Finishing up 2012 reviews – Sword Art Online, K, and Kaibutsu-kun

Credit to linked pixiv user

And here’s my last seasonal review post, and last overall post, of 2012…

Credit to linked pixiv user
Sword Art Online

Ever since it started airing back in July, it seems like viewers of Sword Art Online have been strictly divided, either loving it or hating it with little ranking in between. I know it must have a decent sized fan following due to things like the many who have translated and read the novels, a high MAL ranking, and good sales in Japan. But it also has an equal following of those who grew to think poorly of it not long after the first episode, with opinions ranging from thinking its a train wreck but harmless wish-fulfilling entertainment, to thinking its absolutely terrible in any respect. So what did yours truly think of this very polarizing anime?

I definitely agree that the show has flaws and was not the master epic it set itself up to be in the first episode. But I still found more good and enjoyment in its 25 episodes than bad. I think the show is easiest reviewed by dividing it into its first half (the Sword Art Online arc) and its second half (the Alfheim Online arc). So I’ll start with the first half, which is also the one I liked more. After a suspenseful first episode that holds nothing back in throwing us right into the main conflict of the show, the rest involves Kirito making his way through the game while he (and in turn, the viewer) learns more about the SAO world and meets many characters, friends and foes, before eventually becoming an item with one of them, Asuna. What I enjoyed most about the early episodes of the first cour was seeing the interesting possibilities of such a virtual world as SAO and how one would play through it. A lot of the action scenes and fights against the boss monsters were cool too, and Yuki Kajiura’s score added an extra likability to them. What I didn’t like about the early episodes, however, was the insistence on going the “harem route,” making Kirito encounter a bunch of girls in a row that he has to help and how each arguably develops feelings for him. The fact that these girls hardly play any role later in the story makes them seem even more like token harem characters. But once Kirito just stuck with Asuna and the plot got out of the “help the guest character” formula and began moving forward, I really started to like it. In fact, the latter part of the first cour with Kirito and Asuna becoming lovers and making their way through the game together was my favorite part of the show. While I don’t think they, or really any of the SAO characters, are particularly unique or memorable, they had very sweet moments together that even made me tear up at times, and it’s very refreshing watching an anime couple consistently honest with their love rather than blushing and denying all the time. The mini-arc with Yui’s introduction and them treating her like their child was admittedly on the cheesy side, but as for the majority of AsunaxKirito stuff, I quite liked it. The ending of the first cour was nicely bittersweet too.

The second arc with the new world of Alfheim was unfortunately the weaker of the two in my opinion. The show again insisted on having another helping of harem, with an unnecessary side of insect to boot, with making Suguha also have feelings for Kirito, which didn’t lend itself to the plot in any way – Lyfa could have just as well been another girl Kirito meets, like Liz and Silica, rather than his “sister” and the plot would have worked out basically the same (and if someone could answer me this, how did Suguha not know that the Spriggan she was friends with was her brother when his name was “Kirito”? Wouldn’t she have been suspicious at least?) And because there was so much needless emphasis on Suguha’s unrequited love, there was little time to develop the Alfheim world and even less time to develop new characters like Alicia and Sakuya. This arc also introduced an over-the-top creepy villain who people seemed to have problems with because of the hentai-esque things he does to Asuna. But he’s a creepy sick bastard so it’s not outrageous for him to do creepy sick things to a girl he has creepy sick feelings for both in the online world and in real life. There were also more deus ex machina in this second arc than the first, which didn’t help it either. But I will give the Alfheim arc some points for having a couple of good emotional scenes between Kirito and Suguha and Kirito and Asuna. If it could have just found something else to spend its time with besides another case of unrequited love for the insufferably perfect Kirito.

In general, Sword Art Online is one of those series that has a lot of flaws but at the same time has a good amount of entertainment value. For every annoying harem cliche or deus ex machina there’s solid romantic moments and interesting virtual world concepts. There’s nothing particularly great about the characters or deep about the story…it’s the kind of series were you can’t help but recognize its flaws and have to decide for yourself whether you want to put the critical mind aside and just enjoy the wish-fulfilling fantasy world and sometimes cliche dramatic moments.

