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Sword Art Online II – 01

OP Sequence

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OP: 「IGNITE」 by 藍井エイル (Aoi Eir)

Sword Art Online II   01   01 Sword Art Online II   01   02 Sword Art Online II   01   03
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「銃の世界」 (Jyuu no Sekai)
“World of Guns”

Whether you love it or hate it, the second season of Sword Art Online is finally here. Bringing back all the major players from before and tossing us a few curve balls — does the first episode of the sequel manage to hold up?

LINK START!

Being a huge fan of the first season I may be a bit biased when I say that I really liked the first episode of the second season. Keeping the introductions to a minimum (because really, you should have a good idea of what’s going on if you watched the first season) the story quickly thrusts Kirito into his new challenge — infiltrate the ranks of the upper echelon within the competitive online game known as Gun Gale Online and discover just who Death Gun is and figure out if his weapon has the ability to slay people in the real world.

If I were being honest, I don’t think this first episode really left the same impression on us as the first season’s did. While it did setup the premise fairly well and gave us a ton of Kirito and Asuna cuteness, I couldn’t help but feel that something was just missing. Maybe it was a lack of cool action scenes? Who knows!

A New Menace

Seeing how this week’s episode is the prime example of an “introduction” episode where not much happens except for laying the foundation for what’s to come later, something I found really interesting throughout the episode was just how crazy it is to think about virtual reality devices possibly endangering a person’s life in the future. Even though I am all for the day when we’re able to have 100% immersive gaming sessions with something as simple as a helmet on our head, the thought of someone with knowledge of the system being able to cause damage to your real body at a moments notice does make me shiver a bit. Putting all that together, you have to wonder what Death Gun’s motivation is for killing people in the real world — if that is what’s actually happening.

Looking Ahead

With the start of a new season slowly rising above the horizon, I have nothing but excitement for this show. With an MMO that focuses on professional level play, I can’t wait to see how Kirito handles enemies that are just as if not even more dedicated to a game than he is. On other hand, we should apparently be paying close attention to the relationship that Asuna and Kirito share. Based off of what the author of novels said during the short panel before the International Premiere of the first episode, it’s something “you want to watch out for”. Either ways, I can’t wait to see Kirito finally enter the world of GGO and start doing what he does best!

As usual, please remember to use spoiler tags if you’re going to talk about anything potential spoiler-y. I know there’s a lot of light novel readers out there and want to talk about the future but try to keep us anime-watchers in the dark, yeah? <3

P.S. Divine thought it was shame that Kamiya Hiroshi’s character was killed off within minutes. Such an amazing voice actor gone, right? ><

 

Preview

Sword Art Online II   01   Preview 01
July 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm
123 comments »
  • July 5, 2014 at 3:39 pmmagoiichi

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%20OP%20-%2012.jpg Best OP confirmed so far?! Call of Duty, Sniper Elite and Star Wars?!

    It’s kinda sad when that OP was the best thing of the episode for me. I guess the bonus point would be not seeing Suguha at all….until the OP damn it!

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:42 pmSauru

    FANBOI WAR IN 3..2..1

    • July 5, 2014 at 8:06 pmNoor Mahmoud

      To be honest, you are right. I’ve read most of the books, constantly waiting for it to get good. It never did. It never sated my desire for an awesome MMO-themed story. At most it was a boring harem with unappealing characters.

      • July 5, 2014 at 10:38 pmSauru

        if u want good mmo-themed go watch log horizon~

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:44 pmpink

    of course the servers of GGO are hosted in america.

    ‘MURRICA

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:44 pmlivevoid

    I actually really liked this first episode. It rather seamlessly got viewers back into the flow of the series and the exposition didn’t feel like an info dump. I’m kinda hopeful for this 2nd season (even though I hated the ALO arc of last season).

    • July 5, 2014 at 4:22 pmDualash

      And it pretty well in building up the exposition for the GGO game that we get a basic look at how GGO works and the villain that is disturbing the game. Of course we have idea how the story is going to play out in this season but I can see the studio working really hard on this show and the first episode showed a part of that.

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:46 pmMisk

    Well, I hope this season has something up its sleeve, I keep hearing this should be one of the best arcs, so please do deliver, A1 Pictures.

    As you said, the first episode lacked something compared to the S1 one, although it’s a good thing that it tried to make sense of the fact that Kirito’s gonna have to enter yet another people-killing game after the previous two… But hey. It was nice seeing the two again. Is something wrong with the color of Asuna’s hair, though?

    Thanks for the post~

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:47 pmadeeba

    I actually didn’t like them opening that much… eh maybe it’ll grow on me.
    And yay! Sniper action!!! :D

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:48 pminfo600

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    He’s too dramatic for my taste for an employer. But I don’t really care…much.

