Text version (not recommended for first-time experience of this project) and links:
Oh my god it’s finally done!! This was mostly edited by The Davoo: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheDavoo
Part One here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHhebk70xRo
Part Two here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2b31ci_your-anime-sucks-sword-art-online-ii-part-2_fun
Part Three here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3MmI_oD-Vg
The style and title are in reference to one of my favorite youtube channels, YourMovieSucks! Watch his vids: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL83BA48D283767122
If you enjoy my videos, consider supporting me via patreon: http://www.patreon.com/digibrony
Or through paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch my analysis of the first season here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uON7ANNOi4
SAO book burning video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYFCJMbfh0U&feature=youtu.be
Episode twelve – I can’t believe this is still happening
WHEN WILL WE LEAVE THIS FUCKING CAVE?!
Kirito deduces based on how quickly Death Gun targeted Shinon after killing Pale Rider, and based on the fact that there seem to have been two disconnected players, that there may in fact be two or more Death Gun partners running around killing people in the real world. Ergo, both Shinon and Dark Wind, whom this episode spends a few minutes building up as a character for no reason since he’s about to accomplish jack shit in the final battle, are possibly at risk.
I actually kind of like Kirito’s reasoning for how Death Gun would continue to be a player killer out of self-identity. It’s interesting to think of how one might incorporate elements of their online self into their perception of who they are, especially if they spent a lot of time immersed in a game world which is practically indistinguishable from reality, and even more especially if they’d previously gotten away with murder in one of these online worlds. It’s another concept which, if it were more fleshed out and used in a show that didn’t suck, might be kind of cool.
So the big final battle starts, and Shinon takes out Dark Wind so Death Gun won’t be able to get to him. But if there really was someone standing at his bedside ready to kill him, wouldn’t Dark Wind wake up and see him there, which is exactly what Kirito said was too dangerous earlier? I guess getting killed doesn’t necessarily log you out of the game, and it’s possible that the killer would’ve seen this happen on the livestream and got the fuck out of there, but those are just my speculative defenses.
So now we cut to Asuna heading up the elevator to Kirito’s hospital room, and she’s talking to Yui on her cell phone. Yui is an AI that lives inside of Alfheim Online, so the fact that she can talk to Asuna means that it may indeed be possible for people inside the game to communicate with people outside of it, unless Yui is just like inside Asuna’s phone or something. Yui then tells Asuna to look at a nearby monitor, and then turns it to the MMO Stream. If that sentence made no sense, let me spell it out–Yui, the AI that lives inside of Alfheim Online and possibly Asuna’s phone, is able to tune a random, completely unconnected monitor in a hospital room to be viewing the MMOstream, instantly. Why? How? Is Yui in the computer? Is she an omnipotent being which travels through the net? Can she take control of any electronic device? If her reach is not limited to Alfheim Online, then why hasn’t she joined Kirito in Gun Gale Online? Couldn’t she be relaying reports from one game to the other? Literally any problem which I’ve raised with regards to Kirito being unable to communicate with the outside world could be solved by Yui. This is the most senseless and ridiculous thing that could have possibly happened.
Also, it’s confirmed now that the names of characters are displayed in the MMOStream video, so everyone watching it at home should know that Death Gun is Sterben. All that talk about cross-referencing SAO and GGO accounts was unnecessary–they can just call up the company and have them suspend Sterben’s account and ask for his home address.
Death Gun and Kirito are locked into their final showdown, and it’s worth noting that Death Gun sounds COMPLETELY different from how he did before. Back in episode six he sounded all disjointed and robotic (clip), but now he just sounds like a normal guy with a speech filter on (clip). As the conversation between these two continues, it becomes apparent that the notion we’re supposed to buy into, is that they can’t stop or capture Death Gun because they can’t remember what his name was in Sword Art Online, cause I guess that’s the only reasonably doable way to figure out who the fuck he is. Also, the only reason Kirito doesn’t know his name is because after the last time they fought, Death Gun was about to tell him his name, but Kirito said he didn’t want to hear it because he’d never see him again. Really? Was it really necessary to set up this half-assed dramatic irony in which Kirito, with odd specificity, decided not to learn just this one guy’s name who would happen to come back to haunt him later? This is so fucking corny it hurts.
