Sword Art Online II Ep. 12-13: I don’t know what I expected.

Episode 12 and 13: Phantom Bullet

  • To set things straight, I only mock the environment shots because of their repetition and general placement throughout the entire show. It becomes rather easy to predict when the next one is going to happen.

  • very crucial to know, SAO. I knew you could pull through when it mattered most.
  • Mentioning how Death Gun is most likely going to get the “Most Kills Award” is probably more impactful when said as a joke of questionable taste rather than as a straight fact. Death Gun getting this award is not even remotely important to the context of the story, so the right way to stuff this little piece of information in was if our main pair was being darkly humorous. When coping with a tough situation, humor can help alleviate tension. The ability to laugh off and/or look at the situation from a different angle indicates a much more peaceful state of mind. I think that would have worked better than what we were given instead.
  • Of the live players, Sinon starts talking about Dark Wind since he’s still alive. Remember him from the first episode? That guy that has a full agility build? You forgot that people had combat stats in this game, didn’t you? The show certainly doesn’t pay much attention to the fact that this is, in fact, an MMORPG until the few seconds where it seems to matter. Now, they just have to convince me that Dark Wind’s AGI stat is actually important to how the story develops (spoiler alert: it’s not).
  • Yet what’s interesting is that the show then goes into specifics about just how strong this Dark Wind person really is. Oh, he’s got some weapon? He onlye got beaten by some guy because he had better weapons? Hey look, he’s even regarded as one of the best players in GGO. You know what happens to these kinds of guys in a story SAO? They get wrecked immediately. Remember that one salamander guy back in ALO? Yeah, that’s the kind of bullshit I’m talking about. Because that’s how we establish power levels around here at SAO: say that someone is strong before killing them off, thereby demonstrating how powerful the killer is. And the best part is that the target audience seems to be convinced that this is a good method of doing so.
  • Think we’re ready to get to the final battle? Nope, because we’re gonna speculate if there’s actually more than one Death Gun! I mean, they’re correct in thinking that, but it’s hardly relevant.
  • Okay, it’s a little relevant because now they have to kill Dark Wind before he gets killed by Death Gun. I’ll give it that.
  • I’m disappointed that the story is finally laying out the motivations of its villains so late into the game. Worse, it has to happen in the BoB. Episodes 8 through 13 apparently happen within the span of two and a half hours. Could you forgive a guy, after watching the first seven episodes, for expecting the story to move faster than it did? Maybe the anime could have included timestamps or something to indicate the passage of time, and perhaps they did a bit too subtly, because it messes with my perception of how fast/slow the show is moving.
  • One thing I’ve been puzzled about since episode 2 is that, according to Sinon, player-killing in GGO has some sort of pride attached to it as opposed to when Laughing Coffin kills players and when people are hunting for animals in-game. Pride from what, exactly? You’re free to pull a pride vs. cowardice dichotomy between pretend-killing and actual-killing, but if you really truly wanted to you could argue that, if the definitions were switched, you could still successfully argue that one act of killing is prideful and the other one cowardly.
  • I know the show wants to frame murder in general as cowardly and in the wrong, but it’s glorifying GGO player-killing as a prideful act without giving much insight as to why it might be prideful to kill a player in game rather than kill other things. Pride in an act implies there’s a bit of nobility involved or at least an elevated cause, but in the case of player killing it’s just, well, players killing players. I figure that the distinction in this case, if we are looking for an elevated cause, is that PKers are the ones, in comparison to hunters who only fight monsters, who are fighting the “ultimate prey”, in this case other humans. The trade-off is that it’s now even harder to differentiate that between that and actual murder when it comes to the raw feeling of shooting someone. I’m sorry, I’m gonna stop there. I’m just really bothered that the concept of pride was used to contrast player killing and murder.
  • I’ll defeat Death Gun on this battlefield and make his real life partners pay.” Ah, now we get to see Kirito’s motivations for finding Death Gun. I suppose you can say that it was obvious from the start that he had to come into contact with Death Gun, but it was unclear exactly what he would do once he got to that step. Back then Kirito only states that he was going to come face-to-face with Death Gun. Now we know that Kirito’s motivation is to stop him from killing more people. It’s late, but it exists now.

