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Sword Art Online II – 19

OP3 Sequence

OP2.5: 「courage」 by 戸松遥 (Tomatsu Haruka)

「絶剣」 (Zekken)
“Absolute Sword”

I think this was my favorite episode of Sword Art Online yet — yes even more than the one when Kirito decided it was okay to finally use TWO SWORDS AT THE SAME TIME. Also good on the A-1 for giving us a new opening sequence to match the new arc.

Real Life Problems

Something that I think always gets done horribly wrong in any show focused on games is the depiction of a gamer’s real life. Typically, its woefully exaggerated on either end of the spectrum with the parents/guardians just being another villain in the way of the protagonist’s struggle to be the best gamer ever. But in this show’s case, I don’t think I’ve ever been so split between wanting to root for the gamer while mostly agreeing with the parent. Don’t get me wrong, Asuna’s mom fits the definition of a cold bitch all the way down to the stupid hand gestures she made and if I was basing my opinion on just that, I’d want to see her get smacked right in the temple. But honestly I kind of don’t want to see that because if you just listen to what she’s saying, even just for face value, it sounds like a mom wanting success for her daughter. Apparently coming up from nothing, it’s hard to see what’s wrong with wanting your only daughter to find success in life through a combination of hard work and being around the right people.

On the other hand, you have to give mad props for Asuna for not lashing out and losing face in-front of her mom. As much as her mom made sense in terms of #value, the way she went about it as well as her tone of voice would of had me smacking her straight in the temple the moment she mentioned she looked up Kirito behind Asuna’s back. Luckily we get to have our cake and eat it since Asuna managed to slip in some venomous words right as she walked away — and she didn’t even look back to see the damage!

Side note here, but am I the only who only just realized Asuna came from a family rolling in money? I remember they talked about her father owning a hospital when they introduced that creepy guy from ALO but I never got the sense that she was super rich until recently.

New Girl!!

LOL. The face that Asuna made when she realized her opponent wasn’t some stocking brute but a cute and tiny girl was priceless. While this begs the question why people don’t take cute and tiny girls for the terror that they are, it feels like Yuuki could give Asuna a run for her money. Now, while I take this opportunity to warn you not to look up how to spell Konno Yuuki’s name because of the dangerous spoilers you could possibly see (I only read one sentence and almost got completely wrekd by accident), you can bet that I’ll take as much Yuuki Aoi as I can get. Because come on, who doesn’t like that unique voice of hers that only gets more moe when she’s yelling!? Oh, and I suppose she looks like she’ll be a fun character too~

Looking Ahead

This is solely based off of my interpretation about what Kirito said but when I hear that someone is the product of a certain technology, it sounds like that they’re probably immersed in it so deeply that it becomes a part of them. In terms of a VMMORPG, I would say it’s akin to someone who literally plays 24/7. While this doesn’t answer whether or not this is by choice or because of some outside force, my guess is heavily influenced by the fact that the ending sequence doesn’t show any scenes of Asuna or Yuuki together outside of the game even though it looks like they’re (eventually) going to become buddies. Anyways, it looks like we’ll have to wait and see what this is all about next week. Judging off of the episode preview though, it looks like Sleeping Knights is a guild name — so maybe they need Asuna to fill the last spot? XD

November 17, 2014 at 1:10 am
96 comments »
  • November 17, 2014 at 1:19 amSpacyRicochet

    Great episode :D Seeing Asuna being awesome was exciting. Glad she’s back to her kicking ass-days!

    Side note here, but am I the only who only just realized Asuna came from a family rolling in money? I remember they talked about her father owning a hospital when they introduced that creepy guy from ALO but I never got the sense that she was super rich until recently.

    I don’t know if it’s for real, but a real common trope in japanese fiction seems to be: “Father owns hospital. Family is filthy rich.” I think the author either explained it more in the novel or just didn’t assume people wouldn’t pick up on that.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:23 amZnail

      A hospital obviously cost a lot of money, so owning one requires you to be rich.

