Sword Art Online 03
So I’m starting to worry that these episodes are being rushed, not rushed in terms of production value, I am still amazed at how well drawn and animated SAO is. I more worried that they are blasting through what were originally side stories intended to fill in the two year gap that happens in volume 1 of the novel.
At present it seems like they are doing one episode per novel, I know you can’t dedicate a whole series to each book, but surely an episode isn’t enough time to convey the entirety of each. I can’t be sure as I am still only four chapters into volume one which is a really poor effort on my part. So instead I’m going to quote MOOMBA from RandomC who has read all the novels:
In a way, I’m a little disappointed that The Red-Nosed Reindeer was only adapted into one episode – in my view it’s quite possibly the most important of all the SAO side stories and we can see some minor pacing issues in how it was handled. Where most of the side stories merely serve to show Kirito in a different light (and introduce new characters with no relation to the main plot), RNR’s events pretty much define Kirito as a person. It’s hard to imagine that what he went through wouldn’t leave emotional scars, not just because of the loss of his friends, but because of his role in their fate.
This is certainly the feeling I am getting especially pacing wise, there were what, three time jumps in this episode alone and that can get confusing. However I think what got me was that each little segment seemed a little disjointed, Kirito never seemed to get any closer to anyone in the guild but really it was things like ‘hey we can nearly buy a house’ then 20 seconds later ‘hey we are buying our house’ what happened to everything in between???? I just can’t help that feel we might be missing something critical that some bigwig at aniplex has decided is unimportant. Like with last weeks episode where huge chunks of the novel ‘Hoshinaki Yoru no Aria’ were dropped just to get it to fit into a 20 minute slot.
But enough ranting and back to episode which despite the pacing issues I really enjoyed as we are finally getting some character development for Kirito. What I love most is how some light is shed on his character and that he obviously still wants to have friends and play in a group despite the fact that is stunt last episode has obviously jammed a huge wedge between him and the top echelon players out on the front line. I can’t see why else he would have joined the Moonlit Black Cats as they couldn’t really benefit him in any other way, unless he was trying to make up for something by acting as a protector for this low level guild.
Of course, they only let him join because they were unaware of his reputation as a Beater and Kirito goes to some length to make sure they don’t find out, hiding actual level for a start. Had he been more up front about his level and the fact he was a beta tester, chances are the rest of the players would still be alive. As it looks like he knew they were walking into a trap and failed to stop them from meeting their imminent deaths.
It’s no surprise to me that guilt got him down, especially in face of the promises he made. The constant foreshadowing of their looming demise was a little overplayed I think, which with all the added drama detracted something from the episode. I didn’t even feel sad in any respect until Kirito received Sachi’s final message via voice recorder.
So next week it seems we are going to see Kirito as his Black Swordsman self, so presumably we are looking at another time skip to somewhere near the 2 year mark. Bring on the main plot, I can’t wait!
Another random question for those who have read the novel was that information broker Argo or just a random one?