Anime’s Dead Horse – Why We Keep Coming Back to SAO
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Anime’s Dead Horse – Why We Keep Coming Back to SAO

August 13, 2019

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  1. I think you're just one of those people that really loved Sword Art Online in the beginning but, then realized how utter shit it was and was extremely disappointed by the result. You still love Sword Art Online but, you also hate it because you absolutely loved what it could have been. So now you make videos on Sword Art Online, giving it constructive criticism hoping that one day Sword Art Online can be just as good as it could have been.

  2. SAO was one of my favorite anime, and a kind of gateway anime (kinda because it was one of the first when I finally had readily access to anime) so I do still love it. Although I also have to agree, after watching much better anime since, that it really is a bad anime. I think my reason for still enjoying it is (for the most part) nostalgia and (my original reasons) the idea of a virtual reality game, with swords, that traps you in and kills you.

  3. Honestly I have never seen SAO or have any plans to see it. What brought me here was my curiosity to find out why I kept hearing people shit on it while a lot of people praised the hell out of it at the same time.

  4. Honestly, you hit the nail on the head.

    SAO was one of my gateway anime, as it was just become hugely popular when I hit the anime scene.

    Now the only SAO i watch is the abridged, it’s so good that I can’t remember a thing about the original.

    As for why I’m here, your SAO rants are smart and funny. They also validate my inexplicable rage at how flat the original characters were. I would L O V E to see more!

  5. I don't get why people hate Sao so much, imo it's amazing and I'm always confused why people hate it so much, AoT would be the one to hate on tbh (my opinion people)

  6. I keep coming back to your SAO videos because the only IRL person I have to talk anime with actually tolerates the SAO train wreck, even likes it, and I need you're videos to justify my opinion and existence. Well, that and I think you have well thought arguments that help to educate me both on how bad the show is and how to be a better writer.

    Also, I'd consider Fruits Basket my gateway anime since it's one of if not the first anime I knowingly consumed as anime. Having primarily grown up in the early 2000s of course I saw a bunch of different animes including Sailor Moon, DBZ, Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-gi-oh, Shaman King, and any other series airing on 4Kids/Toonami and such, but I didn't know their origins or what they were connected to so I wouldn't really count them as my gateways.

  7. Uhh mothers basement I feel as if you use sao as your crutch to gain views and popularity and besides watch sao season 3 and read the alicization light novel and then you would shut up smh

  8. I just love SAO. I can't explain why. It's one of the few anime I own on DVD or Blu-Ray. I've just started getting into the light novels in the last year or so and I enjoy playing the games on PS4.

  9. The way you described your feelings as you watched this show from season 1 2 Gun Gale perfectly described how I felt watching the show.

  10. Literally just finished SAO: Alternative, and i watched Ordinal Scale 3 days ago …I tend to view the SAO series as the uh …fast food of anime. It's nothing gourmet, its flashy, its wow, its eyecandy …but you can taste better. Overall I do hope the series picks up …hell maybe we even reboot the death game with a new cast sometime like 3-4 years from now!

  11. I think the way you interpret the series is really interesting, and I enjoy hearing of your perception of SAO. I am one of the 30% that subscribed because I found you through one of your SAO vids. I would also love to see a video about Akame ga Kill, because that is another anime that I have a love hate relationship with.

  12. 5:34 Er, no, I don't know a thing about GTA or Game of Thrones. Never cared about them. As for Star Wars, only the original trilogy's good. Oh, sure, incorporate elements of the prequels into fanfiction, but the prequel movies themselves are garbage, as are the sequel duo. Actually no, the sequel movies never happened. There's only six Star Wars episodes. The Harry Potter movies toss out a lot of the stuff the books had, making it near impossible to follow along if you just watch the movies – and they also give movie-Hermione a lot of book-Ron's actions and roles, demoting the redhead into comic relief filler. Lastly, isn't that the icon for that incredibly dull Super Mario Run game? Why not use something actually fun, like Super Mario 64 DS or Super Paper Mario or Super Mario 3D Land?

  13. i like to watch SAO but im not a fan of it, im just one of those who just watch anime guys
    i strongly agree that the Alfhiem the fairy arc is the worst arc in SAO i only like SAO is the sword fight and the swords only which is wierd i think

  14. 5:33 That's true–I specifically use GTA as a point of reference when I talk about the video game Bully (because I talk about it way more than the game really warrants). That's not a huge leap considering the games were made by the same company, but GTA is so big that even people who aren't into games have heard of it and know the basic premise, so telling them that "Bully is like that, only you're in high school and can't kill people" makes it really accessible and understandable

  15. I think what really helps fuel discussion about SAO is that it isn’t completely irredeemable. For all its glaring flaws, it has the potential to be a good, possibly even great series. Unfortunately it consistently fails to live up to that potential, and frequently settles on the worst possible choices. There are kernels of good ideas, but the only kernels that ever pop are the bad ones.

