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Sword Art Online II – 13

「ファントム・バレット」 (Fantomu Baretto)
“Phantom Bullet”

Am I the only one who felt a little awkward by the end of this week’s episode?

Death Gun vs Kirito

After weeks of waiting, I must say that the epic conclusion to GGO’s third annual BoB tournament felt a little lackluster (I said GGO, not the arc! We’ll get into that in a second.). Even though Kirito and Death Gun were putting on a pretty stellar performance, the fight felt awkwardly light. Light in the sense that even as I watched their swords clash and their mouths talk, I just didn’t get any satisfaction out of it. Maybe it’s because it took so darn long to get to this point or maybe it’s because I know Kirito can’t/won’t die, but man was I irked about how unsatisfying this final fight was. However, what occurred afterwards in the real world was the complete opposite.

Creepy Mofo

No lie, I didn’t think the opening sequence was being serious when it showed Shinkawa extending his hand out to Sinon only to transition to a creepy shot of Death Gun. But lo and behold, this guy ends up being a complete and utter creep — and I mean that in the worst way possible. Watching him trick Sinon into a false sense of security only to tackle her down and threaten her with death by cardiac arrest just didn’t sit right in my book. But then to sit there and watch as he attempts to touch her in all the wrong ways got my blood boiling.

Which is why it felt so satisfying to see Kirito bust through the door right in the nick of time to knee the bastard square in the nose. I don’t know what it was, but watching the blood squirt out in slow motion as he fell toward the ground completely made up for the first half of the episode. And while it wasn’t nearly as awesome as watching a creeper take a knee to the face, it was nice to see Sinon find her inner strength to stand up and face her fears (but I mean, if she wasn’t able to I wouldn’t hold it against her. I don’t know what I’d do in that situation ):).

Looking Forward to An Awesome Conclusion

After everything that’s happened, I think we’re in a great spot for next week’s episode to give this arc the proper ending it deserves. With most of the loose ends tied up, all that’s left is for Death Gun to tell us what’s wrong with him and hopefully watch Kirito smack him up some more. See you next week!

September 28, 2014 at 11:50 pm
85 comments »
  • September 29, 2014 at 12:09 amLonghaul

    Shinkawa threw up red flags from the first scene he was in. But the “ASADA-SAN” breakdown was far more than expected.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:21 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Another thing that felt off about the episode is how Kirito just shows up at Shino’s apartment like he did out of nowhere. Not even a quick show of him waking up to see Asuna and hearing Yui and explaining things? Did he just spring awake and immediately run off to Shino’s apartment with barely a “hi” to Asuna and Yui?

    And I guess it felt weird that they showed Asuna possibly knowing Death Gun’s SAO identity based on the choice and skill with his weapon and being able to do SOMETHING to help Kirito, only to have Kirito magically figure it out himself by somehow remembering something as tiny as those images in that briefing meeting…

    I do agree that the whole “insane, creepy Shinkawa” was drawn out way too long. Not to mention Shinkawa’s reasoning for helping and being all creepy and such felt really flimsy. If we’re supposed to feel any sympathy for him because of what happened to Laughing Coffin in SAO just because his brother was part of it…I’m not feeling it at all.

    • September 29, 2014 at 12:50 amLyranel

      He didn’t just appear at Shino’s place *magically*,

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2014 at 6:00 amExukvera

        There is no magic explanation. She did tell him her adress after defeating Death Gun and he pointed out that it is close to the hospital where he was. He just passed there to check on her. The question is, how he managed to ditch Asuna?

      • September 29, 2014 at 8:32 pmMincemaker

        He probably said to Asuna, “I must go. Damsel-in-possible-distress.”

        And Asuna, being the wife that she is, just nodded in understanding.

      • September 29, 2014 at 9:54 pmstarss

        Asuna was watching the whole fight. She probably got clued in to what Kirito had to do once we woke up.

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:00 amIkky

      Yes, it should be explained in the next episode :) oh the suspense right haha

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:48 amChloesong

      @HalfDemInu
      I mentioned some of in it a comment below too, but in the LN Shinkawa’s reasonings were
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2014 at 9:31 amFlameStrike

        lol I’m calling bullshit on the “ruined his character stats” part. There was a meta shift or something and agi builds fell out of favor, but really he just fcking failed hard. Dark Wind has the same agi build as Spiegel, and he’s one of the best GGO players. Shinkawa just wrote off Dark Wind’s success as “having a rare item” and didn’t bother to try and make his character work. What a shithead, if you’re going to be an MMO insanity guy at least l2p *sigh*.

