I like both. I don’t care how bad SAO is objectively, I still really enjoyed it.
@NotFlat, agreed, I enjoyed it even though I knew it was objectively bad, so long as you like it that's all that matters
@NotFlat, pretty sure SAO is hated on because it has broad appeal. I still haven’t heard criticism that enumerates why it is “objectively” bad, just a bunch of downvotes and name calling when I say I really like it.
@NotFlat, I watched up until they went to the game where they were fairies or whatever it was before I lost interest. But I did like it
@Hot Coffee, it's bad because kirito has probably the worst character development of any hero I've seen, and I hated how they built up asuna as some bad@ss only for her to be as useless as aqua. and then when they went to elfheim kirito got to keep his level and skills from the previous game so that was kind of lazy writing to make him strong, and then he rushed off to save asuna by himself as if he learned absolutely nothing from the previous season about working as a team and needing support. only to be bailed out at the end by what amounts to console commands. that being said, I still somehow enjoyed the show, and I liked gun gale online the best, and alicization is really good but I haven't finished it yet.
@NotFlat, I only liked the first 12 episodes of season one. It became harem nonsense and just turned me away from the change
@Swagnamite, I will have to rewatch it, I seemed to remember this as the “fatal flaw” story device which can be annoying, but fits with kirito’s personality. As far as the sequels, yeah they were a little weak sauce, but that doesn’t distract from the first story.
@NotFlat, sao is the best and my favorite arc was the gungale online arc
@Hot Coffee, it's because Kirito is the male equivalent of a Mary Sue. He's always amazing at everything, he uses random skills he's never been established to have with more skill than any real life person, and every girl he meets almost immediately becomes part of his harem that he doesn't notice he has. In addition, every villain after the first one resorts to rape, except the last one, which randomly gets raped instead. They're all also super obviously evil except for the first one.
@Your Waifu, I remember kirito as being more a tragic figure type story, not so much as a Mary Sue, kind of like a Greek hero story such as Hercules or Achilles. Kirito’s bona fides are established in the beginning that he’s an accomplished gamer. Again, it’s been years since I watched SAO, but one of the things that I remember liking about it was it wasn’t the usual hero’s journey, but rather a tragic figure story.
Though I haven’t watched it in ages. I need to rewatch it.
@Dimir FTW, I also really enjoyed that arc. The sniper gal is probably my favorite SAO character, even though I don’t remember her name
Eh. I like SAO and I’m excited for the next season of Alicization. I really think it’s the best SAO has ever been.
I started SAO with Alicization and I didn't care for it. FMAB however is tied with Jojo's for my favorite anime of all time
First half season of SAO is great when they are actually in SAO. Didn’t like the rest of it after that.
Never seen either, but I have seen jojo and love live
If you think Kirito is a boring OP swordsman with zero personality just wait till you see Ais Wallenstein in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon
@Sexy Homunculus, while you have a little bit of a point, she's not the main character, is better written than Kirito, and isn't perfect at literally everything like Kirito is.
@Your Waifu, for someone who isn't the main character she sure had a lot of screen time (in the first season anyway) and is really only in the show to be the protagonist's love interest to give him a reason to better himself. And other than the one or maybe two times she smiled (which again had something to do with the main character) she's shown virtually no other emotion at all.
I won't deny Kirito could be better written but I've seen him laugh, cry, and get angry way more times than Ais. And while Kirito is skilled he's definitely not perfect. Even he couldn't save his guild from dying in Aincrad and had to have Sinon show him around in GGO.
(spoiler alert for Alicization/War of Underworld)
He even became an invalid after getting his brain fried and relied on Alice to take care of him since he couldn't walk or talk. He also lost an arm fighting the Administrator and only succeeded after Eugeo and the library girl sacrificed themselves.
@Sexy Homunculus, I've only been watching it on Toonami so I don't know how War of Underwood ends since they stopped broadcasting it. It looks like he'll eventually be getting back to his regular self in the virtual world, although his physical body still seems to be in a really bad shape
@Sexy Homunculus, I am fully aware of what Kirito has been through, but most of his hardships only occur in the first arc, after which he stops growing as a character up until Alicization, which is mostly because his character basically got a soft reset there. And if you remember, the reason his guild died in the first arc isn't because he didn't have the power to save them, but because he didn't warn them fast enough to save them from being basically one shotted. I'd also like to point out the scene where in less than 30 seconds he hacks into an MMO from inside the MMO and converts an AI administrative program into an item, a scene I'm sure anyone with coding or game development knowledge would immediately lose all suspension of disbelief at.
And then I'd also like to point out that you've specifically stated only the first season of Is It Wrong, which itself has almost as many seasons as SAO, with Ais actually developing as the series goes on.
@Sexy Homunculus, also, wouldn't Ais be more comparable to one of the girls in Kirito's harem he doesn't want? Because I seem to recall they don't develop as characters at all after they fall for him, with the exception of Asuna, purely because she gets her own arc. Which, coincidentally, Ais also got her own arc in a spinoff show called Sword Oratoria.
