Fixing Alfheim – the WORST Part of SAO

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Despite my best efforts, there are still people who like Sword Art Online. But even most of them can't stand the Fairy Dance Arc. What went wrong with this story... and how can we fix it?
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In the depths of his Mother's Basement, Geoff Thew creates videos analyzing the storytelling techniques of anime and video games. He has been named the number one Worst YouTube Anime Reviewer by The Top Tens.
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I've given reki kawahara a lot of shit . over the two years i've been running . this channel and i'm going to keep doing . so because they keep making movies and . tv shows based on his terrible terrible. books although just as an aside i am . genuinely looking forward to sao. alternative gun gale online because kg . awah is one of the best writers in the . light novel industry and i think he can . actually make something decent out of . kalahari as leavings with that said i . see one comment pop up over and over. again every time i dumped on sao and . kawaras writing i'd like to see you make . a better anime this is a common response . to criticism of anything what you're . saying isn't valid because you couldn't . make something better yourself and i . hope i don't have to point out why it's . bullshit. criticizing art requires a totally . different skill set from making it i . can't play a single note on most musical . instruments and the only thing i can . really sing well is show tunes but that . doesn't make it any less valid when i . say that the blend of elevator music and. fetish pandering in necomimi mode is . absolutely insufferable but the thing is . while it's not relevant at all to my . ability to critique the series i do also . think that i can write a better story . than callejero did i mean my cat rolling . around on my keyboard could write a. better story but still today i'm going . to put my money where my mouth is by . fixing the part of sao that is almost . universally regarded as the absolute . worst even by the fans the fairy dance . arc speaking of money obviously i would . need a lot of it to make any level of . anime production let alone one as. visually polished as sao so obviously . i'm not going to be creating a whole new . show from scratch for this instead i'm . going to be working with the same basic . premise and major story beats as the . original except towards the end i won't. be creating any new characters to fill . gaps in the plot partly to make things . easier on my editor and partly to prove . that i can write circles around all . recce while still working with all of . the same building blocks and yes before . anyone leaves this comment i know that . this is basically what sao abridge does . and they do it really well however my . isn't to create a well plotted comedy . it's to transform sao from a bad drama . into a good one so i think the solutions . that i arrive at will be a little well . actually a lot different from theirs . especially looking at what they've . already done with the first episode of . this arc speaking of that episode i . don't think i'd actually change that . much about it. yeah it's melodramatic and sugo is . cartoonishly evil but it sets up the . plot of the arc decently enough and . having a full episode set outside the . virtual world is a nice change of pace . for the show i would extend the timeline . of events a bit since two months is an . absurdly short rehabilitation period for . someone who's spent two years wasting . away in bed and for other reasons i'll . get into later though the meteor changes . start once kirito actually enters the . game fundamentally there are three huge . problems with the fairy dance arc the . elephants in the room if you will but . before we talk about those i'd like to . address a smaller problem a much smaller . problem but one that's just as bad yui . i've already made my thoughts about yui . very clear when i talked about the. moment that ruined sao forever but as . dumb dumb dumb as the way they kill her . off is the way they bring her back is. even dumber . kirito creates his character for alpha . i'm logs in glitches outside the . starting area and then he just opens his . inventory finds you ease crystal and . then taps it once and suddenly she's . alive again no hacking no coding he . hasn't even made any attempts to extract . her data from his nerve gear in the . months that he's been awake he just logs . into the game remember she exists and . then tap poof girl then she turns into a . pixie because reasons not only is this . hand-waving nonsense infuriating on a . logical level it's also a clear . signifier that yui has no actual purpose . in this plot aside from being cute and . spouting exposition even though you'd . think having a system admin ai from sao . would be pretty useful in a game cloned . from its engine they don't really run . with that so let's run with it in our . new version of the story once kirito . touches down in alphen he has an anxiety . attack brought . by the confusion from the glitch plus a . bit of ptsd from going back into vr . after being stuck in it for two years. sensing this distress alfheim