Part 1 was a waste of time
The first part of War of the Underworld had nothing worth writing about. It was just nobodies fighting nobodies and nothing came out of it once it was over since they never mattered to begin with. In fact, everything that doesn’t have to do with Kirito or his harem is completely boring. I mean, what exactly am I supposed to think? Man, this is so thrilling, I can’t wait to see if nobody no1 shoots nobody no2, especially when the episode ends with a cliffhanger. These characters are really important and I care about them. And I am sure it’s not going to be fake tension for stopping in such a way. I mean, why would they end the episode with a cliffhanger if these nobodies are not going to actually shoot each other?
The second part is when something actually happens, because Kirito’s harem goes in the game to kick ass and crave for his dirk as per usual. This does not mean it finally got good as the fanboys keep saying for every new season. It’s still the same crap; just not a complete waste of time. The thing that was a waste of time was the previous season, since once Kirito’s harem (Klein included) literally deux ex machine-ed in the war and stopped everything with hax powers, it rendered everything that the denizens of this world were fighting over to be completely pointless. Why bother doing anything if gamers with hax powers can save the day whenever they feel like it?
There is still rape
Despite the bold claims of the fanboys regarding ‘Kawahara no longer has rapist villains in Alicization’, there are four of them in this season. Women are still being sexually violated, and it still involves tentacles. At least Kawahara manages to subvert your expectations by not repeat the exact same ideas all the time:
-One of the victims saved herself. Yay, Kirito is not saving every single girl for adding her to his harem. He saved every single one of them besides Leefa. Because she was already part of his harem.
-The first rapists is a woman. Yay, now women can be just as horrible.
-The second rapist is the slug from the second arc
-The third rapist does it only mentally and only because he gets orgasms by betraying his best friends and sending them to be murdered by good people. Such amazing writing as one can expect from SAO.
-The fourth rapist is the default one. We still need a classic rapist for comparison’s sake.
And that is how Reki Kawahara shows us how much he has improved as a writer. Just disregard the fact that the rape scenes last for several minutes and the camera deliberately zooms to the girls’ privates. Just so the sleezy otakus can jerk off to the tentacle rape before proclaiming SAO is now officially a great series. Let’s congratulate Reki Kawahara for finally becoming a great writer. I mean, he’s still using tentacle rape and one dimensional rapists as a cheap way for making you hate the villains instead of bothering to give them depth, but that is nitpicking.
Kirito is still overpowered
Let’s not forget the biggest improvement of them all. Kirito is to the most part a vegetable, because he is in a coma… while also being in a coma in the real world. Comaception! He is no longer an OP self insert that does all the work and overshadows all the rest. And that is why Kirito becomes Jesus:
-All women love him and want to have his babies despite being a vegetable
-Everybody constantly mentions his name as means to find hope and courage despite being a vegetable
-Out of nowhere, magic trinkets that didn’t exist up until that point appear through the power of convoluted bullshit and Kirito plot armors Shinon despite being a vegetable.
This doesn’t contradict the claims of the fanboys regarding Kirito not being overpowered and everyone not relying on him anymore. Also, Kirito has received an amazing character development, from a ridiculously overpowered guy who wins all the time because he is a generic power fantasy for gamers, to a vegetable who gets all the pussy without having to do a thing. SAO is now officially a great series that will make all haters to change their minds. All you have to do is watch 4 seasons until it gets good. If you don’t, you never gave it a chance until it got good, you impatient hater!
And what did you know, that vegetable of a main character eventually regains his consciousness when his waifus are entering the game in order to tell him how amazing he is as a vegetable. Who would have thought that out of all the supposed deep themes and complex terminology this series is full of, the answer to how you can return the ridiculously broken main character back to being ridiculously broken and rendering pointless everything that everybody is else is doing, is to give him his waifus.
And what did you know, as soon as he woke up, he instantly became the strongest being in existence. Because, as we were promised by the dickriders of this abomination, Kirito is not overpowered in this season. He struggles, he has to work really hard, and is never the strongest. And that is why he wakes up from a coma and is instantly the strongest being in existence. Because Kawahara really improved his writing. Remember when Kirito woke up from SAO and was completely skinny and weak? That was bad writing apparently, and Kawahara improved it by letting you do anything you want just by imaging it. That’s what realism is all about. Imagining yourself waking up from a coma and instantly becoming the strongest being in existence. SAO finally got good, guys; it is not a power fantasy as many haters lie all over the internet.
