I’ll probably be in the minority when I saw this but, based solely on episode 1 alone, I feel that SAO is way over hyped. It isn’t bad or anything like that, but I think that people are giving it way too much credit for what it has actually shown and is about to show. Do note that I have not read the LN regarding my earlier statement (so this is a non LN reader’s POV, which should make it less biased). It is important to remember that yes the LN being successful and popular is one thing as many have probably read it, but as for whether the adaptation itself did a good job of adapting is a totally different matter.
I’m not hating on the show, if anything I actually find it a decent watch at the bare minimum, which speaks a lot about how good it actually is. If it wasn’t for all the hype, or over hype for that matter I would have felt better about watching SAO because what hype does is simply generate expectations, which might get over zealous (let us not forget the great GC incident). The setup and premise are unique in itself, however, when I attempt to look at the larger picture – What will happen from hereon, I don’t see too many creative possibilities coming from SAO.
Expanding on my previous sentence, I find it unique that SAO is essentially a game itself presented in anime form, hearing all the gaming terms and such. Of course a twist had to happen (although I didn’t quite expect it), making this similar to playing Diablo on Hardcore, except that the part about having one life also extends to real-life as well. Being a gamer in person of course SAO already scores brownie points with me, since the male lead Kirito (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) is also a player who has a smart game sense compared to a certain short and fat guy in some distant accelerated game world. The game world in SAO is beautifully rendered as well (love the transition from day to night), which is of paramount importance in an adaptation since LNs do basically consist of just text with minimal amounts of pictures.
My biggest concern is regarding where the story is headed towards, since I have not read the LNs. I have no idea what the current situation is like although I did some poking around to get a little more non-plot related information, but as far as genres go, it really seems to me like an overpowered male lead who just decimates every enemy kind of deal – obviously since there is no story left to tell once Kirito is dead unless some insane twist happens (which is possible when and if he finally reaches the last level in approximately another 10 years time).
At the end of the day I probably will still enjoy watching SAO more than the usual fare of anime not just because of its production values (not forgetting who does the music!) but also because of it being intertwined with MMOs itself. I can definitely see why it is popular (gamers and LN readers unite!), but at the same time I’m worried that this hype might have put too much expectations on SAO. To the point where once it fails to deliver or turn out not to be the adaptation that people have hoped for, things will start to turn ugly. Fortunately, since it is an adaptation after all, as long as the screen writers tackle the adaptation without tinkering around too much; trimming too many important scenes then I’m optimistic that SAO will turn out to be well worth the watch.
Note: I might not be covering SAO after all, mainly because it is two-cour. I’m thinking of Kokoro Connect as a most likely replacement but we shall see.
- Good old
- SAO proves exactly why G.I.R.L = Guy In Real Life, be careful who you flirt with the next time you’re online because you never know..
- No log out button? CLEARLY NOT A BUG jeez, I dislike newbies and so does Kirito.
- The whole Nerve Gear thing is like every gamers dream, except that what would happen to the actual productivity of the world if a set amount of the population chose to play a “virtual” game instead?