When we first started this little review project, I wrote down two characters for today. I mean, sure, there are a TON of anime characters that get on my nerves but not in the way that Orihime Inoue (Bleach) and Asuna Yuuki (SAO) do. I could probably write a five page essay on what grins my gears about Orihime. But I chose Asuna, and I am going to keep this post as short as possible.
Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion so if you like Asuna…maybe it’s best if you not read this. At first, when I thought of Asuna I was like ‘well, maybe my real problem is her English voice actress.’ And as it turns out, Asuna is just as irritating in Japanese to me as she is in English. And my memory of the show is a bit hazy as it’s been a while and we watched it almost too quickly.
Asuna is particularly insufferable in the Aincrad arc in the first season of Sword Art Online. Asuna’s anime development seems rather weak and she appears to be a tsundere character just for the sake of being a tsundere. The front she puts up is mostly a facade, however, even after they are “married” she tends to be a little bit tsundere.
Asuna is rash and quick to make strange decisions and assumptions, like most of SAO’s female characters. One particular scene that irks me about Asuna is when she takes Kirito (Kazuto Kirigaya) back to her home. Having misinterpreted the situation, she begins to undress after dinner and demands the same of him. And, naturally, when Kirito points out very politely that Asuna has jumped the gun, the one who takes the beating is Kirito.
Asuna constantly nags Kirito and shows jealous tendencies at first, including when Yuui hugged Kirito. Despite their strong feelings for one another, there is no real development on their relationship in the anime…no real build-up. The two of them met two or three times before SUDDENLY they were in love. For a couple that is considered one of anime’s best, I feel like development is severely lacking on the part of either of the characters but particularly Asuna. But alas, this is probably due to what felt like a hasty adaptation from the novel (which I am reading right now).
Asuna is less present in the ALfheim arc, which is probably why I preferred it. I did feel unhappy and sorry for her in this particular arc because of everything that happens to her. Even so, this doesn’t make me care for Asuna any more than is necessary. Asuna doesn’t feel well fleshed out for most of the series and that may be one of the top reasons why she gets on my nerves. The way she acts like a strong, cool beauty one second and like a pathetic, fragile, and jealous woman the next…Well, it is true that many people are like this in a relationship but not in the way that Asuna is. Asuna is, in my opinion, poorly fleshed out and too tsundere without a real purpose. I would hae liked to see more development from both her personality, as well as her relationship with Kirito but alas, none of that was given in the anime.
P.S. – Kazuto asks Asuna to start calling him by his given name once they are in the real world. (This happens, I believe in the Extra Edition special that takes place between SAO and SAO II) I mean, they were married in-game, had a home, and a ‘child’ and yet, Asuna continues to use Kazuto’s game name. And while I understand that it is hard to adjust after being used to one name for so long, Kazuto is Asuna’s boyfriend and she should, at the very least, call him by his real name.