Another calm before the storm episode- I am very much trying to like this show, but I just can’t. The Death Gun character has been pushed aside in this for what? A few more scenes of Suguha and the girls of ALO get more screen-time than this villain. Come on! Here we’ve got Kirito so concerned with his guilt of killing three people in Sword Art Online yet where was all this grieving in the first season?
Once again this show has failed entirely at pulling out a concrete story and combining it with a solid cast of characters. The development here has been as bad as Guilty Crown’s characters- with that series the story shaped itself out of every emotion Shuu had and here is where we’ve got the same concept. Resulting in rushed scenes that do not need to be rushed and poorly directed episodes.
There are only two animated television series that I can think of that used the video game genre and delivered exceptionally well.
Dennou Coil provided us with a cool look at how virtual reality works. Almost every character in that series wore glasses and what is real and what is imaginative is very much skewed to the viewer. Intelligent concept- one that I wish Sword Art Online could have used since the beginning.
The other series I can think of off-hand that created an intriguing plot around video games while maintaining its focus on characters has got to be Welcome to the NHK! That series while it wasn’t an action/fantasy adventure it pulled in so many realistic elements of a NEET. Sword Art Online II could take so much from NHK when ever it switches between real world segments to virtual games- I say this because that scene right before Kirito dives into Gun Gale Online ended up being so forced! NHK created tons of drama between Sato and Misaki that derived from anxiety of the outside. Allowing for so much realism to pull through the games. With Sword Art what in the world has happened with- that entire scene with Sinon at the swing-set was done terribly!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10