Produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Itō, ‘Sword Art Online II’ is a sequel isekai anime based on the light novels written by Japanese author Reki Kawahara. This season follows the “Calibur” and “Mother’s Rosario” story arcs.
In the first part of this season, Kirito (Bryce Papenbrook) and Leafa (Cassandra Lee Morris) rally Asuna (Cherami Leigh), Sinon (Michelle Ruff), Klein (Kirk Thornton), and Lisbeth (Sarah Anne Williams) decide to go on a quest to find Excaliber in the Norse legend region of Alfheim. In the next half, Agil (Patrick Seitz) tells them of a new section of Alfheim where Asuna hears of a talented gamer and sword wielder called Zekken (Erica Mendez) who they all want to meet. Once they finally catch up with her, they become fast friends with her and her entourage, but they soon find she has a secret.
Since this season is divided into two parts, it will be harder to dodge spoilers, but I will do my best.
The first part is where our intrepid gamers are searching for Excaliber, which is weirdly hidden in a region of Alfheim that covers Norse mythology instead of British myths. It is a bit of a mix-up, but since it is a video game, I will allow it. It was short but fun. It was a side story that was short, but sweet.
Now the second part was where the anime brings it back to its themes of identity, grief, and friendship. Watching Asuna and Zekken’s relationship grow from friendship to kinship to sisterhood was fascinating, especially learning the truth. It was also fun to see Asuna get some time to shine since Kirito is the usual protagonist. Now, it was not my favorite part of the show, as that is the “Phantom Bullet” arc, but I still had a good time watching it.
Check out this promo below:
This review is based on the dub.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some minor foul language, Violence, Disturbing themes
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This article has been updated from a previous version.