Seasons Greetings! Railgunfan75 here! As some of you may know, I gave the the early seasons of Sword Art Online a strongly positive review. The series while it has it’s flaws is just a lot of fun entertainment. Because of this, I was curious when they released the subject of this review as to whether the film would anything to the Sword Art Online mythos. It didn’t take long into my viewing of the film to form an opinion of it and I must say it is not a good one. So fellow geeks and anime fans, here is my review of Sword Art Online: Extra Edition.
The story takes place after the events of the Alfheim Online Arc. Kirito, Asuna and friend are prepping for an underwater quest in Alfheim Online. This quest will allow Yui to see a whale for the first time. However, Sugaha does not know to swim. In preparation for this quest, the others volunteer to teach Sugaha how to swim. Meanwhile, Kirito is summoned by a government official to recount his experiences in Sword Art Online with the hope of being able to provide answers as to the causes of the disaster.
This movie to put it simply is a waste of time of time. There is very little worth watching here except for around 2o minutes near the end of the film. The film is really just an extended recap episode and not that great of one at that. Sure the content that is rehashed is the best of the series, but why would you watch clips of it when you could just watch the whole thing.
In this film, we really don’t encounter anything new in terms of the characters. All of the familiar cast is present with the only major change is that we can see the characters in the real world. This is cool but the novelty does wear off quickly. The characters are there for two purposes, fan service and the setup for the clips from the series. It just felt like a wasted opportunity really. Sure character development is not a strong suit of the series to begin with, but it would of been nice to find out more about the characters. The clips would have been ok if they had included some background on the characters in the real world. It just really wasn’t there. In Kirito’s half it is more of the same. The purpose of his story in the film is to try to find more insight of what happened in SAO. As such, his character really doesn’t do much or reveal much either.
As for the plot well there really isn’t one. For the majority of it it is an extended clip show. I will concede that such a movie is nice for two reasons. It gives a good introduction to the world of SAO and helps to remind the audience of the major plot points before SAO II. However, the film didn’t need to be so long. If there was something new included with it, the film might be worth it, A new plot element or twist would have been nice here. At the end of the film, there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the film.
The final act of the film includes the entire gang on a quest in ALO. This is the best part of the film by far as it lets you see the whole group in action. This is a lot of fun to watch. It is sad that you have to sit so much muck to get to that point but this does save the film from being a total disaster. The sequence is nicely animated, entertaining to watch and really fits the spirit of what makes SAO great. It is just so nice to see all of the characters work together in this portion of the film. This would have been a great side episode to include in the series.
Sword Art Online: Extra Edition could be best described as missing it’s potential. It gets too bogged down in being a recap story. Sure that is the purpose of this but it would of been nice if it had been integrated throughout the film into a quest (such as the one at the end) instead of a fan service filled story. The final 20 minutes or so are entertaining, but that is about it. That is unless you want all of the fan service. Because of this, the film gets a Bronze rating with a recommendation to stream the final portion only. This would probably only be interesting to fans of the series anyway and doesn’t do much to draw in new fans.
So concludes my thoughts on Sword Art Online: Extra Edition. The film I will be discussing tomorrow is Ghost in the Shell! See you then!