I think this is supposed to be a heartfelt scene, where Yui’s asking Asuna to hold Kirito’s hand for her, since she can’t interact with their world, but when Asuna’s like “don’t worry, I’m sure your hands will reach him!” and puts the phone under Kirito’s hand, I always burst out laughing. To what capacity does Yui even exist in this phone? Is she capable of any senses other than hearing and speaking, considering she’s in call mode? I’ll stop thinking now.
During this fight scene, Kirito’s inner monologue suddenly sounds exponentially older than the voice that’s coming out of his mouth for some reason. Kirito remembers that he did actually hear Death Gun’s name before, which was Red Eyes Zaza, and then he narrates some stuff about how Shinon’s sniper attack is a phantom bullet, so they could work the arc title in there. Then we get some hard rock music over images moving in slow-motion cause what could be more totally radical than that? (clip) Kirito then cuts Death Gun in half and his body fucking explodes! I don’t even know what to say about this. Or wait, I guess his body didn’t explode, cause his parts are still together… what the hell was that explosion about?! At least at the very end, his voice has gone back to sounding like it did before.
Kirito and Shinon exchange their personal information under the assurance that the killer must’ve fled Shinon’s house now that Death Gun is out of the game. Which, while consistent with expectations so far, isn’t something I’d lean too heavily on when trying to predict the movements of a psychotic fucking murderer. I’ve been told that in the original web novels, Shinon kills Kirito to end the game and emerge as the winner, but in the time between the web novels and the final publication, Kawahara read the Hunger Games, and decided they should both win.
*reki kawahara reaches into hat labeled “villains,” pulls out RAPEY GUY*
*hat falls and spills, they all say RAPEY GUY*
I’m a little bit confused about Shinkawa’s motivations. On the one hand, he obviously wants to possess Carne Asada. On the other hand, he was apparently going to kill her after Death Gun shot her in the game. He says something about not letting her be alone, so I guess he was going to kill her and them himself? He seems pretty intent on raping her in this scene though, which begs the question what was he going to do, or what, in fact, DID he do, while he was there earlier. Cause I find it hard to believe that this guy was standing over her ready to kill for hours, and didn’t do anything perverted while she completely lacked control over her body. He obviously wants to get some before he murders her, so why didn’t he do it then? Am I really arguing about how unrealistic it is that Shinon didn’t get raped earlier? These are the kind of conversations that Sword Art Online leads to, folks.
So Shinkawa turns out to be this creepy guy who’s obsessed with being the best player in Gun Gale Online, and apparently he’s poured all of his time and dedication into it. He wants Death Gun to be the most powerful player in the game, but when Zexceed started saying that agility builds were obsolete, Shinkawa decided to kill him and I guess anyone else who was a strong player. Why was this necessary? It’s actually implied that Zexceed may have been wrong about the change in builds, since many people think he only got lucky in beating Dark Wind in the last Bullet of Bullets. Death Gun definitely seemed like he was easily the most powerful player in this year’s tournament other than Kirito, so what’s the big deal? If he’s legitimately really good at the game, why does he need to kill other players to prove himself? Couldn’t he have just won the Bullet of Bullets fair and square and shown the world who was best that way?
If Death Gun had been a former star player who was ruined by the changing dynamic in gameplay, I could see why he’d be pissed off, but it’s continually suggested that he’s a player no one’s ever heard of who’s entering the Bullet of Bullets for the first time. He hasn’t even given himself a chance to prove his strength yet, and he’s already killing people just for saying that they’re stronger than him. But Shinon never bragged about being better–in fact, I’m pretty sure she’s never played in a Bullet of Bullets game either. Why is she so famous in this game already when no one’s even heard of Death Gun? Is Death Gun only performing so well in this tournament because Shinkawa’s brother is controlling him? Shinkawa doesn’t seem to mind who’s controlling the avatar as long as everyone recognizes his power, so why not just let his brother win the tournament for him? I’m just saying, his reasons for wanting to kill people seem really flimsy, and the fact that he wants to kill Shinon totally contradicts with the fact that he wants to hook up with her. I get that he’s supposed to be a crazy person, and his voice actor really does a good job of selling that angle, but having a character who’s crazy shouldn’t be license to give them motivations that don’t make any sense. It might make their actions more believable, but it also makes the story and the character far less interesting.
*reki kawahara awakes in a cold sweat* what if the girl is stronger than Kirito?? *he shakes his head, smiles, falls back asleep* impossible
Kirito gets into a tussle with Shinkawa and it looks like he gets injected in the heart. Carne Asada drops a radio on rape-boy’s neck like a G, and then it turns out Kirito’s still wearing one of the electrodes from the heart monitor back at the hospital and it saved him from getting injected, yay! But seriously, how thick are those electrodes? The needle can instantly pierce through skin, but not through what appears to be a thin piece of plastic? Then Asada’s all smiley and like, thanks for coming! CALL THE FUCKING POLICE!
