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DVD Review

DVD cover

Sword Art Online
Part 3


Starring (voice): Haruka Tomatsu, Kanae Itō, Kouichi Yamadera and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 24 February 2014

Having survived being immersed in the role playing game Sword Art Online, Kazuto and the other players are back to their real lives. Although Kazuto has reawakened, many have not, including Asuna. When he discovers that she is to be married, arranged by her family, when she wakes up, Kazuto plunges into despair. It is only when he is informed that her avatar has been spotted in another game; Kazuto dons his gear again, entering into the new game in search of her...

Sword Art Online: Part 3 continues the story, directed by Tomohiko Ito.

Ok, so I know that the anime has to follow the manga, otherwise fans of the manga will get antsy, but you have to ask, having just sat through a story about a guy fighting his way up a tower to win the game, did the writer think that placing his hero into a new game, based on fairies, so that he has to battle his way up a tree was going to hold the audience.

For me, it continues to be an entertaining show, but it seems that there is a massive missed opportunity to develop the story further. Nor is anything really said about the real world impact of trapping and killing so many young people in a game.

The single DVD disc contains episodes fifteen to nineteen, which sees our hero pretty much relive his previous adventure, but without the chance of dying, which removes the main threat of the story. It’s much harder to feel empathy with a young man who, in the pursuit of his lost love, is able to log off for a bit of lunch. If you bought into the dungeons and dragons first game you may well balk at seeing your much loved characters with pointy elf ears.

The story progresses, although much of what has happened to the characters has been swept under the carpet, this is a story which continues forward without the problems of tidying up any loose ends. For all that it’s still enjoyable and the artwork remains impressively pleasant.

There are a few extras on the disc, including five web trailers, Web clips for each of the episodes and the textless opening and closing sequences. The show has both an English and Japanese 2.0 audio track with subtitles.


Charles Packer

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