Sep 6, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 09

Oh yeah, this week’s episode of Sword Art Online definitely confirmed one thing. Sword Art Online is this season’s best anime. It was a close call between this and Natsuyuki Rendezvous, but that soon changed when Natsuyuki Rendezvous started going downhill during these past few weeks. So yeah, Sword Art Online is definitely number one here.

This week’s episode was amazingly good. A new boss, a new skill, old friends and a group of suicidal idiots… Never knew that those were the ingredients for awesomeness. I’m pretty sure that the majority of the viewers this week realized that things were going to get rough when those soldier-wannabe’s wanted to go after the boss, thinking that it was easy to defeat. However, things went south really fast when none of them could defend against his attacks, let alone land a clean hit on him.

It goes without saying that Kazuto and his friends all showed up to help them out, but I never would’ve imagined that Kazuto would defeat that thing by himself with the use of his dual-wielding skill, a skill that seems to be pretty rare in Sword Art Online.

Take notice, guys! I don’t want to receive any e-mails this time about how wrong I am. Think about it; Kazuto defeated that boss alone, period. Neither Asuna nor Ryoutarou had the necessary skills and/or stats to defeat that thing. Sure, they inflicted some damage, which probably would’ve been minimal with that boss’ HP regeneration rate, but Kazuto was still the one that singlehandedly defeated that boss.

I am really looking forward to next week’s episode. Kazuto and Asuna are getting along better than ever. Besides, I’m pretty sure that everyone wants to see that match between Kazuto and Asuna’s guild leader. It’s kind of strange that Asuna isn’t allowed to leave the guild if she wanted to, and that Kazuto has to fight for her freedom now. That is some strange stuff.

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Aug 30, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 08

What a dreadful episode this turned out to be. The episode itself was pretty good, but the scenes… Good god. That just goes to show that Kazuto may have been right all along about being a solo player. Being in a guild, from what I could tell, is just one big headache.

The story primarily revolved around the S-rank rare item that Kazuto obtained during his travels in that dreadful virtual world. A delicious little treat by the name of “ragout rabbit” was the hot topic during this episode. How stupid. Kazuto and Asuna both know that it’s all fake. It’s starting to look like they’re both getting too used to that world.

But let’s focus a bit more on that whole guild thing. Asuna, being someone with a high position within that guild, was assigned a guard that was following her around all over the place. This guy, a hideous looking ego tripper, ended up picking a fight with the wrong, namely Kazuto. It didn’t take Kazuto very long to humiliate that fool, so that was pretty reassuring.

Finally, I’m a bit worried about that PK guild. They have been keeping an annoyingly close eye on Kazuto and Asuna. It may be a very wild guess on my part, but I’m guessing that Asuna and Kazuto have made their most wanted list, especially Kazuto, seeing as he interfered with one of their ‘assignments’ before. That puts him in a though spot, as I don’t think that those guys play fair, and with Kazuto having so many friends…  Let us just say that Kazuto is pretty vulnerable, at least more than Asuna.

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Aug 23, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 07

Oh boy, here it comes; a hellish love triangle. I could see it happen before my very eyes, and that just within the first five minutes. I could see so far ahead because I know what happens in these types of situations. Things are going to become a bit uncomfortable for Kazuto from now on.

Kazuto decided that it was time for a new sword. A sword that would help him to defeat stronger enemies. So Kazuto went to a blacksmith that Asuna recommended a blacksmith, so Kazuto decided to stop by and check it out. That’s when he met Rika, a cute little blacksmith that thinks highly of her weapons. Kazuto didn’t want to waste any time, so he decided to test one of her weapons, after which he ended up breaking it. Needless to say that Rika was not happy with it at all. Still, she decided that she wanted to make him a powerful weapon, after which she told him that she needed his help to get the required materials to make him such a weapon.

Who would’ve though it? Oh, wait, I did. That part was pretty predictable; getting attacked by a strong monster that she couldn’t handle, causing Kazuto to save her life. Okay, they managed to get their precious material in the end, but come on… Really? I’m pretty sure anyone could’ve guessed that something like that might happen. It’s a MMORPG, so strong monsters (more commonly known as bosses) are pretty much standard stuff. I just can’t believe it turned into such a situation where the hero actually ended up saving yet another damsel in distress. This is the third or fourth time now, isn’t it?

