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View Poll Results: Sword Art Online - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 46 21.80%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 42 19.91%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 39 18.48%
7 out of 10 : Good 36 17.06%
6 out of 10 : Average 29 13.74%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 5 2.37%
4 out of 10 : Poor 7 3.32%
3 out of 10 : Bad 2 0.95%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 3 1.42%
1 out of 10 : Painful 2 0.95%
Voters: 211. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2013-01-12, 06:14   Link #61
Akka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Frankly, if it were just about me, I'd get rid of the poll entirely and just let people use words to explain their opinions.
This is one point we can agree on.
Though even if there was a poll, I'd prefer some descriptive word ("good", "nice", "pleasant" or the like) than a number, as I always considered that assigning a number to a feeling was a weird idea to begin with.
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Old 2013-01-12, 20:25   Link #62
kitten320
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Originally Posted by Oroboro View Post
If I had to rate things objectively, the show is rather flawed, I would give it a 7 or 8.

But for my personal subjective opinion of how much I enjoyed the show, it'd be a 9 or 9.5. There was rarely a minute watching it I wasn't entertained, and I looked forward to each episode eagerly every Saturday like I was a kid again, which not many things can make me do.

Plus I got to have so many delightful arguements about SAO online!
Well in your case I can accept 9.
Because it is not a full perfect score what means you did take flaws into consideration.

For me personally flaws are a huge minus that kills the fun especially if they are glaring so much. I find it hard to enjoy something if I see massive problems unless it is a comedy. Though even there are some standards to be met.
SAO sadly is the show that wanted to be taken seriously.

Won't lie, there are few exceptions for me too. But usually the problems they have don't bug me much.

P.S. Score might be just a number but it plays a huge role when it comes to new viewers. Usually you check how high rating is before actually considering if you want to give it a chance.
Also the main reason why I wrote that statement is because I have encountered quiet a few SAO fans that were screaming "We still have high score so go away!" Actually it happens not only in SAO fandom, even in some of the fandoms I support and to be honest I get really annoyed with those people because they clearly don't stop to think about what actually keeps those score.

Call me a boring person but I like maths and had some free time and actually went through review scores on myanimelist to check my theory. At first I counted them as they are and then changed most of 3-5 to 1-2. Occasionally I would switch 6 to 3. Everything else remained the same. Even with those tiny changes score had dropped by around 0.4. On there show would instantly drop by like 340 places and that's a massive change.

No matter what you say but rating plays big role when it comes to first impression. If it were two different shows but with the same premises, which one would you choose first? The one at spot 130 or the one at 470? Or the one at spot 2?!
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Old 2013-01-12, 21:39   Link #63
Rayrah
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Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
No matter what you say but rating plays big role when it comes to first impression. If it were two different shows but with the same premises, which one would you choose first? The one at spot 130 or the one at 470? Or the one at spot 2?!
I'd choose the show that contains elements of genre(s) that would appeal most to me. And if they were basically the same genre-wise, I'd go with the show with the most appealing art. And if they both had visually appealing art, then I'd do with the one that has the more interesting sounding premise. Personally, I only use rankings such as mentioned above to see how popular something is, and that's something I do generally after watching the show. But that's just me. I do know that there are people to whom ratings and rankings are everything.

I used to hate the 10 point scale because people were using it differently and sometimes even incorrectly (it's the 10 point scale, not the 20 or the 100 point scale), but since then I've realised that all rating scales have their own pros and cons, and that they all mean different things to different people. Similar to relentless, I'd also prefer if we could do away with the numbers because the review/critque/analysis/what have you is what really matters to me. However, I do the see the appeal of assigning a number to something to show how good it was/how much you enjoyed it/whatever compared to other shows. Not to mention that there's also a lot less effort involved than writing a review or something similar.

