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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 04
10 out of 10: Near Perfect... 61 32.11%
9 out of 10: Excellent... 59 31.05%
8 out of 10: Very Good... 42 22.11%
7 out of 10: Good... 19 10.00%
6 out of 10: Average... 4 2.11%
5 out of 10: Below Average... 0 0%
4 out of 10: Poor... 4 2.11%
3 out of 10: Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10: Very Bad... 0 0%
1 out of 10: Torturous... 1 0.53%
Voters: 190. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-07-28, 23:31   Link #101
relentlessflame
 
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Even after watching the episode, it took me a moment to piece together what Kirito was doing on that low floor in the first place (and so how it is that he ran into Silica at the start). But it makes sense given that he was on the trail of that evil guild. Still, I guess we're left to wonder just how much of the whole thing was part of his plan; I tend to think that their initial encounter may have been chance while he was on the floor looking for the guild, and then the pieces came together conveniently after that.

That aside, I liked the way the pieces came together in the episode, and the conclusion was quite sweet ("Awwww....."). The way they transitioned from that line into the ED was really nice. We also got a fair bit of backstory of what's been going on elsewhere through this episode, so the story is continuing to build in that regard.

All in all, I'm really sold on this show -- I wouldn't necessarily mind if it continued to be episodic, but I'm sure that some larger arcs are coming too. Personally, I don't know the novels, but I think introducing the various background elements in this way is useful, particularly for people who aren't as well-versed in MMORPGs.
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:35   Link #102
lordblazer
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I am enjoying the pacing. It seems condensed, but I think this show is geared towards the manga readers to kinda get a taste of more the story than the actual world. I enjoy these episodic series. Anyway the pacing was great this time, and I've had moments in MMOs where I partner up with someone to help them out. I've also hunted down PKers before so I really enjoyed that aspect of the game. For the most part this series is promising. I know a lot of people here do complain, but man the character development is quite great. Kirito the Abbey (big brother) quite endearing.

I enjoyed the meeting, and the conversations etc. It reminded me of when I traveled to Singapore and a friend of mines I considered a younger sister showed me around the entire city. I kinda miss my days traveling, but soon enough I'll be in Morocco
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:37   Link #103
Somnus
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
It looks slightly different from the one he got in episode 2. Which is also different from the one he had in episode 3. He's worn three different black coats so far. This latest one has some studs on the shoulders. We can assume that the game has a whole ton of black coats that look slightly different for different levels.
I'm glad someone pointed this out. I just loaded up the 2nd ep to make sure I'm not about to eat my words, but the coats are indeed different. It seems he just took a liking to that particular look/style. Further proof is found in last episode, where he changes armor, but he's still wearing a long coat in the end.

In RPG environments it's not appearance that counts, it's the number behind it, as Kirito had said in this episode. Especially nowadays, where developers try to give players as much free reign as possible if they offer character customization.
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:43   Link #104
Iron Maw
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
It looks slightly different from the one he got in episode 2. Which is also different from the one he had in episode 3. He's worn three different black coats so far. This latest one has some studs on the shoulders. We can assume that the game has a whole ton of black coats that look slightly different for different levels.

And he may not want to wear plate mail if it doesn't fit his style. Most games have "light armor" that offers more agility.
That's true, though if there was more than one black coat, you think there would be a bit more people running around with one. I don't think Kirito just upgrading his old one (hence the minor additions) isn't farfetched ether. He obviously likes it.
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:55   Link #105
SaintessHeart
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Is it just me, or Scilica the most adorable character in this MMO?

*grabs and takes her home*
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:57   Link #106
Clarste
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Originally Posted by Iron Maw View Post
That's true, though if there was more than one black coat, you think there would be a bit more people running around with one. I don't think Kirito just upgrading his old one (hence the minor additions) isn't farfetched ether. He obviously likes it.
Oh, definitely, he's attached to the look. I can imagine him ignoring upgrades that aren't black coats. Speaking seriously though, he started wearing it as the "symbol" of being a beater, so it's no surprise that he'd be attached to it or that others would avoid it. "The Black Swordsman" isn't a very good nickname if his appearance isn't somewhat rare.

Speaking unseriously again, when I was playing TOR with my brother, his Imperial Agent found a black coat from the boss of the first dungeon and he wore it through the entire game by upgrading it. So... it really does happen.
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Old 2012-07-28, 23:58   Link #107
Wild Goose
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Regards his coats, he's obviously been having them made in the style of the first coat he'd gotten as the item drop.

Kirito's style is based around hitting hard and fast, and avoiding being hit - from what I've seen over the last 4 eps, he prioritises attack power and counterattacks over defense, which makes sense, as he isn't a tank player. notice the only time so far that he's been tanking attaks is against the Titan's Head players.

