The reason being, I cannot understand why almost every time a writer gets pushed into a corner about the next arc in a shounen battle anime, he usually chooses the "Write a damsel in distress route!" approach. Why? I just...don't get it. As someone who grew up with only male friends, reading Shounen Jump, and not even learning of the existence of Shoujo until several years later, I still have trouble grasping this trend.
Usually, such stories wouldn't bother me to the point of me developing such a strong aversion. But this one. Most people disliked the fact that Kirito was an obvious stand-in, OP, average guy. The issue I took most concern with, however, was how horribly Asuna's character was handled after Season 1.
It is one thing when a female character is introduced as weak and incapable of taking care of herself to begin with. Ok...she still has room to grow. On the other hand, when you spend an entire season demonstrating how OP this heroine is--to the point of being on the same level as, if not stronger than, the MC--then suddenly slam the brakes and move her into damsel territory out of nowhere because it was convenient, it becomes off-putting in the most appalling manner possible.
That's not character development. It's very inconsistent and a huge step backward in characterization, if anything, because there is literally no reason for her circumstances starting Season 2 in the first place.