  16. I'm here for multiple reasons. 1 being that I try watch everything make but also, 2 I run a DnD game based in the sao world and it helps me improve the world of game by listening to what you have to say about sao.

  17. I have a tendency to get into any show I start watching- regardless of quality. I guess I just have a really strong ability for suspension of disbelief

  18. I love sao I had fun watching and got me into anime so even if there is a million problems with it I still enjoyed it

  19. As an amateur writer in temporary hiatus, I have been reading the terrible but really popular works of a fellow writer I absolutely hate and dissect what makes their stories so bad. I believe that's why I keep clicking on SAO videos, to find out why the fuck such shitty content is consumed and praised by the masses. …I needed to get that out of my chest.

    Love your videos! Please keep talking about SAO, it's great material to learn from with all its flaws.

  20. I Never really watched SAO, but i keep watching your videos because it's amazing how a popular show can fail in such fashion

  21. I think another reason why SAO is still talked about is the fantastic YouTube series SAO: Abridged, which not only comically parodies the source anime but also vastly improves it.

  22. A small point, but I think the character being op making a show boring is a very poor argument. For example, saitama can destroy anything in one punch, he is op. You know that going into a fight, he is going to win. But his fights are still engaging and interesting despite that. Op characters aren’t boring if you write them well, so saying it automatically ruins a show or character is kind of ridiculous

  23. I think you feel about SAO like I feel about Legend of Kora. There's just something so frustrating about wasted potential.

    I actually liked the first arc (I think it was nostalgia for my WoW days or something). The fairytail arc made me sick to my stomach. But I still watched the second season. And the mother's Rosaria arc was actually kind of moving if you give it about 1.5 years and 300 Naruto episodes between watching the first lot.

    I guess I mainly watch these because you remind me of a mixture of honest trailers and my BIL. Seriously, your vocabulary tone and inflection is weirdly similar to his. And I'm interested in narrative structure and how to compose a good story in general and in anime in particular.

    Now if you did some of these for Legend of Kora…

  24. Not gonna lie, I’m a massive Sword Art Online fan (although GGO arc was boring and Alfheim was just so awfully bad) I don’t get offended or angry when he makes a video complaining about SaO it’s just entertaining for me and it makes me realise some things about it that are pretty stupid

  25. It's always fun listening to you rip into SAO….. 🙂 Someday I'll have to watch it to see if my reactions mirror yours! 😉

  26. Honestly, I only discovered your page because I was looking for an SAO review. Little did I know, there was a page (your page) that talked in depth about all my favorite animes!

    So even if SAO is terrible after the Ainchrad Arc, you’re right. It’s a great discussion topic and I’m always down to hear more about it.

    Glad I found your page.

  27. Honestly, I'm one of those people who subscribed to your channel because you ripped on SAO in another video. I was just happy to find another person who didn't like it. Unlike you though, I never got into it. The characters and story were terrible to me from the beginning. I made the argument about how .hack//SIGN did a slightly better job at the whole "trapped in a video game" narrative when compared to SAO. Which is saying something since that show has its own story and character development flaws. The guy I was talking to at the time told me I was wrong, despite having never seen .hack//SIGN, and proceed to whine like a weeabo because how dare I criticize the greatest anime ever. Fun times.

  28. have you ever watched Angels egg? if not find it and have fun, it's a ride. it would be fun to see what you think, all I know is that it is made by the director? (maybe) of ghost in a shell

  29. 1:08 so… I’m weird because the only reason I watch your SAO videos is because I like your videos and style and analysis…?

  30. I don't like SAO but because I was a past fan of it I enjoy watching people discuss it and criticise it 😂

    Plus it was one of the first anime I watched 😅

  31. Wait… there were people who didn't understand that having a reference point that the maximum number of people can understand is a benefit to discussing other things? Are these the same people who wonder why each culture has a set of "classics" that, in general, it's a good idea to be familiar with if you want to be able to discuss art in those fields? Did they expect you to reference "this one fanfic I read this one time that was gud" that nobody else has read or has interest to read when critiquing a new show that just came out?
    This video should basically have a subtitle "morons click here" so those idiots don't get missed. Well explained, but it was totally unnecessary for the majority of your viewers.

  32. I'm interested in your commentary because I like hearing positive and negative opinions of my favorite animes, games, and movies. Plus you are cogent in your analyses; you help me see why you view SAO and other animes as you do, rather than assuming that I share a level of perspective. Your (dare I say) brutal commentary is also fun.

    (That said, I feel blessed because I can suspend disbelief, belief, opinion, and assumption-of-fact despite partaking of others' disillusionment or "everyone says" or "all the experts say".)

  33. Honestly i aplaude you. For say saying you partially did this video to pay the bills then jumping straight into an ad😭 lmfao

  34. The fact that this guy gets so pissed of about rapists/ almost rapists/ perverts being killed/imprisoned is really interesting to me. Does he want the rapist to win? How else can a show handle a sensitive topic like sexual assault? This complaint about the show is a joke, The really bad guys get really bad consequences. It's super basic and simple and seems like justice to the entire western world. Stop being such a pathetic snowflake who can't talk about sensitive topics without blowing a casket.