      • November 17, 2014 at 4:17 amporn

        hospital ownership is one of the fastest yet the most despicable money making business scheme beside life insurance company. another is being lawyer, but making hospital is more much better business choice.

        they take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable and weakest moment and gouge the hell of them. in my country there is an axiom; “if you are poor, you don’t deserve to be sick”

        if you have a hospital but you are not rich, the you sir are a moron.

        in retrospect about asuna mother, i think she is correct to be concerned about her daughter’s future. i mean, what the hell is asuna doing now …. playing make believe housewife with a NEET who waste his time playing games, while this daughter has been unable to get proper education due to 2 years stuck to this game, and she had not learn lesson of this danger but seems to be addicted to it, sure she act like cold but i think if she really does not care about her daughter she would act more apathetic about her. her action of talking to her although seems distant is to spoke of her concern that this is a serious matter about what will her daughter do about her future. being held back two year in education is no laughing matter, she had many to catch up with the lost time.

        sure the mother is not without fault, asuna can argue that her parent forced engagement with pedo rapist like king Oberon (but he is voiced by takehito koyasu…!) surely traumatize her, and thanks god she does not become a lesbo….. Kirito blacksword may play a role to her… but the problem is after she recovered, seeing asuna still undecided about her future… of course she would intervene to give her proper guidance.

        that is what being a parent are.

      • November 17, 2014 at 5:51 pmKrono

        @porn

        “playing make believe housewife with a NEET who waste his time playing games”

        Kirito isn’t a NEET. That’s someone that isn’t employed, in school, or another type of training. Kirito is in school, and takes part time jobs. He also has a career field he’s interested in entering.

        “but the problem is after she recovered, seeing asuna still undecided about her future”

        That’s fairly normal for a teenager to be uncertain about what they wish to do in life. They either start finding jobs after graduating highschool, go to college and figure it out there, or graduate college and start finding jobs. It’s not ideal like going to college with a chosen major and desired career, but it’s not unusual. Furthermore given the extent that Asuna’s mother wishes to dictate Asuna’s life (go to the school I tell you to go to, associate with people I approve of, marry someone I pick out) it’s unlikely Asuna’s been encouraged to think of careers for herself in the past, beyond a limited number that her parents would approve of. Career that chances are, are no longer particular appealing to Asuna now that she’s gotten a broader perspective on life, and some brutal reminders of human mortality.

    • November 17, 2014 at 12:16 pmDarthtabby

      A little correction: Asuna’s family did not own the hospital she was kept at during season one. They were just rich enough to afford a really nice private room there. Her dad was the CEO of a tech company (with that creep that was the antagonist in the second arc as one of his most trusted employees).

      • November 17, 2014 at 10:46 pmKamui04

        To be more specific Asuna’s Dad was the CEO of the company that took over the nervegear and created the amusphere. He stepped down after the ALO disaster.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:37 pmJuan

      Asuna’s family owned RCT which produced ALO intitially. So it’s not surprising that she is rich. Actually it was mentioned fairly early in the LN, I’m just not sure if they mentioned it in the Anime though looking at the previous episode it should have been clear

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:24 amCybersteel

    That look Asuna gave Kirito when she found out Zekken is a girl was priceless.

    • November 17, 2014 at 7:06 amL002

      http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2018.jpg
      Indeed, pfffft. talk about rich. It’s almost as if Asuna was reconsidering about her wedding plans.

      http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
      I am wondering if this first male avatar was just a figment of Asuna’s imagination or this was Zekken’s first avatar. If anyone has seen Log horizon, where one can switch genders, then you know what I mean.

      Overall, even if she did deny it, I found it crude that Kyouko, Asuna’s mom, was the one that originally made Sugou into being Asuna’s fiancee; to be frank, I find it likely she was the one that made the arrangement but she is just denying she made such a fatal mistake.

      On the side note, does Asuna’s mom actually know the heroic achievements that Kirito has done? I mean, Kirito saved Asuna and all other survivors from SAO, and not to mention Kirito saved Asuna from that disgusting Sugou, but one can wonder if Kyouko had actually done proper research on that area or she did but just simply refuses to acknowledge that. Either that or, because of how Kirito had got Sugou arrested, Rect suffered greatly so Kyouko hates Kirito for that.

      • November 17, 2014 at 12:10 pmDrasca

        I assume not, because information blackout to protect the survivors. Otherwise, she’d be commenting on how Kazuto’s a murderer.

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:48 amFabio

    Nice to hear Megumi Hayashibara again. :)
    I love her.

    • November 17, 2014 at 2:18 pmsonicsenryaku

      If you watch the japanese version of pokemon you get to hear her all the time and yes she is great

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:55 amDrasca

    Marrying her off to a CEO / Business head last season wasn’t a big enough hint Asuna’s family was super-rich?

    The only real inconsistency is the parents letting their precious child take a risky technology (or video games at all) rather than raise them with other activities–I don’t know horse-riding, badmitten, other things rich people do?

    I totally agree with the mother though. I’m getting old, but the kid does have a poor arguement and hasn’t thought things through enough to where she can successfully defend herself. She needs to, and she’s at the cusp of growing up.

