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REVIEW: Sword Art Online novel 18


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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:10 pm Reply with quote
way to get me hyped for the new anime season
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Kisuke525



Joined: 05 Nov 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:22 pm Reply with quote
I think some of the complaints in the review are a bit odd, but I'm glad that the overall score for the volume was at least decent. I was really hoping that you would enjoy it more though since it was really well received in Japan and from people who read the "other" English version, but it is what it is Sad . Personally I loved the volume. I thought it was really exciting and also pretty emotional. Reki Kawahara is damn good at writing action scenes and I also think he's pretty damn good at writing the more emotional ones too. I also thought the way Incarnation was used in the volume was really cool and made for some pretty awesome scenes.

Overall I thought it was a great volume that brought a solid end to the best arc so far. Hopefully Unital Ring turns out to be even better "it's been really damn good so far" but first comes Moon Cradle. I hope you all enjoy the arcs to come!
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Blanchimont



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:41 am Reply with quote
Quote:
PoU's defeat is, of course, just a secondary objective, as confronting Gabriel and getting Alice to the World-End Altar is the ultimate goal, so they must be chased down.

Story seems to allude PoU is still alive, in the real world(however unlikely that is considering the circumstances)? As his body was gone from the STL unit, thus there were only two body bags extracted when the invading side withdrew. Does the author still have plans for him?
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nyocchi



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Personally I think PoU's (or PoH?) reveal and conclusion in Vol. 18 was a bit of a let down for me personally. I mean including the progressive novels, it feels like PoU has always been the real enemy of the cast.

I haven't delved into the new volumes since Yen Press has finally caught up. I love this series to death ever since before it was taken down on Baka-tsuki, so I've been waiting for a quality translation ever since the fan translators died out.
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Pedram



Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:34 am Reply with quote
Quote:
− Hardly anyone beyond Kirito does anything major, little feels original.


I think this is a very unfair criticism,

Kirito is the Main Character of this story afterall, but he hardly ever do anything for 3 whole volume,
Finally it's time for him to shine a bit more.

Reki Kawahara paced it pretty well imo, Kirito's defeat of PoH and Gabriel was also not even half of the whole book as you said it yourself.

Moreover, the people back in Ocean Turtle did pretty major stuff as well ! any of those failing and the whole story would change. Kikouka and Higa and most importantly
spoiler[ Kayaba ] all had major roles to do.

Only Asuna and Alice didn't do anything major in UnderWorld but they already had their share of major fights and badass battle in earlier volumes.

Plus Alice had her moments in real world later and Asuna had spoiler[ the whole supporting kirito and staying with him even in if it mean being stuck until death part ]

You also seems to completely missed the whole point of the early point of the story, which is Kirito's trauma and his mental state,

As those were one of my favorite scenes and good points of the novel when I read it. but u didn't even mention anything about it.

The UnderWorld events needed to focus on Kirito and spoiler[ his mental state along with eugeo ] so there really wasn't much time to focus on alice or asuna who were already focused a lot before.

Lastly, just saying but while I agree it feels a bit unoriginal now, but Reki Kawahara write this back in around 2007 ~ early 2008, so it was better back then lol


btw, It's PoH = Prince of Hell ( Vassago is also the name of a Demon Prince from hell ) no idea how u typo the whole article as PoU Razz
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:07 am Reply with quote
Searching around a little, apparently in the webnovel Niemonspoiler[(robot/Kayaba)] was the only body to disappear, and PoH's body disappearing was something added to the light novel.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:57 am Reply with quote
Pedram wrote:
I think this is a very unfair criticism,

Kirito is the Main Character of this story afterall, but he hardly ever do anything for 3 whole volume,
Finally it's time for him to shine a bit more.

Enh, I've made it clear in other reviews that I don't find Kirito to be one of the more interesting protagonists out there or my favorite character in the series. So yeah, there's always going to be a markdown from me when the two characters I think are more interesting (Asuna and Alice) get short-changed by comparison.

Let's put it this way: of the eight figma I own and display, four are from this franchise but none are Kirito.

Quote:
You also seems to completely missed the whole point of the early point of the story, which is Kirito's trauma and his mental state,

Oh, I didn't miss it at all. There's just nothing special about it. A hero in the depths of despair who rises back up with an assist from a deceased friend/loved one? That's a trope as old as the hills, and not just in anime.

