Sword Art Online II Ep. 17: More glory for the Gary Stu

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Alright, alright… let’s see how Kirito goes about wielding that dumb sword you see in the screenshot above.

— Yo, is Yui practically an extra party member or what? I don’t think other players have a tiny fairy loli telling them useful things like “He’s going to punch twice again!” I mean, it’s cheating. The developers should’ve banned Kirito and his friends a long time ago.

— The fight is dumb anyway, because you just have a bunch of melee DPS throw themselves at the boss and it somehow works. Whereas Log Horizon will drone on and on about strategy and tactics, SAO is brawn, brawn, and more brawn. That’s putting it nicely, too. To put it meanly, the show’s dumb as shit. But don’t get me wrong. Neither anime gets it right. Log Horizon is as dull as SAO is stupid.

— The boss himself doesn’t fare much better. He’s pretty limited in his moveset. All I’ve seen so far are some punches and ice breaths. SAO might not have a bunch of pointless narration, but it doesn’t have much imagination either. Thrym doesn’t summon any adds or interact with the environment in any way. He doesn’t do anything befitting of a raid’s final boss. He just attacks head-on like the group of adventurers fighting him.

— Kirito gives both Klein and Leafa a look, and they just know what he wants to do. Of course they do! They’re just melees! Unfortunately, when the boss’s attack pattern changes, the frontliners all manage to get themselves frozen in place by an ice breath. Gee, it would’ve been nice if someone had taken one for the team and decided to be a mage, huh? In fact, in most games, melee DPS are at a disadvantage. Everyone wants ranged DPS because they don’t die like idiots. Hell, there’s a recurring joke in Final Fantasy XIV that dragoons do nothing but die. A lot of MMOs try to balance this out by having the melee DPS do more damage, but even then, it’s only worth the trade-off like half of the time.

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— I also like how they’re all on one side of the boss. You’d think one of these melees would’ve tried to flank the giant already, since most of his devastating moves are frontal AOE. If he ain’t facing you, he can’t damage you! Not only that, if you draw the boss’s attention, you also draw it away from the rest of the group! But hey, strategy and tactics are, like, difficult, man. Even something as basic as flanking the boss. Kirito’s group of adventurers is supposedly the best of the best, but they’re still dumb as shit.

— Kirito tells Sinon to buy the melees thirty seconds. As a result, we get to see an archer go into melee range of the boss. Come on… Why does kicking Thrym in the face even faze him? He’s a fucking giant. He should just shrug off an archer’s kick. After all, archers shouldn’t be able to kick well! More importantly, I’ve never seen a boss grunt and get knocked back as much as this asshole. In fact, if Kirito’s team was actually smart, it sounds like they could just stunlock the giant into submission.

— Freyja then tells Kirito that Thrym can’t be beaten normally. Instead, they need to utilize her family treasure. But what basically happens is that the rest of the group just stands off to the side in order to have a conversation. What is the boss doing? Shrug. Probably still shaking off the effects of getting kicked by Sinon’s dainty legs.

— Yep, we briefly see Sinon dodging Thrym’s attacks, distracting the giant all by herself. The boss doesn’t even give a fuck about the rest of the group. Now, imagine if one of them had been a tank, and the rest were ranged DPS… but no, we need a golden hammer this big to beat the boss! The funny thing is, it doesn’t even look like Sinon’s having any trouble evading damage. So what the fuck is Freyja talking about with the whole “You can’t beat the boss this way!” Yeah, you can’t because the majority of them are stupid melees.

— Freyja’s family treasure? It’s literally just this amalgamation of gold. Yeah, just one giant mass of gold.

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— Here’s Kirito using a lightning skill. And by shocking the treasure, the treasure is now… uh, a darker gold…? Hell, not even. Good job, boys!

— Kirito finds the hammer and chucks it at Freyja. When she catches it, she starts going berserk. Klein’s true love then turns into this bearded giant. Yeah, it’s Thor. And yeah, ain’t nobody allowed to have any hot anime babes except Kirito. The only “girl” to show Klein any attention just happens to be a dude.

— Why are they both crouched like that?

— Sinon: “While Thor has aggro, let’s attack!” Hey look, this show does have the concept of aggro! One of us should play a class that specializes in drawing the enemy’s aggro, thereby allowing the rest of the party to–… Fuck it, let’s all be DPS.

*Asuna steps up*

Whoa, whoa, what are you doing, babe!? I need a healer to cup my balls!

This is literally the extent of Kirito’s leadership. Throw more dots, everyone! Use your skills! Really? I should use my fucking skills? Are you sure?

