‘Sword Art Online II‘ was produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Itō. Based on the light novels written by Reki Kawahara, this time, Kirito enters a new virtual reality video game.
Kirito (Bryce Papenbrook) and Asuna (Cherami Leigh) witness the death of a gamer who was killed inside the virtual reality video game known as Gun Gale Online. Kirito recognizes the symbol of the “Laughing Coffin,” a cult of crazed players from Aincrad who would murder other players. He enters GGO which gives him long black hair and a slender figure. Mistaking him for a fellow woman gamer, the talented sniper Sinon (Michelle Ruff) agrees to teach him the ropes on the condition Kirito joins her team for an upcoming tournament. At first, Kirito has trouble locating the culprit, but he encounters a mysterious figure called Death Gun (Ben Diskin) who seems to recognize him as the “real deal.”
The animation for this story arc is epic. One of my complaints about the “Fairy Dance” arc was too similar to “Aincrad.” This time, they did a good job with GGO. It looks so unique and I loved the way that the gunfights were designed.
I also liked the new character of Sinon. She was a good addition to the group and I enjoyed her interactions with Kirito. I also liked her intensity and her aim. One of the coolest things about the show is watching Kirito fighting with a photon sword. That was pretty sleek. Asuna, Klein, and Yui were largely absent from this part of the anime, but I still thought it was cool. Going from swords to guns was a blast.
While the previous arcs delved into deeper themes, this one focuses more on action and revenge. It was a good change of pace that could have been a messy transition, but it came off naturally. it was a fun thrill ride watching Kirito deal with some unfinished business, leading to climax you will not want to miss.
Check out the trailer below:
This review is based on the dub.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Brief sexual content, Some minor foul language, Violence, Disturbing themes
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