「猛炎の将」 (Mou Honoo no Shou)
“General of the Blazing Flame”

I’ve been wondering this for a while, and I know others have too. Isn’t it rather strange that Leafa has never once questioned Kirito’s absurdities? I’m sure most players would notice that something was up pretty quickly given how prone gamers are to calling out exploiters. If anything, watching him fight General Eugene (Miyake Kenta) should have triggered some concerns that he was hacking. After all, he moves much faster than he should be able to as we’ve witnessed on multiple occasions (half the time it looks like he’s speedhacking); he can fly faster than Leafa despite the fact she’s never met anyone who could even so much as keep up with her before; he uses extremely overpowered illusion magic thanks to his conveniently hacked stats; and he has an AI pixie that can sense nearby players and give an accurate account of their numbers. This is all rather suspect, no? I’m guessing that must mean Leafa is pretty naive when it comes to the game, even if she has been playing a long time. But then again, given her stance on illusion magic, that doesn’t seem like much of a surprise.

Credit where credit is due, that duel between Kirito and Eugene was rather spectacular, particularly Kirito’s triumphant return to dual wielding as accompanied by a pretty nice Kajiura cue. Player vs player duels are something SAO really should have done more of, though preferably without the complete imbalance every battle has shown so far. There was never really any question how things would turn out, even if Eugene was the ‘strongest player in the game’ and his weapon ‘vastly outmatched Kirito’s giant compensatory sword’. Even with the lack of a severe death penalty to get us invested in this arc, it never truly feels like there’s any danger when the very idea of Kirito losing in a battle is an alien concept. As disappointed as I am that Kirito has returned to dual wielding (fighting with twin swords is extremely overrated), it was handled well and brought up something interesting – apparently you can just snatch things off players without asking. Pretty unusual mechanic that.

Kirito’s victory brought about a few things. Everyone is impressed by his skill, even the Salamanders – his foes in this. It’s a nice change from the usual ‘everyone who opposes Kirito is pure evil‘ stance – it shows that Kawahara understands that players are not necessarily evil if they oppose others – that there’s no real grudges here in a contest of skill. Someone had to be painted as the bad-guys or Kirito would be without any human opposition within the game. It’s a pity that Kawahara went with the more generic choice of putting Kirito immediately on the side of the ‘good‘ groups in all this conflict. A perspective from the other side would’ve been nice, and equally as valid. I imagine I would’ve found this arc far more interesting if Kirito was fighting alongside the Salamanders – after all, his end goal is to rescue Asuna from the top of the tree, not forge peace between the factions. All good and evil in this is entirely relative. Notice how there are always female players amongst the ‘good’ factions, already waiting to join Kirito’s harem, while on the other side of the fence, all foes are male.

So in the end, Kirito manages to win himself two new haremites – the more mature Sakuya (Yahagi Sayuri) and the adorable Alicia (Saito Chiwa). This is, of course, no surprise at all. There’s nary a female in the universe who doesn’t have a thing for Kirito. And, as expected, Sugu falls further in love with the guy who she doesn’t realise is her cousin who she’s already in love with and has already been rejected by in the real world. Well that revelation is going to hurt. Furthermore, Kagemune (Madono Mitsuaki) decides to lie on Kirito’s behalf. It’s hard not to wonder what his motives are for doing that. To end with, Asuna finally stops crying for Kirito to come and save her and takes advantage of the enormous security risk to escape her cell. Maybe she’ll finally be back on form!

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A spectacular duel, and probably a lot of bans in the near future! #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • Kirito sure is proud of how well he can lie!
  • A-a-are those players?
  • Please ladies, he’s a married man! Try to contain yourselves!
  • For all his moral speeches, Kirito probably just got a lot of people banned. In any real MMO, that suspiciously large amount of money would be traced back, found to have been hacked into the game, and result in the bans of everyone who had any connection to it. It would be justified too. Kirito just broke the entire faction balance with money that should not exist. So much for ‘not doing things that are morally wrong in an MMO’!

