Several weeks ago, I reviewed the first story arc half of 2012’s popular hit series, Sword Art Online. The series has now finished it’s second half and my thoughts still remain the same.
Kirito, now free from the clutches of the death game, Sword Art Online (SAO), has returned to the real world. He soon comes to learn that his beloved Asuna is still stuck in the virtual world in a new Virtual MMORPG, ALfheim Online (ALO). The one who trapped her is a family acquaintance and business associate of Asuna’s father, Sugou Nobuyuki. Sugou plans to take advantage of Asuna’s comatose state to marry into the family so that he will gain the next headship of the company, as well as conduct research on Asuna and hundreds of other SAO players still trapped within the world of ALO. Kirito is now forced to enter the game world again to find Asuna and find a way to log her out of the game so she may finally be able to return to the real world.
My impression of this show has not changed since my last review. The story is still full of everything making Kirito bad-ass without any true meaning. When Kirito enters the world of ALO, his character stats from SAO remained on him, negating the idea that he would have to re-train to become stronger. He did not retain his <<Dual Wield>> ability though. Yet on two instances, he borrows a sword and adeptly uses them despite the game’s system parameters. Without giving too much away, the plot armor on Kirito is just too strong and hasn’t changed much since his time in SAO.
Also, one thing that I definitely noticed after all of this is that the series overall introduced a multitude of side characters. However, 80% of them do nothing after their introductory episodes.
Thankfully, my main reason for watching the series, it’s really well done animation and scene direction, did not change. The combination of well-animated fights and great soundtrack really tries to make up for the lackluster story. They really almost make you think “Man, Kirito is so bad-ass I don’t care that he shouldn’t be able to do that!” Which, like I said before, Kirito is that kid you don’t want to play imaginary games with because he’ll keep making up stuff to make him seem cooler.
All this said, I will be honest and say I dislike Sword Art Online. However, I still think it is watchable and a good “first anime” for the casual person.
So, should you check this out?
– Pros: Entertaining to watch for action if you turn your mind off the bigger picture.
– Cons: Story lacks depth overall; shallow characters.