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Anime TL;DR 
Review
Sword Art Online Season 2 (2014)
ソードアート・オンラインII (Sōdo Āto Onrain II)

Synopsis

A year has passed since Sword Art Online (SAO) was cleared. Kirito is asked by Kikuoka to investigate Gun Gale Online, specifically Death Gun, a weapon which seemed to link deaths in the virtual reality world to those in the real world.

Upon entering the game, Kirito meets Sinon who teaches him the ropes of the game. They both enter the Gun Gale Online tournament, Bullet of Bullets. Kirito displays his amazing skills although he is only a newcomer to the game. Later, Kirito finds out that the mysterious deaths are linked to a red guild named Laughing Coffin in SAO.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Animation

  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Pros

Character design
Character development
Combat/Action
Dialogs
Music
Plot
Visual
World building

Cons

PROs CONS

Overview

The series takes place in the near future and focuses on protagonist Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. An anime television second season, titled Sword Art Online II, airing between July and December 2014.

Alternative title

– Sword Art Online II
– ソードアート・オンラインII
– Sword Art Online 2: Phantom Bullet
– 刀剑神域 II
– 소드 아트 온라인 II
– GGO
– Gun Art Online
– Sword Art Online 2
– Sword Art Online II: Calibur
– Sword Art Online II: Mother`s Rosario
– Sword Art Online II: Phantom Bullet
– Мастера меча онлайн 2
– هنر شمشیر زنی آنلاین 2 : گلوله فانتوم
– SAO 2
– SAOII

TL;DR Review

Sword Art Online (Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン Hepburn: Sōdo Āto Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec.

The animation and combat actually are better than the first season, hard to believe. The GGO arc combats are especially impressive. Kirito pretty much became a Jedi. There are a few scenes where 3D CGI is used, but you’ll hardly notice it.

Like the first season, the show is split into two story arcs. Unlike the first season, both arcs are pretty well written. This season, however, the main protagonist is split between Kirito and Asuna. Kirito story is during the first half, while Asuna story is for the second half. I enjoyed both arcs this season. While the actions are better in Kirito’s arc, I think the emotional impact in Asuna’s arc is more profound.

I am glad they toned back the fetishes, along with the fan-services. Oh, it is still there, but it isn’t as abundant as the first season.

Asuna came out to be a more well rounded and relatable character this season. We didn’t get much back story of her before, but I can relate to her more seeing her struggles. Kirito, on the other hand, is still as overpowered in the game as in real life. He seems to can do anything so it’s hard to relate to him as a real person. He feels more like a plot device that is inserted when something is needed to resolve an issue.

Overall, I really enjoy this season, and maybe even more than the first season. Highly recommended for fans of the series and those that also enjoy playing MMO. Sword Art Online contains moderate violence and suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for young adults.

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Featured Music

Sword Art Online Season 2 (2014)
Playlist

A collection of notable music and song from this series.

Music

Opening Theme

– “IGNITE” by Eir Aoi
– “courage” by Haruka Tomatsu

Closing Theme

– “Startear” by Luna Haruna
– “No More Time Machine” by LiSA
– “Shirushi” (シルシ) by LiSA

Insert/Image Theme

– “Separate ways” (セパレイト・ウェイズ) by Haruka Tomatsu (ep 24)
Kirito
“I don’t even know the real names of the two… no, three that I killed back then. I just close my eyes, put my hands over my ears and tried to forget it all.”
Klein
“Just consider hardships as another part of training and keep working hard.”
Asuna Yuuki
“Sometimes the things that matter the most are right in front of you.”
Kirito
“Everybody can fight. It’s just a choice of whether you should.”
Kirito
“Whether here or in the real world, you can cry when it hurts. There’s no rule that you can’t show feelings just because it’s a game.”
Asuna Yuuki
“I cried alone every single night. It felt like every day that passed here stole another piece of my real life away. After I cried, I’d go and fight as hard as I could. My only thought was winning, moving forward and getting stronger.”
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Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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