The Official MSBS Anime Review: Sword Art Online II


On the night of New Year's Eve before the start of 2017...

T-h-e O-f-f-i-c-i-a-l M-S-B-S A-n-i-m-e R-e-v-i-e-w-: S-w-o-r-d A-r-t O-n-l-i-n-e I-I

Me: *With bloodshot red eyes* Just one last post... One last post... Just... one... last... post... before... the... end... of... two... thousand... sixteen... *reaches for a bottle of Aquafina water*
Me: *Gulps* *Gulps* *Gulps* Ah... *A spinning envelope letter comes in and punctures my head* AAAHHHHH!!! What the hell was that f- Huh? What's this?

"Dear MSBS, please come to the Sword Art Offline II studio. We're starring you as a special guest along with your friend Mcgillacuddy for a review of Sword Art Online II.

Love, Asuna and Kirito

P.S. Happy New Year!"

Me: Hmm...

1 hour later...


Asuna: News Headlines.

Asuna: As of the minute this post is being written, we're nearing the end of 2016 and preparing to welcome the beginning of 2017. Since one of our fans of the show, namely ModernSpongeBobSucks from TheTopTens or Kitsada IRL, is planning on doing a review of Sword Art Online II, we have decided to invite him and one of his friends to our show in order to kick off the new year with Kitsada's last post of 2016.

Asuna: Those were today's New Headlines.

*Theme song plays* Sword Art Offline. Sanctioned by Kawahara Reki.

Asuna: Welcome, everyone! It's time for Sword Art Offline II! This is your host, Asuna.
Kirito: This is your commentator, Kirito.
Asuna: For this episode of Sword Art Offline II, we'll be doing something different. Here, we'll be featuring two people from TheTopTens who have seen Sword Art Online II and allow them to give their reception of the series. So now let's welcome ModernSpongeBobSucks and his friend Mcgillacuddy!

*On the left side of the studio, MSBS appears on the plus sign side*
MSBS: It's nice to meet you, Kirito and Asuna.
*Text begins to read on a jumbo-tron*
A positive reception:
"A lot of people either say they love Sword Art Online II more or less than the first season of Sword Art Online, but for me, I like both equally so far. With new and interesting characters such as Sinon and Yuuki and engaging new story arcs such as the Phantom Bullet Arc and the Mother's Rosario arc, Sword Art Online II makes for quite a decent sequel to a good anime." - ModernSpongeBobSucks

*On the right side of the studio, Mcgillacuddy appears on the minus sign side*
Mcgillacuddy: What's up, Kirito and Asuna? How are you guys doing?
*Text begins to read on a jumbo-tron*
A negative reception:
"I enjoyed the first season, but this one kinda left me hanging. There were a lot of things done wrong, most notably the unnecessary fanservice and buildup to an underwhelming climax." - Mcgillacuddy

Asuna: It's very nice to meet you too, MSBS and Mcgillacuddy!
Kirito: We're doing fine.
Asuna: Okay, so the reason we invited you two today is because we wanted to hear your views on what may be the most polarizing installment in the SAO franchise so far, aka Sword Art Online II.

MSBS: That's easy, but I think I'll have to use a little bit of an essay format to get my point across.

Kirito: Are you sure? We don't have much time, you know.

MSBS: Don't worry. I know a lot about SAO to say a lot about SAO.

Asuna: And you, Mcgillacuddy?

Mcgillacuddy: I'll just keep it short and simple.

Asuna: Alright, now let's begin! Unfortunately, we'll have to skip Sword Art Trivia II, though...

Yui: Aw... Mama, why?

Asuna: Time constraints, Yui-chan. Time constraints. Now start!

Kirito: Uh... Asuna, you might want to look at this.

Asuna: *Sees that the New Year Ball has just dropped and brought in the year of 2017* Huh?! Uh, looks like the show will have to go on regardless then!

Yui: Mama...

Asuna: Okay, Yui-chan. You can do Sword Art Trivia II now.


Yui: In the light novels for Sword Art Online, the Calibur arc had an alternate version called Calibur SS, which was an alternate ending branching from the Calibur side-story. The "SS" stands for "Slight Slipup", which hints at Kirito and his friends failing their quest in the alternate ending. Oh, but don't worry! I won't spoil anything else for anyone planning on reading or watching the Calibur arc! That's it for Sword Art Trivia II!

