Sword Art Online - The Spoiler-ridden Catch-All & Discussion Hub

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Deciding to branch out from the official (?) Anime thread to keep Spoilerific discussions separate for folks who would rather see the Sword Art Online anime than hear it from those further ahead in (and will have eventually completed) the series. You're welcome.

So SAO 18 was the Leafa centric episode I was expecting since we got introduced to the character.

And it fell kinda flat.

While I like Leafa's design and worldview in AFO, this episode only highlights the problem with her player, who is a capable yet shy teenager who doesn't know her feelings or what she wants in both AFO or RealLife. Frankly I can't really fault her because teenager.

Yet in contrast to Asuna, who gets one tiny scene in which she weathers the storm (f*ck that slimy bastard), keeps her cool and wits about her and from that, learns two important pieces of information, Leafa is a pale second.

Before the reveal, I was hoping that Leafa would turn out to be someone alot like Asuna, except was late to the MMORPG world and missed out on SAO, which, would have been a good thing looking at how it turned out. Kirito would be faced with having to reinforce why his love for Asuna is unique and wanting to save her and be with her in RealLife, or just simply logging out of AFO and go hang out with Leafa's player in RealLife right now.

It would be something he might have to take some time to work over but will still go and rescue Asuna anyway. A good character building arch and would give the chance to further build on their relationship, which for some, might have felt was too fast or forced.
For Asuna, if things were done this way, it would be a test for her too, knowing that Kirito saved her but while doing so, he spend all this time and went on this great adventure with another girl who is just like her. She knows that Kirito loves her, but can she love him back knowing that she has now missed out on another big piece of his life.

But now with Leafa's player being who she is, there is this burden that's drawing away from all that and by playing the brother/cousin complex card, it overshadows whatever outcome the author decides to go with. It's quite disappointing really.

P.S. Is it just me or are the animators drawing the two characters, Leafa and her player, to be more similar in looks now that we know who she is? Not to mention the amount of "fanservice" for her this episode that I don't think we ever got as much of from Asuna. Given who she is it just makes me even more skeevy. The amount of goodwill I had for the author and/or director who greenlighted all that as drop by quite abit.

Falchion wrote:
P.S. Is it just me or are the animators drawing the two characters, Leafa and her player, to be more similar in looks now that we know who she is? Not to mention the amount of "fanservice" for her this episode that I don't think we ever got as much of from Asuna. Given who she is it just makes me even more skeevy. The amount of goodwill I had for the author and/or director who greenlighted all that as drop by quite abit.

I think that now that I know how she is, I start noticing the facial structure similarities. You could be right, though.

I enjoyed episode 18 except for the shameless panty/boob scenes. That was a little awkward, but whatever.

I'll let the fan service slide as its few and far between. We did get a bit when Kirito asked to spend the night and Asuna thought he meant sex (he is so getting laid when she wakes up and isn't an emaciated mess).

The whole mind control thing seems strange to me at least. The bad guy could probably check out Kurito's profile and control him or at least flag him. His Kurito is still using the old model headset thingy... the bad guy could fry Kurito's brain if he thought he was a big enough threat but probably not. Dunno.. ramp up story line climax

From what I took away the last two episodes, the bad guy (prevy preying fae fu*ker) has severely underestimated Kirito. No one who wasn't there really knows what being trapped in SAO for over 2 years was like. He thinks that it was mostly all fun and games in there. Sure you died, but till that point it's all just a game. So, to him, even the greatest hero of them is just some scrawny dude who got to the highest level in a video game; he must have been so scared the whole time, no way would he go back into that for Asuna, whom he had a totally fake relationship in game with.

This is most likely reinforced in his mind because for the last year, he's been enjoying the high life as the complete ruler of AFO. He is totally enjoying his position of power and is has so gotten into it that he's roleplaying (him as Fae King Oberon and Asuna as his Queen Titania). So from this he actually believes that Kirito is not a threat and doesn't even know he has logged in to AFO.

I've been wondering about Kirito using his old NervWear gear to go FullDive into AFO. On one hand, the old gear wouldn't have the failsafes that prevent the lethal biofeedback that Kayaba Akihiko used to kill people when they died inworld in SAO, yet this could benefit Kirito as without the failsafes he might have a more "direct connection" to the system allowing him to be faster or react better to feedback than everyone else who is using the newer headset. This could be the trump card that allows Kirito to win when Oberon throws all the system admin cheats at him during the final battle.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I enjoyed episode 18 except for the shameless panty/boob scenes. That was a little awkward, but whatever.