    Still, the adaptation this time is crazy close with the LN, case in point:
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    The members of the party is not altered. A true dedication to detail.

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:51 pmichigo_daisuki

    I have yet to watch the first episode so judging from the screenshots alone, the animation is as good as ever, but I look forward to seeing how the series will progress throughout its run. Thank you for the coverage on this, Takaii!

    I had to comment on this, lol. It’s Google Glass and Apple combined together!

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:54 pmGrandier

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 5, 2014 at 11:59 pmdan

      are you sure read the LN??

      • July 6, 2014 at 12:21 amSenri

        It’s true that no arc will be as good as Aincrad, funny thing is Aincrad is shitty ass written with all the random jumps

        The LN even started on f74 before all the other random bullshit sidestories

      • July 6, 2014 at 2:03 amGrandier

        Wouldn’t have said so otherwise.

  • July 5, 2014 at 3:56 pmneks

    dammit.. i really wanted to like this series but i cant..

    i got the first season some months ago.. and watched until episode 8.. it wasnt as great as the hype told me..

    some episode were a little boring.. and it didnt had a solid plot at all.. and some scenes and interactions with characters feel forced.. i dont know.. is not bad at all.. but im not sure if it is as great as people says… i find it a little overrated..

    With that said, its gets better on its second season?… and this new part II?..

    • July 5, 2014 at 4:11 pmDualash

      The trick is to ignore the hype from others. With any new show, there are a lot of factors that not everyone will agree, where some would enjoy one episode and dislike the other and vice versa. I agree to some extent that the first season of SAO had some flaws, but the first season had a way with delivering certain points of the story and I enjoyed it while it lasted.

      For the second season, no one is going to be sure if the second season is better but there is definitely a lot of effort put into producing the show as with the guns and the thematic events that we saw right now. Though if you want anyone’s opinion, I read the phantom bullet arc and I’ll say that the characters had better characterization than the aincrad and alfheim arc so its going to be one heck of a ride, even if some might be prejudice or bias against it then its understandable.

      • July 6, 2014 at 5:08 amneks

        YEah well thats the thing.. i usually ignore the hype on things from other people.. videogames, movies, etc..

        but i didnt started watching it for the hype , it was more for curiosity, because i always read how great this series was etc.. so i got curious, and got it..

        so tell me something, there is better character and story development on Season 2 of the first part?…

        lol you can imagine how confused i was when i watched the opening for Part 2 today and i saw all this people with guns , sniper rifles, and light freaking sabers..(i was like guns? :o ) It looks awesome.. so i got curious again D:.. so they are later on a new game/update or something?..

    • July 5, 2014 at 10:01 pmSaber7

      IIRC after the Intro they did a lot of random side quests to level, get gear, or introduce side characters. It picks up again though shortly, I would recommend at least watching to the half season ending before dropping it completely.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:03 pmPixelman

    If it’s not possible to kill someone in the real world from the virtual world, why don’t they do their investigation in the real world? I mean, they don’t even know how the heart failure occurred, maybe someone poisoned them? If you could hack the electronic lock wouldn’t it be pretty easy to poison a guy playing a virtual MMO?

    • July 5, 2014 at 5:14 pmSeraph

      The rationale, as the episode showed, was to prevent the actions of what is likely an unrelated event further damaging the reputation of VR and the VR community by excessive regulation. It is a matter of plot of course what the coroner chooses not to do, although even knowing the cause of death wouldn’t reveal who Death Gun is without information you get in final series of events.

      In my option this arc is quite a bit more coherent than previous arcs, even if over a matter of days. Kirito is also not as hyper-competent in this arc, so he is fallible, Show Spoiler ▼

      even he can cut bullets in half and do certain other outlandish things.

      So, I like it and am looking forward to more of it. It captures humour and I guess tension of first with dragging, so it navigates info risk nicely.

      • July 5, 2014 at 5:15 pmSeraph

        Ugh, never used spoiler tags before, hope that doesn’t show much.

      • July 5, 2014 at 5:45 pmCherrie

        I fixed your spoiler tags. You’re supposed to use the < and > brackets not [ and ]. See the instructions below.

    • July 5, 2014 at 8:46 pmHatame

      Police investigated both cases and found out nothing.

