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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 2012-08-13, 05:06   Link #141
Clarste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maw View Post
This isn't Bakemonogatari or Baccano/Durarara where the entire series is all about character interaction and full of clever writing.
It is, however, SAO. Which is all about how normal people live their lives trapped in a world governed by game mechanics. This is the entire show so far, so I'm not sure why people are expecting something different.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:12   Link #142
Adigard
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Originally Posted by jzmagic View Post
He might not have been the one who actually committed the murder, but he was still the orchestrator behind it, which is just as bad. He got off way too easy, it looked to me like they were going to give him a slap on the wrist and let him do the generic "atone for my sins" garbage. He should have been killed off somehow, either by a random mob spawn or a rogue PKer (not the ones he hired).
Well, we know from previous episodes there is a jail of some sort. Who's to say they're just going to part ways and let him walk off?

Last edited by Adigard; 2012-08-13 at 06:58.
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Old 2012-08-13, 07:24   Link #143
ookamigirl
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So the mysterious killer story continues..
PK in a safe zone is pretty impossible.
They sure found a loophole in the system.
Revenge can be a really good motivator.
Seems like it was all just a really good show..
Well, at least it was an imaginative way of flushing out the culprit.
Their little play just got them into more serious trouble.
They were lucky Kirito had their backs after what they pulled.
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Old 2012-08-13, 07:34   Link #144
Iron Maw
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I don't think the "plot is stalled" at all, just that a different story (or a different type of story) is being told than the one you're waiting for.

The primary plot of these last two episodes is the story of how Kirito and Asuna went from being colleagues at odds to good friends. That's how the arc started, and that's how the arc ended, and that was the single common thread throughout the two episodes. I think that this particular plot was very clearly portrayed in these two episodes, and appears to me to be very central to the overall story of the anime (and not just "world building").

The secondary plot of these last two episodes was the story of the Golden Apple guild. Now, the primary purpose of this secondary plot is two fold: 1) as a catalyst for the primary plot, 2) to provide more explanations of game mechanics and systems that we don't know about yet. I would agree with (I think) the majority that the actual plot points here are handled a bit more clumsily and less effectively. As a mystery, I'd have to agree that it wasn't terribly compelling. Nevertheless, I do think it accomplished the two purposes I described above reasonably well.
I can certainly agree with you about the first point in relation to last week and this, though I hesitate to call Kirito and Asuna's relationship a "core" part of the show yet, considering she's only in half of the first six episodes. Kirito hadn't even spared her a thought since the 2nd episode.

Your second point is where my main gripes lie. If stories surrounding Kirito's wandering were more interesting or presented better outside MMO stuff I wouldn't be so annoyed about the structure of series as whole so far. The lack cohesion between events and the massive time jumps just worsen the problem. If the point was develop the leading characters feelings of one another (SAO's world in general) it could have been done better putting it in throwaway plot. Why couldn't ep 5 or 6 focus on a situation involving fairly established cast members like Egil or Klein and intersperse the Kirito and Asuna's interactions there? That is partly why secondary characters like them are created begin with and that would certainly provide some much needed fleshing out for the characters and hints about the greater plot of SAO. Instead we getting "random person(s) x + problem of the week" with Kirito the White Knight, riveting. =/

I mean was I the only one really baffled on why Kirito and Egil were so "buddy buddy" when the last time they met Egil merely only regarded him with respect?

Quote:
Which brings us to the overall plot of the story, and the big unknown question for anime-only viewers (including myself). What is the "primary plot" of SAO? (Note: Novel readers: do not answer this question!!!)

a) The story of Kirito and Asuna's friendship

b) The story of how everyone freed themselves from the Game

Of course that's sort of an unfair question, because I think the answer is "both". But how you see this particular arc's contribution to the story really depends strongly on which of these two plot threads are most important/central to you. This arc contributes strongly to the first, but is only foundational ("world building") to the second.
Well as you said, both are important but I don't feel as if the early episodes focused on either of these two points until recently. Point A is only really just staring and Point B is barely ever talked about outside the "Clearers".

Quote:
Speaking for myself personally, I like both major plot threads, so I was okay that the second was delayed temporarily as they built strongly on the first. Since it is a 25-episode series, they do have some time yet.
Well the anime has at least started laying the groundwork there, but my point is you can do both, from what I hear from LN readers prior to the airing the first Volume did exactly that and the current side-stories were just fleshing things out a bit. I just hope the main content whenever it starts is executed well, but the production staff hasn't given me much hope there.

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Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
What does bug me a bit is Griselda appearing at the end. Best explanation I can think of is that it's an echo of her ghost, somehow, a partial... copy? Manifestation? Something? that's captured by the game and appearing due to a bug. Or something. Or her ghost is now residing in the machine, like what the Major and Kuze did in 2nd Gig. *shrugs*
SAO is clearly running on some mystical energies, that or Kayaba is Mage which explain some things. Honestly it was just an poor attempt at closure without any thought to it's setting or known rules.

