Sword Art Online II – 17

*snore*SILLY.WHY2

 

Oh, huh? Did something happen?

….

What. The. Fuck?

That was it?

That was fucking it?

That arc lasted, like, what, three episodes? And they made an opening sequence just for that? This anime isn’t even trying anymore. This episode was both tedious filler and incredibly boring. Thrym went down like this was LFR mode or something. Freyja transformed into Thor for…some reason. And then the quest was over. Kirito Sue the Magnificent pulled Excalibur out of the pedestal, still not bothering to explain why some old English legend is playing a huge part in a scenario based entirely around Nordic mythology, and woo hoo everything went back to normal Idontgiveafuckville.

Jesus Christ, what are they going to do for the next seven episodes? Hopefully it’ll be a romantic comedy in which Asuna goes and cheats on Kirito with some glorious hunk of a man. Or woman. Or something. I dunno. Just give me a reason to watch this tripe that isn’t masochism. I said I’d watch this through to the end and I will, but goddamn it if A1 isn’t trying to make it as arduous as possible.

 

Sword Art Online II – 16

And so the Totally PlatSILLY.SWIGGITYonic Adventures of Kirito Sue the Magnificent continue, charging forth into Boredomheim. This plot is so dumb. Oh no, Thrym is gonna rape Freyja. Who is Freyja again? Why is she here? Why is she about as developed as the other five females next to Kirito? Why do we care about the travails of a random NPC? Nobody ever does. This is an MMO. Have any of the writers or animators ever played or raided in an MMO ever? If so, then why did we spend fifteen minutes on them clearing trash? You know, the thing that nobody likes? That was most of this episode. They spent a significant part of their animation budget on animating a trash mob fight. What part of this sounds exciting? Are you trying to kill us all with boredom-induced atherosclerosis? That’s not the best plan.

Also, Thrym is gonna rape Freyja. LOL. Uh, dude. Practical concerns here: you’re a giant. She’s…what…an elf or something? I think I care about the niceties of Norse mythology in this anime as much as its creators do. Anyway, Thrym: your dick is probably bigger than her entire body. You’re not gonna rape her. For this reason, I laughed my guts out at this scene. Somehow in two episodes this series has transformed from a semi-serious take on an MMO into a complete caricature of itself. It has no plot; it has no characters; it’s just a waste of time and money. A1 Studios might as well take the yen they have out of their business account and smoke some weed with it. It would probably end up being more edifying to humanity than this commercial diarrhea.

THRYM COMIN’ FOR THAT BOOTY, FREYJA. BETTER WATCH OUT.

No wait, maybe you should just kinda go along with it. It’s more action than Kirito will ever give you. Just ask Asuna. Ha. Ha. Ha.

(Sigh.)

Sword Art Online II – 15

SILLY.WHY

Why is Sinon playing this fantasy MMO she knows nothing about? Why wouldn’t she be committing herself to the hardcore MMO she has already invested herself in and knows very well? I mean, yeah, this is a minor point. At least she stayed somewhat within her character, although I’d have preferred a sort of role-reversal where she took on a male avatar in Alfheim-whatever-online.

Anyway, this episode was pretty boring. Mostly a setup with lots of exposition that made little sense and gave me no reason to care. There’s no more risk of death anymore, so why does anybody give a fuck about this random conflict in this passe MMO? It’s a raid. This is not a new and amazing thing. Did they just forget about that whole aspect of Sword Art Online, where it only works if there’s a lingering, contrived threat of death hanging above everyone’s heads? The answer is yes. They knew they already had enough of an audience to turn Sword Art Online into The Totally Platonic Adventures of Kirito Sue the Magnificent. Only it doesn’t fucking work. Why do I keep having to go back to this basic element of storytelling with everything I see these days? In all honesty, I would rather it be Kirito Sue and His Gals Make a Porno, as that might be slightly interesting, even though I’m gay and straight sex could not be less involving for me. How is this 16-year-old nubile male teenager surrounded by adoring nubile female teenagers not fucking each and every one one of them on a schedule scrawled out on a whiteboard in his room? That’s what any other male would be doing, not this shitty MMO crap. Far from being virtuous or noble, it just comes across as being both ridiculous and boring. And why is Asuna still calling Kirito “Kirito-kun”? The fuck? How creepy can this shit get?

