Sword Art Online miscellaneous discussion


#61

Yeah, I was mostly talking about the mayo part. It felt far too forward for someone you barely know even if you like them a lot.


#62

I mean, while it does feel too forward, it is a game. Although little by little they start to think otherwise.


#63

Oh, that is a really neat point. I had not thought of that. It provides a framework for a lot of the boldness of the characters overall….that “it’s a game” mentality slowly gets erased over time but still subconsciouly probably keeps playing a role in how they act too some degree


#64

They also go crazy sometimes. So there’s that. :joy:


#65

Yay! One more spoiler I can read!
Well, yeah, I still don’t know for sure, but it does confirm my spoilered away theory from 25 days ago (gaah already? Why am I so slow?)


#66

I just finished reading SAO1!
It was good, I enjoyed it a lot!
Actually, my past experience with light novels didn’t give me much hope, but I stand corrected.
I’m planing to write more (and complain a bit about the ending, which felt rushed), but in the mean time:


#67

Wooooot! Congrats :partying_face:

That’s a lot of words, haha. Glad you ended up enjoying the experience in the end. Looking forward to reading more thoughts from you…


#68

Congrats. That’s impressive. :tada:


#69

Mmmmkay, it’s been almost a week, and there hasn’t been enough free time to seat down and write, so I guess now is as good as it will ever be.
Fun fact: I ignored my reviews that day to focus on the last push to finish the book. I haven’t yet recovered from the pile of reviews I accumulated in a single day :stuck_out_tongue: (I’m chopping off at them, though, I hope to be able to power through the remainder today)

Anyway, my thoughts on the book.

General: (spoiler-free)

As I mentioned in my previous comment, it was pretty good. Reading the book, I had a few moments of nostalgia reminiscing about when I used to play MMORPG (back when I was still a student; a time long gone).
The writing is fluid and some scenes, especially the fights, were captivating. Without floflo throttling me down, I feel I would have probably read it in one or two sittings.
(NB: floflo throttling me down is a good thing. It means I’ve been actually learning stuff instead of just mindlessly consuming the content. Plus, it made me really look forward to the end of my lesson pile, when I would allow myself to read another chunk of the book).

On the negative side, well, it is a light novel, which means (at least in my limited experience) that the dialogues have a distinctive manga feel. Characters will frequently voice out their surprise or battle cries instead of just being described has shouting or grunting.
Another issue lies in the editing (I guess?): some sentences aren’t always consistent. I do not have the book with me at the moment, so I cannot give the exact sentence, but there’s a part where one character softly squeezes another character’s hand tightly. I confirmed with my local native speaker (i.e. spouse) that I wasn’t missing something, but nope, it’s just a miss from the author/editor. We gave it the benefit of the doubt, and attempted that move for a good thirty minutes, without success. It was a lot of fun, though.

The story:

there be major spoilers

Also, warning: I am French, so complaint comes more naturally to me than praises. You may safely assume that I liked everything I do not complain about. Especially the different environments, the personalities of the characters, and the way they deal with death in a context where death is omnipresent.

Well, first of all, I am quite disappointed that the author decided to take the premise straight.
I.e. 茅場 really kidnapped a bunch of people, they are really on a hospital bed, and they really die upon hitting 0 hp.
While it allows some tension, which was used quite well by the author, there are many twist that could have been introduced:

  • Time flows differently. They actually have been playing for half an hour by the end of the game. You are disconnected upon dying, and you cannot log back into that server. It’s all a promotion stunt for the capacities of the navgear.
  • They are part of an AI experiment. While the real human just played the game, their brain pattern/whatever where scanned and mapped to a huge neural networks that thinks it is the original human. Obviously, said AI cannot “log out”, and upon dying is simply deleted. (That was my hypothesis by the way).
  • They do not die at 0 hp, because putting a kill switch would have been too easy to spot. The player’s avatar is just “ghosted”/ moved to a different area. Note that that happens to both main characters at the end, which makes no sense. I understand for キリト, but 茅場 had no reason to believe he would be defeated, so why keep アスナ around?

But, nope, the answer is basically “I did it for the lulz”. That’s frustrating.

Another complaint I have is about the order/pacing. I really like the dynamics between キリト and アスナ, but before knowing that they go way back, and the impact he had on her the first time they met, it really feels like it’s coming out of nowhere.
The author also introduce a lot of elements that aren’t exploited at all: the army, the pk guild, the last 25 floors, …

I understand that the author had limited time and space, since the book was originally submitted for a competition. But upon winning, I don’t see why he couldn’t have rewritten it with a better pace.
I haven’t watched the anime at all, but based on the conversation from this thread, I guess they indeed changed the order then.

As it stands, since this is a self-contained story, I don’t think I’ll continue reading it. But again, it was a fun read (flaws and all), and I do recommend it to people who like MMORPG.


#70

It’s interesting that you mention this, because he actually did go back and write books about (minor spoilers for SAO:Progressive - I only know this from reading the product description on some website) The first six floors later on(called SAO:Progressive). That’s probably not quite what you meant, bug I figured it may be interesting to know that the author himself also seems to want to go back and redo stuff(and has done it for some parts). I don’t know if he’s planning on writing more of those or not though.


#71

I actually don’t think this is that far off, to be honest.

Softly instead of roughly, and tightly instead of loosely.

From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

Softly.- in a soft or gentle manner
Soft.- marked by a gentleness, kindness, or tenderness

It’s like a tight hug. It’s not harsh, it’s soft, but still tight.
Not wanting to let go, but in a way that doesn’t hurt.

I guess other sentences might make less sense.

About the story alternatives, something like that would’ve been interesting, but it’s not really what SAO is all about, and there are a lot of stories that go that route. :stuck_out_tongue:
It would be more sci-fi instead of the focus being the game and the characters.


#72

Well, the English word soft may work that way. I need to check what the Japanese word was. I’m almost positive it did not work well. (At least, a native speaker found it weird too).

Well, considering it would only change the last two chapters, I don’t think there would be much impact on the focus… :thinking:


#73

True.

The last two chapters of the first book, though.
Also, the next books aren’t that innovative either, but have their moments.


#74

Ok, the sentence was:
きゅっと俺の右手の指先を軽く握った。
So
Strongly grasped the tip of my right hand’s fingers lightly.

The “strongly” can also mean to put a lot a spirit/intensity into something.