Inner NEETaku: Dooo iittt….
Inner NEETaku: Doooooooo iiiiiittttt….
Me: ALRIGHT, DANG IT!! But I’m doing this for me.
Look, I know everybody and their momma have taken out their various sticks and beat the ” SAO sux” dead horse to a bloody pulp already. By now it doesn’t even resemble much of a horse anymore. More like…a bloody puddle that was once a horse. But…I’m feeling lazy and writer’s block has hit me like a ton of bricks. So, I’ll be pulling out my own club and taking another swing at SAO for the next two posts. Hopefully I’ll say something that hasn’t already been said before, but I make no promises!! This is a lazy post, dang it!
As stated before, SAO has been taken to the woodshed like no one’s business, deservedly or not. The only anime that I’ve seen divide the community as much as this one was Naruto, and even still I don’t think our favorite orange ninja got as much crap thrown its way as SAO has. So, what exactly makes the anime such a lightning rod for heated debate? To me, there are only two types of people when it comes to Sword Art Online: Those who dislike it for its flaws & and those who like it despite them. I fall somewhere in the middle cause while I don’t really hate the show, I don’t really find it interesting either.
So, with all that being said, what do I find are the biggest flaws in SAO? Well, in no specific order, the fault lies in its main character, the horrible execution of its death game premise and the fact that it’s basically a harem anime masquerading as something it’s not. I’ll be focusing solely on Kirito for this post.
What can be said about the almighty Kirito that hasn’t been said a bajillion times over already? Or rather, what is it about this guy that makes me think he’s not that great a hero? The best way I can get my points across would be to not treat Kirito as the hero of an MMO anime like Shiroe of Log Horizon, but rather as the main lead of a harem that he is.
Kirito is first presented to us as the stereotypical socially awkward gamer. You know, the type that hole themselves up in their bedrooms with endless supplies or junk food while they stare blankly at their computer screens for hours on end with various genres of music constantly blaring in their ears. That right there should’ve sent up red flags to everyone that he wasn’t going to be a likable person. These “hikimori” type of gamers only make up a small portion of most MMORPG/MMO populations. And I should know as I’ve played many an MMO in my time. Most gamers do socialize with the outside world and have regular jobs that they go to every day. This sort of characterization of gamers died out ages ago, so seeing it pop up again in the mid 2000s really put me off. Right off the bat the show’s creator has already made us despise the guy we’re supposed to be rooting for because we can’t put ourselves in his shoes, like with most blank slate harem MCs.
Another issue I have with Kirito is his in-game persona. As many have stated, Kirito is basically meant to be a power trip character. The type of player that has killed every epic boss, snagged every rare weapon/armor and can pwn pretty much anybody in PvP. No matter the genre of game, we’ve all come someone like this. The difference between those guys and Kirito is while most of them flaunt their awesomeness, he doesn’t. And while that may make him seem humble in some people’s eyes, it actually makes him come off as an idiot and untrustworthy.
Think about it: Kirito is so strong that multiple lvl40 players can’t damage him enough to counteract the auto heal function of the game. Such power should make him the ultimate tank and grant him the ability to take on most challenges in-game without much help. And yet, on numerous occasions, he’s hid his power and let other people die. Like the time when his guild took on a dungeon they had no business going in and ended up being slaughtered. Or how about the time a group of players took a boss that basically wiped them out and Kirito waited until most of them were already dead before revealing he could friggin dual wield!!
What was that famous Spiderman quote again:
I don’t care how socially inept Kirito is supposed to be. If you’ve got the power to save people’s lives, you need to friggin use it!! All of those unnecessary deaths would’ve been prevented had Kirito nutted up and actually put his OPness to good use! But apparently all of those generic peons weren’t worthy of his effort. Nononononononono..NO!! It isn’t until after Asuna becomes his baby momma that he really starts giving a crap. The guy literally broke the rules of the game multiple times for that chick, coming back to life twice!! The ONLY time he actually gave a crap was after he got into Asuna’s pants!!! Again I ask: WHY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO ROOT FOR HIM?!!
For all the grief I’ve given the guy, Kirito isn’t without merit. When he DOES get his act together, he does a good job keeping folks alive for the most part. He does show some sort of growth in the second season of SAO and isn’t as detestable in it. However, for most of us, it was too little, too late. We had already grown tired of the guy and his BS by then, especially given the second half of the 1st season. You can’t have a sympathetic character without giving us something to sympathize with.
There’s more to write about Kirito but a lot of it has to deal with SAO’s premise, which I’ll get to in my second post. Until then, I’m NEETaku and this was Just….My 2 Cents!!