  • Poor Kuradeel, doomed to be the literal third wheel in Kirito’s traumatic backstory. And poor me, I almost forgot that he existed. It’s almost as if this show doesn’t really want me to remember that this happened.
  • For how urgent this game has been so far, it’s a bit disheartening to see that the story is insistent on setting up the fight between Death Gun and Kirito even after two whole episodes spent in a cave. I suppose we still have to know the stakes. I suppose, too, that the story needs to address its own plot progression to make sure nothing seems off or out-of-the-ordinary. What happened to all the other players? Who’s left that’s still important to the plot, even though they aren’t? These kinds of things are crucial when that’s what you’re looking for in a story.
  • Thing is, there’s something very important you have to know about how I watch anime: I don’t care for how “realistic” a plot is. I don’t mind when a story goes off and does questionable things with its plot. So long as the themes of the show are intact and engage me, a story can do whatever the fuck it wants with its own universe. Shows like Xam’d and Terror in Resonance are the types of shows that I am fully capable of ignoring inconsistencies and bad scriptwriting in order to enjoy what the shows have to offer. Both stories sacrifice a lot of coherency in how they flesh out each character in order to bring up the show’s themes and such at perhaps a deeper level than usual and each story.
  • In SAO’s case, I am unable to respect the effort it has taken to make its story seem “realistic” because, even after going through its little checklist of plot details before making sure the final battle is set perfectly, I am still not interested in the SAO universe. It’s a personal inability, to be honest: Sword Art Online is more of a fantasy show to me than a science-fiction one, and its attempts to literally realize its own fantasy rubs me the wrong way because it is, unfortunately, not very relevant to the narrative. In other words, in my eyes this show pretends to be a realistic show despite its VRMMO macguffin, its Gary Stu, its cackling villains, and perhaps everything else so far.
  • What I’m trying to say is this: does all of this talk about the status of the game, the conditions of the remaining players, and telling us what is happening on-screen necessary in the context of the story’s themes? In my opinion, no. None of those remaining players have a role in Kirito’s redemption and Sinon’s therapy. They’re just there to keep the game realistic. It’s necessary in order to keep the story’s plot intact, yes, but it also means that SAO is eating up its precious time talking about things that don’t matter in the long-run rather than just having its final battle already. Where the fuck is Death Gun? Why are we spending so much time in this goddamn desert for the past two episodes? It’s just… a real problem when I don’t care about what’s happening on screen.
  • And I hesitate to join the crowd of “where’s my action sequences” because that kind of misses the point. I wouldn’t be complaining about there being no action after two and a half episodes if there were actually something interesting going on with the exposition scenes. Unfortunately, these past two and a half episodes have left me wanting for something better to watch because of how much SAO tends to deliver its plot (not the story, the plot) through talking and talking and oh my god am I going to sit through more goddamn talking.
  • Maybe it just comes with the animation quality of conventional anime and perhaps my personal bias, but studios like SHAFT have the right idea when it comes to masking the fact that we’re sitting through walls of text being delivered by the characters rather than the characters talking themselves. So when A-1 decides to do this cave scene without a lot of flair or visualizations, it’s boring to sit through. I don’t watch anime to see two heads panning across the screen as they recite abridged LN text. You’re an animation studio, do some animation! Certainly after the success of the last season you have the budget to do something better than this!
  • Feel his killer instinct.

  • First we have Kirito predicting the prediction lines, next we have him splitting bullets in half with a lightsaber, and now he actually has the Force. Honestly, it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have the misfortune of watching this same song and dance from last season.

