Sword Art Online II – Episode 13


Yep, this episode went back to the Bad Place. I had to keep it civil for the ANN post, but was somewhat less respectful on twitter. Goddamn you, SAO. God damn you.

[HorribleSubs] Sword Art Online II - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.41_[2014.09.27_17.36.27]

28 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II – Episode 13

  1. Is this what SAO think’s of its audience? Some of the things he was saying felt oddly specific to me. “Lets be reborn in a new world, be husband and wife, have kids, and go on adventures.” Isn’t that more or less the same life Kirito lived while trapped in SAO? Is the show trying to tell us that we can’t be Kirito?

    I feel as though I should be more angry at this episode than I actually am, possibly because SAO has desensitized me to its own tricks. However this has left me more fascinated than disgusted.

    Oh, and the scene where Asuna put the phone in Kirito’s hands was really funny. This show is so gloriously tone deaf…

    • I actually think the show was doing something more purposeful than that, in that whatshisface was supposed to be a person who’d completely disconnected from the real world, and no longer valued it. The show is being critical of some instincts, but not Kirito’s.

  2. And… that’s why I don’t watch SAO. Watch Wandering Son or something (Yes, I know you have to review SAO and keep up with anime in general)….

  3. I’m not sure whether to be disappointed that the show didn’t learn not to do this from last time, or if I should have seen it coming considering it happened before and the show was massively successful. Probably both.

    Maybe I could compartmentalize this. I liked that it was more or less operating on a plane of near-sensibility until now.

  4. Awww man, why couldn’t ANN have waited until the end of the arc to have you start your episode reviews? I wanted to read the minute-by-minute account of your outrage, dammit.

  5. I thought they’ve learned their lesson over last arc’s backlash. Well, technically they are doing everything right, following the LNs and stuff, but still…

  6. You were the one who wished for more tension…

    Well, at least it was properly foreshadowed (Even in the OP).

    I… can’t even be angry at this, honnestly. It was so ridiculously painfull (or painfully ridiculous) I couldn’t take it seriously.
    But the problem isn’t really the way the scene was handled (It could have ben far worse. SAO proved it already.), but the fact they decided to use this kind of scene.

    What does makes me angry is how using such cheap tactics actually ends up desensitize us to this issue.

    • Especially in the context of SAO. Treating a subject like this with the total frivolity and lack of understanding SAO has is terrible all on its own, but SAO has even made sexual assault a specifically ridiculous thing within its own universe. That’s… ugh.

  7. Well, this arc WAS better, Sinon’s much more of a character than all Kirito’s harem combined and all.

  8. Im simply glad this happened. This way i dont have to do anything but point finger at this episode when ill have to explain why i consider this show as a failure.

    At the beginning of the episode, during one scene, friend next to me tells me how he doesnt like it. My reply to him was, maaan…. just stop here, because this first half of this episode is guaranteed to be the better half. Ever since we were told how Deathgun operates i knew what was coming.

    When the assault scene started happening, the friend tells me oh my god, this guy is so out of it, wtf is this. Im saying, you said you have watched SAO1, what are you talking about. He was like – but nothing of this magnitude was ever there. I immediatelly played 24th episode to refresh his mind. I hope you guys remember. All the licking and touching and crazy and Kirito and pain limiters turned off and stuff. Then we continued with this SAO2 episode and we were just laughing for 7minutes till the very end.

    What i particularly liked about this episode:
    – Kirito asking Shinon if he should go check up on her
    – Shinon replying – no need (yeah right…)
    – Kirito coming to check up on her anyway, because he is just that worried about her
    – Shinon saying she has a reliable guy around, who was friendzoned since day 1
    – Shinon’s friend ringing her doorbell (me knowing he is either going to die or being Deathgun’s accomplice)
    – all the valid reasons why he is DG’s accomplice (my life sux and i only care about the game and i suck at the game too, so lets go crazy)
    – the only normal character in this show being turned into the most idiotic one
    – Shinon actually escaping, but then getting caught because of all the locks on her door. Note, that the hinted irony of this is not my point. My point is how funny it is to see this show so transparently using this ‘irony’ to mask the real reason she got caught – for Kirito to save her and for us to believe she can make it on her own so Kirito saving her at the last moment is oh so unexpected.
    – Kirito’s knee-to-the-head

    And the best one is how Shinon finally found someone to rely upon, and it definitely was not her long time good friend caring about her – those guys are actually the ones who want to have sex with you and are plotting evil behind your back. The reliable guys are the random strangers you find in videogames, you know, the kind of guy who actually killed a person so he knows the value of life.

