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REVIEW: Sword Art Online Blu-Ray 3 & 4


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mglittlerobin



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 733

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:32 pm Reply with quote
This is one of those shows that looks nice, but it's the most unenjoyable nice looking animes I've ever watched. It's a chore to sit through Sword Art Online. So happy it's free on Toonami, I wouldn't pay for this, especially since Aniplex prices are ridiculous, it's perfectly streamable and that's it.
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jr0904



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 1719
Location: New York City,New York,USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:35 pm Reply with quote
though it was the weakest arc, its definitely the most intriguing of the archs. and with the whole sister in love with her brother makes it the most daring considering most people don't even like those type of relationships and probably wouldnt get the AS broadcast ( even though i have no problems with storylines that involves family members , especially brother/sister relationships.

personally Todd's take as Sugou is kinda superior than the japaneese counterpart and a better villian the Akhiko Kaiaba , though JYB would have make that villain more memorable than his take as CG's Lelouch.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5064

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Remember she's his cousin, not his sister. Technically.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12012
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:45 pm Reply with quote
"Leafa shows great emotional strength"; huh? Mentally she's strong, as seen in her devotion to her spoiler[kendo] training. But emotionally she's a wreck, and she's mostly there to provide fanservice in both her online and offline forms and to spoiler[fulfill the younger-sister-type-character-who-wants-to-bang-her-oni-chan trope. Gack.]
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Redcrimson



Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Fencedude5609 wrote:
Remember she's his cousin, not his sister. Technically.


They were raised together, so the Westermarck Effect should still be in play. Not that I expect real world logic from a show that barely has any internal logic.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 703
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:57 pm Reply with quote
@dtm42

I felt that the fact that she even made an attempt to move on with her relationship with her brother and to re-establish as siblings was pretty strong of her,spoiler[ although the Extra Edition did undermine that. Confused] It isn't something that tends to happen with that character type, in my experience.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 1711
Location: Romania, Bucharest

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote
My main problem with this part is simple: you can't go back to a traditional MMORPG style story after having the threat of death present for the full first half.
In this part, if anyone dies, BIG DEAL!
In the first half, if some dies he dies for real. The danger level is so much lower, but they are still acting like it's life or death.

In one episode of this arc, a character does a heroic sacrifice to stall the enemy and clear a path. The OST pumps up, time slows down, people are yelling and crying. And then he comes back next episode. You can't have it both ways.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:48 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
"Leafa shows great emotional strength"; huh? Mentally she's strong, as seen in her devotion to her spoiler[kendo] training. But emotionally she's a wreck, and she's mostly there to provide fanservice in both her online and offline forms and to spoiler[fulfill the younger-sister-type-character-who-wants-to-bang-her-oni-chan trope. Gack.]


On this one I agree with Rebecca. Although it is true that Sug starts off as an emotionally distraught fan-service tool, I think she does display a lot of growth over the arc and she was really the only person in the entire series to really stand up to Kirito in any serious way and tear him down off his pedestal. Given that he was an untouchable, ladies-man, Gary Stu for pretty much the whole run, that shows some serious strength for her in my book. I've made this point before, but that was really the best episode in the entire show for me - the one where she drop-kicks Kirito off of his pedestal of perfection and drags him back down to humanity with the rest of us. It was the only time during the show where I felt any kind of connection with Kirito and the voice acting of Sug during that emotional scene was very convincing.
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sekireinumber88



Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:08 pm Reply with quote
I have to disagree with this part of the review. Kirito was the strongest player in SAO, and he was able to transfer over his abilities with Yui's help (I believe it was Yui). The girl that he loved, and fought for over the course of two years, couldn't make it out of the game like he promised. All of this makes it seem to me that he had every reason to put the NerveGear back on and save Asuna.
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Akuma-Soul



Joined: 07 Jan 2014
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:12 pm Reply with quote
This review made me take off my glasses and face palm. Anyone being able to say any good about suguha/Leafa baffles me. She literally was one of the many things that ruined the series for. The horrible villain from season two was pathetic and embarrassing, all he did was sit around and molest a 16 year old girl all day! Kirito lost everything that ever made him cool in the first season when he let Suguha tell him off and and then apologized. Suguha is a bitch and a badly written character, she's inconsistent, her decisions make no sense, she comes to stupid, asinine conclusions and to top of that off she acts like a bitch to the one guy who was sticking his neck out to help her. [spoiler]Asuna becomes nothing but a dick sleeve in this season[/spoiler]. Many of the better characters from the season all but disappear until the last few episodes or only have very, very minor roles. The saddest fact about all this is that this anime had potential, much like reki kawahara's other work Accel World. In the end this series is the worst thing to come out of Dengeki Bunko in a very long time. I was very disappointed. :(
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12012
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:09 pm Reply with quote
^
I too thought it was stupid that spoiler[Kirito apologised to Suguha. He didn't do anything wrong to her, apart from not relying on her more. She was the person who fell in love with him - her own kinda-brother - and didn't even bother telling him that she played ALO. How was he supposed to know? What was he supposed to do?]
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TypicalUsername



Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:56 pm Reply with quote
*grumble, grumble, grumble* Aniplex Of America pricing. *grumble, grumble, grumble*

Now that's out of the way, because of how much all of you gripe about SAO, I love it. It might be I was expecting something so horrendous by the way you all talk about it, but when watching it, I enjoy it.
However, placing myself in the scenario that Kirito is in (notated in the article bump), if I had as cool of girl as Asuna, you bet I'd strap in that NerveGear and get to it, danger be damned. So, I can't place that as a character detraction from the plot. Just an opinion of a lone dissenter.

Now, I'll let you all go back to complaining about Aniplex pricing now.
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rydia251



Joined: 10 Jul 2013
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:57 pm Reply with quote
I rarely look for approval from others, but I feel a bit better after reading Rebecca's words since I liked Sugu as a character and how she was handled here. Not exactly a popular opinion. Naturally I don't have any problem with incest of any type so that was not a problem by itself.

I still dislike the arc since they took the great potential of Asuna as a character and after squandering her in the first half, completely flushed her down the toilet in this one. Also was just not that exciting/entertaining. Oh well, it's shounen fantasy, and at the author's age I probably would have written something similar. Only if I could actually write fiction of course.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:16 pm Reply with quote
Akuma-Soul wrote:
This review made me take off my glasses and face palm. Anyone being able to say any good about suguha/Leafa baffles me. She literally was one of the many things that ruined the series for... Kirito lost everything that ever made him cool in the first season when he let Suguha tell him off and and then apologized. Suguha is a bitch and a badly written character, she's inconsistent, her decisions make no sense, she comes to stupid, asinine conclusions and to top of that off she acts like a bitch to the one guy who was sticking his neck out to help her.


Wow, tell us how you really feel ;0

So, the only reason you dislike Kirito as a character is because he was actually dressed down by another human being and apologized ONE TIME in his entire existence? I guess you must have been hoping for Kirito to become even more unstoppable/untouchable in this season than he was in Season 1?

Like I said, I certainly agree that Suguha started off as a weak character. However, I don't think the fact that she was in love with a Gary Stu makes her a "bitch", stupid, asinine or nonsensical. I mean, you hate a character because she fell in love with and was rebuffed by the very guy you think is the coolest man on the planet? I don't think it is that hard to understand the emotions going through Suguha, the character's, head. She is a young teen girl struggling with romance/love. She has abandonment issues with her big brother, who she looks up to and who has been ignoring her for a long time. She suddenly meets this super handsome boy who is perfect in every way, and who seems to return her affections. She falls in love with him. He rejects her. Then she finds out not only was she rejected by this perfect boy, but that he was her big brother, who was thus abandoning her all over again. She becomes overwhelmed by this and lets out all of her feelings of depression, abandonment and sorrow at the person who is at least partially (and perhaps largely) responsible for those feelings.

This all makes perfect sense to me and, I think, giving us this window into Suguha's mind and her inner turmoil made her a much more compelling figure than most of the other characters in SAO. I wish we had seen more of this in the show.

As for Kirito apologizing, I am glad that he did. Not only is he a Gary Stu, but he is also arrogant and clearly negligent in his relationships with real people that should be close to him. He was also spending a WHOLE lot of time flirting with Leafa, only to reject her after his charms worked on her and made her love him. He wants to flirt with girls other than Asuna, and then boot them to the curb once things start to get more serious so he can act like he's still faithful. He's a playa. A heartbreaker. I was glad when Suguha took him down a few notches and made him realize the error of his ways. (Yes, it sucks that she was the only one in the entire show to have the stones to do it, but I don't see why that makes her a "bitch").
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trilaan



Joined: 17 Jan 2009
Posts: 423
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:11 pm Reply with quote
I loved the first season of SAO. I love Gary Stu characters. I love undefeatable heroes that win the day no matter what. maybe I'm a bad judge of what makes good writing or any other example someone might like to use to say that it's bad writing. But whatever, I'll always feel this way.

I also loved Kirito and Asuna's relationship, which only got more beautiful with the inclusion of Yui. Seriously, it made me cry. So, generally I'm a pushover for love.

Moving on, I did not love the second season of SAO because I detest sibling/familial love plots. As much as I love Japan and anime and manga, this is the one Japanese fetish I wish they could just drop or at least keep out of their mainstream entertainments. Such a thing will never happen, of course, so I'll get by with just trying to ignore it, by and large. On the plus side, Suguha did let it go in the end, to which I let out a resounding "Thank God!"

In short, Leafa was good, Suguha was just another example of a tired, worn-out(and in my case) quite creepy and off-putting anime convention.
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