to make the episodes last about 32-36, but they probably predicted they'd only get enough for 25, which seems logical to me; it would have been disastrous if they tried to make 32-36 episodes without prolonged support. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that they didn't know how much popularity it was going to gain.

This is of course, assuming funding comes from expected income from the series itself in the future. I can only imagine this is how it's done.
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Old 2012-12-29, 18:06   Link #34
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Well, it’s over at last and I found this have a pretty nice ending. I like it when stories take their time to finish things instead of shoving climax and epilogue into the last 5 minutes. That’s simply not satisfying in any way, shape or form, yet so many authors do it anyway.
I also liked that the real world segments got a good amount of screen time. Something that is usually very neglected in this kind of story.

At the end of the day this was a show, and novel, with a good idea but terrible to mediocre execution, and it really shows. Which is sad, really, because I like the idea very much. I still think that the story would’ve been much better off if Sword Art Online had remained the only setting, spending a lot of time to flesh it out, and that ALO never happened. Instead of cyber god and Gary Stu Kirito, the show should’ve paid more attention to the rest of the cast and allowed them to shine every now and then instead of disappearing completely after the sole purpose they were written for was fulfilled.
Not to mention I am very disappointed in the OST delivered by Kajiura, even though these last few episodes did have a finally noticeable soundtrack backing them.

In the end I am not sure why I bothered to watch this show, having already read the novels and finding them just as mediocre. I suppose I hoped seeing it animated and with Kajiura doing the OST it would be bearable, even enjoyable. I hoped that this would be one of those very rare adaptions where the studio did a bit of thinking of its own and surpassed the source material. Alas, my hopes did not come true, though I did get some enjoyment out of the whole thing at least, and I’ve seen worse.

While we can be fairly sure that they will animate next arc (GGO, and maybe beyond?), I certainly won’t be watching it, though. For one because Sword Art Online and Fairy Dance were already mediocre [mod edit: and for second, spoilers, which were removed]

Well. I’m off to watch .hack//SIGN again and hoping that the next story with a Virtual MMO as setting, which probably won’t happen for at least a decade (seriously, why are they so rare?), will be done by actually competent people.

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-12-29 at 18:09. Reason: removed spoilers for future arcs
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Old 2012-12-29, 19:32   Link #35
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It's hard for me to rate this series overall. If I had to rate the first half alone I would have given it a 10, but the second half was just stupid with the sister crap and over the top villan that just felt like a tacked on money grab from a writer who didn't know where to go with the plot.
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Old 2013-01-01, 12:29   Link #36
eduard3
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@ Rosalena

Without any intentions of disrespect, I can't believe you actually watched 18 episodes of something you gave 0/10(negative actually). When I don't enjoy something, I give it 3 more eps to surprise me then I drop it.

Anyway, I liked this anime pretty much for most of it.

Pros
- Animation was good or at least decent for majority of its categories
- Enjoyed SAO arc a lot
- There weren't too many big jumps in character development
- I like how the theme was explored (VR)
- Good sound tracks

Cons
- Don't like how they removed some thought processes (Such as how Kirito broke the sword during the duel, etc) that shows him maximizing how the world works.
- Some things felt rushed, I was disappointed at some skips as it kinda ruined the flow.
- ALO arc, although written straight (Unlike SAO which the 2 year gap was filled AFTER a skip), it didn't feel as nice as the 1st. Too much "luck" on his side, way too much for my taste. (After the 1st arc, it didn't feel that good)


I'll give it an 8.5/10, although I'm biased towards things I read that get animated so a final score of 7.5/10 probably(you decide if it's justified, remember this rating is based on someone who read the original). I'd still recommend it as a must watch for anyone who likes this genre and I consider it one of the best, if not the best, for the year.
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Old 2013-01-01, 18:45   Link #37
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Originally Posted by ~Yami~ View Post
Animation Quality: 10

P

a good script with strong emotional involvement, godly soundtrack, and amazing animation....
SAO is indeed a strong contender to Fate/Zero this year...
I'll say SAO is the best anime 2012 because this anime can reach every single anime watchers in the whole world including those who only watch Naruto or shounen things...

10/10... enough said
I truly disagree. I think not Fate/Zero nor SAO deserve to be the anime of this year.
I never really felt anything about the characters (from both shows).
I was watching the Legend of Legendary Heroes parallel to this and can say that there I felt more sympathy to the main character of LoL Heroes compared to all characters(both in SAO and F/Z)

Coming back to the topic:

-SAO part of the anime - 8/10 (fluid animation, okay characters and nice sub-plots, I even pitied Sachi)

-ALO part of the anime - 6/10 (too overpowered Kirito, the outcome was expected plus adding too much useless characters with exposed breasts didn't help in liking this part)

- I absolutely hated "MAMA, PAPA" in the series - was there just a strong emphasis on that in the novels? ( I read only the 1st one). This makes me subtract one point from overall score

- But I certainly enjoyed the SAO arc, that I can give an extra point to overall score

- I don't think that OST here was something cool, average music (compared to now airing Zetsuen no Tempest this OST pales)


So at the end (8+6)/2 -1 +1 = 7

Overall:7 - worth watching for the 1st part, but 2nd part will definitely disappoint you
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Old 2013-01-01, 19:06   Link #38
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SAO was something I really wanted to enjoy (not many stories based on VR) but never could over look the pure logic fail it was built on. If it hadn’t tried to be serious, at all, I probably could have over looked it. However, the attempts at trying to prove it was somehow based on some form of reality was the exact thing that made it impossible to over look how badly it failed at being realistic. Even the author himself couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation for why the guy suddenly decided to hold the player base hostage and twist his dream into a death trap. It’s because, the way it was setup, not even a completely insane person would consider it logical. Yes, even insanity follows a form of logic. It’s twisted but it does follow a pattern. Simply put, the main antagonist’s personality and nearly all of his actions were in direct contradiction with each other.

