Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Why Sword Art Online isn't my thing

All right, back from vacation and on to the first blog post of my new resolution. What to say, what to say. Welp, I'm too lazy to talk about programming right now (next week I have finals for my current 3 classes because my school's scheduling is messed up, so it's crunch time) and I don't want another school rant on my record. Also, I need an excuse to talk about something where I can easily rip images off of google images for embeding. Anime might be a good place to start.
Oh. Shit.
So I'm not a massive fan of SAO up there. The animation quality is top notch and the basic premise is cool. I like Log Horizon and .Hack. However, SAO really fails in its execution and devolves into this stupid harem rather than actually do anything interesting.
Every girl except the god damn fairy has a crush on the guy in the middle.
One of the things I really love in video games, books, TV shows, and movies is world building. Anime like Chrome Shelled Regios and Legend of the Legendary Heroes actually bring a lot of this to the forefront and I enjoy those shows despite their harem aspects.
Both these series take place in somewhat unusual settings as does SAO but the difference is that these tend to place world building towards their top priorities while SAO usually takes a more narrativist view on what's important, where only plot important things get mentioned. Chrome Shelled Regios has the main character working in a maintenance and cleaning position in his break hours, and LotLH(I am not typing that title out every time I refer to it) has the main characters chasing the relics of old heroes and has interesting details like each country having its own, fairly secret, brand of magic and groups responsible for protecting that secret. I can think of no part of SAO where it matters that the characters are in the game in the main plot, as for all purposes it may as well be a standard fantasy setting for the first season, and a generic wasteland style setting for the first half of the second season.  Also Kirito is uninteresting as a character. For an example of what I like in a character meet Ryner Lute.
"I would say hi but that's a pain"
Now see, Ryner lives a kind of harsh life. He's the carrier of the Alpha Stigma, a magic power that gives its wielder the ability to analyze and copy magic but is well known for the fact that it's users generally lose control and wreak havoc. He's not the most well liked guy because of that, needless to say. He got drafted from a young age as an assassin and it leads to his somewhat defeatist attitude on life. He generally doesn't care what happens so long as it doesn't affect him and he's very lazy and prone to napping a lot. Compare this to Kirito, whose general personality goes from "I'm a badass" to "people suck".

Just to be clear, I don't begrudge people for liking SAO. I'm just saying that it doesn't match my taste. I'm not a huge Bruce Willis fan either. SAO appeals to the otaku equivalent of that, but its not my thing.

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