OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「INNOCENCE」 by 藍井エイル (Aoi Eir)

「帰還」 (Kikan)

Episode 15 of Sword Art Online feels almost like an entirely different anime. Right from the OP showing Kirito and co. frolicking around in Aion the new game which wasn’t introduced in this episode, down to the new characters and real world setting, only Kirito and Asuna (along with Kawahara Reki’s distinctive writing style) remain as reminders of the previous arc. We’re out of SAO, Kirito is undergoing rehabilitation, Asuna remains in a coma for some mysterious reason, and right off the bat we have another new love interest and antagonist. Yes. Already. Perhaps some would complain that pacing was too slow if no new big bad was introduced immediately now that Kayaba Akihiko’s plans (whatever they actually were) have been thwarted. I, however, do not think there was any real reason to introduce a new antagonist this soon – the plot could easily have gone on without it.

Subtlety is perhaps not Kawahara Reki’s strong suit. Even without the knowledge that Kirito (sorry, I can’t bring myself to call him Kirigaya) is seemingly irresistible to all feminine beings, Suguha’s (Taketatsu Ayana) adoration for her adopted big brother/cousin could not be more obvious. Less than five minutes after her very first appearance and she’s already acting flustered in his presence, tightening her fists in anger at his love for Asuna, and by the end of the episode, sleeping in the same bed with him and blushing over it. But I guess this can be written off as being a failing not unique to Kawahara – it crops up very frequently in anime in general. Sugou Nobuyuki (Koyasu Takehito) is a completely different matter. I know I’m not the only person who thinks that Kawahara has some issues with how he writes many of his antagonists. He seems to take everything he can possibly imagine as being loathsome in a person, cramming it all together and hey presto! Here’s your antagonist! There is no grey area whatsoever, and to be honest, that complete lack of dimensions, coupled with the insistent clamouring of ‘You need to hate this person!’ makes it really hard for me to take these kinds of antagonists seriously.

We can obviously see that Sugou doesn’t care for Asuna (heck, he even says it himself), so it’s fairly evident that his motivations in marrying her are probably to get his foot in the door of her father’s company. He doesn’t see Kirito as a threat, and why should he? I mean, Kirito is just a normal kid who did some stuff in an online game. What could he possibly do? But, this certainly didn’t mean he needed to rub Kirito’s face in it. I don’t know why Kawahara likes his antagonists to be so smug (side note: smug is only attractive in Horizon characters) – you’d think he’d write in some intelligence and make them more conscious of the far-reaching effects their actions could have.

I feel I need to say something good since most of that has probably come across as negative. Well I guess the episode was a nice change of pace after a rather hectic rush towards the end of the Sword Art Online arc, and it was nice to see a bit more of what the outside world is like – after all, before now the only glimpse we ever had of it was the first few minutes of the very first episode. There was actually one other thing I really liked about the episode – the way the colours are so much duller in the real world when compared to SAO and the game depicted in the OP, almost as if to say ‘the real world is so mundane and ordinary compared to fantasy!’ I have no idea whether this was intentional or not, but I liked it anyway. Let’s not forget the pretty cool kendo battle between Sugu and Kirito- oh. Oh dear. I shouldn’t have started on that one. And I was so close to finishing this post too…

Now I have a big problem with that fight. So I know the idea that getting mad sword skills by playing an online game is incredibly ‘cool’ and all, but life doesn’t really work that way. Sure, by being neurally connected and actually executing his actions he would’ve picked up the techniques, but there is so much more to swordplay – and martial arts in general – than technique alone. To be able to execute those techniques you need some very important things – physical strength, endurance, and agility. Kirito has only been up and about for two months after more than two years in a coma. He himself admits that he’s still not fully up to scratch even after all his rehabilitation. There is no way in hell he should be able to stand toe to toe with a trained kendo practitioner. Playing games does not magically grant physical strength or agility alongside technique. These things require training of their own – the real world equivalent of the stats he accumulated while playing the game. The only blessing here is that he didn’t actually win the fight – something attributed more to his lack of full rehabilitation than the fact that he has no real training whatsoever.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – #SAO teaches us two things – gaming attracts the ladies and in-game skills transfer to real life!

Random thoughts:

  • Perhaps to balance his apparent transference of weapon proficiency, Kirito does actually learn that not everything from the game world is binding… marriages included.
  • Asuna fans will probably be disappointed that this episode’s focus shifted drastically towards Sugu. Heck, Asuna only got a few minutes of screen time at all and most of it was spent with Sugou poking her in the face.
  • Anyone want to step forwards and claim to have built a PC from junk parts when they were six? Or is building a PC supposed to be that much easier in the future?

Full-length images: 03, 07, 10, 14, 21, 24, 28, OP 04.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「Overfly」 by 春奈るな (Luna Haruna)


End Card


    1. Is it just me or was there quite a bit of Sugu fanservice in this episode? Seemed like they really emphasized her bust here. Though not big by anime standards, she has stuff going on there.

    2. Serious spoilers. Do NOT read if you have not read the light novels or spoiled yourself previously…

      Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Au contraire, this show is going downhill real fast for my taste. One can only regret what it could’ve been with all its unfulfilled potentials. Unfortunately I’ve had to dropp this. Sadly it’s another Accel World/Guilty Crown for me…

      I'm a ghost, boo!
      1. waaaiitttt!!! Don’t go yet!!! I kinda know what you mean, they had a strong start and stuff. But if ur adamant on dropping this, at least give the Light Novel a chance. It’s definitely worth ur time. You can find it here:

        A-1 did a good job making this anime. The content however may not seem that great on anime since the anime followed the Light Novel pretty accurately. And not saying the Light Novel is bad but when the Light Novel is written, it’s meant to make it enjoyable to read. But if you just translate the light novel into the anime, the feel for it will be different. It’s like in light novel, you just have to worry about the content. But in the anime, you’ll have to take into account the music in different scenes, the actual action and how to relay the info in the light novel. For example, Kirito used the 27 hit combo eclipse against Heathcliff, embracer on that Kurandeel (that KoB traiter, forgot his name), the anime can’t really tell u that info, so instead, they just made the hand/sword glow letting u know it’s a skill. And we don’t know the characteristics of the skills too, like vorpal strike gives extra range but has long CD (was used by kirito against heathcliff during their first duel) or embracer kills an enemy instantly if their HP is below 20% (I think that’s what it does, don’t remember). Also, in light novel, there will be minimal description of action scenes and a lot more talking to progress the plot or develop a character, coz it’s not that interesting to read someone describe a loonnnggg fight and more interesting to see how people interact and know more about the plot. But in anime, pro-longed fight can be good too, but characters talking for too long can get annoying.

        Soooo what I’m trying to say is that because they got the content from a light novel they are restricted as to what they can do in the anime. If they did something like Hayate no Gotoku season 3, like using the basic idea of it but make their own plot that will fit being an anime, then I think it’ll be perfect!

        *sry for the horrible format and my english isn’t that great. I hope u get what I mean, if u don’t… I don’t blame u. Even I can’t understand what I wrote sometimes lol

      2. I don’t see how you can say it’s like Accel World & Guilty Crown.

        The anime hasn’t dealt with the story very well but the story (LN) is actually great and makes a lot more sense.

        Kurisu Vi Britannia
      3. Dude, that’s harsh. You can’t compare this to Guilty Crown, the hype maybe but not overall. SAO story is much easier to follow. Not really a whole lot of plot holes if any(I didn’t notice any). Everything makes sense most of the time and there’s only been one situation I can think of where deus ex has been used to progress the plot(Shu’s power’s in GC was basically pulling out deus ex machina weapons). Also SAO has more likeable and relatable characters whereas Guilty Crown only had Dan Eagleman.

        Chillax Mang
      4. Yes, Rasen is right. I was saying that it’s another Accel World/Guilty Crown “for me”, meaning high hope -> huge disappointment for me. And it was purely for “my taste” as I noted and I wasn’t declaring it to be a fact that everyone else had to accept. I am allowed to say it didn’t work for me, you see? But sigh, it doesn’t matter to this RC crowd, it’s again trigger-happy cheerleading crowd here.

        I'm a ghost, boo!
    1. couldn’t Kirito just tell Asuna’s dad about the creepy fuck death treats? or provoke him on discussion again just this time record it with a phone or something.

      But i guess MC is not that bright in this series(?) and will probably try to solve it though the game.

      1. Firstly, Kirito is essentially a stranger to Asuna’s family. That should already be a large enough obstacle to claiming their daughter is being held up in some crazy conspiracy theory.

        Secondly, status is an issue because while in SAO, Kirito may be the most baller swordsman to grace the plane of existence, in the real world, Kirigaya Kazuto is a sickly, rehabilitating highschooler who has been in a coma for two years and comes from a family of modest means. At the very least, they would be hesitant to take the things he says at face value because of the trauma he went through.

        Asuna’s family on the other hand, has high standing in society. Anything Kirito has to say is already diminished by factors outside of his control. He, the smart kid he is, realizes his only chance, slim as it is, is to work out a solution, gain a foothold of some sort, in the only place where is he undoubtedly exceptional: in VRMMOs.

        Even if a MC wasn’t so intelligent, why would that make their story any less interesting?
        If anything, wouldn’t it be even more amazing that they manage to accomplish things that are story worthy?

    2. Kendo’s pretty weird about dual wielding. You get a long sword and a short sword, but only the long sword is allowed to score points (you can score with the short sword but rarely), so dual wielding is basically doing kendo one handed except you get to distract your opponent a little.

      Suppa Tenko
      1. Funny you should mention that, since maybe 2010, i’ve seen the tsuki “fad” with the shoto. So many fouls, but it seems nito ryu kenshi want to go the unconventional route. Everyone is always waiting for the cookie-cutter shoto/parry then “men” with the opening lol.

        IMHO nito ryu in kendo just falls apart anyway against a good chudan or a fast jodan.