version of . the cardinal system sends an emotional . support ai to help him a pixie skinned . clone of yui. detecting abnormalities in his character . profile this support ai then scans kiri . tows inventory reading and deleting his . unknown items one by one until she scans . the item containing uese data because . this isn't actually an item but rather a . disguised ai backup file the ai loads it . as a supported file format and her. personality and memories are overwritten . with you ease this isn't just a change . for the sake of making the story make a . bit more sense it also serves as an . early indicator of the fact that alo is . a sloppy reskin of sao which will come . into play later in our version of the . story and gives yui a greater narrative . purpose than just mou and exposition . although i'm sure some of you will argue . that there's no greater purpose than mou . a and while you're not wrong with that. solved let's move on to tackling the . three major problems with alpha in order . from least to most important starting . with part 1 incest a lot has been made . of the character of sugu ha aka leaf ax . and her relationship with her adopted . brother and cousin kirito hardcore otaku . are pretty desensitized to brother . sister or cousin cousin incest as a. story element since it comes up an awful. lot in anime but for most normies and . people in general the idea of any kind . of romantic relationship between the . black swordsman george michael and sylph . warrior maybe is well it's a bit . off-putting to put it mildly now here's . the thing i'm not just throwing an . arrested development reference in here. for kicks sao doesn't play the incest . thing for laughs but it is aware of how . creepy it is unlike well basically every . other anime that does this the actual . text of this story . really pro incest it doesn't present a . su guto or whatever the hell you . degenerates call it as anything. desirable sugu is acutely aware that her . feelings are wrong and will always be . one-sided and her character arc in this . season is mostly about moving past them. this is literally the only meaningful . character growth that anyone undergoes . in this entire 11 episode arc it's the . only thing that comes even remotely . close to working and it's about a sister . who wants to bang her brother so that. should really say something now i don't . think that it's inherently bad to have a . story that deals with uncomfortable . subject matter or emotions actually i'd . argue that it can be a good thing and . conceptually the idea that kirito change . so much in sao that his sister saw him . as a different person is an interesting . way to mark his growth as a character so . i'd keep sue goos crush on her brother . in the story creepy though it may be but . there are still two problems that need . to be solved with it the big issue is . that the show objectifies the hell out. of sue guha every other moment that . she's on screen whether it's irl or in. the game the camera and animators . conspire to highlight how cute and sexy. she is which is almost the default . practice for presenting any woman in. anime but let's not crack open that . industrial barrel of worms today whether . or not you think an emphasis on . fanservice is a bad thing in general or . just good dirty fun here it is . absolutely a problem because kirito our . audience surrogate character is supposed . to have zero physical attraction to his. sister yet we the audience are . essentially forced to see her as. desirable by the way the camera guides . our eyes it's a contradiction between . direction and writing that undermines . the story that's trying to be told if . you absolutely need to you could . arguably keep the leaf of fanservice . since . kirito doesn't know she's his sister. until late in the story and that could . make that a more uncomfortable . revelation for him but i'd prefer to. focus on writing over direction here so . let's leave this at that from a writing . perspective the important thing that . needs to change here is how the story . follows through on leaf as character arc . in the story as reki kawahara wrote it . she never actually gets over her . feelings for kirito she just accepts . that he loves . asuna and joins lisbeth and silica in . the awkward technically not a harem that. stalks the two of them everywhere. expressing constant jealousy over their . relationship while it would hit many of . the same beats in this arc from their . kendo match at the start to the final . duel before going to save asuna my . version of this story would end with . sugu ha and kirito properly reconciling . as a family and sugu definitively moving. on if i had to spit ball a symbolic way . of showing this maybe after they do that . weird waltz in the sky thing in the last. episode sugu hands kirito off to asana . for another dance smiles and then goes . to dance with wreck on that green haired . embodiment of why don't girls like nice . guys posts whose real name i can't. remember or be bothered to look up or . she could just be happy being single and . independent call it sword art online . actually progressive either way as long . as we strip any wish fulfillment . elements out of this pl
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