SAO is a soap opera. Fight me.
He has risen. Our lord and savior, Kirito-kun has finally woken up and it only took one and a half seasons. What you’re about to read will most likely not agree with you if you are a Sword Art Online fan. So, be warned.
I hate this anime so much. I find it extremely difficult to even stand watching one episode. Thankfully, last season was not so bad. This season has not been as good but let me start off by saying some nice things about Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Part 2. The animation is very, very good. Some of the fight scenes have been excellent. Some scenes have been enjoyable, even for me.
Unfortunately, that’s about it. The first six episodes of this season have merely been a series of attempts to please and wow us. If you are a fan of SAO, I’m sure you found them very thrilling. There are plenty of references to previous seasons and characters from the whole series. There have also been many scenes featuring all the main characters, such as Sinon, Asuna, etc. So, I get it if you find it pleasing. I also get that this is essentially the culmination of two seasons. Hence, it makes sense that there is constant fighting and drama. However, the creators have been a bit overzealous this time. The fighting is fine most of the time, although I am a bit worn out from all the near deaths, near misses and constant lucky moments but what I have found most tiring of all is the drama. Too. much. drama.
My partner in crime has often told me that SAO is more like a soap opera than a straightforward action/fantasy/romance anime. Perhaps, she’s said this so many times because she’s watching me struggle to make it through each episode. Either way, she has a point. If you look at SAO as a telenovela, where someone is bound to fall down the stairs or have an evil twin or fall into a coma for two seasons, then it all comes together. Perhaps if you’re a big SAO fan, you might also enjoy Korean dramas. Which is not a bad thing. But it’s different. So, let’s just say that Sword Art Online is a soap opera kind of thing and not compare it to other anime such as Log Horizon, which in my opinion is far better. See? I’m being honest.
Needless to say, my opinion on the matter is not extremely important since if you already enjoy SAO, my opinion won’t change anything. However, liking something does not make it good in the same way that me disliking it does not make it bad. What makes it bad is that it is. Starting off in the first episode with tentacle molestation, continuing with constant teary-eyed maidens struggling to fend off mind numbingly tasteless foes perhaps with only a few instances of truly exciting but predictable action is definitely not a recipe for success. To be fair, by SAO standards, it’s not bad at all.
Having disliked Kirito-kun for a few seasons now, I must say that I found SAO: Alicization War of Underworld pleasing because well… he basically wasn’t in the picture. I enjoyed watching new characters do different things, I enjoyed the struggle of Alice and the rest of the knights. All that was very interesting. For some reason, we get to the second part and all that world building has gone out the window in favor of Kirito and his friends. I know that that’s the point, ie. Kirito and co. but it feels like the time I’ve spent caring about the new characters has been pointless. You could argue that even in this new season, there have been a couple of instances where the new characters were the main focus. Still, it wasn’t really handled all that well. Perhaps, a bit awkwardly, even.
Anyway, there’s no point in talking about that anymore, since as I said, Kirito is up and about now. And that’s the point of Sword Art Online, isn’t it? Watching Kirito save the day. I have no way of knowing how the rest of the season will play out but with SAO being as predictable as ever, I imagine that Kirito will indeed save the day and all will be well with the world.