      2. Kendo, and much Japanese art in general, often has a very strong sense of tradition and guidelines to abide by and it is very hard to go against it without being called out on being unfaithful to the true essence of the art.

        On one hand, it really focuses and hones the technique, styles and execution, almost like distilling a performance over hundreds of years. On the other hand, avante garde is often not welcome.

        There is a general term for the arts called bujutsu (martial techniques) that cover the way of the sword, the way of the spear (which is much more central than swordplay), and the art of the bow that is meant for practical use instead of tournament use. In other words, these styles are much more authentic and similar to the way actual soldiers would have done it than the relatively stylized performances we see more often today.

        This is where things that don’t fall within the strict rules of kendo, kyuudo, etc would be found.

  1. Aion well, never played that for some reason myself, but both do have flying so…

    They actually had one line in this episode which was introduced only “much” later in novels

    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Fate, shmate. I’m all for Kirito x Asuna, but I wouldn’t like it if Sugu gave up without a fight. If she were to give up, it would go against everything she stands for, especially after that good piece of advice she gave Kirito about not giving up on Asuna. She wouldn’t show good character if she went against her own advice.
        She does kendo, and although I’m no practitioner of the martial art, I’m sure she’s trained to not give up a match, even in the toughest of circumstances.

  2. Opening 2 > Opening 1

    Ending 2 > Ending 1

    Although I still like both of them all too much!!!

    This in my eyes just became like Accel World for one reason. The antagonist is a jackass that makes you rage.

    Accel World = Noumi

    SAO = Sugou

    Anyways everything in this was depicted quite fabulously. I love the realism from the world of SAO to the real world.

    https://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20-%20OP2%20-%20Large%2004.jpg DAT ASUNA!!! <3

    1. Um, you can compare Sugo to Raiser Phoenix… except that Raiser is more of a noble guy than Sugo.

      Still, he’s nothing against Kayaba! I mean, that doctor created SAO as an experiment!

      Anyway, I hope this arc ends early because I’m boiling right now when looking at that smug!

      1. Marriage between cousins is legal here in the US as well, with a few limitations. Besides first cousin marriage which is only legal in about half of the states, all other types of cousin marriages (second/third/etc…and once/twice/etc removed) are completely legal in all 50 states.

        I just had to mention this info since I do tend to read comments and I got the impression that some people below are not aware that marrying one’s cousin is not that uncommon in the US too.

      1. eww. Tranquin & Mike, stop pretending marriage between cousins are the most natural thing in the world and it’s okay for Japan or some Europe to pretending that it is!! ! It was maybe okay when you had to walk 3 days to see another person in the neighbor in 17th century, but not now!!

      2. Mike,
        you should be careful with this view, man.

        Do you think it’s okay for mid-eastern countries to suppress women (forcing them to wear veils whether they want it or not -if they want to, okay, do it, but don’t force them!- or forbidding them from driving themselves, so even if women’s employment in that region is increasing, they had to be driven by someone else to go to their workplaces everyday- but we can’t criticize it since it looks arrogant? Or for tribal societies to engage in voodoo magic and refusing to let their children to see doctors. They are countless examples like this.

        There has to be a minimum guideline of what is morally good and bad for 21st century human society as a whole; you can’t just say to “shut it and don’t tell me what is right or wrong because you’re a foreign culture”. I don’t know why you and some of you feel so strongly about this cousin marriage, but I’d think marriage between 1st cousins are morally irresponsible as it greatly increases chance of offspring deformity.

      3. @….

        Spare me the strawman and red herring please.

        My argument was specific towards marriage practices, don’t try to put words in my mouth and imply as if I was somehow arguing that anything and everything goes as long as it’s done in a foreign culture, I don’t recall arguing in support of moral relativism.

        There has to be a minimum guideline of what is morally good and bad for 21st century human society as a whole

        Yea, and I’m sure you and deathtogenericshows appointed yourself to be the judge of what’s good and bad right? Which is ironic, because:

        I don’t know why you and some of you feel so strongly about this cousin marriage, but I’d think marriage between 1st cousins are morally irresponsible as it greatly increases chance of offspring deformity.

        …as you can’t even get your facts straight. Greatly increases the chance of genetic defect? it barely increases it by a couple of percentage points, as Rasen pointed out below (or any cursory search on google will tell you), which is no worse people having children at an older age or have any myriad number of medical conditions. By your logic, we should also outlaw marriages or even just having kids by those people as well right? FFS, do you even realize you’re arguing for a eugenics program?

      4. @…

        Or for tribal societies to engage in voodoo magic and refusing to let their children to see doctors. They are countless examples like this.

        You mean like Christian Scientists (the religious group) and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

      5. Hmmm I guess I really should have done my homework first before commenting. Please do excuse my lack of knowledge, I had no idea marriage between cousins were acceptable in japan and eu. I guess from my perspective, marriage between relatives are somewhat incest. However that is only my opinion, and everyone has their own right to their believes.

        Just A Random Guy
      6. So Mike,

        you’d be ALSO okay with arranged marriage then? After all, it’s their culture with tradition of hundreds of years, if not thousands. Who are you to say to them not to force a 12-year-old girl to go live in a stranger’s family after her family selling her off to them?? RIGHT? And if she refuses or run away, they kill her in a “honor” killing. Surely we should respect that??

        This is a serious question and not a trolling, FYI.

      7. @Kamehameha

        sigh, is it too much to expect people to actually read the thread they’re trying to comment on? You realize you’re practically saying the exact same thing as the post I was responding to right? complete with the same strawman and red herrings no less.

        you’d be ALSO okay with arranged marriage then? After all, it’s their culture with tradition of hundreds of years, if not thousands. Who are you to say to them not to force a 12-year-old girl to go live in a stranger’s family after her family selling her off to them?? RIGHT? And if she refuses or run away, they kill her in a “honor” killing. Surely we should respect that??

        Since when did marriages between 1st cousins(willing adults I might add) became comparable to suppression of women’s rights and murders? You can take that strawman right back and stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

        Did you miss the part of my post where I specifically said I was not arguing for moral relativism, and that not everything is ok just because it may be culturally acceptable locally?

        One is a mutual agreement between consenting adults that only involves themselves, does not cause harm to others; the other involve minors without any choices to decide for themselves, and often leads physical and mental abuse/trauma or worse. You tell me how that’s even remotely comparable.

        And FYI, not all arranged marriages are the kind where people send child brides off to old men like you’re implying, that’s just another stereotype. While I’m no fan of arranged marriages in general, I have no issues with it as long as all participants are willing ones.

        This is a serious question and not a trolling, FYI.

        You need to learn how to read better and better understands logical fallacies, and this is a serious suggestion too FYI.

      1. There are some genetic issues. A regular couple has on average a 5% chance of having a kid with birth defects. Cousins have a 7-8% chance.

        Whether you consider that serious is up to you, but consider that women over the age of 40 or people with Huntington disease or other autosomal dominant disorders also have about the same odds of giving birth to a baby with birth defects.

        Moral arguments vary, since some religions forbid even 6th cousins from marrying, while others allow 1st cousins to do so.

      2. 5% chance of birth defects? What are you smoking?

        You have no way of calculating the probability of any problem with the offspring between 1st cousins a priori.

        People don’t seem to understand the issue with incest, they seem to think it magically causes issues. The problem with incest isn’t that it “causes” anything, its that there are a variety of autosomal recessive traits that human beings carry that have low frequencies in any population. So the probability (assuming random mating which obviously is never the case but in modern times is not that far off in urban areas) that person A with recessive trait X mates with person B that also has recessive trait X is small.

        But if you are mating with someone you have a close genetic common ancestry with, there is a much higher probability that they have the same recessive trait you do.

        For example, some recessive disease has a 1 in 1000 frequency in the population. That means you’d have an incidence of 1 in 1,000,000 live births with the double recessive (expressed in the phenotype). However, if you have a person that has it, then their full blood siblings have a 50% chance of having it too. So the odds of a child between siblings who had one parent with an autosomal recessive abnormality having their own third generation offspring with a double recessive expression is 25%, or 1 in 4 instead of 1 in 1,000,000.

        This is why jewish people of ashkenazi ethnic descent get specific genetic assays before trying to have a child, because their population carries a high frequency of the allele that causes Tay Sachs, and any closely related people that end up together in places where its legal (like 2nd+ cousins even in the U.S.) should always get genetic testing done to make sure. But if you had two blood siblings that were tested, and only one (or none) carried specific recessive allelese, then there is ZERO increased risk for any defect in their offspring.

        TLDR – Mating with your relatives doesn’t cause any mutations or problems, it just means that if you carry a recessive allele for something, there is a darn good chance compared to any random person in the population that your mate also carries it, and you’re risking a double recessive outcome.

      3. You have no way of calculating the probability of any problem with the offspring between 1st cousins a priori.

        Very impressive argument, but you’re running off the idea of perfect information. Since it’s unlikely that you are aware of every damaged or faulty gene you’re carrying, even if you and your spouse appear to be perfectly normal, you can’t determine an exact rate.

        That’s what statistical studies are for. Compare the rate of birth defects from parents with no known relation versus the rate for parents that are first cousins. The results indicate that there is enough genetic drift between first cousins that the rate of birth defects is not much higher (i.e., the faulty genes don’t line up much more frequently)

    1. Lols, i was waiting for the idiotic (mostly American) incest comments, look sir, the world doesn’t revolve around your country .. in the majority of world countries and in most major religions marriage between first cousins is OK and ISN’T incest .. so please learn that.

      1. @The Moondoggie : Yea and that is why they try to force everything on everyone else now? Marriage between cousins is allowed in 90% of the countries. Period. No discussion necessary because it means more people agree with this rule then not.

    2. It’s ok for a couple of things. One these is the societies in Europe and Asia are VERY VERY homogeneous. So while technology has helped people travel farther and farther over the past hundred or so years. The basic guidelines on relationships have foundations on allowing relations with people in your imminent surroundings.

