Sword Art Online II has been on a bit of a downhill slide recently. I mean first we had episode 13, and then we had the boring Calibur arc which, to be quite frank, felt extremely pointless. I understand it was a filler arc, but even then it didn’t offer anything really fun character or action wise. Yeah I guess there were two good fight scenes, but they honestly didn’t impress me that much. However, if there is one glimmer of hope in this mound of boredom it’s that Sword Art Online has still remained intriguing throughout, and that my drive to see it end hasn’t decreased at all! In fact, it may be improving after all.
Firstly though I guess I should talk about the Calibur arc’s ending: It was bleh. In all seriousness though, there isn’t really much to talk about when it comes to the ending of this arc. Just like last episode of this arc it has a decent fight scene, and just like the first episode of this arc it includes some boring harem and world stuff. Kirito gets the sword, Clive continues to be useless comic relief, the girls stare at Kirito dreamily, and it all ends with them having a new year’s celebration party where Kirito starts to prepare a new horrifying creation that will allow Yui to interact with the real world. OH NO IT CAN’T BE!!!
In general the best way you can describe the Calibur Arc is boring. It didn’t have much to offer,and, just like I said at the beginning of the post, it was clearly meant to be filler and nothing else. However, if there was one thing this arc did prove to me, it was that Sword Art Online is somehow worse when it isn’t focusing on its god awful character development. How that’s even humanly possible is beyond me, but it’s something I learned nonetheless.
With that out of the way though, we can now move on to the newest and final arc of Sword Art Online II, aka the Mother Rosario’s arc. Yes, the arc people have been praising as the arc that has the least amount of Kirito screen time, the arc that will finally be completely amazing! Of course, just like GGO, it isn’t, but I find it extremely intriguing already.
You see, the Mother’s Rosario arc focuses on Asuna, which is already a departure from the norm, but it also seems to be focused on her development and growth as a character. This is kind of shocking considering she’s been pushed off to the sidelines for the past three arcs, which this sudden shift in focus a surprise to say the least! Sadly Asuna is still not the same Asuna from SAO season 1, she’s pretty docile and passive for the most part, but unlike the Fairy Dance and GGO arcs before this, she’s actually getting some time to be a bad***.
It’s a lot fun watching Asuna fight against Zekken, the new powerful sword wielder who seems to be another major focus of this arc, and in general the fight scenes here are pretty spectacular. Everything’s intense and fast paced, and this combined with the colorful animation makes it a joy to watch. In fact the fight between Zekken and Asuna reminds me the most of the amazing fight between Kirito and Death Gun in the GGO arc, due to their quick pace and emphasis on dodging and motion. Overall if there was one thing I’d have to compliment this arc on it would definitely be these fight scenes.
Another great thing about it though is some of the character development we’ve seen for Asuna. The story’s focus on her has allowed us to finally catch a glimpse of her real world life, which is not as rosy as you’d expect. There have been hints in the past about arranged marriages, and her being from a rich family, but it’s in episode 19 where we finally get to see that. Both her parents are pushing her to wed a wealthy banker, and now her extremely strict Mother is about to force her to transfer to another school in order to get her into college faster. When Asuna remarks about how she’ll be the one to choose her husband, her Mother agrees only to then point out that Kirito is not worthy. Asuna then insults her Mother and hurries up to her room, where she then internally monologues about how she just wants to follow Kirito’s dreams of becoming a software creator.
I’m not going to lie, this is all pretty cheesy and cliche, but otherwise I’m surprised by how well this drama is working. This is the first time in quite a while that there’s been something interesting in Asuna’s character, and while it’s as simple as her just wanting to be with Kirito and finding her own path in life, it’s still miles better than her just being the passive girlfriend of our main protagonist. All of this is held up by some pretty good direction, and I get the feeling that Zekken, or Yuuki as she is really called, will further help Asuna grow as a person. And then maybe Asuna will finally become strong enough to stand on her own without Kirito!… Which probably won’t happen, but hey, I can hope for the best right?
Overall though, it seems like Sword Art Online II might be improving. I mean yeah the Calibur arc and episode 13 of the GGO arc will forever sour my opinions on the series, but otherwise I’m actually enjoying the show right now. The newest arc has its flaws, but Asuna’s character development and her relationship with Yuuki is really interesting so far, even though it is pretty generic. With any luck Sword Art Online II will have a decent finale that will have make watching this whole thing worthwhile, though that still seems highly unlikely. Either way I’ll see you in the next and final post, and until then I bid you adieu!