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Special Report – What If Sword Art Online Were Written Today? »« Sword Art Online – 09

Sword Art Online – 10

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「紅の殺意」 (Aka no Satsui)
“Crimson Killing Intent”

Noooo after all this time, they didn’t use the line about ‘love breaking the bounds of the dexterity stat!’ I’ve literally been waiting this entire run for it so I could laugh at the absurdities Kawahara Reki frequently writes into his stories. I mean really, just imagine gaming if strong feelings could influence and surpass the stats. That would be entirely broken. Oh well, I guess it’s actually a positive since that whole concept was kind of stupid. Better to just sidestep the issue entirely. After all, there was nothing to suggest that Asuna couldn’t run the distance once she knew there was something up, only Kawahara’s decision to try and pull a ‘love conquers all‘ moment.

Setting that aside, we have our second unique skill user this episode. Heathcliff, leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath, has what is possibly the most fitting skill for his position. Perfect Defence is not exactly a unique concept in RPGs, featuring in a myriad of forms, particularly in the MMORPG genre. It makes a lot of sense for the leader of what is essentially a Knightly order to possess a skill so often associated with variations of the Knight and Paladin classes. His personality is also ideally suited for the style, as evidenced by his impressive duel with Kirito. There’s a huge contrast between the two – where Kirito is a hot-blooded youth, Heathcliff has the cool composure and calm of the older and wiser. He so easily controls Kirito’s movements, almost like a matador baiting bulls and casually turning them aside. At the last moment, that hot-blooded nature seems to get the better of Kirito – he takes a dive which bounces uselessly off Heathcliff’s shield – and he loses the duel. This would be the first time we actually see Kirito lose in combat. Truly a perfect defence.

On the subject of the duel, a duel which would have allowed Asuna to take some time away from the guild had Kirito won, some people seemed to have been concerned about why Asuna could not just have up and left anyway, without the need for this duel. The thing is, Asuna didn’t want to leave permanently, just take some time away. Even in a real MMO, without that threat of death looming and the need to clear the game as fast as possible, you don’t just walk away from the biggest and most powerful guild in the game and expect them to let you come back. It would be even worse in SAO since a lot rides on these high-level players within the larger guilds – they’re some of the very few people actually trying to clear the game. As we saw last week, The Army acts in an extremely militant fashion and it’s entirely possible that the Knights of the Blood Oath also treat themselves as their name suggests. You don’t join a Knightly Order and expect them to let you wander off at will.

To be frank, it was fairly obvious what was coming from the moment Godfrey (Ebara Masashi) thought it would be good training to take away everyone’s only emergency lifeline. Kuradeel had already managed to establish himself as that creepy guy who would be out for revenge, and what better time to do it? The revelation that he was once a member of Laughing Coffin (whose emblem is hilarious) doesn’t really serve much purpose since he was already blatantly insane and there was no discussion of his motives for joining the Knights of the Blood Oath despite having once been a notorious player killer. His plan was rather flawed though. I actually have to wonder about some of the plans characters in Kawahara Reki’s works come up with – are they intended to be as stupid as they actually are, or is it an oversight on the author’s part? We clearly saw Kuradeel’s marker turn orange upon attacking Godfrey. Even had he claimed that he’d merely killed the supposed attackers, had they already killed Godfrey and thus their markers turned orange, from what I remember this would mean that Kuradeel’s marker would not change after killing them. Therefore, he was already screwed from the moment he committed the first murder. I would leave this alone as nothing more than a character written to be both psychotic and unintelligent, but this is not the first time such a plan has appeared in Kawahara’s works. Nor would it be the first time such a plan was treated as a serious possibility.

I have a footnote here in the short sentences I wrote while watching the episode. It says ‘Try to avoid using “glop” and “two years” in the post.’ Whoops, looks like I just failed that one. Anyone want to make bets on how many comments containing either of the two are going to materialise on this post? I’ll be legitimately surprised if the first comment, likely sniped by an opportunist waiting for the appearance of the post, does not feature some variation of them.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Duels, death, and implied sex. An eventful week in the world of #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • Kirito looks like he’d make a splendid exhibitionist!
  • …wait… those clothes aren’t black! Did the world just turn on its end?!
  • SHAFT head tilt? Almost?
  • That sounds rather painful… hold up… what happened to pain not being a factor in SAO? Am I forgetting something or is this just inconsistency?
  • ‘Sorry, I woke you didn’t I.’ Dude. Poking people in the face will do that. What the hell?

Full-length images: 03, 17, 20, 30, 34.

 

Preview

Sword Art Online   10   Preview 01

End Card

Sword Art Online   10   End Card
September 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm
232 comments »
  • September 8, 2012 at 2:37 pmSilentCid

    What no 16.5 action? Just Playing :) it was a good episode to say the least.

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:47 pmkyuzo

      next week maybe? lol.

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:51 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      Dammit! My thoughts exactly. 16.5!!

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:21 pmkaoffeine

      which one is 16.5 again? (no i don’t mind spoilers, i’ve read the LN. :3)

      • September 8, 2012 at 3:36 pmaimless

        16.5 is the infamous sex scene supposedly written under a different name by the writer of SAO. But word has it that it was not actually written by him so we don’t know if it’s true or not.

      • September 8, 2012 at 4:49 pmWaka

        @aimless

        of course it’s fake, it’s a text file, which is not even recognized by the author of the novel.

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:25 pmKamiyaCheap

        Asuna was naked though when she woke up~ the sex scene can’t be show though~

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:48 pmznail

        Only the explicit details of the sex scene is arguable as it’s fairly obvious that they did it.Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:33 pmJello

        16.5 is the two years worth of glopping

      • September 9, 2012 at 8:54 pmNyamu

        I completely agree with Waka.
        16.5 seems like a fanfic to me. The writing style is completely different from the original author.

      • September 11, 2012 at 5:42 pmbitch

        16.5 was part of the original web novel the author posted before SAO was made into an actual novel. I honestly don’t understand why people keep saying that it’s not canon when chapter 16 itself clearly implied the fact that they had sex.

      • September 23, 2012 at 5:58 pmNyamu

        Sorry but it really is NOT part of the original novel. Can’t you tell by just reading it??? The writing style is completely different. Try reading Ch16 and 17, then read that 16.5. The syntax and word choice are not the same. The biggest clue is that there are TONS OF GRAMMATICAL ERRORS in that chapter. Can you at least see that???

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:32 pmhaseo0408

      First: Congratulations to Kirito and Asuna.
      Second: Kirito when you tell a girl you love “I want to spemd the night with you”, what do you think it means!? Seriously, where do you think things were going!?.
      Third: I´m really sure I am going to die of jelousy.

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:23 pmbakakubi

        You’re not the only one bro…… ;_;

        I’d give anything to be in his place. Yes, even to play in the death game.

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:50 pmznail

        The funny thing is that Sachi also asked Kirito to sleep together. It’s rather telling how different Asuna took that phrase ;)

      • September 9, 2012 at 4:37 pmSpacyRicochet

        This exactly.

        Since presumably all of Kirito’s experience of sleeping together consisted of spending the night with Sachi, it’s no wonder he’s clueless.

    • September 9, 2012 at 7:42 pmSortedevaras

      I much prefer to live in a world in which its true, so lets just go with that.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:38 pmMrTerrorist

    The Shut Up Kiss and proposal was so sweet. Congrats to the newlyweds!

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:53 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Words cannot describe how jealous I am right now. Congratulations, Kirito. XD

      Asuna is so lovely in a wedding dress.

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:14 pmMasterDragonKnight

      And I shall leave this here, the kiss in animated form. ^^

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:00 pmEuzio

      the fangirl in me went ballistic in this episode~

    • September 9, 2012 at 8:51 amJello

      There’s something peculiarly romantic about kissing after your arm has been sliced off.

