SWORD ART ONLINE ep 8-10
Well, SAO still refuses to be a good show. In fact, it nose-dived even further into being bad this time (in the last batch before I finish the first season).
Episode 8 followed Kirito as he tries to fight off a member of Asuna’s guild that is acting as her bodyguard. Yes, it did that. In no time at all, Asuna is now as useful a character as any other character with breasts in this show (I know my wording, I’m not changing it). Episode 9 followed them as they face a boss on the 74th floor. And episode 10 followed Kirito as he’s forced into Asuna’s guild by his own arrogance.
This block did seem to have a story arc, but it was done like many other SAO stories: told in bullet points, not as a story. The two arcs seem to be Asuna and Kirito realizing that they’re in love (because of course they are) and a psycho who is following Asuna for some unknown reason. The stories don’t seem to be told that well, though, simply because the writing for this series is abysmal at best.
And that’s ignoring the time-skip. Yes, this series did a time skip and never justifies doing so. The reason, as far as I can see, is to establish that everyone has become so used to the game that they’re giving up trying to escape. It doesn’t work and is lazy.
The series continues to baffle me at how anyone could’ve thought it was good. And since the first season is almost done, I can part this nugget of wisdom to you: the worst is still yet to come.
ACCEL WORLD ep 9 – 10
While watching this compared to SAO, this series is infinitely better. However, I have been neglecting to point out the flaws in this series. In particular, I’m referring to the reliance on Shonen action tropes and a lack of the ability to stand on it’s own.
Haru seems to be in a rut, fighting-wise, always approaching fights the same way. One day, a young girl is at his home, claiming to be his cousin. However, she isn’t, but is, instead, the Red King in Brain Burst. She’s using Haru to get Kuroyukihime to help her deal with a new chrome disaster in the game.
Shonen action is a genre that walks a very thin line between quality and just existing. Accel World is closer to just existing. While every aspect of the series plays to Shonen action tropes (this arc is the one where rivals join forces against a common enemy), it doesn’t expand on them or execute them in a spectacular fashion. And while the series does show that the creator has a lot of great ideas (the master-protegee relationship in-game, the Unlimited Accel World), he gets too bogged down in stereotypical Shonen action tropes to actually expand upon them.
And then there’s the Red King herself. She is a tsundere character and I HATE those characters. I have never understood the appeal and thought of it as an annoying stock-character. And she proves it here, especially when interacting with Kuroyukihime (annoying cattiness). It doesn’t ruin the show, but it was why I pointed out the major flaws this show had and still has.
However, it is still entertaining (more so than SAO). As it stands, the series is a good series: not bad by any definition, but not great by any definition. It does just exist and is entertaining. It needs something, be it visuals (Soul Eater became great due to visuals) or an interesting villain (Crocodile from One Piece or Dante from Fullmetal Alchemist) or a great story arc (Soul Society from Bleach, most of Death Note, Kyoto Arc from Rurouni Kenshin), to bring it to being more than just another Shonen action series.