Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Sword Art Online - Aincrad

Sword Art Online - Aincrad
Sword Art Online - Aincrad by Reki Kawahara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Volume 2 of Sword Art Online is set before the end of Volume 1 (which had Kirito clearing the game). This volume featured four short stories, each one pairing Kirito with a different girl he met during his two years in SAO.

The first story, The Black Swordsman (Aincrad 35th floor, February 2024), features the beast tamer Scilica, and how Kirito helped her restore life to her dragon pet, as well as hunting down some player-killers.

The second story, Warmth of the Heart (Aincrad 48th floor, June 2024), features the blacksmith Lizbeth who forged Kirito's white blade, Dark Repulser.

The third story, Morning Dew Girl (Aincrad 22nd floor, October 2024), features Yui, a strange "girl" who becomes Kirito and Asuna's "offspring" in SAO.

Finally, the last story, Red-nosed Reindeer (Aincrad 46th floor, December 2023), expounds on Kirito's first ill-fated guild, The Black Cats of the Full Moon, and his quest for redemption after the TPK of the said guild.

The stories are top-notch, so if you liked Volume 1, this volume is a must-read. A couple of the stories, particularly the ending of Warmth of the Heart as well as the Rudolph song sequence in Red-nosed Reindeer, are definite tear-jerkers, underlining just how much sadness there can be in this life and death VMMORPG.

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