Quote:
Lastly, just saying but while I agree it feels a bit unoriginal now, but Reki Kawahara write this back in around 2007 ~ early 2008, so it was better back then lol

Not really.You're underestimating just how old the shonen action inspiration that the novel is drawing on actually is.

Quote:
btw, It's PoH = Prince of Hell ( Vassago is also the name of a Demon Prince from hell ) no idea how u typo the whole article as PoU Razz

Yeah, that is a legitimate error and it should be corrected by the time you read this. Don't know what I was thinking there.
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Kisuke525



Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 132
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Damn. Key not to be rude but I think you're letting your personal dislike of Kirito harm the review a bit. Kirito being the main focus of the volume is not a bad thing just because you don't like him. As Pedram said, Kirito is the MC and has been absent for quite awhile. This was originally the end of the series if Kirito didn't have the focus that he does this volume would have been really weird. And while I love Asuna how in the world do you find her more interesting than Kirito? Alice I can understand, but Asuna? More likeable sure, but interesting? I honestly wanna hear why you think so and I don't mean to sound hateful I'm honestly curious.

Now if this review isn't supposed to be objective at all you can pretty much ignore my post. Also if I come off as hostile I apologize.
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Punch Drunk Marc



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 1421
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Kisuke525 wrote:
Damn. Key not to be rude but I think you're letting your personal dislike of Kirito harm the review a bit. Kirito being the main focus of the volume is not a bad thing just because you don't like him. As Pedram said, Kirito is the MC and has been absent for quite awhile. This was originally the end of the series if Kirito didn't have the focus that he does this volume would have been really weird. And while I love Asuna how in the world do you find her more interesting than Kirito? Alice I can understand, but Asuna? More likeable sure, but interesting? I honestly wanna hear why you think so and I don't mean to sound hateful I'm honestly curious.


Just because he's the main focus, doesn't mean that he has to like his character. It's no secret that Kirito is quite possibly the least interesting character in SAO.
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Scion Drake



Joined: 25 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:
Kisuke525 wrote:
Damn. Key not to be rude but I think you're letting your personal dislike of Kirito harm the review a bit. Kirito being the main focus of the volume is not a bad thing just because you don't like him. As Pedram said, Kirito is the MC and has been absent for quite awhile. This was originally the end of the series if Kirito didn't have the focus that he does this volume would have been really weird. And while I love Asuna how in the world do you find her more interesting than Kirito? Alice I can understand, but Asuna? More likeable sure, but interesting? I honestly wanna hear why you think so and I don't mean to sound hateful I'm honestly curious.


Just because he's the main focus, doesn't mean that he has to like his character. It's no secret that Kirito is quite possibly the least interesting character in SAO.


Heh I’m part of a thread that live-reacts to Toonami & pretty much all the people on board were joking around how in even in a coma Kirito is still stealing the spotlight or shilled to Hell. Laughing

I can ascertain that no one there really likes him, at most being very bleh on him but that’s just one thread.
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Kisuke525



Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 132
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:00 am Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:
Kisuke525 wrote:
Damn. Key not to be rude but I think you're letting your personal dislike of Kirito harm the review a bit. Kirito being the main focus of the volume is not a bad thing just because you don't like him. As Pedram said, Kirito is the MC and has been absent for quite awhile. This was originally the end of the series if Kirito didn't have the focus that he does this volume would have been really weird. And while I love Asuna how in the world do you find her more interesting than Kirito? Alice I can understand, but Asuna? More likeable sure, but interesting? I honestly wanna hear why you think so and I don't mean to sound hateful I'm honestly curious.


Just because he's the main focus, doesn't mean that he has to like his character. It's no secret that Kirito is quite possibly the least interesting character in SAO.


Uh I never said he had to like him so what are you talking about? And I don't see how Kirito could be the least interesting character in the series. If we were talking about anime Kirito I could agree with him being one of the less interesting MAIN characters but we're talking about the novels here.
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Pedram



Joined: 31 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:44 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Pedram wrote:
I think this is a very unfair criticism,

Kirito is the Main Character of this story afterall, but he hardly ever do anything for 3 whole volume,
Finally it's time for him to shine a bit more.

Enh, I've made it clear in other reviews that I don't find Kirito to be one of the more interesting protagonists out there or my favorite character in the series. So yeah, there's always going to be a markdown from me when the two characters I think are more interesting (Asuna and Alice) get short-changed by comparison.

