Sword Art Online – Episode 13

After episode ten’s torture-porn and episode twelve’s moe-murder-porn, I just have very little left to say. I just… I…

Look, let’s just watch the episode.

Episode 13

0:11 – Well, uh, so much for rushing back to the front lines to save your adopted daughter, I guess

Sword Art Online

0:16 – Nice. Kirito really needs to expand his wardrobe, though

0:47 – It’d be nice to explore more characters like this. People who’ve actually just settled into life here, and maybe even treat this is a second chance at living the way they actually want to.

I honestly never really got the “Sword Art Online’s premise had so much potential!” complaints before I started watching the show – the premise seemed pretty standard to me. Now that I’m actually watching it, it’s much easier to see all the interesting things this show could really dive into and sadly doesn’t.

I suppose I could just steal all the good ideas for myself…

1:34 – This is a pretty strange transition from last episode. Apparently the whole moe-puppy-killing subplot was a side story from a future book, which I guess means we’re still suffering the narrative-skewering side effects of the adaptation. “We’ve got to save our daughter! But first, fishing.”

3:10 – Well that’s promising

3:32 – Dang, they’ve got that ‘idyllic mountain cabin’ atmosphere down pat

Sword Art Online

4:02 – Yeah, this is some crazy mood whiplash. Well, whatever. I actually like the slice of life stuff, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain

4:26 – Another cute instance of applying the videogame logic to a practical situation

4:59 – Yep

5:03 – Oh wow, getting really direct this episode. Kinda funny to bring up the original, perfectly reasonable motivation for what they do directly after killing off the artificial motivation-sweetener

5:34 – There we go

Sword Art Online

6:22 – The funny thing is, this actually does kinda remind me of my time playing MMOs. Getting together for silly rare fishing events or whatnot is certainly part of the routine of the digital life. Now we just need an episode of Kirito and Asuna hopping in circles in the main city while waiting for a healer to log on

6:35 – I can sense his resolve

7:24 – I am a fan of this episode

8:05 – Asuna is not impressed

8:35 – Slayer of lungfish

Sword Art Online

9:52 – This guy is much, much better motivation than friggin’ moe daughteru. A grounded, believable character who actually digs at some of the stuff that makes this world interesting, and can act as a stand-in for all the people depending on our protagonists. This half-episode has been miles better than the previous two.

Although I actually liked the first halves of the last two episodes, as well. So, uh, hope that pattern doesn’t hold up this time

10:45 – It’s interesting that this show pretty much only gives us post-character arc Asuna. That’s not even necessarily a bad thing – although exploring her journey beyond “at first I was really conflicted off-screen, but then I met Kirito” would probably lead to the audience being more invested in this “what validity does this world have” question in a more immediate emotional sense. That’s kind of the power of fiction – to imbue greater questions with grounded, empathy-based significance through well-realized characters and situations that naturally play ideas off each other

11:20 – This author isn’t really one for subtlety, huh. Time to review Asuna’s character arc!

For some reason, my mind wanders to that moment at the end of Monogatari Season 2 when Kaiki silently destroys the phone where Senjougahara could reach him, as he realizes his own relationship with her mirrors the issue of Araragi and Nadeko. A beautiful piece of narrative bow-tying and character growth, all summed up in a single wordless image.

What am I doing here.

Sword Art Online

11:43 – Yep. It’s the human connections that made this life valid for her

12:18 – That’s a very nice reduction of the question to arrive at. “Is a life in a virtual reality a valid life?” “It doesn’t matter. Life is worth living.”

13:15 – We meet again, old friend

13:28 – Pretty creepy. I’m actually a big fan of how people die with that chintzy disappearing-particle effect in this world. Making something so important look so cheap and artificial kinda drives in the grim joke of this world. Like the world itself doesn’t respect these people

13:46 – I’ll let this world burn if I have to. I’m a fan, Kirito

Sword Art Online

14:16 – That’s our hero

Honestly, I get where he’s coming from. This isn’t a gender thing, it’s a “you’re the woman I love, I want to protect you above anything else” thing. It’s just that in the context of a show where pretty much every problem is solved by Kirito being awesome and rescuing a helpless girl… yeah.

14:37 – And yeah, the show knows this is very selfish of him, which is good

14:49 – Okay wait what


Welp, you heard it here first, folks. Asuna has no reason to live in a world without Kirito. Kirito is literally her reason for existence.

