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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, 12:11   Link #261
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
This is where I really do blame Kirito. I feel that the guild elimination could have been avoided entirely if he had spoken up in the first place and told them that their idea of going to a level they weren't really prepared for was a very bad idea. Also, as a MMORPG player myself, you don't just rush into a mostly empty room with a treasure chest sitting in the middle of it. Well, now he'll have to live with that guilt.
It's not like he was sure.

Quote:
Sachi was really a wrong choice to be a tank. She clearly didn't want to do it, even with reassurances from the guild leader that she would be fine. Death flags all over the place for her.
Yeah. That bugged me. That leader should have just done it himself, if he was so sure about it.

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Originally Posted by noobita View Post
Wow...Kirito just solo'ed an event boss. How could this even possible?
He's overleveled compared to what the developers thought would be fighting that particular boss.

Quote:
Also, how the hell Klein and his friends manage to fend off other guild with 0 casualties?
Neither of them are murderers. They didn't want to kill each other.

Spoiler for Novel RNR, how they resolved it:
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:12   Link #262
Arya
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Well, I liked the episode, but I agree with the flaws many of you pointed out. I mean, me neither got attached to Kirito's first guild, but Sachi. I was sad for her, she was cute and everything, plus I'm a bit of a sucker for this kind of settings, cute girl needs help and comfort.
Anyways I'm a bit biased because the show remind me when I played MMO so I'm enjoying this feeling even if I didn't get attached to the characters, but Kirito. Even Kline is a no one for me so far. I'm still wondering why they are so attached to each other. But probably that's depend by the fact that I'm not getting how much time he really spent with the other players.
But all in all this episode worked for me, I mean, it was clear from the start that something would have gone wrong. Hiding his true level was the key, even if I understand his will to help and be useful Even if I don't understand how they even could have a party together with all that difference in levels. But, letting that aside, it was clear even that Kirito's words to comfort Sachi and his behavior were meant to give her confidence, sense of safety, and let her live her last few days/months better than hiding and being always afraid of dying. She knew/understood that, but not Kirito himself. I really liked when she decided to sleep in the same bed with him and he agreed it without any sort of misundestandings or whatever. That scene was the exemplification of that feeling.

Surely I'm waiting for the main story to start, which I hope would not be episodic as these last two episodes.
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:28   Link #263
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
I can understand why some people have issues with Episode 3. But frankly, I think this is being blown out of proportion. And really, if you have issues with how this is playing out in the anime, please don't ruin the experience for others who are taking SAO on board from only the anime perspective. It's their right to experience it that way. The least you could do is let them do so. There is legitimate reason for the hype. But the problem with hype is that it gives you unrealistic expectations. Pull yourself back from the hype and just take the title for what it is. And if you prefer the light novel, that's a legitimate stance and fine by me.
I'm not sure I'd agree with this. No offense, last time I checked, forums are places for discussion, not mindless praising something. If people have issue with the anime, whether they are LN readers, or anime-only viewers, they should be able to voice their opinions without worrying about "ruining the experience for others". I understand it's an adaption, which means there will be cuts here and there, but I hoped it would be able to maintain the impact of contents. I was a bit disappointed. The episode itself is okay, better than average I guess, but it's far from excellent or perfect - even anime viewers who have no idea of the original story can see it was rushed after all.

As I haven't been checking many anime these days, I don't even know there was a hype at first place. I only marathon the novel 2 days after watching ep 1. Still I felt disappointed, at least on this ep., so I don't think the hype affected people that much.
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:31   Link #264
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After reading the opinions in this thread, I'm reminded of one of the main reasons I often prefer to watch shows in small batches rather than week-to-week (and one of the reasons I'm often frustrated by episode threads). I think that if you look too deeply at any one piece of the puzzle, it's easy to spot flaws and to over-think how important this-or-that aspect was about that episode. But as the story comes together on the whole, I think we will see how this small piece of the puzzle fits into the overall narrative. And in that light, I think it's better to take a bit of a "big picture" view, even for those of us who haven't read the novels and don't yet see what the full picture is. If nothing else, it's easy to understand how this chapter of Kirito's game experience will be foundational to whatever comes next, so I think that's how we can take it if nothing else. To that end, whether this episode itself is rushed or whatever else is I guess good for academic discussion and critique, but I think the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.


