The latest Sword Art Online feature film is nearly upon us but until then, here’s a new release from Madman and Aniplex for anyone craving a walk through the early days of the SAO storyline. The events in this offering fall after season one but before season two and the GGO story arc and everything else that followed.
It’s basically broken up into three different stories, two of which are being told at the same time. The first involves Kirito taking his sister, Suguha, to his school to meet up with Asuna, Rika (Lisbeth) and Keiko (Silica) to assist her with something that she’s yet to learn: swim. After arriving at the school, Kirito meets up with Seijiro Kikuoka from the Virtual Reality Section of the Department of General Affairs. Seijiro essentially wants to touch base with Kirito for a ore comprehensive wrap up after the events of SAO and ALO. This launches into the bulk of the story which involves a lot of flashback sequences with how Silica, Lisbeth, Asuna, Yui and Suguha (Leafa) all recounting how they met Kirito and the quests and adventures they had with him. From beating different end of floor bosses to the whole Beta/Cheater incident and more, it’s all covered. It also delves into the ALO storyline with the Asuna/Titania arc.
While all this is going on, the others are still progressing with their efforts to teach Suguha how to swim. It has to be said that there’s quite a bit of fan service in these sequences, nothing over the top but expect lots of cleavage and bouncing bits.
The final part shows the whole crew relaxing in the virtual world of ALO before embarking on a quest underwater to try and show Yui her first real whale, something which she’s never seen before. But as these things go, they’re never as they appear and before too long things begin to go awry. This last part doesn’t run for too long but for fans of the SAO Universe, it’s a welcome extra little quest. Overall, if you’re a diehard fan of SAO then it goes without saying that you probably already have this in your collection. If you just have a passing interest in this series, it’s still worthwhile pick up just for the nice flashback sequence which may resolve any unanswered questions you may have. And the latest quest, while short, is still pretty cool.
Final Score: 6/10