      Also in our current age, the reason why incest causes genetic problems can actually be blamed on diversity and mingling of other genes and the increase access to travel. Any troublesome genes that could cause severe problems show up in the old homogeneous society would typically be purged due to the idea that these people would suffer and die and not reproduce or live that long to. Thereby removing it from the community’s genetic pool (I’m only gonna go over basics so I’m not gonna get into recessive genes and carries and what not). Technology is countering this as we have increase travel (adding more genes to what used to be a homogenous pool) and helping those with problems live normal lives (retaining problematic genes in the system)

      One other thing about Asian cultures is the extended family is kept very close to the main family. We all know the standard western family structure. This is where I’m going to make points here. The western culture has structure system of first or second cousin and then the additional added suffix of once, twice, or twice removed to extend positions further. Asian cultures typically don’t have this. Your first, second, or third cousin (western)is all the same and regarded as your “cousin” (eastern). Your Uncles/Aunts, First Cousin once removed (This has always puzzled me why the cousin of your parents are regarded as your First Cousin prefix), Second Cousin once removed (all western) are regarded as just plain “Uncles” or “Aunts” in the eastern structure.

      The general accepted notion in the western system is that its ok to date your second cousin and beyond. But when you apply this to the Eastern naming structure, you’d be dating your “cousin”. And this is where the misinterpretation happens sometimes.

      For this case though with SAO, they are first cousins, and in a very homogenous society. Its nothing unusual.

      1. Forgot to mentioned something which doesnt add much. I’m Chinese-American

        I’m 25. Now at a family gathering more than a year ago, I saw my cousin again who I hadn’t seen for about 6 years. The old folks (in their 60’s) and my grandparents were happily chatting and then brought this up with my cousin and I. They started asking if she was dating and what not, if I was dating and what not. (*rolls eyes* I knew where this was headed) Now they brought up the suggestion that we try dating each other. I just looked and my cousin, she looked at me, and we both burst out laughing. We then proceeded to spend the next two hours explaining why this might have been acceptable back in the day especially in their culture back in china, but not nowadays. We also started explaining genetics and about genes, genetic diseases and mental disabilities. Ironically enough she works as a psychiatric counselor for mentally disabled children. They did try to argue against us saying that there were no problems back in Asia and this is where homogeneous societies come into play.

      2. Not sure what part of China your relatives are from, but where I used to live, and where my relatives were from (Shandong and Gansu provinces), marriage between even distant relatives is severely frowned upon, let alone first or second cousins, which is completely taboo. Not to mention we didn’t know any others having similar viewpoints as your relatives, not even older people. Maybe it’s a northern China vs southern China thing. I definitely never recalled any northerners having such notions.

      3. Oh yeah forgot to mention, in all parts of China I know of, due to the One-Child Policy. Basically your first cousins are viewed as your siblings, since most kids born after the 70’s don’t have any siblings themselves, so cousins are referred to and viewed as such. To marry your cousin is pretty much the equivalent of marrying a sibling, at least from where I’m from.

    3. WTF?? I didn’t realize there were so many cousin lovers here. Now if it’s like 4th-5th cousins, okay, they’re basically strangers, but 1st cousins? I can’t quite grasp you guys. And why suddenly it became USA vs the rest of world? Is there some kind of resentment towards USA I don’t get?

      1. Its not really resentment but the criticism of other cultures and their cultural norms. The people who usually make these these criticism seem to be under the assumption that their own views (which is sadly the USA one) is the “standard” and anything that is different (Whether its Euro or Asian) is the morally and socially wrong. There are alot of americans who sadly have this onesided notion that they are free to criticize other cultures because their own are the superior, civilized, and correct one. While the foreign is inferior, primative, and just wrong.

      2. @deathtogenericshows

        I’d say most of the resentments are directed towards you personally, the rest of the US unfortunately becomes collateral damage, as is often the case when the loudmouthed idiots amongst us talks out of their behind.

      3. @deathtogenericshows Man I get the feeling that this thing of incest is just creepy for you, or at least that may be why this really interesting discussion has turned into World vs you(representing USA) but I totally agree with you on the fact that it is NOT the best practice for breeding children given the kind of problems that may arise from it. We should emphasize this issue, as the actual victims could be the kids. Therefore:

        @mike It’s not an eugenics program, it’s a moral question of whether they should be allowed to give birth to a kid with serious problems, and the probability is actually 6.25% or 1/16 that the child has problems, and ffs that’s a huge probability for a human life. Check out Charles II of Spain’s profile, the last of the Spanish Habsburgs…I agree with you on the fact that we are not the ones to judge, I’ve just read from Way(comment above your first one) that it is also legal in the US and if that’s the case, that’s fine, we should not thwart sb else’s love, personally, I even liked the idea of 1st cousins! But like in netherlands there is counseling if the couple wants to marry. We should always ponder those issues if we don’t want to affect a new life.

        @rasen From my point of view, it should not be a thing of cultural perceptions. Look up something about the Inbreeding Coefficent, it’s not morals, but statitics what we can discuss to define what is detrimental to a newborn’s life(and therefore wrong, not that I want to be the worlds judge but at least one’s country, no? Laws can be changed and should be helpful sometimes!) and not just because we want to stop some love.

        @Knowngni Same as rasen but I don’t understand that thing of homogeneous societies, or if it can prove me wrong at something of what I’ve just explained. Because what I’m trying to point out is that the matter should not be treated in a relative way on what is sick and morally wrong in one, may not be in another, and my bet is that your cousin who is psychiatric counselor would probably say sth like I’ve said.

        Hououin Kyouma
      4. @Hououin Kyouma

        I suppose that’s fair. But as I already pointed out, from a statistical point of view, the probability of first-cousins having a child with birth defects is about the same as older women and people with say, Huntington’s Disease.

        From what you’re saying, we should forbid them from having children as well?

      5. @Hououin Kyouma

        It’s not an eugenics program, it’s a moral question of whether they should be allowed to give birth to a kid with serious problems, and the probability is actually 6.25% or 1/16 that the child has problems, and ffs that’s a huge probability for a human life.

        Which is exactly what an eugenics program is, seriously, go look it up.

        Also, you’re misrepresenting the issue – 6.25% may seem initially like an unnecessary risk, but not when one realize that the chance of genetic defects amongst the general population is already @ 5% to begin with, and that’s not even factoring in endless other factors that also have substantial impact on birth defects, including age, ethnicity, eating/smoking/drinking habits, environments etc. CDK’s post above goes into the more technical details, but basically, if an increase of 1~2% over the baseline is enough to turn in into a “moral problem” that needs to be outlawed, then so would any of other factors, at which point you can literally dictate to the entire population as to who can and can’t have kids.

        Viola, eugenics.

      6. @rasen @mike
        OK, granted! But I’ll turn to liberal eugenics then if I’m trampling over anyone’s rights. I don’t want to outlaw them, but to make ppl reflect on the probable issues if there’s a higher risk of anything. And -as I said before- how about some counseling or even testing (by own will) before making any decision? And if probabilities from smoking, drinking and environments are taken into account, I consider we should bring to the same level age and inbreeding.

        Hououin Kyouma
      7. @Hououin Kyouma

        I don’t have a problem with that. Letting people know what are the inherent risks is always a part of being a responsible society. That holds true from having children to taking medications to riding the roller coaster.

    4. It doesn’t matter what country it is, incest is incest, no matter how much you try to twist the meaning, no matter how you try to spin it, marrying a cousin is still incest.

      It may not be sick to you, but it’s sick and creepy to me and I will never understand the people who try to act like it’s ok and normal.

      1. I think the point you’re missing about countries is that a lot of a person’s views are shaped by the environment they grow up in. So if they grow up in an environment where first-cousins marrying is ok, then they honestly believe it to be ok. If you grow up in an environment where the first image that comes to mind when you hear of “inbreeding” is “buck-toothed redneck hillbilly” then you honestly believe it’s not ok.

        Put another way: they don’t “try” to act like it’s normal any more than you “try” to act like it’s sick and twisted.

        Also, incest is a surprisingly broad-term, including people related through adoption or marriage.

      2. Exactly as Rasen said. While the definition of incest is the same across all areas, the social perception from region to region, culture to culture is not the same. The negative associations you have are not completely the same everywhere else. Other places might have something opposite, or similar but with exceptions and differences. Again the cultural perception that any form of incest is bad is the view you have. But that isn’t identically shared in every religion or culture across the world.

        Another examples of this are “Sex before marriage”. Some think its acceptable, some don’t. Some don’t to the point that it merits breaking off all relations with party involved and exiling them from the family.

        My uncle got married but his girlfriend moved in with him half a year before they got married. Unfortunately part of our culture was that the there is a marriage ceremony (very meticulus, long and boring) where the bride’s family receives offerings from the groom in her home and the bride is handed from her parents home to the groom’s. Now he didn’t do this, and since the woman moved in months before their marriage, they violated this cultural rule. It offended all the family friends of my grandparents (notice just the old people cared). To the point they did not receive their blessings and did not show up to their wedding. The idea of living together with your partner before marriage is another example of how this can clash.

        Now what I’m trying to get across is cultural perceptions vary from people to people and place to place, country to country. What is the norm in one, may not be in another. What is sick and morally wrong in one, may not be in another.

      3. O_O Wow. I’d like to just point out… There a ton of animes, particularly harems, that feature at least one of the love interests as being the “cousin” of a protagonist. Why is this concept such a surprise if we all watch multitudes of anime every season? And why are the people who are simply EXPLAINING the reason for it being in an anime being attacked? Not a single one of these comments says that they personally are for it or participate in it.

