Geez, Asuna! Can’t you see there’s FIRE here? Be a little more careful of that!
|Time for more Sword Art Online here on Metanorn and damn I always get really excited when the weekend comes because I always look forward to seeing whatever adventure Kirito and Asuna decide to take us on, but when we last left off they were face to face with a giant monster! I guess that is enough chit chat for now so we should start the review! Enjoy.|
|This is the day before I sit down to write a 5 hour long test that will decide my entire career future. Well, guess it’s time to do some blogging! …Don’t worry, I’m good at handling my time so I can manage studying as well as doing the weekly SAO thing. Somehow. You can’t ever say I was slacking now, can you?|
Impressive Tactical Retreat
Foshizzel //Asuna and Kirito pulled the trusty OH MY GOD! RUN AWAY card and managed to get away from the Gleam Eyes! I was really shocked that the monster didn’t chase after them, but I assume it is linked to that special room? Most high level monsters I have run into usually have some in game mechanic that locks the door to their room or it puts up some kind of temporary barrier that unlocks once the monster dies. That type of mechanic is in place just to keep you as the player from retreating or cheating somehow, but it also depends on your class as well because some classes have some sort of “get out of jail free card” spell or ability that drops agro allowing them to hide or it protects them for a short period of time allowing them to escape.
Now I only complaint I have about this episode which I know most of you out there would see as small; however I felt the need to talk about it. I think everyone has seen the opening over and over again especially that short clip of Asuna being a badass during the fight with The Gleam Eyes, but in the actual episode she doesn’t really battle the monster for very long and I know you are probably going to say “but Fosh the tension during that scene is completely different from the opening.” True, because of length we did not see what led to those events. So what am I even getting at? It seemed to me like the creators are making Asuna seem weaker than what I originally thought and clearly we saw how her emotions getting the best of her which caused her to run in blindly to assist those solders. Also she is a vice captain in a guild I kind of assumed she would have restrained herself a bit more, but Asuna has a huge heart for helping people and yes maybe I should just shrug it off as “character flaw or development” for her at this point because we have a lot of episodes to work through to see her growth as an awesome female lead.
So what did I learn? That opening videos can sometimes deceive us into thinking “OHHHH WOW! Is that how it happens?” but on the flipside I have seen several openings that spoil you like revealing a certain character or hints towards something else like a death flag or romance? So what in the world would you do in that situation like Asuna’s would you have done the same thing like her and try to save some random players or would you try to escape and come up with a new battle plan later? Personally without the whole death thing in play I think most of us would try to help. I have done this recently while playing Guild Wars2 where there was a giant monster killing players left and right and decided to help out and yeah I got owned sooooo fast by that damn monster! So yeah sometimes running in without thinking things through can get you killed quickly.
Kirito Enters God Mode
My secret skill is lady-killing swag. Shhh, don’t tell anyone
Overcooled // I’m not sure what to say about a main character who is at a high level, gets all the babes, and has an overpowered skill that no other character in the game possesses except “UGHHHH”. Does Aincrad revolve around Kirito? I feel like he just passed a threshold this week in terms of how stupidly perfect a character can be once he started to dual wield. It was cool to watch, but I can only foresee Kirito becoming even more powerful while everyone else marvels at what a wonderful, special snowflake he is. The characterization of Kirito (and Asuna as well, which Fosh already mentioned) felt off overall. Now Asuna is becoming dangerously close to just being that hot piece of ass all your friends want while Kirito is becoming like an original character a 12 year old boy made up in 3 minutes. I like Kirito! I don’t want him to be the God of Aincrad! Ever the optimist, I will hope that later on we’ll find out someone else has the dual-wield skill too…But for now things are clicking into place for Kirito a little bit too neatly for my liking.
Foshizzel // This week we got to see another badass side of Kirito aka a killer new ability upgrade duel wielding which I never really thought about in this series until Asuna started talking about why he never uses a shield? If I were Kirito I would say uh dude shields are so BORING or as players call it sword and board spec. I really want to know how he unlocked a brand new skill that is unknown to the other players; however I kept thinking about that other sword he got from Liz because we haven’t seen Asuna with it so I assumed he kept it on him. When I play any MMORPG I usually hit up the ranged caster classes so I can’t really comment much on swinging swords around because my classes usually use maces, staffs or daggers for spell power damage! So what type of weapon do you prefer in those kinds of games? Do you like swinging around two swords or do you like to use a sword and shield? I will say this though DAAAYUMMM Kirito really hacked up that monster so freaking fast and survived with one freaking hit point? HOLY CRAP! That dude is crazy powerful! Then again his victory pretty much caused the other people to stress out over his possible death and it nearly caused Asuna to have a serious breakdown, but hey it pushed those two characters together for a chance at some romantic vibes.
