Anime Review: Sword Art Online – ALO-arc + Overall

SAO1Several 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.

Story: 3/5

Art/Animation: 4.5/5

Sound: 4/5

Hako’s Thoughts:

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.


Filed under Reviews

4 responses to “Anime Review: Sword Art Online – ALO-arc + Overall

  1. Quizoxy

    Pretty much agreed with your impression! Quite a pity it’s not perfect yet!

    • Thanks! To be honest, I’m kind of interested in reading the translated light novels JUST to find out how much worse it can get. I’ve heard the best girl in the series is Sinon from the Gun Gale Online story arc. Wikipedia says Kirito becomes the damsel in distress in the 4th story arc. Could possibly be worth it? Maybe.

      • Quizoxy

        It is always hard to judge any novel/manga works based on the anime project as they were being processed through countless amount of staffs within the anime productions, and they may have added or subtracted just to make the anime fit the majority, taking the younger and older ones into consideration. I have not completed the entire novel but have been reading a little of here and there(eng & jap), I would say that it is a good try to take on the novel, not the manga.

        In my opinion, the fun part is still Aincrad and Gungale online, not Alfhiem or Underworld. Underworld (last game/arc) will be a good portion for intense mindplay animation though, if they were being handled by the right production. I wouldn’t disagree with the character of Sinon/Asada Shino, I find her character build attractive. 😀

  2. Madison

    i dislike you i think it was a baddass anime and you suck

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