  • Pretty sure sniper rifles aren’t actually so powerful that they split buildings in two.
  • Hey guys remember when they hyped up Dark Wind? WELL LOOK AT THIS SHIT

  • To be fair, this is only funny because they did the CG bullet thing to illustrate that one thing about bullets killing people in apartments in episode 1. I’d certainly have a much more forgiving opinion about this sequence if it was not SAO. But since this is SAO, all I can really say is… well… it certainly fits the tone of the show, I guess. All I’m really mocking is the fact that I’m not the target audience.
  • So Death Gun may not have his precious sniper rifle anymore (Sinon only lost her scope), but he certainly has something else up his sleeve that’s totally not a sword!
  • I still don’t understand the viability of this particular move. The show actually uses this angle frequently (once before with Kirito and another time with Pale Rider) so it’s hard not to notice and subsequently nitpick.
  • Hey Kirito he’s totally drawing his not-a-sword from the scabbard so you better watch out.
  • Apparently drawing a sword allows you to become superspeed,
  • I’m actually not going to hate on the fact that two SAO users end up fighting each other with swords in a gun MMO. It’s a sufficient thematic point that neither player has really moved on from their pasts. It’s one of the few little moments of this show where the action is speaking for itself rather than the other way around.
  • I’m not going to question how they managed to get Yui into the goddamn phone, but is it really that pertinent for her to be present during this fight? I can see why Asuna has to be there, but not Yui.
  • Could you imagine if someone were to ask about this? “No, that’s not Siri. That’s my virtual daughter you’re talking to.”

  • Siri, explain how this may make the least bit of sense.

  • I can at least appreciate that the story sometimes admits that Daddy is strong because the story needs him to be strong. It’s hypocritical at times, but the sentiment exists in-universe.
  • The doujinshis this anime is going to spawn is going to be amazing.
  • Yui directs Asuna’s attention to a PC screen in the hospital even though she only exists as a voice in Asuna’s phone. I mean, there’s little reason to believe that Yui can actually manipulate hospital equipment. Let’s not talk about that, shall we? Maybe it’s just a one-time slipup and they won’t attemp-

