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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 03
10 out of 10: Near Perfect... 49 22.17%
9 out of 10: Excellent... 39 17.65%
8 out of 10: Very Good... 52 23.53%
7 out of 10: Good... 46 20.81%
6 out of 10: Average... 18 8.14%
5 out of 10: Below Average... 6 2.71%
4 out of 10: Poor... 6 2.71%
3 out of 10: Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10: Very Bad... 0 0%
1 out of 10: Torturous... 5 2.26%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-07-22, 06:41   Link #201
Hypernova
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Rule number one when it comes to slaughtering a tragic plot piggy is you fatten it up first, which they failed to do. Even as an anime only viewer it is indeed rushed, not quite Campione bad but that's a very low bar.

I mean come on they were sleeping together! The writers could have gotten a lot of plot mileage out of that.
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Old 2012-07-22, 06:50   Link #202
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The pacing felt rather fast, even though it is still nice to see what I read get animated. Heck, even from the LNs it was more emotional to read about the entire guild get slaughtered, and Kirito's relationship with Sachi. Here it was like they were just a bunch of friends who somehow got Kirito into their guild. And Oh! They were killed in a dungeon.

I can only hope it does get better from here onwards.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:04   Link #203
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I think the key here is that we don't know Kirito well enough yet so we don't know how to empathise his feelings.

Personally I went in this episode only knowing one thing: she will be his biggest stigma and regret. Therefore my focus is on how the events in this episodes will change him, and we see plenty of it in this episode. He went from a solo player to someone who have someone else weaker to protect, yet the failure only kills his compassion. It's like seeing hope crushed right in front of your eyes just as it's building up.

We are not suppose to be attached to the black cat, we are not suppose to mourn for their death. We are, however, suppose to feel the pain Kirito is experiencing and feel sad from that.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:05   Link #204
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
If that's the case, why isn't the government just unplugging them? The fact that they're still in the game only makes sense is if Kayaba was telling the truth.
Oh come on that's easy to circumvent.

Forced unplugging from outside (real) world results in brain getting fried. Death in game results in natural wake up from game. In other words, they have to die in game to live, but the whole point of the game, of them being trapped, is to appreciate life and struggle to live, where in our real world, we've taken for granted our mundane lives.

As for episode 3: I'm not a LN reader, and all I have to say is it was somewhat rushed, but understandable. Sure the execution wasn't great, but I get the point that it's trying to convey. Let's give it a few more episodes to get into the "heart of the story"/the main arcs before deciding whether this will "meet expectations" or fall short of some of our rather high expectations. (p.s. - given some of the more "stupid" stuff that's been airing recently, I'm still quite excited for this. We will just have to wait :] )
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:07   Link #205
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I can asure you, if you're only watching the anime without the background knowledge from the LN it's an even bigger disappointment
Nope! I've finally watched the episode, and here I am!

Ok ok lets see what do we have here?

1) Ok it's clear a fair amount of time has passed. People have now reached the 28th floor.
2) Kirito is hanging out on the lower floors for some reason. Will we found out why?
3) Yes! He mentioned that the Guild Leader's mentality is something that's needed on the front lines, so he stuck with them to help them get to the front line faster!
4) He hides his level from the others. Extrapolating from that, and judging from earlier episodes, this guy has one damn big fear of rejection. Kinda reminds me of Asuna, seems both of them are kind of afraid of other people. Maybe that's why they work so well together?
5) The girl, Sachi was it? She was cute. I actually did not expect her (or any of her friends) to die because she was in the opening.
6) Klein! Hi Klein! You're alive! And apparently you're on the front line? Looking good, brudda. Awkwardness ensues. Kirito is really, REALLY bad with people, clearly.
7) The trap, ah yes, the trap. I'm not quite sure why this trap was so overwhelming? Were they in an area that was way out of their league to begin with? I'm going to have to admit that these guys weren't very genre savvy, but if everyone in the world was genre savvy, would the term even exist to begin with? To be fair, the room was already hidden, so it could just as well have been a hidden treasure chest. The only reason I knew it was a trap, was, well, in fiction, it's ALWAYS a trap.
8) Oh nose! Everyone died! Yeah I didn't really get to know these people very well, but I do feel for Kirito. He's known these people for FAR longer than we have, and one of them is pretty cute and he's promised to protect all of them and all that. Then the leader guy commits suicide that's like he WANTS Kirito to cross the despair event horizon.
9) Christmas event? An item that can bring someone back to life? Ok I understand, everything that happened before this point was specifically to set up this character establishing moment. After watching everyone die, apparently he crawled even deeper into his shell. I kind of understand.
10) I sort of expected the drop to be a half-dud. It really DOES bring back the dead... Except they can't be dead for longer than 10 seconds.
11) Information Girl <3