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Originally Posted by Starlightz View Post
No offense, last time I checked, forums are places for discussion, not mindless praising something. If people have issue with the anime, whether they are LN readers, or anime-only viewers, they should be able to voice their opinions without worrying about "ruining the experience for others". I understand it's an adaption, which means there will be cuts here and there, but I hoped it would be able to maintain the impact of contents. I was a bit disappointed. The episode itself is okay, better than average I guess, but it's far from excellent or perfect - even anime viewers who have no idea of the original story can see it was rushed after all.
I think the intention of the comment wasn't to stop people from stating their honest opinions (no one wants "mindless praising"). But, if an episode thread gets too overwhelmed by novel readers nitpicking the specific parts of the novel that were altered, it can distract from discussion of the anime episode itself. To that end, I see that a thread has been created specifically for Episode-to-Novel comparisons, so the in-depth comparisons can be funnelled there. I don't think anyone wants people to mute their opinion, but focusing too strongly on this comparative aspect can also change the tone of the discussion. Comparison is good when it furthers the discussion and adds value to the conversation, but comparison itself isn't really the intent of this thread.
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:36   Link #265
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It was a slightly above average episode indeed. I don't recall praising it. I merely said that the amount of criticism in general seemed excessive. Frankly I'd rather a short part of the overall story which wasn't that important was compressed accordingly and that enough time is left to focus on the core material and do that right. This was a bridging episode that was quite accruately adapted - it wasn't meant to set the world on fire. It didn't in the novels. Asuna will be back with major plot points and a character cast that will make Kirito more to one's liking - people just need to be patient.
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:43   Link #266
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Originally Posted by Starlightz View Post
I'm not sure I'd agree with this. No offense, last time I checked, forums are places for discussion, not mindless praising something. If people have issue with the anime, whether they are LN readers, or anime-only viewers, they should be able to voice their opinions without worrying about "ruining the experience for others". I understand it's an adaption, which means there will be cuts here and there, but I hoped it would be able to maintain the impact of contents. I was a bit disappointed. The episode itself is okay, better than average I guess, but it's far from excellent or perfect - even anime viewers who have no idea of the original story can see it was rushed after all.
Indeed, the problem for me in this episode was not the content, but the execution. Ep2 also had similar issues, but I felt it was more magnified here mainly due to how important this was to Kirito's character. Sure it got the job done, but doesn't mean it couldn't have been handled a bit better.
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Old 2012-07-22, 12:51   Link #267
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Like Nighty said, the anime is simultaneously trying to execute "show, don't tell" while at the same time trying to adapt what can be adapted and cut out what can be cut.

...it doesn't seem to be perfect.

On the other hand this isn't a perfect world, and while it doesn't have the same tearjerker feel that novel RNR had, I think this was still a good episode, and the best effort from the studio.

Hearstrings tugged, even if I didn't cry. Then again, after one's gone through an emotional roller coaster IRL and been repeatedly exposed to Chihaya's song, the tear ducts are pretty much dried up.
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Old 2012-07-22, 14:00   Link #268
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People keep trying to pin the complaints on Light novel readers complaining about pieces missing. Anime Only viewers like me are greatly disappointed too.

I think the real problem is that the adaptation hasn't done enough adaptation to make this story fit in the new medium.
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Old 2012-07-22, 14:19   Link #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
People keep trying to pin the complaints on Light novel readers complaining about pieces missing. Anime Only viewers like me are greatly disappointed too.

I think the real problem is that the adaptation hasn't done enough adaptation to make this story fit in the new medium.
Agreed, this is also why I pointed before that "but it is just side stories!" argument has absolutely no relevancy regarding issues of the episode.
Really, it isn't the content that is lacking, but more like how it was delivered: adding transitions and filling the gap between the scenes don't mean you are changing the content but adapting it so the flow make it less jarring.

Adaptation is always a hard task as the anime should be self sufficient, which is often a problem when content must be cut, but also occurs when the adaptation stays "too truthful" to the original story, to the point the format is really not the best for it (series like Tales of the Abyss got that kind of syndrome).
It is all about what you want to show and -how- you do that. And in this specific episode, while they wanted to show Kirito's plight, that was the only concern in there, so the rest has much left to be desired.
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Old 2012-07-22, 14:40   Link #270
kyp275
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A humorous bit I saw elsewhere



Animators: “We’re animating SAO!”
Fans: “YES! Gonna be awesome!”

