Title: Sword Art Online Project Alicization Vol. 2
Author: Reki Kawahara
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
The Alizization Arc continues in Sword Art Online Project Alicization Vol. 2. It’s essentially a Volume full of Kirito pushing the boundaries of this new world. However, elements of Sword Art Online Project Alicization Vol. 1 are seemingly forgotten as Kirito enters this new world six years after the events of its conclusion.
Sword Art Online Project Alicization Vol. 2 doesn’t really hold too much in the way of narrative advancement as the Volume roughly takes place within the span of a couple of days. However, it does allow Kirito enough time to find his bearings in this new virtual world that supposedly creates AI souls for the NPCs. However, Kirito doesn’t understand the extent of that, given that some of his memories with Eugeo and Alice are skewed in a way that may not make sense to the reader.
These looming questions are expected, and the writers seem to bait the readers to want to know exactly how this story has anything to do with the young Kirito we met in the first Volume. Still, Kirito put this world to the test and takes his time to understand simple things like how to level up skills and how to access magical abilities. This knowledge will ultimately be vital as we head into later Volumes.
I enjoyed the dynamic between Kirito and Eugeo. Honestly, it’s just refreshing to see Kirito interacting with male characters after spending so much time with the ladies. They have this casual way of talking to each other that makes it easy to believe they are friends, and although these people are virtual, Kirito blames himself for some of the troubles he’s brought to them. He’s not entirely sure of this world, but even if he can respawn, he knows for sure that the others might not be so lucky.
The final chapter highlights what’s going on in the outside world, and it was perhaps the most long-winded chapter of the volume. There was just so much exposition crammed into one chapter about AI and what’s going on with Kirito that I lost interest. This chapter really held back the high notes of the chapters that came before it, but I guess it’s needed to get it out of the way so we can just get on with it.
Illustrator Koutarou Yamada is almost too good at portraying this new virtual world. Even though there are only a few settings depicted in this Volume, we see so much detail be put into the character’s clothes and the environment. I especially like how some pages are just a few panels of this environmental artwork with the characters on their way to a destination. This paces the adventure out perfectly as you are led into some rather high-action encounters.
Sword Art Online Project Alicization Vol. 2 is meant to set the rules for this new virtual world, and it does just that. I wish it could have gone a bit further, but we are left with the foundation of the trials the Kirito has ahead of him. Further, we get to briefly understand how he even got here with even more questions emerging about the younger Kirito from Vol. 1.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.