  35. Yah I only consider watching SAO when a certain time of the month comes and I am riddled with hormones, but really any drama will do at that point.

  36. SAO is a bad anime that had a lot of potential and isn't just boring, so there's a lot of interesting problems to pick apart.

  37. I think the reason for the hate of SAO is because of it's lost potential. It was a good concept, it could've been a pretty cool anime. But it failed incredibly and it was so disappointing when it did.

  38. Why does the fact that that chameleon at 9:36 blinks as if it has eyelids that are separate disturb me more than anything else in SAO?

  39. I will often watch a person's whole library once I decide I like them, whether I'm connected to the specific content or not. I happen to have seen sao, unlike most anime you discuss. I'm more of a hentai watcher, and that field has it's own tropes. Still I feel it's more honest than some of the studio crap you highlight.

  40. For me, there are so many anime where either the premise or first few episodes do something that is inherently distasteful to me that I give SAO a bone for mostly being bad in the second arc.

  41. I’m beginning to this you actually have a huge crush on sao like the girl who bullies the boy she likes🤦🏽‍♂️😄🤫

  42. When i was little i watched the first two seasons. First season i loved and thought it was great, second season was ok, but i still loved it. Then i saw that the next season was just guns, FUCKING GUNS. Like what the fuck? He had the power to create his own mmo and he chose fucking guns??? While the whole time he was a swords main user. What the actual fuck?

    Safe to say i just abandoned the series, i hate it now.

  43. I'm actually here to understand why other people don't like it. I enjoy it and I want to respect your opinion.

  44. I don't think Reki Kawahara is a bad writer. I saw what he was trying to do and I respect him as a creator for his efforts. Furthermore, Reki Kawahara is the creator of the original Sword Art Online light novels. Which means he doesn't really have much to do with the animated adaptation. Even if he did, just because one fails, doesn't mean they are poor at what they attempted to do. I say that because Reki Kawahara's other series is called Accel World and Accel World was not bad! Reki Kawahara's Accel World was actually a success., both original light novel and anime adaptation. To add more to it, he also rewritten his Sword Art Online novels known as, "Sword Art Online Progressive" Where he fixed the plot wholes it had. Lastly, every time a Sword Art Online game comes out, Reki Kawahara writes the video game stories and the video game stories are actually pretty good. Technically, Reki Kawahara is NOT a bad writer! He even honorably admitted to having plot holes in Sword Art Online but, he fixed those plot holes in his rewritten novels. By doing that, he shows he has learned from his mistakes and went back to correct them. That's still a good writer in my book! Once again, I saw what he was trying to do and I respect him and his efforts as a creator. Even though the first "SAO" anime in 2012 failed, I saw what they were trying to do and I respect them for trying. Perhaps an anime remake to correct the first SAO animated series in 2012 would probably end most of the bashing this series receives.

  45. I wish I could watch SAO for the first time all over again. So I can use the same insults again. Seriously, the show had so much god damn potential to be a good show. It could have been so amazing. And then I got a huge middle finger through SAOs horrible writing. But I’m pretty sure I’ve said this exact things in another video.

  46. I know the show has it’s problems. But is it really that bad to like it? Cause I fucking loved that show and still i dont think its bad

  47. I find it funny that some people are commenting on Reddit about how you're "having" to make these to earn money. Especially one that you showed saying they hope that you will someday be able to afford to go back to making the content you want to make. I guess these people just ignore all the videos not about SAO that you released between each SAO video? Weird.

  48. my brother suggested I watch your videos and so far I really enjoy them:) I haven't seen many of the shows you talk about, since I have a high standard of what's appropriate to watch (too much violence, sexuality, or language do not make the cut) but I love the while artstyle of anime: the way of telling stories that is both the same yet totally different than the western stuff I consume. I love hearing and learning about it, even stuff I won't ever watch, and as an author knowing what people like and don't like is helpful too. So thanks for making cool stuff for me to watch! Question: have you seen the show Lost Song, and do you have an opinion on it? I really enjoyed it, but my brother hated the first half, so I'm curious as to what other people might think.

  49. tbh, part of the reason I watch all these SAO videos is confirmation bias. I have an opinion (based on my own experiences rather than just seeing other videos and decided that I wanted to believe that) and I want to see it validated. That opinion, of course, is that SAO started out really neat, than devolved into fucking trash.

  50. Personally, I like to hear the specific issues. It helps me to avoid those problems in my own writing, and to some extent it is me just jumping from video to video to try and fill the silence.

  51. Just let it go get over this Obsession about SAO. I know there is a lot of faults with that series but just take all of your copies of it throw it on the grill pouring lighter fluid over it and you get the picture. There are things I don't like about it myself but there are there are things I do like about it. Just stop beating a dead horse already. Please.

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