SAO Author Reki Kawahara Visiting USA


Reki Kawahara, the exalted author of the massively popular series Sword Art Online and Accel World and self-proclaimed “solo player in the game of life,” is soon to be making his first high-profile appearance for the benefit of western audiences.

Kawahara has been announced as a Guest of Honor for Sakura-Con 2013, one of America’s more popular anime conventions, taking place from March 29 to 31 in Seattle, Washington.


The 38-year-old writer broke into the Japanese light novel industry in 2008, and has seen both of his works receive recent anime and game adaptations.

Kawahara’s scheduled presence at Sakura-Con along with other Sword Art Online-related guests, including the songstresses of SAO’s 2nd OP and ED themes, Eir Aoi and Luna Haruna, has led the convention to be unofficially labeled “SAOkura-Con.”

Indeed, the convention’s Saturday event lineup also boasts a SAO-themed concert and the exclusive English dub premiere of SAO.

A Q&A session with Kawahara is to follow the premiere, where the audience may ask the most pressing issues concerning his masterpiece, such as the reasons behind the top-selling status of the light novels, various episodes of females in distress, dubious termination of Aincrad, and possiblity of an anime sequel to SAO.

Sankaku Complex should also have the opportunity to pose the author some questions, so some light may finally be shed on what Kawahara’s stance is towards all the gaping plotholes in the anime fans keep moaning about.

Other guests of Sakura-Con 2013, overshadowed by the headliner Kawahara, include Katsuyuki Motohiro, Naoyoshi Shiotani, and Joji Wada, the directors and producer of the dystopian anime Psycho-Pass, which was written by Gen Urobuchi of Madoka fame.

Also in attendance will be Atsuko Ishizuka, the director of Korean food anime Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, although it seems doubtful she will be keen on fielding any questions about Korean food…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    17:55 20/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Wow broke into the industry @ age 33? There still might be hope for us older folk with dreams!

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:09 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    He wrote SAO in his early 20s thought.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:41 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You just killed his dream...

    Comment by Anonymous

    This nip better be careful what he says...some folks in Seattle don't take too kindly to uppity little yellow cunts running their mouths in places.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:53 21/03/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.8)


    Avatar of Epsilon
    Comment by Epsilon
    12:29 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL angry 12 year old here

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:22 22/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous

    No, 12-year-old kids know how to use caps lock a little. I would say... 8 years ols.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:42 21/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    You guys spend all this time complaining while people elsewhere are getting shit done, good job!

    Comment by Anonymous


    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    03:18 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Yeah, if his writing is shit,then why can't the haters make something some much better than his shit?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:51 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    So I guess Transformers is a great movie since I'll never be able to write or direct a movie like that.

    Great logic Naoe.

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    08:12 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thank you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:51 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Naoe,let me share my idea on your claim. I agree with the idea that Kawahara's original Sword Art story was badly written; However, what that series did have was appeal and charisma. It takes talent to be able to craft a story that draws readers in. So yes, I don't agree that Kawahara deserves praises for writing a good story but rather he deserves credit for making a series that has appeal. If a story is entertaining, it doesn't matter how badly it's written in many cases (ever seen Transformer?) . That's why anyone has the right to criticizes his work, because objectively there are many issues in it. But saying to people "if they can do better", doesn't really give you a strong argument to begin with.

    By the way on a side note, love the name; Naoe is awesome! ^-^

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    True, I'm glad he stared Progressive so he can fix all the issues he had in the original story.

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    04:03 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nah, it's okay. I know that's always a weak argument.

    I'm just tired of people calling him shit when most of them only watch the botched up anime.

    Avatar of Atashi
    Comment by Atashi
    16:45 20/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Very quick edit note for the last sentence: Ishizuka Atsuko is a she, not a he.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:58 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Solo-player in the game of life? Load of crap.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:55 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    it meant that he's singgle

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:19 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    [] Leave room for questions not-answered in past interviews and for the love of God, don't act like a raging fan-boy otaku. The unprofessionalism displayed by the representative of Sankaku Complex was honestly embarrassing and it made everyone including the staff feel uncomfortable. I hope you guys have someone better this year.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:03 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Sword Art Online is Twilight for teen boys. Nothing special here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:04 23/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just shows how much better tasted teen boys are compared to teen girls (should be obvious when comparing shounen to shoujo anyways). SAO is certainly not a Shakespearian work by any means, but compared to Twilight it is a masterpiece.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:38 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    What's the plot in SAO exactly? First part was about good guy vs the bad guy that disguised as a good guy and the second part was about a damsel in distress. He hardly even entertained the fact that it was a new technologically powered virtual world aside from a few scenes. Rather he wanted to focus on a typical Zelda fashion love story and discarded every other could-have-been interesting character in the story.

