"Where...am I...?" Before he knows it, Kirito has made a full-dive into an epic, fantasy-like virtual world. With only a murky recollection of what happened right before he logged in, he starts to wander around, searching for clues.
He comes upon an enormous, pitch dark tree (the Gigas Cedar), where he encounters a boy. "My name is Eugeo. Nice to meet you, Kirito." Although he is supposedly a resident of the virtual world – an NPC – the boy shows the same array of emotions as any human being.
As Kirito bonds with Eugeo, he continues to search for a way to log out of this world. Meanwhile, he remembers a certain memory deep down within him. He remembers racing through the mountains with Eugeo as a child... A memory that he should not have in the first place.
And in this memory, he sees someone other than Eugeo, a young blond girl. Her name is Alice. And it is a name that must never be forgotten...
Finally, a SAO with interesting aspects going for it. The writers seem to focus on avoiding what the previous seasons did wrong, and they are doing very well. For all you leaving negative reviews, I can't help but think you don't know why the previous few seasons are considered such a disaster. Let me explain.
What was the initial premise of SAO? It was to explore the possible consequences of VR worlds. Now the first few seasons did a great job of setting the exposition up--a VR world where the meaning of living is as consequential to living in the real world. What better way to
demonstrate that then the shared inevitability of death. The love Kirito finds, and his bro friends seem like a good way to compare the two worlds.
However, the anime falls off when the focus stops being about the consequences of VR, and starts being about Kirito's harem, his love for Asuna, and pointless quests to show how OP he is. I have nothing against these (except maybe the harem), but the fact that the focus of the series grew to focus on these aspects is what caused its fall.
Now, consider Alicitization. From the very start, Kirito experiences death--almost as if the writers are saying we are killing off the old Kirito, and here is the new one. When he enters the VR world, he relies on the one true thing he was good at in the original SAO--using a sword. Sure, this arc is similar to the previous ones in that he is trying to save a girl locked away in a tower, but this time, there is actual meaning. Kirito realizes all the characters are Fluclights, and furthermore, progresses through the story to figure out what the heck he's doing in the VR world. He believe that finding Alice is the key to figuring out what happened.
The other story, with Asuna, is just brilliant. As the reader, we know with dramatic irony what Kirito is doing in the world. And, for a totally different reason, we assign significance to this Alice. Knowing more about Alice corresponds to uncovering the consequences of VR.
So both of the protagonists, finally again as strong individuals of their own right and not Kirisuna, search for Alice for totally different reasons. And both are as meaningful as the other. As the namesake character, the discovery of Alice will clearly bring revelations to both Kirito and Asuna. Hopefully the series keeps driving forward to this one destination, and doesn't fall into the trap of focusing on something different as the first seasons did.
"Watch Alicization, it's SO much better".
Literally equally bad as the other seasons and movie.
Should have noticed that before, since the creator wrote the movie while he was writing this arc, and the movie is also terrible.
But no, I'm a complete fucking idiot, and decided to waste my time.
So now I'm wasting my time writing this. Enjoy the ride if you can.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR EPISODES 1-6.
So Kirito is in this high tech virtual reality.
It starts off with blonde Kirito and kiddie Kirito cutting down a tree. This tree is literally the villain of the first arc, by the way. Then, Alice goes there
and gives them food. That’s her personality: She cooks food, and is kind of responsible, I guess (So Asuna after the first arc, basically). [Kiddie] Kirito’s personality is slightly more childish, but mostly the same from the original. Blonde Kirito, aka Eugeo, is the same but slightly more responsible and more shy. There aren’t many things that distinguish their personalities apart.
Anyway, we get into a boring exposition dump (Just like in any other SAO season) that takes around 7 minutes. Conveniently, they explain the dragon, the good/bad guys, Alice’s backstory, his dad and what happens when you go to the evil land: things that literally happen and are explained again in the next 2-10 minutes. They were already aware of these things before. Why are they explaining these things if they already know? This is just a problem throughout SAO entirely. The writer doesn’t know how to deliver information to the viewer.
So something, something, they want to go for some ice somewhere, and it could be in some cave apparently. They go in a cave where the [dead] dragon is, grab some ice and realize they are lost. They go through a random entrance of many and it’s the evil land.
Then they see two good/bad guys fighting. “So the guy in dark clothes is from the dark organization”- the kids say. The bad guy falls and points at the kids. Alice runs to him, even though he’s the bad guy and that’s the evil land, falls, and her fingertips touch the evil land. It’s so over-dramatic that it’s comical. If they made it less dramatic, I would have taken it seriously.
