Sword Art Online II: Episode 21 — A-1 Pictures Continues To Be Awful

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 8.57.12 PM

Seriously, is this studio even trying anymore?

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 9.11.13 PM

What annoys me the most about the Mother Rosario storyline is that a few details aside, it’s not that bad of an arc. I’m not sure what Yuuki’s deal actually is, but my guess is that her situation is going to be similar to Asuna’s in a way, using the MMO world to escape reality. Their bond in the video game world will eventually carry over to the real world and what happens after that is up for debate, but at least I can relate to that. I’ve used video games and other forms of entertainment (including this blog) to run away from reality too, even from mundane stuff like homework and studying. My own exploits wouldn’t make for good cinema, but Asuna’s situation regarding her mother and such is more serious than mine will ever be, even if it’s a little cartoony.

The problem is that in order for such a story to be carried out effectively, especially in an action-heavy episode like this, you need some effective visuals. And as I’ve said before, A-1 can’t do visuals worth crap. I don’t care what people say: the action in this episode was bad.

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 9.43.13 PM

Sure the animation is nice, but there’s no creativity. Half the time, the characters didn’t look like they even got hit, and yet fell down to a sword slash. The camera angles are still awful, downplaying the opponents’ threat or being too close to the characters’ faces so I can’t see the action proper. There was even a scene where a character moved to cut someone, followed immediately by the aftermath. How is any of this exciting to watch? How do the fans eat this shit up? Then again, given how popular the Marvel films are, I guess as long as the action “feels” cool to fanboys, it doesn’t have to actually “look” cool.

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 9.45.06 PM

And when they’re not animating the action, they’re using talking heads to convey exposition. I might as well be watching the new Fate/Stay Night if you’re going to be this lazy with your storytelling, because at least the action in that show is good.

6 responses to “Sword Art Online II: Episode 21 — A-1 Pictures Continues To Be Awful

  1. More than usual I really didn’t like this episode. A-1 was really phoning it in, but even aside from that, what was with the weird attempts at crying scenes? How could they have expected it to work when they provided no context. It was just kind of confusing to me.

      • It just makes me wonder why they haven’t already shared this information, since they certainly had the time to. It seemed to me that it could have been kind of a stronger scene if they actually provided some background instead of trying to have it be another surprise.

  2. Even if you have a well done action scene,it has to have some context and emotion behind it. If not then it’s ultimately pointless. Don’t agree with the Marvel comparison since those are mostly well done popcorn films(am not even fan of them). The Transformer films would’ve been a better example for that.

    • The Marvel movies have terrible action, dude. Transformers isn’t much better, but at least the scenes when Optimus Prime kicks ass are genuinely well-shot.

      • I could agree on some of them(I thought the Hulk reboot did the action scenes well). The whole point is these shitty action scenes in SAO would be better if it had more context behind it. Even if they were done well,the context behind them suck for the most point.

        I could enjoy a fight scene as long it has point to it and emotion behind it,even if it’s not done the best(the fight between Captain Harlock and Queen Lafresia is a good example).