For better or for worse, Sword Art Online is the only anime series I blogged all the way through (minus the first season of Valvrave, which doesn’t count in the least since I never actually saw the last two episodes of that). As such, I feel obligated to blog the extra episode when it came out. No idea if I’ll blog that second season, which I don’t know the date of, but summer is a good bet. Apparently it’s far less stupid according to the fans (although to be fair, this is the fans who defended the first half of the first season) and I’m afraid SAO passed the point of ever saving itself a long time ago. If it’s actually “alright”, I don’t think I’ll enjoy watching it. But that’s for another time.
Anyways I’m a different blogger than I was when I first saw this show, and using the episodic tricks I utilized long ago is old hat. So let’s look at this episode instead through the “Positive Cam”, shall we? Just because.
*Positive Cam Filter Is Applied*
Yay! Sword Art Online is back! I love this show, smartest anime or whatever be damned. Yes I understand it has some problems. That Alfheim arc was dire. But the overall story and characters are still strong and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. Hey, did you know this show is getting a second season sometime next year? It’s going to be adapting some of the better arcs that will hopefully wipe the distaste of Fairyto from the hive mind’s collective memory. No, I’m serious. Gun Gale Online is awesome!
But we have a long way to go before we get that awesomeness, so let’s settle by looking at this extra episode, which might as well be a movie considering it’s 100 minutes long. Why this didn’t get released to theatres whilst that shitty Hanasaku Iroha extra OVA did, I have no idea. Because this is by far more big-screen worthy.
So the story starts by reintroducing the characters through one of the greatest premises a LN writer could come up with: one of the characters can’t swim and thus the girls have to teach her. Obviously, that girl is Suguha because she has the biggest bust and we all know how those things drag female athletes down. Unfortunately, Kirito can not ogle the girls in their swimsuits because he’s being called by the school counselor for “schoolwork”, but in reality he’s being questioned by some higher-up guy regarding what really happened in both Sword Art Online and Alfheim Online (aka how many people did the playa thrust his long sword into). Such a shame, because the dude is missing out.
Yeah, it turns out that a bunch of this episode is a recap of the first season. As much as I love the show and thus love the recycled footage, I’m going to skip those parts and talk about the new stuff since you guys probably aren’t interested in hearing about that stuff again. (Mr. Flaw: In other words, they waste ALOT of time on Kirito talking with some MMO professional jackass repeating the events in some of the most contrived, poorly exposited ways imaginable).
See? Even Liz agrees with me regarding those sugus. Well…sort of.
Unfortunately, even the swimming parts are not free from the cursed “recap special”, as Suguha is curious regarding how the girls met Kirito, so they spend a bit of time reminiscing about when he first thrust his sword (and later dual swords) into them. It’s like watching a bad hentai sequel, only mainstream and a hell of a lot better than something as shitty as Kateikyoushi no Oneesan 2.
This higher-up dude…I see the look in his eyes and the gleam in his glasses. I know what he means by “coordinates”.
That’s not the girls talking by the way. That’s Kirito imagining what he’s missing out on.
I swear these girls are talking about food…I mean actual food…I mean fast food…I mean…never mind.
I think you’ve caught on by now that since this entire episode is recap for the most part, I can’t really say much of substance beyond Suguha learns how to swim whilst Kirito is being interrogated. So instead, here’s some awesome pictures of the wonderful cast of this show.
Well it takes good “food” to maintain a “sword” that healthy.
Well fish is a pretty healthy “food”.
Oh, that’s almost as long as one of Kirito’s dual blades. You need to put more than double the effort into your liquid-handling stats in order for him to accept you.
No sword is perfect you know.
Ooh, that hurts Suguha. You don’t know how much that hurts to hear. Thank god Kirito isn’t around.
Not that that stops this jackass from listening in. Come on Kirito, step up your game!
A man is ALWAYS serious when it comes to using his swords in battle. ALWAYS!
You would have doubled your ability to handle liquid quicker? Can’t blame you.
It’s deep lines like this that really tempt me to agree with Kotaku. But whilst I’ll never do that, SAO is definitely still a great anime.
I could go for some ice cream right now, if you know what I mean.
Finally, after eighty freaking minutes, Kirito finally takes charge of his own harem! But before that…
I’ve…heard of it, yes.
The last twenty minutes or so of the extra episode is completely new material. Since this post is long enough as is and that new material is almost enough to make a full episode, I’ll do a separate post for that portion. But yeah, the first eighty minutes is Suguha learning how to swim and getting to know the girls and their experiences with Kirito, whilst Kirito explains his MMO experiences to some guy I don’t know the name of. It doesn’t really do much else and is pretty much just fanservice for the fans.
Since I am a fan (Mr. Flaw: No I’m not), I loved every bit of this episode from seeing the characters interact to re-experiencing what I loved about the show. Well not so much Alfheim. Even I couldn’t stand how rapey that got. But overall, my feelings for SAO remain ultra-positive and I look forward to discussing the new material later.