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Sword Art Online – 13

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「奈落の淵」 (Naraku no Fuchi)
“Edge of Hell’s Abyss”

This week we have an episode in two parts, the first a light-hearted glimpse into another unexplored part of the SAO system, the second a far more tense and action-packed boss battle with one of the toughest bosses to date. So how about we tackle (badum-tish!) the quieter portion first and leave the further glimpses into Kirito’s personality and the battle until later.

Fishing is almost always horribly boring in MMOs. Actually in most RPGs too – the only example that ever stood out as being moderately fun to me was Dark Chronicle. Interaction is generally minimal – you cast your line, wait for some visual cue saying you’ve caught something, and then you’re forced to perform something akin to a Quick Time Event. SAO seems similar in a sense – whether or not you catch anything appears to be based entirely on your fishing skill (painstakingly increased by grinding the same actions over and over) and your ability to land the fish seems to be directly proportionate to your physical strength stat. Naturally, this is the perfect opportunity for Kirito to show off his immense strength and use it to complement Nishida’s (Saitou Shirou) hard earned skill. With the poor guy apparently almost insane by this point, he still manages to hook the fish, allowing Kirito to perform the switch and get it out of the water. I wonder if the ability to do something like this was by design – switching is certainly a central mechanic in SAO, but whether it was intended for things like fishing… who knows!

Oh and by the way, MMO Fishing Rule 325: If it’s big and in a high level body of water, it’s probably a monster.

But really, so you’re an elderly network security technician and you find yourself trapped in a game world where age suddenly holds no power. You now have the vitality you had in your youth once more. What do you do with your time? Spend it all fishing? I certainly wouldn’t. Hell no! I’d try to become the most badass old guy in the entire game! It’s an extremely rare chance to temporarily regain the health that will probably never return in any other form. But to each their own I guess.

Kirito is quick to ridicule Egil’s professed selflessness, but does he really have that right? If anything, this episode firmly cements my view of him as being pretty selfish. Firstly, he admits that he became strong, not to help others, but so that he himself would be able to survive. In fact, pretty much every time we’ve seen him actively strive to help anyone, it’s been purely circumstantial. Before Asuna came along, he fought alone with few thoughts of joining a group to help speed up the clearing. Secondly, Asuna clearly wants their relationship to be of mutual status, with each of them protecting the other. Kirito, on the other hand wants dominance – to protect Asuna from harm without regard for anything else. He wants her to stay out of the battle, to keep her like a bird in a cage, not letting her do anything just in case she gets hurt. It’s not a great path to start down with a relationship and he’s fortunate that Asuna doesn’t hold it against him and manages to keep him off it with promises that she will die along with him regardless of how it comes about.

Heathcliff, Asuna and Kirito seem to make a pretty good trio in battle. This is what MMOs are truly about – cooperating with other players to take down monsters with vastly higher power than your own. Some people might call a boss that can oneshot players ‘cheap’ or begin crying ‘artificial difficulty!’ among other variants. These people are clearly not familiar with how gaming has changed over the years – once upon a time, this was commonplace. Now it’s all regenerating health and simplistic bosses that can be overwhelmed with numbers and no real need for tactics (or even evading). But while the three seem to make a good combination, it also remains evident that Kirito is not exactly fond of Heathcliff. The frequent glances before the battle seem to give some impression that Kirito isn’t happy with his leadership and his sudden switch from being restless over not getting to fight to complaining he hasn’t had enough time off seems to point to wanting to avoid meeting with his new guildmaster. Or is he even a member of the Knights anymore? I’ve actually forgotten whether he left or not in the novels, but he’s certainly not wearing their colours anymore.

As a final thought, showing that flashback mid-episode reminded me that they could probably have skipped many of the side stories. We gained nothing more from seeing the sleeping-under-a-tree scene animated in a side story than we did from this short look back. Some of them may have been necessary for future events (that will almost certainly happen in the second cour of this adaption), but many could probably have been left out and released as OVAs.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Large-scale boss battles and uh… fishing? Odd combination! #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • As usual, Asuna and Kirito show vastly different reactions to the same situations.
  • Kill overgrown fish; get fans. Simple!
  • It’s come rather late, but finally the anime itself has explained what many of us have stated over and over since the series began – players were moved to hospitals and treated as coma patients shortly after the game began. Hopefully people will stop complaining about that now.
  • Based on the title for the next episode, it seems fairly likely that it will be the final episode of volume one and two before we move on to volume three!
  • The Skull Reaper is certainly not a boss you would want to face alone. Even Kirito struggles under the weight of its attacks!

Full-length images: 01, 07, 10, 12, 22, 26.

 

Preview

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End Card

Sword Art Online   13   End Card
September 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm
214 comments »
  • September 29, 2012 at 2:59 pminferno

    I was sooo sure they’d go into battlefield right from the start of the episode… but NOOOOO, they had to go fishing. But that’s ok cuz the fishing scene was fairly funny.

    And thank god Healthcliff messaged Kirito. THAT’S RIGHT! Heathcliff, go put Kirito back where he belongs (the front line)!!! Kirito, GO WEAR THAT BLACK CLOAK, DUAL WIELD AND GO KICK SOME @$$!!!

    The ending part was so cool. Can’t wait til the next episode. And the next episode is called the end of the world. So I guess SAO arc ends and the next one starts?

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:20 pmpdpfortune

      Well the fishing scene was part of the LN. I guess it builds some character development.

      • September 30, 2012 at 6:10 amMatt_D

        It’s actually funny now that I think about it, but yeah the Fishing scene was all that happened in the LN between the unfortunate incident with crazy stabby Laughing Coffin guy and Where we are now.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:13 pmdeathtogeneric

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

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:48 pmdeathtogeneric

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

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:54 pmPIGLET

        You are now shunned from Society…

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:05 pmRasen

        It’s very clear people take things personally. Much like how you took being down-voted personally. And insulted everyone who disagreed with you.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:28 pmMike

        I’d say people takes issues more with your attitude rather than your opinion :p

      • September 30, 2012 at 7:30 amD-LaN

        Seriously, the reason you got a negs is mostly towards your attitude not your main content. R u another one of those “Drop this show weekly!!” person? If you are not happy then just don’t watch it….

        Or you are just being tsuntsun?? XD
        (Though there ARE fanboys who do such things too)

      • September 30, 2012 at 1:04 pmdeathtogeneric

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

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:19 amdeathtodeathtogeneric

        OHAI!

      • October 1, 2012 at 10:59 pmNyamu

        There are other guys here who share their negative criticisms with the series but do not get bash up like you. Did you notice that? I think you’re just an idiot seeking online attention. That’s pathetic, dude.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:09 pmCybersteel

    yatta !

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:15 pmdestinyflower

    First thing I though was ‘Fish Art Online’.

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:26 pmXumbra

      If Tsuritama were a game, it would be called just that.

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:28 pmMoomba

      I would’ve thought it’d be somewhere closer to ‘Rod Art Online.’

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:06 amplushkin

      dananananananana dananananananana fishing! fishing!
      dananananananana dananananananana fishing! fishing!
      …don’t tell me you kids are too young to get that joke? =P

      • September 30, 2012 at 9:19 amKushieda

        At first I though you were going for old school batman, but then I placed it as Badger Badger, although I’m still not sure.

    • October 1, 2012 at 5:38 amThe Moondoggie

      A fishing MMO? Is anyone really gonna play that? I’m curious about it.

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:27 amewok40k

        hey there is golf MMO out there… so why not fishing?
        :P

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:21 pmYojimbo

    Having read the novels, I’m not sure they’ll be able to do volumes 3 and 4 (which I assume they are doing next) any justice using just 10 (or so) episodes.

    • September 29, 2012 at 4:37 pmacolyte

      Don’t-give-up-hope

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:33 pmhaseo0408

      They can cover it just fine, Fairy Dance may have new charaters but is not as long as the Aincrad arc, not by a long shot. But it´s going to be unpleasent at first, light novel readers will undersatnd.

    • September 29, 2012 at 9:01 pmSuppa Tenko

      Aincrad, Phantom Bullet and Alicization are my favorite parts of SAO. Its perfectly fine if they take out some stuff from Fairy Dance… I thought it was kinda of long anyways. As long as they don’t take out the

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2012 at 11:35 pmmocha

        yah Phantom bullet is my fav but too bad won’t get to see it even if they will animate it in future it’s gona be a while :(

      • September 30, 2012 at 3:08 amWhatsht

        Don’t you mean the fight between Kazuto and Suguha?

      • September 30, 2012 at 3:12 pmSuppa Tenko

        Yeah, that’s what I meant.

      • September 30, 2012 at 6:29 pmacolyte

        Geh am I the only here who prefer Fairy Dance over Phantom Bullet? -.-
        Is it the guns? :s
        I’d love to see Phantom Bullet as an OVA instead of series though.

      • October 1, 2012 at 5:47 amThe Moondoggie

        @Acolyte

        Won’t a 13-episode anime be better? I love how the world of GGO was portrayed.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:23 pmGlazier

    Well, there still are bosses that oneshot anyone but tank in modern MMOs, at least in WoW last time I checked… I prefer when they have some raid wiping mechanics and not just high damage that can be overhealed.

    • September 29, 2012 at 9:03 pmSuppa Tenko

      In MMOs that have more active gameplay ie arcade styled ones like Dungeon Fighter, Lunia, and Dragon’s Nest there are more likely to have bosses that can 1 shot but games that rely on turnbased combat would be too hard if someone got oneshotted because then it would be too hard… Unless you’re in Runescape fighting a level 1076 by chugging prayer potions like air.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:24 pmRasen

    I don’t understand the criticism against selfish people. Especially when it’s in the form of “I want to keep you safe,” versus “you go and fight, while I stay behind where it’s safe.”

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:48 pmMoomba

      It’s not just selfish, it’s insulting. Rather than seeing her as an equal, Kirito sees Asuna as someone to be kept away from the battlefield and protected. After all her time fighting on the front lines, he’s telling her to run and hide while he goes into danger without her. Asuna has more than proven herself a perfectly capable fighter and has survived this long without his needless coddling.

      • September 29, 2012 at 4:42 pmRasen

        Is it also insulting when a family’s house is being broke into and the husband tells the wife to stay behind while he goes and checks it out? (Given that both probably have had the same amount of experience in dealing with break-ins?)

      • September 29, 2012 at 4:57 pmMoomba

        If she’s been successfully dealing with break-ins all by herself for years without his help (which I assume must be so otherwise the analogy is a poor one), and you’re implying it’s because she’s female (since that’s the only difference between them) and thus somehow inferior, then yes, yes it is.

