Previously, I wrote a review nagging about how bad everything about this show was. However, I recognize that I was purely pouring out all the negative emotions that came from one episode - Episode 4. That review is at the bottom for anyone to see.
Here is my "true" review:
The story has some ups and downs. On one hand, the story used to develop the villains is terrible, at least in my opinion. On the other hand, the general story that moves the plot shows potential. Although it isn't exactly clever, unique, or in any way amazing, the plot of SAO war of underworld is still relatively entertaining, which is what matters the most. TL;DR, the plot in regards to the villain development sucks and the plot in regards to the main characters (mostly Alice) shows promise.
Art & sound: 9
A-1 Studios really shines at bringing amazing visuals and sound. Once again, really outdoing themselves with SAO war of underworld. And the ED. Probably my favorite song by LISA. Not much to say except great job on these elements.
The characters in SAO war of underworld aren't very good for the most part. Besides Alice, the other characters aren't getting a lot of development. That being said, the protagonist of this season is clearly Alice, so I don't really mind all the attention and focus being on her. However, in any good show with good characters, the villains need to be cleverly designed and well thought out. SAO for the most part lacks in the villain development department, and this season is the same. It seems as if the "pfft i dunno" mentality of Kayaba from season 1 as well as the mentally unstable element of Spiegel from GGO were combined, and this is the antagonist that was achieved. This was what caused my rant down below. Had the villain been nailed, my review for SAO war of underworld would have been a lot better.
Generally, I'm entertained by watching the show, mainly because I'm a sucker for amazing visuals and music. But, at the same time I'm cringing at parts that seem overly dramatic or cliche. I have hope that the show can get better as time goes on.
TL;DR, SAO has another bad villain, but I'm hoping it doesn't end poorly, like SAO Alicization did.
PREVIOUS REVIEW/RANT DOWN BELOW:
Disclaimer: This was purely a rant after watching the joke of a "villain development" episode.
Won't go too into detail so that I won't spoil the garbage. That being said, so far, the story is a disgrace to anime viewers. If the stories of the previous SAO seasons felt as if an edgy teen made it up, this one is way worse. It's as if the edgy teen lost their sanity and wrote whatever bs they could think of. A lot of wasted potential because of the story.
Same as story, absolute garbage. I was hoping for some better character development, but the character backstories for this arc so far is so demented and unimaginable that its disgusting. As usual, the villains were written very poorly, and the protagonists' backstories not being very clear either.
Art and Sound: 9
That being said, the redeeming factors of this show lie with the art, animation, and sound. The visuals are stunning, but doesn't distract you from how bad the plot is. The soundtrack is still great, helping to hype up meaningless battles that are irrelevant to the plot. The OP and ED were great, but again, it doesn't make up for how bad the plot is.
I enjoyed listening to the OP and ED. That's about it. The rest of the time, I was either questioning why i bothered to watch this show in the first place, or cringing over the plot.
So far, episode 1 seemed like there was room for development, but all that potential went down the drain in the next few episodes. It doesn't seem like it will be worth watching the show to the end.