Originally Posted by Shagra
I've played WoW for 7 years.
It combines two things I love deeply, Anime and MMORPGs. There's a lot of Lingo that they toss around that I occasionally giggle at. It's a strong mix of action, romance, and it's just enjoyable. I suppose I can relate to it a lot more than other anime I've seen.
Obviously you don't like anything Harem, so you immediately mark anything that so much as resembles something Haremy off as bad anime. And what version you watch can really determine a lot when it comes to Subbed anime. A slight change in words can make something seem entirely different.
See, you're not giving it any valid defense. And I can appreciate a harem anime- I can see why people liked Clannad and some of the other series and I can giggle at comedy harems. I quite love Tenchi Muyo and Vandread. In fact, I actually rated Clannad 7/10 and After Story 8/10, which are both good ratings.
The biggest problem with the harem element in SAO is that it doesn't add anything at all to the story. It didn't need to be there. Clannad at least had the excuse that it was based on a visual novel, so I mean let's face it, they couldn't get around throwing that in there. SAO there was NO REASON for it- it added nothing at all. Not a single thing. The very first girl didn't bother me because they kept going back to his guilt with her, so that was fine. Asuna was obviously fine because she's the main interest. But the beast tamer and Asuna's best friend AND HIS FRIGGIN LITTLE SISTER were all INCREDIBLY unnecessary and didn't add ANYTHING. Their only purpose is to make Kirito look better because he's a Gary Stu.
As for the MMO elements- I played WoW for 7-8 years and before that I played a different MMO for a couple of years. This is precisely where the series failed- There were a LOT of jokes to be made, a lot of funny stereotypes they could have thrown in, etc that they just overlooked entirely. There's also the matter that he (the writer of SAO) didn't lay down the rules of his own world. He partially did, but only a little bit and most of those rules were broken later on in the series (example- eating the food of SAO), so you couldn't immerse yourself in their world because they didn't explain how any of it worked. It was like you were just supposed to magically know how it worked- And I mean sure, it's for people who played MMOs before, but each MMO has it's own rules and nuances. None of these were established in the show.
As for subtitles- That matters very little for my problems with the show as my problems are with the core elements of the show.
The characters, as mentioned before, are bland. There is nothing to them. Kirito is a Gary Stu and Asuna is kind of a Mary Sue, although she's better. My favorite character is the pink haired dude because he's the only one with any real personality. There's also the factor that no female character appears for more than a couple minutes without falling in love with the main character. There were 2 that didn't- Only two. Everyone else falls for Kirito. You don't see an issue with this in a show that isn't based on a VN and is not SUPPOSED to be a harem?
The show is just .hack meets Clannad and it isn't even 1/4 as good as either of those shows.