  • k
  • So Death Gun’s IGN really was Sterben.
  • You know, when you pull something like revealing the meaning of a particular word, you have to make sure that it’s meaningful in comparison to other potential connections. What other options did we have when it came to the Meaningful Name That Means Death game? Gunner X and Pale Rider. Gunner X was obviously manufactured by the story, but Pale Rider was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse that represented, you guessed it, Death. And they even put Death Gun on a fucking horse! So when you say that sterben is German for death, it… kind of loses its impact. Well, not all of it. Sterben is supposedly a medical term, so now it’s more evidence towards Shinkawa being the culprit.
  • I wasn’t aware that Death Gun and Kirito had the time and place to start teasing each other about how nice their respective swords are.
  • I mean seriously.
  • Get a room, you two.
  • They’re talking about Death Gun’s method of killing again. I think we’re back to talking again. Oh god.
  • I’m a bit lost as to why it’s so important to know Death Gun’s name, especially when it’s clear that he isn’t one of the people Kirito killed. And it not even an issue of him forgetting, it’s an issue of him refusing to acknowledge that he had a name. Why, again, is this so important that we had to bring the action to a screeching halt? I’m confused about this because this wasn’t as much of an issue in previous episodes until now. Kirito did have trouble remembering names, but it wasn’t Death Gun’s name he had to remember, it was the two people he killed that he didn’t know the names of. THAT’S what’s important right now. Not Death Gun’s name.
  • But this tidbit is apparently enough to send Kirito on the back foot as Death Gun does the stabby stabby pointy thing that Asuna did last season.
  • Not seen here: some really nicely-animated and choreographed fighting. I also like that, even though it’s only because of the reasons already mentioned, Death Gun seems to have equal if not more leverage in this fight. Because usually during fights that involve Kirito, enemies are either highly incompetent (anyone who isn’t an important character) or powerful in an obscenely unfair fashion (Heathcliff, that one Salamander dude, Sugou). Sure, Kirito being mentally occupied with figuring out Death Gun’s name is pretty silly as a handicap, but it’s far less irritating. Death Gun is more than just a murderer to be stopped in this case; he’s a literal ghost from Kirito’s past. Until Kirito is able to identify and acknowledge his weakness, Death Gun will remain more powerful than him, much like how the sheer weight of his guilt prevents him from moving on with his life.
  • That’s not to say that I think Kirito’s trauma makes sense at the base level. I’ve believed back then, as I do at the moment I type this, that Kirito’s trauma is only here to advance the plot rather than to give Kirito some meaningful, non-contradictory characterization. However, now that we’re too far into SAO’s own logical progression, all I can really do is figure out where it might make sense if the anime were better executed.
  • Tangent: This is a particular opinion that’s prevalent with the positive reception towards this franchise as a whole: as long as you forget that the first season exists, SAO II is a decent anime. A heavily teen-focused power fantasy, to be fair, but a fairly executed one. A lot of my vitrol towards SAO II as its own show is derived from the fact that I cannot let go of what happened in season 1. I do think I am being unfair towards SAO II at times, and it’s because it has to be connected to SAO I. If you really wanted to improve the story of SAO, you’d reboot the entire setup. Bring in new characters. Relegate the old ones to tertiary roles. Anything in your power so that you distance yourself from the first season and start anew in GGO and any other MMO that comes into play. When that happens, you lose the Gary Stu stigma, the constant quips about Kirito’s harem… you’d basically be getting rid of Kirito. And a SAO without Kirito would truly be the greatest thing to happen to this anime.
  • That’s why I can’t take seriously Sinon’s constant need to narrate Kirito’s motivations. This actually happens a lot with Kirito’s harem as a whole as well as some side characters here and there. Sure, Kirito can have the cool speaking lines and do backflips and cut shit down and everything, but when it comes to being a character and his motivations he’s suddenly unable to speak for himself. And really, this type of characterization would not be so much of a problem for me if it weren’t for the fact that all people ever do is shower the guy with praise and positive interpretations to his actions.
  • You know what would be interesting? What if these people were wrong about Kirito? What if he’s not really how they say he is? I am to assume that everything the characters say about Kirito is 100% factual because the story never brings their ethos into question. I’m not led to believe that what these characters say about Kirito is anything other than the truth because it’s the only viewpoint we’re given. And so the show suffers in my eyes because of it.
  • “Right now, Kirito is translate his words into action, by stopping the criminal named Death Gun who carries the darkness of SAO.”

  • To think I would have eaten up this dialogue without question when I was younger. Like, I’m talking “middle school” young. That was precisely nine years ago. I’m saying that I would enjoy this anime a lot more if I were literally 12.
  • I’ve wondered this for a while, but why are the GGO cameras strictly third person? I get that it’s to set up some nice angles here and there, but I’d imagine the occasional first person shot to appear on screen, since, you know, GGO is kind of an FPS game. Hell, with cameras in the player’s eyes, you could do some awesome GoPro quality shit. Yet I feel that this potential shall remain forever untapped in GGO.
  • Perhaps an unintentional connection to be made with this particular scene is that Kirito sweating profusely while playing a VRMMO is strikingly similar to when he experienced a nightmare about Laughing Coffin. Where he literally cannot wake up from the dream until he settles his past once and for all.
  • Asuna is so lost about what to do that Siri has to suggest the next course of action when it comes to her perfect husbando.
  • My hands cannot touch your world...”
  • I am not sorry for that.
  • I get that they have to edge in a bit of the Perfect Famiry business for continuity’s sake, but I don’t like the Perfect Famiry business from the start, so I have little reason to invest in whatever happens between them.
  • What I can count on, however, is for these three to do the silliest things imaginable with a straight face. In this most recent example, Siri laments that she cannot hold her Daddy’s hand in a time of crisis while her Mama can. Rather than acknowledge the awkward disconnect between a real flesh and blood person and what amounts to a moe sequence of ones and zeros, and perhaps establish their relationship from that context, Asuna just up and places her goddamn phone under Kirito’s limp hand to simulate hand-holding.
  • You think I’m joking?