I Order You To Be Liberated!
Overcooled // They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions – and the Aincrad Liberation Force have the good intentions part in spades. It’s everything else they’re missing. As long as one player (or group of players) clears SAO completely, then everyone can be saved, so pooling resources and giving them to the most able candidates sounds pretty fair. Everyone funds a big guild, they use the money and resources to get a leg-up on the bosses, and they steamroll their way from floor to floor in order to save everyone. It’s a noble cause…unless the Guild sucks and lets everyone down.
So far all the Guilds seem to be like bright red apples that are teeming with worms at the core. Asuna’s Guild has Kuradeel (just looking at him, you think “parasite! worm!”) and has been recruiting so many new members that they aren’t scanning for quality as thoroughly as before. It’s waiting to be torn apart from the inside at this rate. They’re also huge pricks who won’t let their own Vice-Commander make her own decisions; instead insisting on roping in Kirito and trying to humiliate him in a duel. The other Guilds we’ve seen are PKing Guilds, Guilds that fell apart because oops everyone died, a Guild where a husband killed their own wife, and The Aincrad Liberation Force. The ALF were begging to bite the dust as soon as they appeared. Dressed like cannon fodder and all donning the same face-shielding armour that renders them all anonymous, I was not expecting things to end well for them. It makes me nervous that other Guilds may adopt the whole fighting for glory thing, convince people to share precious maps and money with them, and then fail miserably. It’s very disheartening to see an entire Guild fail so hard when you placed all your hope on them, I would imagine. Kind of like a sports nut watching their favourite team lose.
I just find it so strange that Guilds play such an integral role in the lives of other players who aren’t even part of the Guild. I’m used to it just being a little name floating above or below a player’s name, and nothing more. Guilds usually keep to themselves, and any events they hold generally only involve their own members. However, SAO (and .hack, come to think of it) turn Guilds into replacements for different organizations. Instead of the mafia, you have a crime Guild. Instead of the police, you will have a justice-loving Guild. As long as they have power, they can establish themselves as a powerful authoritative force in this world. A rag-tag group of players lying in bed with funky helmets on bossing half of the population of an entire world around! Incredible! Guilds have so much sway in this world! …and then you have the Aincrad Liberation Force, who struggles to be anything more than a possee of rattling tin cans who have less common sense in their entire body than I’m sure any of you have in your pinky finger.
As an aside, I’m glad to see Klein and his Guild again! I like how they’re modeled after samurai, and even named themselves Fuurinkazan (Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain). These are all Klein’s close buddies, so there’s no poison being spread amongst the members. They’re the only Guild I have any confidence in, and yet they’re the ones who introduced themselves like sleazy rapists to Asuna. Ahh…you know you don’t have good options when…
Being sore over how wonky the characterization is going doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the episode. I have a lot of gripes about Kirito and Asuna (one week I like them! The next week I don’t! What’s going on here?) but at the very least, the battle was intense. This is becoming one of those shows I watch that I know has its fair share of glaring flaws, but still enjoy as a whole. I have to admit that the virtual reality setting and constant RPG references are all very charming. I’m not happy with how the story has been progressing and a lot of how characters seem to just get more unlikeable over time instead of more likeable…but hey, look, pretty battles! That’s my current mindset. You have to admit that Kirito dual-wielding those swords was as dumb as it was cool. Anyways, I’m happy the main plot is finally off to a start. Finally!
Maaaan this was a great episode for me thanks to the fantastic artwork! Especially during the showdown between Kirito and the Gleam eyes and can someone say TTGL style? Because holy crap it looked amazing and yeah I know we have already seen this type of artwork before with the kobold fight, but so far I have been completely impressed by the artwork during the fighting and generally SAO looks very cool. Other than the amazing artwork and killer music I really like where things are going, sadly I still feel like the creators of the anime version are basically portraying Asuna as a weaker character and yeah I know I am probably nit picking at her character but feel free to correct me…anyway! I can’t wait for more Sword Art Online.
Tune in next week for thriple-wielding!