[Originally published on June 2020 at bit.ly/bgsportsspecial]

The second part of the third season of Sword Art Online is here. In this season, we get to see the continuation of the story after Kirito, Alice, and Eugeo (†) defeat Quinella, the pontifex. Now, Alice retreats near Rulid Village to take away Kirito from the Integrity Knights.

The Sword Art Online (SAO) Series is produced by studio A-1 pictures, which produces mainstream anime each season like Fairy Tale and The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath of the Gods, and is still being produced by the studio up to this day. The anime is based on its novel, Sword Art Online, written by Reki Kawahara. The Alicization Story Arc was covered by volumes 9-18 of the said novel.

After succeeding in the battle against the pontifex, Kirito faced another conflict upon receiving alerts of the ongoing raid inside the Ocean Turtle where he was kept. He fell into a vegetable state after getting his fluctlight damaged due to a sudden short-circuit caused by the raiders. Seeing the unconscious Kirito and having doubts against the Axiom Church, Alice decided to violate her banishment by bringing him back to their hometown, Rulid Village. They then settled to a calm and peaceful life close to the said village as she waited for Kirito’s awakening. Things took to a dark turn when the Dark Territory started to conquer the Human Empire, making her reacquire her alias as Alice Synthesis Thirty and continue on the mission of Kirito and Egueo in the protection of the Human Empire and the deafeat of the Dark Territory.

Sword Art Online is good, but the pacing, more specifically the disaster called “Fairy Dance Arc,” will make you go, ‘What!?’ and instantly drop the anime. However, give it a chance and rewatch it if you already tried to. After the Fairy Dance Arc, the rest of the arcs are all quite good.

Going back to the Alicization arc, I’d give the anime the following ratings:

Story: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Art and Music: 9/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Overall: 8/10

Frederik Lee San Andres and Nathaniel Alvarez

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