ANIME & MANGA - Review
10:16 - 11th July 2016, by NEO Staff

Sword Art Online II - Part 3

After navigating the virtual perils of both Sword Art Online and Gun Gale Online, it’s time for Kirito, Asuna and the rest of the party to don their NerveGear once again and head out in search of more adventures to brave, dungeons to crawl, and treasures to acquire. In this collection, the gang are heading back to Alfheim in search of the most legendary of legendary weapons, the fabled sword Excalibur, which resides at the bottom of Yggdrasil, the world tree of Norse legend. But like any of their in-game escapades, it won’t be easy, since the sword is all but inaccessible, not to mention guarded by the King of the Frost Giants and his bloodthirsty cadre of minions.

While Sword Art Online has garnered itself a secure place as a classic series with its earliest arc of episodes, it’s a shame that this collection doesn’t really hold up in comparison. There’s certainly a couple of fun fights and character interactions, and the art style is as slick and shiny as it ever was; but without the real-life stakes that were present in previous arcs, the series loses almost all of its tension and becomes about as interesting as you’d expect it would be to watch over someone’s shoulder as they play an MMORPG. Also, the collection only includes a scant handful of five episodes, so invested viewers won’t have as much time as they might like to get reacquainted with the characters before the story is over until the next instalment.

While dedicated fans will probably enjoy revisiting the world and characters of SAO, this definitely isn’t the series performing at its highest level.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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