Kind of my point though. At the risk of sounding pervy (although it doesn't take much for me), Leafa was drawn to be quite busty since the first time we see her; a noticeable difference then other Slyphs and Asuna. But we didn't see that from her player.

Then suddenly after revealing who the player is, we get all these scenes that just seems to be the author/director driving home the point that "haah! that's one more area that the player and her AFO avatar Leafa is similar, but you didn't know because we never showed her in the bath or in her skivives! Also that poster on her ceiling..."

Just comes across wrong to me somehow.

Falchion wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I enjoyed episode 18 except for the shameless panty/boob scenes. That was a little awkward, but whatever.

Kind of my point though. At the risk of sounding pervy (although it doesn't take much for me), Leafa was drawn to be quite busty since the first time we see her; a noticeable difference then other Slyphs and Asuna. But we didn't see that from her player.

Then suddenly after revealing who the player is, we get all these scenes that just seems to be the author/director driving home the point that "haah! that's one more area that the player and her AFO avatar Leafa is similar, but you didn't know because we never showed her in the bath or in her skivives! Also that poster on her ceiling..."

Just comes across wrong to me somehow.

Ahhh, yeah, I think I misinterpreted what you said. It seems we agree although I might still be a little confused. I quite enjoyed episode 19 today! It mostly just developed the relationship between Kirito and Leafa which is always welcome and filled in the rest with a battle. Kirito as the monster was quite interesting. I found it a little strange that Leafa mentions that he's casting an illusion spell yet Kirito ended up being a fully functioning monster. I wonder where they'll go with that.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Ahhh, yeah, I think I misinterpreted what you said. It seems we agree although I might still be a little confused. I quite enjoyed episode 19 today! It mostly just developed the relationship between Kirito and Leafa which is always welcome and filled in the rest with a battle. Kirito as the monster was quite interesting. I found it a little strange that Leafa mentions that he's casting an illusion spell yet Kirito ended up being a fully functioning monster. I wonder where they'll go with that.

I think we do, just that I haven't been clear on what I'm trying to say in my usual roundabout fashion.

Just caught up to episode 19. It was Yui that advised Kirito to use that illusion spell, so she might be more in touch with the AFO system that she knows/has revealed. On the other hand, some of the enemy knew the general capabilities of the form Kirito took, just that as it is his style, he's able to pull out tricks unknown to everyone else. In this case, it seemed like the running speed and jumping ability that they couldn't counter.

It could be me, but I noticed a contrast between the speech that Kirito gave and the behavior of Leafa between ALO and her IRL. And to a lesser extend, the whole of the players playing ALO. Kirito talks about how in ALO, players are given alot of leeway to behave as they see fit: Player killing and just giving up a fight are rampant because all you get is a death penalty and a few hours wasted of flying. Politics and wars are common because of the 9 races that the system seems set up to encourage such infighting and this just enables the kind of backstabbing and betrayal that we now see Leafa's former guild engaged in. Of course this is all set up against the World Tree that requires every race to combine efforts to overcome, yet they each seem happy to try pot shots at it.

Kirito should have realized, after it was explained to him, that this is actually the polar opposite of SAO, or the SAO that became what it was. In the SAO that he got, everyone mostly worked together because if they didn't, well perma-death. Sure there are the groups that didn't want to fight but still gave support and of course there will be the groups that don't play nice with everyone because human nature, but at least they pointed at the same goals as everyone else. Lastly the decision and actions you made in SAO really do affect your personality since you had to "live" in SAO 24/7 for those 2 over years since no log out. Kirito should have focused on the leaders of the 9 races in ALO instead of going directly for the World Tree. If he kicked their asses one by one, he might be able to form an alliance for a short moment to get him up the World Tree. Which looks like he will have to get involved in ALO politics anyway.

I agree with Falchion. Also, he probably has no idea any one knows Asura is in the tree. Plus, even if Kirito did know something, what is a brand new player gonna do? No way he could know Kirito would be powered up due to the copied files!

Kirito should have focused on the leaders of the 9 races in ALO instead of going directly for the World Tree. If he kicked their asses one by one, he might be able to form an alliance for a short moment to get him up the World Tree. Which looks like he will have to get involved in ALO politics anyway.

