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Sword Art Online II – 23

「夢の始まり」 (Yume no Hajimari)
“Beginning Of A Dream”

While last week’s episode didn’t hit my feels in quite nearly the same way, this week’s was so spot on that I can barely make out the screen right now. -Goes to wipe face-

Speaking Your Heart

Ever since she was introduced as the sharp tongued mom who was a bit heavy handed in both her actions and words, Asuna’s mom has been a bit of a mystery to me. With the aura of a powerful and busy businesswoman surrounding her, it didn’t feel all the strange to see her focused on Asuna’s future without much regard to her feelings about it. The thing is, even after watching her go about things in her own way there was always a feeling that kept tugging at the back of my heart — why would she be so focused on trying to improve her daughter’s future unless she really cared about her? Fast forward a few episodes later where the relationship between them kept getting more and more venomous and you’d think that by the end of the arc the two would completely blow up at each other. Blow up in a way that would create an impassable rift that separates so many parents and their beloved children.

Luckily, this show out of the handful of others that seem to miss the mark managed to do something different about it. Jumping to week’s episode, you have something that was crafted so well that I couldn’t help but let the tears come flowing as I watched. In a matter of minutes the story masterfully gave Asuna’s mom the depth she needed to explain why she was such a witch before. Coming up from nothing and becoming her parents most prized treasure, how could she not want the same if not more for her own flesh and blood? And seeing how she obtained everything she had from nothing, it’s not hard to assume the stress and responsibilities both at home and at work could easily dry up whatever patience she had left.

Anyways, while I can’t help but feel like I’m in the minority with this one, I really do appreciate what the last half of this episode did for both Asuna and her mom. Instead of giving us some thrilling scene that involved the two locked in battle, I appreciate getting to see both of them express their thoughts and come to a mutual understanding that in the end saved their relationship with one another.

Yuuki Yuuki

All that said, I doubt my emotions would have been primed and ready had it not been for the extremely bittersweet scene that came courtesy of Yuuki and her tear-jerking situation. While I’m sure we’ve all said our piece during last week’s episode, it didn’t make listening to her situation and just how much she misses the real world any less heartbreaking.

Changing pace for a short paragraph before I end this post, something that Yuuki said rubbed me in a weird way. Maybe it was meant to be taken as a joke but the way she mentioned how Kirito seems to also be living outside reality felt like an ominous prediction of the future to me. Maybe it’s because everything for the past few episodes have been extremely sad but a statement like that isn’t made for no reason.

Looking Forward

There isn’t much to say here — and for good reason. I have no idea if the show is going to actually show us Yuuki’s death and I don’t think my emotions could handle it with the way they’ve handled everything up to this point. While I might be asking for a bit much since that seems like it’d be what we’d expect as a finisher, one can hope right? If anything, I really hope that next week finally explains to us why this arc is called Mother Rosario. Seeing how it’s the title and all, I hope it doesn’t disappoint!

December 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm
53 comments »
  • December 13, 2014 at 11:11 pmhotDoge

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    Somehow when I saw Asuna’s Syplh avatar a few episodes ago, I had a feeling that she based it on her mom’s.

    • December 13, 2014 at 11:12 pmhotDoge

      I mean, her mom’s hairdo

    • December 14, 2014 at 1:08 amLonghaul

      Asuna needs to get mom to log in more.

      • December 14, 2014 at 2:48 amlauncelot

        And do all her work in ALO!! It’s a lot more efficient too. All her work saved back to her own local terminal when she logs off. If the house was such a relaxing reminder of their old home, then that would have been a nice escape from all the stress she goes through.

    • December 14, 2014 at 10:32 amstarss

      If I wasn’t in such a teary state, I’d say… “dat milf”.

  • December 13, 2014 at 11:13 pmJack

    Title drop for next week’s episode, sending shivers down my spine.

    Prepare your bastion of tissues, because I sense the feel train will be coming in full force.

  • December 13, 2014 at 11:16 pmMr. Rainbow

    Wow, I was totally destroyed by this episode.
    Really did not expected it to be so… powerful (talking about the way it delivered the content).

    Also, this was a great adaptation from the source material.
    I’m impressed!

  • December 13, 2014 at 11:18 pmrandom viewer

  • December 13, 2014 at 11:28 pmbelatkuro

    • December 14, 2014 at 6:27 pmMasterDragonKnight

      I think this is the appropriate reaction to loli Asuna.

      • December 14, 2014 at 7:51 pmsealouse

        Oh man the new season of that starts soon

  • December 13, 2014 at 11:38 pmflCer

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:01 amKerozenpy

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

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:03 amEIICHIRO ODA

    Sorry, but will next week’s episode be the final one? I really can’t bear to see Yuuki die…

    Also, do you guys think that there will be a possible third season for SAO? Will the next arc be long enough? Thanks!

