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View Poll Results: Critique of Episode 06
10 out of 10: Near Perfect... 21 15.22%
9 out of 10 : Excellent... 28 20.29%
8 out of 10 : Very Good... 42 30.43%
7 out of 10 : Good... 24 17.39%
6 out of 10 : Average... 13 9.42%
5 out of 10 : Below Average... 4 2.90%
4 out of 10 : Poor... 3 2.17%
3 out of 10 : Bad... 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad... 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Torturous... 3 2.17%
Voters: 138. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-08-15, 03:53   Link #221
Quadratic
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Surely you jest. The entire story has been tracking Kirito's character development over the course of his progress in the game. We've seen him progress from a self-exiled loner to his first lasting friend, having gone through many trials along the way. We also track the story of Asuna, who started the story with not a clue of how MMORPGs worked, working her way up to a key leadership position in the frontlines, and then how Kirito started to win over her duty-driven heart.

They may not have totally revolutionized themselves over these six episodes, but I think they and their perspectives have changed a fair bit since day one. They have been developing the key characters while introducing us to various system and game mechanics that form the basis of this game.

They have introduced dozens of systems and mechanics over these episodes that are all rather foundational to understanding the way the SAO game works. I should think that they will all continue to play a role in some capacity going forward, not to mention the friendship that was forged in this recent arc.

This is almost like some sort of nihilism: "it's all meaningless!" I have a bit more faith in the writers than you do, I guess.
Sadly, I do not jest. Show me the episode with Kirito as the exiled loner (hint, it isn't shown). We get a couple of lines of "he's a beater", then the next episode he's in a guild.
Trials? Struggle against the boss monster who holds an item that potentially ressurects people? Zero trouble against a bunch of PKers?

We didn't see Asuna work her way up. 1 ep she's a noob, next she's a leader. Great development.

The biggest issue this show has, is that it tells rather than shows.
I don't think it's all meaningless, but where's the journey (ie. the development)?
I'm all for world building (ie. learning how the world works, side stories etc), but good stories flesh out the main plot before putting in "filler".

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirX View Post
Can't blame you for thinking like that since the timeline of events isn't mentioned on the anime. But since this anime is based on the LN version, the anime can't show anything which isn't shown on the LN as the main source itself. Also yah, SS is Side Story xD
Well, the start of each episode shows the date, so we do know time has progress, but it's all just timeskip-timeskip-timeskip. Unless this show starts doing flashbacks, this show has missed out on a lot of proper development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
That's the plot premise, but I think the main story is whatever the anime shows us, and we can't really determine that until we see it play out. So far, at least, the anime hasn't suggested that the frontlines themselves are really the most important thing, but rather the impact on the characters of living in this "death game" world.
I was hoping the main story would follow the plot premise (and here's hoping at some point it will), and not be pointless like
Spoiler for Title of another show:

Also, this wait and see approach isn't really working for me at the moment. Most shows that try this approach tend to end up making absurd/convoluted ways to connect everything making you realise the author had obviously not thought things out.

Last edited by Quadratic; 2012-08-15 at 04:14.
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Old 2012-08-15, 04:11   Link #222
don_Durandal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
I consider the (main) story being about trying to win the game.
<...>
You've got it wrong then. The game (and winning it) is only the backdrop of the story. The story itself is about the characters and how they experience the relation between the virtual and the real world.
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Old 2012-08-15, 04:43   Link #223
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Originally Posted by don_Durandal View Post
You've got it wrong then. The game (and winning it) is only the backdrop of the story. The story itself is about the characters and how they experience the relation between the virtual and the real world.
Clearly I have. The first 2 episodes made me think 'ohh, I wonder how they're gonna get out of this', then it turns out this show is actually "Daily lives in a VR world". (Edit: actually, it'd be better to say "Selective points in time in a VR world" since there's nothing "daily" in this show at all)
Not saying that it's bad, but does feel like a turnaround compared to what it started with.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the series, we see the final boss appear at the end of one episode (cliff-hanger!), then the next episode we're just told they've beaten the boss and now back in the real world. The end.