    I'm not saying SAO is bad or anything. I'm just really trying hard to understand why is it getting such a support when it's quite unoriginal and mundane. Aside from the pretty good character design, I can't see anything else than lukewarm story of a couple fighting through a fantasy land (you can take out the whole MMO thing and nobody would notice).

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:15 20/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    One word: catering. He's depicting every otaku's wet dream. Play MMO and get a real harem out of it.

    Regarding your other criticism: I take it you only watched the anime and have no knowledge of the LN's contents? Much of your criticism vanishes if you take them into acount. True, the plot devices are still cliche and the developments unoriginal, but the LN's have much more focus on both the technological aspects and the characters. In fact, it gets quite technological (well, pseudo-technological at any rate) and even somewhat character-driven by the time Alicization comes around.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:34 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    not only just catering, but making sense while doing so. the same could not be said about most of the other LN titles.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:18 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The overarching plot is mainly to do with how similar the real and digital worlds are. As you go farther in the series this becomes a reaccuring theme.

    Avatar of Rokudaime
    Comment by Rokudaime
    04:22 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Author: Atashi"
    New Sankaku writer? :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:12 22/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    More like old one returning after LONG hiatus. She's done mainly articles on figures, dakimakura covers and conventions a few years back IIRC. Glad she's active again though.

    I wish Quen would come back too...

    @ SanCom staff: Why was my first attempt at this comment spam-filtered? Please optimize your heuristics. They're horrendous.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:06 22/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    More like old one returning after LONG hiatus. She's done mainly articles on figures, dakimakura covers and conventions a few years back IIRC.

    I wish Quen would come back too...

    Avatar of Cytryz
    Comment by Cytryz
    20:28 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    good for him :). I really like both SAO and Accel World. I hope to see more from him.

    on the solo playing off life, I cannot agree with him more on that. Idk if that's why people call him trash or not but if you put a lot of thought into life this is the best option if you have someting you wanna do in life. He can invest as mch time in as he wants, doesn't matter it's just him. ofc that doesn't mean he doesn't get laid either. some people gotta really roll shit around in their head from different perspectives before judging.

    on a side note i hope his hater fuel him. If I had these hater's they'd be what would keep me working so hard. I'd do better and better just to raise their hate level lol.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Nah. We call him trash because he's a shit writer.

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    03:31 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Nope he's not shit, as we speak he's working on SAO Progressive, a stand alone reboot LN, that fixes the inconsistencies and make the Aincrad saga much more detailed with each floor getting their own chapter.

    And here you're not writing anything that can sell...

    Avatar of Senjou
    Comment by Senjou
    10:00 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh wow, so like a new testament to fix the inconsistencies? Hahahaha.

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    11:43 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    He did admit that there are inconsistencies in his earlier works.

    "This time too, as I re-read the script...... I felt it
    was terrible in various ways. But, well, I can't stop
    thinking that it was, in a sense, the meaning of
    the SAO series (laugh)"

    This just shows that he's growing into a better Writer, and this is reflected in the latest volumes of SAO.

    Comment by Anonymous


    Comment by Anonymous
    17:27 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wow, look at all the people flaming at the popularity of a man's fictional stories.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Just Because It's Popular Doesn't Mean It's Good

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:29 20/03/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Is that the title of a new Light Novel series?

    Avatar of Powerpuff Loli
    Comment by Powerpuff Loli
    00:29 21/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Lol. It's not my fault my novel is good and not popular!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:03 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Doesn't mean it's bad, either.

    Avatar of Noodlestein
    Comment by Noodlestein
    20:04 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly this. I have yet to watch nor do I really have any desire but its all ones own opinion that matters, but one could deduce by its popularity that it has to have something good about it, whether someone who doesn't like it has something negative to say about it or not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:00 20/03/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    Thanks for the heads up, Captain. We wouldn't have figured that one without you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:04 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    why is it popular? because it's good to majority

    Avatar of Onanymouse
    Comment by Onanymouse
    22:18 20/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    > 19:59
    "Justin Beiber is popular. The argument that popularity=quality fails right there."