    • July 6, 2014 at 8:14 amNyeh

      Pixelman major spoiler
      Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 7, 2014 at 9:02 amKrono

      They did, and they’ve hit a wall. The basic autopsy turned up nothing useful, it is presumably far too late for a more through autopsy(bodies likely already turned over to families and buried or cremated), and the only thing keep them from writing it off as rumor is internet rumors. Rumors are insufficient to shake loose the additional information they would need to proceed in the real world, so they’re left with sending someone into the game to try and locate the guy supposedly responsible. More information would let them either close the case as coincidence, or give them more avenues to investigate.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:05 pmKabble

    It isn’t the same as S1E1, buuuut I liked this more tbh. The biggest problem I had with SAO was how terribly paced it was. It felt as though they had no clue as to how they wanted to address the story throughout the season.
    With this start, it feels as though they’re taking control a lot more and intend to gracefully let the season open up to us rather than just force us into it all.
    I’m excited for what’s to come. If they can execute the pacing just right I’m certain season 2 can fully redeem all of season 1s shortcomings.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:05 pmIndex

    I honestly didn’t know what to think or expect from this showing as someone who came away from the first season feeling a bit disappointed but in all honesty, I found this pretty enjoyable. The way it handled re-familiarizing us with the characters while simultaneously introducing the new elements and problems that Kirito will be facing was rather nice in stark contrast to what I remember of the latter half of the first season. I’m not overly enthused and dying to see how things will play out but I think this season of SAO can be another fairly good example of LN adapting should it continue like this.

    P.S. It was hard not to really dig that opening and I couldn’t help nod along with it as it played out at the episode’s end.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:16 pmDP

    I was quite impressed by the first episode storytelling. Obviously it didn’t have quite the kick of the first season episode – this is an investigation of two murders, not thousands of people being held hostage – but it worked well, and had its own distinct flavor, and it looked nice. I liked that they grounded it in the “real world.”

    It also had a good science fiction feel to it – Kirito’s discussions of virtual reality and augmented reality made sense. It’s a logical maturing of his character that he wants to work in these fields, and the connection to his AI ‘stepdaughter’ gives him a strong motivation. So I liked that they set this up as part of his ongoing character arc.

    The discussion of pro-players and their economic motivations was also good.

    I also got a sense of Kirito’s nervousness at returning to a situation where he may have to risk his life stemmed from him being in a good place with Asuna and his other friends, and not wanting to lose that, but also coupled with his natural curiosity. Amused that the offer of being paid was enough to turn the tide – obviously he’s going to need money to fund his own educational and technological ambitions, so that also made sense.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:20 pmDrasca

    First SAO episode opened with more tension as the sword of damacles forcibly dropped over their heads, in the form of the creator. Now they cannot make that death-play anymore for everyone, since they’re half in the real world.

    Less tension, and slower drama build up, but I am still eating this episode up. I cannot wait for more.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:20 pmsealouse

    This really put me in the mood for a continuation of Accel World. Any word on that?

    • July 6, 2014 at 8:12 amFlayvorOfEvil

      Accel World is getting meh and weird.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:30 pmzztop

    How many episodes will SAO2 have?

    • July 5, 2014 at 4:45 pmPancakes

      24 IIRC, it’s a confirmed 2 cour run.

      • July 5, 2014 at 6:12 pmPhantasm

        That seems like a lot for the Phantom Bullet arc alone… hope its not gonna be some half-assed Alicization stuff after that

      • July 5, 2014 at 7:58 pmZnail

        Mothers Rosari will be in as well. Then there is a far number os side stories they can add if they want.

      • July 6, 2014 at 5:05 amshoftee

        Actually I’m fairly sure they skipped out on some ALO stuff last season: Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 6, 2014 at 8:04 amFlayvorOfEvil

        Alicization would have to be season 3 and 4 because the entire arc is longer than the rest of SAO combined.

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:43 pmPancakes

    And the sh*tstorm of our time has now arrived.

    First episode is meh, although it’s obviously intended as an introduction/recap one. The dialogue was simply too dry or cheesy (the sooner Asuna disappears the better) and needed something more to stay interesting; next week should improve upon this. Only two things really irked me: one was the little RL/VR speech Kirito gave, it made my neuroscience/physics knowledge cringe in pain. Axis of time versus a plane of space eh? I don’t even know where to start with that so we’ll leave it as simply incorrect. Second was the asking of Kirito for help with deciphering how the murders are occurring. You’re asking a kid who has gotten his knowledge from forum sites for an explanation when you already have hundreds of specialists with years (if not decades) of experience already tackling the issue, all because what, the kid was trapped in a game for 2 years?. Even if it was partially tongue in cheek (buildup to ask him to play GGO) that was a little too much for my suspension of disbelief.

    Ignoring those personal gripes of mine, it will be a few episodes yet before we get a feel on how season 2 will turn out as this is a confirmed 2 cour run (and no one knows how many arcs they will include). Only thing that can be certain is Kirito will go full Mary Stu (literally this time), I expect nothing less of our special little snowflake. Hopefully though it will be more interesting than the cheesy romance put up with in the first season.

