Yeah, you read that right. SAO is getting a live action series and its being made in none other than the land of freedom, apple pie, weebs, and people ignorant to actual anime culture. The live action adaptation of Sword Art Online will be coming by means of Skydance Television. I don’t watch too much tv so I have no clue who they are, but apparently they’re big enough (or wealthy enough) to be able to convince Kadokawa to give them permission to create this impending pile of crap show. The plot is as follows: “”[It] follows[] a brilliant young beta tester Kirito and his group of friends when they are trapped — alongside 10,000 other people — in a next-generation virtual reality online role-playing game. The game is a world unto itself: filled with sword fighting, monsters, magic and mystery, where the stakes are life and death. Kirito and an ensemble of diverse characters must fight their way through this hostile environment while making lives for themselves in the fantastical world that is Sword Art Online.”

Ok, so first of all, I understand that for all intensive purposes, you have to say “group of friends” but Kirito had no friends when he started playing SAO. He was actually the villain for most of the series and didn’t really make any real friends until later. Also, they aren’t just making lives for themselves in SAO, they’re trying to fight their way out. Some people gave up and just decided to settle in the world, but Kirito and everybody else he works with actually try to take on each boss in the game so that they can reach a higher level and get out of the game that they got trapped into. In my opinion, SAO was less about what they seem to be focusing on and more about the people in the game finding themselves. Most of the people in the game had some kind of problem, some kind of reason why they wanted to run away from reality and spend their time in virtual reality. I’m really not confident that the show will address that and instead it’ll be like the second half of the show where they just focus on romance, fighting, and some weird pervert who wants to make a high school girl his waifu.

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According to them, the tv series is just the beginning as they try to capture the hearts of fans and non fans alike by crafting the SAO world from scratch to reach bigger audiences and create more impressive, virtual reality series. The concept itself is interesting, but what the actual heck are they expecting to get out of this? I can only foresee this being a massive flop on the Pokemon Go scale. They also say that they want to “honor its well-established fan base around the globe,” but do they really think they can do that with a live action series? Most of the anime community that actually know what they’re talking about and watch anime would disagree that SAO is good. It has elements about it that are interesting, but it’s executed poorly and has some of the most vapid and generic characters that the anime world has come into contact with.

Despite this being pretty much common knowledge, the writer of the script for the show, Laeta Kalogridis, says that “For years I have been inspired by the inventive and masterful storytelling of the SAO franchise. “I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to work with such talented partners to bring this cutting-edge yet timeless story to a new format at Skydance.” Inventive and masterful storytelling? What? How is any of it inventive and masterful? It’s so standard and in no way inventive or masterful. I could pick up any light novel on the street and it’d be told in the same exact way that Sword Art Online is. Hell, even Accel World or Log Horizon tell the same exact story to a certain extent (maybe not better though). There’s nothing here that should be inspiring someone to make a show unless you’re looking at the cash grab aspect of it which is basically what SAO is at this point.

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So much potential wasted

Honestly, just reading this gets me really annoyed. I understand that anime is becoming bigger internationally and I understand that everyone’s running out of ideas, but seriously, leave anime alone unless you know what you’re doing. Japan has already fucked up Shingeki no Kyojin with a live action movie that sucked, America fucked up Avatar the Last Airbender (not technically anime), America REALLY fucked up with Dragon Ball Evolution, I didn’t get the point of making a live action Assassination Classroom at all, and don’t get me started on the Parasyte movie. The only things they’ve gotten right are the drama shows like Kimi ni Todoke, Nodame Cantabile, or even more recently, Ore Monogatari. Can they REALLY make SAO to the same quality that the anime or light novel was at? The bar for that isn’t even that high and I don’t think they can.

Tl’;dr Stop messing with anime America. You don’t get it.

Originally found from Sankaku Complex. (NSFW site a lot of the times, so be careful).

Source: Hollywood Reporter