Next day, the good guy goes for Alice to arrest her in some kinky handcuffs. They also explain again that the mayor is Alice’s dad, by the way. Kirito tries to stop him, but the other guy is too powerful. Eugeo also tries it but is stopped by an “Alert System” he has implanted. Why didn’t those work when they were getting close to the evil land? Even though they over explain most things, I’m still left with questions.
Kirito wakes up from the virtual thing, then goes to GGO. Mostly uninteresting choreography. Also, weird to see Kirito in the girl skin while everybody else has a model that is exactly like in real life. Another plot-hole, I see.
So, Sinon asks Kirito [and Asuna] to go the bar another day to ask him something/talk. Why don’t they stay there to talk? Oh, right! Because then he couldn’t die.
So they go to the bar and there is ANOTHER exposition dump. It goes on for 4 minutes, then Asuna interrupts, then it goes on for another 7 minutes. They aren’t even explaining necessary plot points, they are just wasting my time here.
Then, Kirito and Asuna go outside, mention more stuff and the last bad guy from GGO appears, with an injection of poison, somehow (they forgot that plot point from GGO). And the moment where Kirito tries to grab his sword is hysterical. How could the show screw up the tone so badly? This is comparable to the homing bullet in GGO.
Bad guy runs towards him, Kirito pushes Asuna, grabs the umbrella, and instead of Kirito going for the chest (because the bad guy wouldn’t have reached him that way and stopped) he goes for the leg and gets injected in the heart. Hilarious. Also, I noticed that when Kirito stabbed the bad guy, a knife effect was heard. Great sound design!
Episodes 2-6 are very boring (Tree is the bad guy until episode 4). They barely even advance on episode 4; little development that won't pay off happens, and nothing interesting happens.
Some things I will mention however:
1.- The goblins getting scared by the glowing plant is dumb.
2.- The part where Kirito is scared because of his bleeding arm? He just uses it later like nothing happened.
3.- When Eugeo gets hurt in the goblin fight, Kirito talks to him for a minute straight when there is a giant, expert, pissed off goblin right there behind him. It ruins the tension.
4.- The scene where Alice appears behind Kirito is ridiculous. No explanation could mask how stupid and convenient it was. It's just there to explain where Alice is EXACTLY.
5.- "This tree is incredibly powerful, even the Rose Sword doesn't do much damage"
"Now it's instantly easy!"
6.- Why did Kirito need Eugeo to go to the capital with him? He could have went with literally anybody else after they finshed their easier calling. Wanting him because he's "familiar" is a terrible excuse.
7.- Eugeo's training with the sword is skipped over, just like any moment when Kirito "trained".
8.- The security for The Ocean Turtle was really weak.
9.- Asuna is still ruined. She hates the guy that made the AI for war, but doesn't hate the guy that killed thousands of people "because she could spend some time with Kirito" and "her selfish needs".
10.- The characters just mention confidential stuff to their friends like if it didn't even matter.
11.- The SCI-FI in this is also completely stupid and overwritten (guys the souls/fluctlights are tubes of light or some shit. Very necessary info, according to the show).
Things I like:
1.- The few seconds that Klein was on screen, especially when he's talking. His VA alone shows a lot more personality than the rest of the show.
2.- Animation and OST. Obviously.
3.- Choreography is still bad, but more enjoyable, at least.
According to some obviously not delusional people, I'm not a good reviewer because I've only judged the first episodes, even though that the statement doesn't make sense because the first episodes are [a big] part of the show.
Also, they constantly repeat this: "the next episodes are so much better, the good stuff happens next".
In order to see "the good stuff", I will force myself to keep watching this, so this review will be updated per week. But this will definitely be the last time I watch a bad show till the end.
Watch it if you enjoy it, but in my opinion: Still garbage; always garbage.
NOTE: My original review was removed because reviews aren't supposed to be updated. I am already writing a review for the next episodes, but I will be updating it until the end of the series.
ANOTHER NOTE: Brandon6099 is posting hateful comments on my profile. I blocked him, but he made multiple fake accounts to keep doing it and to boost SAO:A's rating (evanbrooks324, evanbrooks325, evanbrooks326, bunniesslolz, etc. ).
Usually, I don't write reviews of a show that hasn't been finished yet, let alone the fact that I've never written in a review on MyAnimeList in the first place, but with the arrival of the latest TV anime adaptation in the Sword Art Online franchise that adapts the Alicization arc along with the fact that there are already reviews out for it even as the third season is still airing its first batch of episodes, I feel now is the perfect opportunity to give my thoughts on Sword Art Online: Alicization.