  • Alright, now that we’re back to the fighting, Death Gun still has the upper hand because Kirito is preoccupied with figuring out Death Gun’s name and shit. You know what else? I think Kirito is only weaker because Death Gun apparently has a stronger weapon, if you’d remember back when I was talking about Zexceed vs. Dark Wind. Now I get it! Death Gun is only more powerful than Kirito because he has the rare equipment! HOW UNREASONABLE. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE OP OTHER THAN KIRITO.
  • On another note, I was expecting Kirito to appear in a more battered state to match his mental state of mind and perhaps to match what’s going on with his body in the real world. What we get instead is a bit too clean for my liking: those red digitizes slash marks are the only evidence that he’s taken damage. There isn’t even a health bar to see how little health he seems to have. I mean, if you’re going to use an MMO as your setting, at least be faithful to your own visual effects and use them when relevant. For a story as simple in execution as SAO, health bars are the ultimate indicator of who appears to have the edge in a battle. If I were to expect SAO to be fully invested into satisfying my inner middle school child, this is the kind of shit I’d enjoy. And now we get nothing.
  • Upon remembering Red-Eyed Zaza’s name, we now have the window of opportunity for Kirito to turn things around. I’ve talked so much about how this doesn’t work conceptually, but if the show decides to go all the way with it I really have no choice but to follow and see where it goes.
  • I am kind of glad to see that Sinon is still relevant in this battle, even if it’s just a feint to Kirito to go all in.

  • I was expecting the title of these two episodes to be a lot more meaningful than, well, this. To be fair, none of the episode titles are wholly relevant to the episodes themselves, so this is really par for the course.
  • If there’s anything to like about this show, it’s that the action sequences sometimes get things right. As in, they’re so right that I’m having trouble calling this the objectively worst anime ever. See, in this sequence, Death Gun is about to activate his invisibility cloak (which apparently is allowed to activate while in combat for some awfully unbalanced reason) in order to escape Kirito’s line of sight and thus ruin his attack. However, the scene with Asuna holding Kirito’s hand gains the relevance it deserves when it prompts Kirito to reach for his sidearm. It’s very simple and admittedly very silly in concept, but it was properly executed here and fits the tone of the show. My appreciation for this scene is on par to, say, the minotaur battle from episode 9 of the first season.
  • Anyway, after we get a really funny picture of Death Gun’s halves being in two places at once we’re done with the final battle of GGO. Oh wait a minute it’s not over until an explosion happens because of it.
  • what the fuck he isnt even scathed by that blast

  • Oh, so Death Gun gets several seconds to talk despite being separated from his legs but no one else does. Maybe it was just a flesh wound.
  • When I call 110, what should I tell them?” I dunno, that someone attempted to break into your apartment? That some guy was planning to fatally inject you with ebola? Anything to get the cops to show up at your door? Is this now how the Japanese police force works?
  • Oh I see, Kirito is going to be the police in this story too, huh? No one is gonna be around to save Sinon except for him alone, huh?
  • ESPECIALLY when Kirito’s dive location is near where Sinon liv

  • This is it.
  • This is what the goddamn red balloon was for.
  • That’s why it
  • next to his window
  • Oh
  • My

  • Fucking

  • God

  • The highest of callings.
  • Sasuga red balloon-sama.
  • There’s a friend near me I trust.” Ha ha. Ha. hee. I can see where this is going.
  • Okay, now that we have the setup for the next part of the episode (basically checking to see if Sinon is okay in real life), we now have the issue of actually getting out of the BoB. Instead of dueling it out like last time, Sinon decides to do something a bit cuter.

  • *splodes*
  • Despite the context, this was a really cute sequence.
  • SAO spares us from the harem antics by making this the only shot of the harem we see in this episode. It says everything we needed to know in that front in less than one second.
  • If any of you really wonder about this, here’s how I rank Kirito’s harem:
    1. Lisbeth
    2. Sinon
    3. Klein
    4. Sugu
    5. Asuna
    6. Silica
  • Objective fact do not argue.
  • I like how the camera angles itself to better demonstrate the scale of Shino’s apartment, mostly in a security camera-like fashion between the kitchen and the bathroom to reflect the relative danger she was in before.
  • I see that Shino’s “trusted friend” is here! Oh, boy oh boy! Time for the Death Gun reveal!