Sword Art Online: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Sword Art Online

15:41 – Alright cool great worldbuilding can we get back to the part where Asuna’s existence is given meaning by the boy she’s fake-married in a videogame

So I guess we’ve actually switched from “Kirito has to protect all the women” to “Kirito and Asuna should both fight… because Asuna’s life has no purpose if Kirito dies.” Wonderful

I wonder if the writers of stuff like this or Twilight understand that Romeo and Juliet was very consciously about stupid teenagers, and not an actually sincere articulation of The Most Romantic Form of Love

15:49 – This is how she convinces him? What about all that “carrying the hopes of the either players” shit you were talking about? You know, the stuff the show is actually about?

16:17 – This scene is making me tired

16:56 – Hey, it’s those guys! We like those guys!

Sword Art Online

17:47 – Someone always needs to say it, I guess

I’m actually pretty excited for this fight. It’s gotta be the final boss of this arc, right? And no moe daughterus to ruin it this time

18:56 – Nice shot




Sword Art Online

20:42 – Ooh, nice. This CG is kinda distracting, though – having a CG monster directly fighting traditionally drawn characters kinda exacerbates the issue

21:25 – Really nice shot

And Done

That was a good episode! There was that one terrible Asuna scene, but aside from that, it was a pretty nice mix of motivation-establishing slice of life and solid action. It kind of reminded me of something like Yozakura Quartet or Chaika, actually – not a particularly ambitious show, but a perfectly pleasant ride. I would be happy with more of that!

That Asuna scene, though. Yeah.

Well, either way, one episode to go before we can put Aincrad behind us. Make it count, SAO!

58 thoughts on “Sword Art Online – Episode 13

  1. <

    blockquote>I wonder if the writers of stuff like this or Twilight understand that Romeo and Juliet was very consciously about stupid teenagers, and not an actually sincere articulation of The Most Romantic Form of Love
    Well Kirito and Asuna are also stupid teenagers right?

    The Kirito X Asuna interactions are probably one better parts of SAO. Which is why obviously, that relationship is mostly sidelined in later seasons/novels. Urgh :/

    • Yeah, but their romance isn’t being portrayed as naive – the tone of the show implies their actions actually are incredibly romantic. And this show is definitely not self-aware enough to have protagonists that don’t represent the author’s own philosophy at basically all times.

      • That’s a good point.

        However, what “life” does she have worth living if Kirito died? Trapped in a computer game remember? It’s not like she can make a new life for herself, or marry some other guy and raise his children.

        (I just thought of this right now, fyi)

        • Kirito isn’t the only guy in this world, and it’s not like she had no reason for living before she met him. She could just return to focusing on actually escaping this world.

      • She existed before meeting Kirito, why would it have to stop after his death?
        One of the strengths of her character was precisely the fact that she had a personality, occupations, hobbies of her own (like the cooking skill for eg.) and that she was NOT entirely defined by her relationship with the protagonist.

        The show doesn’t spend nearly enough time on that either, but let’s not forget that both she and Kirito both have if not friends at least families waiting for them outside of the game. If that, coupled with the will to free all these people trapped in Aincrad like the ex-CEO who depend on her and her fellow front liners is not enough of a motivation to keep on moving forward, then she’s either very naïve and weak-willed (but that would go against how the show has been protaying her, and like Bodbuh said the author is clearly not self-aware enough to pull that off) or it’s simply plain bad writing.

      • Now that I think about, I do believe Kirito has really brought Asuna’s character down.

      • Think about the post fight situation. Kirito dies to the boss, the game continues and there is another 25 levels to go. Each boss fight is much harder than before and are no teleport crystal zones. The “strongest player” who are supporting everyone (especially Asuna being the second in command) turns coat.

        Since the boss fights are no teleport crystal zones, they can no longer scout them. So every time they fight a boss they have no information, unless they are willing to sacrifice people. They will probably end up losing people on every boss fight. And there’s only a few hundred people in the “front lines” left in the first place.

        Asuna loses Kirito who was her emotional support, winning the game probably seems completely impossible and she’s forced to take even more responsibility with her guild.

        • That’s moving the goalposts. People were losing hope after the Skull Reaper, but no one was going “Welp, time to end it all for ourselves, SEPPUKU.” (Not even Klein the samurai, lol)

          This means that the suicide Kirito is referring to is that of Asuna’s declaration before they found out all of this bullshit concerning the bosses going forward. The suicide quote that was framed within the show as romance of the highest order on its own merits, independent of the post-fight situation.