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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
It is, however, SAO. Which is all about how normal people live their lives trapped in a world governed by game mechanics. This is the entire show so far, so I'm not sure why people are expecting something different.
Yes that is basic premise of the show, but it also presented itself as an action adventure romance blockbuster story with colorful characters hype by LN readers, the trailers and the first episode. So far there really hasn't been much action, or adventure and there is little hint of romance. The cast is fairly bland mainly due to how everyone is sidelined save for Kirito and people nobody cares about. It's not bad, but I don't understand were all the insane hype is coming from.

Last edited by Iron Maw; 2012-08-13 at 08:44.
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Old 2012-08-13, 09:50   Link #145
~Yami~
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wow... so there's no actually people died in this arc
I'm quite surprised with Kirito's deduction ability...

well, the highlight of this episode is how Asuna and Kirito shared their own opinion about marriage.... can't wait for future episode regarding this couple
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Old 2012-08-13, 10:09   Link #146
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I suppose the characters are not very interesting. I still find the show interesting despite that. The mains are:

Kirito: Marty Stu. He seems to be able to do anything as the plot demands. In this episode it was his deduction skills (battle skills in previous episodes).
Asuna: Shana clone. But I find Shana clones interesting. Probably many people agree with me.

I don't find any of the side characters terribly interesting.
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Old 2012-08-13, 11:44   Link #147
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Originally Posted by jcdietz03 View Post
I suppose the characters are not very interesting. I still find the show interesting despite that. The mains are:

Kirito: Marty Stu. He seems to be able to do anything as the plot demands. In this episode it was his deduction skills (battle skills in previous episodes).
this is old arguement in the LN thread, don't want to go throughout that again

Quote:
Asuna: Shana clone. But I find Shana clones interesting. Probably many people agree with me.
i don't many people people would agree with you regarding Asuna. other then both characters being tsundere and a sword user, there is nothing familiar between the 2. Asuna is on the mild end of the Tsun and has breast which Shana lacks.
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Old 2012-08-13, 12:11   Link #148
Wild Goose
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Originally Posted by jcdietz03 View Post
I suppose the characters are not very interesting. I still find the show interesting despite that. The mains are:

Kirito: Marty Stu. He seems to be able to do anything as the plot demands. In this episode it was his deduction skills (battle skills in previous episodes).
I'd suggest looking through the Character Discussion thread, where this particular issue has been brought up, and addressed.

Quote:
Asuna: Shana clone. But I find Shana clones interesting. Probably many people agree with me.

I don't find any of the side characters terribly interesting.
*shrug* The average person in real life isn't terribly interesting either, y'know.

As for being a tsundere, Asuna I find tends to be a tsundere due to her environment/role as KoB's 2IC, but generally isn't as overly abusive as the current definition of tsundere. In fact, she's a reflection of the turn of the millennium understanding of a tsundere, and is a lot more mature than say Houki from Infinite Stratos, or Kaname from Full Metal Panic!.
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Old 2012-08-13, 13:33   Link #149
Iron Maw
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
i don't many people people would agree with you regarding Asuna. other then both characters being tsundere and a sword user, there is nothing familiar between the 2. Asuna is on the mild end of the Tsun and has breast which Shana lacks.
Had this been the same Asuna from ep 2 I would be more inclined to agree with you, but she pretty much did 180 here. Her "Tsundere" was definitely strong enough to give Shana a run for her money. Honestly, I can't say I really like that much, I preferred her even tempered, but fairly mysterious nature from earlier.

Speaking of which, why was Kirito so timid around her anyway?
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Old 2012-08-13, 13:35   Link #150
Xellos-_^
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Had this been the same Asuna from ep 2 I would be more inclined to agree you, but she pretty much did 180 here. Her "Tsundere" was definitely strong enough to give Shana a run for her money. Honestly, I can't say I really like that much, I preferred her even tempered, but fairly mysterious nature from earlier.

