Sword Art Online – 05

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.

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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.

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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.

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 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?

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Closing Thoughts

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!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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56 Responses to “Sword Art Online – 05”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    Asuna *-*

    Fosh, I thought that only I had rememebered of Guilty Crown when the Guilty Thorn appeared. Anyways, I don’t think it is necessarily any kind of reference. Just a coincidence.

    Well, the episode was fine to me. I particularly didn’t like to see those two new characters. They freaked out so easily and my eyes was hurting when Yoruko made that “crazy eyes”. Remembering of Mirai Nikki isn’t too nice for me.

    But maaaan, Asuna is back again *-* She is not so cute right now, but I’m hoping that she will eventually… Eeeh… Calm down a little towards Kirito. And they work really well together. They make a good couple.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hooray Asuna and her ass of ultimate power~

      Oh yes! my mind works in mysterious ways which is caused by any phrase that starts with the word guilty, but yeah don’t worry I just thought it was funny to think about it as a random reference fufufu!

      Oh? Did you have a bad experience with Mirai Nikki? Yeah I instantly thought OH SHES DEAD when she appeared I guess I am like OC in the whole “not caring of X new character dies” which seems to be the case with SAO right now.

      Yep! Asuna is back and of course she will calm down soonish, but that is the whole key to their relationship they have to have a rough start to get things going between them! Just remember one fact we have over 24+ episodes to work with.

      That said we shouldn’t get too attached to Asuna right now because SAO is known for having random bursts of time jumping here and there after all we have two other characters to introduce in the OP a random girl with pink hair and another loli-character with long hair.

      • skylion says:

        Haven’t all the lady guest stars had butt in frame?

        • Overcooled says:

          Yes, they have! I’ve taken so many screenshots of butts. SO, SO MANY.

          • BlackBriar says:

            It’s true and I didn’t realize it until now. I think you’d have an overload if you had to name every girl that’s ever got a screenshot of her butt. Right now, I can only think of the three main girls from Rinne no Lagrange.

            • skylion says:

              In Rinne? That’s called “stock animation”….

        • Foshizzel says:

          SO MUCH DAT ASS IN MY MMORPG-ANIME SERIES

        • JPNIgor says:

          I’ve realized it when I saw Asuna’s butt shot.

      • D-LaN says:

        We should call this Sweet Ass Online eh??

      • BlackBriar says:

        Asuna was tempting us and we fell for it. For those who approve, we should say “I inspected dat ass!!”.

      • JPNIgor says:

        Oh, shit. They turned my comment into a discussion about ass shots. Cool XD

      • JPNIgor says:

        Oh, yeah. I don’t think so, Fosh. Maybe there will be some two, or three random characters, but I’m hoping that Asuna will stick together with Kirito. If not, that at least they will separate for two or three episodes and return again.

        And yes, I had a bad time with Mirai Nikki. When I reached the 13th episode my mind was so fucked with that thousands of plot twist that I had to stop watching.

        About the other two characters, the pinky-haired girl, I don’t really know who is, but I heard somewhere that the long-haired girl is a A.I. and will stick with Asuna and Kirito for sometime.[/spoiler]

        • Foshizzel says:

          True hopefully Asuna sticks around this time, but if she does I really really really hope she does not turn into the jealous GF type because the other characters happen to be girls >.>

          Ohhh sorry to hear that about Mirai Nikki T___T

          Yeah I was thinking the same thing about the long-haired girl as a possible A.I. or think even darker than that? The game designers daughter! Maybe she died IRL and he put her mind in the game? I wouldn’t mind that for a twist on that character xD

  2. Gecko says:

    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.