Credit to linked pixiv user
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

One of the few shojo series I’ve watched this year, Kaibutsu-kun has a fairly typical shojo setup of an overly studios, stoic girl meeting a somewhat sociopathic, delinquent guy, and the two of them try to come to grips with their romantic feelings for each other amidst their friends and other characters who also need to sort out their relationships. Again, a very standard shojo plot, so in the case of Kaibutsu-kun, it’s all about taking a cliche premise and doing good by it…which the series does do in my opinion. As far as story goes, there really isn’t much to say as it’s an extremely character-driven show – every episode involves either our main couple growing closer together or further apart, some backstory for a character, or one of the side characters developing feelings they need to cope with. So the appeal of this show just boils down to whether you like the characters and want to see them work things out. Personally, I think they were all likable in their own way. Both Shizuku and Haru have the typical case of “find the good in characters who seem to have few good traits,” which is a trope I happen to be a sucker for. A lot of people had a problem with Haru’s “rape” line in the first episode and his accidental abusive tendencies, but once you get to know him it’s easy to see that he’s well meaning but is just a socially inept airhead. Asako was my favorite character (I guess I also have a soft spot for characters who are sweet but also kind of ditzy and hapless) so I enjoyed every scene she was in. The rest of the cast were all decent as well. The only ones I could have lived without were Haru’s delinquent friends who I felt didn’t add much of anything to the show and after they had such a negative affect on him in the first episode, it didn’t sit well with me that we’re supposed to like them later on. I also thought Haru’s twin brother was kind of a pointless character who seemed like he’d be menacing to the story when he was first introduced but just sort of faded away after that.

While it has good characters and good writing, my only problem with the series is that it didn’t have much direction. One minute Haru and Shizuku would make progress in their relationship, then the next minute they’d take a step back. And by the end of the series, it seemed like they were still that way even 13 episodes later – no big emotional solidification of their love or anything. And the many cases of unrequited love for the other characters, such as Yamaken for Shizuku, Asako for Mitsuyoshi, and Ooshima for Haru (and Sasayan for Asako maybe?) felt the same way – there’d be some focus on it but then it was just kind of left hanging with no real resolution. This lack of concrete relationship progression unfortunately took away the higher rating I could have given to the series. I can still recommend it to any shojo, romance, and/or slice-of-life fan for a good, fun watch, but nothing amazingly funny or emotional. The show could definitely use a second season and I hope it gets one!


K

I’m going to hold back in my review of K because a second season was recently announced which may explain the unexplained events and unanswered questions left by this first season. And that really was what most of the series was like for me – very cool looking stuff happening but with question marks all around the characters and events. By episode 13, I still don’t really know a lot of the “what?” and “why?” in the show. I have a vague gist of what was going on, but by the end, the seemingly interesting world and characters were left so unexplored it hurt. In the big battle between Mikoto and Reishi for example, I know the series wanted it to come off as very dramatic, but because I hardly even know these two characters and why they’re fighting and what emotional implications it has, I just couldn’t bring myself to care that much even though I wanted to. Same thing with the relationship between Anna and Mikoto or the relationship between Awashima and Reishi – the series wanted us to feel it but I had a hard time because we just didn’t get to know them well enough. And as for the world it’s set in, again, very vague – how is one chosen to be a King? What’s the nature of the powers they have? How do they live among average people and do average people know that they exist? Does anyone question those giant swords floating in the sky? Why was the Colorless King a fox spirit and why was he so evil? And what about Strains and their deus ex machina abilities? Where did they come from and why can a Strain like Neko turn into a cat? Maybe some of these questions were answered very slightly in the show, but definitely not enough to solidify such a complex fantasy world with such a large cast of characters. I certainly don’t mind if an anime wants to leave things up to the viewers’ imagination, but they have to at least give a sufficient amount of information to make us invested in the characters and be able to make sense out of the show’s world, which I don’t think K did well.

Many will agree, however, that what K has going for it is great animation and style. I think it does too – the action scenes were always nice to look at and that steady techno music it always seemed to have in the background really helped give the scenes an extra flare. And I don’t think the characters were awful or anything; both they and the fantasy elements of the show were potentially interesting…if only I knew more about them. Throughout all the episodes I didn’t really know why a lot of things were happening or why characters did the things they were doing. Like I said, it was like watching a bunch of question marks running around and that’s not what I enjoy – I want to see characters I can relate to and a world I can piece together!

But again, I’m going to put these thoughts on hold as perhaps the next season of K will address these issues I have. While that won’t change the fact that the first season fails to adequately flesh out its setting and characters, if the second season gives me more answers than questions, I can at least recommend watching it as a prequel to this season rather than a sequel.

—–

I’ll be back next week with a countdown of my favorite anime of 2012~! Until then, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and see you soon =D

24 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. I had to zoom past the SAO part without reading it, because I’m stalled at ep 15 or so (just been too busy to continue watching it + have heard the second arc isn’t as great as the first arc was).