    The only good things about this episode was the animation and Shinon’s inner and outer being so easily observable. She was really happy to have Kirito coming, but then her facial expressions immediately changed once she took control. Her happy immediate reaction contrasting so much with her conscious will of trying to be strong – that was really good.

    • There was actually good stuff going on here, but it was just buried under the show’s worst choices. This is so avoidable, too. It’s a mess.

  9. I wouldn’t go as far as to say we should be laughing at a rape-attempt scene. The subject matter of Sinon’s character actually gets a lot of my respect for tackling some of the biggest psychological distressers out there. She fell victim to both the killing and the rape through honest mistakes that can happen in real life, and because of that, the scene resonated a lot stronger for me. It went longer than it had to, of course. Once the guy seemed bat-shit crazy, they didn’t need to add another minute of it. But in the end, and unlike the first season of Sword Art, this one felt grounded in reality rather than a “let’s put the damsel in A LOT of distress” type of thing.

    • Yeah, poor phrasing on my part. And if this had been the only time SAO went to this place… well, I think it’d still be unnecessary and manipulative. But as one more in a chain of these events…

  10. Honestly I was not bothered by the end of this episode nearly as much as I was by the stuff in the first season. As you mentioned it actually tied all of it into it’s narrative themes, and the actions made sense for the character, with proper foreshadowing and everything, which is a lot more than can be said for the fairy king. I feel like if Alfheim never existed then this would be seen as an ok scene, but in light of how much they already abused this concept and poorly executed it, it is pretty inexcusable. When you have a ton of poorly handled and outright disgusting attempted rape tension scenes, the way you convince your audience you learned your lesson is not to have a reasonably executed rape tension scene, you kind of need to avoid that as a source of conflict altogether.

    I also probably would have been less upset with the ending if Sinon had truly managed to save herself without Kirito’s physical assistance. She used the lessons that she learned throughout the arc to take action, and she accepted Sinon as herself to do so. But of course even when the show completed her emotional arc, it still decided that Kirito was needed to save her, which is where this scene really fell flat for me. Because even if I pretend Alfeim never happened that does not change the problem of “Kirito saves everyone because they can’t save themselves”

    • Largely agreed with this – it’s one more sequence that context really destroys. This show just needed to not go back to the concepts it already abused, and yet it’s still running through the same damn ideas with Kirito again.

  11. So I saw some comments about the “rape scene” this episode, and how the anime changed this scene a lot. I figured they changed somethings, but didn’t remember much detail from the Light Novels to recall how much was changed.

    So I went back to read that chapter (haven’t read this arc in years), and holy shit the anime completely butchered that scene.
    Everything from Shinkawa’s actions and attitude, to even the “rapey-ness” of the scene was changed, and dramatized. I don’t know what the director was thinking.
    Kyouji didn’t just mount Shino when he pulled the syringe out; he simply held against her neck while standing. Additionally, Kyouji made it clear from the beginning that he planned to inject Shino with the drug and kill her, and showed no intention of wanting to rape her. He wanted to be together with her “in another world.”
    Shino even realized that the police should be getting to her house at any time, so she had him continue talking.

    The anime cut out a large segment of Sinon opposing Kyouji directly, even using the toy gun to spook him for a moment, (and showing she was at least over-coming her fear of guns to some extent)

    The changes the anime made COMPLETELY changed the tone of this scene.

      • After discussing it with various people, it seems there’s a conflict of ideas on this subject. While there’s a good portion who claim they never got the impression that this scene was a rape scene (in the novel), there’s also a good amount of people who claim it was. It looks to be a matter of perspective, and the way the chapter was written. It’s not like I can fault them for it, considering SAO does have a track record of putting people in near-rape situations.

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