      • September 29, 2012 at 5:04 pmRasen

        Actually, I was assuming that neither the husband or wife have had prior experience. I think some parallels can be drawn to that because as SAO illustrates, players have established a strategy of scouting first and retreating so as to get intelligence on boss’s capabilities. This time, they are facing an unknown boss which wiped out a high-level party of 10 in 5 minutes, and that once they’re in, they can’t leave.

      • September 30, 2012 at 6:21 pmthenewhorde

        moomba, i think you’re overreading it, gender was never the reason for this. in a world where stats are all that matter, gender issues was never brought up by Kirito.

        Kirito WANTED to keep Azuna safe because he couldn’t bare to withstand the thought of her getting hurt. I’m not saying I agree with him, but he clearly places Azuna above himself when he chose to risk his life instead of hers. He wanted her to live on even if she has to be alone, it was his way of showing his love, however different it was.

        Kirito never seen Azuna as weak, he was confident enough to let her take care of the Army soldiers, let her fight Kuradeel, let her take care of the giant fish, and let her do many things. But this boss is unknown and out of BOTH of their hands, and he rather risk himself than her. Hardly a gender problem, Azuna could say the same to Kirito, it’s just not within her personality to do so.

      • September 30, 2012 at 6:25 pmChemdem

        You are colossally missing the point. The whole exchange occurs so that Kirito can express the depth of his feelings for Asuna, to show his vulnerability, and to have her meet his display of affection with her own, dust him off and get his head back in the game.

        Watch the scene again. You will not find insults, or the characters vying for dominance.

      • October 1, 2012 at 10:28 pmCookieJar

        I understand your argument, but it’s based on an improperly supported assumption: that Kirito believes he is more capable than she is at fighting on the front lines. Kirito has proven time and time again that he has no problem hanging back and letting Asuna take care of things. This is a simple case of fright, as Kirito put himself. They’re up against the unknown, he has no idea whether or not anyone who goes in there will survive, and because he’s in love (which this scene is meant to emphasize), he’s more afraid of her dying than himself. Asuna didn’t get offended because she understood him far more than you did (though sharing an author tends to have an advantage in that area). She knew it was nothing more than an expression of doubt and fear of the unknown – his imagining her death. The only selfishness betrayed by his expressing all of this is that he fails to take into account her sharing his exact feelings. But this was a moment of vulnerability and lack of clarity… but even then he retained the calm of mind to recognize this in himself and agree with her. Think about it: this is essentially war. I’ve heard that in war, nerves tend to get to you. Kirito may have been temporarily misguided by fear, but it was no indicator of desire for dominance, and certainly not a betrayal of some moral ineptitude.

      • November 19, 2012 at 1:27 pmshadowalker

        “Firstly, he admits that he became strong, not to help others, but so that he himself would be able to survive. In fact, pretty much every time we’ve seen him actively strive to help anyone, it’s been purely circumstantial. Before Asuna came along, he fought alone with few thoughts of joining a group to help speed up the clearing.”

        you call tht selfish?? thts called being independent(seriously, no idea how you construed this as selfish).

        “Secondly, Asuna clearly wants their relationship to be of mutual status, with each of them protecting the other. Kirito, on the other hand wants dominance – to protect Asuna from harm without regard for anything else. He wants her to stay out of the battle, to keep her like a bird in a cage, not letting her do anything just in case she gets hurt.”

        if Kirito is at fault here(if it can be called a fault), his fault would be tht he loves Asuna too much and worries about her safety, which Asuna also seems to understand.

        a selfish person wouldn’t fight on the front-lines rather would stay back safely for other players to clear the game and rather than asking Asuna to stay back he would be glad to hav her fighting with him so tht his chances of survival would be higher in the boss battle.

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:50 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Personally, I like how Kirito spelled out his conditions right at the start. For him, Asuna is a special existence, more important to him than the rest of the guild. If he had to choose between saving Asuna and saving another nameless guild member, he will not hesitate to leap to her aid.

      Contrarily, if he puts everyone on the same level of priority, then Kirito would come off as more shallow, and not deserving of Asuna’s love.

      As human beings, we would want to save those close to us first. Kirito is simply stating the obvious, without a shred of doubt in his heart.

      • September 29, 2012 at 7:38 pmhaseo0408

        You are right, it´s not like he is selfish but anyone will choose to protect his wife before anyone else. I respect Kirito´s character a lot because of this, not everyone has the corage to say what he said right in front of his comrades.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:51 pmEuzio

        Agreed. Kirito as a character has all along been pretty much a loner. But his meeting with Asuna was the main trigger that changed him. Like MDK said, Asuna has become someone tremendously important to him. Therefore I won’t say that Kirito was actually being domineering and lacking in mutual respect for Asuna. Its because he has this deep fear that something would happen to her. Let’s face it, when the person we love the most is being sent along with you to a battle in which there is a chance he/she will die, you’d rather they stay behind and be safe as well. It is this doubt that made Kirito paranoid about the worst possible situation.

        Also, it is indeed more realistic and better in terms of characterization that Kirito is made up to be someone with flaws and fears. It shows that he is very much human and not some perfect being who can do everything right and say everything right. Agree with Hase too that Kirito saying he will prioritize Asuna’s safety amongst all others is really courageous of him. He knows that no matter how strong he is, he can’t save everyone. He’s not a god, nor an idealist (*cough*Emiya Shirou*cough*), after all. Therefore, what matters to him most is to save the people he cares about.

    • September 29, 2012 at 8:08 pmShadow74

      I agree with Rasen, Masterdragonknight and haseo0408. Kirito not belittling Asuna as many think, just think protect her. He worries about his life, the concern does not allow him to think clearly. Dying in SAO is real, he does not think that she was trapped, he still thought than in reality could even get them out of SAO, eventually.
      The panic of losing Asuna not let him think of nothing but her away from danger, a real sense of protecting your loved ones. A mother would do the same for your child without hesitation.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:25 pmSilivious

    And with this next episode, we will come to a close…with only 12 episodes to cover 2 books…
    I wonder how that’ll turn out…
    That is, if it’s 26 episodes.

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:29 pmYojimbo

      Yep my thoughts exactly. Especially Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:05 pmSuppa Tenko

        Yeah but only 2 of those new characters are of any importance. I’m pretty sure you can take out Lyfa’s buddy or some of the other ally characters and it will still be alright.

    • September 29, 2012 at 3:43 pmXRick

      Actually, according to AniDB, it’s only 25 episodes, which means one episode less to adapt the novels… What a crap!

      • September 29, 2012 at 4:05 pmckuri

        I wouldn’t give too much about the exact number. As far as I know there is no official announcement on the episode count, just that the series spans over two cours (24-26 episodes). So this 25 episodes is just a guesstimate.

    • September 29, 2012 at 5:14 pmEduardo

      In my opinion, it’ll be easier to make Fairy Dance. Volume 3 and 4 cover a period of no more than 4 days, without any side-story to slow things down.

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:22 amkingofconquerors

        yeah, and it is also mostly filled with Battles, so i guess 10 episodes are enough (the name of the fifteenth episode is “Return”, so i guess alfheim will span from 16-25)….i do hope the battle between Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 30, 2012 at 7:21 amD-LaN

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 30, 2012 at 7:26 amEuzio

        Not gonna happen. It would be incredibly lame for them to do it like that. Besides, i feel that 10 episodes is actually more than enough to cover the ALO story.

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:43 pmyokopai

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:45 pmdave

    NEXT WEEK!!

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:52 pmSkurai

    YEEEEAAAH one more episode and then off to ALO… to me at least it was even better than SAO.

    • September 29, 2012 at 4:02 pmSaturo

      ALO? Means? Too much speaking in abbreviations.

      • September 29, 2012 at 4:07 pmSkurai

        If I actually answered that I would be spoiling.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:07 pmSuppa Tenko

        ALO means

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:00 amThe Moondoggie

        @Saturo: You’ll also have to learn about GGO, if ever.

      • October 1, 2012 at 4:14 pmSaturo

        @ The Moondoggie:

        I just spoiled myself reading the whole goddamn SAO-wiki o___o
        I don’t regret it.

      • October 1, 2012 at 4:57 pmSaturo

        Of course I mean “spoilered”, not “spoiled” >.>
        I need to get more sleep.

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:11 amplushkin

      um….no
      and people thought Kirito is too OP in SAO? ha..ha..ha..
      and people complain that the chairman in TT was cartoonishly evil? ha..ha..ha..

      …WATCH ALO. I swear to you the haters will multiply like a zombie pandemic

      • September 30, 2012 at 2:23 amGenorain

        which leads me to ask what is TT?

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:55 pmMasterDragonKnight

    If you think about it, Yui is seeing Papa Kirito and Mama Asuna getting intimate.

    Cover your eyes, Yui. You will learn about this when you are older. XD

    • September 29, 2012 at 11:18 pmGP

      Not anymore she isn’t. Of course she saw any hawt nights of passion that went on before the events of the last two eps.

    • October 1, 2012 at 6:32 amewok40k

      To anyone cybering in MMOs: Yui is watching you!

  • September 29, 2012 at 3:55 pmSyaoran

    I rather Kirito be flawed and not a main character with no flaws and flauntingly perfect. Makes for a better series. It also gives him something to overcome in the future if you think of it that way.

    And yes he’s still in the guild. Not sure if spoiler or not but just encase,
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 29, 2012 at 4:01 pmMoomba

      Ah, thanks for the clarification – I couldn’t remember whether he was or not.

      I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with Kirito having flaws. Perfect characters are not the most interesting, nor are they the most believable. In pointing out the flaws, I’m not trying to criticise the writing, just bring them to light as a topic for discussion.

      • September 29, 2012 at 4:24 pmSyaoran

        Fair enough, it does make for a good topic of conversation since it is a pretty ingrained flaw thats developed over the episodes. I honestly think he kept getting worse til recent episodes were its being somewhat stymied by Asuna’s influence.

  • September 29, 2012 at 4:05 pmP Ko

    I’ll just leave this here…

    http://i.imgur.com/X1O0o.jpg

    • September 29, 2012 at 4:33 pmMutare

      The faces this week 0_0

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:18 amVaan

      DAT FACE

  • September 29, 2012 at 4:32 pmMutare

    Now there’s the sport for REAL men, fishing. Would have liked a bit more but then again we are on the edge of ALO. Can’t wait till next week.

