Sword Art Online – 20
「猛炎の将」 (Mou Honoo no Shou)
“General of the Blazing Flame”
I’ve been wondering this for a while, and I know others have too. Isn’t it rather strange that Leafa has never once questioned Kirito’s absurdities? I’m sure most players would notice that something was up pretty quickly given how prone gamers are to calling out exploiters. If anything, watching him fight General Eugene (Miyake Kenta) should have triggered some concerns that he was hacking. After all, he moves much faster than he should be able to as we’ve witnessed on multiple occasions (half the time it looks like he’s speedhacking); he can fly faster than Leafa despite the fact she’s never met anyone who could even so much as keep up with her before; he uses extremely overpowered illusion magic thanks to his conveniently hacked stats; and he has an AI pixie that can sense nearby players and give an accurate account of their numbers. This is all rather suspect, no? I’m guessing that must mean Leafa is pretty naive when it comes to the game, even if she has been playing a long time. But then again, given her stance on illusion magic, that doesn’t seem like much of a surprise.
Credit where credit is due, that duel between Kirito and Eugene was rather spectacular, particularly Kirito’s triumphant return to dual wielding as accompanied by a pretty nice Kajiura cue. Player vs player duels are something SAO really should have done more of, though preferably without the complete imbalance every battle has shown so far. There was never really any question how things would turn out, even if Eugene was the ‘strongest player in the game’ and his weapon ‘vastly outmatched Kirito’s giant compensatory sword’. Even with the lack of a severe death penalty to get us invested in this arc, it never truly feels like there’s any danger when the very idea of Kirito losing in a battle is an alien concept. As disappointed as I am that Kirito has returned to dual wielding (fighting with twin swords is extremely overrated), it was handled well and brought up something interesting – apparently you can just snatch things off players without asking. Pretty unusual mechanic that.
Kirito’s victory brought about a few things. Everyone is impressed by his skill, even the Salamanders – his foes in this. It’s a nice change from the usual ‘everyone who opposes Kirito is pure evil‘ stance – it shows that Kawahara understands that players are not necessarily evil if they oppose others – that there’s no real grudges here in a contest of skill. Someone had to be painted as the bad-guys or Kirito would be without any human opposition within the game. It’s a pity that Kawahara went with the more generic choice of putting Kirito immediately on the side of the ‘good‘ groups in all this conflict. A perspective from the other side would’ve been nice, and equally as valid. I imagine I would’ve found this arc far more interesting if Kirito was fighting alongside the Salamanders – after all, his end goal is to rescue Asuna from the top of the tree, not forge peace between the factions. All good and evil in this is entirely relative. Notice how there are always female players amongst the ‘good’ factions, already waiting to join Kirito’s harem, while on the other side of the fence, all foes are male.
So in the end, Kirito manages to win himself two new haremites – the more mature Sakuya (Yahagi Sayuri) and the adorable Alicia (Saito Chiwa). This is, of course, no surprise at all. There’s nary a female in the universe who doesn’t have a thing for Kirito. And, as expected, Sugu falls further in love with the guy who she doesn’t realise is her cousin who she’s already in love with and has already been rejected by in the real world. Well that revelation is going to hurt. Furthermore, Kagemune (Madono Mitsuaki) decides to lie on Kirito’s behalf. It’s hard not to wonder what his motives are for doing that. To end with, Asuna finally stops crying for Kirito to come and save her and takes advantage of the enormous security risk to escape her cell. Maybe she’ll finally be back on form!
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A spectacular duel, and probably a lot of bans in the near future! #SAO
- Kirito sure is proud of how well he can lie!
- A-a-are those players?
- Please ladies, he’s a married man! Try to contain yourselves!
- For all his moral speeches, Kirito probably just got a lot of people banned. In any real MMO, that suspiciously large amount of money would be traced back, found to have been hacked into the game, and result in the bans of everyone who had any connection to it. It would be justified too. Kirito just broke the entire faction balance with money that should not exist. So much for ‘not doing things that are morally wrong in an MMO’!