Speaking of which, wouldn't it be fair to say Asuna only exists to be Kirito's love interest?
@Your Waifu, Have you seen the SAO movie? If not I'll try to keep it spoiler free, but in a nutshell he basically deals with another hardship and needs the help from literally every person he knows to overcome it.
Your point about his guild does make sense, and I think you could take it further and say since that was still rather early on in the game his stats weren't as high as they later got so he may not have even really had a chance to save them. But concerning Alfeim keep in mind Yui was with him so that definitely gave him an advantage in exploiting the system. I know she helped him get through that "unbreakable" entrance, and it seems like her abilities also helped him override the system to beat that disgusting POS of a villain. I'll admit though I haven't seen the first season in a while so if that's not the case or there's more to it then I might just be wrong here.
And I should probably say too I'm only about halfway through the second season of Is It Wrong
and I know there's also a movie but I'm not aware of any other seasons. If there really is one that focuses on Ais then I guess that's something, but honestly I've found her to be such a boring and vapid character I really don't see much interest in checking it out. If you have seen it and think it's worth watching then I'll trust your judgment and give it a shot.
As for Kirito's harem I do think Silica and Liz fit your description, although I'd argue Sinon got decently developed. When she's first shown irl she's a scared and traumatized girl, but by the end of the GGO arc she's able to stand up to the girls who bullied her and is a lot more confident in herself.
For Asuna though I'd say she's a strong character who evolved from being his comrade to his love interest the more they spent time together. Ok the second story arc in the first season was pretty much garbage that even I very much disliked, but even you pointed out she got her own arc which had nothing to do with her being Kirito's love interest. If anything I'd argue Mother's Rosario proved Asuna's worth as a character on her own in the show instead of just existing to be the protagonist's love interest.
@Sexy Homunculus, I agree with your assessment of Asuna, and would go so far as to say that Mother's Rosario is the best arc of SAO, partially because Kirito isn't in it, but mostly because Asuna is an amazing character when she's not stuck as a damsel in distress or an observer. I was mostly just pointing out that Ais fills a role more equivalent to Asuna than to Kirito.
As for Sinon, I'd argue she does lose a lot of what makes her characterization interesting after she joins Kirito's harem, and that you just don't notice it as much because unlike the other female characters she spends a lot longer outside that harem than in it. The second arc is an interesting thing to bring up, because I find that for some reason the author felt the need to make every villain after him just as much of a POS or worse to make them believably evil, even though the villain of the first arc was by far the most interesting.
@Sexy Homunculus, as for Sword Oratoria, I'd reccomend it if you like Is It Wrong and the world it takes place in and are okay with having a different main character to see more of it. It does flesh out Ais a bit more as well, as it being from her perspective means we learn a bit more about how she thinks, which is not quite what you might expect.
@Your Waifu, oh yea, Mother's Rosario was beautiful. I really wasn't expecting much at first since the brief arc that preceded it felt like unnecessary filler, but I was blown away by it at the end. It was really nice seeing Asuna take the spotlight and have her own adventure, and that bond she had with Yuki made it so rewarding to watch. It was great too seeing her defend herself when she stood up to her mom.
I guess you are right about Sinon, at least within the show. It does seem like her screen time and impact noticeably diminishes after GGO, although I will say her presence in SAO: Ordinal Scale does carry at least some weight. Without getting too spoilerish there comes a point where a lot of characters are neutralized, and Kirito and Sinon are some of the few human characters left unaffected. She's able to give Kirito backup cover on at least one occasion preventing him from getting overwhelmed and then also takes part in the climatic battle at the end of the film. The movie's
antagonists are also done well, especially the main older one. Unlike Death Gun and that fairy king bastard you can see they're broken and scarred people, and while their actions aren't justified you can at least sympathize with their pain and understand why they're doing what they're doing.
I almost feel like the creator purposefully made the first Alfeim arc so shjtty so it'd be easier to stomach the show's later villains and appreciate the following story lines more. Death Gun was a freakin murderer, but personally I found his backstory intriguing and the fact that he was really two people kept me interested. Same goes for Emperor god Vecta in War of Underworld concerning his past. And yea, I once heard someone say the show is at its best when it's not about Kirito and so far I have to agree with that. Mother's Rosario was fantastic without him, and WoU is a lot more fun to watch when it focuses on Alice and the Integrity Knights. The last episode I saw was when Alice was captured and Sinon came in at the very end to join the fight; I just hope they can start airing it on Toonami again soon.
@Your Waifu, Thanks for the Sword Oratoria recommendation. For a while I avoided Is It Wrong because I was convinced it was just an ecchi harem comedy, and while it does sometimes feel like that I like how its focus is on the adventuring aspect and Bell's personal growth and journey. It even kind of reminds me of SAO in the whole fantasy RPG-like setting, and since it's the real setting and not a video game the stakes are higher. Once I'm done with the second season and movie I'll check out Ais' story.