  • September 29, 2012 at 4:45 pmFuuka

    That bed scene was cute! I don’t get why they did that scene and cut out them being naked in bed before.
    I agree about Asuna’s love story speech. I thought it was really well done and cute, but then it made me sad that we really got less romantic development with all the side story episodes.Silica’s episode was unneeded. I still stand firm on that. Lizbeth…as much as I liked the episode it could have been made a half episode at least.
    Kirito knows Asuna is a bad-ass, he didn’t even flinch when she took out that fish. He just stood there like, “Yeah, that’s my wife. She’s awesome.” He knew asking her to stay behind was selfish and stupid, but he still wanted to put out there. I don’t think he was expecting her to say all that stuff after though. It was cute.

  • September 29, 2012 at 4:47 pmSwordhack4

    We’re reaching the 1st arc’s climax. Can’t wait for ALO! And why does this series feel like it’s going by so fast?? O.o?? We’re already on episode 13, Just 12 episodes away from the series finale…good things really fly by too quickly…

    • October 1, 2012 at 7:02 amThe Moondoggie

      Because it’s anime.

      Anime always moves faster then their source material, unless it is an anime original.

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:02 pmSpencer

    We’re halfway through the series and I can’t help feeling that it has been lackluster so far. But I admit that I am committing the sin of comparing it quality-wise to the books but with an episode like this I can’t help it because they are sticking to close to the book. You could cut out the entire fishing section and not lost a thing in my opinion. This just serves to pad out the series and quite frankly throws the pacing off, and cuts into time to develop the story of ALO.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 29, 2012 at 5:31 pmEuzio

      Not exactly. Episode 2 is based on an arc from the side story compilations while Episode 5 and 6 was actually based on a side story in vol.8 while. So in a sense, they will be covering volumes 1,2 and abit of volume 8 + side story compilation volume.

      Also. It is completely possible for them to cover volumes 3 and 4 within 10 episodes because…
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2012 at 6:01 pmSpencer

        I understand that they added in all the side stories, that’s one of my qualms with the series. Aside from hinting at the “Laughing Coffin” and showing the sleeping under the tree scene, episodes 5 and 6 were pretty pointless since most of the character development was very shallow. They could have done what they did in the short story and have Lisbeth ask why Asuna changed and have a flash back.

      • September 29, 2012 at 10:20 pmEuzio

        Well, the direction the anime was taking was to set things in chronological order. And the Murder in the Area arc was actually pretty long in the novel. They actually left out alot of things already. Asuna mentioned in this episode that she started developing feelings for Kirito just after that meeting under the tree. But the Murder in the Area arc does actually detail abit bout some of the things Asuna did to try and get Kirito to notice her. Probably not exactly important in terms of the actual plot for it to be covered in the anime, but it was rather cute reading it… hehe. The whole concept of marriage discussion in that arc also probably does reveal some of the details in an in-direct way as to why Asuna and Kirito decided to get married as well.

        Truth be told, they kinda cut out quite a few very interesting dialogue from the side stories already. Like the conversation between Asuna and Lisbeth in the Warmth of the Heart arc when Lisbeth was probing Asuna to whom she was interested in when she noticed Asuna’s change in behaviour. I thought it was abit of a waste and deviation of character that the anime decided to make Asuna abit more tsundere-ish than wad was actually implied.

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:31 pmClick

    Okay, this is really going to piss some people off, but that was an absolutely terrible episode.

    I’m not going to bother with ridiculing the first half, which was an almost entirely pointless excursion, but the latter half was atrocious. Besides, the Kirito turning into Wile E. Coyote for a moment was genuinely funny and I found it rather hard not to let out a chuckle. The dialogue between Kirito and Asuna however was just awful.

    Not only do the two casually bring up suicide threats in one of the most strange, awkward conversations I’ve had the pleasure to witness this season, but they essentially explained a major plothole by covering it with another major plothole. So apparently the paramedics can disconnect the players from the internet and ship them into a hospital, despite the NERV gears killing them if they get disconnected? And the now players can also log-in to Sword Art Online despite their minds being completely dormant and unconscious? Nope, nuh-uh, no gaps in logic there.

    And not only that, but the rest of the conversations were absolutely mind numbing as well. Mister “I’ll protect everyone!” went from “I’ll protect Asuna instead of everyone” in about 5 minutes. Really? And while some characters, most notably Klein and Heathcleff, do bring some interesting discourse to the table, the discussions between Asuna and Kirito feel especially grating, mostly due to their underdeveloped relationship being one of the biggest weakness of the show. And let’s not mention all of the awkward bed scenes between the main couple at the beginning. But alas, 16.5! 16.5!

    And it doesn’t even end there too. For god’s sake, look at those battle sequences. Both scenes were completely bereft of good animation or creativity. While I can take the first fight being a 15 second flash of Asuna stabbing a giant fish, the animation during the second might as well have been a Powerpoint presentation. Animation? What animation? 90% of the fight was a collection of drawn out still frames. I can ignore a completely CG dino-fish-spider-centipede-skeleton (which was admittedly, pretty creepy), but come on. This is supposed to emulate the rigors of MMORPG, not typical Saturday morning battle cartoons.

    And before everybody on the planet comes at me and tells me that the light novels covered this, just remember that an anime adaptation has to stand on it’s own. Quite frankly, I don’t care, even if this was just made to push light novel sales. Leaving important plot details outside of the adaption is NOT good storytelling, no matter what the excuse. That’s just lazy.

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:15 pmZnail

      It’s not a plot hole if all it takes is common sense to see how it works. I understand that it may be shocking that a series asumes that the viewers are able to think for themselves. The answer to your ‘plot hole’ is that it’s not like they are unconsious, but that disconecting from the server made their Avatars in the game act like uncunsious while the nerve gear was out of connection. When they were connected again, then the Avatars ‘woke up’ again.

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:47 pmClick

        Actually, no. If I’m not mistaken, the show clearly implies that the avatars, while unconscious in Aincrad, are still dormant in the outside world. Whether the avatars are conscious in Aincrad during the switch is completely irrelevant; what matters is that their physical bodies are dormant as well. After all, if what Acolyte and Spencer (both of whom I trust) said a couple comments below is true, there would be little to no reason for Kayaba to implore family and friends to transport bodies themselves. Regardless, I think we may have had a failure to communicate, since my argument isn’t based on the conscious state of the players in-game, but rather physical state of them in the real world and how it would be impossible for them to disconnect from the server and still be alive or even have an avatar in Aincrad, awake or not. In this regard, I think you said it best yourself :P

        Znail said:

        it’s not like they are unconsious, but that disconecting from the server made their Avatars in the game act like uncunsious while the nerve gear was out of connection.

        Now assuming that the NERV gears run on electricity and will fry your brain if removed from the source, transportation of the patient would either disconnect the said person from the internet, essentially ending their time in Sword Art Online, and/or the NERV gear would still blast you while you sleep. Even if we assume that there’s a global internet connection which connects each person to SAO and that electricity isn’t an issue, the cognitive state of the gamer in question is the problem. If they are unconscious in the outside world, so how will they log back into Sword Art Online? And even then, what was the point of knocking out the avatars they’re still logged into the internet? How and why would their avatars still be present even if they disconnected from the server?

        As much as we would like to think, there’s a definite, though sometimes vanishing line when it comes to speculation and common sense, and I’d say that you’re treading on the former. It’s identical to the classic Guilty Crown defense, where the few defenders out there states that the show lacks inconsistencies and that other inferior viewers lack the mental capacity to notice these flaws. I don’t mind speculation when it comes to symbols, themes, deriving meaning, or the human nature of the characters present, but when world building relies completely on the viewer’s ability to fill in the gaps with tangential theories and speculation, it’s a problem. In this case, the solutions to the gaps are far from common sense; they’re speculative theories. Imploring viewers to make your their world is both a contrivance and far from common sense. And since I know someone’s going to hit me with this eventually, is it really spoon-feeding to ask for a fully-realized world to be present within the show? I’d argue the opposite when it comes to symbolism and themes, but this is a world we’re talking about here, something we expect the author to immerse us in. As you said, plot hole isn’t a plot hole if it can be explained by common sense, but this isn’t the case here. Claiming that speculation is common sense is quite the slippery slope.

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:48 pmClick

        Well, that was way longer than it should have been, lol.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:11 pmRasen

        Your block of text terrifies me, so I’m just going to address the part I caught. In the Light Novels, it was explained that it was the act of disconnecting from the NervGear which would result in instant death. Also disconnecting from the game. However, Kayaba gave the players a grace period in which they were to be moved to hospital facilities. In other words, he lifted the “connected to SAO” requirement, but the “disconnect from the NervGear” would have still be left in place.

        Now, I personally agree that this should have been explained back in episode 1. I had a long and epic argument which strayed far afield on this same issue. I wanted things to be spelled out so that there wouldn’t be room for confusion, and the other people thought that it was alright to let people make assumptions and come to (what the other people thought) the obvious conclusion.

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:45 pmacolyte

      Btw in case anyone’s curious about the answer to Click’s first question on the NerveGear, which of course as he said wasn’t mentioned in the anime, Show Spoiler ▼

      And I agree with the lack of development – but I think comedic romance – which is pretty much the core of a bunch of manga and anime these days, is not the core of this one. The tone of romance is light (smooth, but light) in this story, so try the other animes that aired last season (that just passed) for crazy random romance stuff, high quantity of harem and so on.

      And there’s a thin line between lazy and lack of resources XD (you can always argue there’s scene that you could’ve cut instead~ But life’s always full of sacrifice :D )

      • October 3, 2012 at 1:10 pmRex

        So, the tone of the romance is “light”?

        Light, as in “You are the reason that I’m alive” and “I will kill myself if you die” light?

    • September 29, 2012 at 8:11 pmRasen

      I think you have some fair criticisms, and I know they were things I complained about the anime dropping in the initial episode.

      But I thought the boss fight was very nicely animated, and you are exaggerating far too much. Perhaps you adopted deathtogeneric’s viewing strategy of just skipping through things?

      • September 29, 2012 at 8:52 pmClick

        I didn’t skip anything during the episode, but I was in a rather negative mindset by the time I got to the fight, although, I know for sure that I wasn’t the only one to notice the large amount of still-frames. Perhaps I should rewatch it soon. Regardless, I still believe that the fight coordination is a bit too simplistic for my liking.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:11 pmSuppa Tenko

        Perhaps you would have liked SAO a lot more if you just watched episode 1,2,9,10,13 and 14. Those are the only episodes that cover Volume 1 of the LN which is the juicy meaty action and romance.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:20 pmClick

        Actually, I’ve found myself having more trouble with the main arc than the side stories (episodes 10 and 13 especially).

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:13 amSuppa Tenko

      Perhaps you should just read the novels and not watch the anime. The novels give you all of that detail that you said was missing and made plot holes. As far as I know there are no major plot holes in all of SAO. Perhaps one here and there but that’s unavoidable.