Let's put it this way: of the eight figma I own and display, four are from this franchise but none are Kirito.

Quote:
You also seems to completely missed the whole point of the early point of the story, which is Kirito's trauma and his mental state,

Oh, I didn't miss it at all. There's just nothing special about it. A hero in the depths of despair who rises back up with an assist from a deceased friend/loved one? That's a trope as old as the hills, and not just in anime.



Pardon me, But i was thinking of this review more as a professional review with a general view, rather than, I don't find this character interesting, so if a volume focus on him more than other characters i like is automatically a con in it's review.

if this review is suppose to be your own personal idea of this volume, then sure, you can surely name the parts that you personally didn't like as a con.

And I'm wrong to call you unfair as it's your own opinion and I can only disagree with your opinion.

Personally, I think the book and this Arc climax, as a whole, needed to focus on Kirito and end his 3 volume of slumber with this volume with a big focus and conclusion, so the focus on him was a Pros of the book.

Moreover, I find Kirito one of the best and most interesting characters of the franchise, and I know I'm not alone with this, just the discord or reddits I go for Light Novels, and people I see in there are also proof that I'm not alone at finding him a pretty interesting character.

it shouldn't need mentioning but I'm talking about the novel kirito and not anime kirito obviously.

Plus, just because something is using a similar trope does not mean it can't be great. Kirito's mental states and the 3 breakdowns he had spoiler[ ( first for awakening, 2nd when he thought he is gonna be stuck alone until death in UW, 3rd when he finally got back home alone in his room ) ] were 3 of my favorite moments where I truly got emotional and even had my eyes grow wet. as a 26 years old guy, that's the most emotion a novel can bring out of me lol,

I enjoyed them a lot and I know a lot of others similar to me as I talked about it in group chats or reddit after I read it.

Punch Drunk Marc wrote:
It's no secret that Kirito is quite possibly the least interesting character in SAO.


Scion Drake wrote:

I can ascertain that no one there really likes him, at most being very bleh on him but that’s just one thread.


That's a pretty specific group of people who just like to joke on Kirito coz he is known to be an easy target for shitting on in the community lol

Moreover, those are all mostly anime only people who never actually read any of SAO Light Novels, there is still some people who never even understood kirito was Acting like a dick intentionally in Episode 2 of season 1, and think he is an edgelord that think he is better than everyone else and like to act cool and say I'm better than others...

The Dub voice actor of Kirito doesn't help it either as the mood and personality of his character is completely wrong for Kirito imo.


Kirito is one of the most popular characters in the wider audience.
Look at this Decade Ranking of 2010 to 2020 :

https://i.redd.it/73wdxa9x42341.jpg

Kirito is #1 most liked male character and #2 is Lelouch lol
Saber is #1 most liked Female and #2 is Asuna lol

This is from one of the most popular Ranking Magazine in japan.

In the Light novel yearly rankings Kirito is almost always in the top 5 as well. several years at rank 1.

in the newtype monthly ranking, some months kirito get Rank 1 while still being a vegetable and doing pretty much nothing lol
This was for November or December i think :
https://i.imgur.com/yPIhDFu.jpg

So thinking that no one really likes him is pretty wrong Laughing

if you don't see many people here or in toonami chat say they like Kirito, that's coz of all the toxic haters out there who will shit on you the moment you mention liking him. so they stop mentioning it.
after all, it get tiresome after a while. u don't want to start an argument all the time and just wanna enjoy the show.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:59 am Reply with quote
^
Okay, let's be clear about one thing, since you keep harping on this point.

There is NOT that much difference between "anime Kirito" and "novel Kirito." The second episode of the anime made it clear enough that he was deliberately acting like a dick to try to draw the hate onto him and take it off of beta testers. I saw the animated version of the Aincrad arc before I read the novels it was based on, and that came through quite clearly to both me and most other people in the series discussion on this site at that time.

As for getting emotional? Kawahara's strengths (both in this franchise and in other stuff he's written) have always been writing action scenes and describing game mechanics, and I have generally found him to be nowhere near as sharp at writing tear-jerker content. (OTOH, chilling or fist-pumping type emotional content he's done better with.) There's exactly one place in the franchise where I've gotten somewhat teary over either the novel or written version, and it was a scene where Kirito was present but only in the background, as it focused entirely on another character. (You probably won't have to try hard to guess it.) The only scene focused on Kirito which ever got me even close to a teary emotional reaction was the "message from Sachi" scene. But we'll see what the anime can produce when it gets to the scenes you mentioned.

