This was horrible! So Kirito tells Sinon of everything that has happened so far. This is a show that leaves the viewer pretty confused for a few episodes as it retraces it steps way too often without answering any questions it has raised previously. Yes we understand that Sinon has emotional issues and that she could be the next victim with a possible second Death Gun in her real world room, but this has already been done to death as we saw her past be the crux of emotionally breaking her. Very annoying character we’ve got here with no backbone whatsoever. There are only a few female figures in this summer season that have been level-headed, and those being Scarlett from Space Dandy, Elderitto from Aldnoah.Zero, Akari from Captain Earth, and that’s about it. So the Death Gun pair try to add some kind of meaning to their killings by just add some smoke screens? Come on now, this is pathetic. I thought this show couldn’t stoop any lower than it already has with the Sinon and Kirito fan service sequences. I hope this next episode will resolve the Death Gun situation as it is starting to get very tedious here.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 2/10
The action during that motorcycle scene had such fluid animation! The first half of this episode redeemed this new entry into the series than the last few episodes that we’ve had. However, they could have skipped everything in the second half but Kirito revealing to Sinon he might know Laughing Coffin from SAO.
I’m at the verge of dropping this show, due to it’s unnecessary slow pacing and little to no development of the characters and the world of GGO. What’s going on with everyone in the login area that Kirito met? Also I will be disappointed with this series if it tries to pull in one more girl to fawn over Kirito– there are tons of harem elements to this show that are not even apart of the main story and only fill up time. Especially those scenes with the girls logging into ALO to chat. This could be a lot more interesting if the relationships in this series followed what Akari and Toru had in Hitsugi no Chaika. Now that’s a series that knows how to handle the “not related by blood” anime trope! Have to say I’m pretty excited to see what the creators have in store for that second half this October.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10
Sword Art what are you doing, I don’t remember the first season being this horrible! This plot has been dragging on for far too long! Last time we actually had some interesting development that pushes the story just a bit further but why is the pacing so slow? If I recall SAO season 1 in the beginning did a ton of world-building– we’re at the ninth episode and NOW we’re shown more of the virtual GGO game. It’s about time for this to happen but Sinon’s emotional outbursts were getting in the way of the plot. I usually like Miyuki Sawashiro [voice of Sinon] but her acting here is not very good.
The scene where the girls of SAO were talking about Death Gun and how they may have known him in the Laughing Coffin arc just illustrates yet again how much this second season likes to repeat what it’s already shown to the viewer. Hate it when shows do this.
Sinon getting stunned by Death Gun and is pinned down about to be killed- at least the ending provided some intrigue. Yuki Kaijura, the composer of this anime is very much like Hiroyuki Sawano [Aldnoah.Zero’s music composer] in that all the songs sound way too similar. Not much creativity here- but I will say she sure knows how to be dark with her soundtracks and that scene with the killer’s face from Sinon’s past appearing on Death Gun’s face was about the only scene here done correctly.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10
At last the second half of this episode developed more of what I was hoping for with the story- the return of Death Gun and the world of GGO. Kirito’s display of charm towards the soldiers before Bullet of Bullets was very awkward- this would have been a lot more humorous if it were not for Sinon’s knowledge of him really being a guy.
The background visuals for this series have been quite appealing- I wouldn’t say its as good as Zankyou no Terror, Space Dandy, or even a P.A. Works anime but those designs in the competition were nice to look at. Something the first season did really well was gradually create an intriguing virtual environment around Kirito- this time around there isn’t much of an explanation of VR as we’ve had that previously explained but here is where this is little to no structure to GGO. Behind the colorful backgrounds it’s all competitions and no world-building. Sinon has been there in the beginning to discuss specifics yet we haven’t seen much of Kirito experience situations by himself without his hand being held every step of the way.