    • July 5, 2014 at 4:58 pmsonicsenryaku

      See i never thought the romance in S1 was cheesy per say…..it was just rushed. They could have really done something with it if they didnt Ham it up just when Asuna and Kirito had started to show some respect for each other. They had something going with the whole “in a virtual world where anyone could die or betray one another, you are the only one i can trust” thing but it got slightly mucked up a bit. I still found them cute tho and there was some genuine heart behind the romance (to which i think the author wants to see their relationship be taken to the next level this season in a poignant way). But moving on to the season season, I dont know what it is but the direction of this ep felt a bit more polished than the SAO we are used to. Sure we did get some of that typical LN exposition, but the way the groundwork has been laid out felt a bit more smoother than usual. If things continue to progress with that kind of polish, i think SAO will be surprising a bunch of people. Now all they have to do is tone down the Ham and find the right balance between subtlety and intensity. Oh and its nice to see that the budget got a slight bump up; it’s crazy that A-1 pictures is working on both AldNoah and SAO this season, both 2-cour high-budget series. I really hope they can maintain the quality for both shows

  • July 5, 2014 at 4:56 pmMgMaster

    I gotta hand one thing to SAO:

    Like it or hate it,no matter which side of the fence you’re on,you know that one way or another,it’s gonna entertain you.

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:02 pmDuzz

    In my opinion the whole pairing it up with asuna and thier affirmation of one another feeling withing the first 13 episode is what killed the latter half for me. Why? Because after that it’s pretty much uninteresting and EVERY girl afterward is just an intruder and has ZERO chance.

    THen of course there was the major BS of game skills translating to real sword skill in the last season. I just couldn’t swallow that.

    It not like Haruki suddenly becoming an expert fighter in Accel world. That’s just derpy derp.

    Other then that great art as usual.

    • July 6, 2014 at 8:12 amFlayvorOfEvil

      If you used a super realistic flight simulator for 2 years straight, you would be able to know how to fly a plane too.

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:13 pmleatherhead333

    That was a huge huge HUGE info dump they just laid on us. Well at least they got all the technical stuff out of the way so it won’t need to come up later. Still I really hate it when shows do this. It just looks sloppy.

    Kirito naturally gets to keep his swords but they look like lightsabers when he deflecting all those bullets lol. Death Gun might as well be Darth Vader xP.

    • July 5, 2014 at 5:34 pmWanderer

      GGO is a sci-fi MMO rather than a fantasy MMO like SAO and ALO. That weapon Kirito’s using doesn’t just look like a lightsaber.

    • July 5, 2014 at 7:27 pmShiden

      That IS a lightsaber. It was added to GGO by in-universe fan demand, though no one ever actually used it because regular humans aren’t either Kirito or Jedi.

    • July 6, 2014 at 8:06 amFlayvorOfEvil

      Kirito actually had a flashback to Star Wars when he was buying that lightsaber.

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:20 pmBeedle

    Bit of a slow intro, but that’s mostly ’cause I was anticipating Sawashiro Miyuki too much. And the action.

    Cue Sawashiro Miyuki and Action next week, yes? D:

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:50 pmWanderer

    Will watch for Sinon.

  • July 5, 2014 at 5:55 pmKondou

    Oculus Rift in the future~

    • July 5, 2014 at 6:20 pmBeedle

      Combine that with motor neuron research~

  • July 5, 2014 at 6:26 pmNetto

    Episode 1: 10% Romance, 20% Exposition, 1% Diabel-lite, 4% Traps, 30% Sinon, 15% Lightsabers, 5% Guns and 15% Absurdly spent animation budgets.

    Opening was ok, but I still love Crossing Field more. LiSA is a great singer lol. Lots of good hints peppered through though.

    As for the episode, they really went all out. Quite faithful to the source I think. I hope they continue this because I was somewhat disappointed with the last cour. ALO lost a lot of the subtlety :/

    • July 5, 2014 at 6:52 pmZanibas

      I see you’re from the MAL thread hehehe~
      http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1218789#msg32229949

      At least we’re not seeing instant ’1/5′ posts here too :P

      • July 5, 2014 at 8:54 pmNetto

        Yeah, I tend to post the same things for various sites. Its my own opinion anyways, why bother crafting something different for the same opinion? Ain’t got no time fo’ dat.

      • July 6, 2014 at 12:47 amSK

        I’ve always wondered what people have to gain from announcing to the world that a show is shit/dropped in the first episode, when they never had any intention of enjoying(in any sense)/watching it through in the first place. Y’all don’t have anything better to do with your time?

        Instead, it seems like there is a troll (butthurt fan of a less popular show?) with time to kill downvoting everyone’s comment, but what can you do, eh? Not the first show, and certainly not the last, for this to happen.

        At the very least, I’m expecting some amusement in the episode comments from rabid fans AND haters. Whoever you are, come out and post something, intelligent or flame bait, either one makes things more lively than just downvoting.

