- Mangaka : Kawahara, Reki (Story), Miyoshi, Shiomi (Art) and abec (Character Design)
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Action, Fantasy, Game, Romance, Sci-Fi
- Published : November 2020 – February 2021
After procuring a gondola, Kirito and Asuna are one step closer to uncover the fourth floor’s mystery. However, another issue arises from the faction of fallen elves. It is up to the duo to find out their plans and stop them. This is the final volume of Sword Art Online Progressive Houei no Barcarolle (Sword Art Online Progressive Barcarolle of Froth).
Welcome back to another manga review for the second volume of Sword Art Online Progressive: Barcarolle of Froth! We left last time with Kirito and Asuna gathering the necessary materials for their vessel. A vessel that was thought to be the key to leading the players to defeat the floor boss and proceed to the next floor safely. There is, however, a problem that must be resolved other than the floor boss, and it is up to Kirito and Asuna to help them.
1. Are You Ready to Explore?
Set sail for Tortuga! Sorry, wrong one. After hunting a specific monster and the help of a shipwright, Kirito and Asuna finally secure a gondola of their own. The shipwright, who is the NPC and the client of their quest to hunt for the boat’s materials, warns them of the suspicious group that causes problems in town.
Kirito and Asuna’s adventure consists of stealth, boss battles and defend NPCs’ home. The stealth part of the story has a few close moments. The communication and progressing the fourth floor to reach the floor boss. The importance of learning your surroundings and gather clues to speak out the correct lines to activate a hidden quest. These are the gaming elements that might interest you.
2. A Little Holiday Won’t Hurt
Outside of battles and quests, there are scenes where Kirito and Asuna have relaxing moments at the inns to catch a break. These moments are where both of them slowly get to know each other more on the personal side based on their choice of words and decision compared to their time in quests.
As most of you know, Kirito has prior knowledge of the game, and he made use of that to bring Asuna to a particular place on the fourth floor to reunite with someone special. That scene was the best part of this volume. It was as if we entered a giant castle on a snowy mountain. And yes, the scene took place on Christmas Eve. The stronghold provides hospitality in a five-star hotel. You will receive high-quality food, rooms and a giant mixed bath.
Most of us love to see how the group manoeuvres to attack their enemies and defend their comrades. The sequences felt natural and how fast pace they are scene after scene. They even have to consider the cooldown of specific skills and the decisions they chose amid the heated battle.
Don’t get us wrong, the environments and other aspects are fine as it is, but some scenes make us feel inconsistent when it comes to character expressions. But that doesn’t bother you, and you want to know where the story is heading, then this shouldn’t pose a problem to your reading experience.
Sword Art Online Progressive Houei no Barcarolle (Sword Art Online Progressive Barcarolle of Froth) concluded satisfyingly. It has a mixed approach to gathering information and battles through stealth and facing their enemies head-on. There are intimidating moments, although not too much, between Kirito and Asuna as they get to know each other’s concerns. The volume contains a chapter that makes us feel like we are visiting and staying temporarily in a European castle in the middle of a snowy mountain. The character expressions may be inconsistent sometimes, but that doesn’t affect the reading experience much. If you are a fan of Sword Art Online and interested to know the conclusion of Aincrad’s fourth floor in the form of manga, check this one out.