  • Oh, we’re getting this out of the way first. Aww, he thinks he still has a chance with her. That’s cute. Look at how he musters up his courage! That’s worth at least 20 Friendship Points!

  • I mean sure, she did tell him to wait until after the BoB was over before she would give him an answe-

  • Bruh what are you doing

  • No that is clearly not what she said

  • what is even happening

  • stahp

  • dont do this SAO

  • Now see, after a whole minute of hussle and tussle, we finally get to the important part of the scene where Shinkawa is finally revealed to be one of the guys killing people for Death Gun. I say “one of” because it’s subsequently mentioned that he has a brother who played SAO and is part of the operation as well. And really? I don’t have a problem with Shinkawa turning out to be Death Gun because I don’t think that was supposed to be a surprise to anyone but the main characters.
  • Instead, what really comes as a surprise for me is that Shinkawa has never exhibited this kind of behavior until this very moment. I can understand obsession and the “nice guy” mentality, but this?

  • There are literally no indicators before this scene that Shinkawa’s debauchery goes this far. The closest we ever got was him hugging shino and/or holding Shino’s hand without permission, sans crazed expression. I’m expected that someone can go from that phase to “hand up the shirt with crazed expression” phase within the span of two and a half hours and without warning. Is it, perhaps, supposed to be this sudden? Perhaps if we looked at this from Sinon’s point of view, Shinkawa has been an angel to her for so long until this particular moment, so it’s purposefully jarring to see him behave in such a manner. The problem is that, in order to achieve this effect, him being Death Gun would have sufficed. As such, we are in no need for the makings of a rape scene as shown here. And unfortunately, the anime seems fit to show both sides of this scene at equal proportions.
  • So I was right about Death Gun’s motivation being that Zexceed misled him about GGO’s optimal build path, which indeed SOUNDS dumb but it’s done with slightly more nuance than I was expecting. Shinkawa is very much the negative outcome of Asian-style upbringing and someone who found GGO to be a perfect escape from his burdens in real life. I imagine that Shinkawa is plenty smart and is capable of shouldering those burdens if he wanted to, and that’s why he feels he needs to prove himself the strongest in GGO so that he can validate his decision to abandon the career path and perhaps abandon real life in general. This is where Shinkawa’s brother and the concept of Death Gun come into play and run concurrent to Shinkawa’s motivations. The remaining members of Laughing Coffin murder people in GGO in order to preserve the glory days of SAO. Shinkawa, on the other hand, is given the very real option to be the “strongest” in GGO through murder as revenge against the man who single-handedly ruined his chances at making GGO his new reality. I don’t have much of an idea of how they’d be able to sustain this kind of business model, as it seems all too easy to connect the evidence back to them through armchair detective work alone, but this is certainly how Shinkawa’s character progresses in the story. Conceptually, it’s understandable.
  • So now that Death Gun is officially over with and proven to not be the strongest in GGO (though he DID get the Most Kills Award iirc so i dont know why they dont take pride in at least that), Shinkawa feels no other recourse than to kill Sinon for “betraying” him (read: refusing his unwarranted advances) and then kill himself since, to him, there’s nothing else to live for now. It’s… hard to not be flippant about this situation, honestly. This is a really pressing situation but the execution rubs me the wrong way by having Shinkawa run his mouth off about how they’d get married in another life and have beautiful babies together or something. I get that Shinkawa needs to be suitably deranged for his participation in the Death Gun operation to make even the least bit of sense, but the story needed to stop at the whole murder business because that alone would satisfy that need. All of this business about Shinkawa being physically obsessed with Shino just brings the villainy to a cartoonish level. It’s so strawmanny. It’s so reminiscent of past villains in SAO that it’s so, SO difficult to look at this scene on its own. And once again, it’s the context that brings this scene down on so many levels.
  • What’s even worse is that Shinkawa is shown to view murder as a form of heroism. No matter your actual views on the act, that is a fascinating viewpoint that deserved some context as to how Shinkawa came to believe this. However, the anime is only interested in painting that mentality as “evil” and thus is not given much explanation. This is going to be one of many sidesteps that the anime takes to avoid fleshing out its antagonists, which is just too bad.
  • I’m over 5000 words into this post and this has been in the makings for far too long. Lemme just post some raepfaces and get started on episode 14 already.