SAO was, and I'm sure it'll continue to be, something special to me. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 2013-01-13, 01:10   Link #64
Alchemist007
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Somewhere between a 9 and 10. Really well done series, could've used some more Sugu and Kirito relationship development, as it was really just "OH YOU'RE LEAFA?!" and almost immediately moves on.
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Old 2013-01-13, 01:38   Link #65
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Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
Call me a boring person but I like maths and had some free time and actually went through review scores on myanimelist to check my theory. At first I counted them as they are and then changed most of 3-5 to 1-2. Occasionally I would switch 6 to 3. Everything else remained the same. Even with those tiny changes score had dropped by around 0.4. On there show would instantly drop by like 340 places and that's a massive change.
This exercise is fatally flawed, though. If you did this to this one show, you'd also have to do this to every other show. And if you did the same exercise to every other show too, chances are the overall change in placement would be negligible. You can't just make this adjustment to a show you dislike and conclude that it's rated too highly because critics aren't being sufficiently harsh. You also have to do look at your favourite shows and come to the very same conclusion. In that sense, your point is sort of moot, and the validity of the placement (not the number) is preserved, so the argument about being "rated highly" is basically as valid or invalid as ever.

That being said, I agree with Aphrah in the sense that there are dozens of factors I'd consider before the rating in terms of considering what to watch. And, if I were to choose my anime to watch based on their ratings/score, I'm fairly certain that I'd dislike most of it. So, at least from my own point of view, ratings aren't very useful for determining the shows to watch at all. I suppose it's possible that people use ratings to determine what to watch, but I haven't heard of many people claiming to do that (or at least doing that for long).
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Old 2013-01-13, 07:15   Link #66
kitten320
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The reason why I chose SAO is because of how big the differences in marks are. Just go through several pages of reviews and you'll see a following pattern: 10, 10, 9, 1,6,8, 2,10, 8,3,7,9,4 and etc...
It is even funny how for almost each 10 you find 1-4.

SAO has massive variety in votes, a lot of bad and good marks. Usually the rating for shows is pretty similar and only differs in like 1-2 marks what isn't a huge difference. Occasionally you meet one two hater and that's it. While SAO is clearly divided in to two groups: haters and lovers. Rating for SAO is very different and depends on what I had mentioned. This is one of the reasons why I never did this kind of calculations for other shows. Because as you said, they won't work because marks are pretty close to each other.

The only other show I can think of for which this could work would be Haruhi because it also has pretty big hater base with low ratings.
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Old 2013-01-13, 09:50   Link #67
Dauerlutscher
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I give this show a 6-7 with the tendency to 6.

The good points.
- Likeable characters.
- God art and animation.
- Show still entertaining despite it's flaws.


Bad points.
- Rushed and skipped plot.
- Flat characters.
- Even more flat villains.

How would I describe this show with one sentence?
It is an avarage show that wasted the great potential it had.

Overall, I can agree with Akka's review.
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Old 2013-01-13, 16:27   Link #68
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Maybe it came down to some sort of confidence call? They didn't think they'd necessarily have another season to tell it all so they had to rush it to get it through ALO. I'm not sure if there was enough material to keep it all in SAO for 25 episodes.
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Old 2013-01-13, 20:00   Link #69
trickdaddy
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This may just be my favorite anime ever, the emotion, the animation, the suspense, everything was pretty well.

Sure, there were some flaws and rushed parts, but the anime kept you focused on what was going on over little side details so you could enjoy more of what was going on directly. Time to time I would be like "Why would they do this?" or "Why would they skip this, or rush that?", but after a minute or two it would already be forgotten, and I'd go back to full-immersion into this anime. Without a doubt, it's either my first or second favorite anime. This and ZnT were my favorites, and not one anime has come close to either.

Overall, SAO was an anime not like many others, I enjoyed the spirit, the 100% visible emotion in each character, especially the desperation in Kirito and the sadness in both him and Asuna. I know you all have your opinions, but this one will stay in my heart as probably my favorite anime ever,

10/10, 100% Happy with this anime. I'm definetly going to have to check out any of the LN or Manga that's been translated.
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Old 2013-01-14, 01:32   Link #70
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Originally Posted by kitten320 View Post
The reason why I chose SAO is because of how big the differences in marks are. Just go through several pages of reviews and you'll see a following pattern: 10, 10, 9, 1,6,8, 2,10, 8,3,7,9,4 and etc...
It is even funny how for almost each 10 you find 1-4.