  • July 5, 2014 at 6:47 pmos

    so many sex neutral looking characters. no sure if I like it.

  • July 5, 2014 at 6:58 pmYojimbo

    When Kirito was imagining how Death Gun might of killed people, somehow it reminded me of some the kill scenes from the movie Wanted >.<

  • July 5, 2014 at 7:39 pmTopboy

    I like SAO. Hope SAO2 ep1 be the first anime episode of this season that get more than 100 comments. Love it post it.

    • July 5, 2014 at 8:03 pmZnail

      I wouldn’t worry about that. SAO always get lots of comments.

    • July 5, 2014 at 8:24 pmhjerry

      You’re getting a like from me just for your avatar.

    • July 5, 2014 at 9:00 pmPancakes

      Just wait until the Mary Sue and harem shenanigans start (again), that’s when the comment section will explode :P

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:08 pmfragb85

    Hooray SAO is back. I was in desperate need of a snark bait anime.

    In all seriousness it was a decent start. They established the plot, the stakes, and the setting in episode. And it does continue the trend of SAO of introducing a game that actually looks fun to play. (I still think the first SAO was a terrible game).

    The major failing of this episode is the whole is once again trying remind me of the KiritoxAsuna dynamic which is about as interesting as watching paint dry. “I want to be with your forever”? Ugh. That was pathetic. After all, if you’re trying to reestablish a female character who you insist is a strong female lead, you have to establish that she completely dependent on her man. Stay classy SAO.

    I did like Kirto’s discussion with the exec. Mainly for the part where he doesn’t believe the implausible rumors and tells the executive to f*** off. For once Kirito actually felt human. Of course the SAO writing can’t be SAO if it wasn’t heaping praise to Kirito. OF COURSE Kirito has the be the one to investigate. After all we already established that there are plenty of great players in game who get paid and of course they can’t hire those people. Or maybe make their own avatar full of admin privilege to investigate. No, lets send the teenage prodigy who has never played the game but everyone loves because we know the plot will bend over backwards to make him better than anyone.

    • July 5, 2014 at 9:09 pmMythnut

      My own conclusions about SAO follow much the same reasoning, though it was a whwile getting there. I read the LN’s after finishing season 1 of the anime, all without really tapping into the hype or flame wars. It was only after the fact that I learned how contested a series this is. I also realized that I had enjoyed it because I was looking for it to be a power trip with a One True Hero, and it filled that role fine; in ignoring its “MMO story” billing I saved myself some grief. Anyway, things I expect to enjoy about this arc:
      1) The mystery plot.
      2) The setting and background characters.
      3) The new major character.
      4) The gun action.
      5) Kirito in a challenging, unfamiliar setting.
      6) Jedi Kirito kicking ass… wait, what?
      You see, while I think all of these elements are great, #6 clashes with literally every single other point. It would be fine on its own, in a different story, but they just. don’t. fit. together.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:21 pmhjerry

    Still waiting on Rika. Rika is best girl.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:24 pmAnnyms

    Of course we’re gonna have Kirito bringing a sword to a gun fight like it’s nobody’s business. He doesn’t need guns.

    As far as this episode went, I enjoyed the fact that they assume you know what’s going on and don’t try to reintroduce everything again. It’s just as if this episode was just the next episode of the series, and not some recap “second series” intro.

    What I didn’t like was the premise for this next game conflict. It just seemed silly to me that someone and/or other people are trying to kill off pro players in GGO. I know it’s assumed we’ll find out the ulterior motives behind the current conflict, but it just felt a bit childish to me for some reason. I haven’t read the light novels so don’t try to spoil anything.

    Also, Kirito wants to get into developing a new type of VR system, huh? Could he perhaps have a hand in the development of the technology used in Accel World?

    • July 5, 2014 at 9:39 pmGinobi47

      Kirito is a Gary Stu character. Ofcourse he’ll be using a sword in a gunfight.

      And while Reki Kawahara (author of SAO and Accel World) never made it official, there have been hints that Kirito has deep ties with Brain Burst. It has also been hinted that Kuroyuki is Kirito and Asuna’s daughter.

      • July 7, 2014 at 2:05 pmAnnyms

        Interesting. Thanks for the info lol.

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:32 pmZangkin

    I don’t know. While watching the whole episode I couldn’t help but make snide comments. Death Gun “Ohh, what a fantastic naming sense.” And about the ending / OP, “Kirito is now a girl…” Another thing about that is, are they really going to go with the route in which Kirito can now deflect bullets with his sword. “The people who play GGO are pros!” Well… But besides all that, I do think the episode was okay enough to the point in which I’ll continue to watch the series.