Yeah we didn't have enough time to get to know all these side characters, but at least we got to see the effects they had on our main character. It was a pretty good episode. 8/10

I hope that satisfies the curiosty of some of those "I wonder what anime-only watchers think of this." people.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:16   Link #206
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Originally Posted by jeroz View Post
I think the key here is that we don't know Kirito well enough yet so we don't know how to empathise his feelings.

Personally I went in this episode only knowing one thing: she will be his biggest stigma and regret. Therefore my focus is on how the events in this episodes will change him, and we see plenty of it in this episode. He went from a solo player to someone who have someone else weaker to protect, yet the failure only kills his compassion. It's like seeing hope crushed right in front of your eyes just as it's building up.

We are not suppose to be attached to the black cat, we are not suppose to mourn for their death. We are, however, suppose to feel the pain Kirito is experiencing and feel sad from that.
This.

Well said.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:22   Link #207
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Uhhh... Why does not understanding why the trap was overwhelming make me blind?

Because last time I checked, one of the things that the anime -isn't- clear on, is the level of those monsters VS the level of the characters.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:32   Link #208
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Uhhh... Why does not understanding why the trap was overwhelming make me blind?

Because last time I checked, one of the things that the anime -isn't- clear on, is the level of those monsters VS the level of the characters.
Usually in games, hidden rooms have either just an item or a trap with enemies of a slightly higher level (or in a bigger mob). This room had a wee bit too many monsters though and Sachi had the bad luck to fight a tanky one. From Kirito's reaction, I suppose that hidden rooms don't appear until much later in the game, but how would he know that when he only got to 8F in beta? Did he go out and solo at night until the highest cleared floor or something?

Anyway, it was a good episode. Kirito finally opened up a bit and joined a guild, only to watch all of his mateys die in front of his eyes. Now he's back to being alone, I guess...doubt he'll be joining another guild anytime soon.

Skipped boss fight felt a bit wtf, assuming it was the highlight of the month. I also noticed the anime really races through, I was expecting the story to go floor by floor with an occasional slice of life break, or something like that. If we're jumping floors in dozens, this won't last another cour.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:34   Link #209
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Yeah, even as an anime-only watcher, that felt insanely rushed to me.

I don't mind a time-skip here or there, but there was just too many in this one episode alone for my comfort. It creates a certain narrative disconnect, especially given how Episode 2 ended.

Also, the emotional impact of these scenes were very lessened for me due to how they were all crammed into one episode. While I saw enough of Saichi to like her, I didn't see enough of her to get attached to her, so her death had no real impact on me (well, other than simple surprise that her death flags resulted in a death that quick). As such, Kirito's reaction to her death also had a very muted impact for me.


Now, don't get me wrong. Each scene was very good-to-excellent in and of itself. My only disappointment with the scenes themselves was not getting to see the "Renegade Nicholas" fight. But the way the scenes combine together feels very erratic. It's like trying to replace watching a full sporting event by just watching a few highlights of that sporting event on Sportscenter. It just doesn't have the same flow or impact, imo.