    On K – Yeah, LOL on some of those open-ended questions, like – does anybody notice those GIANT SWORDS hanging in the sky, and why should we care about the Red King and Blue King fighting each other when we’ve been told almost nothing about who they are… ?

    I still really enjoyed the series though, and that second season can ‘t air soon enough for me. As one commenter on ANN said, those “shiny bishonen” are fun. ;) The plot and characterizations – plus the lovely animation – were compelling enough to keep me in it. The mystery surrounding Shiro which was at the heart of it I thought was very well done. This season was admittedly a hodge podge, but I do think a second season will clear a lot of the questions up.

    • Yumeka says:

      Heh, yeah I had a feeling you’d enjoy K anyway because of all the “shiny bishonen” and the great cast of seiyuu XD I do hope more of the story is revealed in season 2 and they don’t wait too long to air it.

  2. Frootytooty says:

    Thank you for the reviews, especially for SAO and Kaibutsu-kun. You’d think that I’d have learned by now that I won’t like any shoujo series, especially after being let down by Kimi ni Todoke, but your review further affirms that for me, so I’ll be steering well clear! The fact that it has no direction after 13 eps also sounds a lot like KnT – although there’s character development in most episodes and cute stuff going on, by the end nothing much had really happened and the main couple were forever stuck in relationship limbo.

    As for SAO, a lot of my friends love it but after reading a really well-written review slamming it, I’ve now removed it from my to-watch list with vigor. The fact that you described it as harem is also pretty off-putting, so I think I’ve made the right choice! Funny how much a review can influence the reader’s viewing choices, isn’t it? XD

    I’ll definitely be watching K though. Haven’t heard anything drastically shitty about it and bishies are always a nice bonus.

    • Yumeka says:

      Honestly I would recommend Sword Art Online over K, but that’s just me =P I wouldn’t call SAO a harem but it does have the traits of one at times. But hey, if you’d rather see the bishonen in K, then that’s fine =) I rarely ever read reviews of an anime before watching it – for a lot of series there’s just as many reviews praising it as those slamming it, especially one like SAO, so the only way I’d know if I’d like it is to see it for myself =P If I only went by what I read in reviews I would miss out on a lot of series I ended up liking. But if it’s a genre you really don’t like, such as shojo as you described, then you’re probably not missing out by staying away from those.

  3. To answer your SAO question about “how could Suguha not know it was him”, keep in mind that his real name is actually Kazuto, and he never shared his in-game handle with her or anyone else. (Sharing about what happened in SAO is considered taboo.) In addition, she had no reason to suspect that he was playing any VRMMORPGs after such a traumatic experience, let alone that he’d happen to be playing the same game she was playing. (And if not for the circumstance, he probably never would have played.) Although of course it was obvious to us in the audience due to the perspective shifts, there really isn’t any reason from Suguha’s perspective that Kirito couldn’t have been any random person she met online.

    As for “Suguha could have been anyone”… I think the angle they were playing there was the bridge between the real world and the online world, so it had to be someone who knew him in real life prior to the SAO incident (and whose feelings for him were influenced/amplified by his being essentially comatose for two years). Her importance to him was also foreshadowed earlier in the series (in the Silica episode), so his trying to make up to her also connected the two story arcs together (and ironically, it was his efforts to reconnect with her that caused her to question her own feelings). I think playing the taboo angle was mostly to provide a clean reason why her feelings in the real world could never work out and thus send her searching for something to fill that gap in the online world. It also emphasizes the way her own life and future was interrupted/changed by SAO, even though she herself never played that game. So… basically, I think there were reasons. Whether those reasons justify the story is of course something each person has to decide.

    Personally, I’ve generally found that the anime (don’t know about the novel) tends to hold up to criticism a little more than some give it credit for, but obviously one has to decide if they are able to deal with some of the plot choices and narrative devices used. From an anime perspective, the biggest “issue” (I suppose) is that the premise is quite broad in scope, so it was difficult to get a good sense of the sort of story it would be after the opening. The level of “attrition” we saw was probably not so surprising. Personally, though, I quite enjoyed it, especially for many of the ideas and concepts explored. Perhaps it depends mostly on what you wanted to get out of it.

    • Yumeka says:

      Ah, thanks for clearing that up about why Suguha didn’t know Kirito’s identity at first. I either forgot or didn’t realize the fact that talking about the SAO incident was taboo and he never told her. But still, wasn’t he considered the hero of the SAO world and one of the most famous players? It seems likely that the name “Kirito” would have been leaked somehow anyway, especially among VRMMORPG players.

