Sword Art Online – 22
「グランド・クエスト」 (Gurando Kuesuto)
And here it is, the moment we’ve all known was coming ever since Leefa and Kirito’s very first meeting. I’m not really a big fan of love drama in anime, at least not this kind. It always tends to go exactly the same way – someone gets their heart broken, there’s lots of screaming and shouting and then everybody goes their own way with a noticeably uncomfortable air. Knowing that it’s coming for several episodes makes it worse because it doesn’t even come as a surprise, and when it’s placed right in the middle of the climatic part of the story, that climax suffers too.
If suffering made one a magical girl, Sugu would be amongst the finest. First she’s forced to watch the ‘brother’ she fell in love with remain stuck in a coma for two years. When he finally emerges, she discovers that he met another girl and fell in love with her instead. When Sugu finally finds a new love, overcoming the heartbreak of realising her cousin would never love her back, she finds out that this person is once again her cousin. Not only is her heart broken twice in a very short space of time, but it’s broken twice by the exact same person. As romantic lives go, hers is pretty fucked up that’s for sure. Especially when you take into account that she’ll probably fall back in love with Kirito anyway since no female character is allowed to evade his charms.
Kirito has two rather large character flaws (amongst others). The first is that he’s incredibly dense. While it’s a general trait found in all harem protagonists, it’s still a flaw and he really is dense not to have realised why Sugu was upset at discovering his identity. Even putting aside the idea that his own cousin would be in love with him, he should’ve noted the possibility that she’d be in shock having discovered that she’d fallen in love with someone who turned out to be her ‘brother’. But apparently this part of the equation is unimportant (perhaps Kawahara Reki himself didn’t realise that possibility was there) and Kirito skips all the way to wondering why on earth she’s sad because there’s no way she’d be in love with a member of her own family or anything.
The second flaw is his immeasurable arrogance. Sure he really wants to save Asuna, but does he have to attempt everything alone? He’s already been told countless times that in the period since the game began numerous groups have attempted the quest in large numbers and all have failed. Yet somehow he truly believes that he could conquer it with no assistance. Even if it is just a game this time, he should have learnt not to be so stupidly reckless from his time in SAO. At least he did learn his lesson this time for once, pierced by a mass of blades… oh wait, he was going to go back in alone immediately after being resurrected. I guess his extensive flashback and words about how he’d taken ALO too lightly were- wait, why were they there at all if he was just going to ignore them entirely?
On the plus side, Kirito did actually manage to fail in this episode. It seems inconceivable, but he was unable to shatter the invisible walls with sheer willpower alone and he actually succeeded in dying this time (though it took an awful lot of blades to accomplish). The battle did have its moments too, particularly when Kirito was outmatched and overpowered, thousands of arrows raining down upon him. My only disappointment here is that he didn’t make it to the door to the next room, only for a popup to appear saying ‘You must defeat all foes to proceed.’ Now that would’ve been brilliant!
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – After several episodes of tiptoeing around the subject, Sugu finally learns the truth. #SAO
- It seems an odd design choice to make it so that admin controls can only be accessed from specific locations within the game. What if something important came up while a GM was off adventuring and he would then have to run all the way to the nearest console before actually being able to do anything about it? Rather than the plot being built around the game, ALO often feels like the game was built to bend around the plot.
- Now here’s a Kirito I might’ve been able to get behind!
- Pain in ALO appears to be really inconsistent. Characters feel pain from taking arrows, having their foot stepped on and being slapped. Kirito doesn’t seem to care about the sword that’s almost severing his arm.
- ‘Eh? What’s this?‘
- Rather than finding Kirito’s poses ‘cool’ as they’re no doubt intended, they tend to come across as comical to me.