Okay, I’ve changed where I’m running the survey momentarily just to try a different service and see which one is more manageable. For now, if you want to ask me a question there’s a link in the sidebar or you go straight to the survey. The old link will still work and I’ll still check there for questions. I’m just trying something a bit different because some people were having trouble with the other survey.
Question: What anime/manga do you feel receives more criticism/hate than it actually deserves? From anon.
I’ve never made any attempt to hide the fact that I am an SAO fan. I’ve seriously been considering a rewatch and reviewing it episode by episode (much as I have started with Yuri on Ice, but for this one I didn’t have the blog or streaming services when it first came out). While I will happily admit to many flaws in Sword Art Online, and the increasingly diminishing returns of further arcs, the Aincrad Arc remains one of my very favourite narratives to watch.
Clear purpose, evolving characters (go on, tell me Kirito doesn’t develop as a character in this first arc, I can already hear the screams), fantastic action, skipping over the grinding and just cutting to the points that make a pivotal difference to either the characters or the quest… A real sense of danger as their actions and choices matter and one mistake could be their last… The soundtrack… Okay, fan-girling big time.
What I like most about the first arc of SAO is it is accessible. I have many friends who aren’t super into anime but they don’t mind games or action so Sword Art Online is an easy sell to get them to try an anime. I’ve only had one person out of perhaps ten who have watched it with me end up not enjoying it. Most of the others have not only binged watched the whole arc but have then asked me what other anime I would recommend.
Why does it get so much hate? Well apparently it is popular to hate on SAO. Apparently it gives you credit as a ‘real’ fan or someone who watches ‘real anime’. Again, I’m not going to proclaim it a perfect work of art and I’m pretty critical of every arc after the first myself. But statements like it is the ‘worst anime ever’, a ‘steaming pile of…’, or that Kirito is a ‘Gary Stu’ who never changes just make me wonder if the person watched the show in the first place or just someone else’s review of it and whether they’ve watched all that much anime.
It isn’t that I don’t think people should criticise Sword Art Online. I just wish the criticisms were grounded on actual observation rather than just going with the flow of hyperbole that anything connected to Sword Art Online must be some fanboy’s delusions of grandeur on crack. I do not understand how people can say Kirito doesn’t change. Watch episode 1 again. Skip forward to episode 10. Do you see the difference? If not, try again, and this time actually pay attention to his attitude to himself and others. That development occurs, incrementally over the first arc.
Admittedly, that’s where it plateaus and part of the trouble with Sword Art Online is the concept is really a one arc story. Everything that came after that is just forcing more problems on characters who’ve already had their drama play out and the characters aren’t really getting anywhere after that point nor is the sense of danger or excitement still present.
So yes, easy question to answer though I suspect I might get some more interesting comments than normal on this one.
That said, it isn’t though Sword Art Online is alone in being the flavour of the month to hate on. Diabolik Lovers finds itself targeted quite regularly, and I’ll be honest and admit I’ll happily tear that to pieces any day of the week. Fans of it probably aren’t thrilled by the negativity, though I think vampire sexual and emotional abuse is probably a little harder to justify than what might be classified a slightly bland power fantasy. Just my opinion.
Alright, over to you. Do you think Sword Art Online gets more criticism than it deserves? Is there another series that you feel is needlessly bashed around by critics just because it is cool to do so? Just remember, play nice.
Thanks for reading.
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