      • September 29, 2014 at 10:40 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        Unfortunately, I’m mostly an anime-only viewer, so while things may be (more deeply) explained in the source material, if it isn’t translated (well) into the anime (which Shinkawa’s reasons really weren’t), I and other anime-only viewers, will not know that.

      • October 1, 2014 at 11:06 pmFlayvor Of Evil

        The point is, Shinkawa isn’t mentally stable and has serious psychological problems. His thought process is full of contradictions, but it doesn’t matter because his reality is different from actual reality. Also, Shinkawa’s a payfag and he lacks the actual skills to play well so he blames other people from it. Not all people who spend tons of time in a game are great at it.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:28 ambrajt

      There’s nothing wrong with the way they did it. Simply storytelling purposes. Why would they ruin all the scene’s atmosphere of terror by showing Kirito casually going there?

      • September 30, 2014 at 8:37 pmZnail

        And Kirito running over would spoil it even more so.
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 30, 2014 at 6:30 pmAbatement

      Again, why did he show up instead of calling a swat team. Seriously, he has help with law enforcement and they have these things called cars. Literally, there is no way he could have arrived on scene before the police.

      • September 30, 2014 at 10:30 pmAnonymous

        Kikuouka’s not law enforcement. And if he tried to explain it to the police, his response will be “Huh, what have you been smoking?”

      • September 30, 2014 at 10:48 pmSK

        Kirito does have a thing called a motorcycle, and specifically mentioned that his hospital was close to Asada’s house.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:24 amReianz

    Shinkawa is like the second coming of Sugou. Just psychologically terrifying, and plain annoying.

    I can’t believe this arc is taking up 14 episodes. Are we even going to have enough time to develop and end the following arc smoothly?

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:08 amNitro

      the next arc, Mother’s Rosario, should have enough time. GGO spanned two volumes while Mother’s Rosario took only one volume. I think they might even have time to throw in a bonus chapter or two.

      • September 29, 2014 at 10:30 amLyfe

        I would prefer they covered the Caliber stuff after Mothers Rosario, this story seems to be overlooked by a lot of people. It comes before the Alicization arc too.

      • September 29, 2014 at 4:41 pmEstron

        As he said GGO was 2 novels and Mother’s Rosario is only 1 novel. If we assume they are doing each novel as 7 episodes that puts us at a total of 21 episodes to cover both GGO and Mother’s Rosario which leaves 3 episodes or so left for Caliber, which is only 1/3 of a novel. The timing allows for both. When you look at the timeline in the SAO universe though Caliber comes just over a week after the GGO arc where as Mother’s Rosario comes another few weeks after that.

        http://swordartonline.wikia.com/wiki/Sword_Art_Online_Timeline

      • September 29, 2014 at 7:37 pmBubba

        Mother’s Rosario would be perfect for a feature length. There’s plenty of material for the writers to make a screenplay.
        #VivaSAO

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:31 amoliviaven

    Kawahara really likes damsel in distress moments,doesn’t he?

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:32 amBlank

    Sinon & Kirito have Innovator Eyes. They went Trans-Am and win!

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:17 amblkoopers

      TURAAAANNNSSS AMUUU

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:56 amAnima

    Dat Sinon Hug though, she’s officially part of the kirito harem

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:22 amMegattrronnn

    Poor Shinon can’t seem to catch a break with all these creeps coming about in her life.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:27 amNitro

    for all his ridiculousness and lack of subtletly, i actually like Shinkawa as a villian, for the sole reason that he actually makes some amount of sense character-wise. unlike the last two, whose motivations were literally “i had a really cool dream once” and “i want to marry your comatose girlfriend lol”, Shinkawa’s motivations were brought on directly through implications of the technology and setting.

    his motivations actually feel real; a person who can’t tell the difference between virtual reality and the actual world any more, driven to murder because of actions in that virtual world (in-game currency being directly related to real-world currency definitely being a huge factor).

    it really helps that, this time, there’s actually an overarching theme to the whole story that Sinon, Kirito and Shinkawa’s characters here revolve around. about the difference between their online persona and their real selves, what it means to get stronger as either persona, and most importantly what it means to kill as either persona. there’s a lot to take in in the GGO arc, and definitely way more than either the SAO or ALO arcs.

