Oh shit, another Sword Art Online post only a week after the last episode? Don’t worry, what I’ve given up in tardiness I’ll make up for in laziness. I actually do want to finish this damn series before the second season comes out, and at this rate, that is very much not happening. So let’s burn some episodes down! Time to fight a giant monster wooooo!
0:27 – Our first nice game detail of the day. I can vividly remember sitting in massive boss chambers, staring at the half dozen ogres waiting patiently for us to go over attack patterns and target rotations
It’s a shame that the internet has already given away what this “big reveal” is going to be, because I bet I’d have enjoyed experiencing it firsthand
3:27 – These two have some good moments together. When the plot doesn’t demand heroism, they can actually banter as equals
3:41 – A HANDMADE LUNCH?!?
4:13 – Inventing her own spices – another great game detail. It’s nice to have a crafting mechanic complex enough to actually encourage creativity within the system. If this were an actual MMO, stuff like this would probably be made irrelevant by millions of players sharing and optimizing all their information – but in a world of 10,000, you can actually be an individual
5:15 – Hey, it’s Klein! We like Klein! I didn’t even have to look his name up!
5:36 – Seems odd they wouldn’t know each other, given there’s only a few hundred front-liners and they’ve been here for over two years. Eh, whatever
5:56 – The funny thing is, in an MMO-based show, this is actually not that surprising
7:56 – This guy… actually seems completely reasonable. I mean, he’s being a dick about it, but clearly they should share information in order to free people as quickly as possible
8:19 – The tone of this whole conversation is just kinda funny to me. These sinister weaker players, demanding we give them valuable communal information before we feel like it!
8:47 – Reaaaaally? Man, this is some real arbitrary drama we’re setting up here. Invent a character to carry the idiot ball so Kirito has to go save them instead of taking the smart route
Well, whatever. We’ll get an action scene either way
9:04 – Agreed, Asuna. That’d just be bad writing
10:45 – So does Kirito have an anti-teleport-crystal field or something? Because he is quite familiar with how useless these goddamn teleport crystals are
Fucking teleport crystals. How do they work
10:55 – Good plan, guy. A+ work
11:13 – Holy shit character developmeeeeent. Six episodes divorced from the episode that prompted it, granted, but beaters can’t be choosers
12:24 – Oh man, it’s Asuna who makes the charge? That’s… actually kind of odd, considering this was a relevant character beat for Kirito
12:37 – You know, for a show that mainly gets praised for looking good, this show sure gets away with a lot of non-animation in its fights. Normally that’s not something I’d actually complain about, but that’s kind of all we’ve got going on here
13:17 – Yes, shout! What he needs now is moral support!
14:32 – Ahahahaha yesssssss. It’s moments like this that make me wish I were this show’s target audience, cause goddamn that must have felt cool
14:39 – YES KIRITO. BELIEVE IN YOUR SWORDS. Ahaha, I love how I was eager to see how the character beat from six episodes ago changed him as a person, and it turns out his new personal resolution is I WILL USE TWO SWORDS
14:44 – If the show stays like this, I will seriously like it so much more. This is JoJo territory – if you’re gonna be earnest and ridiculous, go for the gusto
15:03 – Ah, they were saving all that animation for this. Though this is kind of a mess, unfortunately – there’s a “lot” of animation, but it’s kind of a clusterfuck choreography-wise
15:22 – Nice
15:42 – CONGRATULATIONS!! Nice work, buddy
16:08 – There are a lot of problems I can attribute to the source material, but this is just a straight-up failure of the adaptation. You can’t drop the significance of this character to Kirito’s emotional development for half a season and then just suddenly bring it up again
17:36 – Really
No no, don’t mind me
19:59 – So I guess Asuna’s “learning to appreciate the small things” character arc kinda morphed into “learning to value time with Kirito, because any of them could die at any time.” That’s actually a fairly reasonable transition!
21:43 – REAAAALLY? Goddamn this show can be bad. Here’s another plan: Asuna says, “It’s my decision to take a leave of absence, and you can’t really stop me,” and that’s that. Given she’s the vice-commander, you’d think that’d be a bit more reasonable than “I’ll let my magical boyfriend save me from this cruel bureaucracy”
“Lol girls having agency” aside, this is also just another very fabricated conflict. With both this situation and the guild’s actions earlier, the conflict didn’t emerge naturally from the events of the plot – it required other characters to jump in and act totally unreasonably. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a great shorthand explanation for how this works – one beat should actually imply the next, you shouldn’t have to artificially inject characters acting really stupidly to create conflict in your narrative
Welp, that was another episode of Sword Art Online. In spite of my tone here, I’m actually quite happy to have stuff, well, sort of happening? Even if our protagonists are actually just fighting for the right to two-man party.
I sure am looking forward to next episode’s fight for Asuna’s honor, though. Boy howdy.