    • September 30, 2012 at 6:27 amMatt_D

      Someone hasn’t been watching properly, in the first episode it was announced that there would be a two hour window to allow for the movement of patients, during this time the battery in the helmet would melt the persons brain if tampered with, if they were not reconnected to the game within two hours the battery in the helmet would melt their brain.

      Now stop being clever and pay attention children.

      • September 30, 2012 at 8:39 amRasen

        I disagree. Re-watching the 1st episode, I only see Kayaba saying:
        -the removal of the Nervgear would kill them,
        -213 people have already died that way.
        -News organizations are covering the deaths, so the future risk of the Nervgear being removed is minimal
        -Focus on beating the game.

        Nowhere do I see him talking about hospitals or grace periods. If you can find that in the episode, please tell me the timestamp.

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:01 pmunknown

      Anyone who points out negative things about SAO will get down voted and hated here??

      I still don’t get how come people are stuck in the game AFTER 2 YEARS??? Is anyone in the real world taking this issue seriously?? I mean, so many players have already died… hmmm ‘’died’’ is not the right word here…I meant to say so many people were ‘’murdered‘’

      And there is no one, not even a single human being in the entire world, who is smarter than Kayaba to save the rest of the players??

      I haven’t read the novel and I don’t plan too. Novel and anime are two different things for ME. If I have to read the novel every time I watch an anime adaptation, then it’s just not worth it for ME.

      • September 30, 2012 at 12:25 pmMasterDragonKnight

        Not necessarily. Constructive criticism or just poking fun at things is welcomed in my opinion.

        However, bashing the series and insulting others is not proper conduct. Think of it like being in SAO, the behavior here on the internet (where people can be anonymous) reflects the person in real life. If you are just voicing your opinion, then we can have a civilized discussion. But if you choose to pick fights with people, then expect retaliation.

      • September 30, 2012 at 3:34 pmEduardo

        Since you didn’t read the novels, i shall explain it to you now. The first month of the game was the most deadly, as 2,000 people died. Out of the 8,000 survivors, 5,000 never left the Starting City. Take these 3,000 who actually ventured on the fields and dungeons. At the beginning, most of them tried clearing the game at a fast pace, until the 25th floor. That was the boss fight with most casualities among every boss fight. After that, the number of players on the frontline kept on decreasing. By the time they fought against the 75th boss (this episode) there were no more than a few hundreds of players. I don’t think it would take more than 1 year to clear Aincrad if this was just a normal game, but it’s not and people care about their lifes. Or would you be fine fighting against powerful enemies such as The Skull Reaper betting your life?

    • September 30, 2012 at 3:22 pmEduardo

      In the novels it’s explained that the NerveGear, if not removed, can be kept on stand-by for about 2 hours, just long enough for the players to be transported. If one is not able to connect, as long as the NerveGear is not removed, he’ll just stay in coma

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:13 pmRasen

        I don’t think Kayaba would have allowed them to remain disconnected and in a coma. Since he wants players to play and complete the game, he wouldn’t have allowed them an option that would let them run away to relative safety. Imagine the number of parents that would have their children taken offline so that other peoples’ kids would be the only ones risking their lives.

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:25 pmEduardo

        Rasen, if that’s so, then it should be impossible for the 4,000 players who never left the Starting City to just wait. Anyway, maybe the cable the NerveGear uses to charge up is the same it uses to connect to the internet. This way, a player would be able to stay offline for about 2 hours

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:29 pmRasen

        Hm. I think I mistated. Kayaba wants them to experience his game, so even those people hiding on the first floor are experiencing it.

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:41 pmEduardo

        Rasen: I get what you mean. But anyway, unless this mother wants her son to stay in coma forever, she won’t do such a thing. If there was such a situation, this mother would only connect her son again after the game was finished, but then Aincrad would be destroyed already (sorry for the spoiler, but when the game is finished, Aincrad self-destroys and everybody wakes up) and he wouldn’t be able to “Log out”

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:48 pmRasen

        I see what you’re saying, but you have to take into account different people’s mindsets. Some people are willing to gamble on a chance to survive or succeed. Other people turtle up in the hopes the problem will be solved by someone else or own its own. (For all they know, maybe Aincrad would let even people not connected to wake up upon completion. Or maybe some computer scientist will be able to disable the NervGear’s functions. Or something. )

        If Kayaba wants to force people to experience his game, it’s just simpler for him if he removes that pesky thing called ‘options’

    • September 30, 2012 at 7:56 pmk

      It is explicitly stated that Kayaba gave the players time for their bodies to be transported to hospital. During that time, all players are disconnected.

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:33 pmSamurai Pumpkin

    Up to this point do we know if they have shared email addresses or phone numbers yet?

    Their discussion about the future got me thinking.

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:46 pmacolyte

      Nope :) I don’t think they’re keeping their email addresses and phone numbers after years of coma either :)

    • September 29, 2012 at 9:13 pmSuppa Tenko

      Spoilers
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2012 at 10:03 pmSamurai Pumpkin

        Thank you!!

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:44 pmSpencer

    So apparently the paramedics can disconnect the players from the internet and ship them into a hospital, despite the NERV gears killing them if they get disconnected?

    It’s explained better in the book that Kayaba gave the families/ friends one hour in order to disconnect players from the internet and get them to a hospital, kind of a stretch but an explanation to one of your qualms.

    • September 29, 2012 at 10:25 pmEuzio

      Yeap. Also, if anybody is wondering how the death works when they get killed in game. They don’t exactly have a window of like a few hours before they die. The nerve gear was designed that if they died in game, within a few seconds or at most, couple of minutes, from their death in game, the nerve gear would send out a high frequency radiation that fries their brains. Essentially its like sticking their brains into a microwave….

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:47 pmDeltaray

    “to keep her like a bird in a cage,”

    I see what you did there.

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:46 pmMasterDragonKnight

      A nice little nudge to the people who already read the light novel.

      But I won’t say anything beyond that, to not spoil anything for the others.

    • September 29, 2012 at 10:30 pmEuzio

      Yeah a very good nudge… though it kinda depressed me when you said that….

      Note: Do NOT read unless you’ve already read the novel or want to be spoiled…
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 30, 2012 at 4:30 amkingofconquerors

        it was quite sad when she Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:50 pmshinigami99

    Great episode, I’ve come to expect only that from SAO. Goes to show, once the protagonists are strong and badass, any anime is worth watching.

    Also RC admins, are you guys going to blog the new Code Geass: Bokuto no Akito OVA episode? I thought it was interesting.

  • September 29, 2012 at 5:50 pmN0216332

    how much of a dick would you feel like if you ninja a tank’s loot in this game…Heathcliff earned so much respect from me this episode >:)

    • October 1, 2012 at 9:53 pmGekokujou

      That’s true, but don’t you find that something’s off here? For a life or death game, Heathcliff seems a little too fearless to me. Was he always like this, or did he become like this as he continued playing the game?

  • September 29, 2012 at 6:04 pmdimasok

    Asuna and Kirito have a nice relationship. I don’t really agree with the whole “start off on a wrong foot” comment. Sure, in a different circumstance it might have been a valid argument, but they clearly see each other as VITAL for their own survival and they will lose the meaning to survive in this world unless they have each other so by now I think every argument of the sort (i.e. Kirito wanting to keep Asuna “in a cage”, etc) will quickly be resolved based on the intensity of their emotions towards each other alone.

    Also, Asuna in general is more of an extrovert while Kirito more of an introvert so I am sure they both understand where they’re coming from. Being together longer will serve to bridge these gaps.

  • September 29, 2012 at 6:16 pmUnajuuphile

    Saitou Shirou, who voiced Natsuki’s dad in Tsuritama, appears in SAO as a fisherman (Nishida). haha~

    • September 30, 2012 at 4:32 amkingofconquerors

      What a coincidence….”now rewatching Tsuritama”

  • September 29, 2012 at 6:34 pmhwighting

    hella people got died this episode and it’s not over. Only level 75 too what are we to do?

  • September 29, 2012 at 6:47 pmEliteF22

    Shouldn’t Kirito be growing taller by this point? He should be in the middle of puberty and doesn’t the Nerve Gear continually refresh their personal stats?

    • September 29, 2012 at 7:03 pmDeltaray

      If it would do that he would be skinny has hell, like everyone else.
      It only uses the data it got from first log in.

    • September 29, 2012 at 9:42 pmSuppa Tenko

      Kirito grows taller and strong virtually Alicization despite
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2012 at 7:12 pmTopboy

    This is best action episode so far.The Boss is so strong and dangerous.Look forward to seeing the End of the World.

  • September 29, 2012 at 7:15 pmEspada

    hahaha time for final boss

    • September 29, 2012 at 8:08 pmhaseo0408

      The Skull Reaper seems like something that came out from my worst nightmares.

      • September 29, 2012 at 11:34 pmEspada

        no the reaper the other one

      • September 30, 2012 at 6:26 amD-LaN

        BOTH are them are creepy as hell IMO.

      • October 1, 2012 at 5:52 amThe Moondoggie

        They are scary, but nothing beats the final FINAL BOSS of SAO.

  • September 29, 2012 at 7:28 pmMashiro

    Asuna is always soooo sweet!
    That explains how she’s loved him all along since she slept beside him that day.

    The Giant Centipede boss fight atmosphere is actually very fearful, tense and well done. What a contrast from the easy fights so far and even the 74th fl boss in which it seemed as if Kirito singled-handedly took down by himself. If only the background characters could put up better fights and die more convincingly. Other than the main characters, the front line looks too pathetic.

    • September 29, 2012 at 8:11 pmhaseo0408

      The triumph card of SAO has always been character development and the relationship of KiritoxAsuna. It´s just too sweet to see them together and evolve to become better persons as they share time and memories.

    • September 29, 2012 at 8:20 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Actually, this boss is in a completely different league than The Gleam Eyes, probably closer to something from the 85th floor.

      In the novel, they mentioned that the boss every 25 floors is exceptionally difficult. Kirito himself admitted to struggling against the 50th floor boss, which wiped out most of the party. That boss dropped the Elucidator that he now wields, so if a drop from floor 50 is still one of the most powerful swords at level 75, you know the boss holding it has to be quite powerful.

      • September 29, 2012 at 9:40 pmSuppa Tenko

        Also despite the Army’s seemingly uselessness they’ve already taken down quite a bit of the boss’s HP.

