Greetings! Railgunfan75 here. Regular readers of this blog are probably aware of how much I enjoyed Sword Art Online. SAO is probably one of the most polarizing anime series out there. However, there was much buzz generated when Sword Art Online II was announced at the beginning of the year and started airing this summer. The buzz has nor been ignored by this blogger who has watched the series from the beginning. The second post in this blog series will be first impressions of Sword Art Online II. These are my thoughts about the series up through episiode 13. I will do a full review when the series is concluded.
Sword Art Online II takes place a few months after the events of Sword Art Online. In a game called Gun Gale Online or GGO, players are attacked by a mysterious player called Death Gun. Death Gun appears to have the unique ability to cause players to die in real life after they are killed in the game. The main protagonist from the first series Kirito, is recruited to enter the game and to solve the mystery of the player’s deaths. Along the way, he meets Sinon. Sinon is a sniper and veteran of GGO who helps Kirito along and happens to have a connection to the events that unfold.
I will say this right off the bat, Sword Art Online II so far does not quite live to the first arc of SAO. To be honest I’m not sure if any future arcs will. However, I have had quite a bit of enjoyment from this arc. First off the idea and premise behind the arc is actually quite interesting. The series does do a good job with establishing the world and explaining the core of what Kirito is the world to do. This is one thing throughout the Sword Art series which has been done well consistently, establishing an excellent story core. The downside to having a change in setting is of course having to spend time introducing the viewers to the world which causes the plot to take a few episodes to start rolling. This doesn’t hurt it that much actually as personally I would rather have such information than not. The pacing is slowing than in previous arcs with the fastest progression in the plot occurring from episodes 4-10. I have mixed feelings about this. As the climax approaches to the first arc, it almost seems lot the plot stops. It adds to the emotional impact but it can be a tad bit frustrating at times as their are a few episodes where really not much happens. If the payoff is excellent , then the plot pacing is worth it, if not then the arc would be disappointing.
The characters so far have been quite interesting and enjoyable. The cast of characters who play a prominent role is smaller, with many of the charaacters from the first series taking a back seat. This is fine because it allows for a deeper exploration of the characters Sinon and Kirito. I was pleasantly surprised to see a new side to Kirito and some character development. As for what happens, I won’t spoil it here but it does shed some new light on what was kind of a stoic character. The heroine for the arc Sinon is in truth an awesome character. Sinon is the classic definition of being two different people with really different personalities in and outside of the game. Sinon is the few characters who have a backstory outside of the game and it is a nice touch. It was refreshing to see a heroine take the lead for atleast part of the arc, when she is in the lead she has some awesome moments.
The animation and sound quality are as good if not better than the first series. The world of GGO is realized quite nicely and the different feel of GGO is excuted quite well. The soundtrack is just as aweosme as the first series so far and the themes are quite enjoyable to listen to. I would still say that the earlier themes are still the best however.
In summary, I have enjoyed Sword Art Online II so far. There are some issues and I wouldn’t say that the series is as good as series such as Akame ga Kill, but I don’t have regreets watching this so far. I’m waiting to see how the series plays out before a pass final judgement. i would say check out the series for yourself and see whether you like it. There are some great things to be experienced for sure.
So this concludes my first impressions for Sword Art Online II. So what are your thoughts? Please comment down below. For future posts, I am still planning reviews fro Fairy Tail, Infinite Stratos, Steins;Gate, and The Devil is a Part Timer. Also the Railgun deck profile is progress, plus more Weiss Schwarz content. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off and telling you to unleash your inner geek!