Perhaps the main meat of the story is so good that it'll make rushing to it all the worthwhile. But that doesn't help this episode itself, of course.

7/10.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:38   Link #210
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Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
Usually in games, hidden rooms have either just an item or a trap with enemies of a slightly higher level (or in a bigger mob). This room had a wee bit too many monsters though and Sachi had the bad luck to fight a tanky one. From Kirito's reaction, I suppose that hidden rooms don't appear until much later in the game, but how would he know that when he only got to 8F in beta? Did he go out and solo at night until the highest cleared floor or something?

Anyway, it was a good episode. Kirito finally opened up a bit and joined a guild, only to watch all of his mateys die in front of his eyes. Now he's back to being alone, I guess...doubt he'll be joining another guild anytime soon.

Skipped boss fight felt a bit wtf, assuming it was the highlight of the month. I also noticed the anime really races through, I was expecting the story to go floor by floor with an occasional slice of life break, or something like that. If we're jumping floors in dozens, this won't last another cour.
Yeah but judging from what happens, those guys were clearly out of their league. Unless dungeons are equipped with rooms specifically designed to kill appropreately leveled players just for walking into the wrong room? I don't see how not understanding that makes me blind tho.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:45   Link #211
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Nope! I've finally watched the episode, and here I am!

Ok ok lets see what do we have here?

1) Ok it's clear a fair amount of time has passed. People have now reached the 28th floor.
Spoiler for novel RNR, timeline:


Quote:
2) Kirito is hanging out on the lower floors for some reason. Will we found out why?
It's nothing important.

Spoiler for novel RNR, reason for Kirito's presence in the lower floors:


Quote:
3) Yes! He mentioned that the Guild Leader's mentality is something that's needed on the front lines, so he stuck with them to help them get to the front line faster!
4) He hides his level from the others. Extrapolating from that, and judging from earlier episodes, this guy has one damn big fear of rejection. Kinda reminds me of Asuna, seems both of them are kind of afraid of other people. Maybe that's why they work so well together?
There is still the Beater thing. That fear isn't unjustified.

Quote:
5) The girl, Sachi was it? She was cute. I actually did not expect her (or any of her friends) to die because she was in the opening.
6) Klein! Hi Klein! You're alive! And apparently you're on the front line? Looking good, brudda. Awkwardness ensues. Kirito is really, REALLY bad with people, clearly.
7) The trap, ah yes, the trap. I'm not quite sure why this trap was so overwhelming? Were they in an area that was way out of their league to begin with? I'm going to have to admit that these guys weren't very genre savvy, but if everyone in the world was genre savvy, would the term even exist to begin with? To be fair, the room was already hidden, so it could just as well have been a hidden treasure chest. The only reason I knew it was a trap, was, well, in fiction, it's ALWAYS a trap.
They were higher than they were used to. Still, if they'd been a bit (a lot) more careful, it wouldn't have ended that way.

Quote:
8) Oh nose! Everyone died! Yeah I didn't really get to know these people very well, but I do feel for Kirito. He's known these people for FAR longer than we have, and one of them is pretty cute and he's promised to protect all of them and all that. Then the leader guy commits suicide that's like he WANTS Kirito to cross the despair event horizon.
9) Christmas event? An item that can bring someone back to life? Ok I understand, everything that happened before this point was specifically to set up this character establishing moment. After watching everyone die, apparently he crawled even deeper into his shell. I kind of understand.
10) I sort of expected the drop to be a half-dud. It really DOES bring back the dead... Except they can't be dead for longer than 10 seconds.
11) Information Girl <3
I know, right?


Quote:
Yeah we didn't have enough time to get to know all these side characters, but at least we got to see the effects they had on our main character. It was a pretty good episode. 8/10

I hope that satisfies the curiosty of some of those "I wonder what anime-only watchers think of this." people.
Yeah, thanks.