      Whatever, just a game, right?!

      Oh Kawahara-san you crazy guy.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:41 pmdestinyflower

    Kuradeel so deserved to die after what he had done to Kirito.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:41 pmflCer

    oh my god

    Asuna

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:43 pmoliviaven

    Asuna so bold!

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:44 pmFadingMoon

    Oh man and here I thought they were gonna do ch 16.5. Silly thinking on my part, but that would of been so funny if it was included in this.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:46 pmKyon12

    damn!!!!!!! they skip what happen after that scene in the LN………..I wanted to see if they where going to animated or not!!!!!!!!!!I guess not!!!!!!!!!!! so sad D:

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:48 pmtg-jade

    OMG I was squealing during the entire episode. Finally, a perfectly matched couple!! I would’ve loved an extended version of the fights, but it was still an awesome episode. And now, the wait for another week….

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:50 pmJustin

    Bold Asuna is super kawaii. <3 her. Anyways, does sex in a virtual world count as losing your virginity in the real world?

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:30 pmSuppa Tenko

      She still has her hymen. There’s a doujin on it drawn by Digital Lover that addresses that.

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:54 pmKinny Riddle

        Oh boy, that Digital Lover ending was funny like hell.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 9, 2012 at 12:06 amJHN

        Does that mean they can do it for the first-time..twice? XD

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:06 amSuppa Tenko

        Not just twice but… five times! Aincrad, Alfheim, Gun Gale, Aliciazation Underworld, and IRL.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:51 pmMasterDragonKnight

    And coming up next, the last girl to be introduced in SAO. I can’t wait for her to appear. ^^

    Sweet and cute picture in the spoiler.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:25 pmKranyte

      YES! Seriouslly can’t wait for Show Spoiler ▼

      .. been waiting for this next episode or 2 since I read the LNs a few weeks ago..

      How doya think they’re gonna handle:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 3:43 pmKamui04

        I guess ep. 11 first half is gonna introduce the newlywed life. With the second half Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:53 pmznail

        I think the next two episode titles should answer your question…
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:13 pmKarasu

      How do you have a biological child in virtual reality?

      • September 9, 2012 at 7:29 amaimless

        they don’t have a biological child.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:51 pmTester

    Edited for spoilers
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:56 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      This needs to be deleted.

      Major spoiler.

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:14 pmKranyte

      Do not read unless you want to be spoiled
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 9, 2012 at 12:28 amfoofiebeast

        yeah, that was immediately what I guessed when Show Spoiler ▼

        . Makes sense.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:33 amecho

        sad to say that this anime is really bad in adapting the important highlights of the story… I really wish i could fire the director…

      • September 11, 2012 at 1:57 pmAureateFlux

        Kirito’s defeat in the duel certainly wasn’t so one-sided in the LN. Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:53 pmTor

    Best anime of the season!

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:53 pmAccess

    I found it rather strange that it’s implied that they have sex on the very first day they start going out. Let alone at that age.
    Then again, sex has never really been portrayed accurately in any anime / manga I’ve seen so far, so I should hardly be surprised.

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:58 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      Going out?

      The whole ‘going out’ scenario in modern society is stupid. They’ve spent a load of time together and just because they’ve only just made their feelings clear doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or strange that they have sex on the first day.

      It’s not rare.

      • September 8, 2012 at 8:41 pmhaseo0408

        That´s true, what those two felt for each other was as clear as day to many around and even to themselfs, they just were afraid to say it outloud. So it´s not strange they had sex in their first day as an official couple. Poor Lizbeth, she´s going to have a meltdown when she finds out of the marriage.

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:47 pmKamui04

      As for the age matter
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:12 pmRaine

        On a side note Asuna is older than Kirito by a year.

    • September 8, 2012 at 5:16 pmStyxounette

      Kurisu’s right. If you’ve been friends with the guy for a long time, and then start going out, sex pretty much follows the first kiss. At least in my experience.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:58 pmkyuzo

    “At the last moment, that hot-blooded nature seems to get the better of Kirito – he takes a dive which bounces uselessly off Heathcliff’s shield – and he loses the duel. This would be the first time we actually see Kirito lose in combat. Truly a perfect defence.”

    really? i thought heathcliff had another unique skill that let’s him either move faster or slows down his opponent’s movement. why would kirito look so surprised when it happened if what you said was true. i was half expecting him to ask heathcliff about just what happened and how was he able to do that.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:51 pmD-LaN

      Heathcliff is Kiritsugu using Time Magic?? XD

    • September 9, 2012 at 12:38 amTez

      Yeah when I say that seen I yelled “SPEED HACK!”

    • September 9, 2012 at 1:03 pmWanderer

      It is a major spoiler, but I am still shocked that Moomba said that that way, since as a novel reader he KNOWS the truth about what happened there.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:59 pmFT5Havok

    Is it just me or Heathcliff somehow stopped time and blocked Kirito’s hit ? O.o
    Congrats to Asuna and Kirito<3

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:07 pmkyuzo

      same here. i dunno why what happened was just brushed off by the writer. im pretty sure it’s more than just kirito being all gung-ho and losing because of it, he’s smarter than that.

      • September 8, 2012 at 3:20 pmRusty

        You learn about it later in the story. It is too major a spoiler to just tell you why.

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:17 pmKranyte

      Only read below if you want major spoilers/an explanation
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:57 pmznail

        Warning for those who haven’t read the novels. These spoilers are major so don’t click if you don’t want to be spoiled about everything.

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:25 pmKarmafan

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:05 pmBio D

    My feels:
    “Aw sweet a duel, this is going to be- he’s lost. Okay, he’s a Knight now, I wonder how he’ll interact with the- oh shit, he’s almost dead! Oh shit, his hand’s gone! How horribly ironic for the only dual-wielder! YES, SMOOCHES! Woah, sex, (oh, his hand’s back) that was fast. When did this turn into an ero- MARRIAGE!? MY SWEET BABIES!”
    Point being, they should have probably explored the story-beats, but that was one wild ride.
    P.S. Way to go, hiring an actual murderer as the bodyguard for your Vice-Commander, Knights.

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:17 pmGrandier

    Given his ability to dual wield, I wonder if it was ever addressed or expanded upon in the LN if anyone else besides Kirito could fight hand to hand?

    • September 8, 2012 at 4:05 pmWoA

      There is an explanation for Kirito’s hand-to-hand skills, although I doubt they’ll address it in the anime. I forget exactly what part of the LN it’s explained in, I feel like it’s a side story…but I digress. It’s not particularly spoilerific, but I’ll hide it just in case:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:59 pmznail

        At least one more, just look at Asuna punching Kirito.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:14 pmRaine

        This is mentioned in one of the Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:18 pmMasterDragonKnight

    So now we have proof of Rider loving video games, he loves them so much he connected himself so he can conquer the SAO world too!

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:33 pmc2710

      Wow…. So in this timeline, Iskandar’s back but went out in a manner that doesn’t do justice to his awesomeness

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:38 pmAoihoshikage

      Man, no wonder he looked so familiar :P

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:34 pmJonz

      You definitely deserve a medal!! LOL

    • September 9, 2012 at 12:11 amJHN

      Glad I wasn’t the only one. As soon as I saw him, I just screamed: “Rider!” XD

    • September 9, 2012 at 7:55 amVaan

      You have good eyes young master

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:22 pmKranyte

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • September 8, 2012 at 4:32 pmAnon

      Dude. Stop. Seriously. Just how many more times do you need to include that spoiler in this post, giving away what is arguably the biggest secret of the entire SAO novel? It’s like the third time already. I don’t care since I’ve read all of the novels, but most anime-only viewerss will kick themselves over and over again after clicking on that spoiler.

