Sword Art Online: Extra Edition Review


In the wake of the Sword Art Online franchise making its second season debut, the SAO Extra Edition movie plays the role of reintroducing the characters, recapping the story, giving us some slightly different perspective on things, and ultimately reminding us of a fantastic series.

saoee29After surviving the struggle for their life in the world of Sword Art Online and then rescuing one of their companions in ALfheim Online, life has returned to a somewhat normal routine. While most players including Kirito and his companions still play in a rebirthed world called “The Seed”, questions still remain unanswered about just what happened in the original servers.

Due to her fear of water, Suguha enlists the help of Asuna, Silica, and Lisbeth to help her learn how to swim while Kirito is requested to a counseling session. Though the counseling was only a lie to get him in a meeting with Japanese Self-Defense Force Kikuoka Seijirou to explain in detail the happenings of Sword Art and ALfheim.

It’s during the conversations with Kikuoka and the girls helping Suguha that we get a retelling of the events of season 1. The girls tell about their meeting Kirito, while Kikuoka is more interested in the motive of the creator Kayaba Akihiko as well as Sugou Nobuyuki.

Oddly enough, it’s in this retelling that we hit all of the main and pivotal points in the series. It was really well done and still managed to be very entertaining. There was even points in which we got a different perspective on things. Like for instance, Kikuoka mentions that Kirito chose to take the title of Beater in order to prevent people from lashing out at other Beta testers after the incident with the first boss.

saoee3Following the recap, Kirito and his companions hop into the online world. It’s there they we are reintroduced to a few members from the past including Agil and Klein. We also discover just why Suguha insisted on getting over her fear of water. Kirito and Asuna were wanting to visit an underwater dungeon so that Yui could see a whale for the first time.

After traveling to the dungeon, the members are greeted with an NPC giving a quest to retrieve his stolen pearl which they kindly accept and head inside. It’s there they are faced with a large fish that takes quite a bit of strategy to take down. Although during their struggle, Suguha is reminded of why she feared water so much. Recalling a memory of falling in a pond as a child and nearly drowning. Though thankfully Kirito was there to pull her out.

After retrieving the large pearl and taking it outside they realize that the pearl is in fact an egg of a sea creature. The old man transforms into a kraken and demands the egg. Despite their efforts, the party is no match for the kraken and in fear of defeat. Much to their surprise a large sea king arrives and drives off the kraken. Turns out the egg is in fact the child that will one day hatch to be the king of the sea.

While puzzled, the quest completes successfully and the team is given passage out of the oceans thanks to the sea king. Coincidentally enough, on the back of a large whale.

As stated before, this movie surprised me quite a bit. I figured it would just be strictly a recap episode, but it turned out to be a reminder of a great series. Sort of a love song to a great experience. Unfortunately the recap segment was 80 minutes of the 100 minute movie, so don’t expect too much new here.

Definitely a must watch if you’re a big fan of the Sword Art Online franchise, but definitely not recommended for new comers of the series. They are still better off experiencing the entire story rather than this quick run through.

Enjoy Some Screencaps!

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 1300 shows. Outside of Otaku Spirit, he has been a judge for the Anime Awards and aided in reviewing titles for some publishers. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Sharing this joy, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.