Hey hope everyone enjoyed my previous blog regarding SAO. Now that I have finished the show I will be putting up a review soon but before I do I want to briefly talk about some of my thoughts regarding the second half of SAO.
In the opening of the second half Kirito is back in the real world and has spent the last 3 months in rehab getting his strength back and adjusting to his normal life. However, Asuna is still trapped within the Nervegear. He learns that she has been held prisoner by Suguo an employee in her father's company who is also planning to marry her while she is unconscious to take over the company. He has her trapped in another online game created by the company RCT which took over the servers after the company that created SAO was dissolved. He enters the game hoping to save her and meets another player called Leafa who in the real world is his cousin Suguha although neither of them realize it. She helps him to find Asuna and break her out
I went into the second half of the show a little more skeptical. After all I expected the entire series to take place within its titular name. The idea of a MMO based on fairies did not sound appealing to me at all. Also I was disappointed that Asuna had been transformed from a strong power character to a princess who needed rescuing. It felt like this show was going downhill. Oh how wrong I was. I was extremely surprised and pleased with the second half of the show and it ended up being my favorite part of the anime. While there are issues that I have with ALO I think from top to bottom it was a more well realized world and the story as well as the relationships between the characters was more interesting.
Once again the animation in this show is fantastic. Each world is beautifully realized and the mere thought that this is an online game is something that makes me very wishful that I was a part of that world. It also felt more fantastical and fun to be in than SAO through the use of magic and flight. The magic system is a really cool system and is used very well. I also enjoyed the story and relationships between the characters more in the second half. Sugo is a far more despicable villain and one I loved to hate. He is a less enigmatic character than Kayaba and his motivations for keeping Asuna prisoner as well as creating ALO is more despicable but interesting. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kirito and Suguha. Initially I was put off by the whole forbidden love that Suguha had because it has been done practically to death in anime and while there are a few exceptions (ie. Usagi Drop) it usually comes across as creepy and uncomfortable. Here however, it does work as not only it provides more complexity to the characters but also gives a good reason as to why she plays these online games an idea that was not even touched upon in the first half. Overall I found the second half of the show much more enjoyable to watch and helped elevated my opinion overall. Look forward to my full review which will be up soon