    • July 6, 2014 at 8:08 amFlayvorOfEvil

      Dude, go play any online MMO shooter and you’ll find names like that all the time. Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 6, 2014 at 3:45 pmMike

      Forget about just shooters, a name like Death Gun is frankly downright pedestrian when it comes to MMO games, where you’re more likely to see xXxDeathGunSephirothCloudxXx

  • July 5, 2014 at 8:55 pmLaughingMan

    Aside from some random assholes getting murdered and the new harembait member firing a sniper rifle, this episode was nothing but an infodump. Shitty beginning to a shitty series. Nothing to see here people. Move along.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:06 pmSteelman

    So I was hoping that after the horrible ALO arc, Asuna would finally get back to being the female protagonist. But no, first Kirito doesn’t even tell her that he’s been recruited to investigate the murders, and then the OP makes it plenty clear that we are in for yet another lady to join Kirito’s ever-expanding harem.

    I mean, why Kawahara Reki, why? What is the sense in creating an official pairing to then progressively chickificate (trope!) the female protagonist while introducing more and more (fake) haremettes? This is not good writing – but again, neither were the tentacled scientists in ALO, nor the pathetic Kuradeel (worst bad guy ever) is SAO, nor…

    • July 5, 2014 at 9:46 pmWanderer

      If they adapt the Mother’s Rosario story, Asuna will have a good chance to show off again.

    • July 6, 2014 at 11:23 amAnanas

      At some point in the first series, Asuna transformed from a skilled gamer girl into a coveted treasure-drop. Asuna became an in-game object – an ideal-beautiful-idiot-female-stereotype-object. It really became apparent when Kirito and Asuna acquired Yui. Asuna’s response was to pretend that she and Kirito had a baby; her instinct was to play house and be the good mom and loving wife. Throughout the whole arc, Kirito was the one who had to bring Asuna to her senses; he had to stand up and be the “strong stoic man” and drag her out of her fantasy world and back to the front lines. Asuna followed Kirito, not because she wanted to beat the game or rescue everyone in it, but because beating the game meant that she and Kirito could be together in real life.

      That was the point when Asuna became a Kirito-worshipping-bot. After that, Asuna’s only motivation for anything was to be with Kirito, or to save Kirito, or whatever. Asuna was no longer a character in the story, she was just one of Kirito’s accessories. She was literally an object in a cage in ALO, and just a helpless vegetable in real life. The only reason she existed at all was to be the prize in the who-has-the-bigger-dick battle between Sugou and Kirito.

      SAO 2 picks up where SAO 1 left off. Asuna, as the female-type-object, is spouting totally inane, totally stereotypical-female fluff at Kirito. Asuna is the epitome of bland femaleness: she nags Kirito about doing his laundry, she listens wide-eyed to Kirito’s explanations of technology and reality (typical complicated man-thoughts, right?), and when asked about her future plans, she replies that she has no ambitions, hopes, or dreams – she just wants to be with Kirito forever.

      Asuna has become a catch-all for what the author thinks is female-ness – she’s a mom nagging about chores, she’s a child who thinks Kirito is omniscient, and she’s a dull and obedient wife who exists only as Kirito’s sidekick.

      /a/non

      • July 6, 2014 at 7:03 pmanon12

        It’s fine if you don’t like her character but really no need to be a drama queen, she’s a side character in a character focused show there’s no need for the author to give her special treatment just because of her relationship with Kirito or because she’s the ‘female protagonist’.Besides your issue with her character is that she’s stereotypical?That doesn’t make her character a bad one, just repetitive, which also seems to be the norm for much of the entertainment industry, again not necessarily a good or a bad thing.

        And your implications about treating women/female characters badly is totally ridiculous, first of all even if the show treated female characters badly(or in a manner you don’t approve of) it’s not an issue this is entertainment not reality,not a social justice class,not a video clip to teach people to treat women(or anyone else) well or to teach people righteousness or to teach people about equality, all this whining about women is seriously annoying now, I mean I’ve seen people complaining online about shounen shows(you know the genre that’s supposed to be male-oriented) being ‘too’ male-oriented since they have ideal/male-fantasy female characters,etc which if that’s true, unless I missed something here, would mean those shows are doing things right and entertaining the target audience, not exactly something to complain about.
        Second, I could make a rant like the one you made above about majority, if not all, characters in anime(not just SAO for that matter), including male characters, with a little tweaking and switching of viewpoints(for instance how about Klein being relegated to a typical ‘friend’ or Heathcliff being just a ‘villain’ or Agil being the typical ‘shop-owner’ after all those are pretty much same as your complaints about Asuna’s character), would that mean all characters are treated badly?Sounds like I live in a pretty misanthropic world :P

        Also being with Kirito forever is apparently Asuna’s dream which obviously you don’t approve of, but that isn’t the same as not having ambitions,hopes or dreams.Personally I liked Asuna’s character more than the supposedly ‘interesting’,’strong’,’independent’ female characters in anime who usually tend to come off as annoying or boring at least to me.