    Mom’s not so rich that she’s forgotten what it is like to be poor, so a carefree life is out of the question. In a traditional household, more is dictated by the family on how the family members on should operate, even occupation and recommendations on marriage. It is done not out of malice or spite, but genuine interest in the well being of both the individual and as a member of the family. Sons and daughters would become doctors and engineers, or even going into politics later on, if they were successful enough. Otherwise, scrape by with what they think can be done.

    Both Asuna and her mother have failed to do enough research on Kazuya, but Asuna’s boyfriend needs to prove himself in the real world too. The mother’s pick for Asuna is a potentially right guy, but introduced at the wrong phase of Asuna’s development as she’s ‘not ready’ — for anything. If she were older and single, it would be a good catch, or at least treated as a well meaning idea she’d let her mother get away with because it’d be harmless to meet & network with a successful young man. Now though? Terrible, just terrible, because Asuna’s not emotionally equipped to handle these things.

    I like the mother, in contrast to how I’m supposed to feel. Maybe I just like older villains/antagonists more in youth focused shows… She’s blunt, gets to the point, and is no-nonsense– and obviously let Asuna have her life free for a long time through these games.

    If anything I think the mother let Asuna have too much freedom, and it is too big of a change from a life of carefree independence to selfless responsibility. If it were more gradual, Asuna would be better off. Like if she were always aware of her responsibility toward parents and company, and need to get her act together.

    The problem is really too much change too fast, without the developed skills to handle it. I don’t think her mother is a villain, because she’s being an actual mother. Flawed and with mistakes, but she’s human and making the effort for maintain her child’s well-being.

    Asuna’s biggest challenge is growing up and learning to deal with facing change, and in part leaving childhood behind. Her Mother is a stark reminder of that need, and she doesn’t want to face it.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:02 amCytrus

      The mother’s hilarious lack of communication ability really undermines what should have been some solid arguments. If you come out with an “I’m older and more experienced than you, so I’ve decided this and that about your life already, now please shut up and obey” approach and fail to predict the other person will be opposed to your ideas, you fail as an adult.

      • November 17, 2014 at 10:10 amDrasca

        Well no, that’s partly how traditional families & societies are run, and everyone from relatives to school mates, and general populace support that. If they don’t listen and respect their parents, how can they be expected to do the same anywhere else? Her mother’s methodology is entirely valid within her society & social context, but her skill at doing so does need work.

        I am not saying this thinking is always true, but that is the context they’re in.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:25 amZnail

      Not only were they marrying her off to a CEO, but the CEO considered her quite a catch and important for his future.

      • November 17, 2014 at 3:53 amWanderer

        Actually, Asuna’s father was the CEO/owner. He was marrying her off to one of his division managers.

      • November 17, 2014 at 8:11 amActus

        Actually, as her mum heavily implied that the bloke was the heir of the “countryside” bank (probably something like building societies). So he’s not a divisional manager under Asuna’s dad.

      • November 17, 2014 at 3:26 pmWanderer

        I’m talking about the rapist from Fairy Dance. I don’t care about the nobody her mother is going on about right now. Note the “her father” and “was” in my comment.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:51 amWanderer

      One thing Asuna’s mother refuses to consider is that the SAO incident fundamentally changed Asuna as a person, forever. Connections she forged with people who also went through that experience are deeper than any she could form elsewhere, and I would even go so far as to say that they are what’s kept her sane ever since. That experience was a horrific trauma. The school Asuna is in now is specifically designed to recognize and understand what people went through and help them be able to deal with it. Take her away from that, away from the people who have supported her. Take her away from that, away from the people who have supported her, and I think we may find she isn’t yet as well recovered as it may seem.

      • November 17, 2014 at 10:29 amDrasca

        Refuses and possibly cannot consider, since there was an information blackout– and Asuna isn’t so good at opening up. Neither side is really able to deal with it, so they just act as they do– hence they’re flawed, but not wrong.

        A point mom’s favor:: she did let Asuna have over a year of playtime at that ‘school’. I know she’s officially ret-conned / shoe-horned in, so isn’t a great fit outside of being an antagonist, but she represents collective cultural feelings on the need of traditional push.

        All the tragedy and agony: You need to get over it some day, and more importantly she needs to operate and face real life. The mom sees her daughter escaping into virtual reality, and producing very in the way of little results. Honestly from all appearances Asuna isn’t traumatized. She’s definitely not ‘shell shocked’, reacting sudden movement light and sound, or any other PTSD. Given that, she doesn’t ‘need’ to spend all day in a fake school and all night on the amusphere.