        Some of you need to seriously go take a Sociology class and get acquainted with the fact that every culture has a set of belief systems, values, and morals that are unique unto themselves. Agree to disagree, but don’t take up some pompous self-righteous attitude towards other cultures because (Heaven forbid) we’re all different! Gasp! Who knew that everyone is different and has different cultural norms and traditions? It is no one’s place to judge another culture for how they choose to live and until you take yourself over there and witness it, live it, experience it — you have no right to comment on whether it works for them or not. Not everyone can be like Europe, not everyone can be like the USA. Get over it and stop behaving so childishly over something that doesn’t physically or mentally or emotionally damage your psyche. I’m sure you won’t get cooties from accepting there are people who live with such beliefs.

        And one more thing. To whoever it was that brought up Middle Eastern cultural practices. No you can’t criticize because like I just said, until you take yourself over there and witness it, experience it, talk those women — you don’t know anything except what your preformed opinion about it is. Coverings specifically aren’t done to suppress them. In their culture, it was originally put into practice as a protection for the women against men (Muslim or not) who might not have self-control enough to not violate them should they see their feminine beauty underneath. It is also to show that they are believers of the Muslim faith. To see a woman without her veil is the equivalent of being able to call someone by their first name in Japanese culture. It is intimate, private, and not to be taken lightly. Kindly educate yourself on the history before you go dragging it through the mud as the systematic tool for male-dominance.

      4. @Rasen Oops! Sorry Rasen there’s a reply from me to your argument just above Magoiichi’s. Plz read.

        And erm, I don’t totally agree on the way you put it Magoiichi, please, my thoughts are also above, I hope you get also a little bit interested on anything I say.

        Hououin Kyouma
      5. Oh please, just because it is sick and creepy to you doesn’t mean other cultures who practice it are equally sick and creepy. Get off your moral high horse and stop viewing the world according to YOUR standards. There’s a big wide world out there.

        Kinny Riddle
      6. Ok, so basically, all of you people that think incest is ok, go get with your members of your family.

        Get off your high horses and stop pretending that you don’t have feelings for your cousins.TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM IF YOU HAVE THE BALLS!

        No seriously, go make love to your cousins.If you live in a country that doesn’t have the same “beliefs” as Countries like USA and Europe and so forth, it should be ok amirite?

        Go move to the family member breeding countries and have at it.Why not move to a country that says it’s ok to kill whoever you want while you’re at it.

        Killing people is completely normal too, so why not move to a country where there are no laws against killing whoever you want amirite?

        Why not also find a country that lets you breed with little girls, those lolis you love so much.

        Oh that would be an ideal place for you guys that love that stuff amirite?You’d jump on a plane without hesitation if there was a country like that amirite?

        This is Sick world with sick people, but if you don’t believe in something other people do, it’s all peachy keen because that’s just their opinions and we can all believe what we want

        we can even believe that 2 plus 2 equals fish!

      7. @Magoichi

        It’s difficult to take your statements seriously when you throw a tantrum, but here goes, in the hopes that you can respond with something more than rage that the world doesn’t always agree with you:

        Ok, so basically, all of you people that think incest is ok, go get with your members of your family.

        What part of this makes sense? It’s like saying “if a straight person believes it’s ok for gay people to get married, they should go get married to a gay person.”

        Get off your high horses and stop pretending that you don’t have feelings for your cousins.TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM IF YOU HAVE THE BALLS!

        A person can have tolerance and acceptance of another’s views, even if you don’t share them. It’s part of what makes America great. Religion, politics, sexual orientation…

        No seriously, go make love to your cousins.If you live in a country that doesn’t have the same “beliefs” as Countries like USA and Europe and so forth, it should be ok amirite?

        We DO live in a country that shares our beliefs. Every state in the US allows second cousins to marry, and AK, AL, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NY, NC, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA
        and Washington DC all allow first cousins to marry.

        Taking your “logic,” shouldn’t YOU should move to someplace where everyone shares your views?

        Go move to the family member breeding countries and have at it.Why not move to a country that says it’s ok to kill whoever you want while you’re at it. Killing people is completely normal too, so why not move to a country where there are no laws against killing whoever you want amirite?

        It’s curious how you equate letting cousins who love each other marry with a total lack of morals. Does the world exist in only black and white for you?

        Why not also find a country that lets you breed with little girls, those lolis you love so much. Oh that would be an ideal place for you guys that love that stuff amirite?You’d jump on a plane without hesitation if there was a country like that amirite?

        I’m looking at the “logical” leaps you keep making, and I’m wondering if you aren’t expressing a desire of your own. “Amirite?”

        This is Sick world with sick people, but if you don’t believe in something other people do, it’s all peachy keen because that’s just their opinions and we can all believe what we want we can even believe that 2 plus 2 equals fish!

        Exactly. That’s why there are people who believe in evolution, and people who believe the world is 9000 years old. That’s why people with different religions can live in the same country.

        I am curious: can you give any clearly stated reason as to why you find first cousins marrying besides “it’s sick and twisted,” something that isn’t based off your gut feelings? And let me just eliminate one source off the bat for you: Catholics and Protestants both believe Mary and Joseph were first cousins. And Leviticus, in all its glorious detail, fails to mention cousins.

      8. @Magoichi

        first thing first, they were simply saying that “apparently, marriage between 1st cousin is ok in Japan”. They didn’t say they support or disapprove it so they don’t need your opinion regarding that. They are merely stating a fact.

        Secondly, you are free to believe what you want. But that doesn’t give you a right to just bash other cultures. If you’re talking about inter-marriage, then Europe has a long history of it. You believe what you do is simply because of the way you were raised. And implying whatever other culture does that USA/Europe doesn’t is wrong is just being self-centered. I have a lot more to say but I’ll save it for now. Go take some sociology or philosophy class or go travel around the world to broaden your view. You are living in a very small world compare to others.

        Lastly, just because people don’t agree with you, you don’t have to go throw random insults at them.

      9. Incest Defense force are out in packs.I’m gonna bash whoever I want, it’s my opinion just like your sick and twisted incest loving people.

        Oh and I thought you didn’t care about morals? Killing people shouldn’t matter if you love incest.

        Sickos gonna stay sick.It’s cool though, I overlook Japan’s sick obsession with Incest and Lolis because that’s not all Japan is about, but I will never agree with you incest loving people that think it’s normal.Like I said, I don’t care what country or culture it is.

        In fact, not only is it sick and twisted, it’s also pathetic, what you can’t get anyone outside of your own family? LOL PATHETIC LOSERS.

      10. Incest Defense force are out in packs.I’m gonna bash whoever I want,

        Official confirmation of troll. I asked for a concrete reason for your distaste, and you can’t give anything more justified than an “ewwwwwwwww. RAGEQUIT.”

        Oh and I thought you didn’t care about morals? Killing people shouldn’t matter if you love incest.

        Morals are relative. From person to person. From culture to culture. And there is such a thing as scale. For instance, I think it’s immoral blindly hating for no other reason than an icky feeling in your gut. Following your logic of “if you disagree with me, you must be a godless sodomite baby butcher”, killing doesn’t matter to you.

        Sickos gonna stay sick.It’s cool though, I overlook Japan’s sick obsession with Incest and Lolis because that’s not all Japan is about, but I will never agree with you incest loving people that think it’s normal.

        There’s a difference between loving and tolerance, but I guess you can’t tell.

        Like I said, I don’t care what country or culture it is.

        It’s America. It’s American culture.

        In fact, not only is it sick and twisted, it’s also pathetic, what you can’t get anyone outside of your own family? LOL PATHETIC LOSERS.

        If anything, I imagine it would be harder to get someone inside your own family. You can fool strangers, but family knows exactly what kind of a dick you are.

      11. Thank you for reminding us of how far we have come from the dark days of witches, geocentric universes, stoning, the Crusades, and burning churches. It’s good to keep a remnant of the bad old days so that we don’t backslide into ignorance, intolerance, and immaturity.

      12. @Magoiichi

        You’re no longer trying to reason with Rasen, you’re just trying to piss him off. Just by reading the two of you post, it’s pretty easy to tell who’s more mature.

        @ Rasen

        Let’s just end this, like Ken suggest. This is going no where. Whatever said won’t go through. And MasterDragonKnight is right lol, all it takes is 20 dislikes to hide a comment. Out of sight, out of mind.

    5. Seriously People. ENOUGH WITH THIS COUSIN MARRIAGE/INCENT TALK!! These posts are not that many, but there are SO bloody LONG, so they take over like 1/3 of the entire posts and I’m sick of having to scroll down!!!

      I don’t give a damn either way on your incent discussion, but this post discussion is about SAO and its episode 15!! Lemme enjoy the show in peace without this silly bickering back-and-forth on incent, please. If you’re so interest in discussing this topic, I suggest you go to cousin marriage board instead of SAO here.

      1. As I have already stated up top, trolls should be heard and then ignored.

        There is no reason to respond to the provocations by these people. The little red dislike button on the side only needs to be pressed 20 times before the offending comment is hidden.

      2. MasterDragonKnight, yes the problem is that posts for both for and against cousin marriages are VERY LONG and only against cousin marriages get voted down. In my mind, most of these posts, whether for it or against go off the topic of SAO so far, they are totally irreverent -whether you call this trolling or not. Alas, the posts for cousin marriages are so well-received that they won’t ever get hidden now and those who don’t give a rat’s ass on this issue are forced to keep scrolling them regardless. Personally I hope MOOMBA to delete all these posts, both for/against cousin marriages.

      3. The incest loving creepazoid defense force wanted to make themselves known, there’s nothing you can do to stop those pathetic losers who can’t get with anyone other than their own family members.

    6. @J.A.R.G.

      As you can see, it’s complicated. Some cultures allow cousins to marry, some don’t. Most Asian and European do. U.S. don’t. But I think in some parts in the U.S., it’s legal to marry your cousin.

