Now, I was going to title this “Why Sword Art Online Sucks Horribly” but I feel this is a really botched adaptation and I’m not even a light novel reader! Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been more disappointed with a show as much as I have with Sword Art Online and I’ll tell you why. This wasn’t supposed to be the first rant post, but it really earned the honor of being it.
Whoever thought starting off with SEVEN side story episodes was a good idea needs to be fired, ASAP. Whether it was the director or the scriptwriter or whoever, that was honestly the major reason why I’m dropping this and probably going back to Accel World, aka Guilty Crown-lite. Look, I really love side story episodes: they enhance the plot, they’re usually great for developing characters and they’re handled well. Sword Art Online fails at all three of these basic requirements, so let’s start with the first point:
- Enhances the plot
Pretty hard to enhance something that isn’t there. Side story episodes should (and after SAO, they MUST) take place after the characters have all been introduced. Trying to tell a story like this is the equivalent of willingly walking into a room of hot lava. There’s going to be a discontinuity in terms of events and dates. The first seven episodes skip around A LOT of important events and expects us to understand a lot of the character’s motivations this early in the series.I’m pretty sure an anime adaptation should be accessible to all who haven’t seen the original source material. Plus, these episodes are so noticeably rushed as hell that you don’t have to be a light novel reader to notice it. Onto point #2:
- Developing characters
Seven episodes in and all I’ve been given by this anime so far is that there’s this really COOL dude named Kirito who wears lots of depressingly dark clothing, and along the way he picks up girls like they’re fucking Pokemon. I’m supposed to be like “AWW YEAH YOUR SO DAMN COOL KIRITO” when he pointed that blade to
Mitsuru Kirijo Rosalia a few episodes back. Thing is, I hardly know anything about this dude. I know from LN readers that he’s this really badass character but all I’ve seen of him so far is the amount of members he adds to his harem. Obvious girlfriend? check. Doomed by canon character who sings merry christmas? check. Dragon tamer loli? check. Blacksmith? check. I’m sure some of these girls will play an important role later and I do have confidence in the LN readers that Kirito is a badass, but the anime isn’t convincing me at all. Finally point #3:
- Handled well?
Overall, I’m sure Sword Art Online is a really great light novel series but this isn’t a post about how great that is, this is about how awful the anime is and why I feel sorry for the creator for having his words (Accel World included) being crapped on by inexperienced staff. There are times when I really want the original fans to just stop nitpicking about everything, but in SAO’s case I honestly agree with everything they’re saying: this is really one of the worst adaptations I’ve seen and for me to notice flaws when I don’t even know what the hell is going on is a testament to how awful this anime is and I feel that SAO pretty much is the poster child for Summer 2012, one of the weakest seasons I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching anime since 2006 mind you. . I’m already worried about Robotics;Notes in the fall…
I was going to make this longer but it’d probably turn into an even bigger rant. Well, hate away~~
TL;DR – Never start a series with side stories, EVER.