Full-length images: 09, 10, 13, 26, 32, 34, 36.

 

Preview

End Card

187 Comments

      1. People are forgetting one tiny detail; in contrast to SAO’s death-version, Alfheim has no restrictions on choosing your a gender for your avatar. So, only one thing remains to be said about the two new additions to Kirito’s harem, which I will leave to our guest star:

        Admiral Ackbar: “IT’S A TRAP!”

        SpacyRicochet
      2. SpacyRichochet, I think in the lightnovel it states that the avatar has to be the same gender as the user because if one were to use their character for too long, it could have consequences in how people use their “functions” (its been a while since I read it so its a vague recollection).

        Dualash
    1. Well, Its not as if Sakuya and Alicia have suddenly fallen for him. When someone suddenly appears and defeats the strongest player that everyone knows of and claims to be a mercenary, they’d want him to join their side. It was pretty much the main motive for Sakuya and Alicia. Just that since they’re female, they made good use of their advantage to try and coerce Kirito XD.

      And Moomba being abit harsh in saying Asuna finally stops crying for Kirito no? She really only cries out like once? Beyond that she maintained her strong determination to try and escape by herself. The reasons why she has taken this long is because she had been monitoring Sugou’s routine as well as trying to get the security password to her cell. She needed to be sure that Sugou won’t be around or happen to login when she attempts her escape.

      Euzio
      1. I imagine Sakuya and Alicia’s actions make even more sense in the context of a game where there are active clan wars and PvP, and a free-agent mercenary may be able to move more freely and accomplish more than a non-renegade member of your species.

        Rasen
      2. I started to notice this a few posts back, but does it seem that moomba is started to really dislike this series to the point that it seems he would drop this series if possible?

        bakakubi
  1. I like how they didn’t focus on Kirito and Eugene’s health bars during the fight. That fight was pretty much just pure action and you didn’t need a hp bar to tell who was winning.

    As an old Asheron’s Call (a 13 yr old MMO) player I know that if you hack or try to overload the servers the system would automatically boot or ban you. An anomaly like Kirito should be raising red flags all over the place.

    Absaroka
    1. Keep in mind WHY Kirito has all that stuff. All that money did NOT appear out of nowhere. In fact, it was already there. Sugou’s team at RECTO is also not running the game as a proper RPG, remember? So honestly, especially considering SAO had an AI system monitoring player misconduct, it’s not hard to believe that ALO GMs don’t monitor the player base at all. In fact, most of the administration under Sugou’s research team are likely not even gamers.

      Think back to when Sugou revealed his plans to Kirito. Think back to when Yui explained why Kirito’s character is like that. Kirito’s items were lost because they were different, but all the other values were using the same format, so they carried over. The SAO servers were a black box, so Kirito’s “hacking” is actually partly due to the black box issue, and also a careless oversight by RECTO. Kirito’s money, stats, character, etc are already there. To the system, there’s nothing suspicious other than a couple of alternatively encrypted items that the system is reading differently, which Kirito promptly discarded upon logging in. I believe most people are placing their suspicions in the wrong place. The problem isn’t whether Kirito is hacking or not, it’s that we have to believe that Kirito is the only SAO survivor that is willing to play ALFheim Online, supposedly the new “hot” game.

      Kagemune lied to Eugene in return for Kirito’s favor of returning his party’s items and not killing him. It’s included in the LN, but barely hinted at in the scene here. (Leafa’s expressions are the only sign). Kagemune said to Kirito back then that he would “Return the favor if such an opportunity ever occurred”.

      Jello
      1. Ah, but there is a reason for why Kirito is different then everyone else. All the nervegears were confiscated by the goverment after the end of SAO, but Kirito bargained his knowledge to keep his, mostly to keep Yui as she was stored in there. But it also seems like the there were game data stored in there as well that were accessed when he logged in.

        Znail
    1. And vigilance for her father´s fidelity, that sure takes most of her time. Also, she can gather a monstruosus amount of information from the net in seconds, suck that hackers.

      haseo0408
  2. Dunno if anyone’s noticed buuuut, are you sure the two new haremettes are actually girls? After all… It is an online game and no Akihiko kayaba mirror hax to see your true self.