  2. I’d be interested to hear what you thought the resolution would be here (assuming you’ve seen 14). I mean, this is Floor 75, and the game is supposed to end on Floor 100, so (a) time skip? (b) Plot shortcut? (c) None of the above?

    • I doubt think he’s seen 14 yet. I mean, it’s possible he watched 14 and then wrote these notes based on 13, but I imagine his views on this episode would be colored and Bob wouldn’t do that.

      On a sidenote, your name sounds familiar. Did you ever write a Haruhi fanfic sometime in the past? I can’t remember the name exactly, but I think it had to do with money.

      • Yes, I am the author of “The Coin,” and my current project is an SAO story of similar size and scope. If you enjoyed “The Coin,” I hope you will enjoy “Auld Lang Syne” when I’m finished with it later this summer.

    • I figure plot either shortcut, or a montage getting us there after some inspirational post-Skull Reaper speech or something. The show hasn’t really been making a big deal of the floor numbers so far.

  3. Its uh, probably best if you interpret that suicide line as Asuna lying to get Kirito off his ass, and then transitioning into a confession that was genuine.

    It doesn’t excuse how poor her development to this point was, though.

    • Well, Kawahara’s retroactive-development for Asuna in the Aria story (Episode 2) seems to imply that Asuna was pretty loose with her own life to begin with, given how she seemed to almost be suicidal. In the book, Kirito and Asuna met when she was basically wailing at monsters, after fighting for 3 days straight, and carrying around a bunch of Rapiers, just so she doesn’t have to go back to repair any.

    • You know, I’d go with that… except they insist on bringing it up again next episode. Just in case it needed clarification.

  4. “I honestly never really got the “Sword Art Online’s premise had so much potential!” complaints before I started watching the show – the premise seemed pretty standard to me. Now that I’m actually watching it, it’s much easier to see all the interesting things this show could really dive into and sadly doesn’t.” Agreed here, especially since the show tries so hard to say “oh look at how these people have adapted and found meaning in life through living another kind of life!” but since those scenes are always too short and feel out of place, well, it just doesn’t work. Funny enough I did the opposite of you, I saw Log Horizon after SAO and I feel like LH really nailed that tone better than SAO and it was more interesting to see people fighting for the various causes because that gave them meaning in their new lives, not because they were fighting to get out of their escapist game back into their old lives.

    (and hurray, so many posts in a row, this feels like a real treat!)

    • and hurray, so many posts in a row, this feels like a real treat!

      Exactly my thinking! Thank you for your current consistent posting on SAO, Bobduh!

    • Yeah, I feel it’s kind of lucky for Sword Art Online that it came out before Log Horizon – Log Horizon really demolishes it on the “actually portraying life in a digital world” front, and that’s not even what Log Horizon ends up being about. Though I guess Sword Art Online does have the sense of progression, even if we mostly just get vignettes.

      Glad you’re enjoying the posts! I’m actually having a lot of fun with them too, and will hopefully be able to keep this up long enough to be ready for S2!

      • I’d say that for this first half of SAO it has a more concrete “goal” than LH does (even if it doesn’t make that much sense character-wise at points) but after that it gets fuzzier, although I’ll withhold judgement on who does it better until I see how LH handles it’s second half (TBH, I went looking for some of the background on LH and the author has an interesting meta story running around in the background which I really hope finds its way into the main novels!)

        • Log Horizon definitely feels like an endless show – it sort of rambles between arcs with little apparent focus. I just think its stories, ideas, world, and characters are better than SAO’s.

      • For an alternative perspective: I suffered through all of SAO but dropped Log Horizon after just a couple episodes. I couldn’t believe that the characters would accept living in the virtual world, rather than trying to escape. The lower stakes in Log Horzion compared to SAO, where death was real, further reduced my enjoyment. Ultimately, though SAO told its story incredibly poorly, it was still a story that I wanted to see, while Log Horzion just bored me. Perhaps that’s because MMOs have never really been my thing; exploring the peculiarities of a society operating within the constraints of MMO mechanics could entertain me for a little bit, but not as the primary focus of a story.

        • It helps that the characters of SAO are given a clear path to escape, whereas they just kind of get stuck there in Log Horizon. “Finding a reason to live in this place” is actually one of Log Horizon’s more interesting ideas.

  5. This is the last good episode of the series. Well, the first half of episode 15 isn’t bad but then the second one is TERRIBLE, therefore it doesn’t count. So cherish this moments.

