silverthunder: (Ken - Um... sure...)
Aphrael ([personal profile] silverthunder) wrote2013-07-06 11:25 am

Sword Art Online

So Cody and I finished watching Sword Art Online last night. It was a good series! The theme of gaming and MMOs doesn't hurt it any, in my opinion! Both of us wanted to play after we finished - luckily, the beta for FFXIV was up, so we logged in to explore around for a bit.

As I've seen everyone say, the first half was noticeably better than the second half. However, for the most part, I still enjoyed the second half. With one very notable exception.

This is going to be a 'duh' for anyone who knows me and has seen Sword Art Online, but yeah: Asuna's treatment in the second half of the series.

I mean, we get this decently strong female character, who - while not being groundbreaking or anything - can hold her own in a fight and whose skills the main character - who is the epitome of the l33t gamer - respects. And she refuses to bow out of a fight because she wants to protect him as much as he wants to protect her. Better yet, she has the skill to do it!

And so, clearly, the best thing to do with this character is to make her essentially a princess in a tower waiting to be rescued for the whole second half of the series.

Such a disappointment.

And I will also say, outside of a spoiler cut, that the second half of this series would benefit from a trigger warning for the sexual harassment in it. Those scenes made me uncomfortable. The ending battle was the worst, but those "scientist" things? WTF, seriously? None of it was even necessary! The villain's "experiments" should have been enough to want to take him down. It seemed like a lame excuse to put fanservice of Asuna out there in various compromising positions - and, of course, to fuel Kirito's angst and rage in that last battle. Terribly, terribly degrading.

Because Asuna was out of action for pretty well the whole second half, we sort of got a replacement in the form of Suguha. Ironically, she gets more character development than Asuna (supposedly the leading lady). But she's disappointing too, because all of her character development, her angst, her dreams, her motivation - it's all focussed around Kirito. At least Asuna had her own dreams for things unrelated to Kirito. If Suguha does, it doesn't show.

SAO is pretty well Kirito's show - his journey. The rest of the characters, with the exception of Asuna and Suguha, get very little in the way of character development. I would have liked to get to know Klein better, for example, but the show wasn't going there. It was disappointing. And it was very noticeable that whenever a minor character did kind of take center stage for a bit, it was a girl and the focus was on how Kirito helped her (so there was a harem theme in the background).

For all these complaints (and I know they're pretty serious ones), I still enjoyed Sword Art Online. It was a fun series that still managed to take itself seriously and tug at the heart strings here and there. The art was pretty, the theme of the series and how it carried off that plot was actually pretty good, and it made me want to game more. Haha!

Now let's get a series like this with better overall character development and a more active, strong female protagonist!

For those interested, the opening/closing videos for the first half of SAO:

OP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA-ZdNkRBGA
ED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w36jj0F-6pc

Post a comment in response:

From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.