Animators: “We had to cut/change a few minor things from the source material because of time/budget constraints.”
Fans: “WTF! Noooo!! Stay true to the source material!”

Animators: “OK, we stayed true to the source material.”
Fans: “Eh. Not long enough.”
Animators: “But.. there isn’t enough material from the LN Short story.”
Fans: “Your supposed to fix it!”

Animators: “Ok, We added some more source material.”
Fans: “WTF is this filler crap!?”
Animators: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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Old 2012-07-22, 14:40   Link #271
Haak
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This was a really good episode but it would've been so much better if it were expanded more. Really one extra episode would've probably been enough to make it near perfect. Such a shame. It was still enjoyable nonetheless. The death flags were all over that girl and yet I still found her final message heartbreaking. If nothing else the anime is really doing a good job of showing how much it's breaking Kirito up inside.
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Old 2012-07-22, 14:48   Link #272
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Title of the next episode "The Black Swordsman". I hope its the main storyline and not the side story one.. there are only 2 more side stories to go though. A lot of the complaints for episodes 2 and 3 are stemming from them rushing the side stories into a single episode.

This episode was solid, but not great due to the rushing.. at least its not the abomination that is Campione! where they made an entire volume into 1 episode!!
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Old 2012-07-22, 14:58   Link #273
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post
Agreed, this is also why I pointed before that "but it is just side stories!" argument has absolutely no relevancy regarding issues of the episode.
Really, it isn't the content that is lacking, but more like how it was delivered: adding transitions and filling the gap between the scenes don't mean you are changing the content but adapting it so the flow make it less jarring.

Adaptation is always a hard task as the anime should be self sufficient, which is often a problem when content must be cut, but also occurs when the adaptation stays "too truthful" to the original story, to the point the format is really not the best for it (series like Tales of the Abyss got that kind of syndrome).
It is all about what you want to show and -how- you do that. And in this specific episode, while they wanted to show Kirito's plight, that was the only concern in there, so the rest has much left to be desired.
I'll also point out that in the original novel (vol 1), it wasn't even a proper flashback. It was just Kirito answering a question about his past in a few sentences. And it worked, we didn't need more to understand where he came from. All that to say that if you don't have a good delivery, you've got nothing.
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Old 2012-07-22, 15:09   Link #274
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Originally Posted by Tsukou View Post
Without having read the LN, I think between the end of episode 2 where Kirito chooses to walk the path of solitude, and episode 3, where he seems hesitant to join a group, and then in end him returning to being alone, I think it's easy to see how much it's been effecting him.

And again since I'm not an LN reader, I think instead of all the people complaining how they don't care whether or not so-and-so dies, given the amount of screen time, you should consider switching your point of view. The people who die aren't really who you're suppose to be thinking about, and caring about, you're suppose to be caring about how Kirito is dealing with what happens to the people around him. Like maybe it's different for the LN where there's probably more detail, but given the amount of time, I feel it stresses less about the actual characters who die, and focuses more about how this effects Kirito. I just think too many people are focusing on, well this person died, and I didn't really care if they died, so this sucks, and I don't think that's the intention. (Tho if the creators of the series really meant for it to be that way, that's another story, but it's still another interpretation of how these scenes can be used.)
You make a good point, but just because they aren't main characters does not mean that viewers can dismiss their deaths without a second's thought. The guild members just didn't strike a chord with me at all and I felt nothing regarding their deaths. I'm not arguing we should be solely focused on their deaths, but rather that their deaths aren't just solely used as a plot device.

And your argument brings up another point: the anime hasn't shown enough of Kirito for me to relate to him and thus make me care about how he is affected. Perhaps we just have different styles of watching anime, but I like to immerse myself into the protagonists and SAO hasn't done that so far. It's only been 3 episodes, I know, which is why I believe RNR should've been adapted later.
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Old 2012-07-22, 15:20   Link #275
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Originally Posted by Archmagination2002 View Post
Title of the next episode "The Black Swordsman". I hope its the main storyline and not the side story one.. there are only 2 more side stories to go though. A lot of the complaints for episodes 2 and 3 are stemming from them rushing the side stories into a single episode.