    • September 29, 2012 at 10:36 pmEuzio

      If you think Asuna is sweet just from this episode… Read the and side stories. Some of actions of Asuna in the former are rather cute… and as for the latter, when she was having her conversation with Lisbeth, in Lisbeth’s words, “If this was a shoujo manga, there would be flower petals in the background now…” :P

      • September 29, 2012 at 10:37 pmEuzio

        *Read the (Murder in the Area) and (Warmth of the Heart) side stories….*

        Made a mistake of bracketing them titles in the arrows…

  • September 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm†Croos†

    This episode is better than I expected.

  • September 29, 2012 at 8:07 pmhaseo0408

    Moomba I don´t think Kirito is selfish at all, he just can´t get along with people the same way everyone does, a truly selfish person wouldn´t have help anyone no matter the circunstances. In the regard of Asuna, just see it this way: she´s Kirito most beloved person, he has seen countless people die in front of him, the thought of losing her must almost drive him insane.

  • September 29, 2012 at 8:18 pmhaseo0408

    Remember what I said a couple of episodes back about Kayaba being a bastard for not only making the bosses freaking strong but also adding traps to the boss room, well now he´s the king of all phycos, Hanibal Lecter should take torturing lessons from this guy.

  • September 29, 2012 at 8:34 pmunknown2

    Finally back to some real action. I like the couple but I think I had enough lovey-dovey lol The action is way more interesting.

  • September 29, 2012 at 8:46 pmKiria

    Sorry but as a fellow novel reader, your line of saying Kirito is keeping Asuna “like a bird in a cage” kind of killed me.

  • September 29, 2012 at 8:50 pmhwighting

    no screenshot of the side boob shot? that was a dandy moment for me…

  • September 29, 2012 at 9:34 pmBum

    for those wondering why he could solo the 74th and now the 75th can on hit kill everyone is because bosses on floors 25,50,75 are exceptionally stronger than they’re suppose to be this boss is probably as strong as something over the 85th floor.

    also HP in SAO is determined by your level there is no other way of increasing it, and everyone there is pretty high level so you can imagine why they’re all surprised it 1 hit kills.

    Major Spoiler:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2012 at 11:14 pmSortedevaras

    Sucks it took so long to get to some real action. This shows style works great for action scenes but aside from the way too short Heathcliff duel and the Gleam Eyes fight nothing major has been shown. Instead of doing some of the less exciting side stories it would have been nice if the author had thrown in something new, like the supposedly epic battle of the 50th floor boss.

  • September 29, 2012 at 11:17 pmewok40k

    ok, so we have some fun fishing first, then we get hardest boss yet… call it a mood whiplash! (T)
    The big fish made me remember meeting some similar monsters in WOW. I have been also a pretty dedicated fisherman there, for the sake of making good meals, too… One thing I know about MMO is that some break from grind really helps you relax… of course logging out for a dose of RL helps even bettter, but our heroes don’t have that option!
    The story of defeated scout party made me immediately think “Kirito and Asuna were lucky they didnt go this time scouting in 2 people party”. Talk about difficulty jump!
    There was nice dynamic between Kirito and Asuna in their dialogue after info on the new boss. It is natural to want to protect loved ones, but what if you die and leave them alone?
    How will they feel and can they contine to live and fight on? This is compounded when your significant oter is no slouch in the battle and can make real difference in the outcome.
    We can compare this to Malga/Margot situation in Horizon, where weaker one would just weigh down the stronger, but here it is exact opposite as Asuna seemingly can combine her blocking with Kirito for more power.
    And the boss himself is as powerful as they get. It takes probably 3 strongest players in SAO to just block his main attack, and still lesser players are dropping like flies. And how many HP bars does it get? Ouch!

  • September 29, 2012 at 11:41 pmfragb85

    To be blunt, I think SAO is much more interesting when KiritoxAsuna isn’t shoved down my throat. I just can’t invest myself with this couple because it barely has 4 episodes of development. I’ve barely been given any convincing context to their relationship and then I just get shoved with scenes like this. I’ve seen other, better developed and more interesting couples than them and those couples haven’t even reached first base.

    Thankfully, the battle saves the episode from being boring, and I loved the “Raid” gathering. Its definitely one of the most interesting aspects of an MMO to gather lots of people to fight a boss. I’m also glad to finally see Klein again, that guy deserves way more screen time than he gets. My only complaint is that several high-leveled players (who are supposed to be volunteers who willingly risk their lives) just conveniently cower like newbies to die, but I guess they needed some way to elevate a threat.

  • September 29, 2012 at 11:42 pmPeanutbutter003

    Heathcliff tanks…like a boss.

    • October 1, 2012 at 5:54 amThe Moondoggie

      Yes, definitely. Like a BOSS….

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:56 pmGekokujou

        A little TOO MUCH like a BOSS…

  • September 30, 2012 at 12:07 amEntrav

    Awesome battle, it really highlighted the dire lifestyles that the front liners live. A cliffhanger but next episode should be the best so far.

  • September 30, 2012 at 12:28 amKinny Riddle

    It kinds of puzzles me why Kirito would claim that last episode’s boss was at a level on-par with “90+ Floors” bosses, when this 75th Floor boss with his deadly one-hit kill is far more dangerous. Any novel reading experts care to enlighten us?

    A bit off-topic, but I do wonder if Heathcliff takes his name from the Wuthering Heights Heathcliff? So far I’ve not seen much similarities between these two characters.

    Oh and Asuna nightgown is sexy. :D

    • September 30, 2012 at 1:16 amMashiro

      Defence is the key.

      Last episode’s secret boss deflected Kirito & Asuna’s defence stance easily, it would have killed them in 2 hits (with defence), is roughly the strength of a 90th floor level boss according to Kirito. Just one hit took so much HP that they couldn’t get up .. they would have died if not for Yui.

      The 75th fl boss is roughly the strength of a 85th floor level boss according to above comments. It’s main attack can kill characters (without defence) in 1 hit but apparently it doesn’t kill as long as you defend/evade. Probably it’s quick so those who died were surprised or couldn’t put up defence fast enough. Kirito and Asuna can take multiple hits in defence/offence mode easily so this one is much less dangerous. True there are 3 of those deadly blades (including it’s tail) that does these powerful attacks but 3 parts is easier to take on compared to 1 extremely powerful scythe.

    • September 30, 2012 at 1:20 amEuzio

      In the last episode, Kirito claimed that The Fatal Scythe might be at a level on-par with the 90+ Floor bosses because his Scanning ability was unable to discern any data from it. And Kirito himself was already lvl 96. Therefore, The Fatal Scythe would be at least lvl 97 or higher which would put it at around the 90th floor bosses level.

      As for this 75th floor boss. The reason why its so dangerous is that in SAO, every 25 lvls, the boss difficulty escalates to quite a ridiculous level. The 25th level boss was the one that caused the Aincrad Liberation Force (The Army/Front) to suffer heavy losses when they took it on.

      • September 30, 2012 at 11:26 amBum

        and the 50 floor boss caused a lot of deaths and is the boss that dropped Kiritos main sword if a 50th floor drop is still used and very powerful on floor 75 you can imagine the strength of that boss

  • September 30, 2012 at 1:25 amNico Robin

    This is soo Epic Episode with the Epic Battle of an Epic anime! Awesome!!! :D

  • September 30, 2012 at 2:54 amGermanguy

    Last Episode Kirito used an GM Account to “Save” the Kid. Is Kirito an ex-GM Player? Or he only knew from a “friend GM” Account, that he can use… Or some Old Stuff from his Beta Testing time. He was an Beta Tester or not?

    So… Why he dont use this GM Account more often?. Or will the System find it out, and suspend the Account?

    • September 30, 2012 at 3:40 amckuri

      He doesn’t have a GM account. He just used Yui’s account to operate a console where she had previously logged in to get her sword and didn’t logged out afterwards. Thus, he also doesn’t know her password.

  • September 30, 2012 at 3:25 amXartah

    “Some people might call a boss that can oneshot players ‘cheap’ or begin crying ‘artificial difficulty!’ among other variants. These people are clearly not familiar with how gaming has changed over the years – once upon a time, this was commonplace. Now it’s all regenerating health and simplistic bosses that can be overwhelmed with numbers and no real need for tactics (or even evading).”

    I’m a bit surprised over this comment. How is a boss in WoW that takes the best raiding guilds in the world hundreds of attempts and weeks to kill “simplistic bosses that can be overwhelmed with numbers and no real need for tactics (or even evading).”? Overuse of instakills is lazy design since you can make a fight difficult without wiping the raid if a player misses one debuff. Raids also tend to be instanced and have a cap on player numbers and healing is its own game rather than “regenerating health”.

    Using oneshot attacks in SAO is cheap when you only get one try and don’t even know the name of the boss in advance. Adding instakills to a fight that already seems to be much different from the extremely simple tank and spank that all other bosses seem to go by is really cheap. Raiding in SAO is much easier than in real MMOs mechanically because adding Lich King level enemy would guarantee that the game will never be cleared.

    • September 30, 2012 at 6:24 amMatt_D

      One of the main dynamics behind the SAO boss system is that they’re not supposed to be completed in a single assault and don’t regenerate health between battles. However with everyone over leveling as much as possible, they have been to date far more than a match for the bosses (well bar a few bravo attempts by the Army and early battles.)

      • September 30, 2012 at 12:43 pmHunterWulf

        Kinda reminds me of the Ur dragon from Dragon’s Dogma, a massive undead beast that people can fight online (the only online battle in DD) and it can’t be killed in a single battle, but over time every group (each player has a group of four characters) fights him and lower his health .. then other players do the same until it’s defeated XD

      • September 30, 2012 at 12:53 pmRasen

        I’ve read the light novels too. Where did they say that bosses don’t regenerate? If that were true, there would have been a lot safer strategies for dealing with the bosses (at least up until the 74th boss)

      • October 2, 2012 at 7:59 amSuppa Tenko

        There was. In the novel Kirito mentioned that before Colbert’s idiocy there has not been a single causality during a boss battle since the 56th floor.

      • October 2, 2012 at 8:55 amRasen

        67th floor, but just because no one died since then is not proof that the bosses didn’t regenerate. It is only proof that the frontliners planned and prepared well.

        Furthermore, I would posit that if bosses didn’t regenerate, they wouldn’t have had boss casualties since the first or second floor. The players wouldn’t need any strategy more difficult than “run in and poke, retreat, go back to town and restock up, rinse and repeat.” Heck, given sufficient patience, you wouldn’t even need parties.

  • September 30, 2012 at 4:43 amFlanders

    My, oh my. The battle at the second half just wizzed through and before I knew it the show was over. It was that good. Kirito and Asuna were great together, in fact they were in perfect sync at the boss battle. Hearts and minds as one.