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:34 pmGinobi47

    I dont care how much Reki Kawahara shoves Asuna up our faces, Sinon will always be BEST GIRL! (Followed by Alice)

  • July 5, 2014 at 9:54 pmcruiser2710

    SAO arc – It was a total turn off for me. Train wreck IMO because of its sequencing. I could not just get it. (GuP was still better)

    ALO arc – Seemed to redeem it but the previous arc already made it way south for me. And Asuna was totally reduced into a helpless kidnapped victim and a total damsel in distress. (GuP was still better)

    Conclusion: SAO I was overhyped

    GGO arc – I’m going to see how it goes.

    The only reason why I continued on with SAO I was for Yuki Kajiura and also Leafa. Than again, Yuki Kajiura’s music in SAO I felt rather lacking. As for SAO II, I’m not falling for the hype that people are giving it. I’m watching this for the guns possibly for Sawashiro Miyuki. I’m having moderate expectations for this after what happened to SAO I

    • July 9, 2014 at 9:38 amRick Anime

      SAO arc was great yo.

      What does GuP mean?

  • July 5, 2014 at 10:12 pmFortis

    That dead guy reminded me of James from pokemon series, both in look in annoyance level.
    Death Gun did what I always want to do when watching James lol.

    That face is just priceless.
    Oh and we have a jedi vs stormtrooper in the ED?!!! LOL

  • July 5, 2014 at 10:36 pmAndré

    Kirito is going to be a woman this time? WTF?

  • July 5, 2014 at 11:20 pmChar

    Kirito: They’re professionals! How am I suppose to compete with them?!?!

    *Goes off deflecting bullets with his lightsaber*

    FFFFFFFUUUUUUU!!!

  • July 6, 2014 at 12:14 amonion warrior

    Ohmygodd this is seriously eyegasm, every minute of it. I never felt anything like this before, wanting to just dive into their world and live with them. Such advance technologies and the virtual reality, whadda wonderland! Gotta give it to ya A1 Pictures, this one is the greatest gift from summer XDDD they really invest all of their money for this one lol

    Its soooo gorgeously stunning and pretty, i dunno what to focus…ahhh….cannot wait for the next one!

    • July 6, 2014 at 7:29 amboingman

      Not sure if serious.

  • July 6, 2014 at 12:48 amdarkkodiak001

    Pretty good intro episode. I for one was not very fond of the Asuna x Kirito moments. However I did find it interesting when Kirito talked about what he wanted to do for his career. I wish they had more moments like that because he felt more human and less of an avatar. I just hope the villain in this story is not cookie-cutter and has the hallmarks of a good villian (ie. having goals that can be sympathized with).
    I was hoping that since this is a VRMMOFPS we will see Kirito with a gun but no, I LOLed hard when the OP sequence came and found that he is a Jedi Knight or Sephiroth with a light-saber. I can dig it if later on he gets two droids and is assisted by a pirate with a furry XD. But it looks like he is going to be Cloud with Tifa and the gang lol. Well, here’s to hoping this is an action-oriented arc because so far the dialogue has not been great.

  • July 6, 2014 at 12:57 amdanes256

    last night i was planning to sleep after watching the world cup, but then suddenly this came out just before i went to sleep, so yeah, thank you SAO i can no longer sleep because i’m too excited after watching this.

    i think it’s a good premier anyway, introducing us about what is gun gale online, and apparently there is hint that kirito might become female in the game judging from the opening sequence.

    btw i’ve come to know some light novel reader of SAO is not fond of gun gale online because it “uses gun” and not melee weapons like sword or spear, but after watching this premier, the anime will do fine about the gunfight, because i’m certainly excited after watching that sniper scence which i think is pretty cool

  • July 6, 2014 at 2:04 amCraig McLeod

    “And then you had to blow it up half way though”

    I got a good laugh out of that.

  • July 6, 2014 at 2:31 amFT5.Havok

    So Kirito turns into a woman? :O

  • July 6, 2014 at 4:00 amechykr

    LOL at poor Kamiya Hiroshi’s cameo being treated with such disdain.
    His reaction says it all. :)
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

    Kirito, what are you? A friggin Jedi? I thought GGO is supposed to be a gun game. He really loves his swords, doesn’t he?
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

    Asuna Best Girl <3 (at least for now)
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2007.jpg

    • July 6, 2014 at 4:29 pmLK

      It’s Jedi with guns~! Luke + Han Solo

    • July 6, 2014 at 4:29 pmLK

      The Force + Bullets = Curved Bullets = Wanted.

  • July 6, 2014 at 4:50 amDwarg

    Did they really just give away death gun’s identity in the opening? that wimpy looking kid with yellow jacket and black cap, if it ends up he is, then fuck everything SAO stands for.