Kirito’s harem stops being relevant and only stares at him doing the whole work here on, because they know they are useless when he’s around. Kirito then does some insane things, such as:
-Instantly freezing the entire enemy army and not a single friendly soldier. How did he do that? By not being overpowered.
-Summoning Eugeo’s ghost for magically fixing his sword. How did he do that? By wanting it obviously. Don’t you pay attention to the videogame rules?
-Making all the enemies to evaporate without letting the one dimensional rapist to become stronger by absorbing their life force. How did he do that? Well we don’t know how videogames work in the future so we cannot say this is nonsense. We just have to accept it.
-Turning people into trees. How did he do that? Well, it’s symbolism for when the show began by cutting down a tree. It makes perfect sense.
-Turning dragons to babies. How did he do that? Well, both dragons and babies have the letter A in then, so he just changes one to the other by being so similar. It’s excused.
-Sprouting wings so he can fly. How did he do that? Well, it has been explained in a boring long infodump somewhere thus you are not allowed to dislike it just because you weren’t paying attention and you don’t understand what is going on.
-Healing everyone by creating a magic rain. How did he do that? The same way he freezes armies, summons ghosts, and transforms stuff to anything he wants. Because he’s Kirito, didn’t you get used to it by now?
-Creating a spirit bomb by using telepathy for asking every person on the world to give him their energy. And they do. Right away. Even if they don’t know him or were fighting against him just moments ago. And it only takes him about 3 seconds. How did he do that? Something-something videogames.
-Taking every single person outside of the game. Including NPCs who don’t even have a body. How did he do that? Use your imagination! Why do you want an explanation for everything?
Then he takes his no1 waifu to his arms and flies away. Because why not? That’s what all gamers who identify with him want to do. But don’t worry, the show is a harem so he still goes and saves his secondary cumbuckets soon afterwards. So as you see SAO is no longer a power fantasy. It’s well written, it’s deep, and anyone who didn’t have the patience to watch all these seasons until it gets good, he didn’t give it a chance.
After all, it’s not like Kirito can do anything he wants. After the final battle he gets stuck in the videogame for centuries and can’t come out… Although he is stronger than the gods and can do whatever he likes thanks to the brilliantly thought out videogame mechanic of getting what you want just because you want it. This shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever.
There are no stakes
The tension is supposed to be really high because Kirito is out of commission, therefore nobody is safe. Without Kirito to save them, the characters have to struggle and they lose in many cases. Too bad nobody can die. The faceless denizens of the world are not even real, and the faceless gamers who are real can only lose their avatar. I am shaking in excitement. You don’t even get to see them fighting much, because over half the duration of the fights is skipped and all we see is people sitting down and talking about boring shit nobody cares about. Because why bother showing it when you can say it and be done with it? It saves you the budget and the idiots who like videogames are going to be jerking off to the terminology. Agro DPS, macro level up drop rate. This is so deep!
It’s especially laughable when in one scene the bad guy infodumps his entire evil plan for no reason other than Kawahara Reki not knowing how to show it in the plot. He just gave the bad guy a one dimensional rapist face, had him talking for five minutes, and called it a day. And the funny part is, it doesn’t matter what he’s talking about. His plan doesn’t matter, the justification of his actions doesn’t matter, and his personality doesn’t matter either. When you are shown a quick flashback to how he was the tentacle monster who molested Asuna during the worst arc in the series, do you give a fuck anymore? There is no debate, there is no theme exploration, you just want to see him getting beaten just like the previous one dimensional rapist bad guys. And that is how SAO finally got good.
Past villains become heroes without actually doing something to prove it
The show wants us to believe that the villain of the first arc of Alicization is a good person after she became a ghost, despite spending the entire first season in being a one dimensional naked evil slut who planned to consume the souls of countless people for her pleasure. Then the ghost of Kayaba magically appears inside a robot and everybody acts as if the guy who killed thousands of people for no reason was actually a hero.
