Ugghh…whoever programmed the “hangover” feeling into this game should be fired…
|Guess what? Asuna is back! The dazzling duo have been reunited at long last. I missed seeing another character almost as skilled as Kirito tag along for the ride. I have to admit…watching all this SAO is tempting me to join my friends in Maple Story and Diablo III…SO TEMPTING!!!|
|Welcome back to Metanorn for your weekly dose of Sword Art Online! So last week we explored the game world with the overpowered Kirito and who could forget the adorable Silica? Which leads me to ask what are we in for this week? Of course anything is possible from this anime series. Either way I can bet we will meet some new characters for Kirito to hang out with…anyway it is time to start the review of episode five with Overcooled!|
Super Secretive Strategy Plans
Foshizzel // My prayers have been answered because we start this episode with Kirito hanging out with several big guilds as they go over some battle plans. Who is the insane one leading this rag tag team of random fighters anyway? Who else could anyway? *cough* Asuna *cough* because she is a main character and she is the sub-leader of the guild Knights of Blood. The KoB is medium sized guild that is leading the fight on the frontline clearing most of the floors.
While the “leader” explains the plan to everyone she mentions luring a big big boss into a local village where everyone can work together and kill it, however Kirito seems to be quite worried about the NPCs that might get killed. Oh now he is worried about people getting killed? Thankfully Asuna did not agree with him and I like with her statement about the NPCs just re-spawning after they die anyway! Honestly I think that short scene was just thrown in to give us an idea of how Asuna and Kirito did not necessarily agree with each other on battle plans. So what do you think so far? Do you like this kind of character interaction or do you want them to become very close friends? Eventually I know they will probably “fall in love” I kind of enjoyed how they acted together at the start of this episode.
Getting Your Head Into The Game
Overcooled // The way Kirito sees Aincrad is very different from how Asuna sees it. As Fosh explained earlier, Kirito is against killing NPCs, even though they are basically lines of coding just like the trees or a rock. There’s nothing special about them, and thus no reason to really care. Real people are in this game, and they will actually kick the bucket if they die. Most people (like Asuna) naturally prioritize saving the lives of people with corporeal bodies waiting for them back in reality instead of some objects in a game. The key word there is “most people”.
Kirito is completely immersed into the world of SAO. Not just in the physical “my mind is trapped in this game” sense, but in the emotional sense. He sees Aincrad as just a separate world from our own as opposed to just being a game. He takes the time to savour the taste of cream on bread and he catnaps in pleasant weather. When he tries to explain these things to Asuna, she doesn’t quite get it. She can’t see the game as anything more than a virtual world that they have to escape from. Much like in real games, different players will feel more or less immersed into a game environment than others. Kirito seems to be one of those players who slips into game worlds to escape real life, which is probably why he’s so comfortable seeing Aincrad as being just an alternate reality.
Since he perceives Aincrad as an actual world, he’s against killing NPCs. I wish they had gone more into detail about why Kirito didn’t want to destroy the village (maybe they will later) because I’d love to see how strongly he wants to protect those NPCs. Wasn’t this scene purposely shown after Silica’s episode because she was so affectionate towards a pet dragon? Pina was essentially just an item, but Silica loved it so much that she didn’t even want to fight anymore once it died on her. Through this, I think Kirito grew to understand that this game really isn’t just a game – and not everything can be taken for granted. Everything is as real as you believe it to be, and whatever you believe in becomes reality for you.
CSI: Sword Art Online Edition
Foshizzel // Sooooo a massive chunk of the main plot this week follows a death of a random player inside the city walls which creates a whole new mystery of who killed whom and why did they do it?! This sudden mystery brings together the team of Asuna and Kirito to solve the strange case. So what makes this a huge mystery to begin with anyway? For starters, towns in Sword Art Online act as safe havens for the players to rest up after fighting monsters all day. Also, you can’t really kill anyone while you are in any town, but it appears as if someone figured out a way to cheat the system! There is also another way to get around that rule by challenging other players to duels. However in a duel you don’t really get to kill them because after their health drops down to a certain percentage you are declared the winner through the zone. So with that rule in place if the killer used the duel system it would alert the locals of his victory! Honestly the only other thing I can think of is that the killer found a way to hack the system or they discovered some fancy weapons that can bypass those rules somehow. Later it is revealed that the killer is from a small guild and he is slowly picking off the members because of some special item that they wanted to sell! Oh, and you can also challenge sleeping players to duels by forcing them to click yes on the challenge window with their own hands for an easy victory? I know that sounds really creepy…so pro tip SAO players DON’T you dare sleep outside unless you have an overpowered body guard like Kirito to protect you.