Blah blah blah, some MMO raiders got a quest to go raid a dungeon. That’s it. That’s the entire plot of this next arc. What the fuck? Am I in some sort of nightmare of unending torment? Did Sauron the Deceiver kidnap me somewhere along the line and my whole life has been one cruel lie after another conjured for his amusement? No, that can’t be right. Sauron wouldn’t waste such an opportunity with something as dry and boorish as depicting a raiding harem. He had a much grander imagination than that.

You know what, fuck it. No more expectations. From this point forth, Sword Art Online II shall be blogged solely to lampoon it. Granted, that’s mostly what I’ve been doing anyway, but now I can just switch gears to full Apathy Mode. Cheers. Let me go pop some more popcorn. I always like mine slightly burnt.

Sword Art Online II – 13

Shinkawa, that randSILLY.EXPECTEDom, slightly isolated admirer of Sinon’s we haven’t seen in forever, is actually one of Death Gun’s cronies. Shocking. I will refer back to yon post here, six episodes ago, when I predicted exactly this.

Also, Shinkawa is a complete psychopath, because this is one of only two options in Japanese society: you are either perfectly normal and conform to Japanese cultural norms, or are batshit-holyfuck-allworkandnoplay-craaaaaaaaazy. There are no alternatives. Why else wouldn’t you conform to Japanese society unless you were completely fucking crazy? Only crazy people wouldn’t conform. I mean, seriously now.

Kirito beat Death Gun, thanks to Sinon finally figuring out she could do something, which she did. Plot Twist of 2014.

Following on this very concrete example, Sinon got it into her head that she’s not a worthless piece of crap and that she is capable of doing things to affect her reality for the better. Great. Why did that take 13 episodes?

Kirito also didn’t let things slide and realized Sinon might still be in danger. Common sense is a useful skill.

The nurse surrounded by IVs in a modern Japanese hospital outright stated that Kirito is actually at risk of being dehydrated. Um. No. No, he’s not. Not if you actually know how to do your job, bitch. Are you even a nurse? I’m seriously starting to question your creds.

In other news, generic anime is generic, but I’ll admit: this episode was fun. After three weeks of being talked to death, anything can seem exciting.

Sword Art Online II – 11

Somehow this episode wSILLY.STEWIE-GUNas worse than last week’s. I don’t know how, but it succeeded. There was even more Talk no Jutsu, followed by Kirito and Sinon making even more hilarious assumptions about who Death Gun is. By the way, some of the stuff Kirito finally surmised was pretty obvious, the first part being the fact that their Space Game Helmets can’t stop their hearts, given they’re not even connected to one’s heart in the first place. That doesn’t rule out brain damage and such from electrical shock, but again, a safer assumption is that manufacturers made sure these things were pretty damn safe. So if Death Gun can’t magically kill people from afar via computer code, then he’s somehow arranging their deaths in the real world. Makes sense.

Beyond that, though, everything Kirito and Sinon “figured out” about Death Gun while they were talking for twenty more minutes in slightly varied camera angles was the most contrived scenario I’ve seen in a while. His entire MO relies on this MMORPG requiring people to publicly display their personal information. That’s awfully convenient, you know. Why would any popular MMO do this? If it did, it certainly wouldn’t be popular.

Anyway, so Death Gun has an accomplice, right? The theory is that this accomplice incapacitates someone’s physical body while the in-game Death Gun gets ready to shoot them on screen and time their actions perfectly to create the illusion he has the power to execute people in-game. Right…so…first off, why isn’t there a way to temporarily disable the visual immersion of the Space Game Helmet so you can check your immediate surroundings? This seems like what any manufacturer of a VR device would do: make sure your connection to the real world is not so easily severed. Ignoring how people would demand this simple convenience, this sort of scenario with Death Gun would be the most obvious danger to the user. At the very least you should be able to access things like email and texting so you can keep in contact with people, right? Second, why does Kirito somehow think waking one’s self up to fight this accomplice is a bad idea? How do you even know he’s there at the time? Assuming they have a limited amount of whatever combinations of drugs that let them incapacitate people and cause cardiac arrest, they’re probably going to save this ritual until the very moment they’re sure they can pull it off. So the idea that Sinon is incapacitated in the real world at this very moment is absurd. Third, why does Kirito think the accomplice is injecting some sort of chemical into a person in order to incapacitate them when no medical evidence suggests this is the case? Even though bodies decompose, lacerations and injuries do not heal after people die. (Duh.) They’re pretty easy for coroners to find. Fourth, why doesn’t Kirito log-out or contact the fucking police so they get to Sinon’s address? Or the hospital where he’s at? In other words, why aren’t these people using their brains? Even if Sinon dies, they can still catch Death Gun’s accomplice with ease.