Last edited by Quadratic; 2012-08-15 at 04:59.
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Old 2012-08-15, 05:05   Link #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Clearly I have. The first 2 episodes made me think 'ohh, I wonder how they're gonna get out of this', then it turns out this show is actually "Daily lives in a VR world". Not saying that it's bad, but does feel like a turnaround compared to what it started with.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the series, we see the final boss appear at the end of one episode (cliff-hanger!), then the next episode we're just told they've beaten the boss and now back in the real world. The end.
Clearly, you're not a SAO LN reader(correct me if I'm wrong), SAO isn't an anime type of action based or so like Naruto where you can cut people all you want. SAO is the type of story that "to be understand as a whole" I'm not suggesting you to read LN, but it's not like it's not quite obvious to that the first 2 episodes shown a life-death battle. I'm quite sure most people here know that these episodes are Side Stories from the LN, instead of treating this as SS that have quite alot of timeskip you should try to view it as important events of the story itself. If the boss of a level or Kirito grinding his level is not shown, it means it's not neccessary to the story. The main point of SAO itself is Kirito and his relationship with other characters. [mod edit: removed the "little hint"]
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-08-15 at 05:09. Reason: Please, no hints or spoilers
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Old 2012-08-15, 05:15   Link #225
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Trials? Struggle against the boss monster who holds an item that potentially ressurects people? Zero trouble against a bunch of PKers?
...Like the trial of being a solo player for a long time, finally reluctantly joining a guild, getting attached to some good friends (and one in particular), and then watching the guild die before your eyes partly because you misled them about your level. And *then* trying to find a way to revive your friend, only to discover it's pointless, and receiving a heart-wrenching farewell from beyond the grave.

There's more to plot and trial and struggle than physical action and combat.
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Old 2012-08-15, 05:32   Link #226
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Originally Posted by chaos_alfa View Post
Trying to clear all the floors to get out of the game and Asuna and Kirito developing relationship.
That sounds awfully repetitive if you want to fill 25 episodes with just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirX View Post
The main point of .hack// series is the action/fighting part eventhough there's a bunch of talks in it. That's why people were hoping SAO would be similar action/fighting based like .hack// series with a more less talk happening.
Awesome joke. I lol'd so hard.


... That was a joke, right?
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Old 2012-08-15, 05:33   Link #227
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Not to argue against anyone or anything, but personally I think if an anime makes a lot of its watchers confused about bits and pieces which is then replied "it's explained better in the source material", marks the signs of bad writing adaptation. Not that the source is bad, but the adaptation is. Is the original author working on this anime as well?

Granted it's still only 6 eps, but I somewhat share Quadratic's worry. People say it's not a story about trying to escape the game asap but actually living in it. If so, the exposition in the anime may have failed in that regard, as shown by some people who have the false impression about the show. People say there's character development, but the sheer scale of the time skip makes it's impact somewhat trivialized. Not that the drama is lacking, but the impact is.
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Old 2012-08-15, 06:16   Link #228
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Not to argue against anyone or anything, but personally I think if an anime makes a lot of its watchers confused about bits and pieces which is then replied "it's explained better in the source material", marks the signs of bad writing adaptation. Not that the source is bad, but the adaptation is. Is the original author working on this anime as well?

Granted it's still only 6 eps, but I somewhat share Quadratic's worry. People say it's not a story about trying to escape the game asap but actually living in it. If so, the exposition in the anime may have failed in that regard, as shown by some people who have the false impression about the show. People say there's character development, but the sheer scale of the time skip makes it's impact somewhat trivialized. Not that the drama is lacking, but the impact is.
Can't help it, the original source also have alot of timeskip.....in example
Spoiler:


The gap of the timeskip is clearer on the LN which looks like a piece-by-piece story telling. The anime on the other hand tried to put the pieces of timeskip into a straight line of story which resulted in what yous watching until this point(with a little omitting here and there of course). I think it's way better to see it like this rather than to see it like the LN format of story plot. Although I also admit that the anime omitting itself is quite bad as they omitted some basic info's of the game, and for that it's the script writter's fault not the author.
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Old 2012-08-15, 06:57   Link #229
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Originally Posted by NoirX View Post
Clearly, you're not a SAO LN reader(correct me if I'm wrong), SAO isn't an anime type of action based or so like Naruto where you can cut people all you want. SAO is the type of story that "to be understand as a whole" I'm not suggesting you to read LN, but it's not like it's not quite obvious to that the first 2 episodes shown a life-death battle. I'm quite sure most people here know that these episodes are Side Stories from the LN, instead of treating this as SS that have quite alot of timeskip you should try to view it as important events of the story itself. If the boss of a level or Kirito grinding his level is not shown, it means it's not neccessary to the story. The main point of SAO itself is Kirito and his relationship with other characters. [mod edit: removed the "little hint"]
Not a LN reader, and have no intention of reading reading it.
I can't speak for every other complainer, but I think this show already has sufficient amount of "action" from what we've been shown. That not what my complaint is about. It's about the disjointed progression which leads to a lack of empathy for the characters.
There's so much wasted potential, eg. how Kirito planned to stay ahead as a solo player whilst avoiding being PK'd for being a "beater", Asuna's rise to the top, the start of Kirito and Asuna's disagreement on how to progress through the game etc. It doesn't need to be about grinding and action (whoa, that sounded dirty).

Funny you say these are sidestories from the LN, because it clearly shows. Most shows/manga/novels shove the sidestories in the middle of the story after they've fully caught the attention of the audience, at a point where people want to know more about the world/have the world fleshed out/show flashback, not at the beginning where you can quickly lose the audience's interest.
Anyway, let's drop the discussion of the LN as I fear spoilers will pop up (which always happens when the LN word comes up).

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
...Like the trial of being a solo player for a long time, finally reluctantly joining a guild, getting attached to some good friends (and one in particular), and then watching the guild die before your eyes partly because you misled them about your level. And *then* trying to find a way to revive your friend, only to discover it's pointless, and receiving a heart-wrenching farewell from beyond the grave.

There's more to plot and trial and struggle than physical action and combat.
By long time, you mean time skipped. I just can't empathize with "he was soloing for a long time" which happened off-screen.
That episode was ok, but it could have been completely skipped and we wouldn't care, since there was no impact, subtle or otherwise, in any of the following episodes (yes, I know there's a wait and see argument coming, but so far it's importance in the story is non-existent).

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirX View Post
Can't help it, the original source also have alot of timeskip.....in example ...

The gap of the timeskip is clearer on the LN which looks like a piece-by-piece story telling. The anime on the other hand tried to put the pieces of timeskip into a straight line of story which resulted in what yous watching until this point(with a little omitting here and there of course). I think it's way better to see it like this rather than to see it like the LN format of story plot. Although I also admit that the anime omitting itself is quite bad as they omitted some basic info's of the game, and for that it's the script writter's fault not the author.
If anything, I'd say they should have followed they same format (ie. kept the side stories in the middle, rather than the beginning), since it's a tried and true formula.
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Old 2012-08-15, 07:25   Link #230
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Not a LN reader, and have no intention of reading reading it.
I can't speak for every other complainer, but I think this show already has sufficient amount of "action" from what we've been shown. That not what my complaint is about. It's about the disjointed progression which leads to a lack of empathy for the characters.
There's so much wasted potential, eg. how Kirito planned to stay ahead as a solo player whilst avoiding being PK'd for being a "beater", Asuna's rise to the top, the start of Kirito and Asuna's disagreement on how to progress through the game etc. It doesn't need to be about grinding and action (whoa, that sounded dirty).