    Well, Guilty Crown’s tagline was something about wearing a crown of thorns and using friends to save them… So it was either a coincidence or someone was feeling silly. I would hate for someone to reference GC. It doesn’t deserve it.
    As for the episode, it was a bit duller but at least Asuna is back and perhaps this will grow into the major plotline/story arc of SAO. Once the pair figures this out, they’ll probably end up working together more and more until boom! friendship appears.
    I wasn’t pleased with Kirito not allowing NPC’s to die. I suppose the deaths he’s seen have been hard on him, but he needs to understand that it’s the best strategy. Or perhaps he just doesn’t want to agree with Asuna at all.
    We also got to see that there are blacksmiths in this game, and people making their own weapons. It looks like quite a few people have adapted and started to just live in the game, like how Kirito takes in the weather and such. Not to mention the interesting Appraisal skill of looking for who made it.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Muhahahahha yes I think it was just simple coincidence in the end! Sometimes my mind does that if I see the word guilt pop up. I can’t tell you how many times I almost said guilty gear when we had podcasts and GC popped up, but hey I blame the use of a very odd name for a weapon…

      Asuna is back at last and the story for this episode almost put me to sleep…I am all for a good murder mystery, but not when I want action instead of drama and random stuff like this? Eventually after they solve this case they probably will run into each other on every other level and have to team up and defeat monsters.

      I know right? Having a few NPC’s die is just part of MMORPGS! IT HAPPENS! GET OVER IT BRO, but what are they trying to say about Kirito? That he loves all the players even the NPC’s? If so what the hell?! that logic just makes me laugh as a gamer. Who knows maybe it was just a cleaver way to cause an argument between and show us they have some issues to work out first?

      Oh for sure some of the players are set in this world by setting up booths and selling weapons, but of course there are some people doing it the wrong way by killing other players.

      • Gecko says:

        I don’t think the story was that bad, but it’s just so random that it doesn’t fit in with everything else. I’m suspecting that Kirito and Asuna will have to duel someone… and maybe even PK this person.
        No, I don’t think Kirito is being stupid about the NPC’s. For him, the people inhabit the world he’s in, so they seem real. If people didn’t show their little Sims-style icons and HP bars all of the time, there would be no way to tell who was NPC and who was player. Kirito is coping with his situation by saying “I live in this world now” rather than saying “Let’s hurry out of here.” It isn’t so much an argument between them as it is a way of living.

        • Foshizzel says:

          I can see Kirito and Asuna having to take this evil guy out eventually after they catch him in the act! That should prove to be interesting for them to choose how to deal with him also it will cause some drama…

          Ah I suppose if he is stuck in this world he views everything even the NPC characters as “living” things still I found it funny personally haha

  3. Liza says:

    Yay! Asuna is finally back! And she went up in the world too. Already a vice commander, good for her! At first I really thought it was Yuruko who had a split personality of some kind(her eyes got creepily brighter!) but of course that can’t be true now unless she decides to come back as a ghost cause she thinks it is possible for them to exist in the game world(Fate/Extra anyone? XD)

    Although Kirito and Asuna don’t seem to get along, at the same time they do, for a lack of a better way to put it. That’s just their relationship to each other. I wish there wasn’t such huge time jumps as those two probably had interactions before this and I really would like to see how they treated each other in their second meeting.

    • Overcooled says:

      I thought she might have something weird going on for a hot second because of her eyes too. But then she died and I realized how much I’m used to people suddenly becoming evil just because their eyes change colour >_< I really hope the answer isn’t something dumb like “ooooo, it’s a ghost!”

      They have a kind of “business-only” relationship right now. They stick together out of necessity, and don’t really like chitchat. Still, I like the way they interact. Asuna seems to have changed a lot, so I’m kind curious how the hell that happened too :/ I guess they didn’t have time *sigh*

    • Foshizzel says:

      Woooooooo! Asuna returns <3

      Yuruko just suffers from a major case of paranoia! I mean if someone in my own guild was hunting down and killing them one by one I would be a bit freaked out like her as well! Damn murderous guild members D:

      I sort of like this headbutt relationship between them right now! I would hate it if they were suddenly good friends or even BF/GF in this episode, but I don't want them to be like oh we only have two episodes left NOW they get together because can you imagine the anime fan rage? LOL

  4. Highway says:

    I still think the show’s been fine with the ‘brief windows of time’ that it’s shown through this leveling process. Leveling is boring. The things we’re seeing are the interesting things that happen. They add enough of the normal life stuff (Stop and sleep in the shade, for instance) to make it believable, but for the most part, skip the boring stuff.