MSBS: Now before I start, I want everyone to know that this is simply my opinion and that if you have an opposing one, I completely respect it. That said, I actually liked Sword Art Online II. But as we all know, there were people that loved it and people that hated it. Heck, even some fans of Sword Art Online were turned off by the second installment. Despite that, I came across many pros and cons of the anime and overall found Sword Art Online II to have had some improvements and drawbacks from the original Sword Art Online anime. In fact, I believe that with the end of Mother's Rosario, the SAO franchise should be moving in the right direction especially since Alicization and Underworld are said to be the best arcs in the SAO light novels yet. And I can't wait for that new Ordinal Scale movie coming out this spring in 2017.

Asuna: Okay, now let's pass the baton to you, Mcgillacuddy!

Mcgillacuddy: Sword Art Online was one of my first anime. It was what got me into anime in the first place. I enjoyed the first season. It had its flaws and all, but overall, it was an enjoyable show. Now I was pretty hyped up for the second season, but when I actually saw it, I was very disappointed and it wasn't as good as the first one. Like I said earlier, there were tons of unnecessary fanservice and the climax was quite underwhelming.

Asuna: Okay, now we'll have both of you state your views in five categories: Animation, art, and music; Story; Characters; Flaws; and Conclusion. Let's start with Animation, art, and music!

MSBS: This is a no-brainer. When it comes to production value, the SAO franchise has it all. A-1 Pictures is no slacker when it comes to animation, so it's no surprise that the animation in Sword Art Online II is visually stunning. I mean, all you have to do is watch the scene where Sinon's and Death Gun's bullets fly by each other and you'll know what I mean. That scene was a CGI masterpiece! As for the art, it's still just as good as the art for the SAO anime series has always been. And last but not least, the music is splendid. Okay, so the soundtrack isn't exactly too original considering some of the tracks are even rehashes of tracks from the first SAO anime, but regardless of that, the soundtrack is still great. But the main highlights are LiSA, Eir Aoi, Luna Haruna, and Haruka Tomatsu. Eir Aoi's IGNITE is exhilarating, Luna Haruna's Startear is beautiful, courage by Haruka Tomatsu was touching, No More Time Machine by LiSA was upbeat and groovy, and Shirushi by LiSA was one of the saddest anime songs I have ever heard in my entire life.

Mcgillacuddy: Pretty much what Kitsada said. Man, that's a lot of information he spouted out!

MSBS: Sword Art Online II has three arcs: Phantom Bullet, Calibur, and Mother's Rosario. For Phantom Bullet, it revolves around Kirito and a new female lead named Sinon, who must deal with a new villain named Death Gun, who has been mysteriously killing players both in-game and in real life simultaneously in the new VRMMORPG called Gun Gale Online. What I liked most about this arc was the psychological drama present as Kirito and Sinon are reminded of their respective pasts along the way and must overcome them in order to solve the mystery of Death Gun. Now as for Calibur, uh... I don't really have much to say. It's just Kirito and his friends going on a quest in New ALO to retrieve the Holy Sword Excalibur. It isn't bad, but it's actually my least favorite arc in the franchise considering I was bored with it and missed Phantom Bullet. As for Mother's Rosario, I was initially confused as to why the anime was continuing even after Phantom Bullet ended, and I was honestly on the verge of dropping Sword Art Online II until I pushed on and decided to watch to the end of Sword Art Online II. For me, that decision was worth it. I felt that Mother's Rosario was great to the point that it was absolutely flawless and even better than Aincrad. Asuna had gained a lot of character development in Mother's Rosario, which was a HUGE redemption of her character after her damsel-in-distress status in Fairy Dance and being set aside as nothing but a spectator and supporting character in Phantom Bullet and Calibur respectively. And the relationship she had with Yuuki Konno was so amazing.

Mcgillacuddy: While I found the climax of Phantom Bullet to be underwhelming, I think I can pretty much agree on everything else with what Kitsada said.

MSBS: Aside from one certain screwball, I found the cast of Sword Art Online II to be relatively enjoyable. Kirito was cool as he always was. I know he gets quite a lot of hate for being considered a Gary Stu and overpowered, but for me, I felt like he wasn't really all that in here. He goes through quite a psychological struggle in the Phantom Bullet arc when he's reminded of how he had once killed two Laughing Coffin members in self-defense and became traumatized by the fact that he just killed two players back in SAO. And this really fitted in with another character that I named earlier known as Sinon, who is an adolescent girl that is a sniper in GGO and was going through a similar struggle as Kirito was, as she too must deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder that she got from shooting a mad robber who was raiding a post office that she and her mother were at one day in the past. As for Asuna, like I said before, she doesn't really stand out as a character until her big break comes in Mother's Rosario, which is where she gains a lot of character growth and development. Speaking of Mother's Rosario, Yuuki Konno was an incredible character. Despite having not much time to shine in her arc, Yuuki surprisingly had a lot of character depth to her and her backstory was shocking to say the least. Again, the bonds shared between Asuna and Yuuki in this arc were very close and tight, so I can hardly see why anyone would hate this arc other than them thinking it's boring or something.