      And as for the significance to the story of Suguha being his sister, you also brought up a lot of good points I didn’t think about. But I still think they could have made her something else, like a childhood friend, as cliche as that sounds…I guess this recent and popular anime theme of insect is just strange to me =P

  4. Kal says:

    Previous poster already answered about why Suguha did not know Kiritos identity or handle. It’s just something you do not talk about, and with good reason. Some insane stuff happened in there (which was seen in the novels, and not the anime). The murders guild, the laughing coffin, had ways to kill people that exploited the game mechanics. Sleep PK, where they move your hand when you are asleep to open your menu and disable protections so they can move you, or kill you (that’s why Kirito was watching over Asuna while she slept on episode 5. Anyway, there are lots of details that made the light novels great, but they did not go into the in the anime.

    Regarding the “haremesque” of the anime, that is because they went out of order. SAO light novel, volume 1, is all about Kirito, and Asuna, and the game itself. It is all the parts of the anime that you liked best. It is actually quite serious and full of details, so it’s where I started liking it. Volume 2 are short stories, where they go back in time and show some of the stuff that happened. Meeting Silica, Lisbeth, Yui, they are all side stories, and are good as side stories. That is why they feel they do not exactly fit (except the side story with the black cat guild, which it is quite important… And done better in the novels). Well, enough of that. It would take me pages just to write what is better about the novels over the anime, and it would probably just be better for you to read the light novels. I would recommend volume 1 which is great. The others are so-so. ALO (alfheim online) as you saw on the anime, kind of does not fit. GGO (gun gale online), is actually a bit better, but still does not fit, and its a new girl throw into the midst. Gosh, I have to stop this. As for the anime, I also liked it more than not. It lacked some of the details that made the light novel so good, but still what it choose to do was done pretty well. So I generally liked it.

    Tonari is kind of weird. It’s not bad, but to me the main characters are far too static. We know one is a study bug, and the other one is a weird crazy fellow. So their interaction was initially shocking to me, but later on, it became somewhat predictable. I actually liked Natsume more, she has some kind of fear of men, or some other unknown issues that they did not finish exploring. I like characters that have some little hidden details, and the 2 main ones are just too straightforward. It’s an interesting show, I will be watching more if there is, but just not great for me.

    K. I actually dropped it :S It has great animation, but just did not draw me in… Also, I was watching some other anime that I found much more interesting.

    Since this is your last review, I would recommend a couple other anime titles I’ve been watching. Kamisama Kiss is pretty interesting as well. Kind if light comedy, and light drama, but has some good moments. Girls and Tanks has some really nice animation, and an interesting concept. Tank animation is excellent, and the girls are also drawn without any fan service, and they are given appropriate screen time. Most of it goes to tanks, which is pretty good.

    One of the anime that surprised me this season, is Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. It has a terrible premise, starts of on the wrong foot, and then does many things so well. The characters are interesting and likeable, and the plot is actually quite normal (in an abnormal environment). Deals with insecurities, difficulties of deciding your future, etc. If you have the chance, might want to give it a look.

    Happy new year :)

    • Yumeka says:

      Thanks for the info about the SAO novels. I’m glad you told me that the anime went out of order and volume 1 contained the KiritoxAsuna stuff while volume 2 had the side stories with the other girls. That puts things in perspective a bit =)

      I think Kaibutsu-kun needs a second season as much as K! I hope there’s an announcement soon.

      I’ve heard good things about Sakurasou no Pet, but I doubt I’ll be watching anymore seasonal anime before the year is over. I’ll keep it in mind though.

  5. CoolCARTGuy says:

    In my opinion, Sword Art Online wasn’t that bad until around Episode 14 with the deus ex machina that allowed Kirito to defeat Kayaba even though he should’ve died. After that, all the things I liked about the show slowly left one by one; deus ex machinas (as you mentioned), the characterization of the leads took a nosedive, the game mechanics of ALO being broken and not making for a compelling setting, just a generally poorly-done final arc, etc. As you can tell, I was rather disappointed, though I cannot say I hate SAO.

    I haven’t quite arrived at watching Kaibutsu-kun yet, but I plan on doing so if there aren’t that many shows that catch my interest this upcoming season – so far, that looks like a strong possibility.

    Now I will just sit around until the last two Girls und Panzer episodes are ready to air.

