Sword Art Offline didn't seem to add anything; I felt that if you watched it or didn't watch it, you're not missing out on anything (action-wise or information-wise).
For animated chibis, they displayed a very limited range of emotions (most of the time it's just blushing); they're chibis, they're supposed to be over the top in my opinion.
Plus, too much useless fanservice and tsundereness that I find plain annoying.
The attempted humour falls flat, and everything that happens is extremely predictable.
The segment that I did enjoy was the trivia corner because it wasn' something that was necessarily repeated information - usually it was something new
that you wouldn't get from just watching the series lightly.
first of. there is NO new material in these shorts. secondly, whatever any other reviwers say, this is NOT a recap show. and, imho, you should only watch this if youre a true SAO fan. maybe even a hardcore one. i'm not, but i still enjoyed these short episodes.
each episode consist of up to five parts of a SAO news station broadcast:
the headlines, sword art offline, trivia, playback corner, slot talk, life counseling and ending
the show starts with "news headlines" by chibi anchor asuna followed by either "sword art trivia" with chibi yui (yeah) or goes straight to "sword art offline". in the sword
art offline part there is dialog between the chibi host asuna and the chibi commentator kirito. the dialog plot is far from complex. it's buildt on nothing more than; jealousy, mild slapstick and character knowlegde. in the "playback corner" there is one special guest in each epsiode which the playback are supposed to be about. only compromised by the simple dialog plot. there is some character building in this part since the chibi characters are reviewing scenes from SAO and commenting on them. but nothing comes up that you didn't already know. from here it moves on to either a new "sword art trivia" or to chibi "kirito's life counseling". in chibi "kirito's life counseling" the guest is put behind a 'identity concealer' and can ask chibi kirito for any advice. usually falling on the dialog plot or the guests obvious character strengths. in the second episode chibi klein takes over the "life consulling" part and makes an apperance with the host and the commentator ever after. when all this is done it goes to a little summary where they end it in a news station manner. in epsode 6 chibi leafa takes over as host and "life consulling" is replaced with "slot talk".
based on the nine episodes i have seen i rate this show as: "(6/10) Fair"
Since many of the reviews for these shorts bring a railing judgment against them, I thought I'd offer a modest defense for them and why they aren't (completely) terrible.
Ultimately, I evaluate any anime series, including chibi short spinoffs like this one, based on how well it meets the objective that it sets for itself. The main Sword Art series attempts to tell a sweeping story about how players hold on to their humanity in a virtual world, and while we can debate the efficacy of its attempt to meet that objective, Sword Art Offline sets no such lofty standard for itself and thus shouldn't
be held to the same kind of standard.
This series is, in every sense, bonus material: it's meant simply to offer a few laughs and smiles to fans of the series who have already watched all there is to see, but want to see more of their favorite characters. So, painting with broad brush strokes, this miniseries gives us just that: a series of comedy sketches featuring most of the prominent SAO cast members, the humor of which is primarily slapstick, but for what it is, that sort of approach *works*. Is it high-quality entertainment? Perhaps not, but it's certainly good for a few laughs, and some of the visual gags are indeed pretty funny. The show maintains a decent sense of comedic timing, and for what it may lack in subtlety, it delivers in exuberance.
If you enjoy hearing seiyuu clowning around a bit, you'll probably enjoy this series. It's the kind of show you probably have to be in the right mood to enjoy, and for better or for worse, I found myself laughing my head off at it, even though I knew that the humor wasn't particularly well-developed. The humor may get a bit stale if you watch everything in one sitting, so perhaps try breaking it up and watching an episode or two during a lunch break when you need a quick anime pick-me-up. Overall, if you come in without too many expectations, I think you'll find this eager-to-please miniseries entertaining. If you find it's not your thing, well, that's what the "dropped" category is for on our lists.
Oh, and the episode in which Heathcliff is a guest contains some foreshadowing for the Ordinal Scale movie. That combined with the trivia sections is probably the only plot-relevant reason to watch this series. Most of it is just for fun.
"Tell me, what do you think is the ultimate fear? I really thought I'd already reached the darkest of the dark, but then, ahead of me, I beheld a darkness even greater still." - Johan Liebert, Monster
As a masochist, I've watched many things that hurt me. Some anime damaged my brain with how absurdly bad they are. Some anime made my heart ache because of how painful they were.
But never before has an anime reached out and stabbed my soul, leaving terror and desolation in its wake.
With its appalling humor, dreadful set of chibis, and its abysmal story of absolute nothingness, this recap is
dreadful in every manner possible. Not even fans of the SAO series will enjoy this. You know something is wrong when the whole series isn't even subbed yet -since the subbers are probably already dead. I would not recommend this to anyone, not even my worst enemy that I want dead. Because some things are worse than death.
I am scared. I am scared of what lies ahead of me, scared to pick this anime back up and finish it. Never before has something been so frightening as continuing this. God help my soul...