Why It Sucks to Have Colored Hair in SAO
Foshizzel // So who are the new characters this week? Sadly we only had two new characters Yoruko and Schmidt appear and one of them got totally owned at the end, but who else already had them marked for death after Kirito met them? I was like…yeah…these two are so screwed. Sure enough Yoruko was killed off by a flying dagger of doom! Maybe that will teach them to CLOSE THE FREAKING WINDOW? I was kind of waiting for her to either commit suicide by jumping out the window or for her to get owned by an arrow or some other flying weapon, but a dagger? Whoever threw that thing has some impressive throwing skills. Also fun fact the character designer Shingo Adachi also worked on Mirai Nikki because Yoruko was rocking some crazy facial expressions before she died, but this just tells me if you have blue hair or bright hair color you are going to die eventually. I still want to know what those weapons are made of because it looks like they can one shot a player? Then again I guess all you have to do is just hit a vital point to win. So did anyone else laugh at the name of the sword “Guilty Thorn” I wonder if that is some cleaver poke at the bible reference and a certain crazy anime of last season? *cough* Guilty Crown *cough* because you know thorns = crowns! Just kidding…that is my brain being completely random this week.
Overcooled // I really don’t give a damn when players die anymore. It happens so often that I’ve just grown accustomed to people passing away in a flurry of polygons at least once per episode. Oh well, Yoruko wasn’t very important so her death didn’t matter much – nor was it supposed to. However, I enjoyed her while she lasted if only because this show has had a severe lack of characters who have gone completely batshit over being trapped in a virtual death gauntlet. It’s the strong ones who survive, but everyone can crack if they’r eput under enough pressure. Yoruko’s breakdown was a bit random and ineffectual, but I’m glad to see there are people losing their marbles over the drama in Aincrad. As the mystery progresses and more people get PKed, I hope the chaos escalates to the point that people really start to panic. The best answer would be that there’s a special item. Or maybe the killer is a GM or something and has the right to do whatever the hell they want. Whoever it is, it’s probably someone in Yoruko’s guild unless they pull some sort of twist (but I don’t think they will). The question still remains: WHO IS THE KILLER?
SAO remains average, although the start of an arc that will span more than one episode may provide some ample pay-off down the road. I’m a bit sick of all these disjointed stories. Yes, they’ve helped show us how Kirito has been growing as a person, but they all feel like different stories in an anthology as opposed to episodes of an anime series. This week still has that mechanical stop-and-start feeling to it. Asuna and Kirito pairing up again is great, except for the fact that their reunion is dull. It feels like the story needed them to work together, so they were thrown back together again. Furthermore, they needed Kirito to spend time with her, so they made up some bullshit mission for them. A murder mystery? Really? I’d let some other poor sap deal with that and keep on training. You can’t stop and try to eradicate all of the PKers in the game. It’s not a bad storyline, but the reasoning for Asuna and Kirito helping these people seems flimsy. It’s all a little bit too convenient for me.
Other than how forced the start of the arc felt, it wasn’t bad. SAO is coasting along and never getting better or worse. However, the addition of Asuna is great because she is a nice companion for Kirito. They can both hold their own, so they’re more like comrades as opposed to a pro player and the damsel in distress. In fact, more people recognize Asuna than Kirito when they go out, further showing how strong and famous she has become during her time playing SAO. Having the two of them together will hopefully lead to more exciting things in the upcoming episodes. Or perhaps my endless optimism is slowly destroying me from the inside out, and things will stay the same. I guess I’ll just have to keep watching and blogging with Fosh to find out :B
Alright I have to be completely honest with you! This was one of the weaker episodes this week for me as far as the story goes. Thankfully we finally got to see Asuna! So that made up for the boring parts and they did throw in a random mystery to keep out attention, but I really hope our detectives can solve this case quickly and move on with the rest of the story! The time gap this week didn’t seem as crazy as last time because only a month passed after the massive guild meeting lead by Asuna and the knights of blood. Speaking of her guild for a moment I kind of wanted to see that backstory of how she met them and how she eventually became a sub leader! I don’t suppose we will ever learn that will we? Overall the episode gave us a good mystery on player x player murder leaving me to shout OH THE DIE-O-RAMA OF SWORD ART ONLINE! WHY!!
Until next week. Later, brah!