“Man, it’s cold out. I chose the wrong day not to wear underwear.”
|Video game time! Except…not really because this is an anime, not a game. It’s an anime about a LN about a game. Just wait until the game comes out…then it will be a game about a LN about a game! For now, let’s just stick with the anime and see what Kirito’s been up to since we last saw him put on his flowing trenchcoat of badassery…|
|Welcome back to another week of Sword Art Online! Every week I get so excited to see this series and follow the adventures of Kirito, but in the previous episode he was acting quite strange! Then again he doesn’t really play well with others now does he? Anyway time to start the review with Overcooled! I hope you enjoy our thoughts on the third episode.|
Rough Times Ahead For Kirito
Foshizzel // So this week Kirito gave in and joined a guild. Why did he decide to keep his true level a secret from the members of the Black Cats? Honestly, I don’t quite understand why he wanted to do that in the first place. I assume he didn’t want to feel as if he was getting used? Sure, having a higher guild member would help the Black Cats succeed, but I think we all know deep down inside we feel that he is probably better suited as a solo player. Then again, maybe he just felt really bad for them and wanted to teach them how to survive as a team? DAMN IT Kirito why are you acting like a badass?! I will say one thing though he definitely has a way with words that allow him to practically talk his way out of any situation and win people over like Sachi this week, but hey maybe he really meant everything he said to her about protecting her? Can we really blame the deaths of his fellow guild mates? I mean he did try to warn them before they entered that room. I am starting to think he should use some direct message system to warm people or create a macro with something like “YO DUDE DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING UNLESS YOU WANT TO DIE!” I fully expect to see our main character feeling completely depressed over wiping out an entire guild…damn…bro you really have it rough this week.
THAT’S NOT SINGING, THAT’S HUMMING! I WANT A REFUND!!
Overcooled // Kirito was quite simply screwed over in this week’s episode, as highlighted by Fosh. While a lot of traumatic things happen to him, there’s surprisingly little weight behind the deaths of his new friends. Did any of you expect Kirito to continue out his days laughing with the guild and cheerfully buying matching furniture in a virtual Ikea? I was prepared for these guys to bite it as soon as Kirito joined their guild. I’ve been primed to expect friends to die in the most traumatic manner possible if the main character exhibits a certain level of trust issues and chronic loneliness. Mirai Nikki and Guilty Crown are some notable examples. You build up their trust by having them finally fit into a group, and just when they reach a peak of happiness you smash it all down and turn them into a mess of frayed nerves and self-loathing. His presence in Black Cat was so short that I will only ever see these characters as “the ones who existed to make Kirito feel like crap” as opposed to people I care about.
While I don’t like the way they pushed Kirito into this “emo” stage, I feel like the way he ends up because of it is a good reminder of how the stress of this game can get to people. Kirito survives by simply not thinking about death. It’s a simple coping technique. You can even feel less pain from a physical wound if you don’t think about it. However, Sachi is the opposite, and constantly grapples with her mortality and how quickly her life could be snuffed out at any given moment.
Sachi’s role is very particular in that she not only makes Kirito console her about death every night (subconsciously reminding himself that people really die here) but she actually dies in the end. She’s there to remind Kirito of what the consequences of letting your HP bar go to zero are in this twisted world. Oddly enough, Kirito seems more worried about his friends dying than keeping himself alive. Having people die in front of him – such as Diabel and his new guildmates – terrifies him. If they die, then he’ll be alone. Kirito treasures the few friends he has since making them takes so much effort. The way he desperately tried to save his guild after they sprung the trap shows how much he needs his friends – and potentially how much he fears abandonment. He’s actually really similar to Klein in that protective sense. I wish Kirito had joined him! Then again, perhaps the thought of losing someone like Klein who is also important to him is too great a risk for him to take.
Solo Players Versus Guild Teams
Foshizzel // Most MMORPG players out there prefer solo playing while other players want more of a social environment. They usually end up joining a tiny guild to start off, but later on in their gaming career they might leave that small guild and try their hand at a giant guild. I have a bit of experience in that department when it comes to starting off as a solo player and eventually joining a guild. I mean, killing mobs over and over is fun by yourself but when you join a guild everything changes because you start developing a lot of new friendships with people from all over the world and you gain certain advantages while joining a guild.
First off you have better access to larger bosses for better loot from instances and harder quests; however I will say you really are never guaranteed to win any actual loot after killing a raid size boss! Trust me you can go weeks without winning a damn thing and that kind of sucks, but I didn’t really care too much for winning stuff every week! I just enjoyed how my guild seemed to always spend most their time cracking jokes over Ventrilo while we are either getting owned by a boss over and over again. So yeah, all of that sounds amazing right? Sadly there are certain times when guilds are plagued with random moments of drama which are usually tied to loot, real life issues, or there are a few players in that guild that you just can’t get along with. So as you can see there are positives and negatives to joining a guild…so what kind of player are you? Are you like Kirito who prefers solo playing or are you like Keita who formed his own guild with the Black Cats? There really is no wrong answer to that question.