The world building is still crap
The Laughing Coffin is back. Why are these mass murderers not in prison after all the shit they have done in every arc so far? Don’t ask questions; just consume SAO now that it finally got good, by keep using the same villains who shouldn’t be here anymore. The show is about exploring societies in videogames, so don’t nitpick it by expecting to show the real world. Things like police and common sense do not exist because they are not about videogames.
The edge is over the top
The leader of the Laughing Coffin hates Japan because his daddy wasn’t paying attention to him. For that reason he decides to murder all Japanese people, and he begins by entering the original SAO where you die in that game. And to be clear he goes in after he knows that, meaning he willingly trapped himself inside a death game for the sole purpose of murdering Japanese people because his daddy didn’t pay attention to him. Inside the game he creates mass murderers whose sole purpose of existing is murdering Japanese players. How does he create mass murderers? The same way everything works in videogames. By wanting it. He wanted a magic spell that brainwashes them into becoming mindless killing machines and he got it. That’s how SAO works. And that is how Kawahara writes his villains. As one dimensional mass murdering rapists with daddy issues who want to murder millions with brainwashing magic that he presents as videogame logic. And to think there are still people who would love to be trapped inside SAO. A death game where out of nowhere someone can brainwash you into becoming a mass murderer, or where you can be killed by your best friend because of very well explained videogame terminology.
By the way, he doesn’t kill Kirito-sama while he is a vegetable, because he is completely gay for him and willing to murder every single person in the world just for waking him up. What more evidence do you want of this stupid show being an empowerment fantasy? The main bad guy idolizes the self insert. Talk about ego stroke.
By the way, he’s holding a weapon that gets weaker the more he uses it on monsters and stronger the more he uses it on real people. This is an actual weapon Kayaba made back in the original Sword Art Online. A weapon specifically designed for killing real people and not the monsters that you have to defeat in order to escape from the death game you are trapped in. And yet everybody calls Kayaba a real hero! The very person who murdered thousands of people for no reason and created weapons that are meant to be used on real people. How insane does someone need to be for calling such person a hero?
And you know what’s even more fucked up that even that? Kirito having a montage of all the edgy bullshit he did throughout the seasons shredding his chest open with his bare arms, and then chopping off his own heart. What kind of a sick mind would write such a thing? I bet one who things goreporn is the pinnacle of maturity. You want people to say your show is deep? Make it as edgy as possible. Have one dimensional rapists and people chopping off their own hearts. That’s what mature anime are all about and why Kawahara really improved his writing.
Ghosts are cheap resolutions
Pretty much any dead character can appear as a ghost at any moment, for doing something crazy that will change the plot in any way the author wants it. These ghosts just appear whenever the situation is dire and offer power ups or defeat the bad guys for the heck of it. There is no in-series explanation for how they are able to do it, other than they are ghosts in the machine and cheap fixes to any problem the author can’t solve in any other way.
There is no explanation for all the absurd things that are going on in the videogame
The fans insist that everything is explained and that there are no asspulls. Which is why everyone working on the videogame and who are supposed to know everything about it, look at the ghosts and go ‘wtf is going on, it’s just a videogame, ghosts have nothing to do with science’. But I am sure the fanboys are going to say it’s not ghosts, it’s programs that Kayaba wrote while he was still alive, and secretly uploaded into the videogame so they can appear whenever it suits the plot. And yet not even the ones explaining the game understand what is going on, despite having the coding of the game right in front of them.
Then out of nowhere people who die in the videogame also die in real life, which is not what we were told. This is not the original videogame where you can die. And yet they die, because ghosts appear and take their souls to hell. I know you will say, it’s just Kayaba again as a secret program that conveniently appeared because plot. Even if it is, there is no helmet that fries your brain. That’s how people were dying in the first game, with a helmet, not with a ghost, and there is no such thing here. But no, the fanboys are going to say it has been explained because we have seen ghosts and people dying in videogames before.