    I think that two things from this episode need to be taken together about Kirito’s view of Aincrad: How he views the NPC’s and how he views the time they are spending in the game. That’s where they live, and if you’re living there, why should it be devalued any more than the ‘real’ world? Why is it less ‘real’? And going along with this, why are the NPC’s less ‘real’? If you are going to devalue the lives of the people around you, it’s not much of a stretch to start devaluing the lives of the ‘real’ people. Additionally, this fits in with his understanding of the rules: They may not be good, but they’re fair, and people who die in combat generally choose to participate in combat. So what does it mean when they force the NPC’s to fight in combat they didn’t choose? I can see where one might not agree, but I think it’s a defensible and internally consistent standard of morality.

    • Overcooled says:

      I have to admit that I actually really like training arcs and watching characters get stronger in most shounen anime. Anyways, I agree that the amount of time skipped this week wasn’t bad. I would like to have seen the exact moment Asuna saw Kirito again, but not enough for me to be bitter about it.

      That classification of ‘reality’ is what really interested me in this episode too. It’s all about shifting your mindset. As soon as you believe Aincrad is real, it’s real. That’s all it takes. If you believe Aincrad is a game, then that’s all it will ever be. It’s purely based on how you feel about it, and nothing else can really tip the scales either way. I’m not sure if you could even call one opinion right or wrong, either. Ahh, I love moral dilemmas!

      I never really thought that the next step from sacrificing NPCs might be using real people for bait, but that is a good point. However, isn’t that a big jump to make from killing fake people to killing real people? There’s a big distinction between the two if you see SAO as just a game. Kirito sees a smaller difference between NPCs and real people, so it makes sense for him to be against it, but I don’t think everyone sees the game the same way he does.

      • Highway says:

        The discussion of “what is reality?” begins to necessarily get rather solipsistic. But it’s hard to call it a ‘game’ when there is no alternative. This is a major point in favor of Kirito’s worldview: In the best case, it will be a year before anyone gets out of SAO. It’s entirely possible that nobody would ever get out of SAO (what if the final boss is just too powerful to be beaten?). And it’s not like you moved away from your hometown. It’s more like being transported to a completely separate universe, or a deserted island. What connection do you still have to that previous life? Memories. But your memories are static, while time marches on in both places. Even if you can return later, you’re not returning to the same place, to the same people. And if you spent the intervening time ignoring the world in front of you, what shock are you going to get when you go back to the other world and *it’s not the same either?*

        I think there’s also a problem considering it to be ‘just’ a game as far as the way other people interact. What if someone in our world considered life to be ‘just a game’, and used that as justification to maliciously hurt others? They would rightly be considered a sociopath. How is SAO different? Yet, there are those who have that worldview, and they’re semi-tolerated.

        I think Kirito sees it as integral to his humanity to consider all the ‘people’ he sees in front of him as other people.

        • skylion says:

          What makes that even more terrifying, is that it might very well be the best way to win; letting damage happen to the NPC population. If it is a game, then the designers mindset come directly into play. That guy probably is rubbing his hands with glee, “You fools, let the NPC’s die, it’s how I designed it for you to win!”.

          • Highway says:

            If you’re finding yourself playing ‘outguess the designer’, you’ve likely already lost the fight. As Kirito says, the rules are generally consistent: You fight when you want, and you take the consequences. Forcing the NPC’s to fight would seem to be a violation of this principle.

            I do find it really poor that the game allows Sleep-PK’s as described. That really seems like an odd oversight, and even a weird thing to allow: the ‘physical’ (for lack of a better term) act of moving the arm brings up the menu? A game controlled by the brain would allow a non-brain, non-volitional act to do something *at all*, much less something that could get them killed? Unfortunately, that kind of thinking leads me to ‘plot gimmick’ rather than somewhere cool.

            • skylion says:

              Excellent insight, Highway. I’m kinda ashamed of myself, as your line of thinking is typically my own.

              I’m thinking that the Sleep-PK is a glitch that has yet to be patched. Perhaps it is something in the mind/body thingamagigers that you move your arm a certain way to bring up a screen. Just as you have to make the exacting motions to draw, maneuver, etc to use a sword. It makes some sense in other contexts such as being captured; you can just bring up a screen to get an item to get you out of being all tied up. Your arm has to be free.

            • Overcooled says:

              The people who made this game knew what they were doing. If they programmed things like feeling the weather and the ability to taste food, then they probably treat this game as a real life setting too. They made SAO nearly perfect and quite fair (minus the whole, you know, mass-massacre thing).

