Is a certain member of Sword Art Online guilty of several crimes? After you have enjoyed enough Manga and Anime you are able to read between the lines and can see a detail or two another may have missed. Through this and other detailed evidence you are able to piece together what really happened in a particular series. This results in an abstract idea, a thought which doesn’t have a physical existence but can be speculated. Welcome to Anime Abstract.
SPOILERS FOR SWORD ART ONLINE
The subject of this Abstract is the man behind the Nervegear and creator of everyone’s favorite RPG world Sword Art Online, Akihiko Kayaba. On top of giving this great gift to the world he also appeared at just the right moment in the series and bestowed upon Kirito the ability to hack the system and thereby saving his beloved of Asuna from an unspeakable fate. Truly a man among men.
Hold your horses! Don’t call the vatican anytime soon to get see if he can be canonized. Akihiko or Heathcliff (his character name in the game world of Sword Art Online) is not getting off so easily. Remember this guy was the main villain of the first part of the show. If you thought his last minute save of Kirito and Asuna at the end of second arc of this series totally exonerates him, you have another thing coming. The fact is he is guilty of an insane number of crimes. How many crimes specifically? Let’s take a look shall we?
The series, Sword Art Online starts by revealing 10,000 players are unable to logout of the game without clearing all 100 floors. They must fight monsters and each other along the way, forcing them to engaged in the ultimate gaming experience. If a player dies in the game, the nervegear destroys the player’s brain in real life, killing them instantly. More than enough incentive to ensure people worked hard to clear the game.
There is a lot to unpack here so it’s better to break it down individually to see what he would be guilty of. First off there is Dehumanization, a term meaning depriving someone of human qualities, personality, or spirit. By forcing the players to remain in the game, Heathcliff is no longer looking as them as people but simple objects which can be used to help further test the limits of the game. This leads into the second crime, human subject research. As Heathcliff was using the players to test the depths of the system, technology, and software, he is using them as research subjects.
Now considering 10,000 people are removed from their lives you would think it constitutes as kidnapping but in actuality, it fall under another crime known as forced disappearance. The definition of which is when someone is
arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”
Next, there is torture. By imprisoning the players in the game and not allowing them to log out, he is directly affecting how they are able to eat, sleep, and even use the restroom. Sure it was later revealed players were transported to hospitals, fed through tubes, and cleaned up by the nursing staff, but what about those didn’t get transported in time? This of course leads to the last crime of Murder. Thought not proficient with a degree in law, considering over 3,800 players didn’t make it out of the game alive, a case of some degree of murder would be levied against Heathcliff for his actions.
Anyone of these crimes would be detrimental on there own but even more so when you realize what each of them are. Each of these crimes falls under the category known as A Crime Against Humanity. Courtesy of the United Nations official website:
‘crime against humanity’ means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack
These are the crimes which get national attention and given the 10,000 individuals who were involved, they easily qualify as not only a civilian population but enough individuals to represent a population of a small city. The ever vigilant arm of justice would be quick to come down on Heathcliff. So what punishment is he likely to receive?
There is no clean cut definitions for what kind of punishment is given for Crimes Against Humanity, but in Heathcliff’s case he probably would have received a sentence of life in prison at least. The more guaranteed punishment, which is actually seen in the show is known as restitutions.
Restitutions is when a person/group/organization has to pay someone back for the damage done on their behalf. In Sword Art Online, in an effort to save face after one of their top employees committed the previously mentioned Crimes Against Humanity, Argus (the company behind it all) sprang into action and founded a school and assistive services for those who had lost time in the game.
Additional restitutions had to paid for the over 3,800 players who lost their lives in game. This is why Argus has no choice but to claim bankruptcy and sell all its rights and property to RECT Inc. An international multi-million dollar (or Yen in this case) company goes up in smoke because one of its creators wanted to have the ultimate gaming experience. Congratulations Heathcliff. If anything you are guilty of being the biggest troll on the internet and this truly is an accomplishment.
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