— Klein hasn’t quite recovered from the shock of his waifu turning into a man.

— Other than Sinon, everyone attacks the same way. Basically, the rest of them all run in and perform a melee attack. So fucking boring. Hell, Silica supposedly has a pet dragon, but where is it?

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— They look like a pair of angry birds.

— Before Thrym dies, he tells the adventurers not to lower their guard around Asgard. Nevertheless, I thought someone said Sinon would do something cool. Turns out it was just bullshit.

— As thanks for being the bottom, Klein gets to have Thor’s golden hammer… I don’t know, maybe it’s a symbol of how Klein got hammered. Just look at the dinky way the hammer is drawn, though. It’s got this tiny-ass handle that looks like it can snap off at any moment. The show does nothing to make the hammer look cool. Hell, it does nothing to make Klein look cool. He receives a new weapon, but it’s done in about the most ho-hum way possible. Why not position the camera below the guy to at least make him seem imposing?

— But wait! We still need to obtain Excaliber so that Kirito can look cool!

— But if you think there’s any sense of urgency here, you’re dead wrong. Look at these guys just staring at a set of stairs. They don’t start moving unless Kirito announces, “Let’s go!” Come on.

— Then they get down the stairs… and stare some more! But look at those tiny stairs. So basically, they had to climb down one-by-one, then spread out in a line. After all, nobody can do anything unless Kirito gives the go-ahead!

— Kirito actually apologizes to Excaliber for not showing up sooner? Haha, okay. By the way, don’t even bother asking why it’s just assumed that Kirito gets the sword. Of course he does.


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— After some awkward grunting, our harem lead finally manages to whip his golden dong out of its prison. Congrats, dude. You’ve totally earned it.

— The entire dungeon falls apart, but Klein still got to embarrass himself one last time before they all ride the platform they’re on down to the ground. It’s like he’s getting punishment for even daring to think he could bag a girl like Freyja.

— Oh shit, we’re in grave danger! I’ll protect you, baby! Yeah, that’s right, he’s cradling Excaliber in his arms, because Excaliber doesn’t have a sharp edge, I guess. Asuna? Who? Oh right, my girlfriend! Well, I’m sure she’s fine…

— Right on cue, Tonkii shows up to save everyone. I mean, who didn’t see this coming as soon as they started falling?

— Kirito suddenly accepts his limitations and throws Excaliber away? Haha, okay. Apparently, he can’t make the jump to Tonkii if he’s cradling his golden dong. I like how bummed out he is about it, though. My e-sword!

— But Sinon wasn’t about to let her man lose his manhood! So she shoots a magical rope at the golden dong, and pulls it back to Kirito. Wow, what a haremette!

— Are you serious? That was the cool shit that Sinon got to do? Talk about lame. At the end of the day, her one “cool” move is just saving Kirito’s fucking penis extension.

— But before she hands it to him, she makes him promise her one thing: “Every time you draw this sword, remember me in your heart.” First of all, groan. As if these girls couldn’t worship the ground that Kirito walks on any harder. Secondly, she says this right in front of Asuna? The blatant disrespect!

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— All Kirito can do is look sheepishly at the rest of his harem. And all they can do is frown because they’re haremettes, not real people with real agency!

— Naturally, Kirito can’t do anything about the fact that his harem is unhappy. Oh well, he can do the next best thing: take his rage out on Klein!

— Lisbeth: “That dungeon’s going to disappear just because we completed it once.” What a terrible MMO. Kirito’s group got a world first, and nobody else gets to even try the quest. Even Silica thinks it’s a waste.

— Well, this is Kirito’s world, after all. The idea that he and his friends are playing an MMO is nothing more than a conceit. Nobody else has any impact on this world. Normally, in any given MMO, multiple guilds will be earning achievements left and right, making a name for themselves. Taking down raid bosses, scoring a big win in a PVP battleground, crafting a legendary piece of equipment, etc. These are all things that can happen in any given MMO. But in this world, you never hear about that shit. No one has any impact on the world except Kirito. No one gets to do any meaningful quest except Kirito. Hell, just look at the other assholes! All they do is slaughter monsters over and over! Do Kirito and his band of mindless followers ever run into another group when they’re in a dungeon? Of course not! Now, you can argue that the dungeons are instanced, but even then, do Kirito and his band of mindless followers ever run into other adventurers on their way to a dungeon? Again, of course not. No one gets to do anything meaningful in this world except the Gary Stu. So I can only conclude that it’s not an MMO. This whole thing is just Kirito’s playground.