We flash forward to Carne Asada getting confronted by the generic bullies again, only this time she’s not taking their shit. One of them threatens her with a toy gun and she almost freaks out, but when the girl doesn’t know how the safety works, Asada disarms and educates her. Yay, it worked! She then turns around and shoots… a can off of a pale, okay how the fuck did that get there? Did she really set that up while she was waiting, on the off chance the bully would really pull out her brother’s model gun and then Asada would be able to disarm her and shoot the can off the pale? Was there nothing more realistic which could’ve been naturally stationed in their surroundings for Asada to shoot, like a nearby mailbox or something, literally anything less stupid than shooting a can off a fucking pale?! She doesn’t pick up the can or the pale afterwards, so either they weren’t hers, or she’s totally littering.
So now, at long last, we get to the part where Kirito explains the entire Death Gun plan inside yet another cafe (9). Apparently it began when Zaza first got the Death Gun cloak which allows the player to become invisible and started standing behind other players when they entered their information into the Bullet of Bullets tournament. Ohh, so THAT’S why we needed the whole convoluted explanation for why you have to handle all the real-money transfer shit inside the game world instead of on the website! It’s a huge, unbelievably complicated plot device!
Meanwhile, Zaza’s brother Shinkawa was getting pissed off because he was having trouble levelling his character, and so they decided they should murder Zexceed because he was pissing them off. It kind of made sense when they explained why Zaza wanted to kill people, but I guess Shinkawa was just born a psycho, since this was his idea to begin with. The two of them broke into their dad’s hospital and stole some killer drugs and a master key, which they just have at the hospital, which apparently is a key that just can open any place with weak security, because this world doesn’t make any fucking sense whatsoever. It sure is a good thing that the people they wanted to kill all happened to live alone in apartments with bad security. As for stealing the killer drug, I defer to my friend Hope who works at a veterinary hospital.
(roll Hope clip)
After some boring pedantic dialog about the meaning of reality, the government dude reads Kirito a short message from Zaza which seems like it’s obviously foreshadowing some shit that’ll happen in a later book. What follows after this is possibly my favorite scene in the entirety of Gun Gale Online for purely ironic reasons.
In this scene, Kirito legitimately indoctrinates Carne Asada into the spurned women’s club (10). “Wassup bitches, allow me to introduce my latest bitch, Shinon. Shinon, this is my side bitch whatshername and my main bitch Asuna. Have a seat over there while we get your harem signup paperwork ready.” By the way, these school uniforms are fugly as hell. What were they thinking putting red ribbons under blue crosses on white collars? If there’s one thing I didn’t expect SAO to fuck up, it was costume design, but I guess this show couldn’t leave any stone of badness unturned for too long.
After a while of joking around, the club reveals that they went to Carne Asada’s hometown and tracked down the post-office worker (had you just thought it was a bank all this time? I had too) and her child whom Asada saved all those years ago. How long did they have those two standing around in the back room waiting while they sat there shooting the shit? How’d they keep that little girl quiet back there all this time?
So apparently this lady’s been super thankful to Carne Asada ever since the incident, but for whatever reason wasn’t able to get ahold of her. I know I kind of addressed this before, but I still can’t believe that all this time, no one ever celebrated what Asada did back then. I’ve heard from commenters that in the novels her mom was apparently pretty crazy already, so I get why she reacted that way, but how did Asada end up getting teased all through school instead of being praised as a hero? You’d think she’d have been on the news getting celebrated as the amazing little girl who saved a post office from a deranged gunman. And if this lady was so thankful, couldn’t she have put a little more effort into tracking Asada down? I mean Asuna and whatsherface were able to find this lady all the way in Asada’s hometown, and I doubt Asada moved away immediately after the incident, so how hard could it really have been?
Whatever, the little girl gives her a crayon drawing and then has some lines obviously delivered by a real child and then weirdly overanimated. (clip) Asada then ruins the picture by crying on it and the episode, along with the arc, finally ends.