And they infodumped a lot of shit, which means it’s all science and not magic, it makes sense and therefore you have to like it. It makes so much sense to the point not even the ones programming the game understand what is going on, despite constantly infodumping shit, but it makes sense and have to like it. SAO finally got good as we’ve been telling you all along!
The epilogue is trash
Kirito and Asuna get trapped in the videogame for centuries, which would be an opportunity to finally show what it’s like to form societies in a virtual world. Remember when the premise of the show was all about that and it skipped everything? Well not anymore because Kawahara is now an amazing writer and he will not skip centuries of world building. He will show us everything… Just kidding. They skipped everything. We don’t see shit regarding Kirito and Asuna forming societies. They just wake up after it’s all over. Because Kawahara really improved his writing.
Meanwhile, Alice is now a robot in the real world. With mambo jumbo technology she has an actual body and is fighting for the rights of AIs. You know, to be treated like real people who deserve respect. And she proves that by stripping and mailing herself to Kirito, thus literally objectifying herself by treating her body as a sex doll. And I know what some of you might think. She is not in love with Kirito like every other girl in the show and she will not enter his harem. She is after all fighting for the rights of AIs. Why would she treat her body as a sex doll? There is absolutely nothing like that happening... And then she spends most of the final episode in being a typical harem bimbo.
Anyways, Kirito asks from his parents to continue his studies on videogames and they agree. Why wouldn’t they? It’s not like he has been trapped in death games, fell in coma numerous times, dealt with rapists who murdered thousands of people, and is now centuries old because of them. Sure thing son, carry on with your videogames. We really care about your wellbeing.
And then Kirito goes into cyberspace and becomes space Jesus, flying in the vacuum and easily defeating mythic space horrors with his amazing multiversal powers, thus proving once again why he is not overpowered as many haters were claiming. They explained it. It made sense. There are many more powerful players than him. You are not allowed to dislike it.
And that’s it. This was the end. There is no more. This is the end of Sword Art Online and we can finally put this masterpiece of modern storytelling behind us… NOT! They announced the remake of the first arc as soon as this season ended.
First off: I'm a SAO fan. I overall enjoyed the series so far (it does have a special place in my heart for really bringing me into anime) but man, this is quite the dumpster fire. I already wasn't happy with War of Underworld: Part I but it wasn't necessarily bad - and compared to this it was really good!
It's one deus ex machina after the other. One moment one side is absolutely dominating the other just to be in a reversed situation right after. Any attempt at believability has been thrown out of the bus, run over 4 times and then drowned in the nearby lake. The story probably could have been delivered in 5 episodes if all the superfluous, inexplicable and pointless (outside of fake drama) stuff had been left out.
Overall pretty as usual - but I still don't understand why one fight suddenly switched to an entirely different art style and in another one they constantly switched between the usual and the different art style. Did they outsource those scenes/shots and forgot to mention what art style it should be made in??
The OST is awesome and epic as ever. There were some minor weirdness with talking (original sound) that made me wonder if they changed VAs for a moment.
Nothing new here, to the contrary: lots of dead people showing up for no real reason with maybe one exception.
Kirito's "harem" is growing as usual, he remains devoted to Asuna though.
Creepy and/or raping villains yet again.... After such a great first antagonist back in SAO (Kayaba Akihiko) and then some pretty decent antagonists and villains at the beginning of Alicization it's just getting tedious with these barely one-dimensional villains.
I just can't get over how they made it unbelieveable even as a fantasy story. Before, SAO kept the world and story believable enough until this train wreck. There are some plot black holes that just suck up any remaining sensible plot.
As someone who watched the original Sword Art Online and loved it, I was super excited to see the new Alicization series, season one disappointed me so much a wasn't planning on watching season 2. I'm so glad I did because season 2 is so good! Definitely recommend!!!
If you've watched this, then you already know Sword Art Online. This is more of it- the good, the bad, the intrigue. The last few episodes are what really made this season for me. The first 9 episodes were like the eternal wait for the story to start back up. But once it did, we got answers to questions that spanned a few seasons. This show is going places that I hope will not disappoint. Seriously, the last episode is fantastic.
Cant have 15 seconds without some inspirational speech. A barrage of cliches.
Soundtrack and animation are okay. Watchable. But meh.