Anime & Manga Reviews TV & Film

Sword Art Online II: “Flawless”

*Warning: spoilers ahead!

I’m Taylor and I’m a nerd. Yes, I enjoy comic books, conventions, anime, and video games. Which is why I was thrilled to hear that the brand new season of Sword Art Online was debuting this summer (July 4, 2014, to be exact.)

After having viewed the  in less than a week, I had high hopes for this next season. In the weeks leading up to the first episode, I prayed for a good second season, and my prayers were answered.

Story by Taylor Boswell

Sword Art Online II is off to a great start with an interesting plot line that will easily viewers entertained until the very end. I have only watched the first four episodes and I’m already addicted to the story and finding out what happens next. The creators behind SAO have once again created, and brought back, characters that are relatable, enjoyable, and amazing at doing what they do: playing video games.

Promotional image of Sinon and Kirito in "Sword Art Online II." Photo courtesy of videogamefilms.com.
Promotional image of Sinon and Kirito in “Sword Art Online II.” Photo courtesy of videogamefilms.com.

In SAO II, Kirito finds himself in yet another virtual reality video game, Gun Gale Online (GGO), but instead of being there for the fun of the game he’s there on serious business. Recently there have reports of people dying in real life after having been shot by the player, Death Gun, in the game.

Kirito is sent by Kikuoka Seijirou, member of Second Separated Advanced Network Division, Technology Bureau, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Virtual Division), to investigate this player and the game to see who is really behind the deaths of these unsuspecting gamers. Along the way he meets up with Sinon, a skilled player who shows him the ropes and becomes a friend.

They enter the tournament, Bullet of Bullets, and Kirito showcases his amazing skills to the other players; impressing many even though he’s fairly new to the game. As Kirito continues to play GGO he links the players’ deaths to a red guild titled, Laughing Coffin, in SAO.

"Sword Art Online II" presents new character Sinon in the new game Gun Gale Online. Main character Kirito returns to investigate the mysterious deaths of players who died in real life after being shot in GGO. Photo courtesy of anime.anonforge.com.
“Sword Art Online II” presents new character Sinon in the new game Gun Gale Online. Main character Kirito returns to investigate the mysterious deaths of players who died in real life after being shot in GGO. Photo courtesy of anime.anonforge.com.

SAO II is very similar to SAO when it comes to voice acting, animation, and characters. Kirito and Asuna still have a cute relationship that makes me grin from ear to ear. The couple stays true to their personalities formed in the first season. Kirito is still very interested in virtual reality, and hopes to someday work in the gaming industry. Asuna is the adorable, quirky romantic that tries her best to keep Kirito safe and happy.

Our main new character is Sinon, who, despite being a talented shot in the game, is deathly afraid of guns after a traumatic childhood experience. Sinon has problems with anxiety, which makes her relatable to a whole new group of people.

I have always loved the animation of SAO, and SAO II is no different. The armor and attire they have created for the characters leaves me in awe and wanting to try and recreate it for a costume. (Yes, I make costumes. We’ve already concluded that I’m a nerd, right?) The amount of detail put into each and every character comes together so beautifully, and is paired ever so nicely with gorgeous green fields, towering cities, and desert terrains.

Sinon prepares to aim in "Sword Art Online II." Photo courtesy of videogamefilms.com.
Sinon prepares to aim in “Sword Art Online II.” Photo courtesy of videogamefilms.com.

The final ingredient that makes this anime so perfect is the voice acting. All voices for the characters are easy to listen to and do not grate on your nerves like some animes do. I know that I have found myself unable to fully enjoy an anime because a character’s voice was too high-pitched, wrong for the character, or just plain annoying. I can sum up all of this with one word: flawless.

All in all, I believe that anyone who is a fan of anime, video games, and good plot lines should watch this season of SAO. Regardless if you’ve been around since the first season or are new to the show, it is worth your time. SAO II will not disappoint you.

The characters will latch onto your heart, and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. So grab your laptop, some Pocky, a pillow and blankets, and tuck in for the amazing ride that is SAO II.

Featured image courtesy of videogamefilms.com

Leave a Reply