      The Moondoggie
  3. Now I have a big problem with that fight. So I know the idea that getting mad sword skills by playing an online game is incredibly ‘cool’ and all, but life doesn’t really work that way. Sure, by being neurally connected and actually executing his actions he would’ve picked up the techniques, but there is so much more to swordplay – and martial arts in general – than technique alone…

    Hmm, I agree with you to a certain point, but the thing is that the way the mind and body ..work(?) together in SAO(and AW)’s universe isn’t quite the same as in the real world, it’s concept that continues to get iterated and expanded upon as the story progresses, and shouldn’t you know this already since you’ve read the novels? XD

    1. What the anime left out is the fact that Kazuto is a Gym maniac, he goes more than a couple of hours a day at the gym, for 2 months, sure he is not as strong as in SAO but he is if not average just slightly below, and the reason he actually lost IS because of his lack of strength, or more disparity between the mind and body, he went in a sword lock with a national level Kendo athlete.

      P.S. You would be surprised what you can do with a lot of reflex-perception-reactionspeed, but not strength, eg Kurogane

    2. Muscle memory still takes place in the brain and is formed through repetitive action, so it’s not that large of a leap to believe that Kirito has sword skills. It’s just that he may not have the physique to perform them.

    3. You ever heard of memory inside an organ. Like If you transplant a foot’s athlete (runner) to replace yours? I don’t know If it’s always the case, but I heard your running ability will increase just like your transplanted foot has an ability to memorize what it has experienced with the previous owner. Of course it also depend on your physical strength. It also happened with other organs, such as eyes and others

      I think It also applies to Kirito. His sword skill in SAO compensate his lack of strength in the real world when he sparred with Suguha

      1. More the the foot having memories it more the foot’s muscles are already developed in a way so it should be easier to run with them, it like a irrigation system with the channels already done, just easier.

  4. This was pretty true to the books which I greatly enjoyed and I wonder how many people are going to notice the rather HUGE spoiler in the opening not that it matters as it’ll be revealed in the next episode anyway but still that’s pretty huge albeit very very cute.

    In regards to the sword fight and that VR skills translate into literal RL skills there actually is some truth in that when it comes to how its presented in this story, I won’t post huge plot spoilers but lets just say it becomes a focus on the later parts of this story. In the case of Kirito he actually comments that the Kendo sword feels light compared to what hes used to, although he was playing a VR game it simulated the weight, power, speed, ect of sword combat into the game so he actually did learn quite a bit from it, and that pretty much his real body can’t keep up with what he could do in the game.

    Great episode overall, can’t wait til next week…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. All I have to say is Assassin’s Creed memory immersion along with the bleeding effect that allows him to learn his ancestor’s techniques and perform them in real life. Seems realistic to me.

      Random Hobo
      1. Also Neo from the matrix learned kung-fu in 2 seconds just by uploading it to his brain. Obviously he’s not as agile and powerful like he is in the matrix but he could apply the moves in real life. We can suspend our disbelief for that, why not for SAO too? Its sci-fi future tech, I can believe it.

        Chillax Mang
    1. I know, right? Absolutely blew my mind that the seiyuus were the same. A-1, I applaud you!

      As for the wait for next week’s dose of our new heroine, well…Anshin shiro.

      Shinpai suru na tteba — Shiawase wa SUGU modoru kara. (TM)

  5. 1) He is trying to really make us hate the antagonist… but I guess he confused his manga with Joe Joe because both hail from different categories and what works there wouldn`t necessarily work here.

    2) I am sure the season will great, but I had that feeling while watching the episode that I wanted Asuna to wake up and then live on with Kirito from where they left off.. is there a need to drag it that much further? The anime would be awesome if the first arc would be all that it had…

    3) The new world design does not appeal to me… the elf pointy ears is just a turn-off… the first arc world was way prettier and nicer.

    1. Yeah, the one thing that I really appreciated about the first arc of SAO was the lack of most high-fantasy aspects (i.e. no magic, humans as only playable species, etc). I’m rather disappointed that Kirito and co. will be flying around with pixie wings for the next dozen episodes or so.

      1. SAO is basically the author’s way to write a story through each form of gaming.

        SAO is based off of your standard semi-realistic fantasy MMORPG
        ALO is basically the combination of FlyFF and Ragnarok Online
        GGO is your fantasy FPS genre.

        Suppa Tenko
    1. Count me in ^_^

      When he was first poking Asuna’s face and talking about his plan to marry her forcibly i really wanted to punch him in the face and i was thinking like “Grrr, this guy deserves to be punched really hard in the face”, but when he started making death threats (regarding Asuna’s life) and talking about how he is keeping her alive .. it was stabbing time and i was like “Aghhhhh, that’s it, this bastard need to be stabbed .. NOW XD)

      Sigh .. what’s more sad is that i know there are people like that in real life who get away with stuff far worse than this .. sigh.

    2. Killing would be too merciful. That asshole needs to undergo some serious form of torture. Both through the virtual world and the real world. Once we’re done with that and he’s completely lost his will to live…. Then… He has our permission to die….

    1. It’s unlikely for several reasons:
      1) The unconfirmed supposition that the two worlds are connected
      2) The name Sugou and Noumi are different. (Sugou Nobuyuki, Noumi Seiji…reverse it for you English speaking folks.)

  6. And Kayaba’s plan… thwarted?
    The dude was smiling….
    Kayaba’s plan was, is one of the more successful “evil” plans in Anime History.
    Kayaba wanted to create a new world, one in witch people could live in, fall in love, and have children, a world regulated by unfair rules against witch people would rebel, and in the end succeed.
    Sounds familiar?
    It does to me.

    Ok maybe the having children part was outside his plan, but why do I still get the Aura vibre from YUI?

    “If you have any love left for that world…” – Kayaba Akihito

  7. Sorry, but i’ll call you out on this Moomba, you weren’t paying attention to what Kirito (i too can’t use his new name) said to his cousin Sugu when she asked him if he was practicing lately .. he told her that he wants to RETURN to playing Kendo .. means Kirito was already a Kendo player at some point before SAO and dropped out (which also might explain how he picked up the fighting system in SAO so quickly).

    And as for games not giving you physical strength .. sure thing they don’t .. but a virtual reality game like SAO can teach you techniques and familiarize you with combat and sharpen your reflexes significantly (considering the life or death situations he has been through) … and Kirito did mention he was having extensive rehabilitation in the gym for the past two months .. i really don’t see any problems at all with the Kendo fight .. it was really well done (more so because he was defeated and also because it showed he still hasn’t gotten over his time is SAO yet considering the way he put away his “sword” after the fight).

    1. he told her that he wants to RETURN to playing Kendo .. means Kirito was already a Kendo player at some point before SAO and dropped out

      didn’t he talk about this when he was with silica?

    2. Just a few quick points:
      1) Muscle reaction time and mental reaction time are not the same thing. Since muscles were not being used during Kirito’s time in a coma, they would not have improved to match his sword skills and mental reflexes.
      2) Two months of extensive rehabilitation is not enough to both recover from the two years spent in a coma and gain two years worth of physical weapon training. Kirito admits that he’s not even back to his normal level of fitness.
      3) Yes, he said return to Kendo. However, based on information from the prologue of the third volume… spoiler tags just for the sake of it:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Sure it showed that he hadn’t got past some of his habits from SAO, there’s no denying that. But he didn’t need to be shown as capable of standing toe to toe with someone who should vastly outmatch him and then only lose because he’s not fully rehabilitated.

      1. Actually, I dont care about realism in an ANIME that much (if it sticks to the rules it sets in its own world).

        But having studied biology I just HAVE to reply;) There is no such thing as “muscle reaction time”. Or at least that is not something you train. With training youre building up your muscle mass, reaction time depends only on the nerves, that is on the amount of synapses that is allowing an easier transmission of the transmitter-molecules.

        So one part that is controlling your reaction time comes from the neurons in the brain, the other part comes from the neurons in your body. So yeah, I dont know about the latter in THIS case, but I also find it rather ridiculous right now trying to apply “real-world-realism” to an anime…Especially to a scifi-story…;)

      2. Forgot to mention that you obviously need training for the development of your synapses as well, but at least the neurons in your brain can build up their contacts just by sitting on your a*** and studying. Something we all know all too well;)

      3. To a certain extent he could recover mobility in two months, depending on how intense his rehab was. And what he was during that spar was mobile, once he got gridlock he obviously didn’t have the strength to counter Sugu. So in terms of mobility and reactions it is plausible that he can be that mobile with just two months of rehab.

      4. What is muscle reaction time? I have noted myself that there is no problem having fast reflexes even when out of shape. You can even practice martial arts totally in your mind just by imagining the moves you are doing. This is even used by pro race car drivers and for downhill skiing.

        In the end so is the most important aspect of martial arts is to not need to think about what you are doing. You should have practiced the move so many times that you will do it by reflex. This shortens the reaction time and makes it possible to block rapid attacks.

      5. In the novels Suguha explained that Kazuto’s fitness was already at his pre-SAO days, he just feels weak because his level of strength isn’t at Swordsman Kirito’s strength. Another advantage that Kirito had was that his style wasn’t in the norm of kendo so it surprised Suguha.

        It’s also addressed in Phantom Bullet that VRMMOs have a bleeding effect during the incident in Akihabara where a gamer went crazy and started swinging around a fantasy sword that weighed several kilos due to an adrenaline rush.

        Suppa Tenko
      6. What Libelua said is true. And considering that Kirito spent 2 years in SAO, its essentially training the nerves in his brain. His ability to make split second decisions affecting his reaction time is probably on an elevated level already. With the “bleeding effect” and all.

      7. As a professional fitness trainer and biology graduate I can’t let this pass. Studies have proven that reaction time means nothing without the physical fitness and muscle conditioning to back it up. You can pretend all you want that visualizing techniques mentally will allow you to use them with your magical ninja reflexes, but unless you’re physically fit and your muscles are accustomed to the movements it won’t mean jack shit in practice.