SAO has massive variety in votes, a lot of bad and good marks. Usually the rating for shows is pretty similar and only differs in like 1-2 marks what isn't a huge difference. Occasionally you meet one two hater and that's it. While SAO is clearly divided in to two groups: haters and lovers. Rating for SAO is very different and depends on what I had mentioned. This is one of the reasons why I never did this kind of calculations for other shows. Because as you said, they won't work because marks are pretty close to each other.

The only other show I can think of for which this could work would be Haruhi because it also has pretty big hater base with low ratings.
But you have to also consider why this is. This is a very heavily-hyped show with a premise that could have gone in so many different directions, so a lot of people decided to check the show out. Many other shows have a more narrow premise and their style/intent is clear after the first episode. So as a result, you'll see a much more significant drop-off of people who just decide the show isn't for them and so won't stick around to rate it. This will bias the statistics so that, for the people who did vote, they will tend to be in a much more narrow range. If all the people who watched SAO were compelled to watch any other given show, I suspect you'd see a similar range of ratings. You just don't generally see this because most shows don't have premises that have the potential to appeal to so many different people at once.

In the end, even with the score spread, I still think this is not so terribly significant from an overall statistical perspective. It fits the point you'd like to make, sure, but it wouldn't be so difficult to just replace that metric with another. Like, for example, if you dismiss fan average ratings (which I dismiss in the first place), then you could switch to sales (whether of the anime or of the novels, both of which are quite high). People who want to make an argument that "your criticism is insignificant because the masses have spoken" can find ways to do that anyway. But it's a rather irrelevant argument in the first place, and I just don't think you should give it any credence. Even if the whole world liked something except you, it doesn't render your criticism invalid. It is also of course worth noting that, just because you have your criticisms, doesn't mean people have to agree with them or that these same factors will affect their own viewing experience either. Everyone's allowed to form their own opinions.
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Old 2013-01-14, 20:07   Link #71
Kaijo
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Initial thoughts: I liked it, found it rather decent. It has a couple of flaws here and there (mostly my own personal dislikes), but overall is better than most out there. At least it didn't have any real glaring plot holes, although it did lack a bit of information that was apparently covered in the light novels. Also, I'm predisposed to disliking something that is hyped (most of my favorites are smaller, less-well-known anime), so I was a bit surprised this one worked under my guard. Perhaps because I've played MMOs, that this one worked for me.

Anyway, onward.

Likes:
Visuals - lush surroundings, well-animated fight scenes, beautiful cinematography. They spent some effort on this, and it shows. No cut-outs, no random abstract still shots or backgrounds designed to save on cost, while trying to look avante-garde. There were background shots, of course, but they were what you'd expect from someone giving at least half an ass.

Sound/music - The swelling notes that punctuate the crescendo of battle, and the softer tones that draw out the emotional reaction of touching/sadder moments... it's all there. I never felt the music was out of place. And since usually I rarely note that music is even playing, I felt pleasantly surprised when I could feel the music and was aware of it... and yet it only added to my enjoyment of the scenes.

Say what you will, no one can say this wasn't a piece that skimped much on the audio/visual aspects.

Characters - This was a little bit more of a mixed bag for me. Since I really dislike stupidity in my characters, I was relieved to see intelligence and wisdom here. Obviously, just enough to make them seem real to me, as to how I would react, but not enough that they see through every situation. Kirito and Asuna both have flaws, but the characters *aren't* their flaws, but rather the flaws are just a small part of a larger character. I notice the tendency sometimes, for some to make deeply flawed characters as a way to ground them in humanity, ultimately forgetting that humans are more than that. Just because you make someone emo, does not make them a real character. When you resort to that, you make them less of a character. So I was glad to see they didn't go that route.

Story - While I had an issue here and there with the story (which I'll get to with my dislikes below), overall I found it a refreshing tale. While everything has been done before, it's always in the execution, the nitty gritty details, that determines whether the story works. There were no major plot holes. And it speaks to us on another level, especially as our society approaches the VRMMO concept in reality. Is a "fake" world really so fake? What if it were as real as our own? Love, hate, sadness, joy, despair, and hope.... despite the world not being "real," the feelings that persist in the virtual world are still very real themselves. Often are MMO'ers told "it's not real" but the relationships and comradery that are formed within, and the challenges and adventures that are undertaken, will develop feelings and bonds every bit as real as the real world.