        The mom has valid points. She does need communication work, but I really think Asuna should try to work with her instead of against her. She is family and concerned for her after all.

        Asuna needs a better arguement, needs to learn more about Kirito’s plan, and make a serious life-plan for herself. Dicking around in SAO ‘school’ is not a plan.

      • November 21, 2014 at 11:02 amAtalla

        @ Drasca

        Obviously your definition and understanding of PTSD is very limited, as you comment is soaked in ignorance. What you mention covers less than 1% of the triggers that are associated with PTSD. You also have obviously never experienced anything of the sort, as events that cause PTSD are not things you simply “get over”. Please keep this in mind when running your mouth in the future. :)

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:51 amMistic

      Asuna’s mother made sense. However, it wasn’t enough. The main problems about her arguments, lampshaded by Asuna herself (kudos to you, girl!), are:

      a) Asuna comes from a trumatic experience akin to being a child soldier in a battlezone. She had to fight and lead squads to battle, and put her life at risk. Her school allows her to recover in the company of friends that experienced the same ordeal. Sorry if people outside SAO didn’t realize, but no responsibility about future or career can compare to that.

      b) Not long ago, her father arranged her marriage to another promising young man who ended up being a rapist that had her imprisoned for months. Sorry, the “your father was a horrible judge of character (yes, he was) but I’m not (says who?)” argument is a joke. A experience like that would make anyone avoid matchmaking for life.

      Long story short: her arguments would make sense in another universe in which her daughter never went through SAO and ALO. But that’s not the case.

    • November 17, 2014 at 5:22 pmDafuq

      Will her mother’s actions ensure Asuna won’t have to go through hardships in the future? Probably, yes. Does that mean she’ll be happy? It appears not. Her mother’s actions make sense, but her reasoning is way off. Her mother’s “I want you to be happy” argument is merely a veil for “I don’t want you to have financial problems.”

      Why doesn’t her mother ask herself, is she happy or not? Because to me, her mother definitely doesn’t look happy.

      • November 17, 2014 at 5:34 pmDrasca

        Having money may not guarantee happiness, but needing money certainly causes distress.

      • November 17, 2014 at 6:33 pmWanderer

        Asuna will never need money unless her family abandons her. She may choose a path that doesn’t make them even more ridiculously wealthy, but that isn’t going to make her poor.

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:57 amMisk

    This was one of the most enjoyable SAO episodes to date. As sad as it was, seeing Asuna’s real life was pretty interesting and the action in the latter part of the episode was top notch. Great start to the arc~

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:59 amkagehina13

    Asuna is a flawless queen.

  • November 17, 2014 at 2:24 amTechim

  • November 17, 2014 at 2:40 amKuzame

    Is the arc when Kirito got Excaliber (eps 15-17) unrelated to this storyline? I wonder why he didn’t seem to use it..
    Should we expect him to be out of this new arc?.. unless knowing that would be a spoiler

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:29 amCrook

      I believe he didn’t have enough ‘Strength’ (as in the stat) to wield it, since he is an agility inclined character. He’ll probably pull it out in time of need, though.

      • November 18, 2014 at 4:59 amSerRompalot

        Agility? I always thought he placed high focus on Strength. Iirc, he rolled a brand new character after the ALO incident?

      • November 18, 2014 at 4:35 pmHanabira.Kage

        Regardless of whether he rolled a new character or not, he’s probably still going to add his stats the exact same way he did before.

        He’s always added just enough Strength to equip his weapons (he likes heavy 1H swords), and pumped the rest into Agility.

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:46 amJustpassingby

      He will use it further in this arc. If you want to know more, then it would have to be in spoilers.

    • November 18, 2014 at 12:50 amKuzame

      @Crook Oh, maybe that’s the literal meaning when he said “it’s still too heavy for me” at eps 17? Or I guess I missed something in between current eps..
      @Justpassingby Ah yes.. that first sentence tells more than enough. Will have to see the rest by ourselves :)

      • November 18, 2014 at 3:21 pmAlkard

        According to what I read elsewhere, the “heavy” bit in the previous arc had more to do with the fact that Excaliber was not immediately made a part of Kirito’s inventory when he pulled it out (otherwise, he would simply have dismissed it instead of having to lug it around). As such, it “felt” very heavy. Urd made it part of his inventory when they came out. The weight would have been negated then.

