Sword Art Online Episode 5

Gah…that whole time, I was thinking that Yoruko must be behind everything because of how she was talking and acting…then she goes and gets killed herself. I found it weird how she talked about Griselda almost like she was envious of her…but I guess I was wrong (unless she faked her death…the fact that it wasn’t a duel is very suspicious). But in that case, who is actually behind this all? The “ghost of Griselda” thing is clearly a panicked theory to distract everyone.

The bit about Griselda’s death is a bit shaky…possible she didn’t die. Or it could be Occam’s Razor and Grimrock is the guy behind it all. Another decently obvious choice is that one of the other members is trying to frame Grimrock. Finally, it could be someone who found out about the incident with Griselda and is using it to their advantage. Yoruko was such a good suspect, but now I have a ton of possibilities that are equally likely.

Another interesting thing is the idea of the sleep PK. How are people ever safe? Even in an inn, can’t a PK just sneak in through the window or something and PK with this duel business? Sounds like a design flaw to me, especially to a game that is designed to be “fair” as Kirito says it.

Next week, I suppose the rest of this “mystery segment” of Sword Art will unfold (genre change go go)…the episode title once again suggests the ghost idea, but as I said before, I find this incredibly unlikely. Final thing I want to note: it almost seems like death is a natural occurrence…you’d think people would be more paranoid. Have they become numb to it all?

Sword Art Online Episode 4

Well, I suppose not everyone can get a name as intimidating as “Terror of Death.” Black Swordsman sounds pretty bland in comparison. Then again, if Kirito was like Haseo, then we’d probably have some problems because Haseo’s not the most fun character in the world. At least Kirito is still a nice guy (despite all the crap that happens to him…see episode 3). But yeah…we see more of Kirito’s journeys as a legendary solo player before he ends up getting roped by Asuna (you know it’s gonna happen).

So is Silica supposed to be a recurring character in this show after all of this introductory stuff is done? Because I think she was in character art before the show was released…but she’s shown at about the same time as Sachi in the opening. Healing dragon is always nice to have, after all. Also, I’m surprised that Sword Art Online actually has a system that reveals player killers and such.

What surprised me even more was that there are people who believe that you don’t truly die in the real world if you die in the game. I suppose you could think of it similarly to the idea of the afterlife. Someone has implanted this idea that dying in the game will mean true death, but there is no real way to prove it unless you actually die. Of course in this situation, the answer to the question “why not kill yourself if you think that it won’t kill you for real?” is answered with a simple “I find the game fun and I want to play as long as possible before dying and never getting to come back.”

Anyway, hopefully next week, the actual story starts. But then again, not all characters in the opening have been shown yet, so it’s possible there’s still more background story to be shown.

Sword Art Online Episode 3

I may have mentioned this before, but I did read a few chapters of the manga for Sword Art Online. In it, they basically time skip past this episode and last week’s episode…I guess these are just side stories to fill in the gaps. Honestly, I’d have to say that the time skip was a better idea…none of these really seem all that necessary and they frankly make the show a lot slower than I would like. I get that they want to show why Kirito becomes the kind of character he is, but it’s just taking too long.

That aside, they bring up an interesting concept in this week’s episode: the Dragon Alliance (or whatever it was). This idea that a group of people would be willing to fight other players to get rare items. Logically, this makes little sense because there is a finite number of players and the only way to save themselves is to win the game. You would think that this common goal would motivate them to band together. But the reality is much crueler than that.

While it’s true that everyone can become stronger with the help of others, the survival aspect of the game forces the players to constantly think of themselves and place their needs in front of the needs of others. It’s an interesting sort of counter-intuitive idea. But that’s enough on that. As for next week’s episode, I wonder if the black swordsman simply refers to some nickname Kirito gets (like “Terror of Death”) or whether it’s an enemy. If it’s the second case, they might reveal something that would be kinda lame…

Sword Art Online Episode 2

And so, Kirito has become the loner with his trench coat from the opening. I’m not completely sure why he chose to play the bad guy after beating the boss. Maybe he realized that the state of mass hysteria wouldn’t be solved if he tried to explain, so he decided to run with it so that Asuna wouldn’t try to protect him or something like that.

Speaking of which, heroine is introduced. Her final comment about the name on the HP bar makes her seem almost airhead material, but the fact that she was a solo player and how she is in battle make it seem otherwise. It will be interesting to see how she turns out.

I think that this group paranoia will be a hit-or-miss thing for me. Because of how the show is designed, Sword Art Online has to make use of the crowd mentality stuff (it’s starting with the beta tester thing). How that is implemented will probably be a pretty huge factor in how I feel about the show. There is a point where it could possibly just become annoying.

Not sure if I can really comment on the battle…lots of flashes and the sword techniques don’t look so unique or such. But I guess it’s still the first floor of the tower, so people haven’t necessarily reached the more advanced stuff. I’ll let it slide for now. I’m pretty sure another time skip is inbound for next week, as Kirito continues on by himself until he eventually runs into Asuna again. Still looking forward to everything.

Sword Art Online Episode 1

Oh this show…I’ve been anticipating it like crazy. This first episode just acts as a setup of situation: Creator of the VR game Sword Art Online traps its players in the game. The only way to get out is to beat the game and death is permanent. Our main character Kirito is a player from the beta with a good sense of the game.

I’d say the main reason I anticipated this anime was that I liked the game…it’s a skill-based MMORPG (I say skill-based because you have to actually perform the correct motions to attack) that has no magic. Seriously…mages ruin games for me. In addition to this, I’m a big fan of the .hack series, so the similar concept has me excited.

The opening song is a very nice song done by LiSA (who did the first Fate/Zero opening)…I look forward to hearing the full version of that. I think in the manga chapters I read, the NerveGear had an EMP in it, and the anime has a microwave. Theoretically, an EMP shouldn’t be able to affect the brain (I won’t bore you with the scientific details), so I think this is a good change.

If I had to point out something annoying, I’d say the fact that the attack animation for both strikes in this episode were simple horizontal slashes. But that could just be because they were level 1…as long as that doesn’t remain the case, I think we should be fine. I have high hopes for this show…