      8. Oh well, I am far from saying this is all completely realistic, but just, did you notice how big the samples are in these studies? Ive seen it plenty of times since my friend studied sport and is now working as a professional trainer (soon a teacher). Its a bit off topic now – but these aren’t representative AT ALL. This is why they change their opinion about “what is the best training method” at a regular basis…My friend’s especially happy about that, cause and every now and then theres a new study with new results and you can forget half of the stuff a previous study claimed to “prove”.

        Seriously, you should always be careful when it comes to “studies”. Ive been participating in some as well (although not in sports, but in biology) so I know how the work is done. Its done like sh***. Im quoting my prof now:”If you dont get the results see if you can somehow change the numbers”.
        Anyways, I was a bit off topic here, but studies havent proven anything. To “prove” in sciences is even impossible from the start, being a graduate, you should know that;)

  8. I suppose the primary element is the training of the brain to tell the body how to do things faster. A lot like how individuals who’ve spent time playing FPS’s as opposed to kirby show improvement in shooting skills when both are amateurs (some study, it took 3 groups of untrained people, 1 group played fps, 1 group played misc game, 1 group didn’t play any games) the second 2 groups showed similar aptitude while the first group showed a modest improvement – and that study didn’t plug their nervous system directly into the whole thing…) What I never bought in the book is the fact that you don’t actually perform the actions yourself you perform the trigger and then the game auto completes.

    But anyway, bad guy is bad, it’s a light novel don’t expect … E. M. Forster (I was going to say Shakespeare and then remembered that he had his fair share of 1 dimensional villains.)

  9. him flailing around in a bogu is not kendo.

    Less than five minutes after her very first appearance and she’s already acting flustered in his presence, tightening her fists in anger at his love for Asuna, and by the end of the episode, sleeping in the same bed with him and blushing over it.

    five minutes for us but more than two years for them. a lot could have developed during that time. plus, isn’t it possible that she’s had a crush on him even before?

  10. “Anyone want to step forwards and claim to have built a PC from junk parts when they were six? Or is building a PC supposed to be that much easier in the future?”

    It’s just that Kirito is a genius of that kind too, there are strong implication that Kirito is the creator, or at least is involved in the creation of the Brain Burst system…

    IF Kawahare finally declares AW and SAO are the same world…

    1. Watch the Iron Man movie imo. Tony Stark built his first circuit board at age 4, first engine at age 6 and graduated from MIT at age 17. Well granted Kirito probably doesnt have the same level of genius as Stark. But he’s still a computer genius 😛

  11. I like this 😛 but i don like this fairy world Game, whatever, i really love Sugu “Lifa in the game” , i like Asuna but i think that Sugu is so much beautiful and good than Asuna!!, i really like this change!! xD Sorry asuna but i hope he’ll fall in love with sugu 🙂

  12. The moment novel become lackluster for me is when the author decides to remove the “People die if they are killed” part in the game. I just hope this second part of this Anime will at least fix its problem and pique my interest in reading the novel again.

  13. 1. *Slight Spoiler* Each main arc has one new heroine that magically falls in love with Kirito. However they all bow down to Asuna as the only one for Kirito. Suguha is the heroine of the Alo arc.
    2. Similarly to the Matrix and the bleeding effect on Assassin’s Creed if a realistic environment that mimics the real world is created then it is very possible for the skills learned physically to be used on the real world to some degree.
    3. A computer can indeed be made from junk parts. You just have to find people that have no need for old hardware and wouldn’t mind giving it away. I have old RAM, an old motherboard, and a old graphics card that are so old and useless that I wouldn’t bother selling because they’re crap by today’s standards. Someone gathering this parts up could build up a basic computer with Windows XP. But use it as a gaming computer? Unlikely. At 6 years old? Building computers are like building legos. With some proper orientation even a 6 year old can easily put a computer together.

    1. Each main arc has one new heroine that magically falls in love with Kirito. However they all bow down to Asuna as the only one for Kirito.

      This is exactly why I consider SAO to be unique from other harem series. Kirito does not lead around the other girls with false hope, he already chose Asuna from the very beginning. He is also aware of their feelings for him, as can be seen with Lisbeth, but he still tries to keep on good terms with them as friends. Lastly and most importantly, Kirito is quite the badass protagonist, making it much more convincing that the girls have fallen for him.

      All of these factors make Kirito to be what I consider the ideal harem protagonist, instead of being just a nice but weak and clueless guy. Or worse, someone who is neither nice or competent, and dense enough to have his own gravitational pull.

      1. Totally with you on this MDK. It is probably also one of the reasons that pulled me so much into the story. More often than not, we get protagonists who jump around from one girl to the next before deciding on a girl right at the end. To me, this has been done and dusted so many times its already a norm to me. But SAO does things differently in that Kirito has chosen Asuna from the start, and though different girls over the course of time have fallen for Kirito. He does not try and actively lead them on. Its like while they are repeatedly trying to build a harem for him, he himself shoots it down due to his dedication and commitment to Asuna. It is extremely refreshing to come across a story with such a pure love that is non-shoujo.

  14. After spending my pent-up aggression on Noumi (Accel World), I felt like saving it up for someone else (either Damian Wayne or Joffrey Baratheon) instead wasting it on Sugou. Seriously, why can’t we have a better class of villain in anime? I would have prefer if Sugou at least doesn’t act TOO predictable as a bad guy.

  15. @MOOMBA
    really appreciate u taking ur time to write these reviews but i don’t think u really get SAO.
    no offense but ur posts kind of miss the good points of the show and focus on the slightly negative aspects or misread the scenes.
    just my thoughts after reading most of the posts on SAO.(u do enjoy the show don’t u?)

  16. I think it’s kinda refreshing to have a villian that plainly evil. It creates a lot more urgancy in the plot even if he is a bit too one dimentional. Can’t say I’m psyched for “Elf Online” though. Glad to see that Yuu is coming back in some way though.

    Also didn’t Kirito say that he used to practice Kendo before he started gaming hard?

  17. has every1 forgotten SAO is set in year 2022, a futuristic setting, so tht the show can ignore some of the current technological limitations.ex:
    kirito’s health, medical technology should be more advanced.

  18. i’m pretty sure Kirito himself hinted that he used to do kendo. aside from the obvious physical restraints, i;m willing to suspend disbelief that mental training has in some way toned muscle memory. As you say, had he actually won the fight, i’d have been a bit unimpressed. I bet Sugu went easy on him too…

    what did come across is how reliant kirito is on strong female companionship! this time it was down to his sister/cousin to bail him out of a despair spiral… otherwise he seemed pretty set to wallow in helplessness….

    (this does not however seem to slow down the intake numbers of the kirito harem… in my experience this has not worked for me…but then not a lot has!.,…!!) @_@ forever alone…

    1. No.

      Even assuming the two worlds are connected, that’s a no.

      SAO takes place in 2022. Accel World in 2046. 24 year difference,
      Sugou’s offspring would literally have to breed like dogs or horses: at the age of three, for that to happen.

  19. Eh…In terms of the source material and how it’s fueling your opinions (which are absolutely valid)…this arc is not really meant as a ‘completely’ new arc, despite being a new arc. I think in a few episodes it should be made clear that this arc is more like an aftermath arc of SAO. You can think of these two arcs as one entirely broad arc, while the two arcs we’re currently dividing are two sub-arcs of the main one.

    Sugou is a terrible antagonist because Show Spoiler ▼

    But yes, your opinion of Sugou is very true. He’s disgusting and it’s not subtle at all. I’m, for the most part, sure that his disgusting personality was entirely intended by Reki though.

  20. It seems that lots of people will drop SAO because of this ep… You should give a try to this, though it might take 2 more episodes to start the fun :). And, in my opinion, it might be possible to use skills learned through 2 years of experience doing it over and over in some kind of reality that we, common PC players, can’t even describe how it is. Though Kirito said he can’t use the skills the way he used to.

  21. I have to admit I felt really moved and almost teared up when Kirito/Kazuto broke down crying in his room. The feeling of helplessness to save the one you love. You could hear it in his voice. Sounded like genuine emotion. I think the VA did a pretty good job on that part. Kinda rare that my heart strings be pulled just from watching an anime dude cry.

    Chillax Mang
  22. “Anyone want to step forwards and claim to have built a PC from junk parts when they were six? Or is building a PC supposed to be that much easier in the future?”

    I built my first PC when I was 13 or 14. A friend of mine actually built his first PC when he was 6 or 7 though.

    To be honest, putting the parts together is not difficult (it used to be more complicated, but nowadays it really is stupid simple. You can’t plug anything in the wrong way). That said, while it’s not difficult, it isn’t exactly child’s play either. Even my friend said he had some help form his uncle when he built his first computer.

    If he really developed a passion for computers at a young age, it’s not difficult to imagine that he might have built a PC with some spare parts lying around (assuming they were all compatible with each other).

    1. Speaking of Suguha’s body, Kirito wasn’t lying to Silica after all. ED shows that, before SAO incident, Suguha’s chest looked quite flat and she was a genuine loli back then. It’s just that she, or more precisely, her chest has grown tremendously in 2 years.

      U Doh
  23. at Moomba in regards to the swordplay:

    It`s not realistic in the sense he can parry suguhas attacks, but he HAS been using a sword for 2 years. In fact, it`s nonstop training for him.

    1. Actually, Kazuto now has the stamina and strength of a normal person. Given his superior reflexes and technique, he did stand a good chance at beating Suguha. The reason why Suguha beat Kazuto was that Suguha was much stronger physically.

      As a physically weak kendo practitioner, I find that I can keep up with those much stronger than me for a relatively short period of time, but after that burst of strength I’m done. So what Kirito did is plausible.

      Suppa Tenko
  24. > LOOK AT ME CRUSH THIS BOTTLE I’M THE GODDAMNED HULK. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Thank you Moomba, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that during the scene. Had me burst out laughing honestly.

    1. Because Sword Art Online elements will continue through out the entire series. Kirito will continue to use Sword Skills to hax effects and will always be the black longcoat clad hero.

