We’re back. Let’s get onto the actual non-recap section of this new special, shall we?
Now that all of the dangers have passed and Suguha has leveled up her swimming skills to a level worthy of a cat with a floatie wrapped around it, we finally get introduced to the rest of the male characters as they join Kirito and his harem for some online sunbathing. I know people are going to complain regarding how sunbathing online is for losers who can’t do it in real life or shit, but it saves travel money and allows you to sunbathe when it’s actually nighttime in the real world.
I know it sounds super convenient that this “time difference thing” is NOW in effect, but if it means the SAO cast in swimsuits, I really couldn’t care less.
For the record, STR means “sexual tension release”.
But enough gawking, because as much fun as it is to watch these characters just goof off, this extra episode does have a plot to it. Thanks to Kirito and Asuna’s wonderful daughter, Yui, the entire gang is roped into trying to find a whale in order to show her how big they are. So they go an underwater quest to show Yui a whale whilst fulfilling the quest objective of finding some trinket or whatever and that pretty much sets off the main thrust of this thing into motion.
As fun as it is to see these characters interact with each other in slice-of-life scenes, having them cooperate with each other during actual MMO activity is awesome too. I know the fights are kind of crap because the director isn’t very good at choreography, especially when you compare the fight scenes to the latest Code Geass: Akito OVA, but what is action without weight? Unlike Geass’s throw a bunch of random Clamp stereotypes and explosions into our show and somehow we’ll make this entertaining, SAO knows to make sure that the characters are inherently fun when it comes to both its quiet moments and its serious moments, and that’s what allows me to get through some of the more slower paced scenes where not much happens, let alone enjoy the stuff that does happen.
It also allows me to forgive the fact that the plot of this thing was ultimately weightless. Without giving too much away, the actual story ends really anticlimactically in that it’s all bark and no bite. Big names and creatures appear, but it’s all done without tension or consequence (Mr. Flaw: Seriously, how can you make a fight against a Kraken AND a Leviathan, boring?). Think a shorter, even more useless version of the Steins;Gate movie and you’d know what I mean. However, just like said movie, the characters are so fun that I don’t care. So what if in the end, all we get is total fluff and a bigger urge to nuke the whales? The biggest question should be “were you not entertained?” And the answer should be “yes I was”.
In the end, this SAO Extra Edition was just fanservice for the fans. No more, no less. But honestly, if you weren’t a fan of the show, would you bother to watch this thing? I didn’t think so, and thus it should be obvious that I enjoyed watching this extra and would happily watch more in the future.
Second season where?!!