Sword Art Online II – Episode 19

So this episode was one part reasonable character drama in the real world, one part possibly the best fight scene SAO’s ever had. I figured last week’s exposition-fest meant the show was holding back, but damn. The show’s already inherently better when it’s not revolving around Kirito, but this episode really did bring its own strengths to the table – for once, I have basically nothing bad to say about it. I know the good times never really last, but I wouldn’t be watching friggin’ SAO if I weren’t eternally optimistic. Please hold together, Mother’s Rosario!

Sword Art Online

15 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II – Episode 19

  1. It must have been someone in your comments a while ago who compared him to radioactive waste: strong, toxic, and impossible to get rid of. These last two episodes drive that home. Kirito is narrative detritus.

    This episode was certainly great, but the actual content of the character drama in the first half felt lacking. Despite the visual composition, the dialogue seemed to touch upon a number of different potential themes and views without bringing them together in any substantive way – missed by an inch, overshot by a mile. It mainly came down to particulars of phrasing, potentially from translation, but some lines felt out of place, without intention, too general, or just irrelevant to the conversation. Whatever, the fight scene was a joy.

    Personal note, been following your stuff for several months now (one of the probably many people who found you through your top shows list) and have really enjoyed your writing. It’s a pleasure to read someone who has both a keen critical eye and a great attitude.

    • Pretty much.

      One thing that i dont understand though, is why Bobduh puts so much time into SAO. When he started with the 1st season and only published sarcastic comments and ridicule, i was really angry. Why give the show the attention. Basically, its giving in to the hype. Now, i do admit i follow SAO from the beginning (anime) and i even liked it at first, so im as guilty as i can be, but why make deep ep-by-ep analysis on top of it?

      There is so much more stuff out there that deserves it. It is a shame. I see Bobduh praising to me unfamiliar anime each season and… and i dont see ep-by-ep writeups on those shows. What i do see is SAO and Log Horizon (no offense to any of those shows’ fans).

      Inherently, i follow this blog for its writing, not for what show the writing is about, so all is fine.

      Keep up the good work, Bobduh. Wait. No. Go and outdo yourself.

      • The answer is probably as someone before once pointed out. “B0bduh WANTS SAO to improve”, thus he watches in the hope that it gets better. Effectively, B0bduh is a tsundere.

      • The answer with SAO is pretty simple – I’m actually paid to do it. If I had all the time I wanted to dedicate to this work, I’d probably also be doing episodic posts on KimiUso and Rage of Bahamut, since both of those are pretty interesting from a craft perspective. I’m actually hoping to reach a point where I can dedicate more time to the blog in the near future!

  2. Definitely the best episode of SAO we’ve gotten in a while. I was all but falling asleep during the last several – they weren’t terrible, just terribly mediocre – but this one made me start paying attention again. I’m a little confused by Asuna’s mother (wait, so she wants her daughter to get excellent grades at an upperclass school/college AND marry some rich dude as a part of her ‘career’?), but other than that, damn good episode.

    • I saw her plan as a misguided but well-intentioned attempt to cover all of the bases to ensure that her daughter is successful. If she can succeed academically AND nab that rich guy, she’s basically set for life, right?

      I find it pretty awesome that even Kirito admits that there’s someone who’s a better gamer than he is. The price for achieving that level seems pretty high though. Looking forward to more commentary on that gamer/RL balance.

    • As jstorming said, I’m guessing it’s more about guaranteeing a specific kind of future than all contributing towards the same future. Though I guess she could marry a rich dude and have an independently excellent career…

    • In addition to the above comments, there could also be a degree of “to be a properly educated wife of a rich husband you will need to get a sufficiently good MRS degree”.

  3. Way back when you started and the rough patches began, you asked for a ‘Garfield Minus Garfield’ with SAO concerning Kirito. Good to see SAO has finally delivered, eh Bobduh?

  4. Indeed best episode in quite a while. I hope they keep it up in the last stretch of episodes.

    I have to say I enjoy the small personal or one on one scene’s best. The entire sequence of Asuna with her mother was excellent. The moment the whole ‘harem’ is present, all semblance of narrative seriousness goes out of the window IMO.

    • Yes the dinner part of the episode was good. But Asuna’s mother’s stron opposition still feels to me a bit artificial, like its thrown in there to isolate Asuna from everything in real world (except for Kirito), in order to hammer in the point about VR being a substitute for reality and say something in that regard. Plus, everything became irrelevant the moment her mother dismissed Kirito. From that moment on, the whole problem transformed into overly simple and boring: how will Kirito manage to impress Asuna’s mother.

      I hope the show is not going to go there.

      Overally, i liked this episode. First time this season.

    • Yeah, the harem just instantly kills any legitimate drama the show could pretend to have. It’s as distracting as any fanservice could be.

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