Speaking of which, why was Kirito so timid around her anyway?
being a tsundere doesn't make a shana clone. Tsunderes (Akane, Asuka) predated the creation of the word Tsundere. if you guys want to talk clones, you can easily say Shana is a clone of Akane.
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Old 2012-08-13, 13:42   Link #151
Iron Maw
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Well yeah, I don't think she's a clone either, but she definitely fits within the archetype, for now at least.
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:00   Link #152
Utsuro no Hako
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Had this been the same Asuna from ep 2 I would be more inclined to agree with you, but she pretty much did 180 here. Her "Tsundere" was definitely strong enough to give Shana a run for her money. Honestly, I can't say I really like that much, I preferred her even tempered, but fairly mysterious nature from earlier.
To me "tsundere" implies a degree of unreasonableness for the tsun part. Asuna's reasons for getting mad at Kirito are legitimate -- rejecting a plan because it puts NPCs in danger, taking a day off to rest under a tree, and rushing after the "assassin" with no regard for his safety. That she likes him as a person doesn't change the fact that as a military leader she thinks he needs to shape up, join a guild and learn some discipline. This is totally different from Shana's, "Shut up, you don't exist, how dare you express an opinion of your own!"
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:16   Link #153
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
To me "tsundere" implies a degree of unreasonableness for the tsun part. Asuna's reasons for getting mad at Kirito are legitimate -- rejecting a plan because it puts NPCs in danger, taking a day off to rest under a tree, and rushing after the "assassin" with no regard for his safety. That she likes him as a person doesn't change the fact that as a military leader she thinks he needs to shape up, join a guild and learn some discipline. This is totally different from Shana's, "Shut up, you don't exist, how dare you express an opinion of your own!"
I agree; this is probably the mildest form of tsundere that exists. Half of it is because Kirito is doing things that annoy her (usually for reasonable reasons), and the other half is bluster to cover up her feelings/embarrassment. It's just the push-and-pull of being attracted to someone with a different personality than yourself; there are times they'll annoy you, but at the same time their differences are what attracts you.

Honestly it reminded me more of the anime stereotype of the strict housewife and the easy-going husband who's always getting into trouble. If you take that to an extreme, I suppose you have something like Zero no Tsukaima, but this is much, much milder.
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:19   Link #154
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I like the way they resolved the potential contradictions, but I agree that Grimlock's motive was explained like a throwaway and he broke down way too fast. I didn't feel that the motive was unconvincing, but rather that it was explained with the bare minimum of effort, by a criminal who confessed after a minimal amount of coercion. Asuna's line didn't seem like it could have provoked the criminal to think, "until this moment, I never knew myself."

But eh, I'm fine with the episode more or less. It was not too overambitious, we learned a lot about the mechanics through it, delivered with appropriate relevance and subtlety, and it had plenty of Kirito x Asuna for the shippers. She finally felt like a heroine, yay.

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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
To me "tsundere" implies a degree of unreasonableness for the tsun part. Asuna's reasons for getting mad at Kirito are legitimate -- rejecting a plan because it puts NPCs in danger, taking a day off to rest under a tree, and rushing after the "assassin" with no regard for his safety. That she likes him as a person doesn't change the fact that as a military leader she thinks he needs to shape up, join a guild and learn some discipline. This is totally different from Shana's, "Shut up, you don't exist, how dare you express an opinion of your own!"
Shana isn't that bad. You sure you aren't thinking about a certain Maidmoiselle de la Valliere?

I agree Asuna didn't really seem like she was being tsundere when she was mad at him for running after the assassin. It was more like an "Are you trying to die on me!?" reaction.
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:54   Link #155
Adigard
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Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
To me "tsundere" implies a degree of unreasonableness for the tsun part. Asuna's reasons for getting mad at Kirito are legitimate -- rejecting a plan because it puts NPCs in danger, taking a day off to rest under a tree, and rushing after the "assassin" with no regard for his safety. That she likes him as a person doesn't change the fact that as a military leader she thinks he needs to shape up, join a guild and learn some discipline. This is totally different from Shana's, "Shut up, you don't exist, how dare you express an opinion of your own!"
I agree. I really have never understood people who liken Asuna to the anime sterotypical tsundere. She's tsun in the "damn it, I know you're a solo'er and do your own thing just fine, but we could get out of here so much faster if you just joined a guild like everyone else and worked at clearing instead of saving damsels on lower floors".
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:57   Link #156
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To be fair, she also threatens him with a fork when he asks if she's ever been married.
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Old 2012-08-13, 15:02   Link #157
Anh_Minh
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Which isn't as threatening as it could be in a world without pain and in a no-damage zone.
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Old 2012-08-13, 15:24   Link #158
Adigard
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Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
To be fair, she also threatens him with a fork when he asks if she's ever been married.
He did ask her why she felt marriage was plastic... so I think she probably had the right notion.

I've been threatened with a fork for trying to nab food off female friend's plates, so I doubt it's quite as massive of a threat as people think.
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Old 2012-08-13, 15:26   Link #159
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Originally Posted by HandofFate View Post
well that was kind of a boring conclusion....
the entire reason for the killing of the wife/ring plot was bland as hell.

Best part of the whole arc, was just the regular Kirito x Asuna alone time, the actual mystery was pointless.
True, the "mystery" was pathetic, with a very lame conclusion. Only Asuna's presence saved the episode from sucking too much.
The Asuka-Kirito shipping was handled quite sledgehammer-like, though.

