Art & Music
Animation was great and followed the same effects and good fighting scenes from the first season, with cute and detailed character designs, although sometimes you could spot some mistakes or low quality animation in the side characters. For example, in many conversations where they were a lot of characters involved, you could see them with a blank face staring at the back which for me is kind of disappointing to see, especially when you put so much effort into delivering quality animation throughout the whole series. Also, when Sinon converts into ALO, her ears have a different size in almost every scene. The music and voice acting were also very good, especially Sinon’s seiyuu, Miyuki Sawashiro (Celty Sturluson in Durarara!!) who gave a unique and great performance for her character.
Themes & Trivia
Klein and his samurai ways: Klein believes himself to be a samurai warrior and in the ‘Calibur’ arc he mentions something about his bushido. Bushido (武士道, ‘the way of the warrior’) is a Japanese term for the many codes of honor and ideals that uttered the samurai way of life. The ‘way’ originates from the samurai moral values, most commonly stressing some combination of sincerity, frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor until death.
Norse mythology references in ALO: There are so many references from the Norse mythology in Alfheim Online. Starting from the NPCs and the weapons presented in the ‘Calibur’ arc we have: Thor, the god of thunder, and the one who wields the magic hammer Mjolnir; Freya, the goddess associated with love, war, death, reproduction, beauty, fertility, and gold; and Thrym who is the king of Jotunheim. As for the worlds of ALO: Jotunheim means the land of giants, Nilfheim is the land of ice and snow, Muspelheim is land of fire, and Alfheim means the land of fairies. Most of the races that live in Alfheim are not from Norse mythology, but from England, Ireland,and Scotland, with the exception of the Salamander race.
So the main difference in Kirito’s character in GGO was his long hair that made him look like a girl and his motorcycle skills. I don’t enjoy the fact that Kirito is portrayed to be as the only ideal and good male in the whole series. If you think about it, any other male character that shows up, most of the time as love interests for the female characters, they are super perverted and sick in the head. In this season, we have Shinkawa who follows into the steps from King Oberon from Season 1, as he tries to rape Sinon as well. What the actual f*ck.
On that note, why are the girls in Sword Art Online always portrayed as sexual object, showing their boobs and butt cracks with weird camera shots? And it’s not only that. Kirito is shown to have dreams, goals, and aspirations for his future but, of course, Asuna’s dream is to follow Kirito and be with him for the rest of her life. What kind of biased mentality is that, seriously? I will also address the subject of how girls are treated when they play video games. They are shown to wear revealing clothes, and obviously, they are not just recognised for their skills but just because they are girls they get popular and everyone tries to hit on them. Kirito even mocks this by acting all cute. Great role models, Sword Art Online, really well done.