Mcgillacuddy: Since we'll be moving onto the flaws next, this will be the last time I say something in short terms. So for the last time, my thoughts on the characters are similar to those of Kitsada's.

MSBS: While I do think that the second season improved on some flaws that were present in the first season, such as the pacing and character development, there were a few drawbacks as well. I agree that a lot of unnecessary and distracting fanservice was used and shouldn't have been there in the first place. Most notably the scenes where the camera panned onto Sinon's butt during crucial moments in the Phantom Bullet arc and the notorious bath scene with Asuna in the Calibur arc, if I recall. I mean, Sinon and Asuna are beautiful and all, but A-1 Pictures needs to stop pandering to those perverted weeaboos and think about the people who actually want to watch the show for its story and characters. Again, I didn't really care much for Calibur, even though it had its memorable moments, and Asuna didn't really feel like a character until Mother's Rosario came. But one GOOD thing about Calibur is that it gave supporting characters like Klein, Silica, Lisbeth, Yui, and Leafa much needed screen time that they deserved that they didn't receive as much in the first arc of Sword Art Online II or even in the first season (with the exception of Leafa in Fairy Dance, since she had a lot of time to shine in that arc as she was the main female lead of that arc). Overall, there were some improvements and setbacks here and there.

Mcgillacuddy: Of course, the main problem I had with Sword Art Online II was the fanservice. I mean, really? What is it with the studio that animates the show? Like, when Kirito was trying to comfort Sinon when she was feeling frustrated at her past and why Kirito was helping her, it feels like the show just HAD to zoom up on Sinon's ass just for a cheap appeal to masturbating weebs. Come on, A-1 Pictures! You're better than this. As for the climax, I felt like it didn't give me as much of a climactic ending to Phantom Bullet as I wanted it to, even despite the loads of buildup and suspense that that arc had. As for Calibur and Mother's Rosario, I stopped caring about the second season, so I didn't even bother to watch the last two arcs.

MSBS: While it isn't perfect, I still enjoyed Sword Art Online II. Aside from the fanservice, Sword Art Online II did manage to fix a few problems that were found in the first anime. And Mother's Rosario is currently my favorite arc in the entire franchise to date, even beating out Aincrad. So without further ado, here is my final score for Sword Art Online II:

9.0 out of 10.0 stars

Mcgillacuddy: Now I'm not too sure if I would give Sword Art Online II a score as a whole series, because I actually dropped it after the end of Phantom Bullet. I didn't feel like wasting more time with the second season after my disappointment with said arc. I don't know what to say about Calibur or Mother's Rosario, though. But I think we can all agree that it's DEFINITELY not on the same level of bad as Boku no Pico. That said, here's what I scored Sword Art Online II on my MAL account:

Overall Score: 3/10 (Very Bad)

Asuna: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! Two people have given their reception of Sword Art Online II! I'm very glad to hear about what was done well and poorly in this anime and I hope the next installment can be a further improvement!

Kirito: You got that right, Asuna! But I think Alicization will be great nonetheless. There have been news of Alicization making me significantly weaker, so hopefully everyone will stop calling me a Gary Stu.

Asuna: I sure hope so, "Gary Stu". Ahahaha!

Kirito: Now all of a sudden, I feel so betrayed.

Asuna: Well, even though it's already past New Year's Eve, happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all have a safe and happy 2017! This is Asuna signing off from Sword Art Offline II!

Everyone: Bye-bye!

Asuna: This episode of Sword Art Offline II and The Official MSBS Anime Review is brought to you by TheTopTens, with currently more than 100,000 top ten lists for everything under (& including) the sun. What's your passion?


My last post of 2016 is finally complete! Hats off to 2016 and hats on for 2017! - ModernSpongeBobSucks

The feels when Yuuki died... the Gun Gale arc sucked though - TwilightKitsune

Good review - Skullkid755

Well, this is stupid. My post should be nowhere near the list of Top 10 Worst Things About Sword Art Online. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

UPDATE: Thankfully, now it is on the list of Best Sword Art Online Characters since I asked admin to move it there. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Great post man! You just gave me the idea to do a bit of a collaboration for my FMA Brotherhood review! Thanks! - visitor