Interview with Kawahara Reki @ Sakura-Con 2013

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Thu 2013/04/04 04:56 JST
Founder of SUTORAIKUanime, Vancouver's Japanese pop culture and anime media outlet.
Vancouver, Canada · SUTORAIKUanime · http://www.sutoraikuanime.com
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SUTORAIKUanime joined several other media outlets in a press conference conducted at Sakura-Con 2013 with Accel World and Sword Art Online novelist Kawahara Reki. We are pleased to share this interview as it was a rather amusing session to take part in, and we hope some of the answers provided may serve to quench your own curiosities regarding Kawahara Reki and his works.

If SAO was to be turned into a real MMO, would you play it?

As long as it's not permadeath, I might.

This is your first convention in the United States, is there any kind of food or anything you want to try while you're in Seattle?

I had for the first time in my life, real oatmeal this morning and it was very delicious. I'd like to try a real, American-sized T-bone steak.

In a recent interview, you said that coming up with the simple idea of players trapped in an MMORPG was the easy part, but that finding the mechanism was the difficult part. You also admitted that the Nerve Gear system did have its faults thus creating plot holes. If you had more time to add to the story and fix the little things that you were finding had fault, what would you add or change?

One of the things that I heard about was, wouldn't it be possible to somehow instantaneously destroy the Nerve Gear that the players are using to make it inactive in time before it would kill the player? That's one of the things that was brought up to me. In order to combat such measures, one of the ideas was to have Kayaba announce that should anybody attempt this, or even succeed, another player randomly will pay for that action.

Asuna is a bit of a tricky character. She starts off as an incredibly strong fighter, important to the political system of Sword Art Online. But in Alfheim Online, she is caged and sexually assaulted. What would you say to the critics who find her role problematic, especially given the often misogynistic climate of anime and gaming?

As I said previously, the character of Asuna I might have created a little too perfectly for Sword Art Online. When teamed up with Kirito, there were hardly any problems the two as a pair could not overcome. In order to increase the sense of urgency during the Fairy Dance story arc, I needed to have her be unable to help Kirito and in caging her, I do have some regrets about putting her in the situation in order to build up the sense of danger for Kirito's adventure in the Fairy Dance arc. As recompense internally, I made a story as a followup called Mother's Rosario where Asuna was the main character. Should there be more animation, I would really like to see that story depicted.

How much of Kirito's personality and character is based off your own personality and character, or characters you've played in other MMOs?

I don't tend to put myself into my characters, but if I had to say there was a point of similarity between Kirito and myself, it is the fact that neither of us are good at forming parties. We tend to play solo in these games a lot.

This question has been asked several times before, but there is legitimate speculation that shows some kind of connection between Accel World and Sword Art Online. For example, in the 9th volume of the Sword Art Online light novels, Kirito talks about going to America to study and research a new type of Dive Technology, which is the brain implant chips. Additionally, in episode 22 of the Sword Art Online anime...

The rest of the interview can be found at SUTORAIKUanime.com

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Founder of SUTORAIKUanime, Vancouver's Japanese pop culture and anime media outlet.
Vancouver, Canada · SUTORAIKUanime · http://www.sutoraikuanime.com