silverthunder: (Ken - Um... sure...)
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.

Spoilery stuff under here )

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:

silverthunder: (Terran - Serious Business)
I've only seen about eight episodes of this series, but I do have some things to say about it so I decided to go ahead and make this post. My opinion could change later, obviously.

Following in the tradition of the .hack series, Sword Art Online is about a virtual reality MMORPG where players can log in and experience the game as if they were physically there. Like .hack//Sign (and perhaps other titles, but this is the one I know of), SAO is about being trapped in the game with no way to log out. However, in SAO this is global (all players are unable to log out, not just one). Additionally, if you die in the game, you WILL die in real life - and the only way to escape the game is to clear all 99 levels of the main dungeon.

Fans of MMORPGs (and fans of RPGs in general) will probably enjoy this title. It's fast-paced, well animated, has gorgeous music and exciting battle sequences, and there are many things that will be immediately understandable to gamers and make SAO feel like a real RPG.

I am really enjoying this anime, and look forward to watching more (Cody and I are watching together and trying to take our time since it's still airing right now). However! I cannot say it is perfect (far from it) and there are still a few problems I have with it.

More under the cut )

Anyway, for all of this, SAO is pretty damn entertaining. I'm definitely looking forward to watching more and seeing how this story unfolds!


June 2014

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