Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

2 August 2014: Sword Art Online II isn't called Gun Art Online, you know

Kirito and Asuna
Only married one year and your wife is already an anime popsicle.

Assuming you watched the first season of Sword Art Online (not exactly required) or were already passably familiar with the show and its criticisms before watching Sword Art Online 2, then it shouldn't surprise you at all that Kirito is sugoi-awesome at everything he does. Again. Based on some initial reactions to the first three episodes, it appears some people are, in fact, at least a little irritated by this. But is there any grounds for criticism? They had to expect this after getting two cours of it already. If it's a real problem, why watch the show at all?

Shino maintains trigger discipline

As with the first season, I still agree that some criticism is valid, because the entire franchise does smack of reader/viewer wish fulfillment tripe, but at the same time I'm not sure there's anything really wrong with that if you look at it in context. I'm much more annoyed by protagonists who are demonstrably worthless and unskilled or otherwise loathesome in some way, yet still inexplicably "win" by either sheer luck or through some insipid technique that is intended to appear clever. These are the harem comedy schmucks who are irresistible to girls for no apparent reason. As narrative affronts go, it's less insulting to me that Kirito wins all the time because he's magically good at everything than it would be if he won all the time despite being a total clod. I'm even willing to accept it in the sense that some people actually are preternaturally good at everything in real life in The Meatspace here in the Garden of Rainbows. The fact that Kirito doesn't really look the part is sort of immaterial considering we are still talking about an anime adaptation of a light novel. If it seems juvenile, well, it's probably because the intended audience consists of juveniles.

Shino seems like a sweet kid even if she does kill people.

Granted, the lesser of two evils is still evil, so I'm not prepared to call Sword Art Online 2 a good show. Even without all the Kirito-related problems, there are real flaws in the narrative and characters (that I won't address on point here because they're spoilers from the books). Nevertheless, there are good parts that are legitimately enjoyable, even though the dish as a whole might make you a little naseous after you consume the whole thing.

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