I should also mention that I tended to like the second arc more than the first, just because it was tighter and the end goal was kept in focus better. I felt the first arc, as good as it was, rambled a bit too much, but I'll get to that a bit later.

Dislikes:
These concern more specific things, cliches and story turns that I didn't quite like.

2 years - the length of time they were in SAO. Personally, I felt it was a bit too long, especially given the number of episodes that cover that time span. Much of the first few episodes taken several time skip jumps, which is jarring. It makes it hard to emotionally recognize that they've been in there that long, even though rationally you know they have. Had it been me, I would have reduced the time spent to a year or less, and perhaps stretch SAO out over 24 episodes, with season 2 tackling the second arc.

Lack of real world info - Obviously, a hard part to really address. Early on, I wondered how their real bodies would survive. If they could move Kirito to a hospital, that would imply they could separate his helmet from the computer, and thus take it off safely. I would have liked to see this addressed much earlier, perhaps an explanation from him how it would be handled.

Cliche #1: Little sister plot. Maybe it's me, but I've been seeing this fetish pop up more and more lately, where the little sister has a crush on her brother, but it's okay because it turns out they aren't really brother/sister! It really turns me off, and makes me wonder why they couldn't just do a different subplot for Suguha (I would have liked to see her and Recon explored more). Having said that, I felt they did a fairly good job of it. Obviously, Kirito wasn't going to end up with her, so we knew the heartbreak was coming, and once more the theme of the virtual world being the same as the real world comes back to us, as she tried to let her feelings go and fall for Kirito instead, only to have that thrown at her.

Cliche #2: Every girl falls for the main character. True, he's a good guy, but seriously? Can't we see a story where most of the girls just end up friends with him? And they usually want to jump him within hours of meeting him, too. The only thing that made it bearable, was that we knew he was spoken for with Asuna. So the "harem" felt fake and tacked on. Honestly, I was at least hoping they'd put in the female character or two who comes onto a guy to get free gifts, so if they were going to do anything in a girl falling for him, they could have at least done that much.

Cliche #3: The crazy bad guy, Sugo. Wasn't much to him, other than he was nuts, trying to play God and have everything. Kayaba at least had some subtle and interesting aspects to his character (as little as we saw him). Sugo was fairly one-dimensional, coming across more as an "I am evil!" bad guy. I would have preferred seeing more revelations and complexity to Sugo(and perhaps Kayaba as well), to fully flesh them out as antagonists.

Those were the major cliches that were the downsides for me. Not things that were really wrong, per se, as they work within the narrative established. Just ones that I would have preferred get handled differently, based on my tastes. My only real issues, plot-wise, are how the real world aspects were handled in the first arc, and the length of time. I would have preferred something a bit more like the second arc, where we see more of the journey and get a real feel for Kirito's growth as a character (in both aspects). I liked him, and felt he was developed well enough; we just didn't get to see as much of it as I would have liked.

And I will state once again, that it is very refreshing to see a character encounter great sadness, and not let it break them to the point of being emo. But instead forging on despite that.

And the same can be said for Asuna, who I felt wasn't present or addressed quite enough. As I said, I would have expanded the first arc to 24 episodes, and given plenty of time to develop Asuna as well, both as a stand-alone character, and her relationship with Kirito. We got the bare minimum, when there was so much more that could have been done.

Overall:

But, it is my opinion that these negatives didn't quite ruin an otherwise good story. The moral implications of VR are coming, and it is the role of sci fi to explore such social changes before they happen. Or even as they happen, given the prevalence of MMOs in the marketplace today. This story accomplished that, I felt, and did it while humanizing real characters, who were perhaps more human as simple avatars, then many "real" humans I've seen in some series and shows. The feelings in an online world are just as real as the real world. And someday soon, the barriers between worlds might not be so concrete as they are today.

