Sword Art Online II (Season 2)

Sequel to Sword Art Online

Genre(s): Action, Game, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy, Psychological

Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (Violence, language, disturbing imagery)

Platforms: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation

Episodes: 25 (One is a recap episode)

TheAwersome Rating: 8.5 / 10 (Definitely worth watching)

Premise: Mild Season One Spoilers One year after the events of the previous season, Kazuto (Kirito) is settling back into life in the real world when he gets contacted by government officials to help investigate some incidents that have occurred in a different game: Gun Gale Online. A character by the name of Death Gun has been killing people in the real world by shooting them in-game. Teaming up with an elite sniper dealing with her own trauma, will Kirito be able to face his demons of the past and save others?

TheAwersome’s Thoughts: While still having a very different vibe from the first season’s arcs, those presented in SAOII are much more solid and substantial. The character development in both arcs of this season is very rewarding, and really digs into some deep, gritty realities.  While my response to most characters dealing with past trauma is usually shouting at the screen “Just go see a therapist!” I really liked the realistic aspect of how characters’ problems don’t just get fixed by an “A-ha!” moment in a conversation. The weight and mortal fear from the Aincrad arc is back, but with its own high-strung intensity.

The second arc in this season is my personal favorite in the series thus far, as we shift gears over to Asuna and follow her struggles and encounters. And ready those tissues kids because this one will rock your feels pretty hard.

TLDR: This season goes deeper into the psyche of the characters and explores the concept of Virtual Reality applications, ramifications, while also showing both the benefits and risks of immersing oneself online.

This is another example of when a studio doesn’t know if they’ll be doing a second season until after the 1st one airs, so I guess they have to name the second season something different? Netflix has SAO and SAOII listed as different shows, but they’re under the same name in Crunchyroll, not sure about Hulu and Funimation.

There is a spin-off series: Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, that will be reviewed soon. My original plan was to wait to do all the Sword Art Online reviews until I had finished watching the current airing series, Sword Art Online: Alicization,  but they start back up again in October with another two-cour installment, and I don’t want to wait until next April to put up all the Sword Art reviews. We’ll get back to the Fate reviews soon enough.

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