To begin, it goes without saying I was always a huge Sword Art Online
fan when it came to the anime. Through its ups and downs, I've stayed loyal to the anime since Aincrad, Fairy Dance, Phantom Bullet, Calibur, and Mother's Rosario. And now that we live in a timeline where Sword Art Online has now established itself as a franchise that won't be going anywhere anytime soon what with its theatrical anime film Ordinal Scale and its anime spin-off Alternative: Gun Gale Online, this brings us to my review of Alicization.
While I have always enjoyed the story of Sword Art Online in the first place, I am aware that lots of people have come to see the story as flawed in terms of pacing, world-building, etc. And it looks like it's going to stay that way as time goes on. Do I understand why some people think the story is flawed? Yes. Does it necessarily mean I agree with them? Not exactly.
Regardless, Alicization is already well on its way to improving the quality of the story. Trust me, if you thought Aincrad, Fairy Dance, Phantom Bullet, Calibur, or even Mother's Rosario (honestly, I can't fathom how anyone could dislike this arc's story) were flawed in their stories, then Alicization is almost guaranteed to show you how much the franchise's storytelling has improved. With 6 episodes in, Alicization has already given us a much slower pace of storytelling that previous arcs like Aincrad needed back then. Especially since Aincrad definitely needed that back when it was suffocated with time-skips to the point even Reki Kawahara himself started writing the Progressive manga series primarily for the purpose of truly fleshing out what the story of Aincrad should have been floor by floor. In addition, seeing the story take its time to actually flesh out the medieval setting of Underworld and what purpose it serves to the company Rath that is developing this new virtual world gives a breath of fresh air to those who felt there wasn't enough world-building in previous arcs.
Of course, some fans may feel the pace is too slow for their own tastes and that the exposition is too heavy in the beginning. However, I do believe that Alicization taking its time with its pacing and getting all the info dumps out of the way will ultimately pay off in the long term. After all, why do you think ufotable's Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works anime adaptations are so acclaimed for their story? Both had 1-hour prologue episodes and got all the exposition out of the way in the beginning so the story could pay off in the long term. In fact, something tells me the Fate series might be influencing Sword Art Online in the right direction.
Speaking of ufotable, Alicization's art and animation carries over from Ordinal Scale, in which its animation was practically a huge upgrade to the franchise. That said, while Sword Art Online has always done well in the animation department, Ordinal Scale truly set the bar high for the franchise's animation quality (and story too, but I'll just be discussing art in this section). Alicization's art is clearly more detailed and crisp than previous seasons, truly showing how dedicated A-1 Pictures is in caring for one of it's most popular franchises. Along with the great use of lighting and the fluid animation, as long as A-1 Pictures doesn't slack off, it's guaranteed that Alicization's art and animation will stay consistently perfect throughout the entire run of the anime. While there were some seldom uses of CGI that didn't blend too well with the animation such as the few scenes of the goblins rendered like something out of Overlord or the helicopter that flew to Ocean Turtle, fortunately these seldom uses of CGI can be overlooked in favor of the much phenomenal overall quality of the art and animation. After all, Kirito's fight with the leader of the goblins was nothing short of magnificent to the point that it was comparable to an animated fight in a ufotable anime adaptation of the latest main Fate installment due to its amazing choreography. If only A-1 Pictures dedicated this much effort to the animation of Fate/Apocrypha...
What can I say? LiSA, Eir Aoi, and Yuki Kajiura never fail to deliver on their musical contributions to the Sword Art Online franchise. The opening song, "ADAMAS" by LiSA, is just outstanding in that it gives you vibes of thrill and excitement like you're about to go on a long journey and unravel tons of mysteries and encounter many battles down the road. Honestly, "ADAMAS" is so incredible that it's probably just as good or even so good that it surpasses "Crossing Field" by LiSA, which was the first opening song for Sword Art Online. "Iris" by Eir Aoi, while not the best Sword Art Online ending song yet, fulfills its purpose as ending song, putting us in the shoes of Eugeo as we're wrought in lyrics that speak of tragedy and despair even as we live with what we still have left. As for Yuki Kajiura, we haven't really gotten a lot of new soundtracks by her for Alicization yet since it's still using older soundtracks from previous seasons, but one new soundtrack that stands out to me in particular is Alicization's rendition of Swordland, which has a hint of chorus put into it to really fit in with the medieval setting of Underworld. Other than that, the sound effects are spot on and I can't find anything wrong with sound whatsoever.