      • September 8, 2012 at 4:56 pmGrandier

        And if they don’t want to know, they don’t have to open up that spoiler tag.

      • September 8, 2012 at 5:34 pmmoridin84

        Indeed, it’s very “what the hell” thing to do it three times, even with spoiler tags.

        There’s a difference between people asking for spoilers and people who are just speculating about what happened in the story. It should not be that difficult to distinguish between them.

      • September 9, 2012 at 12:33 amfoofiebeast

        yeah, but its also fairly obvious.

        but writing it 3 times is a bit strange, hah.

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:23 pmClick

    “I’ve literally been waiting this entire run for it so I could laugh at the absurdities Kawahara Reki frequently writes into his stories.”

    “I actually have to wonder about some of the plans characters in Kawahara Reki’s works come up with – are they intended to be as stupid as they actually are, or is it an oversight on the author’s part?”

    Well, I’m in full agreement with you, Moomba, since this is (almost) my biggest gripe with the guy. Kawahara Reki tends to shoot for an overly-thespian and provocative effect rather than something logically sound. However, the end result oftentimes comes off as fairly silly or ludicrous, and that’s never good for the mood.

    My sense says that he tries to make them (and by extension, their plans) into something incredibly theatrical and absorbing, but it hardly ever works out and their actions often come off as completely preposterous or even silly at times. A good example of this which comes to mind is Grimlocke, who’s motives and penultimate moment in the spotlight were shaky at best, and that’s being entirely generous. Their schemes are supposed to be vastly dramatic, but they often leave you with a hanging “huh?”

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:24 pmSwordhack4

    It’s been a while since reading this part of the novel. But I’m a just go ahead and ask. Since this is by the same author, the strike that Kirito used to finish off Kuradeel, was that something like the Incarnate Ability in Accel World, or something entirely different and normal in SAO?

    Anyway, as always, amazing episode. A-1 really loves to go beyond in the fight scenes in this show. But not a bad thing in the least! Everything else went exactly how I expected it to go. Yet ANOTHER episode exceeds my expectations.

    And Kirito should wear that guild coat more often. It suits him, even if he doesn’t think so XD

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:34 pmBio D

      I think Kirito’s strength is so high at this point he can punch through armor.

    • September 8, 2012 at 3:59 pmMasterDragonKnight

      It’s one of Kirito’s Unarmed skills, which he has almost completely mastered. Along with his level 96 strength stat, it is more than enough to deal a finishing blow.

      Also, if you look closely, the part he stabbed is under the chest armor, in the unprotected abdomen.

      • September 8, 2012 at 4:55 pmAnonymous

        The way he got that skill though was quite funny.

      • September 8, 2012 at 8:26 pmSuppa Tenko

        Which side story was that?

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:18 pmRaine

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 9, 2012 at 8:15 pmKJacket

        Yea, he really was only a few points away from mastering it, pity.

  • September 8, 2012 at 3:27 pmFree

    moar like “It’s time to DU-DU-DU-DU-DUEL!”

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:26 pmricz

    another good episode

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:27 pmLonghaul

    “I mean really, just imagine gaming if strong feelings could influence and surpass the stats.”

    Accel World

    • September 8, 2012 at 4:53 pmAnonymous

      That’s false. Something like that won’t work in SAO. It’s because…

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 8, 2012 at 8:26 pmSuppa Tenko

        But in the finale, Asuna
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:03 pmznail

      Actually, the player do influence the speed of the Avatar some. Note that Asuna is nicknamed ‘The Flash’ for a reason.

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:35 pmU Doh

    So killing orange guys doesn’t turn you orange? Somebody said that in the anime somewhere in previous episodes?

    • September 8, 2012 at 4:44 pmAnonymous

      Orange Guilds consist of orange and green players. If somebody was to wipe out an orange guild, they would have to attack the green players too.

    • September 9, 2012 at 1:06 pmWanderer

      No, killing an orange or a red doesn’t make you orange, because they are already recognized as a criminal. In many MMOs that allow player vs player, criminals can be attacked without repercussions, just like this.

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:57 pmAnza

    I was hoping they were at least throw in the UI discussion on how they are actually able to bypass certain… um… problems with it being a video game and all.

    • September 9, 2012 at 5:30 amMike

      I’m really disapointed too! I think that discussion is important, it could’ve made more obvious that they had sex later… also, why is Kirito clothed?? it’s so unnecessary and confusing… damn Japanese, so polite…even to disguise a nice bed-time with 2 people really in love…

      I hope that in the next chapter they explain a little bit more the “Marriage” system, it’s only a special type of permanent party of 2 where there’s only one shared inventory… of course the decision implies strong feelings between two players, but that’s completely independent of the system

  • September 8, 2012 at 5:27 pmDude

    SAO comes with the nude costume option too eh…

  • September 8, 2012 at 5:35 pmXavier

    actually I was thinking “Kirito Loses one hand and also lost his unique skill” but at least, he got another hand, so that kinda disappoints me

    • September 9, 2012 at 8:59 amKarmafan

      Healing pot probably fixed that.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:08 amSuppa Tenko

        Loss of limb is a status effect that lasts for 180 seconds.

  • September 8, 2012 at 5:40 pmFlanders

    This episode went better than what I imagined in the novels (yeah, yeah, some parts removed, but hey, it’s an anime – they did it well!). Definitely an intense moment. It’s one of the reasons I was sucked into reading it in the first place – the love of Asuna and Kirito is just beautiful (the LN for me was never about the fights, it’s just the characters that just endear you to it).

  • September 8, 2012 at 5:55 pmAnonymous

    Can anyone explain the pain they felt?

    • September 8, 2012 at 6:03 pmQwert

      The game is hooked into their brains… Where do you think your feeling of pain comes from?

      • September 8, 2012 at 6:06 pmAnonymous

        If you look back into episode 1, Kirito mentions that pain isn’t felt in SAO after Klein gets hit and reacts in pain out of habit.

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:03 pmHolmes

        I’m under the assumption that they have their sense of touch in the game.
        So you’d still feel the sword enter your body, and although the game probably won’t cause the pain itself, your brain would still instinctively generate the pain from it.

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:05 pmznail

        While feeling a sword slide into your gut wont feel painful in SOA so should it be a pretty horryfying experience as you would still feel the sword.

    • September 8, 2012 at 6:09 pmthenewhorde

      you’re talking about BEFORE the beginning ceremony, that was BEFORE the hand mirror reveal and the world being set to realism maximum.

      • September 8, 2012 at 8:18 pmSilver

        No. It’s still the same. They don’t experience the pain. Remember the episode with Silica where Kirito just stood there to take the PK’s attack? He did not flinch or reacted in pain.

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:24 pmSuppa Tenko

      They don’t feel pain, but if someone’s stabbing you and slowly killing you, you’re still going to scream.

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:07 pmznail

        People still scream while falling off a building, despite not feeling any pain yet.

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:16 pmMutare

      Also you need to take in mind the mental state of the person being attacked. Imagine you’re completely helpless and having your hp slowly chipped away, knowing you will die at 0 hp, every hit becomes seemingly real in the mind.

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:42 pmFalmung

      Actually according to the LNs pain is mitigated. In other words you feel pain but not as seriously as if you were stabbed in real life. So the pain is light compared to real life and you get a sense of realism in the game.

      • September 11, 2012 at 2:02 pmAureateFlux

        Right, there’s some kind of “Pain Absorption” feature that reduces the amount of pain you feel. So you still feel “pain,” you just don’t feel it as much. This comes up again later in ALO, where we see it being adjusted in various circumstances.

