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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 2012-07-24, 15:29   Link #321
supermegasonic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yui Is My Wife View Post
Aww, Sachi-chan (HUUUUGS) I wanna take her home with me!!
for some reason i kinda knew she was gonna be the focus of the episode, dont know why.
maybe its becuz she's a girl...
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Old 2012-07-24, 16:20   Link #322
OceanBlue
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Originally Posted by Kafriel View Post
Nah, sudden pickaxe death had a nice touch. Of course, he couldn't feel pain, but seeing him scream under a relentless assault of... santa's little helpers(?) was quite cruel indeed.
Now that I realize that he couldn't feel pain, thinking about him screaming in fear is almost more horrifying to me now.
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Old 2012-07-24, 16:29   Link #323
M.A.D
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Originally Posted by -Sho- View Post
Wow this ep.... bullshit... i don't see why so much enthusiasm about it...
Extremely overrated.
All in this episode were bad. Drama? seriously ? forced & stupid as hell....
Virtual MMO? damn , they must've made another fantasy anime instead.... or like Tower of Druaga....
Seems like there were filler huh , i'll give 1/2 episodes then but still , i'm afraid for the futur animation even more...
Nah, with the amount of extra material in the original novel and the anime's episode arrangement, there won't actually be any room for fillers at all.
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Old 2012-07-24, 16:52   Link #324
Endless Soul
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Originally Posted by Yui Is My Wife View Post
Aww, Sachi-chan (HUUUUGS) I wanna take her home with me!!
Too late, my friend. She has been de-rezzed.

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Old 2012-07-24, 17:13   Link #325
Trajan
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Let me first say that I'm an anime-only viewer. This series has potential, but I think it's been a mistake to lead off with these three episodes. First, they didn't do a great job at world-building. If I wasn't familiar with the mechanics of an MMORPG, I think a lot of what was going on would be confusing to me.

Second, their repetitive structure and disconnectedness from one another really didn't a good job of developing Kirito as a character. Really, all you get from these three episodes is that Kirito is a good guy, but a loner. Some might argue that you also see Kirito bear the pain of losing friends, but that applies to every character in SAO who remains alive, so its not really Kirito-specific. In fact, since he is a loner, he's probably lost fewer friends than most other SAO players.

As to the repetitive structure, the first three episodes have basically gone like this for Kirito:

In episode 1, Kirito befriends Klein, declines to join his guild, and walks off into the distance alone. In episode 2, Kirito befriends Asuna, belatedly tries to warn Diabel of the boss' threat, watches Diabel die, separates himself from the group by calling himself a beater, and walks off into the distance alone. In episode 3, Kirito befriends the Black Cats, belatedly warns them of the dungeon trap, watches them all die, fails in his attempt to resurrect Sachi, and he walks off into the distance alone.

In fact, episodes 2 and 3 essentially share the same plot structure!

The second problem is that these episodes have given us a bad sense of the passage of time and thus a poor sense of how Kirito has developed. By the end of episode 3, Kirito has been in-game for almost 14 months. It sure doesn't feel like that. Episode 1 took place over a day. Episode 2 starts almost a month later, and I think takes place over 2 days. Then Episode 3 starts 4 months later, Kirito is with the Black Cats for 2 months(?), then it skips ahead 6 months to his battle with Nicholas. This constant "speeding up" and "slowing down" of the passage of time makes it hard for the viewer to appreciate Kirito's development (and the strength of his bonds with those around him). As presented in the anime, Kirito spent more on-screen time talking to Diabel than he did to any of the Black Cats, save Sachi, so their deaths don't really have the impact on the viewer that they should, and the viewer doesn't really have a feel for how much Kirito's time and experiences in-game have affected him.


I really think this series would have been better off, like the LN, beginning in media res and sprinkling in these side stories throughout the narrative arc to better flesh out the reasons why Kirito is the way he is. At the very least, Episode 3 should have been moved later in the series, since it's basically a repeat of Episode 2. On the upside, if we are actually getting into the "main" story, these episodes might be soon forgotten.
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Old 2012-07-24, 17:22   Link #326
Clarste
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
On the upside, if we are actually getting into the "main" story, these episodes might be soon forgotten.
Don't hold your breath. There are a lot of these sidestories.
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Old 2012-07-24, 20:47   Link #327
InfiniteDistance
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I can understand the points a lot of people make. I still manage to enjoy the series so far however, because it seems to have the right vibe that reminds me of my World of Warcraft days (damn them). The event based world boss was a nice touch in that regard.