Now don't get me wrong, Kirito is without a doubt my favorite anime character since I can relate so much to him as a gamer and what he's been through in the entirety of the franchise's story. However, I am aware of how many people complain about him being overpowered and/or being bland. However, I do feel that ever since Ordinal Scale, the people behind Sword Art Online have learned how to improve Kirito's characterization. Come Alicization, those improvements on Kirito's characterization will come in spades. Not only is he truly no longer overpowered, but he actually has to learn from the ground up what the world of Underworld is like and will truly have to work his way up gradually to become strong instead of becoming suddenly overpowered in 4 or 5 episodes. And believe me, him being able to put a big cut on a huge tree after gaining experience is only the beginning. Which brings me to Alice and Eugeo. For Alice, while we won't see her for a while due to her disappearance and where she is being a major mystery for the story, we did get a good feel of what Alice was like as a child. So we can only wait in anticipation of how differently she'll be like when we eventually see her later in the story. As for Eugeo, in exchange for Alice being out of the picture for a while, the first parts of Alicization are meant to develop the friendship between him and Kirito. If Kirito teaching Eugeo how to fight like a swordsman isn't any indication that their bonds as brotherly friends will be well-developed, then I don't know what is. That said, the last focus of the characters would have to be Asuna. Having gotten 2 exposition-heavy info dump episodes already, Asuna has truly grown as a character. Being able to take initiative and pay back the favor for Kirito by going to save him like how he saved her back in Fairy Dance, it makes for a great use of Swapped Roles. And if I'm not wrong, the story of Alicization will shift from Kirito and Asuna's perspectives, though how frequently is what I'm unsure of. Regardless, I'm liking how they're approaching Kirito, Alice, Eugeo, and Asuna so far. I can't say much about Sinon, Leafa, or even the side characters, but while I know Sinon and Leafa will play a role in the later parts of the story, I guess side characters like Silica, Lisbeth, Klein, and Agil will still have to sit on the sidelines.
I may have enjoyed Sword Art Online throughout all of its seasons, but believe me, Sword Art Online's third season has me enjoying it like no season before. To see Alicization finally improve on the flaws of previous seasons shows that the creators of Sword Art Online truly care for their fans and that they're willing to listen to criticism and make any changes necessary for the better. In fact, Sword Art Online has practically been going through a renaissance of improvement in recent years. With Ordinal Scale being acclaimed and successful to the point it was even a submission for an Oscar nomination and Alternative: Gun Gale Online being so good that its reception was much warmer than its parent series, Alicization is pretty much here to put the cherry on top of Sword Art Online's renaissance of improvement. And as long as Alicization keeps up the trend of improvement and tells its story like it's supposed to, I will be honored to stay invested in Alicization and see what mysteries and twists will be unraveled in Underworld and what's to come.
While my review may not change the opinions of those who refuse to acknowledge Sword Art Online's improvements, I do believe I have done well in expressing my honest opinions in a fair fashion of explaining why I feel the franchise has come a long way and improved significantly. I may be one person, but so is every single individual who is a fan of the franchise. Whether you like Sword Art Online or not, I can guarantee you that even if there are a few nitpicks along the way, Sword Art Online: Alicization is a significant improvement over previous seasons and will continue to be that way over the course of its run. And that is why I sincerely feel that Sword Art Online: Alicization deserves a perfect score of 10/10. Not a 5. Not a 6. In fact, 7 is not enough. A third season like Alicization that greatly improves upon previous seasons in the franchise is a season that deserves 8's, 9's, 10's all around. To all of the people who worked on Sword Art Online: Alicization to make it the best season yet, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for pouring all your efforts into doing so and improving Sword Art Online for the better. Keep up the good work.
I read at present the first 14 volumes in the Japanese size of the novel which went out in my country, and I can you assure that the novel written by Reki Kawahara is a real masterpiece.
At present there are the first 6 episodes which went out and which I obviously well looked and I admit you that I am a little disappointed by the first episodes of the anime up of made that they jumps a great deal of passage of the light novel original, and when they do not jump they botches it too quickly what makes me a little bit sad, but
on the other hand the opening is of very big one quality even if I find that it spoil a little too much. The chara-design of the characters does not change and does not need beings to change, it is always a pleasure for eyes even if it is not at the level of Kyoto Animation.
Now come the animation made by A-1 Pictures who is not absolutely disappointing, to see even magnificent at the level of colors.
As regards the sound, and well they did not change the OST but it is not so grave because the olders grant very well with the universe of SAO.
For quite these reasons I note it 8 on 10, what is one very well in itself.
Story : 8/10, Art : 9/10, Sound : 8/10,
Character: 7/10, Enjoyment : 8/10, Overall : 8/10
Personally I there concluded that if there are reproaches it is because of the studio (maybe due to director's change) which does not manage well enough the formation of different scene and not from Reki Kawahara.
To prevent: it may not be seen but the story is a bit slow to start (really) :D
Now I shall just like that you note honestly and clearly Sword Art Online Alicization because I was able to noticed by the negative criticisms without the truth valid reason on the previous seasons what I do not find very nice for those who shape and give pleasure to us.