However, it was great to see how he’s been affected by Laughing Coffin and what that does to him as a player as his reaction towards Death Gun stunning Pale Rider was more development than the last three episodes even provided! What a cliffhanger one that I hope Dyne doesn’t get killed in the real world. This was a big step in there right direction for Sword Art Online- hope to see more episodes enhance the plot like the second half of this one did.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10
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
What in the world is going on with this series?! It’s evolving from an action fantasy series to more of the harem aspect with Sinon falling for Kirito. Asuna’s going to be pissed. At first glance Sinon was an interesting character for this series, and now that we’ve had her emotional background in the previous episodes- she is turning out to be rather annoying. A total tsundere. About the only good part of this was the first segment where we get to see Kirito back in Sword Art Online fighting off Laughing Coffin. I really like how the murder mystery episode we had in the first season of this series re-introduced this group as the villains. My concern wasn’t who it was but that entire scene where was it in the first season? SAO sure likes to drop in convenient story threads for the overall sake of saving this show. This was horrible!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10
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
This was a little bit better than the last two episodes and I hope it can venture into this direction more often! Kirito hooks up to GGO only to act like a girl where he befriends Sinon. Well that was quick! This series is going to be 2-cour and they at least could have developed the world he’d just arrived in much better. The city towards the end of the episode was very detailed and its a shame we did not see more of it here. It’s good that there was a long-running joke of Sinon thinking Kirito is a girl because this felt pretty stale in the first five minutes. When I saw the promo artwork I was afraid this series was going to gender-swap Kirito in the virtual world- glad to know that was not the case here.
The fluid animation during that laser shooting gun game was pulled off nicely! Funny how everyone stands there blankly confused, without any kind of interrogation towards Kirito possibly cheating. A beam sword? It is sensible for Kirito but he should at least try something different!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10
There isn’t a whole lot a series can do if its trying to follow manga or light novel material. Especially when it caters to a specific viewership or readership for that matter. The main reason I’m watching this is because I sat through the entire first season and film. The second half of SAO was pretty bad and the film was pure fan service and what the future holds for this isn’t too great.
This show is too generic with its characters. We got a look at Sinon’s past- it is sad and traumatizing but how in the world can she use a gun in GGO? If she’s so afraid of them in real life how is this possible? This was explained yet still I find it hard to believe that just because it’s a virtual game that she can put aside her emotions for the sake of the story. Like I’ve said time and time again about this show: adventure is lost and a harem series is replacing it.
Sinon stole the spotlight last episode and now it looks like she has in this one too. Add more dynamic people to this show! Watching this and then seeing an episode of Zankyou no Terror, this show pales in comparison in every regard. Even the robber scene was way too dramatic and poorly executed. I do hope this show will redeem all the problems the first season had- wishful thinking considering how badly done this episode was. The premise is interesting and they’ve created varied game worlds that are intriguing. The animation is decent for A-1 Pictures but here they should take some risks with the plot- for instance don’t add scenes that are completely irrelevant to the plot! I do like the ending animation and the song fits pretty well for the series.
If there were another studio to pull this off right with the light novel material I’d have to go with Bee Train. Seriously whatever happened to that animation company after 2011? They made some fantastic “girls with guns” series. Noir, Madlax, El Cazador de la Bruja, oh and Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom was an amazing mobster series. Speaking of taking risks, Hyouge Mono ended up being a great series too! They should definitely have done this series!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10
Rather than focusing solely on Kirito here we’ve got a new protagonist by the name of Sinon. When I began season 1 I noticed a harem side of this series that is totally unneccesary for the actual content of the show. Funny at times- this series inserted so many girl characters that developed feelings for Kirito that I couldn’t tell if this show was an action/adventure or harem series. Season 2 should dispel that for the most part.
An online game designed to interact with the real world in detrimental ways. Now we’ve got another entry into the series with Gun Gale Online. Kirito was barely shown this episode as it dived right from the get go into GGO’s world with Sinon and her team. I have to admit the fight scenes in this are animated really well aside from that there wasn’t a whole lot of information thrown at us. Oh and the first person view mode was a unique take on creating atmosphere for the world. Too bad there can’t be an episode with just that view. That was all that I noticed fairly decent that was shown in this episode.
Why?! Why did they insert a scene that wasn’t included in the light novels? Seeing Leafa, Yui, Silica and Lisbeth was random here. Totally useless for the plot. Wasn’t Kirito about to explain what he was going to undertake to Asuna in the real world last episode? Did I miss something here? I was rather disappointed in this episode. Hope next one is much better than this. I neglected to mention about the song from the opening last time. The op is very catchy but typical for this show. So dramatic. *Laughs*
ED: I enjoyed the animation that they used here. The song is nice however the it sounds highly similar to Overfly [SAO ed2]. Both songs were performed by Haruna Luna.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10