Sachi & co probably could have used a bit more screentime, but I think they still served their purpose decently (make Kirito suffer and emphasize the real danger of the game).
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Old 2012-07-24, 22:09   Link #328
M.A.D
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Let me first say that I'm an anime-only viewer. This series has potential, but I think it's been a mistake to lead off with these three episodes. First, they didn't do a great job at world-building. If I wasn't familiar with the mechanics of an MMORPG, I think a lot of what was going on would be confusing to me.

Second, their repetitive structure and disconnectedness from one another really didn't a good job of developing Kirito as a character. Really, all you get from these three episodes is that Kirito is a good guy, but a loner. Some might argue that you also see Kirito bear the pain of losing friends, but that applies to every character in SAO who remains alive, so its not really Kirito-specific. In fact, since he is a loner, he's probably lost fewer friends than most other SAO players.

As to the repetitive structure, the first three episodes have basically gone like this for Kirito:

In episode 1, Kirito befriends Klein, declines to join his guild, and walks off into the distance alone. In episode 2, Kirito befriends Asuna, belatedly tries to warn Diabel of the boss' threat, watches Diabel die, separates himself from the group by calling himself a beater, and walks off into the distance alone. In episode 3, Kirito befriends the Black Cats, belatedly warns them of the dungeon trap, watches them all die, fails in his attempt to resurrect Sachi, and he walks off into the distance alone.

In fact, episodes 2 and 3 essentially share the same plot structure!

The second problem is that these episodes have given us a bad sense of the passage of time and thus a poor sense of how Kirito has developed. By the end of episode 3, Kirito has been in-game for almost 14 months. It sure doesn't feel like that. Episode 1 took place over a day. Episode 2 starts almost a month later, and I think takes place over 2 days. Then Episode 3 starts 4 months later, Kirito is with the Black Cats for 2 months(?), then it skips ahead 6 months to his battle with Nicholas. This constant "speeding up" and "slowing down" of the passage of time makes it hard for the viewer to appreciate Kirito's development (and the strength of his bonds with those around him). As presented in the anime, Kirito spent more on-screen time talking to Diabel than he did to any of the Black Cats, save Sachi, so their deaths don't really have the impact on the viewer that they should, and the viewer doesn't really have a feel for how much Kirito's time and experiences in-game have affected him.


I really think this series would have been better off, like the LN, beginning in media res and sprinkling in these side stories throughout the narrative arc to better flesh out the reasons why Kirito is the way he is. At the very least, Episode 3 should have been moved later in the series, since it's basically a repeat of Episode 2. On the upside, if we are actually getting into the "main" story, these episodes might be soon forgotten.
Well, you're right about Kirito being a loner. That's what he is, essentially. If that's the general impression about him of anime-only viewers, then I guess the studio is doing it right. He'll change, eventually.

You're also right about Kirito having a poor sense of development, but I think this is inevitable. The actual characterization of Kirito in the novel's main storyline was set when he was already at floor 74th, and the past few chapters were adapted from later side-stories where the novel readers had already had a sense of what kind of character Kirito was. However, as the anime's episodes are arranged chronologically, he comes out as a sort of hollow character, for now.