Funny you say these are sidestories from the LN, because it clearly shows. Most shows/manga/novels shove the sidestories in the middle of the story after they've fully caught the attention of the audience, at a point where people want to know more about the world/have the world fleshed out/show flashback, not at the beginning where you can quickly lose the audience's interest.
Anyway, let's drop the discussion of the LN as I fear spoilers will pop up (which always happens when the LN word comes up).


By long time, you mean time skipped. I just can't empathize with "he was soloing for a long time" which happened off-screen.
That episode was ok, but it could have been completely skipped and we wouldn't care, since there was no impact, subtle or otherwise, in any of the following episodes (yes, I know there's a wait and see argument coming, but so far it's importance in the story is non-existent).


If anything, I'd say they should have followed they same format (ie. kept the side stories in the middle, rather than the beginning), since it's a tried and true formula.
These are side stories, yes they are
These SS should be in the middle, again yes they should
There's alot of potential wasted in exmaple like how Kirito stayed ahead as a beater and such thing you said, that's also true.

But in SAO
these supposed SS that you are watching until this point is shown at the end of the arc instead of in the beginning or in the middle of the story, that's how the author made it to be. The main point of SAO as i said before is to show us the relation Kirito had with other players instead of the game itself. Also the fact that these SS are shown in the beginning, don't you think on your own that "Maybe....these people will get a more important role on the later episodes or that they're also important for him"?
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Old 2012-08-15, 08:07   Link #231
Quadratic
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These are side stories, yes they are
These SS should be in the middle, again yes they should
There's alot of potential wasted in exmaple like how Kirito stayed ahead as a beater and such thing you said, that's also true.

But in SAO these supposed SS that you are watching until this point is shown at the end of the arc instead of in the beginning or in the middle of the story, that's how the author made it to be. The main point of SAO as i said before is to show us the relation Kirito had with other players instead of the game itself. Also the fact that these SS are shown in the beginning, don't you think on your own that "Maybe....these people will get a more important role on the later episodes or that they're also important for him"?
Not really (then again, I'm not a deep thinker ). There's no reason to think person X or Y will return (with an important role), other than returning as a potential guest later in the show (for fanservice?), because of how the sub-stories wrapped up quite neatly in such a way that they can be (and were) effectively ignored in the following sub-stories.
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Old 2012-08-15, 08:22   Link #232
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I would think they will return, considering asuna dissapeared for a while and then came back. Also, at the end of silica's episode she says that she'll tell pina everything that happened, meaning she held the meeting deeply, so I would think that she may reappear somewhere. (I actually know what happens so I'm saying what I would think if I just watched the Anime)
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Old 2012-08-15, 09:37   Link #233
Znail
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Sadly, I do not jest. Show me the episode with Kirito as the exiled loner (hint, it isn't shown). We get a couple of lines of "he's a beater", then the next episode he's in a guild.
Trials? Struggle against the boss monster who holds an item that potentially ressurects people? Zero trouble against a bunch of PKers?

We didn't see Asuna work her way up. 1 ep she's a noob, next she's a leader. Great development.

The biggest issue this show has, is that it tells rather than shows.
I don't think it's all meaningless, but where's the journey (ie. the development)?
I'm all for world building (ie. learning how the world works, side stories etc), but good stories flesh out the main plot before putting in "filler".

Edit:

Well, the start of each episode shows the date, so we do know time has progress, but it's all just timeskip-timeskip-timeskip. Unless this show starts doing flashbacks, this show has missed out on a lot of proper development.


I was hoping the main story would follow the plot premise (and here's hoping at some point it will), and not be pointless like
Spoiler for Title of another show:

Also, this wait and see approach isn't really working for me at the moment. Most shows that try this approach tend to end up making absurd/convoluted ways to connect everything making you realise the author had obviously not thought things out.
The main thing you are missing is that the main changes to the characters do happen during the episodes we are shown. Asune didn't change from a noob with a deathwish into a sub leader of a guild in between episodes. The key change happend in episode two where she was inspired by Kirito into trying to seriously clear the game. This is also true these two episodes where Asuna was once again tought a few life lessons about trying to enjoy life a bit and not only focus on the goal. If she seems different the next time we see her so is that because what happened this time, not because of some magic event in between.
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Old 2012-08-15, 09:56   Link #234
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Not to argue against anyone or anything, but personally I think if an anime makes a lot of its watchers confused about bits and pieces which is then replied "it's explained better in the source material", marks the signs of bad writing adaptation. Not that the source is bad, but the adaptation is. Is the original author working on this anime as well?
I don't think I'll attempt to contest this, but personally, as an anime watcher, I've never felt the need to read the source material just to understand what's going on. I feel like I understand what's going on just fine. Whether that makes me more observant, or less fretty about the details, I don't think about that too much.
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Old 2012-08-15, 11:10   Link #235
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
The biggest issue this show has, is that it tells rather than shows.
I don't think the show has this problem at all, in fact I'd argue that the issue is that it does the exact opposite.

Kirito's failure and guilt involving Sachi and the Black Cats is crucial in providing context as to why he had that detour involving Silica and the PK guild. When the guild leader who had his whole guild PKed came to the front lines to ask for justice, Kirito sympathized with him and took valuable time to help him when no one else would. This is quite a contrast to the Kirito who abandoned Klein back in the first episode.

Another example I can pull to illustrate my point is in episode five when we see Kirito kick back and enjoy the world of SAO for the first time since the death game began. I don't think it's a coincidence that this happened right after the side story with Silica, which was the most light-hearted episode so far.

The problem here is that there's a lack of exposition to link these side stories together. Kirito never mentions the Black Cats in episode four and there's is no mention of Silica in the recent arc to imply that a prime reason for why he's able to find peace is because his detour with Silica likely helped him to find closure with Sachi and the Black Cats.
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Old 2012-08-15, 11:11   Link #236
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Originally Posted by Quadratic View Post
Sadly, I do not jest. Show me the episode with Kirito as the exiled loner (hint, it isn't shown). We get a couple of lines of "he's a beater", then the next episode he's in a guild.
Trials? Struggle against the boss monster who holds an item that potentially ressurects people? Zero trouble against a bunch of PKers?

We didn't see Asuna work her way up. 1 ep she's a noob, next she's a leader. Great development.

The biggest issue this show has, is that it tells rather than shows.
I don't think it's all meaningless, but where's the journey (ie. the development)?
I'm all for world building (ie. learning how the world works, side stories etc), but good stories flesh out the main plot before putting in "filler".
It's shown in episode 1 and 2. The first thing he does when he gets into the game again is to run off on his own. He does stop to help Klein and offers to help him to the next town. When Klein mentions he's got a guild of friends waiting, Kirito starts to question his offer of help to Klein. "If it were just Klein... But two more.. or even one more..."

We see it in episode 2, when he's at the frontliners meeting regarding the first boss. He's on his own and essentially parties up with the only other loner he sees. At the end of the episode, he distances himself from the rest of the frontliners. This last bit especially is the very definition of self-exiled loner as relentlessflame put it. He chooses to distance himself from everyone.
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Old 2012-08-15, 11:17   Link #237
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Originally Posted by M1sFyr3 View Post
I would think they will return, considering asuna dissapeared for a while and then came back. Also, at the end of silica's episode she says that she'll tell pina everything that happened, meaning she held the meeting deeply, so I would think that she may reappear somewhere. (I actually know what happens so I'm saying what I would think if I just watched the Anime)
Eh, this not a very good example. Asuna is the lead female (as well as future love interest) and Silica is part of main cast like Klein and Egil. Of course they will be back.