    I also enjoyed the fishing episode. In fact, this episode exceeded my expectations, overall,

  • September 30, 2012 at 8:13 amanime mediafire

    Wow.. Amazing Episode ever!!
    NIce Battle all, nice….

  • September 30, 2012 at 8:17 amdimasok

    This is a really nice screengrab that summarizes how close Asuna and Kirito are to each other:
    http://o8.us.imgsrc.ru/d/dimasok/9/29894259LVF.jpg

  • September 30, 2012 at 11:24 amFrontier

    A fun day for the happy couple in the first half belies the terror that is the second half in this stellar episode of Sword Art Online.

    I’m not denying that Kirito is being a little selfish in asking Asuna to stay behind for the boss fight, but I don’t see it as his trying to dominate over her, more like he’s prioritizing her safety above all else. They are heading into uncharted territory with a boss that has completely wiped out a scouting party, and I think Kirito doubts he could properly protect her, and with good reason. It’s been mentioned that the bosses are getting tougher as they go along, with Gleam Eyes being the most recent example, and even someone as strong as Kirito has limits. He’s well aware that Asuna can take care of herself, but in the world of Sword Art Online, no matter how strong you may be, death is always looming over your head waiting to strike. Kirito won’t take a chance with Asuna’s life, and as selfish as it may seem, Sword Art Online has given him plenty of reason to be careful. When we humans find that special something that makes us the happiest, that being Asuna for Kirito, we’ll do all that we can to make sure nothing happens to it. Fortunately for Kirito, the same goes for Asuna.

    And when it gets right down to it, that scene also brings up one of Kirito’s major qualities, that he really just does not care about his own life. All throughout Sword Art Online Kirito has taken risks that have put him at the precipice of deaths door and every single time it was not for himself but for others. From saving Lisbeth, fighting Gleam Eyes, almost stabbing himself with a sword just to test it and get a better chance at finding the criminal, and fighting a boss solo just so he could try and bring Sachi back to life. After the death of the Black Cats, Kirito has been dedicated to ensuring that no one else in the game is killed and has put higher value in saving others than in ever saving himself. As such, he’s perfectly fine in the event that he dies in the boss as long as Asuna stays alive, but thankfully Asuna won’t let him go that easily.

    Kirito also is primarily a clearer not for himself, since this episode shows that when it comes right down to it he has no problem staying in the game, but to free everyone else. It started with Sachi’s dying wish, and has over time grown into just a desire to free everyone as he’s met and grown attached to different people like Klein, Agil, Scilica, and Lisbeth. He’d be content living in this “Dream World” with Asuna if he felt he didn’t have an obligation to his friends and those who have fallen to complete the game.

    Personally, I think that flashback holds more weight after having seen the events unfold in the murder arc, especially since we as the viewers had already pretty much regarded it as the beginning of their relationship. But I’d rather not get into another debate over how the Side Stories should have been utilized so I’ll just leave it at that.

    It was great seeing Klein and Agil again, and it was especially nice to see the two get in some good hits on the Skull Reaper. Just goes to show that Kirito and Heathcliff aren’t the only strong male fighters in Sword Art Online. Speaking of, Heathcliff… is still Heathcliff. Extremely Stoic with barely a hint of any emotion, and there’s still some animosity between him and Kirito. He’s pretty invaluable in the boss fight though, and he, Asuna, and Kirito make a damn good team against this boss.

    I can never stop myself from smiling during the Kirito X Asuna scenes. Just seeing a couple get together midway through a series, which is rare in anime, and having them interact with each other as a couple very much in love, really warms my heart. And Asuna’s desire to complete the game so that she can meet Kirito and date and marry him in real life made me both emphasize with Asuna and once again muse how much of a lucky guy Kirito is to have a girl so devoted to him.

    The title of the next episode, and presumably the end of the first course, is quite ominous. I’m expecting some great action and suspense befitting an episode titled “The End of The World.” Though what I’m really hoping for a reappearance by Kayaba, since it’s about time the Big Bad showed himself again. And hopefully our main couple will come out of it unscathed… along with Klein of course. This show is always better with more Klein.

  • September 30, 2012 at 11:32 amBum

    Kirito isnt glaring his guildmaster because he has a leader now but (and this is a major spoiler so read at your own expense)

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 30, 2012 at 11:57 amMasterDragonKnight

      Actually, the reason Kirito was glaring at Heathcliff here is a different reason.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 30, 2012 at 11:58 amdimasok

        That’s what I thought too. I never thought he was looking at Heathcliff for that reason…

  • September 30, 2012 at 12:20 pmPassingBy

    Crying a lot gets you moe points, even though it doesn’t make very much sense to cry over every little thing. I blame the awkward dialogue. Is the author trying to pass her off as a “normal girl” by making her tear up every 2 minutes? Gender stereotype and melodrama much? If I was her would have slapped Kirito for his “Stay in the Kitchen” attitude. First half was stupid, because they’re trying too hard to be funny.

    “Oh no you’re taking the game too seriously Asuna chillax.”

    *tears* “Oh that puts me at ease. I love you! Instead of losing a day in the real world, I gained a day in this beautiful MMO. You taught me how to just live in the present. So my life might not have been wasted after all. Our relationship is real, I logged on the game for this!”

    Such a touching story, I just have to cry while re-telling it! :( Worst yet, like moomba said, they could have shown that as flashback and have sidestories as OVA. Instead of showing how awesome Asuna’s cooking is and those sidestory, they could have used that time to like, maybe, just maybe, develop characters? Way to go A-1 Pictures!

    Second half was better and was at least bearable except for that “Stay in the Kitchen” bit. Too many still-shots for an action anime but I guess I can live with that.

    “Stay in the kitchen Asuna! Me no want you death you have to sleep besides me every night and all.”

    “No, if you die I’ll kill myself. Who cares if my parents are devastated about losing their golden daughter in the real world? I have you and that’s good enough for my pitiful existence. It’s okay if nobody takes care of my parents when they grow old, because I have you.”

    “We can take it easy or even better, stay here forever. It’s not like we have a family in the outside world who are worried to death about us or anything. Besides, we’re being fed and taken care of in the hospital anyway, we can just leech off of government welfare money! It’s such a wonderful system.”

    “I wish I could. But our bodies may not last forever in the real world.”

    Way2contradictyourself Asuna! You guys just took 2 weeks of vacation and said that thanks to Kirito you can take it easy and enjoy the Aincrad rather than fearing and hating it. And now you say that you have to clear the game ASAP? It would makes sense to rest every now and then if they know exactly what the time limit is and how far they progress on average, but they don’t. And I predicted before about them not being able to sustain their real bodies for playing to long. I am so good at this!

    Well, at least there were good things. At last, some action for Klein and Bald-Dude-Whose-Name-I-Can’t-Remember-But-I-Like-Him-Anyway.

    Yuck….

    • September 30, 2012 at 12:48 pmRasen

      I’m going to ignore MOST of what you said, because you’re not entirely wrong and I can see where you’re coming from. Some of what she says is contradictory, but people do that all the time. Like watch shows they hate.

      However, I can’t let that “stay in the kitchen” comment slide. People who say lines like that fall under the same characterization as backwards-sexist-rednecks who also drop such gems as “shut yur pie-hole and go make me some sammiches woman!” and “MUCKLE DAMRED CULTI ‘AIR EH NAMBLIES BE KEEPIN’ ME WEE MEN!?!?”

      Kirito’s attitude is one where equality isn’t the issue. It is the attitude of someone who value something more than his own life, and he doesn’t want to see it put in danger if it can be avoided. He KNOWS he’s doing her experience a disservice by asking her to stay behind, and he acknowledges it by prefacing his statements with a “please don’t be angry when I say this.”

      By equating his behavior with a “stay in the kitchen,” you trivialize the people who actually had to put up with domineering husbands, who controlled the finances, and who beat up women when they “stepped out of line.”

      • October 1, 2012 at 12:16 amPassingBy

        About watching people watching shows they don’t like, this is the reason: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SnarkBait

        I believe my definition of “Stay in the Kitchen” differs from yours? http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StayInTheKitchen

        He doesn’t only act that way towards Asuna, Lizbeth also got that treatment. And he should have known better than saying that to ONE OF THE STRONGEST PLAYER IN THE GAME! And living with her for a while he would have known she wouldn’t accept it. There’s no excuse. Sure he cares for her, but he should learn to trust her abilities more. And like Moomba said, it was selfish if he dies by himself while Asuna will be left with survivor guilt.

      • October 1, 2012 at 5:55 amRasen

        So….judging from the first link, “snark-bait,” it looks like a tacit admission you come here to troll?

        I’ll give you that use of “stay in the kitchen” trope is more general (to the point of almost uselessness) than I had thought, but I still don’t think it applies. The only way we could tell for certain is if we posited a scenario where Kirito were gay, and he tells his lover to come fight with him.

        Anything else is just interpretation on the part of the viewer, and whether they want to take offense. And once again, your use of Lizbeth is questionable, because Kirito far outstrips her in terms of level.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        What Kirito did was a perfectly normal thing to do. He had no problems with Lizbeth fighting the regular enemies, but when it comes to a quest-event special enemy, her fighting the dragon is a pointless risk. Have you ever tried to cover for a lower-leveled player? It is incredibly distracting. Not only their life is at risk, but so is your own because you have to worry about them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been nearly-killed/killed in-game because some idiot goes in guns-a-blazin’.

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:51 amRasen

        Also:

        And he should have known better than saying that to ONE OF THE STRONGEST PLAYER IN THE GAME! And living with her for a while he would have known she wouldn’t accept it.

        I feel like I have too keep repeating myself. He DOES know, that’s why he apologizes before he asks.

      • October 1, 2012 at 10:29 amPassingBy

        So….judging from the first link, “snark-bait,” it looks like a tacit admission you come here to troll?

        “While a good movie or show is fun, there’s just nothing like the visceral pleasure of taking apart a bad one.” If I was trolling I wouldn’t have wasted my time actually analyzing and writing paragraphs why it’s so bad. Practicing my literary, writing and debate skills are bonuses. I would be trolling if I didn’t watch the episode and just bash SAO just to bash.

        I just have to watch SAO every week to complain about it. One reason is, ya know, I can see a terrible future in which SAO becomes the model for “good” and profitable anime. Crap, I don’t want to see more of this moe and childish wish-fulfillment anime. Most work can be labeled as wish-fulfillments at some level, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be intelligent. Moe is fine, if it is not the sole reason that makes viewers feel “attached” to the characters.