By the way, I wonder what “Sterben” means. Apparently Google doesn’t exist in the future, considering it took me three seconds to answer this question. What, does GGO not have an in-game browser at the very least? How lame is this “hardcore” MMO? It makes you put in your personally identifiable information in public, but it doesn’t have an in-game browser. Fucking EVE has that.

Maybe something will happen next week. Maybe they’ll all die.

Sword Art Online II – 8

SILLY.OVERDRAMATIC

We get it, Kirito Sue the Magnificent: you’re scared. You’re traumatized. You’re so traumatized you’re wielding a giant hammer with “DEEP-SEATED EMOTIONAL ISSUES” scrawled on its hilt and beating all the viewers’ faces with it. So much so it’s kind of lost all of its weight. We don’t care. Why are you so afraid of Death Gun? I would like to remind you that you have conquered two MMOs, one in which you were under worse threat of death, through the sheer power of will.. You have literally willed yourself to ignore the game’s code and do whatever the fuck you want. This has been established and recognized by the games’ creator. You are actually God in this virtual universe for all intents and purposes, but you’re afraid of some guy in a mask. Instead of feeling Kirito’s anxiety, I was just amused and perplexed at how overdramatic he was being for no reason.

Behold! A textbook example on why everyone hates Mary Sues and why they never work. If there is no threat to the character, there is no tension for the viewer to experience, and thus there is no reason for them to become invested in what they are perceiving. These are some of the most foundational pillars of Human Storytelling. We are emotional creatures; stories are ways for us to share those emotions with one another. Nobody wants to see fucking Frodo waltz his way into Mordor on the Eagles’ backs; they want to see him carry it into Mordor, risking life and limb with no thought of himself, while his friends defend the free world at great risk to themselves. Kirito never experiences any real obstacles, only “challenges” we are commanded to take seriously by various elements of the show. Sword Art Online is high-school-level storytelling at best, but it’s gotten so popular because otaku and Japanophiles eat this shit up. We’re only five episodes removed from Episodes 2 and 3, and already everything is just boring. Here’s an idea: get rid of Kirito and go back to Episode 2 where Sinon was engaging in sniper duels with opponents that challenged her. That’s the part of this episode I enjoyed: watching Sinon do her thing like a real, legitimate character. Whenever Kirito shows up my eyes just gloss over because I already know what’s going to happen.

Surprise me, Sword Art Online II. You did it in Episodes 2 and 3. I’m sure you can do it again somehow.

Sword Art Online – 6

Kirito Sue theSILLY.CHEAT-CODES Magnificent is the biggest cheater on the face of the planet.

This was a bad episode. The writers skimped on everything here. Instead of doing something ambitious, like, say, crafting an epic duel between Kirito and Sinon over several episodes that might define the whole season, having them go back and forth and using the terrain, environments, etc. to play to their strengths and weaknesses, while diving into the themes and issues they brought up in this episode during the battle–something an anime made ten years ago would’ve done without the slightest bit of hesitation–they set up some stupid traumatic memory to get Kirito REALLY ANGRY, then have him win because reasons. We all knew this was going to happen, but the devil’s in the details, kids. Sinon misses like ten shots when she’s sitting completely still while Kirito is standing completely still and not making the slightest bit of effort to move. Not one of them hit him, too. Not even a graze. Given how probability works in these games, I’m pretty sure *one* of them should have damaged him. Furthermore, the sudden shift in Sinon’s behavior was just stupid. She’s already stared down some monsters while her teammates were getting massacred and handled everything perfectly. Why the fuck does she care if this random twerp she’s come across is throwing the match? If you want to set up Sinon as some stone-cold killer, you have to be consistent about it, not transform her into a weak-willed Japanese girl falling for Kirito’s nonexistent charms on the turn of a dime/bullet. Come on, writers: this is basic character development. Ugh.

I also didn’t buy Kirito’s whole PTSD thing. How many people did he kill in SAO? Why is he all of the sudden remembering this now? Like, haven’t we already gone through this character arc before? You’re not going to get me to believe Kirito is still wrapped up in that. One, it cheapens the real issues that people with PTSD go through, and two, it just feels way too forced and convenient here to be really convincing. Also, Sinon, why the fuck didn’t you just call for a reset on the duel, cool your jets, and kick the guy’s ass? Why settle for conditions where you know Kirito can pull some of his crazy shit you’ve been watching for hours already?

Barf.