Saw this and immediately went “Mysterious hooded girl watches from a distance”. Toby Turner, you’re ruining this for me.
This really should have aired with episode one. It would have made everything infinitely better if these first two episodes were aired together. I still think that episode one was really dry, but it wasn’t unnecessarily so, at least not when it’s followed up by this one. These first two episodes completely fill out the universe we’ll be watching and gives us something tangible really look at in terms of characters. We got to look into Kirito’s mind a bit more this episode and it got us to sympathize with him a bit more. Having this view into what he thinks about gives the show that chance to connect on a more emotional level, something that was seriously missing from the first episode. And the boss battle in this one was so cool! Compared to the fairly static camera angles and dialogue heavy bits from the first episode, having the action in the latter half of the episode was awesome. And having them done well with interesting shots and great animation was a gift, really.
More characters is also a good thing, at least in this instance. We finally get to see our leading lady Asuna. We still don’t really know much about her, but I’m willing to wait, since SAO seems to know what it’s doing. I’m anxious to see what kind of relationship she and Kirito will have in the next episode, since he disbanded the party and she didn’t really seem bothered by his being a “beater”. And then there was the guy with the axe, Agil. I don’t know how prevalent he’ll be in the series, but he was in the opening, so I’m assuming he’s coming back at some point. I’m glad the show is padding out the cast. As potentially interesting and engaging Kirito might be, he’s still just one character and having him act on his own would get old really fast. Definitely hoping to see more people come in next week, since there seems to be plenty of people from the opening who have yet to be introduced.
Judging from what I’ve seen online, it sounds like the anime rushed through some of the stuff from the novels. I can’t really speak to that and at this point, I don’t really want to. As an anime, SAO is doing a great job (so far). It’s entertaining and telling a decent story. But if the anime truly didn’t do the novels justice, I might just have to see if there’s a way to read those after it finishes airing. For the record, I still don’t buy the premise of the show. I sincerely hope everyone who was watching the first episode saw the ginormous flaw that was having a VR system transmit via microwave. But Sword Art Online builds on a shaky foundation and gives us something that has a lot of potential. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t squander it.
GO Rating: 4/5