I would have liked the anime to follow other side stories that were written by the author, covering from the first floor up to floor 9th, but since those materials were not officially published by Dengeki Bunko, it seemed that the anime studio doesn't want to make them, or maybe they can't since they didn't have the rights.
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Old 2012-07-24, 22:31   Link #329
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Second, their repetitive structure and disconnectedness from one another really didn't a good job of developing Kirito as a character. Really, all you get from these three episodes is that Kirito is a good guy, but a loner. Some might argue that you also see Kirito bear the pain of losing friends, but that applies to every character in SAO who remains alive, so its not really Kirito-specific. In fact, since he is a loner, he's probably lost fewer friends than most other SAO players.
I think the point isn't so much that Kirito is a loner, nor that he's lost friends in the game. If you piece together the three stories we've seen so far, I think they're really defining what it means to be a "Beater"; they're defining Kirito's rather unique perspective. First, we discover why Kirito become something of a loner in the first place, based on his experience as a beta tester. Second, we discover why Kirito took on the Beater label as a cross he must bear. And now, we discover why that "cross" caused him to be over-confident and lose friends who trusted him. I think all this information is pretty foundational to understanding how Kirito thinks, and I suspect it'll form a major part of the story going forward. And I actually think that developing it in this order is valuable precisely because there are people who aren't familiar with MMORPGs, and won't quite be able to understand the weight that Kirito feels that he must carry. But, by the same token, doing it in this order is a bit unusual because it delays the introduction of the main story in some ways. It's really only possible because this is a two-cour show, and they know they have the time they need to build on the foundation they're laying now.
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Old 2012-07-24, 23:30   Link #330
Trajan
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And now, we discover why that "cross" caused him to be over-confident and lose friends who trusted him. I think all this information is pretty foundational to understanding how Kirito thinks, and I suspect it'll form a major part of the story going forward.
The thing is, I didn't get the impression from episode 3 that Kirito was being overconfident; if anything, he seemed to be extra-cautious until the Black Cats died. He was spending his time leveling with people 20 levels below him. He didn't tell them how high he was, or that he was a beater, in order to prevent the Black Cat members from getting overconfident. He was initially against the dungeon raid; it was the other members who thought they could do it. It was only after the dungeon raid that he started taking risks in his leveling in order to be high enough to solo Nicholas and get the resurrection item.

Maybe the LN short story gives a different impression.
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Old 2012-07-25, 00:20   Link #331
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Spoiler for gibberish:
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Old 2012-07-25, 00:26   Link #332
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
The thing is, I didn't get the impression from episode 3 that Kirito was being overconfident; if anything, he seemed to be extra-cautious until the Black Cats died. He was spending his time leveling with people 20 levels below him. He didn't tell them how high he was, or that he was a beater, in order to prevent the Black Cat members from getting overconfident. He was initially against the dungeon raid; it was the other members who thought they could do it. It was only after the dungeon raid that he started taking risks in his leveling in order to be high enough to solo Nicholas and get the resurrection item.

Maybe the LN short story gives a different impression.
Not at all. It was the same.
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Old 2012-07-25, 01:46   Link #333
Starlightz
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Not at all. It was the same.
Knowing you are a LN reader, was that sarcasm?
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Old 2012-07-25, 04:09   Link #334
Dark Wing
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Originally Posted by -Sho- View Post
Wow this ep.... bullshit... i don't see why so much enthusiasm about it...
Extremely overrated.
All in this episode were bad. Drama? seriously ? forced & stupid as hell....
Virtual MMO? damn , they must've made another fantasy anime instead.... or like Tower of Druaga....
Seems like there were filler huh , i'll give 1/2 episodes then but still , i'm afraid for the futur animation even more...
You know after reading this post I think I'm going to take a break and stop coming to these SAO Episode Discussion Threads for a while. Every post I read seems to be coming off as nothing but rage with very little positive input and it's really hampering my personal enjoyment so I guess I'll peek in once and awhile but I won't be posting for a minute.
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Old 2012-07-25, 04:46   Link #335
M.A.D
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
The thing is, I didn't get the impression from episode 3 that Kirito was being overconfident; if anything, he seemed to be extra-cautious until the Black Cats died. He was spending his time leveling with people 20 levels below him. He didn't tell them how high he was, or that he was a beater, in order to prevent the Black Cat members from getting overconfident. He was initially against the dungeon raid; it was the other members who thought they could do it. It was only after the dungeon raid that he started taking risks in his leveling in order to be high enough to solo Nicholas and get the resurrection item.

Maybe the LN short story gives a different impression.
If you look carefully at it, even though he was against the dungeon raid, the only thing he ever actually did in protesting the other members from going was hesitating about it. Basically, he thinks that he didn't try hard enough to stop them, especially as a person with 20 levels of experience above them, and I think that's the key point. No matter how hard one prepares and how cautious one is, one mistake can lead to death in this game, but now Kirito is suffering from the guilt of the survivor (i.e being the only one alive through a terrible disaster) as well as the remorse for believing that his team member's death were all his fault. With that I believe he will either be even more lonely, avoiding other people, or will be much more protective towards his friends like Klein.

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Originally Posted by Dark Wing View Post
You know after reading this post I think I'm going to take a break and stop coming to these SAO Episode Discussion Threads for a while. Every post I read seems to be coming off as nothing but rage with very little positive input and it's really hampering my personal enjoyment so I guess I'll peek in once and awhile but I won't be posting for a minute.
Erm... are we viewing the same thread? Coz I seem to think that blind rage post was in the minority, and there's some sort of discussing going around, before, and after it, with the post itself being ignored.