        So there’s still pain, it just isn’t as intense as it WOULD be. And there’s a sword slowly sinking into his belly. That’s scary enough to warrant sympathetic pain– the pain you feel when you see someone get kicked in the crotch.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:48 amPassingBy

      If nobody feels pain then how do they feel good from having sex?

  • September 8, 2012 at 6:07 pmthenewhorde

    “At the last moment, that hot-blooded nature seems to get the better of Kirito – he takes a dive which bounces uselessly off Heathcliff’s shield – and he loses the duel.”
    -moomba

    Sorry Moomba, I’m not one to usually criticize others’ opinions, but I guess I have to make this an exception.

    Unlike we’re watching completely different scenes, it’s was practically acted out that Heathcliff was using some sort of auto-parry ability or another unknown unique skill that he kept hidden like Kirito has. Time practically stopped and he was moving like as if he was using Physical Full Burst from Accel World, either he had special weapon attached skills or special unique skill unrevealed yet (which is more likely). Not to mention his reaction to Kirito completely changed after the strike, his casual attitude turned stern and almost distaste after giving Kirito one last glare before he left instead of greeting him and congratulating him entering the guild as you would expect of his personality.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say it’s a pre-developed version of brain burst and Accel World, considering the fact Haru was looking at Nerve Gear’s information while searching for Naomi’s weakness. My bet is SAO was a trial version of the Accel World that came way into the future, and Heathcliff is probably as close to the first ever burst linker as they could get. (Not sure if the two stories are interconnected like xxxHolic and Tsubasa Chronicles, but if they are, I’d put my money on Heathcliff somehow connected to the origins of Accel World or even one of the first ever beta Burst Linkers)

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:23 pmSuppa Tenko

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:07 pmMike

        failing at using spoiler tags >_>;;

    • September 9, 2012 at 4:07 amMoomba

      You have no idea how hard it is to comment on something when you know exactly what’s going on while sidestepping spoilers. Normally I would say nothing and leave it to slide by, but mentioning his defeat was important in itself.

      Also wow, that was quite the spoiler fail from @Suppa Tenko. I’m only sorry I wasn’t here to delete it when it happened.

    • September 9, 2012 at 7:11 pmRasen

      I am almost entirely certain there is no confirmed connection between SAO and Accel World. I had a long and epic argument with two other people about this, including how that one side-story is considered non-canon

      • September 11, 2012 at 6:12 amThe Moondoggie

        Except the fact that the NervGear appeared in Accel World too. It’s the author’s “plot machine” along with VR online games.

        I still believe that AW and SAO happened in the same world.

  • September 8, 2012 at 6:08 pminfinite

    This is nasty but I must know. If they did have sex since there in a game how does “finishing” work with your body being in coma?

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:18 pmSuppa Tenko

      The NervGear intercepts the signals coming from your brains into you body. So aside from accelerated heart rates and maybe an erection, there probably won’t be any semen flowing out. Of course they would probably also have wet dreams. The gel beds they sleep on break down waste and thus requires very low maintenance.

      • September 9, 2012 at 3:51 pminfinite

        It would be funny as hell to be taking care of a male SAO users body then out of nowhere see him get a hard on.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:16 pmSuppa Tenko

    I’m surprised that no one has make the Shining Finger joke. I mean seriously, Kirito’s [Embracer] skill is Shining Finger.

    @Moomba
    While Kirito’s being stabbed, he says that he feels an uncomfortable coldness running through his body. Also if someone stabbed you, you would probably yell even if it didn’t hurt that much.

    Also I think Kirito looks pretty good in KoB colours. Its far better than his manga counterpart where he had a white cloak thingy on top of his normal black clothes.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:32 pmEntrav

    Personally I loved this episode even though it was fairly crammed with content. With whatever it did have though it didn’t do a bad job of portraying the important moments.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:35 pmRoguespirit

    In reference to your comment about pain being a factor allow me to use a reference from The Matrix. Morpheus says “Your mind makes it real.” Also remember not to underestimate the power of suggestion. We’ve seen how that affects Accel World which takes place in the same continuity if I’m not mistaken.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:39 pmselpheed

    Kirito, “sleeping with a girl” does not mean “sleeping with a girl” …

    Asuna should kill him ..

    • September 8, 2012 at 8:42 pmhaseo0408

      The crime prevention system is the only thing that saved the poor fool.

      • September 9, 2012 at 6:01 amselpheed

        I had to hear this: “What did you expect? he is a MMORPG player.”

        This destroys our reputation .. : (

    • September 10, 2012 at 2:42 amPietro

      In his defence, he didn’t know it was possible to have sex in the game.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:39 pmKentaiyoshimi

    ‘Sorry, I woke you didn’t I.’ Dude. Poking people in the face will do that. What the hell?

    My exact thoughts, lol

    I’m curious as to whether people age in SAO, since it doesn’t seem like they do. If they don’t, then this is the closest thing to eternal youth anyone can get, which would definitely contribute to the reasons why people start giving up on clearing the game.

    and DAT end card.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:41 pmTopboy

    Action with unforseen(for me,at least) result,Betrayed by guildmate,Intense moment between Death and alive,and super cute Romance so Best episode so far.

    I was just listening to song named truly madly deeply and replay some part of episode again and again—>

    I’ll be your dream I’ll be your wish I’ll be your fantasy.
    I’ll be your hope I’ll be your love be everything that you need.
    I’ll love you more with every breath truly madly deeply do

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:41 pmewok40k

    Defeated in the duel Kirito looked so dumbstruck… “How it happened?” was written on his face…
    It is good that despite all epicness of his skills he gets three important lessons this episode:
    1. There is always bigger fish – and in this case it is leader of Asunas guild (and now his guild too…), who makes a perfect balance of attack and defence. He might have some even more powerful tricks up his sleeve as it seemed he did SOMETHING to thwart his attack…
    2. There are underhanded, sneaky ways that can lay down even strongest fighters… like poison, for example. That bastard who tried to PK him came all too close to his goal…
    3. There are others who care about him and are scared not to lose him, first and foremost Asuna, and he can rely on them when he gets defenceless.
    Last lesson, while in a non combat situation, is, when you get girl all determined and ready to go all the way, you dont leave her hanging on… At least he makes up with the marriage proposal immediately.

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:58 pmasus

    so wait our solo player black swordsman is now a guild member again what…?

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:00 pmKarasu

    I’m starting to get rather irritated with a lot of the character models for this series. Too many player characters in SAO look like your generic anime models when they are supposed to look like real life people, or at least portray real life features. You mean to tell me that Heathcliff, in reality, looks like some 40 year old dude with long hair who plays video games all day? Or the dude that was murdered looks the way he did in real life? Asuno and Kirito I’ll give a slight exception to since they are the main characters but other characters in the game look just too “anime”.

    Also, I was under the impression Heathcliff cheated in some way which explained that sour look on his face after the duel.

    • September 8, 2012 at 9:06 pmMike

      Pss, I’m gonna tell you a secret, it may come as a shocker to you, but you’ve actually been watching SAO the ANIME, not SAO the Live Action series.

      As far as the hair goes, it’s one feature that is customizable in game, but then you’d know that if you weren’t so busy wondering why characters in an anime looks like anime characters :P

      • September 8, 2012 at 9:26 pmKarasu

        I knew someone would react to my comment this way. Okay, take for example the first episode when Kirito and and his buddy looked the way they did before Kayaba told everyone they were stuck in SAO. Everyone in the game at that time had a customized look, essentially their avatars. It wasn’t until Kayaba told everyone about their situation and forced them to look as they did in real life did we really know what Kirito looked like. We were even treated to a comedic moment where what appeared to be a young cute girl and her strapping boyfriend were actually two dudes. When everyone in the crowd was transformed back there was nothing but generic ass looking people with plain features and brown or black hair. So I guess that little blacksmith girl really has “blue” hair in reality and all the “ugly” people in SAO have already been killed.