  • November 17, 2014 at 2:42 amgawrshness

    I hate nitpicking and I’ll probably get a crap load of downvotes for this but I can’t help it! It’s “Would have” which is shortened to “would’ve” not “would of” thus “Would have had me smacking”

    • November 17, 2014 at 3:32 amCrook

      I hate nitpicking as well, but I have to agree. This is one of those common mistakes that I don’t like to blame people for. (especially since I’m not even from an English speaking country)

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:02 amkobato

    the new character is so likeble, and i like her voice very much

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:09 amYojimbo

    Asuna’s facial expression as she was getting serious during the fight reminds me of season 1 when she was coercing Kirito to party with her. Scary and kawai at the same time.

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:35 amewok40k

    Shocking truth: Zekken is a girl!
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    gotta love Asuna’s preconceptions crumble away and her face at the revelation…

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:07 amBaka-Yuusha

      Not just a girl. BEST GIRL!!!

      Asuna is sweet, Lyfa is cute, Sinon has tsundere charm, but Yuuki somehow manages to outshine them all!

      • November 18, 2014 at 2:25 pmTrunkMonkey

        She sure is a fun character. I hope she stays that way.
        I really did not enjoy the last set of the angst arcs, getting a little worn.

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:42 amRed HeartGold ZX

    Never expected this in a sword fight: http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    Great job, A1 Pictures. Light novel readers (like me) would be delighted with that action scene.

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:53 amCarVac

    All the Yuukis. I don’t get to hear Yuuki Aoi very often anymore.

    This is the reason I held on watching this show so long… And it was totally worth it. It could be my second favorite episode of any anime ever. (Madoka 10 being the first)

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:53 amW.P

    Zekken sure looks like Kirito’s GGO avatar.

  • November 17, 2014 at 4:24 amRukia

    I’m amused that Asuna was defeated during her bi moment.

    Also, the idea that Asuna would put up a better fight than Kirito is just absurd.

    • November 17, 2014 at 4:31 amWanderer

      Kirito didn’t devote himself to the fight the way Asuna did, and he noticed something about Yuuki (and she knew he’d noticed) that made him unsuited to being the one she asked for help.

      • November 17, 2014 at 5:18 amBeedle

        I actually pitied Asuna in that scene. To me, it was like she was defining her life as a warrior in a game. Still, I think it’s very likely that Asuna will figure out what she wants to do with her life by the end of this arc after spending time with the Sleeping Knights.

        I’m just hoping “housewife” isn’t it. I agree with her mother’s intent: Asuna is a very capable young woman with very good resources at her disposal, and not a lot of people have that.

      • November 17, 2014 at 10:14 amDrasca

        @Beedle
        To me, it sounds like Asuna’s mother is setting her up to be part of a ‘power’ couple. Part building a dynasty and all that.

      • November 17, 2014 at 7:56 pmnyanlol

        less housewife and more “loving and devoted wife who knows her husband is a battle obsessed moron” if anything, i think in a married life, asuna would be the pragmatism and common sense to kirito’s physical strength and annoying selflessness

  • November 17, 2014 at 4:25 amAnimachu

    I hate it when this kind of scenario pops up. Arranged marriages geez

    • November 17, 2014 at 1:00 pmkushieda

      Arranged marriages are still relatively common in wealthy families in Japan.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=japan+arranged+marriage

      • November 17, 2014 at 11:13 pmAnimachu

        I know and I hate it :(

      • November 18, 2014 at 5:01 amSerRompalot

        I think I read that arranged marriages tend to be more successful relationships than typical marriages, because of the mindset involved with going into those kind of marriages.

  • November 17, 2014 at 5:08 amdanes256

    thank you AI pictures for finally reminding me why i love SAO, this a a very good episode, expecting more of the same.

    • November 17, 2014 at 5:08 amdanes256

      oops i meant A1 pictures

  • November 17, 2014 at 5:11 amBeedle

    — and she didn’t even look back to see the damage!

    Badasses– real badasses– don’t look at explosions. Literal and figurative.

    Has it been revealed how much in-game time translates to real life? I’m assuming it’s 1:1, but from a gaming standpoint, it’s impractical because it would require gamers to be online at specific times, sacrificing business in real life, for timed events.

    I’m curious about this since it was already nighttime in ALO and the group was asleep/napping but when Asuna logs out, it’s only dinner time. Granted, it could be that ALO runs in a different timezone (it’s not Japan-based, right?)

    • November 17, 2014 at 12:25 pmKrono

      ALO runs on a 17 hours day IIRC.

  • November 17, 2014 at 5:12 amflCer

    Now that’s the SAO I loved. There just hasn’t been an awesome sword fight scene since aincrad. Totally got goosebumps during some of the scenes… it just fills me with vigour!

