WPSAWNC: Sword Art Online Episode 24

WPSAWNC is an abbreviation I just made up. It stands for:  WATCHED POTENTIALLY SHIT ANIME WITH NO CONTEXT.

I have also taken the liberty and made this post a pseudo tutorial for episodics. The only problem is that I don’t cover anime episodically.

Definition of “No Context”

“No Context” is a rather liberal phrase in this particular case. I read a few posts by other bloggers on this most popular of anime and I kept up with some discussion on Twitter. I watched the first few episodes of SAO (otherwise known as Sword Art Online). I also watched the episode in which Kirito and Asuna move in together in the hopes of seeing Kirito deposit 2 years of sperm inside Asuna. Unfortunately, the staff behind the anime are sissies so they didn’t animate it.

Why did I choose SAO episode 24?

Well, everyone that blogged it said it was horrible. It seems to have been an episode that induced a gag reflect in many of my fellow bloggers. Given how bad everyone said it was, I had no choice but to see if it really was that bad or not.

Introductory images are a good way of making sure your front page isn`t all text. It also hopefully entices people to click the

Introductory images are a good way of making sure your front page isn’t all text. It might also entice people to click the “read more” thing.

Home Ground Advantage

Going into this episode, I had the following advantages:

  1. Everyone told me it was bad and so I went in thinking it was bad. This meant that its “badness” would not shock me as much and I had no expectations of greatness that were let on. Then again, most SAO bloggers had started hating on SAO long before this episode aired, so I doubt their expectations were that high either.
  2. I am watching with no context (or well limited) context. That is to say, previous plot or character developments that might be shattered by this episode will likely not be noticed by me.
  3. I don’t mind overpowered characters. A lot of people have complained about how overpowered Kirito is and how that makes everything suck. I have no problems with overpowered characters. If anything, I prefer them over weaklings who have to rely on friendship to save their sorry ass.
  4. I can miss bad things in anime by turning off my brain cells (all five of them).

(Note: Point 4 is an exaggeration. It just means that I am not watching very seriously. I don’t think anyone can actually turn off their brain cells at will.)

Blog Post Format

An episode of this level of fame requires proper blogging procedure. I am also rusty on talking about a single anime episode because I don’t cover anime episodically. Given our harsh requirements and my personal constraints, I have decided to resort to the most basic of episodic blogging formats.

  1. Make a summary
  2. Pick out key points
  3. Write opinion on aforementioned key points
  4. Conclude with final thoughts accompanied by a funny/deep screenshot.

With that said and done, let us move on to the episode itself.

Summary

Kirito and his “child” fairy are looking for Asuna. They are on a tree. They find Asuna in a birdcage on one of the tree branches. They free Asuna and are momentarily happy. Unfortunately, Asuna cannot log out and suck Kirito’s sword in the real world. They decide to find a terminal to log Asuna out. They are brought to their knees. Their child disappears.

The bad guy (someone called Nobuyuki Sugō) introduces himself. He is using strong gravity to immobilize Kirito and Asuna. He then attaches chains to Asuna and makes her stand up. He stabs Kirito with Kirito’s sword. He then taunts Kirito.  He then proceeds to sexually assault Asuna.

Kirito struggles helplessly.

Kirito encounters a vision of SAO’s game master/creator. Kirito gains admin privileges. Kirito uses his privileges to beat Sugō in as painful a manner as possible. With Sugō defeated, Kirito runs over to Asuna. He then places his face on her naked chest and cries because her breasts aren’t his type.

Asuna is logged out. Kirito talks to the original game master of SAO. Kirito has one final conversation with his child before he to logs out. Kirito encounters his sister who helped him in the game. She loves him, but will likely never tell him. She tells him to go to Asuna. Kirito leaves and promises his imouto that he will introduce her to Asuna sometime and then they can engage in threesomes.

That concludes my summary to SAO episode 24. Like all well thought out summaries, it only reports the facts and embellishes nothing.

Key Points

  • Character Design is sub-par.
  • Asuna’s weakness
  • Kirito’s strength and administrator privileges
  • What do Kirito and Sugō represent in real life?