    • Yumeka says:

      By episode 14 I sort of expected a deus ex machina ending so I wasn’t terribly shocked at what happened =P I just paid attention to what I did like, which was the love between Kirito and Asuna, and that aspect was conveyed very nicely at the end of the first story arc. I also agree that the ALO world wasn’t fleshed out as well as the SAO world.

      I hope you enjoy Kaibutsu-kun when you watch it~

  6. Nopy says:

    I certainly agree with you about SAO, the SAO arc was better than the ALO arc. My favourite segment of the series was between the episode when Kirito and Asuna start getting all flirty and the episode when Kirito starts playing again. That one scene where our seemingly uncomprimisable hero suddenly breaks down into tears was the highlight of the series for me.

    As for Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, I didn’t even realize it ended… no wonder I haven’t seen an episode 14 yet. I love the series and hope that they make a sequel. That blond haired guy that has a crush on Shizuku got a little too much screentime near the end in my opinion, but at least Haru’s crazy antics and Natsume’s new crush helped balance it out.

    • Yumeka says:

      The moment when Kirito breaks down in front of Suguha was one of my favorite moments in the series too – definitely one of the better dramatic scenes.

      I agree that a sequel of Kaibutsu-kun would be great. I also agree that Yamaken (the blond guy) got too much screentime near the end…he just seemed to become a main character out of nowhere and all of a sudden he’s taking up all this time in the latter episodes ~_^ And I want to see what happens between Natsume and Mitsuyoshi and/or Sasayan! They can’t just end the series without us ever knowing, LOL.

  7. Wingless says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed SAO, despite the flaws. I’m almost always of the opinion that adaptations of book series never measure up to the original books. But as the counter to that, I’m almost always of the opinion that you have to put aside most of those expectations and judge the movie/show on it’s own merit.

    I’m a rabid fan of the books, and I enjoyed the anime, but I agree with your overall assessment. Fun to watch, but the anime did not give me the sense of fulfillment and epic story that the books did. Nonetheless, it’s on my top list of heart anime because of the books. :) So I guess we can’t always stick to our ideals, haha.

    • Yumeka says:

      Unlike Haruhi, I didn’t like the SAO anime enough to want to read the novels, but it’s good to know that the anime wasn’t a terrible adaptation at least =P I too agree that an adaptation of a book should be judged in its own right and not whether it’s a perfect incarnation of the original story.

  8. Cytrus says:

    “with an unnecessary side of insect to boot”

    ^Come on, I know you might dislike incest, but that’s no reason to go around calling Suguha names xD.

    I got completely opposite impressions from SAO than most people. I always hear: Ep.1 – great concept! Ep.3+ What’s this filler? But for me, Ep.1 was a boring info dump, Ep.2 lacked any real tension for what it wanted to portray. And then there was Ep.3, and things suddenly got interesting! To be honest, I suffered from a momentary delusion that SAO would do like 20~ episodes of those side stories, showing us bits and pieces of the world. Stories of all genres, and ones where you could never tell whether the ending would be a happy or a heartbreaking one. It could be the next Mushishi, except with swordfights popping up here and there.

    Well, it turned out there was a (relatively weak) main storyline to get back to… too bad.

    • Yuriko says:

      OH GOD!
      Sorry for this random comment but you actually the only person in the world who agrees with me about SAO.

    • Yumeka says:

      I didn’t have a problem with Suguha herself so much as the fact that she had to be his sister (or cousin raised as sister to be precise). Like I said to relentlessflame above, I don’t get the obsession with incest and younger sisters. We had finally gotten away from all the girls loving Kirito to go steady with Asuna, and then the next arc started and it’s another tale of unrequited love. I just thought it could have been done in a more interesting way.

      I probably wouldn’t have minded either if the series went as you described – just a bunch of side stories exploring the SAO world – if they could just get away from the harem formula of Kirito helping a new girl every episode and she gets smitten by him =P

  9. Yuriko says:

    The problem with SAO is that you can name it far-fetched harem. Except Kirito have Asuna and he is hellbent from the beginning. ALO was definitely worse because of this ‘incest to boot’ and ‘over-the-top creepy villain’ like you named it

    Tonari was really enjoyable but lacked of romance development. It was too messy in that aspect. Even a shoujo amateur would tell you that.

    • Yumeka says:

      I wouldn’t call SAO a harem anime since that formula was only present in a few early episodes. But it still was jarring and unnecessary for the type of story it had.

  10. Adziu says:

    You’ve already seen what I thought of SAO – seems like we were very much on the same page! Only I have to say I think you were much too polite about that second arc.