Oh well, I enjoyed watching it, which is all that really matters in the end. Things are going to become pretty interesting from now on, but I fear that they are going to become a bit predictable too. I mean, Rika-chan is aware of the feelings that Asuna has for Kazuto, so Rika won’t be as aggressive as before. It is my guess that Rika will continue to pursue Kazuto in her own way by observing the relationship between him and Asuna.

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Aug 16, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 06

I did not see this one coming. I knew this week’s episode would be interesting, but the twist was quite something. I was going an entire different way with my assumptions, which goes to show that I’m not always right. After all, I’m just another viewer, just like you.

After a week of waiting the story finally continues. I was going in the direction of a special item that allowed players to kill one another in safe areas. I was also thinking about the possibility of an interfering Game Master (GM), but that would be highly likely in Sword Art Online. The creator made it very clearly that there would be very little to no interfering, so that people would have to finish the game on their own.

It seems that Kazuto had already figured it out. You see, those handmade weapons were durability-draining weapons. That means that those weapons were specifically made to destroy players’ items. The players that got stabbed with those weapons didn’t actually die, it seems. Their gear just got destroyed and they teleported the second that happened, making it seem as though they had actually died.

Seriously, I was pretty impressed by that twist. It seems that Griselda’s husband was the one that killed her, only because he thought the game had changed her. He had hired a player killing guild (PK Guild) to kill her as well as the remaining members, but Kazuto got in the way before they could finish their task. That guy is seriously bad ass.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen during the next episode, but I’m looking forward to it. The relationship between Asuna and Kazuto is still a bit shaky and sensitive, but I’m starting to see a lot of improvement between those two. I see no reason as to why Kazuto should have to fight alone.

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Aug 9, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 05

Damn. This anime makes me want to play MMORPG’s. I came awfully close to buying Diablo 3, but I don’t like the idea of losing my character(s) when I die, seeing as I used to die quite a lot in those types of games. Playing is one thing, but wasting my time on something that might disappear into thin air after a few days is a bit too much for me.

Moving on; I like what I saw during this episode. Well, not all of it, but I did like it when I saw Kazuto with Asuna. Those two didn’t really part ways on the best of terms, which led me to believe at one point that their friendship was done for, but it seems that I may have overreacted. The two seem to be doing fine. Sure, they have a love-hate relationship right now, but it’s nothing that time won’t fix.

However, those two do not stand in the spotlight during this episode. The one taking the spotlight is a mysterious player that’s killing all of the players that used to be with him in his guild. They once found a rare item and decided to sell it by popular vote, so now he’s out there killing all those who voted against him. Talk about a sore loser, huh?

This guy uses homemade weapons to kill his opponents. Also, those weapons seem to slowly drain a player’s health points. And what’s more; the guy’s doing it in safe zones. Those zones are called that because players should be safe from most (if not all) attacks, yet player after playing is being killed by this guy and his weapons. That’s what’s so strange about it all.

Kazuto, Asuna and Andrew have quite a lot of work ahead of them. They will have to find this guy before he kills any more players. It’s a race-against-the-clock type of mission. I wonder though… Is Kazuto safe as well? I mean, he has a higher level than most players, which gives him quite the advantage, but is he ‘safe’? That’s what I’ve been wondering ever since I saw this episode. Only one way to find out, I guess…

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Aug 1, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 04

Absolutely awesome! It’s looking more and more like a real MMORPG. I love how they introduced a player-killing element (the option where one player can kill another). After all, what’s an online game without fights against other players?

The episode focusses on a little girl who had lost her virtual pet. You know the basics, I’m sure. A player gets a pet somehow, trains it, and uses it to fight and/or search for valuable items. That particular foundation of MMORPG’s hasn’t really changed. I’m glad too, how else could one truly enjoy Sword Art Online?

Anyway, Kazuto decided to help that young girl, Silica. I was sceptical at first. Silica, to me, seemed a bit fake. There were many scenes where she seemed to be a completely different person. Still, I have been wrong many times before. Kazuto trusted her and that is enough. The two spent quite a lot of time together, met up with Silica’s old group of, ahem, ‘friend and headed out to a place where Silica could obtain the one item that could revive her pet, Pina.