A lot of people have said that I only like hating on Sword Art Online so much because it’s popular, and those people are absolutely correct. If a show this bad came out and no one cared about it, then it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s gotten to be one of the most popular anime of all time in spite of its innumerable flaws. Sword Art Online proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that as long as a show has good-looking artwork and a decent hook it can make a killing, and people won’t even notice all the stupid shit that happens until it becomes overwhelming like it did back in Alfheim Online. And then you can win everyone back just by being slightly less stupid.
Reki Kawahara basically gets away with murder writing Sword Art Online, and he pretty much admits it. In various interviews, he’s admitted that there are plot holes in the story, that he’s incapable of writing female characters who aren’t in love with Kirito, that his favorite character is Klein, but he gives the females more screen time because he knows it’s what the fans want, and in one interview he even states that he doesn’t come up with the characters and setting before he starts writing, but makes them up as he goes. All of this is pretty evident not only in how the stories are constructed, but in how frequently Kawahara pumps them out. The guy puts out at least two books of both Accel World and Sword Art Online every year, and there’s no way he has time to flesh out each and every one of those books along the way. He’s obviously doing it because it makes him a lot of money, to the point that he’s willing to make creative changes based on what makes the story more marketable, and I can’t blame him for that; but I think we should be calling these things for what they are rather than acting like they’re just okay.
A-1 Pictures deserves a good chunk of the blame here too for for continuing to develop shows with half-baked scripts while banking everything on character design. GGO didn’t have to be a rushed-yet-boring fourteen-episode clusterfuck of constant reused footage and senseless bullshit, but that’s the kind of show they decided to make. I don’t know what it is about this studio, but with very few exceptions they have this incredible tendency to make shows that start off strong or have a strong premise, but just don’t congeal into any kind of decent story and eventually become really confusing when you’re forced to face the disconnect between their incredible design sense and their lackluster storytelling. In many ways, A-1 Pictures is even more aggravating than Bee Train, because at least Bee Train shows are as ugly as they are bad and never get your hopes up that they’ll be okay.
I’d like to think that people are finally starting to learn their lesson at this point. While people seemed to be excited about the start of Gun Gale Online, it seemed like more and more people were bored and confused as it went along. Every single time I’ve seen someone talk about what makes this arc good, they just mention how much they like girl Kirito and Shinon’s character designs. I guess if that’s enough to keep you watching a show, then go for it, but pretty much every A-1 Pictures show looks exactly the same, so it’s not like you don’t have options. After GGO, Sword Art Online 2 has launched into a series of mini-arcs about Kirito and the spurned women’s club dicking around in Alfheim Online, and a lot of people have been saying that the series finally truly jumped the shark. Others are enjoying it more now that it’s dropped any pretentions of being a real story. After GGO, there’s two books of these side-stories before SAO jumps into a giant continuous arc which has spanned the last seven books, and I won’t be the least bit surprised if that story eventually gets brought to animation as well. But before that happens, I’d like to offer some alternatives.
In my first Sword Art Online video I talked at length about one of my favorite shows, Log Horizon, which does the whole trapped in an MMO thing perfectly. But that show is pretty talkative and political, so if you like Sword Art Online for the visuals and the fantasy action, allow me to make some suggestions. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a gorgeous show full of jaw-dropping action sequences which also tells an epic, involving story full of interesting characters and themes. .hack//QUANTUM is a fun little three-episode OVA which does the MMO thing pretty well and is by far the best looking and most entertaining part of the .hack franchise. If you like manga, check out Tate no Yuusha, also known as Shield Bro, which is a dark take on the normal guy sent to a video game world genre with a lot of big twists and some pretty interesting concepts and characters. If you really just want to see cool, inventive fantasy fight scenes, check out Read or Die, Soul Eater, and Sword of the Stranger. If you want a strong romantic subplot in a fantasy adventure series, check out Eureka Seven. If you want a show about characters being trapped in a terrifying life or death scenario with heavy psychological and sociological themes, watch Infinite Ryvius. There are countless shows which offer similar things to what Sword Art Online does without being a stupid clusterfuck, and if you need more recommendations just check out more of my videos. A lot of people seem to just watch my SAO videos and then assume that I must hate anime or something, but the vast majority of my analysis videos are for shows I really like, so check some of them out.
At the end of the day, I made these videos just for fun, and I hope you can appreciate that. I have to put up with a lot of stupid fucking hateful comments on these videos, but enough people have been enjoying and demanding more of them that I felt the drive to continue, and I hope you’ll stick with my channel as I intend to do some epic-length in-depth analysis of shows that I actually like soon. Have a nice day, and remember to keep a healthy hatred of Sword Art Online in your heart as you go.