Desperate Times, Douche-y Measures
Best friends…until you realize someone is a beta tester and you rip their spine out :3
Overcooled // Kirito had to hide his level from the Black Cat guild just so that he would fit in. At least, that’s why I think he did it. The Black Cat guild is a humble group of players who are kind, willing to give, and therefore scornful of the top-level players who hog everything. Revealing his true strength with automatically lump him in with the pro players, and get the guild to hate him. He had to make himself seem like an unassuming, average player like them to avoid intimidating them and scaring them off. I’m getting to see how inaccurate just calling him a loner is now, because he really wants to b part of a warm, friendly group. The pro players are probably too brutal for his taste. Of course, it all falls apart in the end. The surviving leader is livid when Kirito reveals his level, even after getting to know him personally during their time working together. Being a ‘beater’ is enough to attract all the malice in the world, so it makes sense that Kirito was so secretive about his level and status as a beater.
lol brb suicide
The almost blind rage towards the beta testers made little sense before, but now it seems to be more justified. The stronger players have been leaving very little left for the weaker players. Overall, this week revealed a lot about the different methods all kinds of players are taking to beat this crazy game. Some are becoming information brokers to make extra cash and get all the juicy info, some are joining guilds, some go solo and hog everything, and some guilds terrorize the rest of the players. I was expecting some sort of unscrupulous group of people to rear their ugly heads at some point, but I didn’t think it would be a huge, powerful guild. It’s not surprising that some people would just race to the top without stopping to help others since lives are on the line. If you’re in a burning building, it’s easier to run out yourself as opposed to stopping to help people, right? Not that it’s the morally right thing to do, of course…but it certainly keeps you alive.
Christmas Filled with Sadness…
Foshizzel // Merry Christmas Everyone! Oh right I forgot that Kirito’s Christmas adventure completely sucked. After all, he watched every guild member of the Black Cats get owned right in front of him which caused the leader to commit suicide; however I think Sachi’s death hurt him the most because of that promise he made to her. So what did you think about her final words she sent to Kirito? I think it was great that he meant a lot to her and at the same time it was also very sad. Hell, even the singing made me feel sad for her at the end of the episode…ah well I don’t mind that kind of drama in my anime, but there has been a repeating formula with Sword Art Online so far with main character meets new person gets attached to them and they get owned. This week he spent over two months with the Black Cats before they all died, but he was trying to bring Sachi back to life with that item. Oh and Klein did offer him a spot in his guild maybe he’ll break down and actually take it? So I bet the girls screamed when he grabbed Kirito like that I mean the only thing missing was them hugging right? So anyway this episode was filled with lots of die-o-rama which made it a good episode, but I hope next week they bring out the action and maybe some comedy moments? Just kidding! I don’t think we are ready for that to happen just yet.
Overcooled // I still stand by my statement that episode 2 was good and didn’t feel rushed. Unfortunately, I can’t say quite the same thing about this week’s little…excursion. I understand that some floor-skipping is in order to make sure this anime isn’t 100 episodes, but having 2 skips in one episode was a bit much. I don’t know what the LN covered, but I felt like I could have gotten a benefit out of seeing Kirito’s first encounter with the Black Cat guild and getting to know them a bit more. They died almost as soon as they appeared, which was predictable and did absolutely nothing close to achieving the heart-tugging sadness they were going for. I felt nothing because I had foreseen their deaths almost immediately. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Kirito going through some traumatic stuff. He’s not exactly in a pleasant situation. I just wish they slowed things down and lulled me into a false sense of security to make things more of a surprise. Or just slowed down a bit! They even cut out the santa battle, ultimately making the final scene laughably short and poorly set up. I’m really feeling the rushed story here. There are lots of good points (ruthless guilds, players living in constant fear etc.), but the pay-off is stunted because of the short set-up time. If these wonderful concepts were given more time to stew and build up, I’d have enjoyed this episode more. It was pretty average…which is a tad disappointing considering how much I’ve been enjoying SAO.
Foshizzel // This was certainly an interesting episode this week and the drama between Kirito and Sachi was nice, but part of me already assumed she was going to die along with the other Black Cat guild members! All because they are not considered as official “main characters” then again Sword Art Online has a lot of awesome side characters to play off of later on. So what did you think of the drama and are we dealing with a rushed story for the anime version of Sword Art Online? Because I have noticed after reading a few blogs and even some Tumblr posts that the current story is leaving massive gaps in the story. Like how did Kirito manage to get his current level and how the other floors were cleared? However I don’t really plan on reading the novels right now, but I plan on checking them out after this anime series ends just to see what all the hype was about.