Opinion on aforementioned key points.

Character Design is sub-par

Kirito is a stick with spikes on top.

Kirito is a stick with spikes on top.

There are some people who watch Sword Art Online because they like the character designs. I have never quite understood this train of thought (no offense meant to fans of SAO design). Kirito is just a stick in black clothes. That’s it. Fortunately though, Kirito is the average, everyday redundant male lead. He doesn’t actually look much worse from other male leads, so his lame design is to be expected.

Asuna’s design however is totally horrible. I don’t know why there is so much fanart of Asuna. Her body looks weird. Not only is she a stick (like Kirito), but everything looks weird.

Her proportions seem way off for some reason. Her arms and legs are way too long when compared to her torso. Her breasts, despite their seemingly modest size, seem to exhibit saggage that is normally only seen in women 5 times Asuna’s age and 2 times her bust size. (Or, they are placed too far down. I can’t remember and can’t be bothered to try and find out.) Interestingly enough, the saggage seems to disappear when she is wearing no clothes.

Her face is drawn to look like a stereotypical anime girl face, but it doesn’t look right for some reason. Her design is –in my opinion– very ugly.

Quick Note on Weapon Design

Dear weapon art designers behind SAO,

My name is Reiseng. That is my internet name, mind you, not my real name. I am an ordinary person. I have played a good deal of RPG’s and I used to play WOW. I have seen and read a good deal of action series. I am familiar with the main character of Final Fantasy and his sword. I have told you all of that to convince you that while I am no expert, my words do carry some expertise behind them.

Kirito’s large sword is ugly. It is so very ugly. It looks like a fat piece of poop. If you insisted on making a sword that wide, you should have made it longer. If you insisted on making a sword of that length, you should have made it less wide. It looks horrible. The colors are nothing to write home about either.

That sword is ugly. Also, stick figure with butterfly wings.

That sword is ugly. Also, stick figure with butterfly wings.

I hope that the person who OK’ed such a weapon takes a second or two to reflect on what they think is cool and what is not cool.

Asuna’s weakness

Sword Art Online okay 1

The assault scene(s) were not necessary and likely shouldn’t have been included. Yeah, I know they were just trying to show how much of a creep the bad guy was, but they probably pushed it too far. Anyway, I am not going to say anymore than that because inexperienced bloggers like myself don’t enjoy tackling serious things, but I do want to talk about Asuna’s weakness.

Now, I don’t really have a problem with dependent characters. I think it is perfectly fine to be dependent on someone else, especially if your dependence is what makes them happy. Unfortunately, Asuna was not really meant to be such a character and more importantly, she takes dependance and compliance to extreme levels.

I have seen enough of SAO to know that Asuna used to be some hot shot guild leader. She was supposed to be one of the top players, but why is she so helpless now? Even if she is helpless for a somewhat legit reason (the gravity and chains), why does she have no fierceness to her? Why doesn’t she even try to fight back? It would have been nice to see her at least try and headbutt the bad guy, but she doesn’t even spit at him.

Sword Art Online okay 2

No, all she does is tell Kirito endlessly that she will wait for him. He can take his time and she will do her best to endure this evil attacker. She tells Kirito that she believes that Kirito will save her. Then when he does save her, she tells him that she believed in him.

It is all rather silly in my opinion. Whatever semblance of a character that Asuna had was pretty much destroyed. She became a loudspeaker that only echoed exactly what Kirito and some of the viewers (more on this later) wanted to hear.

Kirito’s strength and administrator privileges

I mentioned earlier that I have no issue with overpowered characters. Unfortunately, I do have an issue with Kirito gaining administrator powers. Maybe I am wrong about this, but I thought the whole point of  this arc and maybe even the previous one was to show that an ordinary player can overcome a game administrator.

I thought this arc was meant to show that a person in the SAO world could protect what he cared about without resorting to hacks and admin permissions. It was even made worse, because prior to getting admin powers, Kirito was told to never give up and then he was granted miracle powers. The act of granting him said powers pretty much invalidated everything said before.