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Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
Usually in games, hidden rooms have either just an item or a trap with enemies of a slightly higher level (or in a bigger mob). This room had a wee bit too many monsters though and Sachi had the bad luck to fight a tanky one. From Kirito's reaction, I suppose that hidden rooms don't appear until much later in the game, but how would he know that when he only got to 8F in beta? Did he go out and solo at night until the highest cleared floor or something?
That's what he was doing when he met Klein. Also
Spoiler for novel RNR, how Kirito knew it was a trap:
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:50   Link #212
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Originally Posted by jeroz View Post
I think the key here is that we don't know Kirito well enough yet so we don't know how to empathise his feelings.

Personally I went in this episode only knowing one thing: she will be his biggest stigma and regret. Therefore my focus is on how the events in this episodes will change him, and we see plenty of it in this episode. He went from a solo player to someone who have someone else weaker to protect, yet the failure only kills his compassion. It's like seeing hope crushed right in front of your eyes just as it's building up.

We are not suppose to be attached to the black cat, we are not suppose to mourn for their death. We are, however, suppose to feel the pain Kirito is experiencing and feel sad from that.
But that's exactly because Kirito and the Black Cat weren't shown together that much that things go downhill regarding an emotional impact.
Besides the possible attachment of the audience towards these characters, the whole point is, as you said, defining Kirito through such trauma.

And here goes the problem: too little. Kirito lacked screentime and/or monologues with them that really show how he goes through solo to a guild (which felt almost like a mere change of heart out of the blue), without much interactions.
Things are even worse when you don't see Kirito fully characterized during his descent to depression and self loathing, and reckless exp grinding. They basically -tell- with Argo and other tricks, instead of really showing it to some extent.
Heck, the simple fact they didn't even nudge the reason why he "naturally" lied about his level leaves huge blank portion for no reason. Was it because he was scared of the "beater" stuff (despite he had no problem to claim to be one before)? Was it because he wanted to hang around with them? Was it because he didn't want to cast suspicions? etc.
Skipping the circumstances how they met also presents the whole chains of events as just being... "there", instead of a coherent narration (how things went, why Kirito was "conveniently" there at that moment, etc).

It is all about a very poor execution than really the content of the story. And for an anime format, while people can sort of "guess" what's in the head of some characters, there are things you have to show, regardless if it is subtle or not.
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Old 2012-07-22, 07:51   Link #213
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I personally don't think it's possible, both the fact that there isn't enough source materials to do that, and the fact that it's hard to add anymore impact to characters without them playing much more significant roles into the plot. No, seeing more shallow scenes of slice of life with them isn't the answer.

Given how the format of the source material is, between stretching into two draggy episode that would add nothing and compressing into one slightly rushed episode with some but not enough impact, I'm content with the second option.

Hell, as long as new comers can get and feel some impact, I'm happy.

Though, as Rennir said above,
Making it a flashback *might* probably been better.
I concur. I was just wondering if the people complaining about there not being enough time to get attached to the characters would've felt different if this arc was split up into two episodes, as there seems to be some kind of idea that one episode is not enough for people to get attached to characters. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if they were to say the same thing if this arc was two episodes long. But like a few posters have already pointed out, I think the goal of this episode was to get the audience to feel, and understand, the extent of Kirito's suffering instead of feeling down after getting attached to Sachi and the other guild members. It's certainly possible for people to get attached to the guild, but not everyone can, I guess.

I don't know. But maybe that's because I'm not a big fan of stories being told in flashback format? And who's to say that the episode wouldn't have the same issues even if it were told in flashback format. I suppose the time skips would've made a lot more sense, but eh..

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Originally Posted by Dann of Thursday View Post
I didn't even tear up really. Even with the short story, I didn't really feel much except more sorry for Kirito in light of how he had described them in the first novel.
Fair enough. It depends on the person; some are more inclined to tear up or cry during emotional and/or tragic moments than others.
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:11   Link #214
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Yeah but judging from what happens, those guys were clearly out of their league.
Probably deathtraps set by the game's dev, kinda like how the 1F boss had different gear than normal.