Well, he only has one week and that does not count the time he is outside the game. Definitely not enough time to do that!

karmajay wrote:
Kirito should have focused on the leaders of the 9 races in ALO instead of going directly for the World Tree. If he kicked their asses one by one, he might be able to form an alliance for a short moment to get him up the World Tree. Which looks like he will have to get involved in ALO politics anyway.

Well, he only has one week and that does not count the time he is outside the game. Definitely not enough time to do that!

Yeah. He really lucked out that his level transferred over.

Grenn wrote:
karmajay wrote:
Kirito should have focused on the leaders of the 9 races in ALO instead of going directly for the World Tree. If he kicked their asses one by one, he might be able to form an alliance for a short moment to get him up the World Tree. Which looks like he will have to get involved in ALO politics anyway.

Well, he only has one week and that does not count the time he is outside the game. Definitely not enough time to do that!

Yeah. He really lucked out that his level transferred over.

Given his reaction with Leafa in the tavern, his gold did too, haha.

Watching SAO makes me want to play MMOs sometimes. I logged into WoW after a few weeks away and it definitely doesn't capture the same feeling. A PS Vita game, Ragnarok Odyssey, kinda does though. Worth checking out if you're into JRPG/Action games. It's got some buzz in the Vita thread here on the forum.

Grenn wrote:
karmajay wrote:
Kirito should have focused on the leaders of the 9 races in ALO instead of going directly for the World Tree. If he kicked their asses one by one, he might be able to form an alliance for a short moment to get him up the World Tree. Which looks like he will have to get involved in ALO politics anyway.

Well, he only has one week and that does not count the time he is outside the game. Definitely not enough time to do that!

Yeah. He really lucked out that his level transferred over.

It seems like a plot device to say the least. As for the T n A shots, it is easy on animation to do a slow pan up/down a girl. Episode 19 had a lot more animation so they probably focused on that instead.

I sought this out since I haven't watched an anime in forever and I liked the premise. It's good! Still only a few episodes in so I'll avoid reading the thread, but looking forward to getting caught up.

I'm thinking that the 2 swords business is going to create some unwanted attention, circa BBS boards.

Its a little confusing about that why you wouldn't use a irc client/irl to pass on information that you don't want known? The whole thing of the Salamanders could have been one and done if they talked the Sigurd in person.

I love that his attitude towards battle is the same as in SAO but his after battle attitude is just pleased as punch that nobody actually died. SAO might have ruined games for some, but for Kirito, it seems he can enjoy them MORE because nobody's dead. I mean, almost nobody fist bumps enemies in WoW. Even if they could communicate, it'd be nothing but mud slinging.

They sure know how to do an epic battle. That was a fun episode.

JohnKillo wrote:
Its a little confusing about that why you wouldn't use a irc client/irl to pass on information that you don't want known? The whole thing of the Salamanders could have been one and done if they talked the Sigurd in person.

Recon's player did call Leafa's player IRL and passed information that way, so that is a little confusing why no one thought of calling either of the two leaders IRL to warn them. Leafa even knew the Sylph Leader Sukaya's IRL name so they must know each well in-game, enough to might have exchanged IRL email or cell number.

Anyway thoughts about episode 20
- That was really smart of Kirito to bluff about a Spriggian/Undine alliance. Guess he does catch on fast. I don't even think he knows all the names of the 9 races and only used the Undine's because Leafa mentioned them last episode.
- Speaking of bluffs, why did the Salamander squad leader lie about seeing Kirito with an Undine?
- Awesome fight! and they made use of the new element - flight, very well. Dive bombing out of the sun? Basic dogfight tactic but once again shows how fast Kirito picks up on stuff.
- I do agree that Kirito knows that he really can go all out against another player here and he's really pleased about it.
- I think Kirito snagged Leafa's sword to use all the dual blade know how he picked up from SAO (since ALF doesn't seem to have the SAO sword skill system that helps to guide actions) but how did he know that her weapon would be able to block Eugene's? Or for that matter, why is it able to block something supposed to be un-blockable.
- The two leaders mentioned that if they did get killed, the lost in power would drive them further behind the Salamanders. I'm assuming they are talking about the death penalty which we still don't know much about. I wonder if Eugene's two handed sword skill dropped below 950 after that fight...