    Hoping for more of this high speed shiny sword combat!

  • November 17, 2014 at 6:04 amAnza

    Thank god for a new op. Great change and it doesn’t spoil anything really.

    The Asuna/Yuuki fight was as good as I was hoping it would be. Yuuki is so much win. I wonder if this last arc will bring back a lot of fans to this show, I know the show as hated for its second half of the first season but the rest of this season is going to be pretty damn amazing.

  • November 17, 2014 at 6:06 amKabble

  • November 17, 2014 at 6:20 amNachtwandler

    Am I the only one who hate Yuuki Aoi’s voice? I became so irrihated about her after watching Symphogear

    • November 17, 2014 at 7:05 amMegas

      Her VA actually fits perfectly. Yuuki sounds like that for a reason as it is mentioned in the LN.

  • November 17, 2014 at 7:24 amKraft

    Oh god I googled Konno Yuuki and got absolute rekt. gg not even close

  • November 17, 2014 at 7:39 amYanDaMan

    I always hate those rich parent forcing their ideals on their child because “We know whats best for them”. No they dont. It’s a parallel to real life parents and I cant stand it.

    Ranting aside, images like this always amuses me.
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2013.jpg

    Same scene everytime a new girl appear haha.

    I like the new girl’s design. Let see if she can top Sinon as best girl of the season. Looking forward to the last 5 episodes and see more of her.

    • November 17, 2014 at 1:45 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Yeah, when watching that scene, I really got the feeling that Asuna’s mother didn’t care so much about Asuna’s success in general (as any parent should), but more that she cared about how Asuna’s life decisions would reflect on herself, caring more about her own image than Asuna’s.

      Whenever I hear such (rich) parents saying to their child(ren), “I know what’s best for you”, I tend to hear instead, “Let me control every aspect of your future in a way that makes ME happy and look good, not you.”

    • November 17, 2014 at 11:12 pmKamui04

      Yeah hate those kind of parents when all they do is just selfishly care for their own image adding the usual “I’m successful, so everything I say is correct. Your opinion is irrelevant” kind of line.

      What’s the price of forcing “success” upon their children? They’ll end up being bitter or depressed individuals despite achieving their parent’s “goals”, and I emphasize “parent’s goals”. Or end up with psychopaths like Sugou. Those kind of parents I always wish for them to end up with their children breaking ties and living the rest of their life alone without any family, or only surrounded by a bunch of the same kind of hypocrites just praising their success.

    • November 18, 2014 at 2:34 pmTrunkMonkey

      I find the whole “Evil Parent forcing their will on their child” story scenario absolutely boring and uninteresting. I hope they keep that dull story line to a minimum or bet yet, Kill it off completely.

  • November 17, 2014 at 10:54 amjhpace1

    Thoughts:
    - 15 degrees Celsius while she video-dived? Asuna likes it cold. The room warmed up to 22C when she came back.

    - The RL mother to Asuna is treating the whole 2 years of SAO like it was an illness. It wasn’t. It was more like a major kidnapping and dumping everyone on an island filled with deadly plants and snakes, then telling them “Lord of the Flies”. Asuna, Kirito, and the other players had to literally fight for their lives almost every day of the week, as well as fight murderers (player-killers), and the environment itself trying to kill them. You don’t get back your 16-year-old daughter out of that trauma. You get a near-adult, or someone, if Kirito had not ended SAO, would have ended up with teenagers-made-adults in about 5 years of play. Add in Asuna’s stalker/kidnapper division head afterwards, and you get Asuna practically an adult forced to re-live her high school years all over again when SAO II began. But the RL mother doesn’t care, she’s still got “her” plans for “her” daughter. This is a really bad situation, just like “Vietnam prisoners returning home to a USA that hates them” bad situation.

    - the new girl/swordfighter: she needs Asuna’s help? Really? With that 11-point move? What’s Yuuki need, a roleplayer who can get past the Big Bad Evil Guy?

    - the other girls jealous of Asuna & Kirito: everyone teases “the high school bride”, even when she’s legally married. She has an advantage the others don’t, and they’re going to act catty about it. Even if they’re best friends. With Kirito’s “hero” status, you have the harem not wanting any new rivals to enter the harem.

    - a good episode overall, but wow the pressure on Asuna. First she wanted to marry Kirito when they got out, the new ALO has “their” house on Level 22, but her RL family has other plans, Asuna has teenagers’ angst, and now somebody needs her help too. That’s a lot of burdens on one person.

