Sword Art Online II: Episode 01 Review

PR Sword Art II Simulcast Announcement Final_page2_image1Streaming Allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaisance Report  by: Rizwan Merchant
Progress: Episode 01

It’s been about two years since Sword Art Online ended and waves of fans began waiting anxiously for the next season. As you may recall, I concluded the first season of SAO with some major issues. First of all, the last two episodes irked me with the graphic nature of the scenes, and the resolutions were downright weak. Secondly, I felt like Asuna’s character went from a glorious warrior to a housewife for no good reason. Nonetheless, the prospect of season two picking up in Gun Gale Online excited me. I have not gotten to Gun Gale yet in the light novels, but what I read really interested and excited me. Besides, it can’t get any worse after Alfheim!

The story picks up a year later, and the “World Seed” Kirito received from Kayaba Akihiko at the end of the Alfheim arc has spread; from it, countless new virtual realities have sprung up. This includes Gun Gale Online, the first (and currently only) pro-player game in which cash earned in-game can be redeemed in the real world. This gameas the name suggestsdoes away with swords and shields, equipping the players with guns and, evidently, lightsabers. At present, a new threat is rising known as “Death Gun,” who has a weapon called The Death Gun (real creative guy we’ve got here). Death Gun is able to shoot and kill players in-game and in real life. So how do we remedy this problem? Have good old Kikuoka Seijirou (the investigator from Extra Edition) call up Kirito and talk him into diving into GGO to draw out Death Gun, of course. After he convinces Kirito to assume it’s impossible for death in-game to kill in real life, Kirito agrees.

So far, things are looking pretty awesome. The animation is once again downright gorgeous, and the new game seems much darker than previous games, so I’m looking forward to exploring its world. The only real downside is that Asuna seems to have lost every shred of her badass edge from the Aincrad arc in favor of settling down with Kirito. This became very apparent when she professed that she only needed him to be happy for the rest of her life, and hinted at marriage down the road. In her place, the new female lead will be the blue-haired sniper seen at the end of episode one. Not much is known about her yet, but I suspect we’ll get more information in episode two.

For now—possibly against better judgement—my hopes are high for this anime. Gun Gale Online, don’t let me down!

Score: 9.00/10.00