    One thing… I actually liked the reference to their bodies being hospitalized. Think about it, they should be developing bed sores by now. Makes a nice contrast: even those who are stronger and most powerful in here are actually rotting away somewhere while being force-fed through their nose. The contrast is stark and another idea with lots of potential. And hence SAO is going to shit all over it as well in the upcoming episodes.

    • That’s one of the more interesting aspects to me actually, the whole ‘what’s going on with my real body’?

      I mean they’d probably assume that they’ve been transfered to hospitals since they’re still alive but damn if that isn’t a topic you’d want to explore in this kind of show. Lying pretty much motionless around for YEARS, losing the vast majority of muscle mass and perhaps getting prone to a bunch of illnesses… I’d be terrified thinking about what may be the case even if you defeat the game and ‘wake up’.

      Of course, since I was interested in that and the show can’t have any of that, it isn’t dealt with in a satisfying manner.

      • Shows about much your expectations of dropped for this show, considering the ending was giant Deux Ex Machina.

        • It’s funny, I was actually a lot less offended by this deus ex machina than Clannad’s, mainly because Clannad seemed like it would actually be about something up until that moment, and SAO has always been just a series of ridiculous things happening.

      • Well apparently the Clannad: After Story (that’s what you are talking about right?) is from the TRUE END of the game. The standard ending of the game doesn’t have that Deux Ex Machina and getting the TRUE END is a lot of work. Apparently.

  6. AAaaaauuuugh dat Asuna moment. There were some rumblings of doubt all the way back when she hid from Kuradeel behind Kirito, (“Okay, that’s worrying that she’s immediately defaulting to moe cliches, but maybe it’s just being played for laughs!”) but I let it go because I thought it was eventually going to be an Asuna-influences-Kirito character arc, where, you know, she disabuses him of immature otaku ideals of romance, LIKE HIS STUPID OVERPROTECTIVE BULLSHIT HERE. (Plus, it’s wasted character development for Kirito. They’re so focused on Kirito teaching Asuna to smell the digital roses, that there’s lost potential in Asuna shifting Kirito from wanting to remain in escapist fantasy forever to wanting to explore non-digital life because of human connection. Date for real, marry for real, etc.)

    Except, wait, no.

    The worst part is that the sentiment isn’t too far from the “dual protective feelings” bit two episodes ago, but that they went for that damn suicide line. Would it have been so dumb to do a still-stupid-but-at-least-cute “But I want to protect you! Let’s protect each other, together!” thing instead of this warped version that shits on any good merits to the romance.

    Seriously, if you think about the original publishing timeline, Asuna was just about the worst told-not-shown character with informed skills in the original story. It’s only after Reki went back to flesh things out that he actually fell in love with the character, and thus gave her little snippets of badass in these side stories.

    And as moridin84 points out, all of our enjoyment of SAO actually exploring post-confession romance? Pshhhhhh. Kirito ain’t got no time for that, he’s gotta harem-catch-’em-all. Seriously, you’re gonna need some heavy drinking for the back half of this show.

    • Actually I was just thinking about this.

      Initially I sort of discounted the lack of Kirito/Asuna interactions later on with “why can’t we have nice things?” However, I think there is actually a good reason for this. Well… a reason at least.

      The next two arcs are about Kirito hanging around with some girl and being the HERO. During the course of the story he saves the day and resolves whatever issues the girl has. The reason why that girl can’t be Asuna isn’t that she “doesn’t have any issues”, but rather, because Asuna has developed beyond a character a is “saved” by Kirito. She actually resolves her own issues. They have an equal relationship.

      It is pretty nice that she never develops into a jealous haremette as a result though (ala Charlotte in Infinite Stratos, still super disappointed at that)

      • It still shows that Reki doesn’t think writing about an equal relationship is as entertaining as Kirito being a hero to girls who can’t help themselves, which is a damn shame since these moments in Aincrad show that he has the ability. The only times we ever see them fight as a team are against those skeleton soldier goonies and, briefly, here against the Grim Reaper Boss, which is also a damn shame. I love badass power couples. You can’t tell me that said future arcs wouldn’t have been improved by having Kirito-Asuna-Yui being all Incredibles Badass Family instead of Lone Wolf Kirito with the haremette of the week.

        Even if it’s a matter of non-gamer Asuna having some different interests and priorities than Kirito as why she doesn’t accompany him on future adventures, (which is kind of the implication I get) that’s also an avenue for really interesting writing, to explore how their relationship works in such a situation! Does Mother’s Rosario touch on this, at all?