But whatever, don't reply to me. We're going off topic
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Old 2012-07-25, 04:59   Link #336
zeniselv
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Originally Posted by Dark Wing View Post
You know after reading this post I think I'm going to take a break and stop coming to these SAO Episode Discussion Threads for a while. Every post I read seems to be coming off as nothing but rage with very little positive input and it's really hampering my personal enjoyment so I guess I'll peek in once and awhile but I won't be posting for a minute.
i think that post is flamebait, but i dont think youre wrong, people do nitpick a lot about this anime, people seem to want this series to go into fine details about everything, and that would turn down a lot of newcomers to the series, specially within the first episodes, a good example is TANMI wich a lot of people dropped for how much they dragged the first arc.
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Old 2012-07-25, 05:08   Link #337
Anh_Minh
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Knowing you are a LN reader, was that sarcasm?
No, why? Do you disagree?
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Old 2012-07-25, 10:42   Link #338
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
The thing is, I didn't get the impression from episode 3 that Kirito was being overconfident; if anything, he seemed to be extra-cautious until the Black Cats died. He was spending his time leveling with people 20 levels below him. He didn't tell them how high he was, or that he was a beater, in order to prevent the Black Cat members from getting overconfident. He was initially against the dungeon raid; it was the other members who thought they could do it. It was only after the dungeon raid that he started taking risks in his leveling in order to be high enough to solo Nicholas and get the resurrection item.
Perhaps "overconfident" was the wrong word. Maybe "careless" is better? He was initially against the raid, but wasn't so strongly against it that he stopped them. I think the fact that he was overleveled was his way of taking responsibility for them and looking out for them. His intentions in not telling them may have been what you imply: trying to manage the risk. It's the loss contrasted with the sense of responsibility he felt for them that was being emphasized here, which continues the Beater motif from Episode 2. Basically, across these episodes, we are getting a picture of the burden of responsibility Kirito placed upon himself.
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Old 2012-07-25, 13:31   Link #339
Metaneo
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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
The thing is, I didn't get the impression from episode 3 that Kirito was being overconfident; if anything, he seemed to be extra-cautious until the Black Cats died. He was spending his time leveling with people 20 levels below him. He didn't tell them how high he was, or that he was a beater, in order to prevent the Black Cat members from getting overconfident. He was initially against the dungeon raid; it was the other members who thought they could do it. It was only after the dungeon raid that he started taking risks in his leveling in order to be high enough to solo Nicholas and get the resurrection item.

Maybe the LN short story gives a different impression.
Oveconfidence doesnt always show its ugly head through recklessness and doing dumb things. Overconfidence can be shown by knowing/acknowledging something is a bad idea and still doing/going along with it anyway; since you're overconfident you think it will end well regardless.

What happened here was kind of a mix between overconfidence & fear of being outed as a Beater.

Kirito probably knew that trap existed in that dungeon (as he'd probably already been through there solo) and exactly what would happen if it were tripped, yet he said nothing. Granted he started to warn them once he saw what was about to happen but by then it was too late. (I'd also like to mention how very unGenre Savvy that guy was for opening a lone chest in an empty room.) Kirito probably thought he'd be able to handle any situation that occured. That was his overconfidence showing.

Had he decided to warn them beforehand about the traps in the dungeon it would haved raised a few red flags among the guild as to how he had knowledge about some place he'd never been to, thus outing him as the hated "Beater." Though being the loner that he is, he probably didnt think of a good excuse to cover-up that, such as he heard rumors and what not about the dungeon.
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Old 2012-07-25, 14:51   Link #340
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Kirito probably knew that trap existed in that dungeon (as he'd probably already been through there solo) and exactly what would happen if it were tripped, yet he said nothing.
I don't think he knew about that trap. When they ran into it, he acted surprised, like "there's a hidden door here?" But he had probably run into similar traps and guessed at what could result (as you say, it's a matter of being genre-savvy; this is the oldest trick in the book as far as that goes). By the time he realized it, it was too late. The way you phrased it makes it seem like he led them right into a trap, but I think that's a bit too much. Later on in the episode, though, he does say that he thinks he and his own arrogance (shown by him concealing his level) is what caused their deaths. So I agree with your overall point, even if I don't think Kirito actually knew about that particular trap (or at least didn't remember it until it was too late).
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