  • November 17, 2014 at 12:26 pmbossarvin

    I was waiting for Asuna to take center stage all season! The love story between Kirito and Asuna was one of the main draw points of SAO for me and it’s nice to see it here.

    On a side note, is it just me or the animation and the facial expressions during Asuna and her mom’s confrontation was too lazily done?

    • November 17, 2014 at 5:23 pmstarss

      No I see it. In fact, the battle animation here was surprisingly worse than I expect from SAO!

  • November 17, 2014 at 12:50 pmKrono

    “Side note here, but am I the only who only just realized Asuna came from a family rolling in money? I remember they talked about her father owning a hospital when they introduced that creepy guy from ALO but I never got the sense that she was super rich until recently. ”

    He doesn’t own a hospital. He owns, and was CEO of Recto, parent company of Recto Progress. Between the two of them, they were responsible for creating the Amusphere and ALO. Recto Progress which Sugou was in charge of was obliterated by the ensuing fines and legal actions Sugou’s crimes generated, and Asuna’s father stepped down as CEO of Recto, but still spends his time working to repair the damage to the company.

    Also, filed under things mentioned in the novel’s narration, and therefore essentially omitted by the episode, Asuna’s father is from an old banking family, hence why he had the capital to develop Recto, and why Asuna’s mother is looking at bankers as possible matches for Asuna.

    So yeah, rich family.

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:14 pmKazakiri

    “While this doesn’t answer whether or not this is by choice or because of some outside force, my guess is heavily influenced by the fact that the ending sequence doesn’t show any scenes of Asuna or Yuuki together outside of the game even though it looks like they’re (eventually) going to become buddies”

    They are shown together in the ending irl, in a way… You’ll get it before the arc ends…

  • November 17, 2014 at 1:22 pmAnonymous

    After seeing this episode, I kind of want to say some things. I like how detailed the first half was, especially how it highlighted the coldness of the Yuuki household and how the forest home provided a nice contrast to it. The LN mentioned how lively it was when Asuna went over to Kirito’s house for dinner, and how it differed from her own home, and I would’ve liked to see it even if it would be a little awkward to just put it in the episode. The second half had a great match between Asuna and Yuuki, though it was more louder and flamboyant than I expected from the LN.

    That being said, I suppose my one gripe about this entire arc is kind of how Asuna is feeling. I understand that this is supposed to be her developing arc, how she’ll change, but I kind of feel that it’d be really good if Asuna and Kirito just talked openly about their feelings and such. I know that it would throw off the whole Asuna development as a character thing, but it feels to me that Asuna and Kirito never really talked about real world issues. I kind of feel that they should (I kind of feel that couples should be open with one another), so Asuna will understand that Kirito will always be there to support her despite her thinking she’s weak. Am I wrong here?

    • November 17, 2014 at 2:27 pmDrasca

      Not wrong at all! They certainly do need to talk and address their feelings and needs. Relationship hasn’t been developed much at all in the TV anime series. Somewhat so in the LN’s iirc, but they’re still just kids that don’t have it together yet, and think in teenage kids terms.

      • November 17, 2014 at 10:16 pmAnonymous

        Even though they are kids, they did go through a lot. It’d be nice to see them interact as a family with the both of them and Yui in that forest home. I mean, while Asuna will grow as a person, it’d really solidify her growth if she and Kirito talked. On the subject, it’d be nice if Kirito said “I love you” to Asuna. Never really said it in the anime, but it’d be really big of him to say those words to her. (Here is where I turn to fanfiction to fill in the gaps left by the anime)

  • November 17, 2014 at 2:30 pmNarutoXSasuke69

    Happy December 1 everyone ;__;

  • November 17, 2014 at 3:42 pmShiden

    This arc is killing me. There’s so much that I want to say, but I can’t talk about anything because everything I want to say would be a tip off for later. XD

    That said,
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 17, 2014 at 4:48 pmLeon

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • November 18, 2014 at 3:38 amTechim

      The OP and ED for Mother’s Rosario arc is nicely done,
      somebody even did an analysis for both.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      (Links to MAL thread)

      A note of caution to those who never read the Mother’s Rosario LN…
      There are massive spoilers in those analysis links for the remaining SAO 2 episodes.
      I would recommend you only check out those links after SAO 2 is over.

  • November 17, 2014 at 5:14 pmstarss

    Okay everyone. I have never read this arc. I know nothing about it other than it focuses on Asuna this time. I know nothing about how it ends. But I still know that it’s apparently sad, so PLEASE! NO ONE SPOIL IT HERE! I BEG YOU! Thank you.