    • December 14, 2014 at 12:17 amradiantarchon

      I don’t know how good a chance the show has for a third season. Depends on how well this season did I guess. But the next arc is big enough for probably 50 more episodes

    • December 14, 2014 at 12:27 amStrenX

      Indeed, the next arc is pretty much as long as the rest of the series so far combined. They could split it into a couple sub-arcs though.

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:28 amHanabira.Kage

      Long enough? The next arc is currently about the same length as the entire series up to Mother’s Rosario, and it’s only just gotten started on its second half.

    • December 14, 2014 at 4:52 pmLyfe

      I think we’ll get a third season of Sword Art Online. The franchise is too big to go dormant. They have a ton of merchandise, games, manga, figures, anything you can think of. And it’s all selling well. If they don’t announce at the end of Episode 24, I’m sure they’ll announce in the coming months. This is easily the biggest show A-1 pictures are producing.

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:13 amradiantarchon

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

    • December 14, 2014 at 12:31 amdanes256

      DID YOU JUST FUCKING WROTE A SPOILER WITHOUT THE SPOILER TAG ???????!!!!!!!

      • December 14, 2014 at 6:35 amMasterDragonKnight

        While that is kind of a spoiler, there is actually a bit more behind that name.

        Also, no need to yell.

      • December 14, 2014 at 11:39 amdanes256

        @MasterDragonKnight sorry if i annoyed anyone with my yelling, but i hate spoiler to the bone, so i just can’t help it

    • December 15, 2014 at 11:07 pmKuroneko

      Am I the only one who’s okay with spoilers/enjoys them? O_O

      • December 16, 2014 at 2:41 amNitro

        it’s just you. fuck spoilers, man.

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:01 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    And, IMO, another home run for SAO this week.

    I just felt so much more invested in these last couple episodes than I have for most of the rest of the series and yet they barely involved much of what the series has been about a lot of the time (gaming and such). It’s just been characters interacting on very personal levels. Nothing big, extravagant, bombastic, or romantic-seeming (Kirito and Sinon in GGO), but quite soft and subdued, yet the impacts of those interactions hit me harder than pretty much any special techniques performed in any of the games could.

    Maybe because I’m more interested in seeing such “real” character development and interactions like we’ve gotten with Asuna this arc without her being completely overshadowed by anyone or anything else. Like, with the ALO arc, anything we learned about Asuna in real life was overshadowed by Kirito’s OPness, a comically bad villain, and romantic misunderstandings between Kirito and Suguha. Yuuki, as awesome as she was displayed in ALO and as sad as her situation was, didn’t overshadow Asuna, but rather complimented Asuna’s own development while still being able to stand on her own level.

    On a general note, I also do have agree on bringing up what Yuuki says about Kirito. After all, when Kirito mentioned Yuuki’s “living in the game” after dueling her, that was instantly a sign that there was something with Yuuki going on that had to eventually be discovered.

    • December 14, 2014 at 3:09 amlaaa

      I would prefer SAO style action death drama like we had in original set up but it is over and we are set back to real life drama which kinda makes this anime lose it s own original set up and become more of common drama…
      Not really sure what is left here but ggo arc was good so I hope for some action based end too but I feel like someones death gona overshadow it

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:11 aminfo600

    Maybe it was meant to be taken as a joke but the way she mentioned how Kirito seems to also be living outside reality felt like an ominous prediction of the future to me. Maybe it’s because everything for the past few episodes have been extremely sad but a statement like that isn’t made for no reason.

    You’re not alone in that. I’ve followed the LN to the current arc, and I haven’t seem to get what’s that about either. Maybe it’s related to Kirito and his desires for the next gen AR equipment?

    Well, whatever happens, Asuna should be able to reach him. Just like how she have been able to reach Yuuki and her mom.

    One thing I find strange at this point:
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    We haven’t seen Yuuki’s eyes since her intro several weeks ago (save that flashback of her looking at her mom praying).

    I DREAD what we’ll (literally) be seeing next week.

    ps. Anyone got the OP2 and ED2 CDs yet?

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:26 amHanabira.Kage

      I bought the ED2 CD. The full MV’s up on some facebook page it seems…

    • December 14, 2014 at 5:21 amWanderer

      We see Yuuki’s eyes whenever she’s in ALO, but not when she’s outside. I’m not sure what they’re hiding with that, or what it’s meant to symbolize.

    • December 14, 2014 at 6:35 amWorldwideDepp

      perhaps here RL Eyes are red from crying that much

    • December 14, 2014 at 10:35 amstarss

      When the last ep finally reveals “true” Yuuki’s eyes, I predict it will DESTROY me! T____T

    • December 14, 2014 at 12:37 pmKami

      We’ve seen her real eyes twice so far. Once when Asuna thanked the doctor and again in the flashback. It has no significance.