      • In Mother’s Rosario is that Asuna is kind of the main character
        …. while Kirito isn’t around very much at all. So no.

        From what I remember anyway.

      • Kirito and Asuna do actually play MMOs together…it’s just that the author can’t or won’t write this Kirito/Asuna battle couple thing.

        Perhaps the problem is that the Kirito/Asuna battle couple would be awesome. So awesome that it’s difficult to write a plot that has problems that they couldn’t resolve easily if they were together.

        • Mother’s Rosario: That’s what I mean. Is there any point where Asuna muses about the situation where Kirito’s going off onto these other mysterious MMOs for extended periods of time and saving them on his own while she does her own thing? I mean, that’s a valid relationship dynamic that exists in real life. Something like “We come home to each other” or “Being together is our oasis.” Or are the other Kirito arcs the exception to the rule, and they spend most of their time exploring MMOs a la the movie? (And admittedly, the movie was the most boring thing ever, for someone not entirely committed to enjoying the “all your favorites together again!” fanservice.) Why doesn’t Kirito ever think of taking Asuna on his solo adventures as backup, or is Asuna aware of and accepting of his not wanting to get her involved?

          Questions like that.

          Getting around Battle Couple being too awesome is easy, considering how, theoretically, they start from scratch stats at the beginning of each new MMO. Hell, sometimes I prefer the first half of levelling games, since the grinding curve is steeper, so there’s more of a sense of accomplishment for the same amount of time.

      • Why doesn’t Kirito ever think of taking Asuna on his solo adventures as backup, or is Asuna aware of and accepting of his not wanting to get her involved?

        Well there actually are explanations for why Asuna isn’t involved. Asuna being MIA in the arc (Fairy Dance) is kind of important. And the S2 storyline (Phantom Bullet) only takes place over 2 days (I think?).

        Getting around Battle Couple being too awesome is easy, considering how, theoretically, they start from scratch stats at the beginning of each new MMO. Hell, sometimes I prefer the first half of levelling games, since the grinding curve is steeper, so there’s more of a sense of accomplishment for the same amount of time.

        I don’t mean awesome from a “leveling” perspective, I mean that generally speaking a SAO storylines involve a practical and mental/emotional challenge. Kirito can generally cut through the practical challenges easily on his own, however, he has problems with mental/emotional challenges. If you were to stick Kirito and Asuna together, the mental/emotional problems wouldn’t be an issue either.

        • I didn’t finish ALO, but from some of the recaps I saw, the race-politics premise of the game sounds like it could have been infinitely more interesting to explore than the simple “rescue the damsel in distress” it turned out to be. There are so many more interesting directions to go with Kirito and Asuna, too! Kirito having to deal with an Asuna that no longer wants to game, and either her re-learning that virtual reality is beautiful, too, or Kirito having to learn that real life romance is beautiful, too, and the two having to balance those. In the opposite direction, comedically, Kirito, now in love, wants to explore the real world he never truly saw before, while Asuna wants to smell more digital roses that could never be found in real life. Kirito and Asuna ending up as different races in ALO, and thus leading the game towards one of unification. Asuna and Kirito finding that their previous real-life social lives no longer suffice, after having lived in a world where they realized their leadership potential, and changing their life goals to apply those new skills. And as hackneyed as it could be, a dealing-with-death-game-PTSD storyline. Kirito offering condolences to the families of the Black Moon Cats. Anything involving Klein and Egil. The possibilities are endless.

          No knowledge of Phantom Bullet, so I can’t say if Asuna’s inclusion would improve things.

          As my spiels about alternate ALO/SAO aftermath storylines here, and my gushing over potential Asuna backstory below, I disagree that KiritoAsuna battle couple would suddenly be perfect. Asuna’s probably still willing to sacrifice NPCs, and Kirito’s still going to shove raw ingredients in her face, and they’ll have to deal with those differences between them. It just means that rather than an external obstacle for them to overcome together, physical or emotional, the storytelling would be more focussed on exploring their personalities and interactions, and the natural conflicts that arise from that.
          Bonus points if the external obstacle works as a representation of their personal conflict, like in Buffy or ATLA.

      • Look all that stuff they saying sounds kind of interesting, but sounds interesting and actually being interesting are two different things.