  • July 6, 2014 at 5:07 amlegwkio

    Are they only doing GGO, or are they gonna do Mother’s Rosario as well?

    • July 6, 2014 at 4:47 pmPancakes

      No one knows at this point, I’ve seen LN readers all over the place in terms of predictions thanks to the slow pace of this introductory episode. Safe bet is yes, we will get the MR arc considering how the first season managed to shove 2 arcs into the 2 cours and how short/fast paced the GGO arc supposedly is.

  • July 6, 2014 at 5:31 amGhostalker

    I found the first episode rather promising, hopefully this time it will avoid the pitfalls that the first series have.

  • July 6, 2014 at 7:19 amTerrz

    Have anyone have a feel that the end is just because hacking the nervegear so the nervegear destroy the nerve system of the heart so it kill from heart failure

    • July 6, 2014 at 7:21 amTerrz

      Btw IO didn’t watch the novel yet(leaving to watch the anime first)

    • July 6, 2014 at 7:43 ambelatkuro

      1. The NervGear models have already been scrapped. They’re already using the AmuSphere.
      2. They’ve already mentioned that it’s not possible anymore for the AmuSphere to fry the brain. That’s why they wanted to investigate this despite being just small cases.
      3. lrn2English. Even if it’s not your first language, you should still make an effort to write your sentences properly. Also, use punctuations.

  • July 6, 2014 at 7:37 amboingman

    Okay first episode apart from the clichee “I want to stay with you forever” scene. The less waifu Asuna the better.

  • July 6, 2014 at 8:18 amFlayvorOfEvil

    My only gripe this episode is that Sinon will NOT be using a MP7a1. Which is sad because it’s one of my favorite guns.

    33 rounds in a handgun that clearly doesn’t have an extended magazine also gives me a correction Boehner.

  • July 6, 2014 at 8:24 ambobon721

    Kirito actually does more fighting and significantly less skirt-chasing or attracting in this arc. There’s also the darker atmosphere and a clear sense of danger that’s only a bit ruined by that effeminate avatar.
    It’s highly likely we’ll reach Mother’s Rosario and Caliber since Phantom Bullet is a fast-paced arc.
    Anyone hoping for Kirito to take a break from being a Gary Stu will either be disappointed or relieved. If you want Kazuto/Kirito to stop take a break from being a Gary Stu, you’ll have to wait for Mother’s Rosario (he’s gonna be overshadowed by someone since it’s not his arc) or Alicization (he’s not gonna be a Gary Stu for a long time).

  • July 6, 2014 at 8:29 ambobon721

    Still not gonna be this season’s best, though. The originals and the classic will be the this season’s best.

  • July 6, 2014 at 4:27 pmLK

    It’s an anime, don’t take it THAT seriously.

    It’s entertaining.

  • July 7, 2014 at 3:27 amRyuuya

    Anyone noticed the fail artwork? Notice Asuna… For people who has already watched episode 1, click on the spoiler. Otherwise don’t do that.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 7, 2014 at 5:56 amewok40k

    “Why dont you say it out loud? Go and get shot!”
    Kirito has some great lines. Also food is his vulnerability.
    “You can eat another slice of cake, just stay while longer!”
    And I <3 Sinon already. Nothing like sniping enemy mile away without a hitch.

  • July 7, 2014 at 12:13 pmSissy

    The only thing on my mind for this episode is the conversation Kirito had with Asuna about AR. Yes, there are a lot of cool benefits of playing a completely immersive game. But the part of me that thinks too much is worried about the point where one can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not, and ends up dying because they fool their brains into thinking the game is reality and fail to take care of themselves. Not to point completely to Matrix (I’m not talking computer domination), but MC never realized he was in a reality simulation until physics disappeared. Though that’s just me. :T

    Other than that, lightsaber-wielding Kirito seems so out of norm for GGO. XD

  • July 7, 2014 at 3:07 pmTheMoondoggie

    Dat spoilerish OP

    Meh. At least GGO(and maybe Mother’s Rosario?) is more fun than ALO. Also Shinon best gril.

    • July 9, 2014 at 12:28 pmHeroman010

      It’s not spoiler for those who do not read the light novels.

  • July 8, 2014 at 4:59 amewok40k

    Sinon FTW!
    I like cool snipers in general, but Sinon realy shines amongst them…

  • July 9, 2014 at 1:30 amKonakona

    I am SAO light novel freak – I won’t be spoiling you guys, don’t worry – but I’m pretty amazed on how the first episode started, just like how the first season made me all so excited every Saturday. This is what I call the difference between reading lines of a book and watching the entire animation from those words. The action hasn’t started yet but I am very much looking forward to see my beloved series come to life.

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