September 30, 2012

More Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online, despite its stupid premise, continues to impress me.

Asuna, the female lead, is particularly well realized. She's not a shrinking violet. She does not exist to show how awesome the male lead is. Asuna is a full fledged hero in her own right who at this point has unambiguously saved the heroes ass once more than he's saved hers. Unlike Kirito, Asuna was not an experienced gamer and certainly not one of this games Beta Testers, yet she has through sheer determination become at least his equal. She helped form and is now second in command of a guild that is fighting its way through the upper levels, she is however quite close to burnout when she meets Kirito for the second time.

(She's so buff that she could even afford to buy up her cooking skill to the God, she's perfect!)

On the other hand, Kirito, the male lead WAS a Beta Tester and as such is something of a pariah. The beta testers were deeply resented by the other gamers because they knew where everything on the lower levels was, and they did not share with the other players or train them.  Kirito did do a bit of mentoring, but is haunted by the mistakes he made early on and at one point early in the series he abandons clearing the game to schlep amongst the lower levels where his skill levels (about 3 times what is common in those regions) make him almost godlike. He spends several episodes doing good deeds and trying to be a hero with decidedly mixed results before realizing that his place is on the "front lines" and heading back.
At this point he's far past any areas he covered in Beta and so has no innate advantages. Though far from perfect he's an interesting and decent person, however he is weary and close to dispair when he by chance, encounters Asuna for the second time.

Kirito has developed as a character quite a lot over the course of the series but its the relationship between the two that is most interesting.

Teamwork! The secret to taking down high level monsters.

These two people really complement and complete each other. They have one of the more realistic and mature relationships I've seen on TV. This is a sad commentary on something since it is a...cartoon...about a virtual a video game... but its damned nice to see.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:36 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 It's been amusing to watch people complain about the relationship-centered episodes; apparently the OP and ED animations were too subtle for them.


Posted by: J Greely at Mon Oct 1 11:05:01 2012 (2XtN5)

2 Yeah, the whole 'fish story' was nicely done on a number of levels.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Oct 1 13:42:21 2012 (e9h6K)

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