The Raven’s worked their magic and now we’re heading to the Super Bowl. But while the boys are away, we have to have something to do for the kids. Wait! Got it; how about the Wizard of Oz at Port Discovery Children’s Museum? Yeah, it’s perfect. The kids can relive a timeless classic while getting a bit of exercise and a lot of fun. And speaking of magic, how about the magic of the second season of our continued anime, Sword Arts Online.
In Sword Arts Online part one, Kirito beat the end boss and freed the captive gamers. Despite it being rather sudden, it was a very good story to watch. However, the second season leaves you with a lack of words, and not in a good way. Spinning off the first season, Sword Arts Online follows the story of Kirito after he frees the captured player base. However, there was a snag in his accomplishment, not all the captives woke up. One of the captives who did not is the lead female of season one, Asuna. Now not only is she still looked in a VRMMORPG, but she’s locked inside a completely different game. And of course, Kirito is going to go a rescue his now kidnapped damsel in distress. And while in SAO, Kirito may have been top dog, but in this new game, ALfheim, he’s a complete newbie. But there’s not really a reason to be concerned. Well, aside from the fact that he just barely escaped the last game where he was the best and this one he’s not much. There’s hope, he’s got his cousin, who is like his sister, in the game to help him level and guide him through the game. That’s great, even when the seeds of a romance start to show. Wait. What?
The story of the second season unfortunately becomes rather cliché and disappointing. The plot as a whole was a grave disappointment. Granted, there is only so far you can take a story about people trapped in the video game. However, season one had depth and story. Season two didn’t come across of having any thought put into it. It presented the classic “save the princess from evil” scenario. It’s not all bad, so don’t take it as it is. However, there’s enough there to rather ruin your opinion of the first season. Which is pretty bad. Characters aren’t used much as characters but rather plot devices to push the story forward to the next stage. It’s like the production director was trying to hurry up and get it over with. Where there was potential for a good deal of entertaining story, there is instead a “writer’s convenience.” And while the first season wasn’t totally without plot device, it was no comparison to the second season.
Characters in the second season got the nerf stick greatly. Asuna’s change is a real downer. She seemed like such a strong character in the first season, but then she got turned into a plot device, and a weak one at that. And to play devil’s adovacte, the argument could be made that she too is in a new game, so her powers are pretty much on par with Kirito when he first starts. But she pretty much gets turned into Princess Peach from Super Mario Brothers. Waiting… because that’s all she can do. But there was a ray of hope, though he too was a bit cliché. The villain of season two is completely the reverse of the first villain. He knows no honor. He is a king amongst insects and he lets you know it too. His goal is of course money and the fun of torturing people. Why else would he have Asuna literally in mind and body. And he constantly makes a point to remind her that he can do what he wish with her in either iteration of reality. So while he was a bit of the coward we see in lots of animes, he made it more fun to watch. Another good point is of course Kirito. Still the strong silent type, when we get a chance to see him interact with ALfheim, it is a beautiful sight right up until the plot device. He really is trying his best and you have to root for the underdog; at least a little.
Wrapping up this review is simple, the second half of the series was not as fulfilling as it was believed it would be. It definitely didn’t live up to the hype of the first season. However, for what it’s worth, it likely doesn’t deserve as severe of a bashing as some other reviews have given it. It’s not the best, but by far, not the worst either. It is overall a series to make you think about the implications of VR Until next time guys.