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:21 pmrsquirrel

        Well basically they look like anime versions of real world chars (aka anime style) rather than anime version of game chars (aka avatars).
        So yes they’ll still be anime chars.
        Has a side benefit to the animators when they have to draw the chars in the real world — no change needed!

      • September 9, 2012 at 12:14 amMike

        I knew someone would react to my comment this way.

        Then perhaps you should ask yourself why :P

        So I guess that little blacksmith girl really has “blue” hair in reality

        I think the word you were looking for is “pink”. Also, thank you for so clearly demonstrating your lack of ability to pay attention, I’ve already told you in my earlier reply that HAIR CAN BE CUSTOMIZED IN SAO, even after Kayaba changed everyone’s face. Lisbeth at the beginning as seen at episode 1 had brown hair.

        and all the “ugly” people in SAO have already been killed.

        Yea, because there are a whole bunch of ugly non-villain characters in anime :rolleyes:

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:16 pmznail

      Way to stereo type people there. People playing computer games aren’t any uglier then anyone else in general. It’s also not only a case of Hollywood homely as both Asuna and Silica are considered top girls of the community.

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:12 pmgrey

    so nice to see my favourite parts of the LN adapted..

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:14 pmhwighting

    I’m done for a hentai version if it’s available.

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:28 pmKamiyaCheap

    Congratulation Kirito and Asuna!!! *Jealous!!!* Finally the Show Spoiler ▼

    White is soooo not Kirito Color~ Doesn’t looks good on him~

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:32 pmc2710

    The only thing I saw in this episode was Asuna

    Asuna Asuna and more Asuna

    Well that’s fine for me since she’s #2 in this season

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:41 pmTai

    I never read the books, so I’m really confused about the part where Kirito loses his hand and suddenly gets his back. To me this seem really way over the top, and prime “WTF?!” moment. How did he get his hand back? Was it through the use of a potion? Did it regenerate? Was it a skill? I’m so confused! I know this is a game world, but is there a rule that says you can replace limbs within an hour of detachment? Can you even lose limbs permanently?

    This is crazy!

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:16 pmDivini

      If you look at Kirito’s HUD when he lost his hand. He had a red debuff with an icon that showed a dismembered body part.

      And all debuffs have durations!

      • September 9, 2012 at 1:33 pmTai

        Ah, so this is a regular feature of MMOs? Thanks for the explaination. So I guess that’s why they didn’t feel any need to explain it. o-o

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:43 pmFrog

    Did Kirito’s player marker turn red after he killed Kuradeel?

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:50 pmD-LaN

      Nope, PK red/orange player is consider ok by the system.

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:47 pmsnake

    From the subs I watched, after Kuradeel dies, Asuna says “I shouldn’t, I should stay away”? Is that correct or something I’m missing? Anyways, good episode xD. I liked how he got laid when he didn’t plan to do it in the first place. :p

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:03 pmVaan

    So…did they DID it?

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:24 pmRaine

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Although it is heavily implied in the episode. And, said Volume is considered as NOT the original author’s work. I would post a link here from the Baka-Tsuki forums but well…

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:39 pmc2710

        I’d liketo read 16.5 pls

    • September 9, 2012 at 5:48 amFlanders

      Yeah, it was quite a funny scene in the LN (in a nutshell of the scene):
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:07 pmHuntermad

    SAO only follow the HP of player, it reproduce the effect of lost limb but after you a pot or a healing crystal, U are good as new.
    Kuradee only cut his left arm, kirito still have his right arm to use Embracer FTW
    Embracer kill Geofrey so he was a orange. Green can kill a orange without any consequence

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:13 pmT.K.

    @MoombaDS – Duels, death, and implied sex. An eventful week in the world of #SAO

    Feels like I’m watching Game of Thrones again, funnily enough Grandzam gave me an image of looking like Harrenhal when reading the novels while Starting City is King’s Landing.

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:32 pmsnake

    So they had sex after she punched him, weird lol.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:42 pmhwighting

      No, the punch was an alternative ending to the scene to make it PG. The real scene from the LN be where it at.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:48 pmJonz

      Maybe Kirito is getting a “fisting” if you what i mean from Asuna. And thats how the whole sex scene thing started.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:10 amSuppa Tenko

      Actually, Asuna punches him but is stopped by the Town Protection. Then they get naked on the bed and have slightly awkward sex with a dialogue in between to explain how the SAO system lets them have sex.

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:49 pmCJ

    The marker change wouldn’t have been an issue. His planned excuse was going to be that he fought and killed the PKers that had “attacked” them.

    • September 9, 2012 at 1:16 pmWanderer

      Wouldn’t have caused his color to changed. If they attacked him while he was green, he could have killed them all without changing his color, because they would have turned orange by attacking a green. A green can kill oranges and reds without affecting their own color in the slightest.

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:59 pmJhacks

    -SAO Players

    Tired of getting beaten-up in PvP? Getting bullied because of lack of skills, Lag, or you just don’t have the time to grind for levels & equipment because you have your so-called “real life” that those other online gamers you think doesn’t have.
    Worry no more….

    Introducing Our Latest Sword Art Online DLC Package.

    “The Limited Special Edition
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Armor Pack”

    For a less than your average game price of $59.95, you can add this Amazing DLC pack to your arsenal of equipment so your desire for Owning everyone in PVP will be a dream come true.
    Skills? …You don’t need them! A total Noob like you can defeat a top player with ease.
    Lag? …No problem! With this Awesome piece of DLC that will never be an issue. So blaming your cat for playing with your internet cable will never happen ever again.
    So why endured other players bullying, when you yourself can do the trolling.
    Don’t wait anymore for other DLC that we will release again couple of weeks after this.
    Buy it now and we will include the Limited Edition 16.5 Uncut DVD.

    -Kayaba Akihiko

    • September 9, 2012 at 4:24 amAzarum

      Damn I want to buy it!! But isn’t $60 abit overpriced for a DLC package?

      • September 9, 2012 at 9:41 amJhacks

        For 16.5 DVD…(^_-)☆wink, Worth it!

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:11 amSuppa Tenko

        16.5 Special Edition DVD has already been pirated and put of Fakku! as Sword Art Unlimited.

      • September 11, 2012 at 6:18 amThe Moondoggie

        I’d share with another guy though: I’d pay $50 and he pays $9. I get the 16.5 uncut DVD, he can have the rest…

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:02 pmKinny Riddle

    キタ━━━(゜∀゜)━━━!!!!!

    The moment everyone has been waiting for. Mainly thanks to some misunderstanding and over-eagerness on Asuna’s part concerning the definition of “spending the night together”. XD

    In the space of 24 hours (Japan broadcast time), we’ve now seen AW’s Chiyu strip down to her bra, and now Asuna does the same with greater impact as she ended up seemingly having “done” it with Kirito and married him (online at least).

    Did Kirito just killed Kuradeel using something that looked like AW’s Incarnate System? Could Kirito’s “mind over matter” skill inspire the AW developer a decade later to come up with a similar system for the elite Burst Linkers?

    • September 9, 2012 at 12:33 ambelatkuro

      That was just a Martial Arts skill. Basically a skill using bare hands for unarmed combat. Useful when disarmed but sword skills are still better to use.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:16 amSuppa Tenko

        Kirito has a skill called Meteor Break that uses both the Sword Skill and Martial Art skill. It’s kinda like Ike’s Aether attack that starts with a shoulder charge.

        This hand of mine glows with an awesome POWER! It’s burning grip tells me to defeat you! Take this, my love my anger and all of my sorrow! SHINING FINGER!