      Suppa Tenko
  25. Episode panned out exactly the way i expected it to. Right from the beginning to the end. And I would say it did not disappoint. Though it was still sad since the overall theme for this episode was pretty sad (and rage inducing thanks to that creep)

    But perhaps I would try to help clear some of the criticisms u have with this episode (or story) Moomba.

    About Suguha, from what i’ve read from the novels, Suguha has all along looked up and loved Kirito. Initially yes, perhaps as a brother. But when the SAO incident began, her mother revealed to her about her real relationship with Kirito. It was during that stage that Suguha herself started to see Kirito in a different light. She pretty much cared for Kirito during the 2 years he was imprisoned in SAO as well and it is my belief those feelings only grew. So it is not exactly that surprising i guess. The laws of anime dictate that its possible anyway hehe :P.

    Now about Sugou… gawd i hate typing bout this since i detest that piece of sh!t. I assume you’ve read the novels Moomba but it is revealed later on why he is like that…. still doesnt make him any less of an asshole but yeah. Furthermore, he’s a different kind of crazy to Heathcliff (aka Kayaba Akihiko).

    Now the last point, of which there are 2 points to it, which is the duel between Suguha and Kirito. Actually it is completely possible for Kirito to be able to pull it. First off, we look at the techniques that he used. It is not stated but when they were fighting in SAO, many times, they actually rely on sword techniques that they’ve acquired on their own when fighting. The sword skills they applied are the so called big finishers they use to execute when there is an opening. The reason they had to learn sword fighting skills on their own was because although using Sword Skills gave them a huge advantage, it also had disadvantages. The chief one being that in the event the skill ends or meets resistance. It caused their avatars to have a short stun effect which could prove deadly when they were fighting in Aincrad. If u notice in Kirito’s final fight against Heathcliff, he actually applied his own skills for a period of time because he knows that Heathcliff would know the counter to skills that he created. The ideas to dodge, parry are all considered innate techniques they had to learn as well.

    Now regarding his physical condition. Its really possible to be able to gain back some degree of physical strength, mobility and reflexes within 2 months. Perhaps not stamina. We actually just have to take a look at real life athletes to consider it. Especially soccer players who have suffered serious injuries and successfully returned. The anime did not mention it, merely mentioning that Kirito has been doing rehab. But he has actually been hitting the gym almost daily to get his body back into condition. Although at the end of the duel, he did say that Suguha still was better than him in terms of physical strength (he did lose when they were locked together and Suguha pushed harder).

    I hope this helps clear some of your doubts. Despite being a fan of the novels, i’m not exactly all out in defending it either. I myself do find some of the plot points rather sketchy. But the purpose of my post is just to provide some constructive debate bout it in general. 🙂

    1. Something to add to that. While sword skills force ably move your body, it’s mentioned that if you move your avatar according to the way the sword skill moves you, your attacks are faster and stronger than if you resisted or just didn’t do anything. That’s why Kirito’s able to perform Sonic Leap, Double Circular, and Vertical Square in the other games.

      Suppa Tenko
  26. Pacing was nice, save for the early introduction of the super stereotype antagonist. Felt like that could have been put on hold for another episode or two but what can you do? It’s pleasant taking a moment from the online world to appreciate the life Kirito has and yet, at the same time, it’s good to see that while Kirito retains a sort of mentality from the game, leaving a number of matters that require him to rehabilitate himself with the world. (Not that he’ll have a lot of time.)

    Were he to have won that kendo match, I would have been disappointed but it’s not entirely bad to see that he retains memory of what he was capable of in the game. While it’s true that actual kendo cannot simply be transferred by what was experienced in SAO, I think the fact that he retained the instincts and intuition can make the progression of him as an individual and his relationship with Suguha interesting? (Coming from one who hasn’t read the novels)

    P.S. I like what Moomba said about the transition of colors being duller in the real world than how they are shown in the virtual. Whether that was intentional or not, it was beautifully done.

  27. Subtitle of this episode: Kazuto’s Sister/Cousin Can’t Be This Cute

    And Suguha-chan is voiced by Taketatsu Ayana to boot.

    Coming back to the real world felt more refreshing, and somehow the subdued colours enhanced that feeling.

    Considering what a creep of a fiance she’s been engaged to, I can now sort of understand why a rich fine lady like Asuna would decide to “escape reality” and play online games like SAO.

    Kinny Riddle
  28. “There is no way in hell he should be able to stand toe to toe with a trained kendo practitioner.”

    Show Spoiler ▼

  29. Okay… Couldn’t we have taken some more time to get acquainted more with IRL Kirito and his family? Sure, by all means, let us know that Asuna is still in a coma and Kirito goes to see her regularly. But did we have to jump right into the next conflict right away? While I like it when shows stay faithful to the original material, something ought to be said for improving upon where the original fell short? I haven’t read the novels, but it seems this is the general sentiment among those that have read them. That some pacing and some characterizations weren’t very sophisticated to begin with and now it has bled into the anime. I agree, I think we could’ve gone without introducing Sugou as the new antagonist right away. That was pretty fast and pretty in your face. Still a good episode though! I still love the show haha. I just would’ve liked to see more of Kirito’s interactions with IRL people. Saying that he inherited his love of computers from his mom/aunt is a cop out I think. I would’ve liked to have seen what kind of life had he been living before or his environment before that would allow him to be able to enjoy himself in a virtual reality death game as if it were real reality. I feel there was a missed opportunity. Again, I understand we’re missing things from the narrations in the novels. That’s why there ought to have been some gap-filling situations in the anime. Anyways…

    How convenient that Egil sends a picture spotting Asuna in another game right after Sugou all but screams at Kirito that he’s the one who is holding Asuna and 300 other players hostage on the game servers the company he works for purchased from Kayaba…

  30. “The only blessing here is that he didn’t actually win the fight – something attributed more to his lack of full rehabilitation than the fact that he has no real training whatsoever.”

    Kirito did have some training, so he does know the basics of sword fighting. However your point still stands.

  31. Did SAO just pull a “Your Princes is in another castle” cliche? That’s our “tough” action female protagonist folks, reduced to nothing more than a damsel to be rescued.

    To be fair I did like the shift to the real world since it gives a fresh new perspective for the series, something the show really needed at this point.

    Sugu herself is may be the most interesting character in SAO so far. She is undermined however because she’s reduced to another girl fawning for Kirito. What’s the point? They already set KiritoxAsuna in stone and its just painful to see that Sugu obviously has no chance. Is the author hellbent on trying to convince me that Kirito is the hot stuff?

    And then that douchebag fiance really killed off my good mood. Its so annoying how unsubtle he is he might as well have grown a twirly mustache and tie Asuna to some train tracks. That’s our antagonist? Because I can tell I’m going to hate this arc already. I’m already getting Noumi flashbacks. I can only hope that his presence in the series won’t be as painfully long like Accel World was.

    1. It’s ok, while Sugou is as evil as can be, his presence is limited to… oh wait nvm, he appears 4 times during the series and you’ll hate him all the more each time. I just skip those parts in the LN.

      Suppa Tenko
  32. In terms of writing style, we see Kawahara’s skills progressing here from SAO to ALO (he’s admittedly getting into the groove here). In fact for these two volumes (which I assume will continue till the end of last episode), I would say, that Sugura’s character is memorable for me (it’s well defined, and the character grows on you) without spoiling any more details.

    I will say that SAO for me is like a slice of life with a game mechanic put in. Especially for this arc. And that I like Kirito/Kazuto, because he’s not your average anime male character who is so dense (I don’t even consider this a harem as some would say – Kirito only has sights on one girl, and that is Asuna); and personally, when he does cry, you can actually feel the sincerity of his emotions – it’s heartfelt.

  33. Just want to point something out about Suguha’s feelings to Kirito. It’s not like she hasn’t had time for her feelings to develop. Two years of watching him on a bed so close to death followed by the final push of him actually waking up was more than enough for her.

    1. Agreed. There’s pointless mooks dying but they are never mentioned or even named sometimes. However, we have yet to see some more minor characters yet, probably still held in coma for ransom of some sort.

      Looks like Kirito is going to dive back into SAO to save his wife and princess!

  34. Someone is going to be tied to the stake and verbally abused for this transgression (the new apparent antagonist with the apparent snake tongue waggling).

    Just watched the episode and I have to say, its good to see the state of the real world, no killer meteors or aliens in the horizon so it must be okay in the future 😀

    That aside, this episode makes a great pilot for the following episodes, setting down all the important characters right away and the problem, I hate it when the plot goes MIA in an anime.

  35. oh well… how do I begin?
    1. Kayaba is still at large! Calling “Never found the body” (T)…
    2. which may be related to why Asuna and 300 other people are still in coma… Nothing ever is easy!
    3. …which is perfect occasion for some idiot douche bag to try and force-marry her only for career and profit… (douche is obvious, idiot is because he underestimates Kirito… yeah he might have been a hero that survived a death game that has killed 4000 people only in virtual world, but still I’d respect him anyway – and as a villain at least make sure he will be out of the way – with extreme prejudice! – and with no bragging! I can brag all the way AFTER I kill opponent…)
    4…which brings into picture bro-con (or is it cousin-con?) developed by Suguha… who is one “onii-chan!” short of what we see in “Oniichan dakedo” – hilarity ensues when she wakes up in Kirito’s bed…
    5.while Kirito has picked up some l33t sword skillz in SAO, his STR and DEX are still subpar in SARL (sword art real life…), and he loses to Suguha. Bonus points for poking fun at him trying to put his bamboo sword into back-mounted scabbard he used to have in SAO…

    TL:DR – Asuna is a plant, new villain is an idiot, and new girl is “not-really-sister” imouto with a raging bro-con…
    for me SAO ends on ep 14… it was at least sort of closure!

    1. because the writers are damn lazy and shameless in trying to achieve shock value with social taboos. Every culture has its own peculiar stuff they secretly enjoy and fantasize: in real life they seldom look appealing though.