This episode was solid, but not great due to the rushing.. at least its not the abomination that is Campione! where they made an entire volume into 1 episode!!
The Black Swordsman is a side story(the first chapter of the 2nd volume of SAO)
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Old 2012-07-22, 15:23   Link #276
Kirito
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Putting in characters that are destined to die alongside a sympathetic character (ie Sachi), who bonded with the main character to an extent. Isn't that supposed to create development in Kirito's character so that it'll motivate him to put an end to everything. I mean, as a reader of the novels, it did seemed rushed, but to me it seemed that Kirito's short relationship with Sachi was generally the main focus of this episode, and we've seen development on his part when he ran off to get a "Phoenix Down" like item, and for the fact that he cried because of his inability of keeping his promise to protect her. The episode was great overall because I felt for Sachi and Kirito showed sides of him actually working with others and sympathizing with others, to an extent, but that's just me.
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Old 2012-07-22, 15:35   Link #277
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It really highlights the value of friendship, being alone in a huge world sucks...and seeing your friends die in front of you just makes it that much worse.
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Old 2012-07-22, 15:56   Link #278
OceanBlue
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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
Like Nighty said, the anime is simultaneously trying to execute "show, don't tell" while at the same time trying to adapt what can be adapted and cut out what can be cut.
That's probably the assessment I agree with the most. They're trying to show it in a way that makes you sympathize with and understand Kirito, but also not take up too much time on side stories. But as a consequence, the side stories suffer, and since that's all we've had so far, they're the only things that leave an impression on the viewer.

I'm still optimistic about it. There's so much potential and they're doing so many things well, or at least competently, that I really want to hope that they're pushing us through this so they can surprise us with the main content later. That being said, I might be able to hold more patience with them because I didn't dislike the episodes as much as some people have been saying they have .
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Old 2012-07-22, 16:04   Link #279
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Originally Posted by Kirito View Post
Putting in characters that are destined to die alongside a sympathetic character (ie Sachi), who bonded with the main character to an extent. Isn't that supposed to create development in Kirito's character so that it'll motivate him to put an end to everything. I mean, as a reader of the novels, it did seemed rushed, but to me it seemed that Kirito's short relationship with Sachi was generally the main focus of this episode, and we've seen development on his part when he ran off to get a "Phoenix Down" like item, and for the fact that he cried because of his inability of keeping his promise to protect her. The episode was great overall because I felt for Sachi and Kirito showed sides of him actually working with others and sympathizing with others, to an extent, but that's just me.
Exactly my thoughts about this Episode in my opinion it was a good adaptation and unlike Aria not rly rushed. Lets face pure numbers: Chapter 2+3 of the LN, that were adapted in the first episode, had together around 9500 words, RNR had 12500, pls someone tell me how u want to do that in 2 Episodes without adding a whole bunch of filler scenes. IMO the pacing was fast and also a bit rushed but not to the amount that the episode didnt do what it had to do. If you find it rushed u will most likely find it rushed in the LN as well. Ik that most LN-readers find that it wasnt as emotional as in the LN and i can see what u mean but thats more a problem of the medium as a problem of the anime itself. It's simply different if u read sth for 1 hour or if u see the same thing in a 20 min episode in the TV but that goes for all adaptions, even for things like Harry Potter
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Old 2012-07-22, 17:13   Link #280
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I'm going to stay generally positive here and presume that the purpose of this episode was to help define who Kirito is and what he's up against emotionally. The focus is entirely on him, and I suspect this incident will shape him in the coming episodes. In that, I thought it was a big success. The time skips made me "Uhhh..." but now I'm getting the impression that the bulk of the story is what takes place on the upper levels among those who make it that far. So in that context, it makes a bit more sense.

Having said that, and at the risk of sounding heartless, if (and only if) the tale of Whats-her-name and the Knights of I-can't-remember-and-now-there's-no-point-in-looking-it-up was supposed to be a tragic self-contained story with characters whose absence will be felt... well, maybe they shouldn't have died seven minutes after I found out they even existed.

Again, assuming the purpose is to give insight into how Kirito becomes what he's going to be for the rest of the series, I'm cool with them taking an episode to cover this material, which I understand was a side-story to begin with.
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