  • I’m slightly surprised at how not-angry I am after putting these episodes off for almost a month. Hell, the timegap has caused me to think a bit more about how this particular season wasn’t spectacularly bad like the first season was up until this moment right here. It also helps that I’ve been attempting to write down my reasons for not liking a certain scene. If anything, it gives me composure and the preparation needed to be fair about this show. Which doesn’t say much because GGO is still quite the clumsy arc, it’s just not as bad as what happened in ALO and perhaps even SAO.
  • Anyways, that’s pretty much done. I should be able to get episode 14 done within a day or two before finally being caught up with my episodic series. School sux. Work sux. League sux. Club stoof sux.
  • Oh shit, I have to get started on writing about anime club again, don’t I? Maybe writing some stuff about that would bring a nice change of pace.


  1. I have ear wax · · Reply

    That dog has a serious overbite. Asada too.

    Just saying.

  2. so funny!

  3. Goddamn, this is longer that my posts on the show, and that’s saying something.

    1. But I disagree. This second season is worse than the first in my eyes.

      1. For me, the second season is brought down so much because what happened in the first season is connected (and retroactively connected in the case of Kirito’s traumatic backstory) to what happens in GGO. I can see good things to come out of how some of the scenes are executed, even if they are few and far between, but ultimately since this 14-episode vignette only adds to the narrative of S1, with Kirito Garying his Stu and Sinon being brought into the fold, those good bits become irrelevant to how the story turned out. Perhaps its the the fact that SAO II indulges on its own broken setup that can make it seem worse, but when there’s nothing else to look at other than where they went with it, this arc wasn’t entirely bad like the arcs before it. That, of course, does not mean that I think GGO is any good. I wouldn’t be able to write so much about this show if I actually liked any of it.

        As it stands now, it’s GGO = SAO >>>> ALO, with ALO II to probably appear somewhere in between SAO and ALO. Of course, the arc after this current one, Mother’s Rosario, may push S2 down far enough to even pass S1. From what little I know of it, at least. Not that the current arc is going to be any good either.

        1. I always view things as they are. For me, GGO doesn’t suck because the first season has colored my perceptions. GGO sucks because it’s slow, it’s unimaginative, it’s repetitive, overly dramatic, so on and so forth. In fact, I hardly compared GGO to the previous arcs at all other than to say that it took place in an uglier, less appealing setting.

    2. Cut me some slack bruh, this is the only show I writing about episodically… albeit poorly in terms of timeliness.

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ATMA & Funomena

Animation talk, music and analysis: Understanding The Spectales of 'Extraordinary' | Presented by a nerd in-training

one of episodes

an eroge and anime blog


the thoughts and tales of a college student and writer living out of his car

therefore it is

Some Pretty Thoughts About Anime....

I Have a Heroine Problem

Living Life Heroically and with Style!

Moe Sucks

I'm not mad at you, anime. I'm just disappointed.

Anime Viking

Anime Blog

Too Old for Anime

An anime blog by someone old enough to know better

atelier emily

for me, in full bloom


Come chill on the couch.

Reverse Thieves

An Anime & Manga Blog & Podcast

Lower Mid-Table

A blog about anime and other things


BokuSatchii's Anime Blog

Chromatic Aberration Everywhere

Distorted views on anime and co.


Anime & Manga Blog | 50% Anime Analysis, 50% Ogi

Altair & Vega

Discourse over Distance

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