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:55 amCrimson7

      I agree with you here. Although the Aincrad arc was more entertaining to watch, I find that I’m more invested with the characters in the GGO arc.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:53 amHellstorm901

    Is it wrong of me to still ship Shinkawa and Asada?

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:36 amRed HeartGold ZX

      Is it wrong of me to consider this episode, both first half and second half, as my most favorite of SAOII?

    • October 2, 2014 at 11:37 pmAirwin

      Not wrong mate. I thought they made Shinkawa a villain, just for Kirito to have the full harem.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:04 amDualash

    That final fight did feel a little unfulfilling, in which I thought they would have extended the fight. Though I loved that scene when she gave Kirito a live grenade, what a way to go. XD

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:42 amRed HeartGold ZX

    This arc pretty much ended up like the ALO arc. I wonder why I didn’t even expect this one bit. (Both arc’s second-to-the-last episode animated attempted rape)

    Still, love how A-1 Pictures made this episode. Perfect way to end an episode: a damn (and very good) cliffhanger.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:02 amKerensa

      I actually thought the same thing.

      “Wow, rape seems to be a common theme in this series, eh?”

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:07 amRick Anime

      Yeah I hope the next arc doesn’t end with an attempted rape scene too. The writer has pulled that angle twice in a row now. Never read the source material but hoping the next arc will do things differently at the end

      This episode was pretty good though. Kirito beat up the guy not once but twice. Hm, guess we should expect this by now. He’s done that last season too during the ALO arc

      • September 29, 2014 at 2:07 pmmadao

        well…
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:53 amHakumen

    Hanae Natsuki for male seiyuu of the year!

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:55 amken

    miyuki sawashiro’s (Sinon) voice acting when she hugged Kirito after giving him the grenade was soooooooo cute!!! i replayed that so many times. haha :3

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:23 amNasost

      Me too! Several times! It was the cutest!!

  • September 29, 2014 at 3:16 amSeya-san

    The rule for boy’s anime №25: if it has cute/handsome guy and main guy, first will be creepy after all.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:20 amewok40k

    The only friendly guy that was suporting Sinon all the way turns out to be creepy psycho.
    Way to destroy image of our brothers in the friendzone.

    Well, at last Sinon is back to being awesome, from the ingenious use of damaged Hecate
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    to fighting back against real world killer.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    But the grenade part was most awesome, eat this Kirito!

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:07 amQwertyBob

    wait! If Shinkawa wanted Sinon for himself (to the point of threatening her), why would the Death Gun “trio” attempt to kill her? Didn’t Death Gun go through the motions and ritual that is normally performed when killing his prey? I don’t’ buy the “it was just for showmanship” reason.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:05 amKerensa

      You know, the way Shinkawa was making things sound it almost sounded as though he thought killing her would make her wake up in a different world/reality. It almost sounded as though he would follow her (e.g. kill himself).

      During that very tense scene he was telling Asada that they could create their own Fantasy world, or whatever world she wanted because he didn’t care as long as he was with her in that world. I think for Shinkawa the real world and the game world were blending together. I believe he knew that death was, indeed, death, but I think he just treated it like it’s treated in the game. You just… respawn?

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:35 amChloesong

      First off, he’s completely nuts. But I think his reasoning was that he would be saving Sinon from the harsh/boring reality they lived in. He wanted to commit a lover’s double suicide where they go off into the “deep abyss together” and hopefully are reborn as husband and wife in a better world.

      Ironically, I’m finding a lot of parallels to the ending of the Aincard arc. Because actually when Kirito and Asuna were sitting at the edge of the world, they were doing pretty much the same thing where they would die together. That was the kind of ending Shinkawa was hoping for.

      The difference being that Kirito and Asuna wanted to return to reality, but Shinkawa and to an extent Sinon were trying to escape reality through games. Sinon realizes then that although in a lot of ways she’s just like Shinkawa, despite having been bullied, her gun trama, other RL problems, she still likes living. I guess that also makes her similar to pre-SAO Kirito, because he was using games to escape his problems of not opening up to people, finding out his sister was his cousin, etc.