I laughed, I cried, and I felt moved more than once. I initially gave it a 7/10 in the poll, but if I could revise it, I'd move it up to an 8. It's not perfect, not by a long shot. But it was a very good entry and well worth a watch.
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Old 2013-01-14, 22:21   Link #72
Rageth
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Cliche #2: Every girl falls for the main character. True, he's a good guy, but seriously? Can't we see a story where most of the girls just end up friends with him? And they usually want to jump him within hours of meeting him, too. The only thing that made it bearable, was that we knew he was spoken for with Asuna. So the "harem" felt fake and tacked on. Honestly, I was at least hoping they'd put in the female character or two who comes onto a guy to get free gifts, so if they were going to do anything in a girl falling for him, they could have at least done that much.

Cliche #3: The crazy bad guy, Sugo. Wasn't much to him, other than he was nuts, trying to play God and have everything. Kayaba at least had some subtle and interesting aspects to his character (as little as we saw him). Sugo was fairly one-dimensional, coming across more as an "I am evil!" bad guy. I would have preferred seeing more revelations and complexity to Sugo(and perhaps Kayaba as well), to fully flesh them out as antagonists.
OMG, These are exactly the main points of the story I hated. Reki seems to have 2 obsessions with his writings.
1. Every girl must fall for the main character, and eventually be heart-broken and rejected...
2. Every bad-guy must be a sociopathic psycho, modeled after cartoon villains, who are evil for the sake of being evil. The only exception to this rule is Kayaba himself. Even in his Accel World story, that kid who blackmailed them was only a twisted sociopath for the sake of being a twisted sociopath.

I feel that Reki is very limited in terms of character development, and that is the greatest flaw in SAO.

That aside, the story is actually quite great. Personally, I don't watch too much anime or anything, and SAO is the first i'd come by with the concept and story it had (though I've heard of others, like .hack...)
Really it makes me think of a lot of the implications of different advances in technology. It also makes me wish I was in their position... no matter how terrifying it may be xD

I can't really give the series a number. It was a great story, with too many flaws, I guess. I'm indecisive here.
Honestly, Reki just needs to learn to better develop characters, and he'd be set...
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Old 2013-01-15, 14:49   Link #73
Kafriel
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Animation Quality: 8

For the most part, the animation was very good, game effects and motion style were nice. There were, of course, certain episodes of subpar quality, but perfection is hard to achieve.

Voice Actors: 9

The protagonists in both games got their emotions through, the VAs fit those characters well.

Script: 7

VRMMO is a great base for a story - mixing real world occurences in between made the experience even better, although ALO felt much more like a game than SAO; that's to be expected though, since its world wasn't focused on as much and the reason of their creation was quite different too, making ALO no more than a superficial clone of SAO.


Soundtrack: 7

Standard stuff, pleasing to the ears, maybe one or two slightly overused themes, but mostly good work.

Enjoyment: 10

Undergeared Kirito owning Eugene was definitely one of my favorite scenes, but I fully enjoyed each episode, from 1 to 25. It's not easy to make anime as immersing as this one...

Emotional Involvement:10

Both stories were very touching, although SAO hits harder due to the death penalty and the copious amounts of misery that world had seen. The moment when the game got cleared was indeed a moment of katharsis.

So, 9/10 from me, I will remember this anime and probably watch it over at some point, if we don't have VRMMOs by 2025 Definitely recommended to all RPG fans, it's a fun trip to a magical world.
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Old 2013-01-15, 21:45   Link #74
Dark Faith
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Sword Art Online... I've got a love/hate relationship with this one.
I was interested in the premise of this show since I'm an avid MMO player and, for the most part, it was a fun watch...as long as I ignore the existance of the ALO arc.

The Aincrad arc was pretty good. Not without its flaws, but it was a fun watch: While the "plot" wasn't really that great, the characters were likeable enough, the music entertaining and the setting was believable. Though I could've done without the "tension" they tried to make us feel whenever Kirito's health was in the red. As if they'd let the main guy die.
And when he finally kicked the bucket... he didn't. So much for "people die when they are killed".

Never been one for Deus Ex Machinas.
Still, as far as the Aincrad arc's concerned, SAO got a 7/10 from me.

As for ALO... ahhh... I dropped it after a couple episodes. IMHO it lacked everything that made SAO good. Especially when folks feel the need to shove breasts in my face every other minute to keep my attention on the screen.
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Old 2013-01-22, 14:00   Link #75
Haiprbim
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Well, for me, Sword Art Online was simply amazing.
I loved the romance in it, as well as the combat and of course, the story-line.