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:16 pmD-LaN

    Somewhere in Aincrad, Liz and Silica went (O__o) (Oky I will stop here)

    As @Moomba said, its quite eventful indeed…. First we hv the awesome looking duel between Kirito and Heathcliff. (Why do I had the feeling Heathcliff did some hacking/cheat??)And wow, the KoB uniform looks good on kirito despite the white colour.

    Godfrey might as well have a bulleye marked on him… And Kuradeel definitely lost it ady. His plain crazy and creepy if he think his plan will work. (SHAFT head tilt not helping to make him less creepy.) Yeah just kill him off, no worries. (Like how they should kill Shido off ady in HSotD.)

    And I don think Kirito and Asuna did it lol. (Unless he change cloth bet scene which is possible…) And lo and behold Kirito propose to Asuna….. And I wonder how Asuna come to the conclusion of sex lol.

    So they r skipping the Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:30 pmznail

      Don’t write it off.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:17 pmFrontier

    Action, intrigue, and romance collide in a very exciting episode of Sword Art Online.

    First and foremost, the duel. Kirito actually losing was a bit of a shock, especially after the debut of his Twin Blades and his owning of the boss in the previous episode. And yet, having Kirito win every single fight he was in would make for quite the boring protagonist so in that regard the loss was a plus. At the very, least he did get some good hits in on Heathcliff. Though just like Kirito, I am a little curious as to how exactly Heathcliff managed to beat him.

    I haven’t quite gotten a grasp on Heathcliff yet. I was under the impression that he was a more jovial and friendly guy, from how Asuna seemed to talk about him and how he spoke last episode, but here he seemed really detached and stoic. The only time he even showed a hint of emotion is when Kirito grazed him with Elucidator. Of course, his strength can’t be denied as Kirito had to really work to even get one hit on him. A nigh-perfect defense is invaluable in a world like Sword Art Online, and it would make sense for the leader of a top guild like the Knights of the Blood Oath to have such a strong ability. Though that doesn’t quite explain how he was somehow able to stop Kirito’s attack when Kirito clearly had the advantage. Heathcliff is a bit of an enigma to me at the moment, and I hope further episodes help shed some light on him.

    I expected Kuradeel would join up with Laughing Coffin, but I didn’t expect him to have been a member this whole time. Once he revealed himself, he went from creepy to downright monstrous, which surprised me since I didn’t think the knightly part of his personality was an act. As of right now, Kuradeel is our best look into the mind and behavior of the Laughing Coffin Guild. People who take pleasure in torture and killing, taking joy in the fact that they’re taking someones life as if it means nothing. Axe Crazy would probably be very apt in describing most members. I’m not surprised he didn’t think his plan through, since I think you’d have to be pretty unhinged in the first place to join a guild like Laughing Coffin.

    The Kuradeel situation gave both Kirito and Asuna a chance to shine, as Asuna’s status as the “Flash” let her both save Kirito and give Kuradeel a much deserved beat down. The only reason she didn’t finish him is because unlike Kuradeel she actually values human life, even if the life in question is a veritable scumbag. I’d imagine a person like Asuna would believe more in justice than vengeance anyways. Though Kirito, who values human life just as much, was forced to take Kuradeel’s to save Asuna. I can’t help but think that Kirito had always prepared himself for when he would have to take another persons life. His actions toward Rosalia in the Silica episode gave me the impression that after the Black Cats, Kirito hardened himself to such a degree that while he may feel some remorse, he would be prepared to take the life of anyone who would willingly kill others.

    But of course, I couldn’t discuss this episode without talking about the romance aspect and Kirto and Asuna finally hooking up. I though the anime developed their relationship quite well, from their first meeting in episode 2, to their growing closer during the Murder arc, and the culmination of their development in this episode. Kirito and Asuna have become each others physical and mental support in Sword Art Online, protecting one another while at the same time giving each other the mental stability required to keep going in the crazy world they find themselves in. Of course, that’s what any couple should be for each other and it holds true even in the world of Sword Art Online. I thought the kiss was perfect, in timing and execution, as the weight of what’s been going on and what happened with Kuradeel let their emotional barriers down and their true feelings and passions surge through. Both Kirito and Asuna needed that kiss. What transpired after was both hilarious and heartwarming, as after a comedic mix-up you don’t see every day in any media, the two finally consummate their relationship and vow to forge a new life for themselves in Sword Art Online. Ah, love…

    As a side note, the Knights of the Blood Oath uniform really doesn’t work for Kirito. With any luck, he’ll be back in his old cloak by the time he and Asuna settle down.

    All in all, a very exciting and heartwarming episode of Sword Art Online. I can’t wait next week for the marriage.

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:21 pmGhostalker

    A marriage proposal? Wow! My memory may be very hazy or maybe I haven’t watched that much anime yet with the main character actually asking for marriage with a very serious tone, but this is as memorable and as wonderfully beautiful like that when Tomoya asked Nagisa for them to get married in Clannad After Story. Well maybe not as dramatic and have a lasting impact like Clannad does but still…I love this episode :)

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:26 pmGhostalker

      I would be very glad to add the characters of this anime in my collection if they ever got a “figma” treatment.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:47 pmhwighting

      Character development between Kirito and Asuna was pretty good in the LN so it was quite natural that they got married.

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:46 pmrandom viewer

    If Moomba didn’t just took the words right out of my mouth (not exactly) I would have commented on the Orange marker and Kuradeel’s psychotic stupidity. But I want to add on how quickly/easily Kirito had let his guard down with Kuradeel just because Godfrey was there. I also saw that Kirito had two teleportation crystals and I thought he should have just gave Godfrey one and kept the other one for emergency (just like how he was an inch away from death). I am so glad that Kirito didn’t lose his hand for good over something like that. That is, blocking with his hand when he had a sword on his back. But I think it’s either he had no time/reflexes to get the sword or he just wants to kill the lunatic with his bare hand-who knows.
    And after seeing what Kirito and Asuna had gone through together in the past few episodes, I am happy for them to be together. It was too embarrassing for Asuna to jump right to that conclusion after dinner. But isn’t she sleeping without any clothes later on! Did Kirito do more than just poke Asuna’s face?! Would that be the reason behind the sudden marriage proposal? Ahem…that end card is such a welcomed spoiler.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:21 amSuppa Tenko

      It’s kind of obvious… they had sex.

    • September 10, 2012 at 8:04 amAoWAkroma

      @ the 2 crystals: you’ll note that one of them was blue and the other is green – the blue one is a teleport crystal

      but the green one was the antidote one (Kirito yells at him to use it but Godfrey slow and fails)

    • September 11, 2012 at 12:05 amNyamu

      I suggest you read the LN. What happened in the anime and the light novel is a little different there. And based from the light novel, they did it. ;p

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:14 amNanashi

    If there is but one complaint, it is that Heathcliff’s block needed to be animated more clearly for what it was.

    No spoilers, it is just such a big plot point they could focus a little more on it, maybe another angle? or more pronounced abnormal movement.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:21 amSuppa Tenko

      They should have made the shield become pixelated.

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:22 amBakaro

    Wow i didn’t expect SAO is R18/21 game…(where do i sign up? =X)

    Look like they gonna get married and “retire” away from the front line.
    Although, i think it’s a safe bet people won’t leave them alone for long.

    Note: I’m concern about Kirito mental health… from the start of the show it’s going down hill all the way. Now that he have his “first blood”…

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:22 amSuppa Tenko

      Actually, Kirito’s already killed 2 people prior to killing Cradil.

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:56 amfragb85

    The duel was great. Its short and sweet, and Kirito finally shows that he isn’t infallible. At least Heathcliff looks like a decent fellow. I also liked how Kirito was uncomfortable in a guild. I can relate, its just like how a real MMO Endgame Guild feels different after you spend most of your grinding levels solo.