The two managed to make their way to “the Hill of Memories”, the one place where Pina, Silica’s pet, could be resurrected. It was a bit too easy at first, but it soon became clear that those two were being followed by that red-headed player-killer and her evil lackeys. It was pretty nostalgic to see how none of her followers could even scratch Kazuto, merely because his level was too high for them. He regenerated as soon as he took damage, making him practically invulnerable to their attacks, after which he sent them all to the game’s jail. How that brings back memories of so much wasted time…

All well that ends well. Kazuto made a new friend and expended his reputation, Silica and Pina were once again reunited, and all that player killing scum has been taken care of by Kazuto. Wonderful.

You know, I too hated it when I encountered players in MMORPG’s that were double my level. You can’t hurt them, yet they are capable of killing you with one hit. That’s how these games work. You have to avoid the big boys and start with the small fry first, so that you too may become one of those big boys. Yeah, MMORPG’s are pretty unfair that way, and that is probably why I don’t play them anymore.

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Jul 26, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 03

Quite the grim episode this turned out to be. It makes you wonder about the path the protagonist is going to take from here on out. This only made things worse, if anything. It’s safe to say that the story will be a lot darker from here on out.

The story continues to follow Kazuto, a boy that abandoned his friends to venture out on his own, thinking that it was the only way. Of course, that was until he met a group of people, a guild to be precise. This guild invited him to join, hoping that he would teach them how to fight and survive. Sure he joined after he told them a few lies, but at what cost? Things went smoothly at the beginning. He showed them where to level up, where to look for good items and how to expand their guild. Basically, he did his very best.

Yeah, things went well, until his fellow guild members decided to go out on their own to farm some gold. They decided to go to the dungeons to look for treasures and whatnot. However, they got a lot more than they bargained for. They saw a chest lying on the floor, but that was a trap. Soon the room filled with all sorts of monsters. And soon player after player died at the hands of those monsters. Kazuto couldn’t do a damned thing. He just fought for his survived and watched as his friends died before his eyes.

Things keep getting more and more complicated. The protagonist is in a slump right now. He lost almost all of his friends in the blink of an eye, plus he had to explain what happened to the guild leader. That couldn’t have been easy. That guild leader has it the hardest, probably, because all of his friends got killed while he was out buying them a guild house.

I’m looking forward to the next episode. Things have become a little bit complicated, but I’m sure that time will simplify things. It’ll be interesting to see what Kazuto is going to do, and if he’s going to contact any of his old ‘acquaintances’.

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Jul 19, 2012

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Sword Art Online episode 02

How could I possibly not write about this one? It is fighting Natsuyuki Rendezvous for first place as best anime of this year’s summer. There’s no way I could leave this one alone like that. The fact that the total number of episodes isn’t known yet makes me a little bit nervous.

Sword Art Online is basically an animated game that you watch instead of play. I like how Kazuto does things. He’s one of the beta testers that first played the game, so he already knew quite a bit about the game before the official release. Regular players didn’t like that and thought that beta players should share their obtained items with the regular players, so that everyone has a fair fighting chance. Fair point, especially when your life is actually on the line, but the way they went about it was wrong. Besides, there’s no real way of recognizing a beta tester, so it’s a dead-end if those beta players remain quiet, just like Kazuto did.

They had to fight a boss to go to the next level. That means that all the payers, as in most MMORPG’s, form “parties” of half a dozen players in order to defeat the boss. Things got rough really quick. The players kept getting pushed back by that boss, all because their information turned out to be inaccurate. It was all up to Kazuto and Asuna, his new (female) friend, to defeat this boss before it defeated them.

Well now, it soon became very difficult for Kazuto to hide the fact that he too was one of the beta players. He simply knew too much about it. He knew it’s fighting weapons and patterns, so it soon became clear to others that he was one of those beta players. Sure, there was a bit of trouble afterwards, but even they couldn’t complain that much after having been saved by him.

This is probably where Kazuto starts his real story. The story of a player known as “The Black Swordsman”. Seriously, that guy wins a black garment after defeating that boss and resumes continue in the game alone, even though he had Asuna by his side. I don’t know if he did it to show off or to get away safely before those angry players attacked him, but something doesn’t seem right. I can only hope that Asuna is one of those nosy girls and decides to follow him, because someone like him could definitely use the help.

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