              On that same note, the sleep PK thing is really unfair. Bringing up a menu should be something that happens at will of the player in question, otherwise people would always accidentally open up menus when they raised their arms just right. I get that attack skills activate based on your body position, but I would imagine it also involves the emotional intent to strike as well for it to activate. Again, you wouldn’t want to accidentally activate a magic skill because you happened to hold a staff in the attack position. Either the game creators just missed this little loophole with sleep-PKs, or it’s just an overlooked plot issue where they forgot that everything is controlled via thought processes :B

  5. D-LaN says:

    Abt the “NPC R ppl too” prt…. Show ▼

    The charac designer is the one frm MN??? Tht explain those crazy faces. So Yoruko is not the killer since…she dead. Or at least responsible 4 the 1st murder.

    • Overcooled says:

      That’s a better explanation. Kirito is really into this game though…

      I didn’t know it was the same designer either until I read Fosh’s part! I want to see more crazy bitches like Yuno now!

      • BlackBriar says:

        Kirito has spent so much time in SAO that he’s gradually losing touch with reality. The more he stays there, the harder it’ll be if someone tries to make him let go. I imagine it would be worse if he was a certain age. It will be like putting an addict into rehab but the results would depend on his mind. And if he does let go, would he accept it or would he try to go back? In nature, humans always want an escape.

        It’s the same designer? Nice. Crazy girls on edge are always welcomed in my book.

      • Foshizzel says:

        FK YA MORE YUNO CHARACTERS PLEASE!

        Imagine a Yuno version of Asuna? Trololololl

  6. Joojoobees says:

    Definitely agree that the start of a multi-parter is a good sign for this show. Up to now we seem to mostly have been introducing characters. Now we have the return of Asuna, and last time the return of that guy from the beginning (briefly). Hopefully this means the story will shift into a much less episodic direction.

    • Overcooled says:

      This show needs something solid and consistent to tie it together a bit more. Asuna, Egil and even Klein are back (not that Klein did anything) which looks like a signal for a less episodic direction, yes. :3

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah sadly I think after episode six Kirito will be along again to meet the final two girls in the OP a pink haired girl and a another loli-ish looking girl.

  7. Bob from Accounting says:

    Asuna’s back? I don’t think that’s really the right way of putting it since this Asuna bears pretty much zero resemblance to the character we saw in episode 2. And not for the better either. She’s gone from being a cool, quiet type with badass skills and a good heart to being the archetypal loud and obnoxious girl. I guess that’s par for the course in a show where not even the hero can maintain a consistent characterisation. It might be too much to ask since I doubt most of the SAO writing staff can even remember what they ate for breakfast this morning.

    • Yippy says:

      Well, could be just that she got big-headed after leveling up and gaining the recognition of the front-liners. Power and fame are like that, sometimes…

    • Overcooled says:

      If truth be told, I liked Asuna more when she was the quiet girl in the cloak as well. She seems a lot more like a typical tsundere now, but it’s not so bad since Kirito is there to even things out.

      I think the problem with the characterisation is that something happens and then the character suddenly changes. It’s not a gradual change, it’s just like certain events instantly have an effect on their morals and personality. Some of those events – especially in the case of Asuna – we don’t see. There’s probably a reason why she’s like this (as Yippy suggests, perhaps getting to know the game better made her more confident and bossy)…but they didn’t have any time to show us. It’s a bit mechanical in the execution, but it all makes sense when you look at what the characters have been though.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Asuna a tsundere? Yeah I guess I can see those similar things, but she is a bit like Taiga from Toradora! After all she changed into a lovey dovey character near the end so maybe the same will happen to Asuna eventually? xD

  8. Yippy says:

    @Overcooled: For me, I enjoyed Asuna and Kirito getting together and doing something for once. I mean, they take up almost half of the OP together along with all of the ED, so based on the unwritten laws of anime, it’s high time they got together!

    I don’t agree that the motivation for the set-up sounds contrived though, for 2 reasons: Kirito isn’t really interested in getting out of SAO and Asuna’s taken a liking to him.

