I feel your pain. That sandwich had so many bites left in it. What a waste.
You know, I have to admit: that trick is pretty clever. I mean, not Hyouka clever, but better than I would have expected. Guess I was wrong when I said Sword Art Online wasn’t really suited for mystery. It helped even more that Grimlock is complete and utter scum. So overall, this entire storyline was more entertaining than I would’ve originally thought. There’s still a lot of instances where it feels like the anime skimped on the story. There weren’t gaping holes per se, but there are definitely places where certain explanations weren’t as strong as they could have been. Like why Grimlock just gave up just like that. In fact, throughout the whole explanation of the crime, you had to constantly infer something from what was being said. It wasn’t enough that you’d be lost if you didn’t, but inference is definitely not an indicator of a strong story.
I went ahead and spoiled myself because I’ve got no self control, apparently. I’m going to guess that we have at least two more episodes of these one-chapter side story type episodes until we get to the main content. And I’m willing to bet that Asuna won’t be as prominent in the remainder of these side stories, which is a damn shame; I’d love to see Kirito and Asuna together. Aside from the obvious romantic chemistry there, they have some really good stuff. Admittedly their stuttering romantic interest really feeds into my interest in them as characters, but still. I’d also really like to believe that these characters who’re being introduced like Kains and Yolko will become recurring characters rather than guests, but the nature of these side stories doesn’t make that likely. Unless the writers of the show want to write them into the main story, it’s unlikely we’ll see them again.
Even when deviating from its original genre, Sword Art Online manages to keep my attention pretty well. I’d like to say I’m not getting impatient for the real stuff to start, but that’d be a lie. Still, these introductory stories are pretty good. Definitely worth the wait.
GO Rating: 4/5