    I’m starting to wonder what that camera device is on Asuna’s shoulder. Maybe it’s so Yuuki can interact with her in school? … wait, maybe that’s the entrance exam class!! … SHE REALLY TAKES THAT CLASS!??! Woah.

  • November 17, 2014 at 7:53 pmJaws

    Honestly, I disagree very strongly about Asuna’s mother. Her good/valid points about her ‘concern’ for Asuna’s future and prospects don’t mean shit. Let’s face it: this woman does not respect her daughter.

    Look at the scene when Asuna comes to the table. Her mother doesn’t greet her, just chastises her on her lateness. The room isn’t even properly lit and the woman’s working, which means Asuna isn’t worth her full attention. She simply expects Asuna to agree with what she says. She doesn’t even have the courtesy to look her in the eye, let alone talk to her about it and explain her concerns. She’s treating Asuna the way a douchey boss treats a secretary, only at least they’re being paid and doing what they’re told is their job. She doesn’t want to address Asuna’s issues or concerns, and refuses to admit any responsibility to the debacle of her last arranged suitor. Basically, she’s being an asshole. No amount of concern makes up for the fact that she simply assumes Asuna’s problems are invalid and she’s just being flaky.

    For her, image is clearly priority.

    Asuna is obviously unhappy at home. Who the hell wouldn’t want to escape from such a suppressive atmosphere? And her mother isn’t helping by treating her like an ignorant child who’s just throwing a tantrum. She doesn’t engage her or reach out to her, just speaks and expects her to listen. If you really cared about your child and their happiness, you wouldn’t simply assume the only thing they need is political and financial security.

  • November 18, 2014 at 12:56 amChloesong

    I’m really happy with how well it’s adapted!

    Non-spoiler details from the LN for this episode:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I think the only difference is that the LN has more internal dialogue. The animation and characters looks great. I’m really getting used to the Undine Asuna. I was really impressed with the episode overall. :) As always, I love the flying sequences and the backgrounds. The action sequence was really accurate too.

  • November 18, 2014 at 1:05 ambakumon

    great ending for the season, mother’s rosario is an exelent arc to give the show a real tear jerker the show is known for. expect it in tems of the red nose raindeer episode or even better

  • November 18, 2014 at 3:58 amBubba

    LIVING IN THE DATABASE DATABASE… sorry wrong show again.

  • November 18, 2014 at 6:38 amMurasaki

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2034.jpg

    Best romantic two-girl friendship in the series so far, yes?

    I’m really enjoying the dynamic between Asuna and Yuuki! I mean, the past arcs were mainly about Kirito and his hare- I mean, the girls he meets in the game and so on and so forth; we rarely get to see any interaction between dem ladies, but this is the first arc that actually shows a full on female friendship, which is really underappreciated! And I’m really excited, guys!

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2020.jpg

    Shit, Yuuki’s so adorably badass. I want to bring her home!

  • November 18, 2014 at 7:13 amSolaris

    They really had to go to great lengths to let Asuna’s mom appear like the usual dick this time. Very cliche and very annoying. Again any good premise in that scene was ruined by the lack of proper development. I didn’t see something that terrible since Oreimo’s first arc quarrel with parents.

    I read comments above this and I’d like to answer Drasca’s insight comments too, but I don’t think I can discuss with them trying to be objective. I hate SAO too much for that.

    • November 18, 2014 at 10:54 amShiden

      If you hate the show that much, why are you here?

      • November 18, 2014 at 11:21 amSolaris

        know your enemy [cit?]
        And hope one day they could redeem themselves a bit… that is to say I’m still waiting this mess to pull out some decent story somehow.

  • November 18, 2014 at 11:15 amrandom viewer

    No wonder Kirito is so scared of getting Asuna mad. She can really fight and pack a punch.
    Girl power! Go!

  • November 18, 2014 at 3:14 pmSetsuna Henry

    Is this the final Arc for this season?

    • November 18, 2014 at 3:32 pmAlkard

      Unless they do something really weird, Show Spoiler ▼

      • November 18, 2014 at 4:49 pmHanabira.Kage

        I don’t think they’ll throw in that scene. It’s at the end of volume 9, not 7. Considering all the exposition in volume 9, they’ll have to rearrange stuff like crazy to set the stage for Alicization.

    • November 20, 2014 at 11:59 amLyfe

      Yes, it wouldn’t be possible or reasonable to start the Alicization arc. There simply isn’t enough episodes to do it. I would assume they would do a special prior to the third season that starts it, they could hype it immensely by releasing it on the big screen in Japan..

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