      In short Shinkawa probably thought that Sinon liked him back and that in a delusional hopeful way that dying would let them be reborn in a better world, although it’s possible he didn’t care if they weren’t reborn as long as he could escape reality. :/

    • September 29, 2014 at 7:38 amKrono

      Because he wasn’t going for rape, he was going for murder/suicide.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:14 amInclemens

    The grenade part was really cute

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:17 amChloesong

    It was really satisfying to see Sinon fight back and the sequence when Kirito burst in the door. I’m sure they saved the explaination for how Kirito got there in order to keep the tension/keep it in Sinon’s pov. It was like that in the LN too.

    I actually enjoyed the quality of the end duel between Death Gun and Kirito. Show Spoiler ▼

    I knew Shinkawa was going to be creepy, but wow that was terrifying. Also that sequence, when Sinon woke up and was checking her dark room/turning on the lights. I remember it being more suspenceful in the novel, where she’s waking up, knowing that there might be a murderer with her in the room, slowly shifting her eyes.
    A couple of details that the anime didn’t include:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I really didn’t like the villian from the ALFheim arc because he was just too ridiculous, rapey, etc. Although in some sense Shinkawa is just as bad, I think the terrifying aspect about Shinkawa is that it’s a realistic situation where Sinon let her guy friend into her room not knowing his intentions. She really trusted him and was going to call him over anyway, ironically in case that the Death Gun murderer was still nearby.

    Some of the episodes of SAO II have been not as exciting/satisfying for me, to the point where I almost didn’t watch this episode because of my low expectations, but I’m now looking forward to the conclusion. I liked the duel between Death Gun and Kirito, Sinon and Kirito’s tie, Sinon fighting back, and Kirito bursting into the door.

    • September 29, 2014 at 8:19 amIzzard

      Doesn’t look like Asuna’s blade. She uses a rapier. It was the one Liz made for him. IIRC.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:35 amNasost

        Yes it was a ghost of his second blade from Aincrad. The warmth on his hand (and in the LN he could feel Yui’s hand, too) reminded him that he had a second weapon. After he drew it out he was able to go through the proper motions to execute a special dual-wielding sword skill that he used to finish off Death Gun.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:45 amChloesong

        Ah you’re right!! ^\\^

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:48 pmThe Pointman

        If you replay it again, you will see it’s more than Liz’s sword. The handgun turns into Liz’s sword while his lightsaber becomes his old Elucidator blade. And his avatar reverts to his old SAO Kirito avatar. I guess the wanted to hammer home that the old Kirito is back in full to finish the job.

        :)

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:26 amAnonymousperson

    So MR and Caliber next, then? Should be good.

    • September 29, 2014 at 10:40 amLyfe

      It should, Caliber isn’t a long story either. 2 episodes and done if they don’t slow it down.

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:31 amzztop

    Just remember that Kawahara Reki’s been closely involved with the show’s production. Back when Season 1 aired, he regularly attended script meetings and even coached the voice actors on the LN terminology.
    I assume he’s exercising author involvement again for Season 2.

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:40 amstarss

    Wow. That ending completely ruined the entire arc! Are rapists really the only way this guy is able to end these arcs!?!?

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:42 amstarss

    Sword Rapists Online II.

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:53 pmThe Pointman

      I really liked all the arcs so far. Even the Alfheim arc, though not as much as the Aincrad and GGO arcs.

      But I wish that the two strongest females ended up helpless, being raped, and needing Kirito to save them.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:55 pmThe Pointman

        Sorry, ipad spelling correct killed a word. I wish that the females DID NOT end up on the verge of rape needing rescue.

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:23 amDwarg

    And so i was right, opening did spoil the stupid yellow jacket being Death Gun, also he wore that yellow jacked for the entire time since he showed up.

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:36 amchimpgoat

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:59 amSlapthehole

    From the beginning of the episode, on the first person view, this view of death gun stabbing you with a sword, is your typical gaming experience in every FPS game, and (realistic => fake + gay)

  • September 29, 2014 at 8:23 amIzzard

    11:35 – I LOL’ed at the strands of hair sticking out.

  • September 29, 2014 at 9:47 amdxana

    Can I second or third on the whole grenade scene to be to cute.

  • September 29, 2014 at 9:51 amYanDaMan

    Not surprised Shinkawa was involved. He already came off as a creeper before. And now it turns out his brother was a Laughing Coffin member, so it makes sense for him to be an accomplice.