And yes, I'm fully aware that Kirito has long been quite a popular character and why he is. I also completely understand, in a meta sense, why this novel had to focus on Kirito. That doesn't change the fact that I've followed the franchise since the beginning more despite him than because of him.
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Pedram



Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:31 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
^
Okay, let's be clear about one thing, since you keep harping on this point.

There is NOT that much difference between "anime Kirito" and "novel Kirito." The second episode of the anime made it clear enough that he was deliberately acting like a dick to try to draw the hate onto him and take it off of beta testers. I saw the animated version of the Aincrad arc before I read the novels it was based on, and that came through quite clearly to both me and most other people in the series discussion on this site at that time.

And yes, I'm fully aware that Kirito has long been quite a popular character and why he is. I also completely understand, in a meta sense, why this novel had to focus on Kirito. That doesn't change the fact that I've followed the franchise since the beginning more despite him than because of him.


I only mentioned this point once, it was the other guy that said it as well lol

Anyway, I'm not saying that there is a huge different between "anime kirito" and "novel kirito" they are both the same... minus his inner monologue... which is basically helping you to understand him better in the novels.

Most of times, anime only's misconception about kirito's character come from that.

it does not mean anime is very bad or changed Kirito's character, it just mean they didn't get it coz it was not obvious enough.

Episode 2 was one of the very obvious ones, I mentioned it, simply because I see so many people who didn't even get this VERY OBVIOUS one,

I was talking about the other commenters, about overall kirito dislike in anime only community like toonami, and I mentioned how so many of them don't even know the real him, coz of misunderstanding or hearing something wrong about him and believed it.

Anyway, I don't wanna make argument with you over this, as I got no more problem here and already expressed my own opinion over this volume far enough,

I was simply trying to say your own opinion and dislike for a character should not be the reason for a negative point in your review, but then I noticed that this review is basically "your review and your opinion" on this novel so there shouldn't be any problem to express your own negative points you found personally while reading it. I can disagree but iI can't complain.
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Kisuke525



Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 132
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Pedram wrote:
Key wrote:
^
Okay, let's be clear about one thing, since you keep harping on this point.

There is NOT that much difference between "anime Kirito" and "novel Kirito." The second episode of the anime made it clear enough that he was deliberately acting like a dick to try to draw the hate onto him and take it off of beta testers. I saw the animated version of the Aincrad arc before I read the novels it was based on, and that came through quite clearly to both me and most other people in the series discussion on this site at that time.

And yes, I'm fully aware that Kirito has long been quite a popular character and why he is. I also completely understand, in a meta sense, why this novel had to focus on Kirito. That doesn't change the fact that I've followed the franchise since the beginning more despite him than because of him.


I only mentioned this point once, it was the other guy that said it as well lol

Anyway, I'm not saying that there is a huge different between "anime kirito" and "novel kirito" they are both the same... minus his inner monologue... which is basically helping you to understand him better in the novels.

Most of times, anime only's misconception about kirito's character come from that.

it does not mean anime is very bad or changed Kirito's character, it just mean they didn't get it coz it was not obvious enough.

Episode 2 was one of the very obvious ones, I mentioned it, simply because I see so many people who didn't even get this VERY OBVIOUS one,

I was talking about the other commenters, about overall kirito dislike in anime only community like toonami, and I mentioned how so many of them don't even know the real him, coz of misunderstanding or hearing something wrong about him and believed it.

Anyway, I don't wanna make argument with you over this, as I got no more problem here and already expressed my own opinion over this volume far enough,

I was simply trying to say your own opinion and dislike for a character should not be the reason for a negative point in your review, but then I noticed that this review is basically "your review and your opinion" on this novel so there shouldn't be any problem to express your own negative points you found personally while reading it. I can disagree but iI can't complain.


I noticed that you post on SAO articles pretty often and I just want to say I really appreciate your posts. You seem to be able to explain stuff about the series more calmly and lot better than I can. And forgive me if I'm wrong but I think I've seen you post on either general LN or SAO sections of reddit. If you're the person I'm thinking of than you're pretty knowledgeable about the series and I've learned a lot of interesting stuff about it because of you, so thanks for that as well.
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