        Its two predecessors are Haruhi and K-On, two other moe and groan-inducing craps that set the standard of moe anime nowadays. Haruhi makes the high-school-club subgenre popular and you start to see it everywhere (often of sucky quality), and MOE. K-ON expands even further, about a high school music club in which its moe members rarely play music. Cute-girl-doing-cute-things subgenre, even the last two seasons there were quite a few of them. When bad stuffs are made because they are profitable, it takes up the timeslot of the actually good stuffs that the anime industry can make better use of its time on. That is my problem with bad but popular anime like SAO.

        Anything else is just interpretation on the part of the viewer, and whether they want to take offense. And once again, your use of Lizbeth is questionable, because Kirito far
        outstrips her in terms of level.

        What Kirito did was a perfectly normal thing to do. He had no problems with Lizbeth fighting the regular enemies, but when it comes to a quest-event special enemy, her fighting the dragon is a pointless risk. Have you ever tried to cover for a lower-leveled player? It is incredibly distracting. Not only their life is at risk, but so is your own because you have to worry about them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been nearly-killed/killed in-game because some idiot goes in guns-a-blazin’.

        Well, once again, like many have said, if “go read the novel” is your standard defense for SAO, then it is a pretty terrible anime, no matter how good the source material was. I am the 239035th person to have said this, the anime needs to stand on its own. How am I supposed to know what levels Lizbeth and Kirito were? Heck, even right now I don’t know Kirito’s and Asuna’s levels. I can hardly see the numbers above the hp bar, and it’s such a brief view, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. I can’t remember but I don’t recall seeing the hp bar a lot either throughout the series either. Worse yet, Lizbeth herself said that she can handle her own. As soon as Kirito told her to go hide, she did.

      • October 1, 2012 at 11:31 amRasen

        “While a good movie or show is fun, there’s just nothing like the visceral pleasure of taking apart a bad one.” If I was trolling I wouldn’t have wasted my time actually analyzing and writing paragraphs why it’s so bad….I would be trolling if I didn’t watch the episode and just bash SAO just to bash.

        Sure you would have. I think you’re confusing flaming with trolling. To take from the Urban dictionary: “Trolling does not mean just making rude remarks: Shouting swear words at someone doesn’t count as trolling; it’s just flaming, and isn’t funny…The most essential part of trolling is convincing your victim that either a) truly believe in what you are saying, no matter how outrageous…”

        And why I find your complaints suspicious: For all your complaints about Shana-tsunderes, you like Hidan no Aria. Which is about a cliche-Tsundere who is Shana in pigtails. She is so Shana it hurts.

        Well, once again, like many have said, if “go read the novel” is your standard defense for SAO, then it is a pretty terrible anime, no matter how good the source material was. I am the 239035th person to have said this, the anime needs to stand on its own.

        My main argument was outside the spoilerblock, that covering for a lower-leveled player is distracting and harmful. What was inside was just to emphasize just how BIG the difference in levels was.

        How am I supposed to know what levels Lizbeth and Kirito were?

        Ok, let’s go pure anime for this one:

        April 11, 2024 – the frontliners are tackling the 59th floor boss.
        June 24, 2024 – Kirito meets Lizbeth for the first time on 48th floor. Lizbeth reveals she’s NEVER been to the 55th floor.

        In short, Kirito was at a higher level two months ago than Lizbeth was at the time of their meeting.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:13 pmPassingBy

        And why I find your complaints suspicious: For all your complaints about Shana-tsunderes, you like Hidan no Aria. Which is about a cliche-Tsundere who is Shana in pigtails. She is so Shana it hurts.

        Oh, my crap blog, that favorite list is way too dated. At that time I wasn’t as much a serious anime fan as I am now and I didn’t watch as much anime to actually see how prevalent Shana and Ayanami Rei clones characters are. I made it quite a long time ago and pretty much abandoned it if you do look at the date on last post. Too busy to keep it running, especially now that I am even busier than I was last year. That is why I didn’t bother addressing every single one of your arguments the previous weeks, and that will not change now. The last time I went on that blog was July of last year, so heck. Hidan no Aria started out pretty well, but it died in later episodes. I created it while Hidan no Aria was on the first half, before it got stupid with fanservice and etc etc… The main leads actually had more chemistry than Kirito and Asuna ever will. There were some alright-ish character developments. They were funny, at times, while SAO has almost none of that. I’ll give you that the only good development in SAOthat was at least decent was episode 10.

        Shana first season was good, but subsequent season just capitalized so much on her tsun-tsun that even Shana herself becomes tiring. Can’t taste changes overtime? At first, I absolutely adored Toradora, but I bought the DVD and rewatched it about twice, and started to see flaws that make it “not-so-great”, though still above average. That doesn’t make my current opinion any less valid than my past ones.

        I also used to be a moe fan in my puberty years. Now I have a more or less normal amount of hormones, so I grew out of it. Gonna be redundant, but moe is good, if that’s not more than 60% of the characterization given to any particular females. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Moe is supposed to be quirky, but when everyone is the same, it’s not quirky anymore.

        If you want a more accurate view of my current taste: http://myanimelist.net/animelist/Pachurii. My personal scale on MAL is different from the site’s specifications, just because. 7 is borderline crap, more or less average, and that’s where Hidan no Aria is for me. 6 and below is absolutely horrible. Do note that I do not update it often and it is not a complete list, lazy as hell to try remembering everything.

        Ok, let’s go pure anime for this one:

        April 11, 2024 – the frontliners are tackling the 59th floor boss.
        June 24, 2024 – Kirito meets Lizbeth for the first time on 48th floor. Lizbeth reveals she’s NEVER been to the 55th floor.

        In short, Kirito was at a higher level two months ago than Lizbeth was at the time of their meeting.

        I have missed those two dates. Usually it’s hard for me to notice the dates because they go by so quickly. So yes, you got me there. The only thing that bugs me is, she insisted to come along saying that she can handle herself, and then she went in hiding, contradictory. If she’s gonna do that she might as well have stayed home. But I guess the author was tempted to write a harem.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:26 pmRasen

        Oh, my crap blog, that favorite list is way too dated.

        Blog? I got that from the profile that pops up when the mouse goes over your avatar icon.

        The only thing that bugs me is, she insisted to come along saying that she can handle herself, and then she went in hiding, contradictory.

        Not so much contradictory as “she realized she may have overestimated her abilities.” Sadly, overestimation is a very common occurrence. Kolbatz did and got himself killed.

        If anything, this speaks well of her common sense, and willingness to change her mind in the face of evidence.

        If she’s gonna do that she might as well have stayed home.

        Not really. Even though they didn’t animate any of the grunt-battles, SAO is a game. It is the logical conclusion she at least managed to get some EXP out of the trip.

        But I guess the author was tempted to write a harem.

        Yes. Yes he is.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:32 pmPassingBy

        Blog? I got that from the profile that pops up when the mouse goes over your avatar icon.

        Yes, that was taken over from my blog at wordpress. I didn’t realize that either, and I won’t bother fixing it for a long while. Just look the MAL link.

        Not so much contradictory as “she realized she may have overestimated her abilities.” Sadly, overestimation is a very common occurrence. Kolbatz did and got himself killed.

        If anything, this speaks well of her common sense, and willingness to change her mind in the face of evidence.

        Okay, I’ll take that. Then again, the anime didn’t really convey that well enough. But it’s 6 episodes ago. I don’t feel like dwelling too much on it. Still going to take a lot to save the show now.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:34 pmRasen

        I created it while Hidan no Aria was on the first half… .The main leads actually had more chemistry than Kirito and Asuna ever will.

        AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one!

        For those not in the know, Aria is a prepubescent girl who always expects to get her way and ignores what anyone else says. And she wants the main to be her whipping boy. And anytime another girl shows interest in the boy, she starts shooting at him.

        The only chemistry is that of a meltdown. Unreasonable and lots of casualties.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:39 pmPassingBy

        Whatever dude, that show isn’t even worth talking about anymore. I’m just using it as a hyperbole that SAO is even below that level. Naruto and Bleach suck, but at least it wasn’t irritating (at first).

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:41 pmPassingBy

        Deal with it, tastes change overtime. Dwelling on my past taste won’t score SAO (or you) any points.

      • October 1, 2012 at 9:59 pmRasen

        Whatever dude, that show isn’t even worth talking about anymore. I’m just using it as a hyperbole that SAO is even below that level.

        Hyperbole is a terrible way to make an argument. Best case scenario, it comes across as lying.

      • October 1, 2012 at 10:11 pmPassingBy

        I still see it as a better show, though not by much. So let’s end it there.

      • October 2, 2012 at 12:28 ama20020000

        @PassingBy

        Just for the record.

        Exhibit A for troll like behavior (Plus the rest of the very long chain),
        http://randomc.net/2012/09/15/sword-art-online-11/comment-page-1/#comment-871822

        If you actually wanted to discuss then why did you never reply to the many responses I posted unless you actually didn’t care and are just here to troll. This is also ignoring the format and style your posts and replies carry. I see you consistently posting responses that are pure conjecture on your part ignoring even the times when a work was created. Your responses devolve into accusing the author and publisher of copying another work after publishing their original.

        Rasen has a point and your evasiveness and “let’s end it here” after leading the conversation away from your very apparent behavior is an extremely telling sign.

      • October 2, 2012 at 10:27 amPassingBy

        Now if you aren’t going to accept my arguments as valid and we both keep on repeating the same tired craps, I’d rather not waste my time on something so unproductive. In other world, agree to disagree. I don’t have all the time in the world to drag it on. I just basically throw it out there that this show is terrible and I don’t want to see formulaic shows like this become successful, because future shows will become equally formulaic and pandering, and that’s terrible.

        I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but the author is just uncreative and recycle all ideas and character archetypes, not necessarily copying.

        Yes yes, I’m a troll because I belittle everyone’s tastes. Some logic you got going there. People are too easily fooled of a shallow anime by fanservice, moe and flashy actions. And yes, even when I am criticizing something am I not allowed to put some “humors” and emphasis here and there? Conjectures? What conjectures? It’s apparent as hell that the story and characters have many problems.

        Welcome to the world of differing opinions! I’m in despair, pandering and the effect of quality by popular votes have left me in despair! Media decay, many more crappy anime will still be produced to satisfy the lowest common denominator!

        Now if you’ll excuse me. That’ll be all for this week. See you on Saturday!

      • October 2, 2012 at 10:35 amPassingBy

  • September 30, 2012 at 12:39 pmHunterWulf

    IMO the best e4psiode so far in the series, all the buildup from the previous episodes and side-stories is starting to pay off is spades (and i totally disagree they should have skipped the short stories, without them we wouldn’t have cared about kirito and Asuna as we do now .. and of course i’m speaking about people who didn’t read the novels).

