Sword Art Online is a controversial anime and while it is heavily flawed especially the Alfeim arc it has certain appeal and has plenty of entertainment value as long as expectations are managed. Unfortunately none of the positives from the first season of Sword Art Online transfer to the second season. Where the first season of Sword Art Online failed the second season manages to exacerbate the failures and where the first season succeeded the second season does not succeed. For the sake of brevity and simplicity the season can be divided into three arcs all of which are completely and utterly unrelated except for their title more on that later Death Gun Excalibur and Mothers Rosario. Death Gun as an arc is okay for those that enjoyed the first season but the rest of the show lacks anything positive entertaining or interesting unless the watcher is a very very dedicated fan. The Death Gun arc is by a unspeakably large margin the best part of the season with a sense of urgency danger and simple mystery that goes well with the first season. To put the arc into simple terms a VRMMO game called Gun Gale Online has a problem people are dying by a players hand in the game. In real life. But no worries this arc is ended with a grand total of three player deaths with an unsatisfying and predictable ending with Kirito basically forgetting the events two episodes later. Be that as it may seeing Kirito be Kirito again is fun even if it is quite bland and we see plenty of character development for him as a person post the events of season one and the psychological issues that come with what happened. Sinons character is also decent if cookie cutter with a conflict and a goal of resolution. Does that resolution come? Partially and she as a character is almost entirely forgotten the minute the arc ends. The Excalibur arc has no place outside of a 2 OVA side story series. It can be summed up as such: A part of Alfeim has a nice shiny sword heres some lore about the game and heres some lazy fight scenes. Some nice feelgood scenes with Kirito Asuna and Yui to transition into mothers rosario. Done. The entirety of the arc is insultingly simple and boring. Some nice art of the Alfeim landscape isnt enough to tame the boredom that is produced by any watcher other than the most diehard fans of Sword Art Online as a franchise. Mothers Rosario is based around Asuna or a character that looks like Asuna with the same name that is making a friend followed by a needlessly depressing ending to the season. Add in some frustrating and angering exposition with Asunas mother and the other inconsequential characters doing nothing on the sidelines. Each arc could potentially be completed in two episodes maybe three each. Instead we are greeted with 24 episodes of almost entirely pointless story telling that contains shells of Sword Art Online characters. Elaborating on the point about the arcs being unrelated that goes for the season and season one as well. For almost the entire season its almost like Kirito and Asuna dont even know each other saying nothing about them supposedly being in love. Every other character is along for the ride of whatever poorly written short story has been shoved into the mouth of the viewer. The characters featured in Sword Art Online II are nothing more than drawings with the same names and appearances of the characters from season one. Any of the character and depth they had before is almost entirely missing spare for Kirito in the Death Gun arc. This dry flavorless cake is topped by a cherry of recycled music perfectly average art and a obvious and painful lack of love effort and soul put into the production of the anime. Sword Art Online II is an unfortunate victim to almost every single thing that can be done wrong in an anime and short of helplessly obsessed fans of the first season provides very little entertainment value past the lackluster at best first arc because everything that follows is boring to the point of being inflammatory and frustrating. Covering the dub: The dub is just as bad as it was in the first season with the same extreme over enthusiasm as the first season. Somehow though this season manages to be worse especially accounting for the lack of emotion in the characters as a whole. Best watched subbed.
13 /100
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