[Anime Review] Sword Art Online II


The first four episodes are unnecessary garbage.

Then it does turn into an interesting albeit dogged story. It feels more like the second half of SAO I. They took much of what didn’t work in the first series and ran with it, leaving behind the best parts.

Still, after you roll your eyes through four useless episodes it picks up for nine. This story could have been told in three or less so it can be frustrating however it’s also touching.

After thirteen episodes though they do a reveal. It gives you just enough time to figure it all out before they reveal it and the twist is a little offensive (probably not offensive the way the word is used by a SJW).

Then it goes on to make a point about the dangers of identifying with a virtual world. It goes half measure with the danger.

Wait, it’s not over… a whole episode recaps this season. One can’t deny the overwhelming power of the concept even though it’s somewhat wasted. Like the first season, there are two main plots that have very different feels. It can’t be stressed enough that much like the first season, the secondary plot is angsty, ‘mature,’ and even more angsty. Did I mention the angst? To be fair the angsty stuff is done a little better this time.

One of the big negative issues I had with this animated cartoon was the sheer number of spoilers in the intro credits. This changes with a new intro for the last part of the season which appears to be returning to it’s roots, bringing back some of the original charm from the first season. Just ‘some’ though as it’s still a little lacking. This should have been the intro all along for both seasons.

Somewhere along the way, the music got better.

A problem with this later plotline is that I personally forget who a couple characters are and some of the names just leave a fuzzy question mark over my head. The battles also lack the imagination from the first series.

Still, there are some good ideas here even though it slows down in pacing.

Suddenly for a few episodes it switches to an independent storyline that could be watched alone without seeing any of the previous ones. It leads us to the finale. This little cute story is neat, fun and inconsequential.

Until it isn’t. Then it’s attempt to be moving generated some hilarity. I gather the writers had a point however it’s overshadowed by absurdity.

Despite the potentially negative review this seems to be. I feel a sense of fulfillment I probably wouldn't have without seeing the whole thing. I doubt I’ll watch it again but if they make more, I’ll give it a whirl.