    All the dialog between Asuna and Kirito in this episode was excellently done and mature (good to see a couple in anime that acts like a real husband and wife not air-headed teenagers), all the fishing stuff and calm/funny mood in the first part was excellent build-up to what’s coming next (the calm before he storm as they say), then the fight began .. and damn it, that’s definitely the most exciting and action packed fight since the start of the series .. seeing all the capable warriors from all different guilds fighting a desperate fight for their lives is damn epic (fantastic music and animation too).

    Now i’m really glad i kept watching SAO till now ^_^

    • September 30, 2012 at 1:00 pmAxel

      I was actually just wondering to myself what it was about Asuna and Kirito that felt refreshing. I knew there was something different about their relationship but couldn’t pinpoint what exactly… And you said it! They really do behave as a husband and wife with a real relationship, not air-headed lovesick teens getting jealous and pissy over every little interaction with other people. It’s a mature, developed relationship of mutual love and respect. Something that so many real-life relationships aren’t these days. Ahhh, more reasons to love this show haha.

  • September 30, 2012 at 2:37 pmStöt

    I don’t get why some people are fussed over “CGI” in animes. Animes do not even look real in the first place, why would CGI be detrimental in any way? I mean, in movies CGI often makes for a surreal and synthetic impression, but so do cartoons.

    Can you give me an example or something? The action in this episode I thought was stylish with some nice clips and cool stills. I couldn’t care less if CGI was involved.

    • September 30, 2012 at 2:44 pmRasen

      If I had to give a reason, it’s because regular animation and cgi usually look so different, so that when one shows up in the other, it looks out-of-place and unnatural. Like seeing a 3D object in a 2D world.

      Animation studios have gotten better at mixing the two over the years however. Initial D might be a good example as a history of how CGI in anime has progressed. In First Stage, the regular animation looked fine, and the CGI races looked fine, but when the two mixed (like the bystanders watching the race), it just looked WEIRD. Like if all the people were replaced with cardboard cutouts.

      • October 1, 2012 at 11:09 amStöt

        Thanks for the explanation, and the examples! Initial D vas hilarious in that sense.

    • September 30, 2012 at 3:21 pmSuppa Tenko

      Like how Rasen said it depends on how well it mixes together. For examples in Super Robot Wars Divine Wars the characters were rather bland but all of the giant robots were really clean but moved a bit slow and seemed too perfect. Or in the new Code Geass OVA the feeling of those CGI Sutherlands were quite different from the animated Sutherlands of the anime.

  • September 30, 2012 at 3:05 pmriii

    La
    st time on sword art online still sucks.

  • September 30, 2012 at 4:51 pmWanderer

    He wants her to stay out of the battle, to keep her like a bird in a cage, not letting her do anything just in case she gets hurt.

    Did you choose that line on purpose? Not saying anything else, to avoid spoilers, just asking.

    As a final thought, showing that flashback mid-episode reminded me that they could probably have skipped many of the side stories. We gained nothing more from seeing the sleeping-under-a-tree scene animated in a side story than we did from this short look back.

    …Who are you, and what have you done with the guy who wrote this:

    The romantic in me was always much more interested in the meeting under the tree which the novels originally implied to be the most important of their early interactions. And I felt it was perfect. A-1′s portrayal of it, combined with the choice of music from Kajiura Yuki more than realised the hopes I had for the scene. Asuna fans should be pretty glad too!

    • October 1, 2012 at 11:27 amMoomba

      Okay you got me. I felt a little differently about things back then. The scene in episode five was certainly effective, but in reality they could easily have inserted that as a slightly shorter flashback at this point in the main storyline and still kept its charm.

      I enjoyed the side stories as much as anyone else, but their insertion broke up the storyline quite a bit and has ended up leaving a lot of viewers (both those who have and haven’t read the light novel) dissatisfied with the direction of the anime as a whole. While I’d hoped their inclusion in the adaption would mean that they could be more thoroughly tied in with the rest of the series – and it certainly did – in the end it resulted in criticism over the frequent time skips and the seeming lack of overall direction in the storyline. On top of this, we also have light novel readers complaining over aspects of the side stories that aren’t included due to the need to shorten them to fit into single episodes or remove details that would spoil later developments in the main storyline.

      Had they elected to leave out all but the absolutely necessary side stories and release them later as OVAs, they could’ve avoided having to cut details. In addition, they would’ve had more episodes to work with for the main story, meaning they could potentially give more attention to things like the development of Asuna and Kirito’s relationship, clarifying some of the important details about what’s happening outside (through character speculation), and give some more screen time to the awesome battles. There would also only be a single time skip for people to complain about and no dilution of the anime’s overall direction – it would feel more like the single cohesive story many were expecting.

      This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed the anime thus far, not at all. But I can understand why some people have become disillusioned with it.

      As to my choice of phrasing, I’d love to claim it was intentional, but somehow it wasn’t. Given the reference, I would guess it was something subconscious.

  • September 30, 2012 at 5:47 pmKioku from Laptop

    Am i the only one who thinks that Asuna looks a hellova lot like Horo in the seventh screen cap, with the shawl and all? All that was missing was the big, bushy tail!

  • September 30, 2012 at 10:00 pmVsin

    I feel that this Ep went by WAY too quickly. They basically crammed an entire side story and most of a chapter into one Ep. The only thing I can guess is that
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Call me nuts, but I actually wouldn’t have minded a longer fishing arc, with Ep 13 ending at the boss door. I’m probably one of the few people who genuinely likes the slow, non-fighting pace of the fishing arc, if only to cement the idea that SAO is a real false reality (yay oxymoronic paradoxes). I mean, they blew right past the explanation as to why Asuna was wearing that much clothing (she’s famous), and it wasn’t even well implied.

  • October 1, 2012 at 2:57 amPassingThrough

    Animation, art, music, and the voice-acting are above average. No, that’s an understatement. A-1 clearly is trying to make masterpiece by those aspects alone. And yet, why is there always some kind of dissatisfaction in me after I watched one of its episode? A free hour was spent with me thinking and rewatching some episodes and it seems I’ve found an answer now.

    Do the anime staff think that since the novels are selling so well and become people’s favorite they can take it easy with the storyline, assuming everyone already knows what’s going on? The answer seems to be yes in my eyes. SAO anime is more of a fanservice for the LN readers instead of an anime adaptation for everyone, though it’s still a good show (and I’m still yet to read the novels).

    Kirito and Asuna’s relationship seems to be a tasty snark bait among haters and I can see why: the development is (for them) way too abrupt. I, despite this seemingly negative comment, can actually let it pass. Many people I know ended up married despite only knew their lovers for only a few months. I have a nephew as a proof.

    Problem is, the anime executes this romantic aspect poorly. It’s like they expect all the audience to automatically know, accept, and support the fact that Kirito and Asuna are supposed to be a loving couple. Their interaction prior to their marriage are just friendly conversations, dinners, battle, something that ordinary people can do with their friends. Fast-paced the story might be, but their romance really needs more care.

    Don’t get me wrong, I find those two cute, the problem is the way the anime handles it. I think they just aren’t brave enough to make some more changes in storytelling, choosing instead to follow the novels as faithfully as possible. And thus, only the novel readers can fully enjoy the anime, unlike me who can only rate SAO as being good enough.

    It’s still a good episode. I’ll keep watching this.

  • October 1, 2012 at 6:16 amThe Moondoggie

    Nice bossfight, but the bossfight of the year is next week. I was expecting them to actually skip the fishing arc, but a well done rush job did the magic.

  • October 1, 2012 at 12:24 pmLulu

    SAO stands for Spoiler Art Online. Dem Spoilers and LNfags everywhere.

    • October 1, 2012 at 12:36 pmRasen

      Studies have shown that on average, people enjoy a book or movie more when the ending has been spoiled. (The logic being that with the big surprises being ruined, the viewer can just sit back and enjoy the ride.)

      So us LNfags be doing you a service.

      If you don’t like SAO now, think how much you would hate it if we didn’t spoil. Your heads would explode like napalm was injected where your brains were. There’d be confused rioting in the streets.

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:16 pmLulu

        I don’t like being spoiled, but that’s my personal opinion. I feel that it is a climax-mood-killer, but if you insist by saying “Studies have shown [...]” post your source, that’s how the internetz rolls.

        Also, I read SAO novels, so don’t worry. Just ‘cuz I’m not shouting “ALO this” or stuff doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s gonna happen, I’m just trying not being a dick.

      • October 1, 2012 at 6:56 pmRasen

        I remember hearing about the study when watching the news, but fortunately I managed to dig it up:

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/spoiler-alert-stories-ruined-surprise-ending-revealed-california/story?id=14282659#.UGpHck3A_Qg

        Actually, the part from your post that got me was that interesting new term, “LNfag.” I don’t have issues with swearing per se, but it is a pet peeve to see a term that specifically targets and offends. And on top of that, being used in a way that makes no sense. Given the original meanings, either LNfag is a Light Novel that people roll up and smoke, or two Light Novels stacked on one another in such a way you can’t tell where one book ends and the other begins.

    • October 2, 2012 at 8:02 amSuppa Tenko

      Perhaps you should just read the novels. It’s absolutely free and the first volume is only 210 PDF pages. That’s really not that much unless you’re a 3rd grader.

  • October 2, 2012 at 3:20 pma42

    As a final thought, showing that flashback mid-episode reminded me that they could probably have skipped many of the side stories. We gained nothing more from seeing the sleeping-under-a-tree scene animated in a side story than we did from this short look back.

    This is what many of us anime only viewers have been complaining about from the start. Having seen the main novel storyline for a while now, I can say I would have much preferred it follow the novel style versus the chronological order. I’m only finally starting to understand Asuna’s character and it’s taken 13 episodes to get there. Whereas going by the main storyline this would be episode 6. After the initial time skip shock as a viewer you’re waiting for those 2 years to get filled in, so 6 episodes wouldn’t have felt quite as tedious as the not very informative side story episodes. Ah well, at least this episode showed off more of the potential that initially drew me after the premiere.

  • October 15, 2012 at 9:53 pmAshen

    While I agree that Kirito’s digression into selfishness in regards to what and whom he’s willing to protect and fight for, and that treating Asuna like a frail damsel is very regrettable, taken another way I think his actions – at least partially – can be understandable within the horrific circumstances that is SAO. His narrow-mindedness is inherently human; he’s found someone he loves and is scared to death now of losing her. Compound those fears with his loner characteristics from earlier and I’d say this turn of events is not really a surprise, nor do I think Kirito would seriously abandon the other party members to die if he could help it (Whether or not he could save them at the cost of saving Asuna is another matter altogether).

    I’m very excited/anxious to see where this deadly, overwhelming boss battle goes from here.