Sword Art Online II – Episode 12

Sword Art Online pulled its classic trick this week, attaching half of a pretty solid episode to half of a really terrible one. I really don’t know how it does it – pretty much every time the show pulls itself together, it’s basically guaranteed to exist directly in the presence of some of the show’s worst bullcrap. This time it was a half-episode where literally nothing happens. But hey, at least we got to see some animation afterwards!

Sword Art Online

8 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II – Episode 12

  1. I said this last week, or the week before. Mother’s Rosario should fit 8 episodes. GGO should have fit 12 episodes. That’d have left them with 4 episodes. Seems the decision they reached was to stretch each arc 2 episodes longer. I think Mother’s Rosario will suffer even more from the decision, due to the percentage of stretch, and that it’s a drama-based arc and padding would hurt it even more.

    I keep thinking that for many series, especially 2-cour (which includes split-cour), 24-26 episodes is too many, and it results in weaker series.

    • After reading the piece, a couple more points.

      “Killer Instinct”, in most samurai-based manga they call it “Bloodlust”, and it appears in basically all of them. It’s a silly concept, I agree, but for manga-readers, it’s basically a standard trope. It was also referenced in the pre-tournament lounge, when Kirito noticed all the other players’ bloodlust, or perhaps it was during the preliminaries.

      I wonder if it’s better or worse than what I attributed it to, Kirito’s maxed-out hearing skill, another oblique reference to the Silica episode, but those “Sonar Ears” moments were a bit ridiculous.

      • It’s kinda funny how SAO has an explanation for the “bloodlust” gaze, that more-or-less makes sense. Basically, the author rationalizes it as the system referencing your avatar and account, and thus creating a bit of latency; So you’re not so much feeling literal bloodlust, but feeling their gaze, and the system referencing you, and targeting you. There was a passing reference of it in the book, during the second arc, when Kirito “felt” someone looking at them, (the bat familiar)

    • Not good to hear. I take it there aren’t any more vignettes published they could use to pad the length without stretching content?

      • There sort of is, the side-story of obtaining Excalibur, which I guess could be done in two episodes. The “problem” with it is that it includes some of the material cut out of ALO, but it’s not going to be too much of a hassle to pull off.

        The real reason I don’t really think it’d make an appearance is because its plot and “points” follow the new content in the recap film, though some would consider it a reason for why it should be included – that it’d reinforce that random aspect of Suguha’s personality again.

        And it’d give people some more Klein time, I guess.

        So there is that one story that could be used, but who knows if it’d be, or not.

      • I actually expect the season to be as follows:
        GGO – 13-14 episodes
        Caliber (getting Excalibur) – 3 episodes
        Mother’s Rosario – 6-7 episodes
        Prologue to Alicization – 1 episode

  2. This episode was so hilarious- the bullets flying next to each other with such over the top directing was amazing.

    The first half of the episode being wasted on explaining the presence of a character to us who dies in seconds was astounding.

    There being no tension in Death Gun and Kirito’s duel due to there being no accomplice in the hospital to kill Kirito was great.

    The hero/villain banter being centered around /item crafting/ was hysterical. I mean seriously, /spaceship armour sword/ in a game with no spaceships.

    “You don’t know my name… that’s why you can’t remember it.” Speaks for itself. The writing is mesmerising.

    Kirito feeling guilty over the death’s of murders is also funny- it may have worked with better writing, but the best part is that he seems to completely ignore his treatment of Sugou. It’s like ALO never happened to him. At best I’d say the character writing is only good in terms of SAO’s usual output. With the unpleasantness of the ALO arc out of the way I can finally enjoy SAO’s awfulness in all it’s glory. This episode has proven to me that the writer has ascended from ‘offensive bad’ to ‘good bad’ along the same lines of an american B movie. I was genuinely, frequently laughing throughout the last half of the episode, and I was thoroughly entertained.

    I still enjoy reading your insights into the characters though, Bob- I’m genuinely interested to see how this will all resolve. Death Gun as a villain is also a definite step up from Sugou and Kayaba, even if he is one note.

    This is one of the best comedy animes I’ve ever watched. Thank you A1 pictures.

    • “in a game with no spaceships.” – GGO’s lore is supposed to on some Alien planet, and the main city is actually built on the hull of a space-ship, of some kind.

      “Kirito feeling guilty over the death’s of murders is also funny” … “but the best part is that he seems to completely ignore his treatment of Sugou” – I’ve posted about this on here before, but people’s perspectives of their actions influence how they feel about it. Kirito killed 3 people in SAO in a rage. Meanwhile, as far as he’s concerned, he just gave Sugou what he deserved. He didn’t feel like he caused any permanent damage.

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