Or, perhaps, the whole point of the show all along was to show that a player is only a player and should never forget his place. If that’s really the case, then they probably should have made that more clear and done a better job presenting it.

I guess it was a good thing that Kirito realized how helpless and powerless he really was without those powers, but the crying on Asuna’s boobs scene still felt quite fake and did not pack the emotional impact it was going for. Then again, that scene was likely just there to facilitate fantasies about Asuna and her boobs (Not my fantasies, I assure you. I find her ugly, remember?).

Jeez, these guys can't even get fan service right!

Jeez Kirito, your face is getting in the way.

What do Kirito and Sugō represent in real life.

Sugō is creepy. He sneaks into Asuna’s room to acquire her scent. He then applies that scent to her character. He touches her in not nice ways. He says creepy things like how he wants to take this into the real world. He invents human emotion control most likely because he wants no one to interfere with his plans for Asuna. He also likely fondles female NPC characters because he really is that lonely and desperate.

Sometime in the past, he likely confessed to Asuna, but she turned him down because he is ugly or something. Or, he never confessed to her and simply observes her from afar.

It would be a disservice to say he has the hots for Asuna. No, he has the creeps for her.

Sword Art Online creeper

Did the above description sound familiar?

I hope you didn’t think “It reminds me of myself!” because that is probably not a good thing.

To me anyway, the above description is an eerily good description of the lonely, creepy, friendzoned, somewhat misogynistic, ugly, thirty year old gamer playing games in his mothers basement stereotype. I think Sugō is exactly what will happen if one of those creeps you hear so much about ended up in a life simulation game with administrator powers. It is eery, very eery. I guess, that is arguably one of the more interesting things shown by Sword Art Online.

Kirito on the other hand represents the lonely gamers ideal self.

Kirito is strong in the game. He gets all of the girls. He goes on a quest to save the game world (I think…). He apparently does other cool stuff like dual-wielding. He has someone that is totally dependent on him and believes in him. He can make friends with and apparently adopt A.I. He has an attractive imouto. He also has spiky hair (likely with no use of gel). He has it all.

Sword Art Online STAB

Stabbing someone and holding them like a trophy is something only the really cool can do.

If Sugō is what some lonely gamers might end up as, then Kirito is what they WANT to end up as. The contrast between the two is interesting. In the end though, they aren’t that different. I’d wager that if one was ugly and was not able to obtain in game skills of Kirito’s level, then they would end up twisted like Sugō.

Admit it, you want to be called a hero. We all do.

Admit it, you want to be called a hero. We all do.

Protip in case life simulating games are ever made:

Don’t be like Sugō.

Conclusion

I didn’t think this episode was as bad as everyone claimed it to be. Then again, I did have the advantage of no context and pre-watch warning, so of course I wouldn’t hate it as much. Even though I did not find this episode to be as bad as everyone suggested, it was still quite bad. Actually, when you think about it, it was really bad. I just happened to have been in a state of apathy while watching it, so I didn’t enter a fit of rage.

I can totally see why people were upset when it aired.

Funny Picture to close the post

I think this is a good time to introduce Secret Rule of Episodic Blogging #6.7.

Secret Rule of Episodic Blogging #6.7:

If the anime episode covered by the post contains no scene of sufficient humor and lacks depth, then an entirely irrelevant substitute may be used.

Oh Milky Holmes, I can always count on you to save the day.

Oh Milky Holmes, I can always count on you to save the day.

Mind Bleach

It is optional, but when dealing with bad episodes, mind bleach can be offered out of common courtesy. Episodic bloggers might wish to offer a form of mind bleach to help cleanse peoples minds of any potential garbage they ingested during their tenure with the episode.

Here’s the “full” version of Garupan’s Katyusha. I hope it helps cleanse your soul.

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  1. #1 by flawfinder on December 30, 2012 - 10:29 am

    The worst part of this episode is that I had to sit through it three times in one day. SAO will never leave. It will never leave.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 30, 2012 - 3:29 pm

      Wow, that really sucks. I feel really sorry for you. I think everyone will forget about SAO eventually and we can focus on collectively hating something else.

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