The Problem With Sword Art Online

2012 was probably the best year for anime in recent memory. That year so many good shows were released, most notably Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan. Out of the anime that were released that Year I personally liked SAO the most even though it had many flaws. The anime had two seasons that were broken into 5 arcs and a total of around 50 episodes. 

The show had some major problems that were never really addressed or solved. The main being the fact that Asuna became more of a background character as the show progressed. She was such a damn badass when she was introduced, but the second she got down with Kirito she started to look more like a cheerleader as Kirito became the focus of the show. It wasn’t until the Mother’s Rosario arc that she was beginning to look like the old Asuna. 

Sword Art Online also has a bit of a habit of sidelining characters. More specifically anyone who isn’t a Mr. Kirito. There are many examples of this but I think two good examples would be Klein and Sinon. Klein was the first player Kirito really connected with. So wouldn’t Klein play a larger role in the show? Nah of course not.

Klein only appears about 4 or 5 times in the entire first season. That’s pretty crazy considering that he’s pretty close to Kirito. Klein was in extra edition and made an appearance in the GGO arc albeit a very short appearance.  The only time he was in a full arc was during the Caliber arc where he was in every episode and also provided a comedic relief.

Sinon’s situation is pretty similar to that of Asuna’s. Sinon was the main female character in the GGO arc, Sinon proved that she was an elite player and overall a pretty dope character, bUT your can’t be a dopen femailed in SAO for too long. After the GGO arc she was pretty much “put on the bench” and added to Kirito’s little harem. Even in the games she’s treated a bit like a 2nd class character who’s not very involved it even seemed as though the newer characters were more relevant than her. 

A problem in many anime is the idea of “plot armor”. This problem is pretty much intensified when it comes to Kirito. A prime example is his battle against Heathcliff. 

Everyone saw that Kirito and Asuna’s  health was completely depleted, but somehow both managed to survive. Even more crazy is the fact that Kirito somehow managed to comeback to life and beat Heathcliff. Another instance of this unbeatable plot armor happened in GGO when Kirito somehow managed to slice Sinon’s bullet in half even though he’d never the game before. I get that his stats from SAO carry over to GGO but I still don’t that he’d be able to dodge bullets and cut them in half especially since a FPS and an MMORPG have drastically different controls, gameplay, and mechanics. 

As much as I love this character I have to say that she was cancer for a whole arc. That’s right I’m talking about the wifey Suguha a.k.a Leafa. The biggest problem with her is that she basically wanted to fuck Kirito. Now I’d applaud Kirito if it wasn’t for the fact that Suguha is his cousin, like come on she’s pretty bad that’s why she’s wifey. 

The last flaw that I want to address is the horrible pacing that was in the very first arc. The pacing was just so uneven and at times skipped over several months. I understand that no one wants to see the characters…I mean Kirito’s grind just to level up but it just seems like they skipped too much time.  Luckily the pacing was much better throughout the rest of the show.

If you noticed any flaws with Sword Art Online then let me know by leaving a comment I’d be interested in hearing them.

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13 thoughts on “The Problem With Sword Art Online

  1. It was the first arc’s pacing that put me off, I must admit. I understand why they needed to skip over months rather than show repetitive level grinding, but I would have liked a longer focus on different character’s and their relationships at the start. As it was, the pacing resulted in the story just failing to grab me enough to continue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did like the first arc, too. But then women’s rights was basically set back 100 years in the following arc (only watched season one so far). It’s all about Kirito, apparently! I also haven’t read the light novels, but maybe Progressive smoothes things out a bit.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked the pacing of the first arc, but Asuna becomes just a trophy, and tbh, I didn’t get interested enough to continue watching past the SAO arc. Since they are alive and etc, I just felt like it was a gigantic letdown. I wanted some real impact from it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree although the story gets a bit better during the GGO arc. If you’re looking for a more interesting arc then you should watch the Mother’s Rosario arc which focus mainly on Asuna.

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  4. It’s nice reading someone who actually likes SAO commenting on its flaws, as opposed to someone just saying “worst anime ever” over and over without even attempting to give it any credit whatsoever.

    With that being said, I’d have to agree on how a lot of the characters were sidelined, even my favorite character Asuna. It truly is a shame. As with the pacing, if you ever get a chance, I suggest you read the Light Novels. They are incredibly well written, and address the pacing much better than in the anime. I honestly had the same issue when I started watching it, as I was often confused as to just how much time had passed from one episode to another.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The first two seasons of Sword Art Online actually follow their original sources, light novels, fairly well and were accurate adaptations as anime. I think the problem would be the storytelling, which only the author can fix, and she is doing that with the Sword Art Online Progressive light novels. I would expect a new Sword Art Online anime diving deeper into the story from the very beginning and highlighting Asuna much more (She was the best character that ever happened to the franchise).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh you should go read them! So far it’s still in Aincrad and going way more into depth and creating better characterization and other elements! It’s the new and improved Sword Art Online and it’s actually legit!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually like the pacing in the first arc because I really don’t want to watch the characters grinding up the levels and like that we skip over the various months to particular boss fights and the like. Enough information is given that we know what’s been going on in between so not having to watch every step of it has never bothered me. That said, I completely agree with you about how both Asuna and Sinon start out as pretty interesting characters and then, once they’ve had their moment, they just kind of fade into the background.
    Thanks for shairng your thoughts.

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