One year after the SAO incident, Kirito is approached by Seijiro Kikuoka from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Department “VR Division” with a rather peculiar request.
That was an investigation on the “Death Gun” incident that occurred in the gun and steel filled VRMMO called Gun Gale Online (GGO). “Players who are shot by a mysterious avatar with a jet black gun lose their lives even in the real world…” Failing to turn down Kikuoka’s bizarre request, Kirito logs in to GGO even though he is not completely convinced that the virtual world could physically affect the real world.
Kirito wanders in an unfamiliar world in order to gain any clues about the “Death Gun.” Then, a female sniper named Sinon who owns a gigantic “Hecate II” rifle extends Kirito a helping hand. With Sinon’s help, Kirito decides to enter the “Bullet of Bullets,” a large tournament to choose the most powerful gunner within the realm of GGO, in hopes to become the target of the “Death Gun” and make direct contact with the mysterious avatar. – Hummingbird.com
What I Liked About It
If you read my review for season 1 of SAO (which you can find here) then you know that I loved it. Kirito, Asuna, their love story… it was all wonderful to me.
Season 2…. I didn’t like. At all. It was incredibly disappointing especially since I was super hyped at the end of the first season. But let’s get into the couple things I did enjoy.
I appreciate that they went with a realistic approach to Kirito and Asuna’s relationship. Physical contact (at least in anime) seems to be a no no in Japan, and you see that in the way the two interact in the real world. Season 2 takes place a year after the collapse of SAO, so while they’re familiar with each other, they’re still slightly awkward teenagers. The love is there, but so is the drama and stress of being survivors of the SAO incident.
Kirito is going in a good direction for a 16 year old. He’s super into technology and because he was the main reason everyone got out of SAO, he’s in contact with some of the best names in he field. He’s incredibly driven and seripus about ‘what he wants to be when he grows up’, and that’s a refreshing change up from the introvert, game loving teenager we saw at the very beginning.
While I wasn’t a fan of the game GGO (Gun Gale Online) that encompasses the first arc of this season, the idea of Death Gun was an interesting one. A villain with the ability to kill someone in game therefore killing them in real life is fascinating to me. Especially when we learn his link to Kirito’s past.
What I Disliked
The new games we are introduced to didn’t impress me at all. I feel as though SAO spoke to me much more then anything they threw at us here.
The introduction of Sinon wasn’t all that great either. She felt very flat to me as a character, and there was no point in the arcs that I felt anything for her. They bring her in mainly as a weird other ‘love interest’ for Kirito while he’s GGO, as they did with Liz and Silica earlier, but she’s so monotonous that I don’t think even Kirito was feeling it. The only time we really see any kind of emotion for her, besides in flash backs, is at the very end of the GGO arc. (As a side note, the last episode of that arc was also the only part of this season I really enjoyed.)
I was super disappointed that Asuna barely shows up throughout this part. She’s one of the stronger character personalities the show has and they chose to replace her with what is essentally a robot. The few times she does show up is to further drive the story plot drama circling her and her mother.
Nothing in the story plots stood out to me except for Death Gun as a character. There was nothing remarkable about any of their quests or anything going on in the games they were playing.
I’d like to add as a last thought that Kirito having a girl avatar accidentally is super dumb. The way they wrote it could’ve been SO much better. The way they went felt stupid and fan servicy.
If you’re a fan of SAO, then you should watch season 2 just to know where they’re going with the story line. If you didn’t like the first season, or if you’re just now jumping into the show in general, stay away from season 2. You’ll find nothing that adds to the experience.
If you have something you’d like to add to the discussion, please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading!