Sword Art Online II – Episode 20

Sword Art Online chugs merrily along. I think the best way to describe this episode would be “inoffensive,” and, well, I guess I’m okay with that. This new conflict is pleasant enough, it’s nice to have some time away from Kirito, and the show isn’t doing anything to actively shoot itself in the foot. I’m approaching the point where I no longer have to actively concentrate to stumble across the finish line of my time with SAO – with only four episodes to go, from here on out, I can hopefully enter a controlled fall and just tumble my way to victory. I’m gonna make it. I’m almost home.

Oh fuck goddamnit Kirito what are you doi

Sword Art Online

9 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II – Episode 20

  1. For me at least, Kirito’s appearance in the last minutes embodied this episode. “You know what SAO, this is alright” transitioning directly into “Please don’t tell me you are doing this.”

    The biggest worry lasted only a few seconds on screen, but screamed out in those moments: the brief flashbacks conflating the conflict between the characters in the game world and the tension between Asuna and her mother, all with a positive spin courtesy of Yuuki. Aside from the terrifying first impression this leaves about where SAO wants to go with that thought, it certainly hasn’t up to this point been a show well equipped to handle something like that with the finesse it’s due.

    More than that, Kirito showing up is at this point anathema to the very idea of conflict. The warrants of his existence dismantle any chance to explore the impact or nature of either interpersonal or physical conflict because Kirito is the destroyer of conflict. He always wins, without a doubt, and for the sole purpose of entertaining the audience. Any substance to that contention evaporates as quickly as his ostensible enemies. If there is a true foe of the narrative in SAO, it’s Kirito.

    Do you have any thoughts on that thematic direction for the narrative? Do you just accept Kirito showing up at this point?

    • “If there is a true foe of the narrative in SAO, it’s Kirito.”

      …And here, it’s taking absolutely literally. (I hope it was the idea behind this scene.)
      The interest in that part is that Kirito isn’t the hero, Asuna is.

      This is supposed to be an exciting scene, because, on paper, it seems pretty cool. I don’t trust SAO enough to fully deliver, but I’m at least intrigued how they will deal with this inherent problem.

  2. I’m going to fight back against the idea that Kirito is ruining this here. The cavalry is allowed to be a thing, and Kirito showing up will (presumably) allow them to proceed on to the boss, which he won’t be there for.

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