    That knee to his face was extremely satisfying, I agree. My favorite moment of the episode next to the grenade hug.

    Sinon’s totally in the harem now after being rescued in real life :3

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:04 amYukie

    I actually felt some sort of satisfaction when Sinon blew herself and Kirito up..it felt like the perfect ending to the arc :P

    What’s with SAO and unsavory, disgusting, and creepy villains. Akihiko Kayaba is a hero compared to Shinkawa and Sugo.

    • September 29, 2014 at 10:37 amLyfe

      I’m not sure if you could associate hero with Kayaba, his actions caused the death of 3853 SAO players.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:04 amYukie

        I was being sarcastic…it was an exaggeration to show how much I dislike Shinkawa and Sugo. I really don’t like any of the villains in SAO, but Shinkawa and Sugo were just too over-the-top and cringe-worthy.

    • September 29, 2014 at 3:43 pmMgMaster

      I thought “Oh boy, here goes SAO with it’s over-the-top, creepy villains again.” at first but to be honest, I find it okay as long as is just a minion and not a main villain.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:37 pmboingman

    I still can’t get over Asuna’s and especially Yui’s wife/daughter antics. It’s really hard to stomach to me. Thankfully there wasn’t much of it in this first half of season 2.

  • September 29, 2014 at 3:37 pmGhostalker

    Things that I found out ob this episode.

    1. Final boss in SAO world has rapist tendencies. (I don’t include Aincard arc boss because he doesn’t look final boss enough).

    2. Sinon > Asuna. (I like Asuna also but if I have something I wish never happened was the finality of the Asuna x Kirito pairing, effectively killing any hope I have with Sinon x kirito).

  • September 29, 2014 at 9:21 pmporn

    and then… the doujin where Shino is bullied into doing Enjo Kousai is official then. :P

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:17 pmCybersteel

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:59 pmechykr

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0nxhWQ6FaUY/VCbqNXRVAjI/AAAAAAAArKs/KiN5B98eNlY/s1600/Sword%2BArt%2BOnline%2BII%2B-%2B13%5B01-26-38%5D.JPG

    LOL

    If Kirito’s harem in ALO were watching him and Sinon suicide-hugging, then surely Asuna and Nurse Aki were watching it as well.

    While Kirito is busy saving Sinon/Shino (and thus worming his way out of an inquisitive Asuna), he’ll still have to face her wrath sooner or later. :)

    • September 30, 2014 at 6:10 amchimpgoat

      If you zoom in, you could actually see their strands of hair going up.

      • September 30, 2014 at 7:54 amsorrus

        Is that supposed to mean something?

      • October 1, 2014 at 11:11 pmFlayvor Of Evil

        It means they all thought “Damn, Kirito’s gathering more competition.”

  • September 30, 2014 at 9:48 amSolaris

    We’re not happy unless the seasonal villain is a fucking creep … and yay! 4 the usual carbon copy char development. Not that it was any surprise at this point. LOL

    How could you people stomach this is the real mystery here.

  • September 30, 2014 at 10:08 pminanis

    Sinon seems a little TOO HAPPY blowing up Kirito…

    • October 4, 2014 at 9:48 amSolaris

      Everybody would be happy to blow Kirito up. Everybody, in their own way.

  • October 1, 2014 at 11:41 amfatalogic

    what’s the point in screaming your victim’s name while you are not actually doing anything “worthwhile” to your victim? hahaha! this is ridiculous. Same like that Asuna NTR Alfheim arc scene. I smell censors here….

  • October 1, 2014 at 6:24 pmDivinelite

    Same, don’t like about the later part. The worst part of Sao alo is sugo trying to rape sauna and now it brings the dejavu back.

    Even though when shinkawa shows up I already able to predict it…

  • October 1, 2014 at 8:14 pmCorey Lucas

    LN: If I plot is too complicated, go to rape. That is the logic of the Japanese anyway.

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:58 pmAnanas

    Count on SAO to turn some rape attempt into comedy gold.

  • October 4, 2014 at 1:13 amSasha

    Sighs, as someone who has read the LNs and was glad SAO got a second reason, all I can say is that for some scenes, you just don’t want it to get animated. Props to the animators, they made this scene way worse than I could ever imagine. Now if only they can go beyond my imagination with the good parts and not the attempted rape scene.

  • October 4, 2014 at 4:29 pmLaughingMan