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Interview: Sword Art Online's Reki Kawahara


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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 2440

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:25 pm Reply with quote
Omg someone PLEASE publish the english light novels >.< I hear there's multitudes better than the animes
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Arsenette



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for the interview Smile I'm so happy at least he had a positive trip here in the USA (especially since it was his first overseas trip). I'm always happy about that. Glad he's planning on expanding to translating (legally) his work so it can be sold here.
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zeo1fan



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 967

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:49 pm Reply with quote
He may not be the best writer, but he at least seems nice. Decent consolation, I suppose.
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gwern



Joined: 05 Nov 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:08 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
ANN: Are there any light novel works by some of your peers that you're reading currently that might inspire you?

Kawahara: After I signed with ASCII Media Work's Dengeki Bunko imprint, I couldn't read other writer's work because after I'd read a novel I could visualize the writer. It's not a light novel, but I really admire Stephen King. I may want to try a horror story.


He could 'visualize' them...?
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Sakurazuka_Reika



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 377
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:09 pm Reply with quote
Woo, I really hope the SAO novels are released in English. Ganbare, Kawahara-sensei!

I just find this guy so awkwardly adorable and I don't know why.
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keichitsu0305



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 1024

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:46 pm Reply with quote
gwern wrote:
Quote:
ANN: Are there any light novel works by some of your peers that you're reading currently that might inspire you?

Kawahara: After I signed with ASCII Media Work's Dengeki Bunko imprint, I couldn't read other writer's work because after I'd read a novel I could visualize the writer. It's not a light novel, but I really admire Stephen King. I may want to try a horror story.


He could 'visualize' them...?

Er... I think he means that he could see where the writer was going before they got there?

Predictability is the word I think he meant.

Also, Kawahara writing horror; I would love to read that.
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octopodpie
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 899
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:35 pm Reply with quote
gwern wrote:
Quote:
ANN: Are there any light novel works by some of your peers that you're reading currently that might inspire you?

Kawahara: After I signed with ASCII Media Work's Dengeki Bunko imprint, I couldn't read other writer's work because after I'd read a novel I could visualize the writer. It's not a light novel, but I really admire Stephen King. I may want to try a horror story.


He could 'visualize' them...?


I got the impression that he could see the writers in his head, since he met them working for the same imprint, and thus couldn't get immersed in the story.

Sort of like when you meet someone in person and then read all written correspondences from them in their voice.
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KentaMaeba



Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I was involved in the script, there's a script meeting every week. I would go there and make sure the scenario and story were correct and what I wanted.


I was wondering why the script was so bad.

Quote:
I attended the [dub] premiere and panel. I found out that Agil and Klein, the two male characters, are very popular here.


Perhaps because they are NOT MARY SUES.

Quote:
my subliminal idea or some hidden emotion creates the characters to be strong and capable.


HA. Kuroyukihime maybe, but Asuna? FUNNY.

Quote:
I really admire Stephen King. I may want to try a horror story.


As far as I'm concerned, SAO was pretty horrifying in it's own right (tentacle rape, anyone?).

Quote:
Those are big issues and sometimes online games were targeted as the cause, by sociey. So I thought, "That's not true." I might have thought to show it in a more positive light in my light novels.


SAO has enough content to be used AGAINST video games. You're not exactly doing a good job.

Quote:
we really want to work with a publisher to publish the English version.


Wait for iiiiiiiiit.......

NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooOOOOOOooOOOoooooooo...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

I'll be here all night, folks.
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SwerveCity



Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:23 pm Reply with quote
It reads like he just wrote stuff that he thought he'd enjoy and somehow other people liked it. I suppose if that works for him fair enough but it explains a lot about the weaknesses in the plot/characterisation.
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Splitter



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 1212
Location: Knockin' on Heaven's Door

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:10 pm Reply with quote
zeo1fan wrote:
He may not be the best writer, but he at least seems nice. Decent consolation, I suppose.


ANN's text-based interview doesn't capture it quite as well, but his Aniplex video reviews really show how humbled he is by SAO's success. I personally don't care for his work, but a lot of the things he does as a writer (not starting with a set idea for a character, not reading other work and risk losing your own vision in comparison) are things I really admire.
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aoi yuuki fanboy



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:31 pm Reply with quote
KentaMaeba wrote:
Quote:
I was involved in the script, there's a script meeting every week. I would go there and make sure the scenario and story were correct and what I wanted.


