I thought with the finished Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online on an early last month and the release date of Sword Art Online: Alicization had officially announced, has been giving me another opportunity to talk about this franchise even more. But for now, I’m not going to write a long post with a deep review like I usually do, now I’m going to talk about the one topic that everyone else barely mentions it anywhere; Sword Art Offline. Let’s discuss!
So what is this? Well if you’re wondering, Sword Art Offline is actually a bunch of extras that you will get if you buy almost any Blu-ray edition set of Sword Art Online, so basically this show is a Sword Art Online’s special that will come together with its parent’s show. Not many people know that a mini-series of Sword Art Offline actually not just will come together with the Blu-ray of its original Sword Art Online, but there’s also another mini-series of Sword Art Offline that bundled together with every next sequel of Sword Art Online, from the Sword Art Online: Extra Edition, the second season of Sword Art Online, to even the Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale … there’s always a few episodes of Sword Art Offline that had come together with each of it.
SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online actually had released its Blu-ray (limited release edition) that I haven’t got hands on it yet, so I don’t know if it’s came also with the miniseries of Sword Art Offline as well- or not.
Anyway, what about the content? Yes, the content; some people said these short episodes are recap episodes, while some other said it’s not a recap. But what it’s sure is that Sword Art Offline won’t give you any new material of the franchise —the whole show is just pretty much featuring Asuna and friends visiting back their experience in the real story, followed by their reaction and commenting it as a third person’s view. You’ll get some new information, of course, such as how the technology of NerveGear explained by Yui briefly in the first mini-series of Sword Art Offline; but it just very slight and you won’t ever get any further understanding about it even if you would really pay attention to Yui’s explanation.
For some people, these special episodes are a bunch of cuteness that would made their days more worth living, especially those people who are a crazy fan of SAO franchise. But unfortunately, the majority of people who have watched this —including myself and even those people who are also a fan of Sword Art Online— actually had experienced these special episodes quite differently. Well sadly, Sword Art Offline has been made with a low production quality and a really poor passion behind it, which made the series itself quite difficult to enjoy. These episodes quality actually don’t have to be made by an anime studio —it’s definitely enough to just find one or two average animators and borrow a few scenes from the original series of Sword Art Online to be slipped, then let the voice actors do their thing; and that’s it, these special episodes would be done in a couple of weeks- most likely even less than a couple of weeks.
In a nutshell, the most important thing that is missing from these mini-series is the planning, as it seems the people who have made it was not even the original creators of its parent series even though, of course, Kawahara-sensei (the original creator of SAO franchise) was still contributed in the making of these special episodes.
But the lacking passion in the making of these mini-series is still obvious; for an example, you as the audience would not know when this show takes place as oftentimes Asuna was asking about how the story goes, while some other times she’s the one who’s telling how the story ended —and this concept of failure also happens to the other characters as well. I understand that Sword Art Offline is made not to add any new story or even new material for the original franchise, but at least they should have consistent with the way of how the show presents its content.
More than the poor planning and messy dialogue, the main reason these mini-series became a disappointment for many people is how low the production quality is, especial the visual that is so fcking poor and boring! And yes, I’m not joking or exaggerating here; “boring” is a literal word to describe its poor animation.
I understand also that Sword Art Offline is only a bonus that had come together with its parent’s series, and no one even had to spend their money specifically to get these mini-series … but when I compared it with the interesting extras I got from purchasing the box set of Steins;Gate, or when I compared it with a bunch of ‘really fun to watch extras’ of the only two hours K-On! movie; it’s the time when I realized well, you guessed it … Sword Art Offline has sunk so low to even hard for me to recognize it as a content worth to watch. Honestly, it’s really hard for me to find what’s good from these special episodes- or at least, like I said before; it would be a real challenge to watch these mini-series except if you’re a really blind and crazy fan of Sword Art Online franchise.
closing – nesha’s final verdict.
Now, what did I mean by saying that the production quality of Sword Art Offline is terribly poor? Assuming that you haven’t watched the show, let me be blunt on this one; don’t watch it! Even if you have it on your anime collection, don’t watch it! Even if you consider yourself as a crazy fan of Sword Art Online, don’t watch it! It’s for your own good, so you don’t have to regret yourself after wasting your precious time watching a complete trash. It’s actually pretty simple to imagine the scenario of you become boring on watching this show; you can just imagine you’re watching a dumb and cheap news program on a TV, with all the hosts who will make you cringed with their static movements, messy dialogues, and their expressions that don’t match with their top quality seiyuu..,..
Anyway, I visited the MAL page of this mini-series and read a few lines of other people’s review, and I agreed with what they wrote; just watch all the mini-series if you’re a complete masochist! Oh almost forget to mention, the new content is displayed as chibi characters, though I guess you’re already realized it by now.
Now as I said before; the low passion that had been put into Sword Art Offline is the main reason why this mini-series had become a disappointment for many people. Most of them even convince themselves that what they have watched are recap episodes, only to reasoned that the show is make senses to be ‘not as good’ because it’s only recap episodes. The fact that every mini-series of Sword Art Offline is actually not recap episodes, and totally not been made as recap episodes either … well clearly, they have to lie to themselves. I don’t know how to put this, but the visual and animation is some total cheap — while it’s not a crack of garbage considering they also slipped quite durations of the original show, but the new content was still cheap as fck.
And that’s it; my review of this mini-series. Totally not worth watching, and honestly … not many people even know it exists anyway. So why I wrote this review? I don’t know. Because why not? People who have read my latest review of Sword Art Online franchise might have realized that I’m actually a secret fanboy of this franchise. But I guess, now I’m not anymore? Well, we’ll never know —at least until the release of Sword Art Online: Alicization.
additional pieces of information.
- Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline
Sword Art Online Specials
Sword Art Online II: Sword Art Offline II
SAO 2 Specials
SAO II Specials
Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline – Extra Edition
そーどあーと・おふらいん Extra Edition
- first time aired in winter, 08.07.2012 till 20.12.2014
- nesha’s review of an anime special
- from the studio of A-1 Pictures
- tagged under the genre of #comedy
- the age-rated as PG-13
For your information, I don’t even think I’ll survive if I should watch this line of mini-series much further, so I only finished the first Sword Art Offline and an episode of Extra Edition, but I dropped the Sword Art Offline II on the middle of it. So basically, this is my review of those episodes that I have watched only. Also fun fact, maybe this is the first time I’m reviewing an anime and I gave the final rating so low, but that’s pretty much it. Maybe I’ll review Boku no Pico in the near future, who knows..,..
Thank’s for reading.
Will meet you again on the next one. =_) Keep watching anime, bai-bai now~
© content written by nesha5971