Anime Review: Sword Art Online – 20


Did I just hear someone knock on that fourth wall?


If you say you were disappointed this week, I’m not going to believe you. You want to critique and criticize it, that’s fine, but I don’t know how you could say it was bad. This week’s episode had everything you could possibly ask for. You wanted some Leafa development, you got it. Sakuga animation? There it was. If you wanted comedy, grandiose camera direction, fanservice? It was all in this episode. And the action? How could you not be satisfied with the level of action this week? It was a solid four minutes of mid-air fighting, for Christ’s sake! Say what you want, but this entire episode was just a supreme pleasure to watch.

I can’t help but wonder if limiting the amount of good fight sequences was a conscious decision just for this episode. Everything we’ve seen thus far has been either stiff or short. It’s not improbable that those fights were subpar just for this episode. Not to spoil it for those who don’t know, but I think this might be the last big virtual fight of the anime. If it is though, what a great way to go out.

And of course, I absolutely loved the characters’ facial expressions. It’s become one of the things I’ve come to expect from this anime, that body language plays as big of a role as dialogue. I want to highlight the Salamander Kirito fights in particular because he is exactly what a bad guy should be. He’s the antagonist and very macho and an alpha male, but he’s not a brat and he’s not pure evil. And this, dear readers, is what I’ve wanted all along. General Eugene was a breath of fresh air after Kayaba and Sugou and Sigurd. Seriously.

This might actually be one of the best SAO episodes in a long time, if not the best. It has really renewed my confidence in this show. I’m actually excited to see how the last five episodes go from here.

GO Rating: 4.5/5

Ernie Capagal

Ernie Capagal

Managing Editor (joined 09-2010)

Co-founder and Managing Editor of Population GO. Occasional article writer. Lover of anime, film, TV, Japanese & Korean culture and Running Man. <3

He's the Pop GO rep you've probably communicated with but whose work you've never read.

Ernie Capagal

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Ernie Capagal