Good job, SAO2. You managed to hold my interest for a second episode. Most animes fail to do this, as they spend all their budget, time, and effort hooking you with the pilot, leading right into a loss of quality appropriately compared to the Cliffs of Insanity. What made this episode fun for me was that it showcased the l33t skillz of someone other than Kirito Sue the Magnificent, using rather intelligent (until the very end) gunplay that made the scene tense and exciting. See, writers? If you give your characters some sensible constraints and have them overcome them through their own wits and capabilities, it’s much more satisfying in the end. Anyway, Sinon or whatever-her-name-is is being telegraphed as some textbook PTSD-afflicted, brooding gunslinger girl, but I’ve given up on “character development” in this franchise, so it doesn’t faze me. My only demand for this season is for Sinon to contribute substantially to the plot apart from her sheer existence. You know, unlike Asuka, who was quickly sidelined into the Helpless Princess in Another Castle to make room for more bullshit glory for Kirito.
The next episode will probably have Kirito enter the hardcore world of Gun Gale Online and somehow catching up to everyone really quickly. Asit tal-eb. Keep the animation pretty, the action fun to watch, and Sinon not a female stereotype, and I’ll keep watching, SAO2. I know it might be hard, but you can do it. Just put your back into it.