  11. Cirris says:

    SAO:

    Like Yumeka and many have posted, I viewed SAO was mildly positive but a lot of mixed emotions.

    I read the light novels along with the series. Reki Kawahara, the author of SAO, originally put SAO on the web. It didn’t get published until later. Like it’s been pointed out, SAO arc was fractured. Because the Source material itself was also fractured. The the original premise was about Kirito and Asuna and the original volumes focused on them almost exclusively. Because of this, the romance between Kirito and Asuna is where SAO excelled. Their interactions and dealing with each other helped make SAO a great arc. The flaws are also that it solely focused on them in the original source material that Reki Kawahara had to go back and do chapters to fill in space and plot. The story felt incomplete at times. It also didn’t help that the anime was chopping a lot of material to fit the anime.

    I think my biggest gripe is that Sachi and the story of the black cats was WAY short. The death of Sachi took a horrible toll on Kirito and defined his new found determination to protect others. Her importance to him should have been more fleshed out in 3-4 episodes rather than a quick rush episode that was too quick. I think if i hadn’t already read the novel I would have felt nothing in Sachi Christmas message. That how weak her development was compared to the force of impact it was supposed to play on Kirito’s personality.

    There was other issues including a big one, pacing. But overall I enjoyed the arc very much.

    ALO arc, not so much. I for one adore Ayana Taketatsu. But I’m rather sick of slutty tsundere (step)sister plots. So the whole arc was getting off to a bad start. TBH, Ayana played the part of Suguha amazingly. She really did do a great job. I just wasn’t really interested in it.

    Also, the plot really seemed to drag in ALO. before they are cutting out scenes and everything was RUSH RUSH RUSH… ALO seems to just drag along at this slow pace. SAO took 2 years of their lives and they fit into 14 episodes. ALO is 11 episodes and the timeline is mostly 2 weeks.

    Poor Asuna got caught in a Hentai plot with an NTR/Sadist bad guy and even some tentacle bondage action. Thank god it ended when it did and Kirito stopped the mess. Any more and it could have been disastrous.

    I swear the animators had Sir Mix-alot “Baby got back” on repeat when they worked on this series. So many ass shots in this anime. I like a good booty as much as the next guy, but it was beyond ridiculous.

    I think the premise of SAO was soo interesting that you overlook the flaws and just enjoy the adventure. A-1, Reki Kawahara could have done so much more if they realized that the series would be such a blockbuster hit as it has been.

    Reki Kawahara is doing a “progressive” version of the SAO arc. focusing on make the story more linear, balanced, and complete. hopefully it’ll get animated in the future.

    I know with BD/dvd sales being aroud 40K per volume and the novels being top sellers the series will continue.

    K;

    I dropped after episode 2. The animation and BGM of the series was amazing. But the story exposition was horrible. I got that whole “Guilty Crown” vibe with the story being meaningless and style and cliches took precedence over substance. After watching the black haired guy murderously chasing white haired boy and naked cat girl for hours only to end up cooking them all dinner i decided to just drop it and save myself some pain.

    I hope for those who continued the show eventually made sense. As much as i thought it looked cool. I didn’t want to get involved watching another beautiful looking train wreck series.

    Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun:

    I also dropped after 2 episodes, with the possible intention of picking it up again. The show seemed weird and i just thought “I’ll read a review or two and if the show progresses well, I’ll marathon it”. Basically the main male love interest was a kindergartener trapped in a man’s body. The main lady was treating her emotions as if she was pondering the meaning of life. I liked the premise of a good opposites attract love story. But i really wasn’t into the characters that much.

  12. Brianna says:

    I watched SAO and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun faithfully over the past months, and I have to agree with your reviews entirely. I really enjoyed the first half of SAO…and then when Kirito’s sister was brought into the plot during the second half, I feel like it became kind of nonsensical and annoying.

    I really enjoyed Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, but I agree with the plot not really furthering. Right when you think they’re finally together…the next episode is almost as if nothing has happened.

  13. Kai says:

    Sword Art Online has it’s ups and downs for the whole series, but it was good in the first half indeed, the second half went in a complete downhill, lol. Not sure if the second half was actually original material from the light novel, since it even looks like filter material, though I’m sure it’s a LN thing.

    The thing with Tonari no Kaibutsu is that the characters aren’t really proceeding or anything. Shizuku is still studying hard as usual, and Haru is just.. being Haru, doing the most weirdest things ever. There are so many confessions between them that hearing it is already starting to get dull, lol.

    Haven’t watch K myself, not sure if I want to too.

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