Sword Art Offline – For Now

A quick update: I’ve decided to put SAO on hiatus for the time being. 

If I were back in the US or if the Fall schedule was a little lighter – or even if it aired during a different time of the week – I’d probably keep covering it, because there are elements of the show I still enjoy, but under the circumstances there were just too many pressures on my time and too many shows I get more out of competing for that time.  I wanted to get a sense of the second arc before making a decision, but if anything it seems as if the elements of the series that don’t work for me are only going to be more prominent in this arc.

Being told it was wrong to keep covering SAO because it was making fans of the show “uncomfortable” was almost enough to persuade me to keep going – I disagree that profoundly with that sentiment – but then I figured that would be a pretty shallow reason to stay with a series I was otherwise ready to step away from.  If things take a turn for the better (and I hope they do), I may pick the show back up, or at least do a couple of summary posts.



  1. f

    It's probably not a coincidence that I also chose this point to finally drop the series…the reintroduction of Yui was the last straw for me, and the second arc doesn't seem like it's going to be very interesting anyway.

    I think you have the correct reaction to those fans that wanted you to stop…we definitely need a variety of opinions in the anime blogosphere. It can also be worthwhile to listen to an opinion that's different from one's own–living in a bubble is not a healthy thing, IMO.

    I'll check for further SAO posts from you to see if there's anything worth checking out, but for now, this series has been a huge disappointment and I'm glad to be rid of it.

  2. d

    Making fans "uncomfortable"? Ahahaha, you should redirect those people to my posts which treat SAO with all the love and affection it deserves. 🙂

  3. E

    Yeah, draggle's fanfiction on SAO is epic. I am a fans already.
    Yay for promotion.

  4. B

    Yeah… This second arc is not exactly off to a great start. If someone had asked me to make a list of things I want to see in SAO, "more Yui" would have been way, way, way down near the bottom of the list. In fact, by the end, I thought Kirito landing on his head was an apt metaphor for the show itself in this arc.

  5. d

    I for one can't put it against you for dropping SAO. I myself almost drop the series a few times but will continue till the end. I guess you can say that I am treating it like a game and will forgive it because of its theme and setting (game mechanics for an actual game) and will simply gloss over the story lol.

  6. A

    Yui and the stat carryover were the last straws for me so I totally understand your reasoning, but it will be sad to see one of the few true "anime" SAO bloggers stop coverage. It seems to be a show where knowing the novels REALLY skews the interpretation of the anime. Thanks for at least standing up and actually being a critic of the anime for the time that you did.

  7. R

    Yeah, it seems to be a bit like Watchmen in that regard – everyone I know who's watching it and enjoying it has read the light novels, and everybody else seems to be put off. It's a really faithful adaptation (except for mixing the side-stories in with the main first book plot). I've read the light novels and am quite enjoying it, but I understand where everybody's coming from – for one, it really does seem like a "girl of the week" style show, when the novels never felt like that, due to the separation of the first book and the side-stories. There's also a lot more in terms of back-story for a lot of things which just seem like poor plot points and cop-outs when not explained properly – Yui was one of them, though I hate her character in the novels too. I think the reason we, as readers of the Light Novels, don't have as many of the bad perceptions that come from the poor writing and explanations, and sometimes seemingly overly convenient plot points BECAUSE they're explained much better in the novel, but also because we've had our "WTF?!" moments when reading already, and thus have slowly learned to look past it all.

    I will say that it definitely gets better, especially action-wise, but we shan't be getting to the best stuff until the third or fourth arcs, which I'm sure they won't cover unless they make a second season. It also gets way better when you learn to take some of the silly plot points as they come instead of dwelling on them.

  8. s

    Fans are uncomfortable with you criticizing SAO? What in the world? Opinions, people. And you express yours well, so they can't say anything else. I was hoping to read more of your critical SAO posts, seeing as I never read the source materials so I see SAO as a rather mediocre anime.

  9. If I could save time in a bottle, I'd keep covering SAO (not that it's the first thing I'd like to do, but I'd do it). It's interesting to blog analytically and clearly, there's an audience both for the show and the coverage. But some series have to go and I just can't justify regular coverage at the moment.

  10. K

    I am surprised you stuck with it this long. I dropped it way back around episode 5 and everything I've read about it has convinced me that was the right decision.

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