        Well actually… I don’t think that stuff you are talking about is interesting. Asuna wanting the game and Kirito not? Or vice versa? That’s a sitcom not an action story. I think having action MMO elements is what SAO is about. On the other hand, Kirito and Asuna being on difference races is too computer gamey.

        I’m not defending ALO or anything, it was pretty boring and I wasn’t happy about Asuna being MIA. However, the stories that come after ALO are more interesting. You would definitely like Mother’s Rosario.


        Well you’ll get this one.

    • Yeah, wait, if the original story goes from episode two directly to this final act, who is Asuna? That monologue about what Kirito means to her is actually how the story articulates her character? Damn.

      • The first book is basically, Episode 1, Episodes 8-10, and episodes 13&14. Kawahara’s portrayal of Asuna has changed a lot, from what I could tell.

        His original image of her, from the Web Novels seems to be that she was extremely ruthless, despite everything, even going as far to kill Kuradeel herself, without needing to be saved, and at one point she straight up threatened to murder someone in real-life, if Kirito was hurt.
        My guess is, that with the change to Light Novel, he made her less ruthless (against people at least), or something like that.

        But then there’s Progressive, which is Kawahara’s attempt to fill up the time-line, to cover all the 75 floors being cleared. According to Progressive, Kirito and Asuna met in a dungeon, when Asuna had been fighting for 3 days straight, without rest, practically suicidal.

        • Holy shit, that description of Asuna sounds amazing, especially the bit about hoarding Rapiers.

          Hell, SAO sounds much more appealing if it was Asuna’s story. The every(wo)man, non-gamer, trapped in this death game by a cruel twist of fate, desperate to rectify this mistake and return to the world she loves. Until she meets manicstoic pixie dream boy Kirito, the enigmatic contradiction that is one of the few that has the ability to beat this game, but also one of the few who is doing so not out of a desire to escape, but to see all of this world’s beauty. He teaches her to smell the digital roses. In turn she teaches him that human connection is worth having, especially once the lesson is learned that life is worth living in any setting, when you have others, despite a fear of losing them, and they both learn to turn their driven combat skills from conquest to protection and collaboration. GREATEST ROMANCE EVER TOLD.

          Also, Ruthless!Desperate!Asuna just sounds like an awesome character, no matter what. I’m so pissed that Reki ignores the implications of her being a gorram Vice Commander of the biggest combat guild in the game. She has tactical and leadership skills on top of combat prowess! Much more than so-bad-at-social-skills-he-has-to-solo Kirito, anyways. Either Heathcliff saw her potential and picked her for Vice Commander, or she battled her way through the guild and earned her rank! If anything, Kirito is the Bean to her Ender! How is this not delicious storytelling fodder better than “Kirito does things solo, occasionally does generic tragic backstory things.”

  7. Next episode isn’t.. well, it is mediocre and kinda bad, but no so much in a sense that would enrage you. After that brace yourself for ALO.
    Also, why haven’t you watched Berserk yet?

  8. So looking back, I enjoyed this episode (and somehow was ok with the ‘suicide’ line. WTF was I thinking?) but yeah, the first half was legitimately good. Though to be fair, it was only the second best fishing episode of that season.

    Next episode though. Ugh.

    • Haha, kinda surprised that line slipped past you. It was definitely one of my biggest “what am I watching” moments so far.

      Man, if the first half of this show had actually been dedicated to more slice-of-life escapades with Kirito and Asuna, this relationship might actually work. A shame.

  9. I like that you’ve kept such a positive attitude about this show up to just about the very end of the “good” half.

  10. I like your point on the glitzy particle-effect as the marker of death being a cheapening quality. Sort of reminiscent of how Slaughterhouse Five follows up every death with “so it goes”.

    It’s also interesting to see that the majority of the things that you (and I, by proxy) are impressed by are artistic flourishes like the aforementioned particle-effect. A-1 pictures may not have been able to help the writing, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t present this show as artistically as they could have.

    Oh, and thanks for posting so often! I find these SAO write-ups really interesting.

    • The death animations were described in detail in the novels. It looks exactly how I imagined it, and it’s hard to imagine some other reader imagining it significantly differently. So I wouldn’t call it a “flourish” exactly.

    • Yeah, it’s always the little things in this show. The more it focuses on being a drama/romance, the less effective it seems to become.

  11. This episode is good too. What I don’t like is that Asuna suicide line. A strong girl like Asuna cannot give up living easily like that. At least she have to continue fighting to revenge Kirito death and rescue everyone from this game.

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