    So far, we haven’t seen any desire to return to reality from Kirito since he levels up but still hangs around lower levels. Your dissection of his feelings for the NPC’s also proves this as well.

    Asuna’s also curious about Kirito and the murder just gives a convenient chance to develop their relationship. Wait, did I say convenient? Hm…maybe you do have a point there, Overcooled. And one more thing-they’re teens, so I think they’ve a license to goof off once in a while.

    Keep it up, I particularly liked your analysis of Kirito’s decision on the NPC.

    @Overcooled: They will let you see the backstory, Overcooled, they will…as a Blu-Ray extra. Capitalism, ho!

    I do agree that it might be a curious side-story too. Ditto on the (relatively) reasonable time skips as well.

    • Overcooled says:

      For a main character, Asuna sure has been hiding for a long time. I’ve been waiting for her to take back the spotlight too! Every week I’d just see her in the OP and wonder “…when?”

      Kirito may be comfortable bumming about in SAO, but it’s kind of convenient that the two of them decide to work together on a murder case. The case itself doesn’t matter at all – it’s just there to get the two of them to be closer, and to give us a secondary viewpoint other than Kirito’s. Their actions make sense given their personalities (Kirito not caring much about progressing quickly and Asuna being a stickler for order and justice) but it just feels like a cheap set-up to me.

      Anyways, thanks! Glad you like what Fosh and I are doing. I’ll most likely eat up whatever extra OVAs or episodes they throw to the fans XD

  9. belatkuro says:

    About the boss meeting at the beginning, later that night Kirito talks to an NPC(a little girl I might add) and triggers an event where she sings and puts the boss to sleep, making it easier to kill. If they had proceeded with Asuna’s plan they would have had a harder time with it. Asuna actually saw Kirito talking to the NPC.
    Well, the purpose of that meeting was just to show that Kirito and Asuna didnt get along well after ep2 and looked at SAO differently. So yeah.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Ohhhh that is very interesting! I wish they included that bit of info with this episode, but I guess they didn’t have time to add that into the actual episode? As a gamer I always see NPCs as nothing important, but I suppose if I was Kirito stuck in a game my view could change? xD

      Yep! I like how Asuna and Kirito did not get along right at the start because obviously they are showing us “how they end up together” eventually.

      • belatkuro says:

        Actually, that happens in the doujin compilation called Materials Edition and it’s kind of debatable whether it’s canon or not since it contradicts stuff in the main novels. But it’s true that they disagreed in that meeting. It was mentioned several times in the novels.
        It’s okay for me if they didn’t show that, because as I mentioned earlier that the purpose of that first part of the episode was just to show Kirito and Asuna’s different views of living in SAO and that they aren’t on good terms…yet. Pretty obvious that they’ll end up together :)

        • Foshizzel says:

          Ooooh ahahahah yeah they should have thrown that in I mean like maybe a two second clip? COME ON SWORD ART! GIVE US DA INFO!

          Agreed I want to see more head butting between them on topics or ideas xD

  10. BlackBriar says:

    The anime continues to impress. So far, the elements seem to be erratic. We’re five episodes in and they’ve already blown through more than half the total of floors which leaves to question on what will there be left for the story.

    Asuna’s back and she’s doing pretty well for herself becoming a vice commander. I agree with Asuna’s point of view on the NPCs. If they aren’t real people, then there’s no reason to worry. There are just programs that will re-spawn so it won’t be considered collateral damage. It may look cold hearted but nothing is easy when it comes to survival. It’s worse for her because she’s carrying the lives of innocent people on her shoulders and can’t leave room for errors. The leader takes the credit when things are good but gets the blame when it goes awry. Kirito being a solo player has yet to understand that but I think he got an idea after Sachi’s death. The only reason for which Kirito could possibly care about the wellbeing of the NPCs would be if he had begun to see Sword Art Online as reality. I’d say he’s beginning to feel like someone who’s lived there all his life, like those plugged into the Matrix from birth and can’t tell reality from fantasy.

    Kirito and Asuna’s interaction is a standard “quarreling before agreement” relationship. They’ll always butt heads with each other until one of their views comes crashing down. It’s better this way because opposites attract and it wouldn’t be fun if they always come to an agreement. The idea of resting is not a bad idea but like it’s explained, it leaves you open to just about anything. Not only the threat of PKs but there’s also the chance they can rob all the items before killing the sleeping player. Asuna was probably drawing her sword because she thought Kirito would turn on her.

