The first season’s beginning arc did a decent job at developing the MMO world Kirito was stuck in and it is nice here that we don’t need much of an explanation about these kinds of games. Way too tedious if it tried anything of the sort. By the time this episode began you can tell just off the bat that Kirito is going to excel at the Bullet of Bullets [seriously? Couldn’t they have come up with a better name?) tournament.
It’s no surprise that his unheard of dodging abilities that he displayed at the shooting gallery game last time that it would play a huge role in the later half of the episode. So predictable. It would have been nice to see how Sinon faired in the first match against her opponent considering how she showed off her desire in defeating the toughest players in the game. I will be honest here this series is not a favorite of mine anymore. It doesn’t even come close to Aldnoah Zero, Zankyou no Terror, Space Dandy or even Barakamon. The premise is interesting and the world it builds with may be detailed- for the most part the delivery of the characters in this show and how they’ve changed up until now hasn’t made the slightest difference. Kirito was able to move past those bullets just fine in the gallery in the previous episode. Here it took him some time to- what re-learn what he was already able to do? Even in the first season Sword Art had issues in the character department due to the flimsy Aincrad arc evolving this series from an MMO to a harem.
With this episode I can clearly tell it is not Tomohiko Ito’s fault. It’s bad source material that’s focused more on emotional relationships than dealing out a solid plot line. Occult Academy was one incredible series that played around with the fantasy and supernatural genres so well. If this show could learn anything it would be how well Maya and Fumiaki were growing throughout that series. Even Gin no Saji [Silver Spoon] which being directed by the same guy here ended up being a very detailed introspection into the life of agriculture students. This show could learn so much from those two series. As I’ve said before there really isn’t a whole lot a director can do when it comes to adapting from a light novel. I can only think of one series that took the vision of an augmented reality and placed its characters within it so well and that was Denno Coil.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10