— Yeah, yeah… the frozen wasteland thaws, and plant life instantly appears. Kirito’s group has managed to change this world permanently. Sucks to be everyone else. You wake up one day and an entire quest zone has disappeared completely on you.

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— Tonkii’s kind starts to cry out in happiness. What about the rest of the adventurers? And the rest of the giants? I guess they just said, “Fuck it! Let’s not kill these NPCs anymore!”

— Three NPC sisters show up to give their thanks and officially bestow the Excaliber to Kirito. Yawn.

— Klein stupidly yells out to one of them, asking for an NPC’s contact info. Uh, okay. She pities him by waving back, thereby raining dandruff all over the poor loser. That doesn’t stop Klein from embracing the dandruff anyway, because with Kirito hogging all of the female attention to himself, this is the best he can do.

— And that about does it for this shitty mini-arc. What’s that? Kirito installed a camera in the bar, and this allows Yui to feel like she can fly around in the real world? Well, the idea here is that he’s blurring the line between the real world and MMOs. Yui is becoming more and more like a real daughter everyday! Funny how this one crucial bit of information — something that actually has to do with the theme of taking MMOs seriously — is tucked away at the end of an arc, amounting to a paltry 1% of the story.

— During the credits, Kirito’s haremettes just kiss his ass some more. It’s pathetic. It’s so boring, the black guy in the back would rather just stand there and stare off into space.

— Best part is, Kirito isn’t even sitting next to or across from his waifu.


35 Replies to “Sword Art Online II Ep. 17: More glory for the Gary Stu”

      1. I do know of the joke…but I’ve never heard someone say that about monks. I guess it’s because monk is the least used dps class.

        1. Eh, I think that’s just because the ranged DPS classes are so much safer, and dragoon has a lot of history in the Final Fantasy canon, i.e. Kain. I had a monk in my Bahamut’s Coil static back when I actually did Coil. I greatly preferred a monk over a dragoon, and hey, you need at least one melee DPS.

  1. “Yo, is Yui practically an extra party member or what? I don’t think other players have a tiny fairy loli telling them useful things like “He’s going to punch twice again!” I mean, it’s cheating. The developers should’ve banned Kirito and his friends a long time ago.”

    …this, this is actually what should happen, it’d be so funny. Imagine the e-loli getting deleted and our loser pairing starts crying, but it doesn’t matter ’cause she lives in their hearts! lol, then they hear her e-voice in the real world or something.

  2. This entire season of SAO just makes me feel bad for Asuna. Kirito introduces her as a friend and she gets to watch him flirt with Sinon and Suguha without doing anything, but stay in the background. Even her magic power gets overshadowed by Frejya once she/he shows up.

    I don’t mind harems, but it’s clear that Asuna and Kirito are an item. I don’t get why this show likes to ignore that and always have Sinon or Suguha by his side instead. I couldn’t even like the episode, because I kept getting angry on Asuna’s behalf.

    1. It’s purely the incompetence of the writer. In any NORMAL story Asuna should be worth at least half of the story since she’s the main heroine.
      Not in SAO though; she’s as important as all the other identical Barbie dolls on the shelf.

      1. I would argue that Sinon and Suguha have more importance than Asuna. Both have been developed more and are still used as fighters in games. Asuna went from being a top fighter, to being a doting wife to Kirito, to being a damsel in distress, to being a worried wife in distress, to staying in the background and letting everyone else steal the scenes.

        It’s kind of depressing to watch how her character has fallen.

        1. 100% agree with you. My expectations of the show just dropped like in the triple digits when Asuna went from an awesome and capable character to that of a glorified waifu.

    2. In retrospect all those “Top Ten Anime Couples” lists that had Gary Stu and Asuna-waifu in the top three places are even more hilarious.
      SAO’s pretty much crushed the sanctity of the “main girl”, “first girl” or “harem lead’s crush”. Throw her in-line with the others. How ground-breaking, this marks a new beginning of harem anime. /sarcasm

      Asuna’s NTR’d-shame was in full swing this past season.

    3. I don’t get why this show likes to ignore that and always have Sinon or Suguha by his side instead.

      It sounds bad, but that’s because Asuna’s a known commodity. He’s already been with her. In the real world, you can spend a lifetime getting to know the person you love. In the world of Gary Stu entitlement, people don’t care to see more.

  3. The bridge on that screenshot is nonsensical because the fact the river just defroze means the bridge was there before the ice age and was therefore built by the inhabitants of the land, either giants or tenacruels, which raises many questions about said bridge.

    You know, you just gave me the idea that it’d be fun to read a comedy commentary on each SAO episode made by MMO characters (not players, but aware of the meta).

