Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld 2nd Season anime series cover art
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

Season Overview

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season (ソードアート・オンライン アリシゼーション War of Underworld) is the 2nd season of Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, 3rd season of Sword Art Online: Alicization, and 5th season of Sword Art Online. It makes sense if you don’t think about it.

Basically, this season continues the War of Underworld arc of SAO: Alicization. However, despite the fact that I did indeed watch all of it, I can’t really explain what happened. It’s all a fog, which is probably for the best because the little bits I do remember weren’t good.

So, let’s just cover a few of the highlights in this overview, starting with Reki Kawahara’s signature trope. That’s right, I’m talking about how the only way he seems to be able to illustrate that an antagonist is bad is by having them sexually assault one of the female characters. I honestly don’t think there’s been a season of SAO without this.

And, just to be clear, I’m not someone who has a problem with depicting mature themes such as sexual assault in anime. I just think it’s poor writing when Reki always has to include this in order to make it abundantly clear that the antagonists are bad.

On top of the poor character writing was some even worse plot development writing. But, to be fair, I really don’t expect good plot development from SAO.

So, what do I mean when I say that SAO has terrible plot development? Well, everything that happens (especially when Kirito is involved) comes out of nowhere. It’s just one Deus ex machina after another. He always happens to have a new ability for every situation.

Remember When Alicization was Decent?

The first season of the War of Underworld arc basically killed off all the characters who were halfway decent or otherwise wrote them out. So in this second season, all we were left with were the bad characters. You know, like Kirito and his harem. To me, this is the biggest flaw with War of Underworld 2nd season.

I expect a lot of bad things from SAO, so I can accept when most parts of the series are bad. However, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by some of the side characters in the first season of this arc. Kirito was a vegetable, his usual harem was nowhere to be found, and we got to see some pretty neat side characters.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned, all of those side characters who were even a little interesting got pushed to the side in this season because Kirito’s brain was rebooted and his harem showed up.

Asuna as Stacia in the Underworld from the anime series Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld 2nd season
Asuna as Stacia in the Underworld

Going back to the whole Deus ex machina thing, when the members of Kirito’s harem show up in the Underworld, they’re all using extremely overpowered avatars. Asuna is literally using the avatar of Stacia, the creator god of the Underworld. She can single-handedly defeat armies by opening up rifts in the earth.

As for the others, they somehow ported their SAO, ALO, and GGO characters into the Underworld. Apparently every single VRMMO game is still built on top of the same, old SAO code so it’s all compatible even though they’re all made by different developers.

Someone like Sinon coming into the Underworld with a magical .50 caliber sniper rifle, the ability to fly, and maxed out stats might as well be a god to the NPCs of the Underworld.

From the Underworld to Outer Space

The final scenes of War of Underworld 2nd season were by far the most baffling. After everything is done and the (Under)world is saved, Kirito, Asuna, and Alice head back in to see how everything has changed now that 200 years have passed.

Well, apparently a lot has changed in the past 200 years. For starters, the Underworld is now an entire planet within space. We know this because Kirito and his wives spawn in out in the depths of space looking down on the planet. Further, civilization on the Underworld planet has progressed beyond our current technology.

They now have spaceship fighters and seemingly routinely go into space to fight against abyssal monsters. Also, the pilots of these spaceships are descendants of Kirito’s underclassmen during his time at the knight academy, or whatever. But what’s more, is that they somehow know who Kirito is upon seeing him.

Some girl in a spaceship from the anime series Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld 2nd season
Some girl in a spaceship

I’m going to make a bold prediction and say that these girls don’t actually know who this Kirito is. We already know that there’s a digital copy of Kirito who has apparently been leading and protecting the Underworld planet for the past 200 years. So these girls probably mistook our Kirito for their Kirito.

So, does this mean that the next season of SAO (after the reboot of the original series) is going to involve space battles and an evil king Kirito as the antagonist? I sure hope so, because that sounds like a train wreck I want to watch.

Conclusion

In the end, Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season is a 5/10 from me. Yes, it looked very pretty, had good animation, and had some good music at times. But as I’ve said many times in the past, strong character writing and a good plot are what I care about much more than things like visuals. And unfortunately for SAO, those are what it’s bad at.

I also somehow can’t even think of what the OP and ED for this season were, which isn’t a good sign. I know I really liked one of the EDs for the earlier Alicization seasons, but I couldn’t tell you what the one for this season was like. Let’s be real though, all of the SAO OPs and EDs are by the same three artists and they’re all pretty similar.

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