Sword Art Online II – Episode 24

It’s over. Dear lord, it is finally over. I know that it’s not actually over – I still have to review Extra Edition for ANN, and the looming threat of a third season always hangs overhead. But for what it’s worth, SAO ended on about as high of a note as the show has ever reached – not only was this episode sharp aesthetically, it actually legitimately tied this arc’s themes together in a graceful way. I’ve had problems with SAO, I am very sure you know, but even with a couple serious dud episodes, Mother’s Rosario has turned out to easily be the show’s best arc. Plenty of reasons for that – a lack of Kirito, an actual character focus, a new perspective on the show’s central ideas – but the sum total of it means I can’t really complain. It’s been quite a ride, Sword Art Online. Now get the fuck out of here, you little scamp.

My full ANN post is here. Notes below!

Sword Art Online

Last episode. I can do this. Probably just gonna be a cooldown one. I’m almost through. I’m almost home

This insert montage is kinda cheap, but I do know these characters now. It’s fine

And some nice animation in that random Kirito-Yuuki duel

It’s a season-ending episode, meaning it’s basically a double goodbye in the context of this arc

And of course Yuuki’s not doing so well

“For a long time, she’s been fighting an impossible battle.” Yuuki is about as extreme as you can get in demonstrating the freedom of the virtual

“You won’t lose. Because you’re Zekken. The strongest swordsman!” And that’s a harsh lesson, too – sometimes, any amount of power you gain online doesn’t translate to anything in the real world. Actually forms something of a contrast with Sinon’s arc

“But she said she wanted to spend her last moments outside it!” Hm

Man, this show does have some pretty shots. Lovely lighting in this Alfheim sequence

Awww yeah new sword skill

“The skill is called ‘Mother’s Rosario’” well there ya fuckin’ go

“I’ll pass the skill on to someone else. Your blade will never disappear.” Immortality in this place again, like with the boss fight

And of course like a thousand players show up because SAO has no ability to restrain itself ever

“Everyone is praying that your next journey is to somewhere as wonderful as this.” Another great MMO reality line

Really, really great expression work for Asuna in this closeup ending

“I did my best to live. I lived here.” Aw

And then she meets Siune at Yuuki’s funeral

“Life is something in which to carry and share your heart.” The impact Yuuki had on Asuna reflects on Asuna’s own chosen life goal. This arc’s storytelling is so much better than most SAO

“I want to share the strength I learned from Yuuki with many people.”

Of course it was Kayaba who instigated the medical full-dive. OF COURSE

“The more the boundary between the real and virtual world blurs, the more it starts to trick people.” “But it also saves many people.”

“I don’t like the feeling that I’m being manipulated.” Kirito, you do not get to say that

4 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II – Episode 24

  1. “SAO ended on about as high a note as this show has ever reached” – slightly confused just with your syntax here: do you mean highest end point of any of the show’s arcs, or highest point of quality in general? I’d agree with either one, honestly. Although this episode didn’t impress me the way it seems to have you, you bring up a lot of great points about the episode’s strengths; the death/immortality thread was something I’d missed.

    • Highest point of quality in general, I’d say. It was the first time the show’s storytelling actually felt good to me.

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