SAO, We Need to Talk
I have lots of gripes about SAO as a whole. However, this week, we are talking about the series falling back on another basic development. Until recently, SAO has improved over the disgusting rape scene in the first cours and what was quite possibly the laziest non-apology from the author where they apologized for making the seiyuu voice that scene; not the users who had to suffer through that hot garbage! It shows how terrible of a writer and human the author of SAO is.
ANYWAY, Yet again, this week, SAO falls into the same pit it finds itself in every time we get a new important female character: we see her collapse into the weak yet tsundere supporting character when confronted with something “dangerous,” only to be steamrollered by Kirito being awesome. And awesome is being used to mean “hopelessly overpowered to the point that enemies never ever had a chance” which makes every single thing he does unimpressive. This episode is about Kirito and Alice climbing the wall of the tower from the outside to which Alice promptly drops her strong front and becomes a weak female character that needs Kirito when she sees high high they are. Later though, whenever he messes up to, we get the whole, “boys are so helpless!” nonsense to give her this false front of a character even though it’s a hollow facade. Yes, I know she did the whole killing of two dragons, but when Kirito does anything wrong aka wiping the blood on his face off with his hand, Alice goes from powerful knight to doting female basically on the threshold of falling in love with Kirito.
I hate the writing in this series. Every single female lead stops being a three dimensional being for super awesome Kirito! No one can be independent of him. They all have to love him. The show overall was getting slightly better following that rape garbage of a plot device as Kririto and Eugeo fought the Knights successively, but this episode? Yup, it just confirmed that the characterization in this story is pitifully shallow.
Marriage and Love
This week, I wanted to talk about 3D Kanojo: Real Girl, which is into its second season and seems to be all about other people’s love lives rather than the one with Hikari and Iroha. The one I want to talk about most is the relationship between Hikari’s parents, which deteriorated. Even though we find out that Hikari’s father did not cheat on his wife, he still did very little to help mend his broken marriage when she proposes a divorce. However, we get to see a flashback to their earlier days when they first met and fell in love, as simple a story as it was. Hikari’s father remembers what it means to be in love with his wife again, so we can only hope that he does something to fix it so Hikari doesn’t have to move, but his mother is the stubborn type of woman. So we’ll have to see how that turns out.
Anyway, I think this episode is important because many married couples end up divorced in the US and the statistic used to be in favor of divorced couples (now, millennials are dropping the rate of divorce by actively choosing not to get married until they are more stable, more responsible, older, etc. etc.). This goes back to the fact that you really just have to work at marriage, no matter how long you have been together. You can’t just assume that contentment and monotony are a good standard for your married life. It’s important to make an effort too, but marriage only works if both parties are all in!
Finally Some Peace for Mr. Shield Guy
I reckon this is the first time we talk about Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari in this section, but believe me when I say we’ve been following it very closely. Yes, everyone knows about that alleged rape incident (one that could've been solved very easily, actually) we saw in the very first episode, but things haven’t been any easier for Naofumi since then. However, this fourth episode finally brought some peace to him as her slave turned faithful ally Raphtalia stood up for him after a huge trap.
The most important moment here and the one I want to talk about is the duel between the Shield Hero and the Spear Hero, where Naofumi finally had to fight for himself and use all his defensive abilities to both contain and then attack his opponent. It was awesome to see Naofumi exploit the full potential of his shield while at the same time, humiliating that obnoxious scoundrel. Oh, because that's something this anime does very well: making us hate the bad ones, especially that treacherous princess Malty (although you gotta love Malty's seiyuu's work!).
This fight is cool because both sides feel like the right one and you could actually justify each party's intentions, but it's always fun to see the underdog win against all odds... while having fun with its victim. With a little here and a huge conspiracy there, what else could you ask for? In the end, a big redemption moment feels like a huge breath of fresh air for this show, even though I still want Naofumi to go solo (OK, with Raphtalia too!) and outperform the other heroes.
Now that winter anime has started, what are you liking so far? Let us know in the comments below!