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Originally Posted by HandofFate View Post
The end with the ghost actually appearing was confusing though, especially given the game design of what we know so far....why would she appear there like that...makes no sense from a game perspective.
Yes, that didn't make any sense at all. Why would the game have her ghost randomly appear there? As far as we know, ghosts of killed players don't exist in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Awrya View Post
Well, it was okay, it felt a bit sudden how Kirito found out about item durability and considered the possibility of a murder guild involved.
That was much too sudden indeed. "Wait, if sandwiches expire, that means armour expires as well, which means that they only faked their death!" lolwut?

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Originally Posted by Awrya View Post
It looked a bit too friendly how Schmidt and Caynz carried Grimlock, especially how he is responsible for their guild leader's death. At least drag him
Seemed very unlikely indeed. Grimlock had their leader murdered, and they walk away in a friendly embrace like best friends, with "Everything's fine" music? Seriously? Not to mention he tried to have the other two killed as well by sending Laughing Coffin after them.
That's one of the things that were quite poorly handled.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
In principle I agree, and I do fully acknowledge that in terms of plot and world-building, I may not fully understand the context of how this episode fits. However, I am prepared to say:
  • Grimlock killing his wife because she stopped being a Yamato Nadeshiko was lame.
  • Grimlock breaking down like an imploded building when Asuna points out the obvious was even lamer.
Grimlock's reason was pitiful indeed. It may be that such things happen in RL, but here it's just a sign of poor writing and shows that the author lacked the imagination to think of a good reason.
His sudden breakdown was even more stupid. He ha his wife murdered in cold blood for a stupid reason and tried to have the other two murdered as well, by sending that PK guild after them. Yet as soon as Asuna played Captain Obvious, he collapsed like a card house. Yeah right.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
As an anime-only viewer, my two major problems with these first 6 episodes is that (1) they don't seem to have any relevance to the major events going on in Aincrad, namely the clearing of the floors and (2) each "story" almost exists independently from the others, serving no real purpose except for filler.

My first issue is self-explanatory, but I'll expand on this second.

In this episode, in a somewhat off-hand matter, Kirito explains he is a solo player because he dislikes the drama surrounding loot drops. No mention of the fact that he might also solo because he still feels guilty over what happened to Sachi and the Black Cats, or at least a pained expression on Kirito's face? It's almost as if the Kirito of episode 6 exists in a different universe from the Kirito of episode 3.
True, the individual stories appear poorly connected, if at all. One should expect that the Black Cat story had an impact on Kirito, but now we get to know that Kirino only stays solo so he can keep all rare loot for himself. The Black Cat story could just as well have never happened.
Many other events also stay without any consequences. Same here, with the oh-so-horrible "murder mystery", which has a very lame conclusion with absolutely no impact or consequences - nothing has changed.
Those two episodes were essentially just filler, probably with the sole purpose of re-introducing Asuna, who was introduced in episode 2 but the completely dropped out of the picture as if she'd never been there.
They should've better shown short scenes every episode about Asuna's current progress, then they wouldn't have needed that much re-introduction. The Asuna-Kirito shipping was tacked on quite hamfistedly with a sledgehammer and could've been handled quite a lot better.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Similarly, the "world-building" is really "fact-building", and poorly done at that. The viewer isn't really learning much about how Aincrad proper works, but rather random facts that don't seem all that important.

For example, in this episode we learn that married couples share all of their items when Asuna explains it to Kirito. Really, she is explaining it to the audience, because after over a year in-game, Kirito should be aware of this fact. What's more, this seemingly random bit of knowledge immediately becomes the key to Kirito solving the mystery. Of course, this fact, having served its purpose, may never be mentioned again.
Indeed, all we get are random bits and pieces, just as it's covenient for the story, most of which to never be heard of again once they've done what they should.
A more systematic explanation would be nice, rather than haphazardly throwing random facts at the audience.

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Originally Posted by Trajan View Post
Another example of this is from episode 4, where Silica is apparently unaware that Pina can be revived until Kirito explains it to her. It's really not believable that Silica, as a beast tamer, wouldn't be aware of this information, but it was required for the story. Whether the pet revival flower ever matters again remains to be seen.
One should expect that as a beast tamer, she should know how pets can be revived. But hey, Kirito to the rescue, and he miraculously pulls an info out of his sleeve where there's a flower that can revive pets, even though he never ever had a pet. Thanks, Super-Kirito!
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Old 2012-08-13, 16:20   Link #160
chaos_alfa
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One should expect that as a beast tamer, she should know how pets can be revived. But hey, Kirito to the rescue, and he miraculously pulls an info out of his sleeve where there's a flower that can revive pets, even though he never ever had a pet. Thanks, Super-Kirito!
Beast tamer isn't a class. It is just what players are called who got a pet.

And the it seems the information on how to revive a pet had just recently been found.
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