    1. Meh, he’s not the harem lead so who gives two shits about him, amirite? Because that’s totally how we treat characters.

  4. What happened to the budget?? The first season at least looked nice most of the time, but Phantom Bullet was a pretty significant downgrade and this arc just looked fucking awful animationways – not to mention the gratuitous recycling of clips from last season, and the way they’re clearly avoiding ever having to pay Agil’s voice actor. I don’t even get the impression that SAO has significantly declined in popularity in Japan or anything, so I wonder what’s up with that.

  5. 1. Oh look. More boring and ineffectual combat scenes. Boy, they REALLY want to run out the clock on this episode don’t they?
    If there is ONE thing I can say positively that SAO season 1 did were the first few fights in the first couple of episodes. They weren’t mind-blowingly good, but they were fun enough to watch. So, where the hell did that go? Is A1 Pictures just getting TIRED of SAO that they don’t care about the crux of the show? Hell, I don’t blame them.
    I don’t get why the fighting in the last three episodes are just so BAD. Maybe they figured out that cool pew-pew guns are so much cooler than shitty high-fantasy metal swinging.
    Can the whole Freyja and Thor bullshit be considered an instance of deus ex machina? Although if it was, I don’t know WHY it would be needed in the first place since this story is the stomping grounds of the King of Gary Stu and Wish Fulfillment. He did more ridiculous shit before with the power of harem love and friendship in the past.

    2. The amount of fuck-hate that is dumped on Klein is just ridiculous. Did Reki just realize that he had an extra dude character laying around and decided push him harder as him the “comic-relief” punching bag?
    Did Klein do or say anything that deserved this level of ridicule and embarrassment? Uh, nope. Not even the RAPISTS (PLURAL) in this show get it as bad as Klein does. This is like watching your village get burnt down because you forgot to cover your mouth during a surprise yawn.
    Like holy fucking ball-sack. Klein gets shit on when he finds his eye-candy is actually a bulging beard-man while Gary Stu’s still surrounded by all his hos. The abysmal levels of amateurism and lack of tact or craft still boggles my mind.
    And it’s not like I actually LIKE Klein. He’s the most likable one of this cast of Retard-City. Being a beta male under Gary Stu’s Aura of Alpha Male status is rough apparently.

    3. My dear Sinon, remember when you were actually a character? Remember when you actually had THINGS to do as a character that didn’t revolve around Gary Stu? It seems like such a distant and faded memory.
    But I do remember when SAO-apologists said that Sinon wasn’t going to have feelings for Gary Stu and that she wasn’t going to be another haremette. Wow, was that UTTERLY predictable the moment she came into frame. Girl character coming into contact with Gary Stu, MASTER of the universe. Even if Sinon was characterized as a full-on lesbian, she’d probably be thrown into the harem anyway.
    And the rope-thing? Oh, wow. Her existence is TOTALLY justified now. That’s why the GGO arc exists. So Sinon can rope in the sword for her master.
    I will admit that I felt some bile come up when I heard her say that “remember me in your heart” dialogue. And then cue the oh-so-fresh judgmental looks from the harem. It’s almost as fresh as a summer festival episode. Yeah, this schlock was written by a middle-schooler.

    4. Again the combination of Reki Kawahara knowing shit-all about MMOs coupled with Our Special Snowflake. Huh, does anyone know how I can get an entire MMO custom-scripted for ME so only I can do the most awesome quests and get all the awesome gear. Yes, yes. I’ll let you plebeians play in my MMO too.

    5. At the risk of sounding like a broken record player: Holy fuckin’ shit, the only person that Reki apparently hates more than Klein is Asuna. She got fucking shafted for the WHOLE season. Do the titles of “heroine” and “MAIN WAIFU” mean nothing anymore? Well, I guess it’s officially official: this is as harem-y as a harem show can get. Hell, I can see nobody-Lisbeth having a better chance at Gary Stu than nobody-Asuna does.

    1. I will admit that I felt some bile come up when I heard her say that “remember me in your heart” dialogue.

      It’s the dumbest thing about her character. They just went through the GGO ordeal, and yet, she has to save his magical golden penis extension to convince him not to forget her.

  6. ohh man!! that animation is horrible. I mean, why do people still watch this anime; its clearly not for the story, character development, nor animation then why? Why God???

  7. This review is spot on about all the bad things in SAO. In fact one of the aspects that made SAO appeal to me in the first place was how Kirito and Asuna’s relationship actually got somewhere. It had potential, or so I thought.