      1. While what you say is technically correct, what social taboo?

        This is a show that takes place in Japan, made by Japanese, for Japanese, and broadcast in Japan where marrying cousins is legal and normal.

  36. im actually quite happy to see him so good with the sword irl… its like..erm… playing dark souls.. finished first playthrough.. then roflstomp everything in new game + with your maxed out gear… somehow satisfying… not realistic… but satisfying.

  37. How about we get past the idea of whether or not “incest” is right or wrong and perhaps actually question the writing quality of its use within the story? You know, like maybe just a bit?

  38. actually building a pc from pc parts is very easy, PC’s are deliberately made so you can assemble the parts easily. now, buidling a pc board, from just components, that’s a real job. but, anyway, good job kazuto kun.

  39. I’ve got to agree about the antagonists being 1-dimensional. It’s also a complete ‘turn-off’ as it were to the series. I was enjoying Accel World until the arc began with the blackmailing jackass that was just unbelievably detestable. I actually stopped watching the show because of him, and I’m hoping this won’t be a repeat case in SAO.

    Also, it would be nice to see a little sister for once that was close but not incestuously inclined to her older brother. Is that too much to ask for? A normal loving sibling relationship could add more to the story than an extra love interest, especially with how much they’ve already crafted the relationship between Asuna and Kirito. Alas, I fear it might be too much to ask for from anime.

    1. To each their own, I guess.

      I would understand not liking a one-dimensional character if it were unrealistic, but it happens all the time. The Kardashians, The Situation, a fair number of company executives. (Company executives have a higher incidence rate of sociopaths than the general population)

      Me, I like having one-dimensional villains. It makes the eventual triumph over them that much sweeter. (Imagine bankrupting Bill Gates. Now imagine bankrupting Donald Trump)

  40. “Anyone want to step forwards and claim to have built a PC from junk parts when they were six? Or is building a PC supposed to be that much easier in the future?”

    I’ve build by first PC when I was four. Nothing unusual here though. It’s not like you have to create every part of it.

  41. Hmm… Anybody mind explaining… Sougou said the wedding will take place in a week’s time, so does that mean this time Kirito will only take 7 days to clear the game and save Asuna??

    1. That’s the gist of it, yeah. So its basically Mario trying to save his princess within the time limit of 7 days. Damn! Kirito should start investing in Brain Burst to get himself more time!

  42. You thought you are safe from Noumi after Dusk Taker arc ends…. Le Sugou appears!!
    *cue expletive*

    And just to say, I don’t mind those one dimensional villains. It makes me feel better when they have their filthy @$$ kicked. 😀

  43. Good episode overall. The only problems I had with it was how Asuna still looks perfect after being in a Coma for two years, and how Suguha seemed to have no idea what happened within SAO (such as when she wonders what Kirito is comparing the bamboo sword to and when she asks Kirito if he’s been training). Fair enough that Kirito isn’t telling people that he cleared the game, but surely Suguha knows that he was risking his life fighting sword-in-hand on the front lines nearly everyday?

    Also Sougou. One-dimensional villains are boring.

  44. Sword Art Online breaks from the virtual reality to give us a taste of “true” reality in this entertaining episode.

    As much as I love the first op, I think Innocence is a worthy successor even if when compared the two songs are quite different. Crossing Field was gritty and had a much harder edge to it, befitting the first half of the series, while Innocence is brighter and happier with some nice juxtaposition of the real and virtual worlds which I assume will become the focus of the next half of the show.

    As for the ed… while I liked Yume Sekai as a song, I was a little disappointed by the lack
    of imagery in the animation. As such, Overfly is a definite improvement in that regard.

    I chalked up Kirito doing well against Suguha in the match as more him relying on reflexes than any actual Kendo skill. For pretty much the entire fight he was just dodging her and when he did go in for an attack Suguha was able to overpower him and beat him pretty easily. Kirito’s comment after the fight, while it could be taken as a joke, implies that Suguha would’ve been a better choice to fight Heathcliff since she has actual training with a sword and wouldn’t have relied on sword skills like Kirito did. And considering how much of a gamer Kirito is, I’d think fast reflexes would be a must, and those skills were probably honed to perfection in Sword Art Online.

    Sugou is basically Dio Brando, only without the handsomeness or being a vampire, which is probably why Takehito Koyasu was cast to play him. The comparisons to Noumi from Accel World are easy to make, but at least Noumi had a Freudian excuse for why he was so messed up, Sugou is just a psychopath with a desire for power, a type that is all too common in both fiction and in real life. I’m not arguing that complex villains, which Sugou is most definitely not and Kayaba arguably was, aren’t endearing and help in telling a good story, but I’ve never felt that all villains should be that way. Sometimes it’s nice to have an antagonist whose easy to hate, making their eventual defeat all the more rewarding, as I felt was the case with Noumi.

    Not much to say about Suguha so far. She had some really cute scenes in this episode, so overall I’d say she’s a nice addition to the cast. I’m not sure how I feel about her feelings for Kirito, though considering his way with the ladies and how she’s probably known him the longest of all his harem, to a degree I can buy it. Losing him for two years and learning that he was her cousin, which means they could legally get together, certainly may have elevated her feelings or at least have given her a better understanding of them. Considering how this is her true introduction into the series, I’ll reserve some judgement towards her character and her relationship with Kirito until I’ve seen more. But I’ll give her props for what she said at the end of the episode, motivating Kirito even when she’s well aware of where his true feelings lie.

    Aya Endo as Kirito’s Mom/Aunt? Kirito still remains one lucky man… though I’m left curious as to who they’ll cast as his dad, if he even appears at all.

    All in all, a good start to the second half of Sword Art Online and I’m anxiously looking forward to seeing the return of Egil as Kirito searches for Asuna.

  45. Shame i dont get the Aion reference (I play the game with passion though).. is it because of the tower in the middle? Are there 3 factions fighting against each other? Guess I just have to wait for the next episode since I have yet to read the novels XD

    The kendo fight was very cool but it did confused me a bit how kirito was so.. agile. Theres no way he would recover that much in such short time, and even if his brain remembered the moves, his muscles would be totally untrained for such movements. Just no Kirito :I

    Really want to like Kirito’s sister/cousin here. She’s a pretty character and also interesting but I just cant stand how in animes they seem to rub on our faces that cousins falling in love with each other is totally ok.
    Its not, ok Japan? Its not ok, its gross :I

    1. 1. As I remember the author write the 3rd and 4th novel before Aion came out. And its 4 factions if u wanna know
      2. Yeah I have the same question too, only 2 weeks and he can move that much thats just insane recover speed
      3. In Japan cousin can marry each other u know that??? In some country is sure gross just thinking about it, but in Japan they are fine with that
      sor for my bad English XD

  46. I’m really excited about this arc. Out of the 4 arcs, this is one of the least exciting ones but the drama keeps me at the edge of my seat. I like what I’ve seen so far, but I hope they will animate it within 11 episodes well. One of the charms of this arc is the ‘beautiful environment’ compared to the other arcs. I wasn’t expecting Nobuyuki to be an old bastard though (though I bet he’s still in his early twenties), was expecting him to look a bit more schoolkid-like, but I guess he’s one of the tech heads after all..
    Tree looks different from my imagination too. Was thinking of a lot of roots but from the images it looks.. Otherworldly..

  47. Several things in defense of the episode.

    First, while I am a little iffy on the whole ‘win the kendo fight’ bit, I can actually mostly suspend my disbelief due to several factors. First, as several people mentioned, Kirito does have 2 years of prior Kendo under his belt (before he went fully into the computer thing). Second, there’s a good chance that he wasn’t _that_ physically badly off in the first place. Especially considering the neurolinker technology and the fact that even now there is use of weak current stimulation of muscles to keep them from atrophying, extrapolating the combination of those techs by ten years, and I can fully believe that the hospital probably managed to contain the worse of the physical effects of those 2 years of inactivity. And of course, Kirito’s basically spent 2 years where he was probably fighting a good 30-40% of the time, whereas Sugu’s doing Kendo at most a hour or two a day. So… yeah, I’m okay with it.

    As for the incest bit… I honestly don’t care one way or the other. Because frankly, one of the reasons I’m probably going to keep following SA:O is that there is pretty much no question that Kirito and Asuna are going to end up together. There’s a lot of obstacles in the way, but those Obstacles actually aren’t other girls. And hell, Kirito’s a hell of a lot more likeable than a whole lot of male anime leads. I mean seriously, when was the last time there was an anime with almost no ‘will they or won’t they?’ (aside from the ones that have no romantic element in the first place).

  48. I enjoyed this episode on the whole, the real world “aftermath” per se of Kirito and Asuna’s deadly adventure was certainly thought-provoking to me, and I enjoyed seeing glimpses of how SAO is still very much present to Kirito in everything he does (understandably). I do agree that his kendo skills were a bit silly, but I also really liked it for its implications of “the body is a plaything of the mind,” for all the time he spent in life-or-death situations honing those very skills. To transfer it to muscle-memory is a bit much, but I found it enetertaining all the same.

    Suguha seems like a nice character but as of right now I have next to zero attachment to her, and I find her kissing cousins shtick to me tiresome and off-putting. Hopefully she’ll develop more as an individual character in the future and shed some of her incestuous one-dimensionality. One can only hope.

    Lastly, I thought the game tie-in to Kirito’s new challenge was interesting. Kirito facing the issue that marriage in SAO is not considered “real” in the outside world – and by extension, having to combat the difficulty of explaining that his and Asuna’s feelings and experiences were real to those not involved in the death game – is again a very thought-provoking plot line, and one I hope is explored further.

  49. Regarding the dull colors of “the real world”, that’s very much my memory of urban Japan. Lots of gray concrete and trains and overcast skies. So, while it may be an a nice artistic contrast, it may also just be realism.


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