    This, dear anon, is a prime example of a straw man argument in its purest form.

    Avatar of Noodlestein
    Comment by Noodlestein
    20:07 20/03/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    @Anon 19:59

    The Beetles are popular. The arguement that popularity != quality fails right there.

    It goes both way honestly, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions whether one likes it or not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:01 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The larger the sample population, the lower the collective standards.
    This is why anime is good as a niche - the general community has terrible tastes when it comes to anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:10 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It goes both way honestly, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions whether one likes it or not.

    People's opinions have no bearing on the artistic value of a given work. This is a well known red herring

    This, dear anon, is a prime example of a straw man argument in its purest form.

    No it's not. The original premise is that popularity is not a proof of quality. If the rebuttal isn't trying to prove the premise false, then that by itself would be a strawman.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:37 22/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are such a hypocrite.

    Avatar of Onanymouse
    Comment by Onanymouse
    23:00 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "The original premise gives context to the response."

    Assuming I interpreted 18:04's intended meaning correctly, how does this invalidate 19:59 arguing against a point 18:04 did not make?

    "Surely you mean the opposite..."

    No, I was just mixing up anon posting times. That was supposed to be referring to 18:04.

    "something is popular because a lot of people find it good"
    "it's popular because a lot of people think it's good"

    English is not my first language so I might be missing something here, but... where's the difference? As far as I can tell, we're both interpreting 18:04 the same way. So how can this be interpreted as popularity=quality ('=' here really referring to '=>')? Last time I checked, people thinking something is good does not mean it's objectively good. popularity=>quality certainly seems to refer to actual objective quality. This, by the way, never was the original premise anyway. The original premise was popularity!=>quality. Nobody here is actually denying this, which might be the real issue.

    "then, it's completely irrelevant response to 17:38"

    True, but doesn't change the fact that 19:59 was building a straw man in relation to 18:04.

    "A fallacy is a form of faulty reasoning"

    Alright, let me rephrase. It can't be a fallacy if it's not part of any attempt at reasoning. Viewing Noodlestein's remark as an unrelated side comment, there is no premise and conclusion, therefore no faulty reasoning.

    Avatar of Onanymouse
    Comment by Onanymouse
    13:29 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    "No it's not."

    Yes it is. A straw man argument mis-represents the opponent's position so that it's easier to argue against. The original premise holds no relevance, as 19:59 was specifically responding to 18:04. 19:59 argued that it's popular because a lot of people think it's good. This is somewhat semantically ambiguous and might be debatable depending on how you interpret it, but "popularity=quality" is certainly not 18:04's position any way you look at it.
    In your words, 19:59 wasn't trying to prove false the premise of the comment he was replying to -> straw man.

    Also, you don't have to label every side-comment a red herring. It can't be a fallacy if it isn't part of the argument.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:21 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The original premise holds no relevance

    Missing the point. The original premise gives context to the response.

    19:59 argued that it's popular because a lot of people think it's good

    Surely you mean the opposite...

    but "popularity=quality" is certainly not 18:04's position any way you look at it.

    He isn't? Admittedly, it is a bit hard to make out, but it looks a lot like "something is popular because a lot of people find it good" to me.
    If you interpret it as "popularity is the result of a lot of people liking the show", then, it's completely irrelevant response to 17:38.
    Is there another way to interpret it?

    Also, you don't have to label every side-comment a red herring. It can't be a fallacy if it isn't part of the argument.

    First of all, a fallacy needs not be argument. A fallacy is a form of faulty reasoning.
    Second, the entire point of a red herring is that it's not an argument, but a detraction to one.
    Lastly, no explicit conclusion does not mean there is no conclusion.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:11 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    13 year old girls will listen to any music with a boy they think is cute in it regardless of if its good or not

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:59 20/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Justin Beiber is popular. The argument that popularity=quality fails right there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:45 21/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is not related sometimes popular=good, sometimes extremely good can be unpopular, it used to be tied to promotion and distribution nowadays with the internet is completely ramdom

    Comment by Anonymous

    Except Bieber isn't a bad singer. And his songs aren't poorly written. You just don't care for the idea of the music rather than the music itself. Because it ACTUALLY IS GOOD. And musically competent

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:56 22/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    same token just because its popular doenst mean its bad. simple you like what you like ill like what i like. having said that though the anime while ok is a little meh if you have read the lns just because of the lack of time in the anime to tell the stuff in the lns completely.

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