The author is just generally a bad writer and on top of that his experience and understanding of games and gamers as a whole felt rather lacking. I’ve never really played games with a strictly Japanese player base, so it’s possible there’s some differences there but, even allowing that, his understanding seems more than a little flawed. It’s like he has no idea about the mind of any type of gamer aside from a casual gamer. The purely casual gamer perspective really doesn’t appeal to me. It’s this lack of understanding that likely lead to his main protagonist suffering the same problem of his personality and actions being in direct conflict with each other. Either that or it just shows his inability to craft even semi-realistic characters. Even the side characters with their 2D personalities seemed to suffer from this.

Compared to the light novel, it’s hard to really say whether the show was worse or better. It was crap to begin with and the show itself was crap too. If they had at least skimmed over or shortened the emo bullshit portions of the story and left out more of the fail logic bullshit, I probably would have actually liked the anime version. However, they not only crammed most of it in, it even became the entire focus of some episodes.

The whole series felt like a bullshit wish fulfillment trip and it wasn’t fulfilling a wish that appealed to me in any way outside of being a part of the VR genre. The overall theme was something that should have appealed to me but the end result was a story and characters that I couldn’t relate to at all and even flat out irritated me at points. Every time I thought there was going to be some element that appealed to me, it’d suddenly turn a different direction and just end up pissing me off.

TLDR;

The characters (especially the main protagonist and antagonist) are completely unrealistic; actions and personalities don’t match at all.

Much of the logic the show/novels were built on is critically flawed.

SAO’s attempts at proving it is somehow based in reality makes it impossible to ignore the logic flaws.

The whole story felt like a cheap wish fulfillment trip.

The light novels suffer from poor writing and completely half-assed fact checking. The show completely inherited these problems.

Aah~ How refreshing that Sword Crap Online is finally over.
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Old 2013-01-01, 19:25   Link #39
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Instead of cyber god and Gary Stu Kirito, the show should’ve paid more attention to the rest of the cast and allowed them to shine every now and then instead of disappearing completely after the sole purpose they were written for was fulfilled.
Yeah. The side characters got very poor treatment, most notably the female cast. To me, Liz and Silica are interesting, likable characters in their own right, but as soon as they serve their purpose they just go away and disappear into thin air. More than once does Sword Art Online use “love” as an excuse to either promote character growth in Kirito (which is done to a debatable amount of success) or, at it’s very worst, use them as a blatantly obvious pass at advancing the story, the biggest tell being the Cait Sith and Sylph commanders (This one made me facepalm so hard)
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Old 2013-01-01, 19:29   Link #40
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To put it bluntly, SAO is not what I'd consider Anime of the Year unless said year is a terrible one. Some parts were good, some parts were bad, and some parts where oh god why. However, from what I consider an objective standpoint:

Pros:
- It was a VERY faithful adaptation. The only major content cuts were half of Ep 2 (needs the entire reboot to make any sense, plus insanely large), one scene in Ep 5 with Heathcliff (removed for good reason), and an entire missing chapter in ALO that didn't do much for the story anyways (and wouldn't fit in a 25 Ep schedule).
- Sound design, both BGM and SFX.
- The decision to clip the ED of Ep 15 and the OP of Ep 25 in order to maintain story flow.
- Certain scene edits (eg: Ep 21) that aided the intentions of the story in a way not properly explained in the novel.

Cons:
- Maybe it's the fault of Prose vs Film in general, but the Anime was missing a LOT of the internal dialogue, which in turn made the faithfully adapted parts not flow as well due to the missing information.
- Animation quality during combat was a jarring drop, especially when the animators draw some pretty nice boob physics despite that.

And now for the more subjective Pros and Cons...

Pros:
- When it's done right, it's done VERY right. I'm not sure if people found Ep 3 cheesy, but I sure liked it. And while I know Kawahara Reki uses tons of cheese and cliche all over the place, he's better than most writers at not making it reek of stale Brie.
- Fishing. Yes, I actually liked that. On its own, kinda cheesy. In the context of a death game where 10,000 people have been held hostage and 4000 already died? Far more significant.
- Weapon designs. Flashy enough to be unique, without being the ridiculous sort of "Throw a billion spikes and gems on it" style, or even the "Are you sure you can carry it?" variety. Except the Black Sword, but that's a vendor trash 2h so I'll let it slide.
- Generic dumb fun. You know, the generic fanservice and stuff.

Cons:
- I don't like Fairy Dance, and I honestly wasn't impressed by most of Aincrad when I read it either. Overall, I believe that the Anime covered what I consider as the worst two arcs of the series, which isn't really anybody's fault (KR's first two attempts, premises needed for later arcs, etc) but it's still a fault nevertheless.
- Pacing, particularly during Fairy Dance. It's partly KR's fault since Fairy Dance is kinda poorly paced in the first place, but I feel that A1 could have done so much more with the pacing, without changing the Anime's nature as a faithful adaptation. In Aincrad, stuff constantly happens and then the big ending happens. From my perspective, a few big things happen at the start in Fairy Dance, then the story gets sidetracked by whatshisface (exactly) for more than half the arc before we even remember why the story started in the first place. And then a metric crapton of development gets crammed into the ending.

Overall: 7/10
It's fun, but honestly not that special. I joined because of the hype train and I stayed because of every novel past Fairy Dance.
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