      • December 15, 2014 at 12:17 aminfo600

        For one, you’re being way more observant than I am.

        For another, I still think there is some significance of not showing Yuuki’s eyes as much as possible.

  • December 14, 2014 at 2:18 amThe Last Idiot

    i have already booked my ticket to the feels train… all my baggage is prepared and i am ready to go next week… you guys ready too?

    • December 14, 2014 at 6:33 amMasterDragonKnight

      Next stop, Feelidelphia. Tissues are located in the pocket of the seat in front of you.

  • December 14, 2014 at 3:02 amlaaa

    Hmm last 2 episodes been too much of real life…
    I hope we get some action next week cos it s a bit disapointing…

    • December 14, 2014 at 6:36 amMasterDragonKnight

      This arc is less about the action than it is about the character relationships. If you are just expecting action, then you may be disappointed.

  • December 14, 2014 at 4:09 amChuChu-p

    so next episode will be in a feel ride….right???????

  • December 14, 2014 at 5:07 amKirigiri

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    IDK if it’s me or this pic kinda reminds me of Kirino in some way.

  • December 14, 2014 at 6:46 amKabble

    Pre-ordered a college tuition’s worth of tissues for next week.

  • December 14, 2014 at 6:53 amWorldwideDepp

    I think this Camera Invention is a good one. But for now, they need to improve the Battery to keep this Alive. with WLan or Bluethooth it is possible these days. Only thing is for the Energy source to hold an entire School-day in constant Streaming (and Internet Line), of course you need a trustful person that carry the Camera. because this would be a delicate Private thing…

  • December 14, 2014 at 7:56 amProof

    There are interesting details in LN that the anime team omitted, or done in split seconds. I’m enumerating from memory so I might miss a few.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Mother’s Rosario had been an emotional roller coaster ride, and upon reading the English trans of lyrics of the ending song, Shirushi, I cried. It’s like the lyricist read the novel and got the inspiration from it. Very accurate interpretation of Yuuki.

    Ohh, and Kirito’s gonna be rich but he’s got too many in his harem to support. So Asuna’s mother is telling her, if she’s gonna be his wife, she should be strong. Hahah.

    • December 14, 2014 at 6:30 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Your second point was kind of implied, but it was definitely not outright stated. I kind of wish that it was addressed, since it would bring more emotional impact.

      The last two are slightly less important, so I was not surprised it was left out.

      Good catch, though. I have not read the LN in almost two years, so I forgot about those.

      • December 15, 2014 at 6:47 amProof

        Agree, I kinda wished they placed more emphasis on that. And the reveal of the newspaper clipping was surprising for me when I read it. Nevertheless, even without other details, people will still enjoy the anime. I just thought that they miss some trivia. :)

  • December 14, 2014 at 7:59 amewok40k

    Yuuki Yuuki /marriage joke broke my Yuri goggles… again!
    I think it was passed as joke due to the obvious Asuna X Kirito romance, but in reality true on the Yuuki side…

  • December 14, 2014 at 10:28 amstarss

    …. I still hate her mom for going way too far with her rules, but I LOVE the scenes where the sourpuss softens up. Asuna really made her small heart grow 3 times that day. Merry Christmas!

    So many things tied together this week. Kirito’s invention, Asuna’s other account, the house they bought, the friends they made in the past arcs. What it means to really be alive. About a place where you will always belong.

    I’m saying it. This is the absolute best arc in the series.

  • December 14, 2014 at 5:15 pmNeverdone

    the mother is right, asuna is bigger in real life -_-’ :p

  • December 14, 2014 at 7:05 pmstarss

    I kept myself together for the first parts of it. ….. then this shot appeared.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    And I couldn’t keep it up. T_________T

    • December 15, 2014 at 9:29 amKah

      Konno Yuuki in uniform reading the school text had unusually great destructive force.
      That shot did me in too. Dx

  • December 14, 2014 at 7:54 pmsealouse

    Yuuki ia Christian? Would that have anything to do with the name of the arc? Can this show get any more unique?

  • December 15, 2014 at 5:36 amNitro

    That one moment where Asuna uses her hand to touch Yuuki’s camera, and Yuuki reaches out to her face, but can’t touch anything.

    It… it made me feel things.

  • December 15, 2014 at 8:13 amYanDaMan

    Asuna’s mom went from 100% bitch to 100% <3 in the course of 5 minutes.

    Thou art forgiven madam Yuuki~

  • December 17, 2014 at 3:53 pmqwert

    This episode was almost too much to handle.

    Touching moments between Asuna and Yuki, touching moments between Asuna and her mom and not one but TWO versions of loli Asuna!