    One thing that would be daunting is knowing the exact number of deaths from the start. Since the game is one big program, there may glitches that let any player aware of them to bend or break the rules since normally the towns are meant to be safe havens. The mystery behind the death of Kains will take some time to figure out. If I had to guess, it will go with the Persona route and the killer will be someone you least expect. Yoruko was cute but I knew she’d somehow bite it for being too close to that window. There are places you just shouldn’t be, especially when you’re marked for death. A dagger instead of an arrow? Somebody’s been playing Assassin’s Creed. I totally recognized the Mirai Nikki look before she died. Then again, that’s the look anyone would have when you’re filled with despair. Insanity for the win!!!

    “Guilty Thorn” made me think of “Guilty Crown”. That was obviously deliberate. By the way, check out the Guilty Crown – Lost Christmas – OVA. I can tell you it did a lot better than the whole series story wise.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Agreed BB SAO continues to impress me every week! THE ARTWORK! OHHHH MAN THE ARTWORK <3 <3 <3 Did you see the high level of detail in the environments? Damn it really is great!

      Asuna has a great point they are just NPCs that don’t really mean squat to anyone, but I can also see Kirito’s view because he is stuck in this world and views all the NPCs as “real people” Then again I just laugh at that thought xD

      I liked Kirito and Asuna’s interaction it just gives us something to look forward to whenever they “work” together, but I didn’t want them to be best friends after only one or two meetings…seriously that be kind of lame and boring! Because romance is fine and all I just don’t want to see it right now.

      Ahhaahaha yeah that was a straight up Assassin’s Creed killer move right there! Yep! I was surprised by that discovery myself and imagine for a moment they also are character designs from Working!! Now I am picturing Yamada with Yuno face <3

      YES! YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND! I am glad I wasn’t the only one thinking about GC when they mentioned the Guilty Thorn weapon! Yeah I saw the OVA it was alright they won me over with the “use me” quote plus badass music from the anime!

  11. Reialgo says:

    Indeed, the whole episodic thing is getting a tad bit irritating. Oh well apparently there’s only two more episodes until the anime finally gets into the actual novels, so I’m looking forward to numero 8

    • Foshizzel says:

      Ohh? Then that makes since because we still have two other girls from the OP for Kirito to meet and help with their problems hahah

  12. skylion says:

    I find the episodic nature the show engaging. I rather like the pacing as it doesn’t have to obey an large arc, and can get on with the business of characterization and exposition.
    In all five episodes we’ve seen a ton of information about how the virtual world works, a bit of economy, a bit of rules regarding PK, how to revive a pet, the nature of questing, and the respect giving the front line players.
    We’ve seen how Kirito acts in many situations, and I sense the presence of many a Chekov’s Gun.

    Second act is when they get armed, third act is when they fire.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah I can’t wait till they focus on some of the larger bosses at the top! I want to see how over the top the animation gets during those events because I absolutely loved the fight against the giant Kobold monster xD

      Finally they are giving us more info on the game mechanics and rules! The city thing is kind of a given because even in WoW if a horde attacks an alliance in their city the whole city is alerted of this! So yeah killing players in MOST MMORPG games never works out, but I bet there are some games that allow you to do that without alarms going off hahah

      yarr

      • skylion says:

        The city thing? I take it as metaphor. Face it, with the monsters and the way they have been hitting us with the PK factor, the game is intense and dangerous. We all know that.
        But the cities are where you feel safe. This is not something the sinister developer of this game wants for any given time. Which makes me think that the sleeper-PK is a glitch the bad guy is willing to take advantage of, or it is a horrible surprise planned all along.
        And now the glitches or surprises are spreading to safe zones. Yep, keep them pesky gamers on their toes. More sadistic fun that way.

        • Foshizzel says:

          Right SAO is dangerous indeed and yeah the cities were meant to be safe areas, but I think someone either found some cheap hack weapon/item that is assisting them with the city PKing going on? I can imagine items like that in SAO…then again the creators would get accused of copying .hack\\SIGN series for that.

          LOL YES more surprises please <3

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