He's got enough protection to survive a couple of hits, dodge and use a healing item. Which is pretty much the same paradigm behind the N7 Shadow (take that, ninja bitches!).
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:00   Link #108
lordblazer
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Originally Posted by creb View Post
Yet another episode that continues to show the writer actually played MMOs more than casually at some point-a first, as far as I'm concerned, for the multitude of anime out there that pretend to be based on MMOs.

Kirito standing there made me lol at old memories of doing that outside the Ironforge gates letting the lowbies hit you endlessly.

Also, loot drama!

Kirito's statement about level-based systems isn't entirely true, however, unless there's no cap on levels. If there is, then eventually everyone is on the same playing field, but if there isn't (which, for all I know, perhaps SAO has no level cap), then his statement might bear some real weight, especially if that's the approach the players are going to take to 'beating the game' (overlevel it).
I agree games like The Secret World doesn't have a leveling system at all. It's all about skills. I wondered if the anime would be more interesting if it took that approach. But The Secret World is unique as its set in modern times and everything is always creepy. Anyway this episode was great because it reminded me of so many MMOs I have played in the past. I enjoy the references to the front lines without him actually being on the front lines. I dunno. I hope to see an episode of the lead group
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:02   Link #109
Clarste
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Originally Posted by lordblazer View Post
I agree games like The Secret World doesn't have a leveling system at all. It's all about skills. I wondered if the anime would be more interesting if it took that approach. But The Secret World is unique as its set in modern times and everything is always creepy. Anyway this episode was great because it reminded me of so many MMOs I have played in the past. I enjoy the references to the front lines without him actually being on the front lines. I dunno. I hope to see an episode of the lead group
Presumably the main story, if we ever get there, will be about the lead group. Given how much the timeline is jumping around, I assume the series will end with them beating the game.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:14   Link #110
SilverSyko
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Originally Posted by thundrakkon View Post
It might be pointless in a normal MMORPG; however, this one links up with your neural net. Hence, it could serve a purpose to feel more comfortable when you sleep. As shown in the previous episode, sleep is necessary, which, in a normal MMORPG is not always required.
I still think it's weird an MMO would even have the option in the first place to remove all your characters clothing sans their undergarments.

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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Is it just me, or Scilica the most adorable character in this MMO?

*grabs and takes her home*
^ After a comment like this. I feel my belief of Silica being nothing more than a otaku-bait character has been more or less justified.

How it pains me to see female characters who get a free pass in their existence for merely being "cute" or "sexy".
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:14   Link #111
novalysis
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I would agree with the general consensus that this is one of the most best paced episodes so far, a pacing that matches that of episode 1's general smooth introduction to SAO.

In part, it's not that surprising, since the Black Swordsman is one of the most linear stories of all the side-stories, in comparison to Aria and arguably Red Nose Reindeer. Indeed, had they messed this episode up, I would have been very worried about the prospects of this adaptation, over all.

In addition, I would like to encourage anime viewers to look at this episode as a healing episode for Kirito. After that entire business with Sachi, the encounter with Silica helped pushed Kirito out of his Post-Sachi depression. Just compare the beginning of this episode, where there are still traces of Kirito's BSOD, to Kirito's tone and mannerisms at the end of the episode. It is clear that this is meant to be a healing episode, all in all.

I don't see Silica as Otaku bait, but part of Kirito's Post-Sachi healing process. Perhaps it's difficult to appreciate the fact because of the nature of Red Nose Reindeer, but if one would see Silica as a kind of balm over Kirito's psychological scars, I think this episode might be better appreciated in that manner.

In any case, Silica being Otaku bait has been lampshaded in the anime itself - reduced and objectified to a mascot indeed, though it's quite unrealistic for the anime to go deeper into that other than to hint that Silica is not exactly most happy about that state of affairs.

Spoiler for Significance of you Look like my sister - Comparisons with skipped Pre-Black Swordsman Side stories:


I am also encouraged about the title of the next episode. Hopefully, that story will receive two, instead of one episode, because it IS, if memory serves, even longer than Aria.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:39   Link #112
zeniselv
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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
Regards his coats, he's obviously been having them made in the style of the first coat he'd gotten as the item drop.

Kirito's style is based around hitting hard and fast, and avoiding being hit - from what I've seen over the last 4 eps, he prioritises attack power and counterattacks over defense, which makes sense, as he isn't a tank player. notice the only time so far that he's been tanking attaks is against the Titan's Head players.