-I think the Salamander guy just respected him and threw him a bone. Or maybe he didn't like the way they were doing things. Or he recognized Kirito and is someone he knows. That other friend of his was always in red. Could be him. Maybe we haven't seen the last of him.
- That guy's sword can pass through a block, sure. But every ability has a cooldown. It passes through the first and he blocks with the second. He's fast enough to do it. This is all conjecture, of course.

Recon's player did call Leafa's player IRL and passed information that way, so that is a little confusing why no one thought of calling either of the two leaders IRL to warn them. Leafa even knew the Sylph Leader Sukaya's IRL name so they must know each well in-game, enough to might have exchanged IRL email or cell number.

Yeqah, but she did not get the info till after she logged out for a break and happened to check her phone. So it would not have mattered in that situation. Also, they may be more private and did not have their private info everywhere.

Eldon_of_Azure wrote:
I'm thinking that the 2 swords business is going to create some unwanted attention, circa BBS boards.

Yeah, no kidding.

Glad Asuna isn't just an damsel in distress anymore, though I wonder how she thinks she's going to hide from the top level admin of the game.

I haven't seen this mentioned before, and I just found out: SAO is getting a PSP game this March. I don't see how it could possibly live up to expectations, or how it would arrive in English outside of a HD or Vita remake some years down the road (provided an eventual dub of the anime proves popular).

psoplayer wrote:
I haven't seen this mentioned before, and I just found out: SAO is getting a PSP game this March. I don't see how it could possibly live up to expectations, or how it would arrive in English outside of a HD or Vita remake some years down the road (provided an eventual dub of the anime proves popular).


Pretty much if it isn't a rogue-like, I've already been let down.

OK, at some point he's going to have to explain to Leafa exactly who "mommy" is. You'd have thought he'd uttered the name Asuna in reference to her before now.

Grenn wrote:
OK, at some point he's going to have to explain to Leafa exactly who "mommy" is. You'd have thought he'd uttered the name Asuna in reference to her before now.

It all goes down in this weeks episode! It was fairly interesting.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Grenn wrote:
OK, at some point he's going to have to explain to Leafa exactly who "mommy" is. You'd have thought he'd uttered the name Asuna in reference to her before now.

It all goes down in this weeks episode! It was fairly interesting.

Not often a guy breaks a girl's heart twice in the same day.

Mantid wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Grenn wrote:
OK, at some point he's going to have to explain to Leafa exactly who "mommy" is. You'd have thought he'd uttered the name Asuna in reference to her before now.

It all goes down in this weeks episode! It was fairly interesting.

Not often a guy breaks a girl's heart twice in the same day.

My heart damn near broke twice in this episode alone too.

That fight scene was awesome, haven't seen that much sheer force of will viscous swordplay since that fight vs the Dragon Slayers in "The Vision of Escaflowne".

Finally caught up!! (Minus the subscription only episode)

Two main thoughts:

1) I love the swordfights and fighting in general in the series. They've managed a smooth introduction to the magic and have done a good job of integrating Kirito to the magic without making it too overwhelming. Love the sword skills, two sword fight with the General, flying, Asuna still having agency as a character, etc. (I predict some future problem with Kirito's suddnely retroactive "sometimes I forget things when I'm all berserking in battle").

2) What the hell is with the sudden mis-season reboot? The transition to the second MMO is fine and all, but where the hell did all the fan-service, tentacle rape, incest, and creepy f*cking lip-licking insane dude come from? They are managing to keep hold of the things I liked most about the series, but this divergence into some of the more degrading anime tropes is disturbing.

Jolly Bill wrote:
2) What the hell is with the sudden mis-season reboot? The transition to the second MMO is fine and all, but where the hell did all the fan-service, tentacle rape, incest, and creepy f*cking lip-licking insane dude come from? They are managing to keep hold of the things I liked most about the series, but this divergence into some of the more degrading anime tropes is disturbing.

That's an excellent question. I don't watch a ton of anime, but it seems normal for shows to get more overtly sexual as time goes on. Reminds of me One Piece and Nami's ever-growing bust. Kind of a bummer, but not embarrassing enough to make me stop watching.

Hell, Karla and I watched High School of The Dead all the way though and some of that was heinous to the point of parody. It's probably why we were able to stick with it because it was so over the top and laughable.

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