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We see it in episode 2, when he's at the frontliners meeting regarding the first boss. He's on his own and essentially parties up with the only other loner he sees. At the end of the episode, he distances himself from the rest of the frontliners. This last bit especially is the very definition of self-exiled loner as relentlessflame put it. He chooses to distance himself from everyone.
Which is pretty funny because what happened in ep 3 is supposed to be the real reason why he's a loner, even though he's always been one to begin with.
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Old 2012-08-15, 11:17   Link #238
M1sFyr3
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Originally Posted by arkon View Post
It's shown in episode 1 and 2. The first thing he does when he gets into the game again is to run off on his own. He does stop to help Klein and offers to help him to the next town. When Klein mentions he's got a guild of friends waiting, Kirito starts to question his offer of help to Klein. "If it were just Klein... But two more.. or even one more..."

We see it in episode 2, when he's at the frontliners meeting regarding the first boss. He's on his own and essentially parties up with the only other loner he sees. At the end of the episode, he distances himself from the rest of the frontliners. This last bit especially is the very definition of self-exiled loner as relentlessflame put it. He chooses to distance himself from everyone.
He also mentions or hints at it many times throughout the other episodes. For one, episode 6 he says he is a loner and doesn't add people as friends usually to Asuna. Episode 5 in the meeting at the start I'm pretty sure someone mentioned he fought solo.
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Old 2012-08-15, 11:41   Link #239
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Originally Posted by M1sFyr3 View Post
He also mentions or hints at it many times throughout the other episodes. For one, episode 6 he says he is a loner and doesn't add people as friends usually to Asuna. Episode 5 in the meeting at the start I'm pretty sure someone mentioned he fought solo.
Yeah, there's little things sprinkled throughout the episodes. I just picked the two main ones that came to mind from the first two episodes.
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Old 2012-08-16, 01:33   Link #240
Quadratic
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I don't think the show has this problem at all, in fact I'd argue that the issue is that it does the exact opposite.

Kirito's failure and guilt involving Sachi and the Black Cats is crucial in providing context as to why he had that detour involving Silica and the PK guild. When the guild leader who had his whole guild PKed came to the front lines to ask for justice, Kirito sympathized with him and took valuable time to help him when no one else would. This is quite a contrast to the Kirito who abandoned Klein back in the first episode.
There's no contrast at all. In both cases Kirito made a calculated decision on what to do. He "abandoned" Klein because he knew he could only be able to help, at most, one person. He helps the guild leader because he knew he was capable of taking on a bunch of low level PKers. If anything, episode 4 trivialised the Sachi/Black Cats episode by using Silica as bait, because at the end of ep 3 he realises he's not fit to protect anyone (ie. in the viewer's eyes, he got over it quickly).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPopo View Post
The problem here is that there's a lack of exposition to link these side stories together. Kirito never mentions the Black Cats in episode four and there's is no mention of Silica in the recent arc to imply that a prime reason for why he's able to find peace is because his detour with Silica likely helped him to find closure with Sachi and the Black Cats.
Probably because it wasn't about closure with Sachi and the Black Cats. Following the dialogue with Silica, Kirito finds closure regarding his guilt with his real life sister/cousin; Sachi and co are a bunch of nobodies at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arkon View Post
It's shown in episode 1 and 2. The first thing he does when he gets into the game again is to run off on his own. He does stop to help Klein and offers to help him to the next town. When Klein mentions he's got a guild of friends waiting, Kirito starts to question his offer of help to Klein. "If it were just Klein... But two more.. or even one more..."

We see it in episode 2, when he's at the frontliners meeting regarding the first boss. He's on his own and essentially parties up with the only other loner he sees. At the end of the episode, he distances himself from the rest of the frontliners. This last bit especially is the very definition of self-exiled loner as relentlessflame put it. He chooses to distance himself from everyone.
He was technically "exiled" at the end of ep 2. Before that he's just a normal solo player.
After ep 2, we see no effect regarding his "exile"/"beater" status, since he had zero problems joining up with the Black Cats, Silica, and join in the meeting with the frontline!
The lack of show, don't tell is apparent:
"I'm a solo player" -> parties with Klein
"I'm a solo player" -> joins a guild
"I'm a solo player" -> parties with Silica
"I'm a solo player" -> parties with Asuna
(Trust me, he really is a solo player!)
His soloing is nearly all off-screen.
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