He's got enough protection to survive a couple of hits, dodge and use a healing item. Which is pretty much the same paradigm behind the N7 Shadow (take that, ninja bitches!).
thats not what this episode showed at all, he pretty much tanked the whole guild, while his hp recovery was very fast.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:40   Link #113
thundrakkon
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Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
I still think it's weird an MMO would even have the option in the first place to remove all your characters clothing sans their undergarments.
Strange. I'm not up to date on the current MMOs, since I stopped playing a long time ago, but most character basic designs start off with underwear from the MMOs I played back then. Boy, the crazy things people did with just their underwear on.

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Originally Posted by novalysis View Post
Spoiler for Significance of you Look like my sister - Comparisons with skipped Pre-Black Swordsman Side stories:
I agree. I don't really see a high significance in it besides a superficial and normal one.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:41   Link #114
Clarste
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I still think it's weird an MMO would even have the option in the first place to remove all your characters clothing sans their undergarments.
That's pretty normal isn't it? For games where your equipment changes your appearance, unequipping everything will leave you in your underwear. Obviously, the underwear itself isn't part of your equipment though, so that's as naked as you can get. In World of Warcraft, creating a new female character and taking off all their armor is practically a meme.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:48   Link #115
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Originally Posted by zeniselv View Post
thats not what this episode showed at all, he pretty much tanked the whole guild, while his hp recovery was very fast.
Which only worked because the level disparity between the Titan's Guild players and him was so vast that their combined DPS could not beat his regen. It happens all the time in RPG's where if you have a non-tank character at a high enough level, you can go back to beating lower level mobs without taking a scratch no matter how much they attack you. It's like trying to defeat that lvl 60 boss with lvl 5 characters.

I don't think the same would happen if Kirito was fighting players or monsters of similar level to him, which would have attack values sufficient to overwhelm his regen, and thus him tanking said attacks wouldn't work out in the front clearing lines.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:52   Link #116
Saturn Beaver
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@novalysis:Well, if it is longer, than I hope that it will fit nicely in 2 eps. I remember that in the ep 2 discussion (or was it the last one?) that aria might not have enough things in it to have 2 episodes for it without some fillers, so they shouldn't have any problems here.

I also agree that this ep serves well as a 'healing' episode, both for kirito and the viewers (the only episode so far without anyone dying - in fact, it's the opposite. It does show a good turning point that he managed to keep his party safe this time, and that Silica managed to resurrect the one closest to her...yeah, I agree that Kirito comes off better after this ep, not sure ot's enough to completely return him to normal though.
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Old 2012-07-29, 00:52   Link #117
Clarste
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He doesn't use a shield (and it doesn't look like heavy armor either) so it's pretty obvious he's not a tank. He seems to be going for the "swordmaster" style, like the class from Fire Emblem. Fast and strong at the same time, but he has to rely on dodging to survive against even opponents.
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Old 2012-07-29, 01:05   Link #118
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Originally Posted by Yusei Fudo View Post
Spoiler for ep4:
^ This. I felt the exact same way when that happened. xD
Good episode in my opinion. Although it seems like these episodes go by so quickly o.o
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Old 2012-07-29, 01:16   Link #119
Wild Goose
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Originally Posted by SilverSyko View Post
I still think it's weird an MMO would even have the option in the first place to remove all your characters clothing sans their undergarments.
most modern RPGs with clothing that you can equip and swap will also allow you to strip to your underwear - take Skyrim as a recent example. (Of course, the obligatory mods take this one step further...)

Quote:
^ After a comment like this. I feel my belief of Silica being nothing more than a otaku-bait character has been more or less justified.

How it pains me to see female characters who get a free pass in their existence for merely being "cute" or "sexy".
In all fairness, Silica isn't entirely happy being an otaku bait mascot herself.


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Originally Posted by zeniselv View Post
thats not what this episode showed at all, he pretty much tanked the whole guild, while his hp recovery was very fast.
And note how he was fighting in episodes 2 and 3. Avoiding hits, using Sword Skills to counter skills he can't evade, and hitting hard.

Like LGear said, he can afford to tank them bevause his level is so high. Many RPGs will have situations where your level is so high, nothing in the gameworld can hurt you. Yes, even in Skyrim, with enemies that scale according to level. (I have finally made a bow that can one shot dragons.)
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Old 2012-07-29, 01:27   Link #120
Utsuro no Hako
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
He doesn't use a shield (and it doesn't look like heavy armor either) so it's pretty obvious he's not a tank. He seems to be going for the "swordmaster" style, like the class from Fire Emblem. Fast and strong at the same time, but he has to rely on dodging to survive against even opponents.
If SAO had classes, he'd most likely be a ranger. His behavior in this episode is identical to every ranger who's ever appeared in a fantasy novel since Aragorn first showed up at the Prancing Pony.

If anyone's curious about what tanks are like in SAO, rewatch the fight from ep.2 and pay attention to Egil and his party.
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