Sword Art Online Volume 1

So, has anyone read this yet? Baka-Tsuki version or the official translation. Or the manga works, too. Or the anime, it follows the book pretty well, except the books aren't in chronological order and the anime is. It just came out on Tuesday, and I finished it just a few minutes ago.

If you haven't read it, you should. It's technically a young adult novel, but it's better than most. It's about a bunch of people who get stuck in a virtual reality MMORPG. It's probably one of my favorites.

I thought it warranted mentioning because, apparently, it was originally published as web fiction, and I thought that it was awesome that web fiction was not only published by an actual publisher, but was then translated to another language, and adapted into an anime which was called one of the best of 2012. I just thought it warranted mentioning.

If you want to read it, here's the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0316371246/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1398551245&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40

If you want to watch it, here's the Crunchyroll link (I don't do dubs): http://www.crunchyroll.com/sword-art-online

I highly recommend it.

I watched it, it was ok. The second part was really rushed.

Yes, the second part did definitely suck, with the entire basic plot and the incest plot (seriously, gross), but the books were sooo much better, and volumes 5-6 (I also read the fan translation) are really good. It's like a movie series where the first one is pretty good, the second one sucks ass, and the third one is the best thing in the damn world.

The second arc was definitely not a favorite among many... but back to the point about SAO. Log Horizon is another Japanese webfic that also went the path of light-novels and a very successful anime adaptation. (However, because it is on NHK it's a lot more sanitized in terms of depictions of certain situations involving slavery/human trafficking/sex)

The guy who wrote Log Horizon also was the creator of Maou.

Comparatively, I kind of like the adaptation of Log Horizon better than SAO simply because there's a lot of care regarding the conspiracies being put together. SAO kind of lost some opportunity to exploit the real identify /avatar of the actual creator...Log Horizon is full of nerdy game mechanics and politics versus fighting. Just my cup of tea.

Japan, overall, has a pretty healthy web/cell phone based fiction economy. China as well.

SAO did not evolve out of the web-realm until the author submitted a compilation to one of those annual competitions for new talent that a publisher had open. One of his later volumes won and they went backwards to pick up rights to publish the others in hard copy.

One of the odd things, though, is that I don't think this model can be replicated elsewhere (other than China). Japan and China are reading cultures and while people read stuff online, they are still driven by print. Lots of bookstores still exist in Japan and when I went, people were always reading books, not devices.

It should be noted that as solely webfiction authors, neither of the two creators made money. It wasn't until they got into print and even better, anime, that their fortunes improved marginally.

Log Horizon's creator is still pretty much a hikikomori living with his family -- many who did not know of his success until his sister saw his book somewhere and brought it home. Not sure about SAO's creator but he's been described also as otaku... so in a way not sure how respectable they seem to others particularly those in the light-novel (serialized in magazines) community.

Not so much a fan of SOA, but I love Log Horizon! Though, will admit that many Light Novels and manga get the bad end of the stick when it comes to anime adaptions. Log Horizon is one that came out well, even with the censoring(the studio was quite creative with the death censor that works). In fact, Log Horizon made me wonder if there was webfiction in the USA and here I am now when I realized the author was putting up Log Horizon up for free on his sight as a webfiction.