    Kuradeel was awful. He turned from a creeper into a complete joke. I half expected him to twirl his fingers like a Saturday morning villain. I’m glad Kirito killed him, Accel World already features an awful antagonist and I couldn’t take another from the same writer.

    Asuna was disappointing again. She turns from a perfect, flawless manufactured waifu, to a perfect, flawless, manufactured, LITERAL waifu. She would have had a chance to be awesome by saving Kirito. But noooo, she can’t be a perfect waifu if she could do stuff on her own so Kirito has to save her AGAIN! Feminism marches on!

    • September 9, 2012 at 9:12 amFrontier

      But Asuna did save Kirito. And she could’ve easily finished off Kuradeel in one blow, especially after she beat the tar out of him, but unlike Kuradeel she actually gives a damn about human life and isn’t a murderer. I think that’s more of a reason to respect her than anything else.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:08 amfragb85

        You just proved my point. Asuna HAS TO BE perfect and flawless. So she fell for the oldest trick in the book so her man Kirito can save her. Any attempt to give her character some edge falls flat because the writing goes out of the way to make her guiltless and this comes at the cost at her coming across as incredibly incompetent. That’s why she feels so manufactured to me, she’s designed to be Kirito’s perfect waifu rather than the a strong figher that the show keeps saying she is.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:24 amSuppa Tenko

        That is kind of true, Asuna never really gets any action after Aincrad besides the Excalibur sidestory and the Absolute Sword sidestory.

    • September 9, 2012 at 11:07 amPassingBy

      He only lost because the other guy was, as some of us have been spoiled Show Spoiler ▼

      . So what does that mean? Kirito is infallible, effectively making him a Mary Sue (Or Marty Stu, whatever.)

    • September 9, 2012 at 6:54 pmFrontier

      I don’t think it’s a matter of being incompetent, it’s a matter of being human. I can’t expect a teenage girl, a girl who hasn’t been established as a cold blooded killer and will go out of her way to ensure life isn’t lost, to just willingly kill a man on his knees. Especially after she had beaten him to presumably the red zone. I’d think less of her if she did.

      And their relationship is a two way street. Here Asuna saved Kirito from a situation he had no way of getting out of, even when he tried to remove the sword. Without her, he would’ve died just like Godfrey. Kirito then saved her afterwards after she had dropped Kuradeel’s health to the red zone which let Kirito finish him off. While in the last episode, Asuna was the one who was able to bring Kirito out of his episode when she was the first one to rush in and try to save the Army. If she hadn’t done that, Kirito might not have gotten involved at all, let alone use Dual Blades against the boss.

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:58 amsherry

    As usual, each new episodes is flooded with countless reviews and comments, and from what I could read, close to everyone is happy about how the story is going ^^
    I really regret spoiling myself, I think the events seen in ep10 would have had a lot more impact on me had I had no idea what would be going on…but regardless of that, it was of course very enjoyable :D
    I was worried about so many things being thrown together in a single ep (Fight, Kuraddel betrayal, marriage…), but it ended up being alright~
    I would have liked to see more things in the…night scene between Kirito and Asuna, preferably both talking in bed better than one stark naked and the other fully clothed…but that is just my personal complaining :P

    • September 11, 2012 at 12:09 amNyamu

      You might want to read the LN if you’re looking for more “bed” conversation. The anime is a little different from the LN. Like the poking thing. In the light novel, Kirito is doing something else and that is not poking.

      • September 11, 2012 at 9:18 amsherry

        Yes, I know about the LN ^^ I actually read the 6-7 first chapters but then stopped, thinking that I might not enjoy the anime episodes as much if I went any further… If the anime was any less good, I would have switched all together to the LN (I love reading!) but seeing how they’ve been doing quite a good job if this TV adaptation, I want to watch without comparing everything with the novel material. But I still can’t help complaining about some things in the end hahaha~

      • October 1, 2012 at 10:38 pmNyamu

        I have to agree on you on that one. I’m also a fan of the light novel and every now and then the episodes somewhat disappoint me. Nonetheless, the anime’s good and I still like it.

  • September 9, 2012 at 1:44 amPasserby

    Does anyone else feel bad for Godfrey? I’m always a little bit bummed when a character gets introduced just to be killed by the bad guy. He and his facial hair never had their time in the spotlight.

    He should have been born a girl. Then Kirito would have cared more that he’s dead :(

    • September 9, 2012 at 11:37 amPassingBy

      I completely agree. I like your name LOL! We can possibly be soul mates :)

      What I hate the most about SAO is double standard….

      Remember when Sachi died? He only went to look for the teleport crystal for Sachi alone, when other members of the guild didn’t even get much of a mourning. Same for this Godfrey guy since Kirito just went ahead and had sex with Asuna after the whole deal and completely forgetting about the guy. Sachi death is overemphasized in Kirito’s mind. Is it because she is a girl? Probably. You can’t discriminate in the face of life and death. “I want to know her last words” is not an excuse! That is why Kirito ultimately fails morally as a character, ignoring his Mary Sue tendencies.

      Kirito cares more about the women and interact with them more than men, that Mary Sue. He pretty much told Silica and Lizbeth (more obvious) to “stay in the kitchen”. It’s like those girls only exist to show how powerful and manly Kirito is. Then comes Asuna, he fell in love with her because she is the most dependable woman of them all and she will not die on him. That comes with its own problem. To sum it up, does that mean being feminine and not good at combat is undesirable to Kirito? Does that mean he thinks of those other girls as “burdens”? This seems rather obvious in the case of Lizbeth as she was the one who got in his way and resulted them both in falling into the hole in the first place. This goes back to the insufficient romantic development from prior episodes, at least in the anime, I never read the novel. This unfortunate implication can be solved if Asuna has more than just a tsundere, good cook and good fighter tag glued to her personality. Yes, she needs much more development. And so does Kirito.

      More information about this particular double standard, see here (do note that the wiki page for this trope is currently messed up as its editors are still trying to figure out how to rework that page, but at least they got the definition down, somewhat): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RealWomenDontWearDresses?from=Main.RealWomenNeverWearDresses

      • September 9, 2012 at 11:38 amPassingBy

        ^ I meant revive item, not teleport crystal LOL

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:10 pmacolyte

        Now that you mention it, yeah, SAO is really a masculine anime, basically the male protagonist has a filter for just females.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 9, 2012 at 2:28 amTingster013

    So, his unique ability or hacks can actually work in SAO?

  • September 9, 2012 at 2:39 amAzureDivinity

    Everyone unanimously agree that Sword Art Online needs to have an OVA for 16.5 in a similar manner to Princess Lover’s OVA?

    • September 11, 2012 at 6:01 amThe Moondoggie

      Would two years worth of glopping yes that flows endlessly be enough?

  • September 9, 2012 at 3:10 amDefade

    In episode 3 someone jokingly called Kirito a bot for leveling so fast, but now we have Heathcliff using speedhack. :D

    That sudden pause in the middle of the duel (and the abrupt stop of the background music, no less) just seemed way too unnatural to me. I have my own guesses as to what really happened, but I’m agreeing with other commenters who pointed out that Kirito’s defeat certainly wasn’t a result of his own hot-bloodedness, and more of some sneaky trick that Heathcliff has up his sleeve. The scene immediately reminded me of a battle in Umineko EP8, where one side won by basically stopping the story in its tracks and ‘overwriting’ the entire battle from a higher plane of existence so it ended in her victory. It makes more sense in context.

    I guess Heathcliff must really want Kirito in his guild then. For what nefarious purposes, I wonder.