I was wondering why the script was so bad.

Quote:
I attended the [dub] premiere and panel. I found out that Agil and Klein, the two male characters, are very popular here.


Perhaps because they are NOT MARY SUES.

Quote:
my subliminal idea or some hidden emotion creates the characters to be strong and capable.


HA. Kuroyukihime maybe, but Asuna? FUNNY.

Quote:
I really admire Stephen King. I may want to try a horror story.


As far as I'm concerned, SAO was pretty horrifying in it's own right (tentacle rape, anyone?).

Quote:
Those are big issues and sometimes online games were targeted as the cause, by sociey. So I thought, "That's not true." I might have thought to show it in a more positive light in my light novels.


SAO has enough content to be used AGAINST video games. You're not exactly doing a good job.

Quote:
we really want to work with a publisher to publish the English version.


Wait for iiiiiiiiit.......

NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooOOOOOOooOOOoooooooo...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

I'll be here all night, folks.


ooof... no need to read the article or post in the forum topic about something you aren't into. i hope you find better things to do with your time.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2347

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:53 pm Reply with quote
@aoi yuuki fanboy

For future reference, there's no need to quote an entire giant post in a case like that. If you want to reply to a specific point you can just quote the relevant part, or if you want to reply in general you can do what I did and address the poster at the top of your post. Makes the forums less cluttered, and makes Tony K happier.


@octopodpie

While I didn't exactly find KentaMaeba's commentary to be the height of wittiness, it did bring up an issue I'm curious about: how do you feel about the portrayal of Asuna in SAO, both the series as a whole and the second half in particular?
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zeo1fan



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 967

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:06 pm Reply with quote
Splitter wrote:
zeo1fan wrote:
He may not be the best writer, but he at least seems nice. Decent consolation, I suppose.


ANN's text-based interview doesn't capture it quite as well, but his Aniplex video reviews really show how humbled he is by SAO's success. I personally don't care for his work, but a lot of the things he does as a writer (not starting with a set idea for a character, not reading other work and risk losing your own vision in comparison) are things I really admire.


Researching the weaker pieces of a genre is a how a decent writer learns the common flaws and pitfalls of said genre and subsequently avoids them. Care to know another popular author who shares his strategy? Stephanie Meyer. While writing Twilight, she didn't read any other pieces of vampire fiction and I'm sure we're all aware of the dubious quality of her work at this point.
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Sasukeuzi



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:31 pm Reply with quote
some people posted videos of his Q&A panel on Youtube. the guy was really nice to answer all our questions at the con. really humble
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octopodpie
ANN Associate Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 899
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:

@octopodpie

While I didn't exactly find KentaMaeba's commentary to be the height of wittiness, it did bring up an issue I'm curious about: how do you feel about the portrayal of Asuna in SAO, both the series as a whole and the second half in particular?


I'm not familiar with the book material but I have watched the entire anime series. Kawahara touched on his thoughts a bit in a prior press conference. *Note, a member from a press organization asked the question at this panel, not any one representing ANN*
Quote:
Q: I'm sorry, this is a little long-winded. Asuna is a bit of a tricky character, she starts out incredibly strong while working within the political system of SAO. In the Fairy Dance arc she's caged, sexually assaulted, and virtually replaced with women with half her ability and depth. What would you say to the critics who find her role problematic, especially given the often misogynistic climate in anime.

Kawahara: As I said previously, the character of Asuna I might have created a little too perfectly for Sword Art Online. When teamed up with Kirito, there was hardly any problem that the two could not, as a pair, overcome. To increase the sense of urgency during the Fairy Dance story arc, I needed to make her unable to help Kirito. In caging her, I do have some regrets about putting her in a situation to build up a sense of danger for Kirito's adventure in the second story arc. As recompense, internally, I made a story, as a follow up called "Mother's Rosario" where Asuna was the main character. Should there be more animation, I'd really like to see that story depicted.


Personally, I liked Asuna as a character in the initial first half of of the series. I did find the second half hard to watch for the reasons mentioned in the above question.
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