    Then all these extra harem members were added sdfasdf. That in itself is not even a big problem. An anime show can have many female characters. However when the male lead has committed to one character don’t just fcking ignore that and go on with the harem status quo. I would have had a lot more respect for SAO if the other girls just got over their crushes on Kirito and became normal friends with him, but noooo Kirito has to be a supah special all consuming chick magnet so lonely otaku and project themselves into him, and if Asuna is not the WAIFU to their likeing, Kirito has a ton of other options! Goddamit that’s annoying. The harem exists solely as gratification fodder. They’re not real developed characters.

    It gets even worse in Alicazation arc. Supah special Kirito gets dailed up even more *sigh*.

    1. Honestly, it’s mostly the hilariously over-written teen power fantasy that is Kirito is what completely dives this show into camel shit-status and, I’m agreeing with you, less so the pandering harem bullshit (however offensively shit it still is).
      The idea of a girl getting a shot at Kirito in an arc and then her disappearing after figuring out she has 000.00% with Kirito would have made this show slightly less stupid.

      Suguha, Lisbeth and Silica are so grossly irrelevant now that they’re just baggage that fills up the screen to boost Kirito’s harem game. Hell, even main girl Asuna has barely any weight right now.

      Actually, nah, the whole harem idea is trash considering the girls are pretty much members of the Kirito Cult. None of them have actual personality (what about colorful hair?) other than being near and seen with Kirito. There’s no strong presence with any of them that presents any sort of challenge to Kirito because well, apparently Kirito has some kind of harem-lead magic over all of them to prevent dissension; kind of like a charismatic cult leader without the actual charisma. Oh yeah, don’t drink the Kool-aid girls.

    2. I would have had a lot more respect for SAO if the other girls just got over their crushes on Kirito and became normal friends with him,

      The thing is, you’d never see someone get a crush on Asuna and try to steal her away from Kirito anymore — without the threat of rape, that is. Maybe this would’ve been possible before they got together, but now that they have, Asuna is permanently Kirito’s. On the other hand, Asuna has to watch as girls after girls go after her guy. And it becomes obvious. Kirito’s the audience identification character, and as such, who the hell wants to watch their girl potentially get stolen away! It only happens if it gives him a chance to save her, i.e. a NTR scenario. In other words, Kirito has no real rival. It’s just too bad they can’t internalize this and realize it’s shitty for their lovers to deal with the same thing.

      1. Equality! Yay!

        If Asuna was given any sort of semblance of good characterization, which includes a brain, she would’ve said “fuck it” to whatever was between her and Kirito and look for a better dude. Is there literally nobody else that is better than the bland-as-fuck MMO-nerd Kirito? Oh what am I talking about, it’s SAO we’re talking about, so of course not.
        If not a break-up, try and fix some problems. Like, maybe addressing that whole “sister/cousin-love” thing because that’s only funny in Arrested Development but otherwise REALLY creepy and problematic that Kirito’s just fine with it and lets Suguha just chill around. Probably also telling the other girls to literally go fuck themselves and threaten to claw their eyes out if she saw them 150 meters or closer near Kirito. You know, the normal steps for a girl to stake out her man for herself.

        But I guess she’s just so pure, demure and the perfect Japanese house-waifu that she won’t be doing any of that.

        1. Dude, Mother’s Rosario is ALL about Asuna fighting for her right to be Kirito’s waifu against her mother because her super-OP lesbian girlfriend who is dying of AIDS said so.

          In a way, Asuna is just too much of a waifu to EVEN have a through of her own aside from “Kirito-kun” and “Vidya Games with Kirito-kun”. Hell, when she infiltrated the base where Kirito was kidnapped into ANOTHER MMO, all she did WAS WAIT FOR HIM until he wakes up.

  8. “Hell, there’s a recurring joke in Final Fantasy XIV that dragoons do nothing but die.”

    Joke? Even the devs know it’s just sad fact.

  9. Apparently I found this article about a guy who get married to 21 women who are open to be his husband because the guy claimed that he has magical powers. The girls are in competition of cooking and cleaning and the winner gets to get laid with the guy. Hell, one girl proclaimed her eternal love as a tattoo.

    Iunno how is that related to SAO… but it is an interesting read.

    Oh, and Kirito getting Excalibur is totally totally predictable and Klein will never get any. Next arc might be better, but it’s just Asuna waifu drama that Kirito doesn’t give a shit about.

  10. Honestly I was confused as to why Klein didn’t give Lisbeth the hammer instead. Since she’s a blacksmith wouldn’t she be maxed out in hammer skills? It would make so much more sense than Klein now having to learn a whole new skill set in order to use one weapon he didn’t even want in the first place…

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