    The scene with Kuradeel stabbing Kirito again and again was a little bit frightening to watch. It would be one thing if you were risking your life in a battle against some particularly strong foe (last week’s The Gleameyes), but to be left completely and wholly at the mercy of someone else…even if the SAO system renders pain insignificant, I wouldn’t be surprised at Kirito’s screams. Asuna’s big damn heroes moment had me cheering for her, and the sheer look of murder on her face…oh man, I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that blade. Despite what some other commenters here seem to think, I thought her hesitance at dealing the finishing blow was a nice touch to her character. She still is a teenage girl, and as witnessed from last episode, not nearly as used to the concept of death in SAO as Kirito is. It’s realistic for her to hesitate when, through the fog of her anger, she realizes that she’d be an actual murderer if she swung down that sword.

    Poor Iskander. A moment of silence for the poor sod. :(

    Now to read the novel portion of this episode…

    • September 9, 2012 at 3:13 amDefade

      Oh, yes. The red-white uniform really doesn’t suit him as well as his old outfit does. :( I loved the contrast he had with Asuna…hopefully he’ll get it back soon!

  • September 9, 2012 at 4:22 amRandal

    This is the 2nd time in a row his HP is so damn close to 0. Is his LUCK THAT high?!

    • September 9, 2012 at 5:35 amAnanas

      It’s a special application.

      • September 9, 2012 at 10:24 amSuppa Tenko

        He is wearing an Endurance Brace.

  • September 9, 2012 at 4:53 amNaruSaku

    I was wondering one thing: if emotions are transferred to real bodies with the helmet when they had sex in SAO, what happened to their real bodies on the bed? She was wet and he had an erection? :) Anyway, good episodes. Too bad the next sunday i have to attend a wedding ;_;

    • September 9, 2012 at 5:57 amselpheed

      well, if you can not move an arm, a leg or blink in real life, I believe that your body is off..

      • September 9, 2012 at 7:07 amNaruSaku

        I know ^_-. I was just kidding but i didn’t mean any disrespect to immobilized people.

  • September 9, 2012 at 8:56 amJello

    Asuna’s expression after Kirito proposed was TOO FREAKIN CUTE.

    NNNNGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY HEARTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • September 9, 2012 at 9:33 amZatsunekiku

      My heart felt like it melted after seeing her expression, too damn cute :D.

  • September 9, 2012 at 9:24 amPikachuu

    I was hoping that Kirito would get a robotic hand like Luke Skywalker lol.

  • September 9, 2012 at 11:44 amMaru Kawa

    Kirito you lucky bastard!!! But I’m happy to see that our MC isn’t a slowpoke.

    And please WHO READ THE NOVEL could stop putting spoiler tags?! This is almost a “read me”…

  • September 9, 2012 at 11:57 amPassingBy

    This episode is the best episode so far. It’s good, but only relative to the previous episodes which were not so good. I gotta give it to them for the improved animation and at least some notable developments between Kirito and Asuna, at last! I am gonna get a lot of vote-downs for the following statement, but I don’t care, it’s opinions. This show is severely lacking in the romance development. The author isn’t good with writing romance, just like the disaster that it was in Accel World. But like I said, this episode did well in that department.

    We all saw Kuradeel’s bastardry coming, it was totally predictable given his raging when he lost the duel to Kirito. That was rather anti-climatic. A boringly shallow villain with a petty agenda. But he did his job well to serve as a plot device to further advance the relationship between Kirito and Asuna.

    However, this one episode is not enough to save the horrid mediocrity of this show. I really do hope that SAO lives up in its hypes, which it has not. This episode somewhat has the right track, and they need to keep that up and do interesting things for the rest of the show to be truly special. A shounen in an MMO is not enough to set itself apart from other shounen. Not that shounen is bad, but this show doesn’t seem to live up to its praises, for me. It’s not a bad show, just not really the “big deal” like everybody has been saying.

  • September 9, 2012 at 1:57 pmAllnighter

    If they want to sell the blu-rays like hotcakes, just add in 16.5 as an extra.

  • September 9, 2012 at 3:06 pmflCer

    Heathcliffe: Time alter, double accel

  • September 9, 2012 at 3:25 pmpedobearmatt

    Nobody mentioned the Incarnation Attack learned by Kirito, which he also taught Asuna. This episode shows how both of them utilized it, with Kirito killing Kuradeel with it, and Asuna punching Kirito for being stupid.

  • September 9, 2012 at 4:41 pmLeticia

    Oh come on! DAT ending card nnnngggghhhh >///<

  • September 9, 2012 at 5:57 pmIU

    they just skipped the holy 16.5 scene!!!!

    • September 11, 2012 at 12:13 amNyamu

      Can I emphasize to you, 16.5 is not part of the original LN. The author never wrote that one and personally I think that was just a story written by a fan. You can basically tell from the writing style. They are TOTALLY different.

  • September 9, 2012 at 10:06 pmacolyte

    Whew so many comments.
    Nicely animated, for the worst/most annoying scene of SAO (Kuradeel).
    And great capture of Asuna & Kirito’s feelings throughout.
    Too bad they didn’t include the ‘you can really do that?’ by Kirito o.o I’d love to see that.
    And Kuradeel looked way too meek when teaming up with Kirito, but that gave a great impact instead when he went mad.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Also.. I wonder whether just before Kirito whacked Heathcliff last – did time stop?
    In LN it was just Heathcliff did a sudden special move wasn’t it? Was it the case that the animators imply, you think?

  • September 10, 2012 at 2:57 amBaLdUrIaN

    Another great episode!

    SOA and Bimbougami Ga! are, by far, the best shows of this season.

  • September 10, 2012 at 5:48 pmFuuka

    No 16.5?!! LOL

    I think you have talked about it. But I was bummed they did not go into details this episode about the VR world. Like during the duel with Heathcliff and he obviously pulled something fishy. And Asuna’s comment about turning off the Ethics Button. I feel like that was good world building and emphasizing the fact that Kayaba really made SAO out to be like the real world.
    Loved the duel scene and of course anything with Asuna!

  • September 11, 2012 at 5:15 amThe Moondoggie

    To those who complain that there was no 16.5:

    16.5 is a “this is how it could have happen” chapter anyway. As long as we understand that they had sex that night, it’s all the same anyway. I know how you guys feel, but it’s just sex. Nothing to get crazy over… XD

  • September 11, 2012 at 10:43 amJounouchi

    This episode was stuffed with a lot of developments. The pace seemed quick and abrupt at times and thoughtful at others. The time constraint seemed evident but still enjoyable. What strikes me the most is that Kirito and Asuna decided to once again do what they gonna do in the previous episode. Thinking about it, this episode went through all the dramatics just and go in a complete circle. Yes, Kirito suffered his first defeat and even worse almost needlessly died at the hands of a lunatic. And yes, the bond between the Kirito and Asuna were made stronger through the experience, making it important to be shown. I still find a lot of flaws with Kirito’s character. This episode was essentially an epic fail for Kirito in all aspects. Though his prowess was displayed during the duel with Heathcliff, Kirito failed. Being poisoned and almost tortured to death, and even not understanding an intimate moment when he sees it…. I’m like dude, say “suki” already. Good show, can’t wait for the next.

    Side Note: Kirito felt so much pain being stabbed in the leg but what about the whole hand chopped off thing??? I think the SAO said fuck it, you’ve been in so much pain I’ll give you a pass on this one, lol.

  • September 17, 2012 at 5:16 pmboingman

    The irony about all the spoiler space fail here which reminds me of the Fate Zero comments sections is that now us non LN readers know that there’s something up with that guild leader. Even WITHOUT having read the spoilers. Its obvious that hes cheating in some way and the reason seems clear. Once again LN readers spoil the fun.

    If it werent for the naked Asuna lying in the bed I’d be sure that they DIDNT do it. That caught me off guard since she had punched him in the scene before that, thus practically ending the posibility of such a development. Well maybe well get some kind of confirmation in one of the next eps.