What I really want to know is how he beat an event boss by himself >_< For those who don't know, they usually have a damage cap (like, you can't deal more than 10k damage in one hit) and hundreds of millions of HP (that may come in many combat forms too, as HP drops). Even so, Kirito solo'd that thing in...what, half an hour?

About the black cat members, I felt more sorry for the poor lancer than for the back row girl. He spent his entire fortune buying a house, only to find out that everyone he wanted to share it with was dead. No wonder he jumped off that bridge.
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:12   Link #215
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Episode 3

Where is Asuna? Where is my cute ASuna!!!!!
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:17   Link #216
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What I really want to know is how he beat an event boss by himself >_< For those who don't know, they usually have a damage cap (like, you can't deal more than 10k damage in one hit) and hundreds of millions of HP (that may come in many combat forms too, as HP drops). Even so, Kirito solo'd that thing in...what, half an hour?
I agree that the event bosses I've run into the in MMOs I've played were definitely impossible to defeat single-handedly.

I think the only reason Kirito managed to solo him was because of his high level and proficiency with sword skills (him being a beta tester, and all).

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Episode 3

Where is Asuna? Where is my cute ASuna!!!!!
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:17   Link #217
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And here goes the problem: too little. Kirito lacked screentime and/or monologues with them that really show how he goes through solo to a guild (which felt almost like a mere change of heart out of the blue), without much interactions.
Considering we see a change in the character himself in the scenes. Like I'd said, we see him changing from the one at the end of ep2 to the compassionate enthusiastic one consoling Sachi under the bridge. They shown us the development and how much the guide meant to him without having to tell us word by words. You simply don't change your stance that quickly

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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Things are even worse when you don't see Kirito fully characterized during his descent to depression and self loathing, and reckless exp grinding. They basically -tell- with Argo and other tricks, instead of really showing it to some extent.
that I do agree they could have show us some snippets during the conversation to show the extent of his fall

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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Heck, the simple fact they didn't even nudge the reason why he "naturally" lied about his level leaves huge blank portion for no reason. Was it because he was scared of the "beater" stuff (despite he had no problem to claim to be one before)? Was it because he wanted to hang around with them? Was it because he didn't want to cast suspicions? etc.
we can guess, but i think they will tell us later


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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Skipping the circumstances how they met also presents the whole chains of events as just being... "there", instead of a coherent narration (how things went, why Kirito was "conveniently" there at that moment, etc).
do we really need an explanation as to how they meet? seriously? that's like the least of your concern
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:25   Link #218
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I agree that the event bosses I've run into the in MMOs I've played were definitely impossible to defeat single-handedly.
Having the right weapons and a lot of pots and combination skills, that is obviously possible.

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Old 2012-07-22, 08:26   Link #219
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we can guess, but i think they will tell us later

do we really need an explanation as to how they meet? seriously? that's like the least of your concern
It isn't like you "need" that in order to understand the point. However, you need such points to deliver a coherent story.
Past the purpose of a given scene/arc, there is a way to present such points in order not to make the whole narration jarring. That would be the same as going through the boss fight last week by skipping the boss info meeting: you "don't need" that kind of scene since you can imagine it to some extent (save the beta tester stigma), yet you need that to establish a cohesion in the said story.
For instance: why did they show us how Klein and Kirito met each other in the first ep? it is the "same thing", yet they bothered to show it to us, despite it is "not of our concern" like you claim it to be. However, that would make the intro not cohesive.

A lot of scenes are actually "the least of our concern" if you think about it, but that would make any anime series bland and extremely silly to follow without scenes that put the pieces together. it isn't about "everything must have a purpose", but clearly "the given episode needs the full picture, needing thus TRANSITIONS".
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Old 2012-07-22, 08:28   Link #220
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But... They told us how they met like 10 seconds into the episode. So we already know.
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