What I may disliked a bit was the sudden change to Elf game.

Anyhow, the fast moving was needed to save Asuna.
In the end, Kirito and Asuna got together, all the best, and to top it over, Aincard came back!

The only things that bug me are that Kirito didn't show-off with Asuna in the end, but did with his cousin, and that they were using the Elf characters after in the Aincard.

I strongly hope there will be GGO made into Anime as well!

My rating: 9.8, making it Perfect.
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Old 2013-01-25, 07:29   Link #76
Kenu
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I gotta say I loved SAO. It's been a long while since an anime has pulled my heart strings and I felt a relationship between two characters as special. Kirito is such a likable character and plays well in the lawful good role he's hard not to like. Asuna as well is sweet, thus they make a lovely couple.

Having played one of the early MMO's I could see myself relating to the show. I wish I saw more dungeon raiding of a significant level. I suppose it was good for them to show only one major raid level fight so not to weary the audience. The tactics could have been more complex, but when you're dealing with pure melee and no magic based environments I guess it was pretty good.

The second part with ALO was fun, while the whole younger sister crush thing was somewhat annoying, I wish they explored more of their real life relationship as previewed by the opening animation. Perhaps the weakest part of this arc was the boss. More subtly would not have been amiss.

Overall: 9/10
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Old 2013-01-26, 18:37   Link #77
Kokukirin
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The good:

- The Aincrad Arc. I really like the main theme of it - the permanent death in VR game. It turns the VR into reality itself and the anime does a decent job exploring what it means to different characters.

- The romance between Asuna and Kirito. I think it is well-developed and genuine. It helps that both characters are very likable.

- Soundtracks and voice acting are both very good.

- Animation is good for the most part. There are times when it gets lazy. The Gleam Eyes boss fight and the duel against Eugene are particularly memorable.

The bad:

- Yui. I think the "family" thing with Kirito and Asuna is very forced, but that's the novel's fault and there is no way the animation team can avoid it. Yui's introduction, combined with Kirito and Asuna temporarily withdrawing from the frontlines, badly slow down the pace of the anime.

- Lyfa/Suguha. Her feelings towards her brother is rather out of nowhere, which again is the novel's fault. But it is a little better in the novel.

- The ALO arc. It really isn't the anime's fault. The ALO arc is the weakest part of the novel. It is just an already overused hero-saving-princess type story mixed with the awkward situation between Kirito and Suguha.

- The Aincard Arc does not deliver clearly enough the fear of permanent death in a VR game. The fear should be something that hovers over all the characters at all times, but most of the time I don't see it.

Overall: 8/10
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Old 2013-01-29, 05:14   Link #78
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- The Aincard Arc does not deliver clearly enough the fear of permanent death in a VR game. The fear should be something that hovers over all the characters at all times, but most of the time I don't see it.
I'm not trying to diminish your opinion, but I actually think that the "fault" here, as it were, could arguably more with a failure to convey the passage of time. One of the themes of the story arc was learning to live in Aincrad despite the circumstances. After two years passed, the "fear of permanent death" in the game is really not so different than the fear of death in real life; for the most part, it became a manageable risk (and, until the last few dungeons started messing things up, a risk that followed predictable rules and patterns). So I think it actually made sense, within that construct, that the sense of "this is a game where I can die" would diminish over time, and be replaced with more of a sense of "this is my reality". I would argue that this is the point they were more trying to convey through the story, rather than the palpable fear that was felt in the first few episodes.

This isn't to say that someone might not have preferred they focused on different themes or tell that story a different way... but I just thought it was interesting that the "flaw" you noted is, I think, one of the work's chosen themes.
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Old 2013-01-29, 23:05   Link #79
The Shinigami
Last Order
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Return from a three year absence.
6/10

It was a great story.
Until ALO.
I won't add any more.
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Old 2013-02-01, 21:24   Link #80
Netto Azure
→ Asada Shino
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Great Void, Jötunheimr
Had to give it a 9 due to the forced chronological episode listing. Which pretty much led to a lot of criticism and such. Anyways fave of the year etc. etc.
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