    Alcren
    1. Acording to the novel a player cannot choose an avatar of a different gender because studies proove it will be harmful for the players mind. SAO didn´t have that restriction at first but Kayaba wanted a complete mirror of reality so he changed them back with that item mirror.

      haseo0408
  3. Wooow, in all that time since I read the novel, it never crossed my mind about how Lyfa and the others players could have thought Kirito was hacking.

    Objectively speaking, I think that episode was less impressive than last week’s… it went back to “okaaaaaay…” quality level.
    Subjectively, hell yeah ALO boobs graphics engine!! Best episode yet.
    Sakuya is the best. One of the biggest reason I’m watching was to see this scene.

  4. dual wield is back! And nice fight I have to say. I really really like the fight scenes for SAO. Especially this kind of fight, like Kirito vs Heathcliff, this salamander and hopefully, many other opponents.

    inferno
  5. This is something I’d like to know: that’s the 2nd anime based on a MMORPG that’s about players getting stuck inside the game and that Game Over means death (1st one I know is .hack). Am I the only one who think that this premise is rather useless? Why can’t it be that we get a real in-game character and that the “real-world perspective” gets completely eliminated? The Ragnarok Online anime had us following a real character without any player interaction, and for some reason, that allowed for better character development and story.

    I just don’t buy the premise that MMORPGs are actually clones of the Matrix. Video games adaptations, or anything related to video games should be focused on an actual original character, not on a player’s experience. I’ve seen WoW comic books, and we follow original characters, not people who are playing the game.

    Sword Art Online should be about an original character, not a player’s avatar. Furthermore, we’re NOT in Sword Art Online anymore. That’s like having a World of Warcraft anime with a human player playing the game for the first arc and then game-jumping to Diablo 3. Ok, fine, same developper, but still; don’t call it “Sword Art Online” anymore, since we’re now in “Alfheim Online”. That’s seriously confusing.

    That’s why I’m having trouble getting into the series, I don’t like the MMO-Matrix plot. I’d rather follow the adventures of Kirito and completely forget about Kirigaya Kazuto, I’d rather see Sword Art Online as a “standard” and “real” anime world and not as an artificial world. I’m aware that this is an adaptation from the novel, but the novel’s premise is something I’m not fond of, thus I’m not fond of the anime’s premise either.

    Look, don’t take it harsh, I just don’t like the plot of “saving yourself/someone from within the game”.

    JiCi
    1. JiCi SAO(the MMO)doesn’t have a story,WoW had a story,characters and a world,all backed by 3 games and a bunch of comics and novels,and it can tell a story without player input:it is played on a computer and you’re just some random guy that helps the chracters out,SAO is VR:you can talk to other players without chat,you can interact with them(and to some extent,NPCs)and what you can do just does not leave any chance at a story set in stone.(imagine Tirion Fordring facing the Lich king in ICC,and you killing him before he can get frozen) plus The game was made by a guy who wanted everyone to LIVE the game,to be part of it. As for the series still keeping it’s name,that is because SAO is what starts it. That’s just my 2 cents,feel free to ignore it or start a flame war over it and have a nice day!

    2. Well if you take a fantasy rpg and focus on a character in it, you will basically get a fantasy story with a few game mechanics added on.(Except if it’s being a game is in any way an important plot point.) And in the cases I saw the game elements were rarely anything that made the story better, so you could just do a normal fantasy story instead. Whereas you can’t just remove the game from .hack. And in the case of SAO, well based on his worke the author is a fan of VR so he makes stories about it. Now you

      Cirith
    3. Are you even watching the anime? It’s no longer about escaping the death game. So I guess you have missed a few episodes. While your idea isn’t bad so is it totally different to what SAO is going for. And SAO main focus isn’t really the on current goal of the MC, but more about how different people deal with a virtual game (and in the earlier arc, the death game). So we see a lot of people who deal in this world in totally different ways.

      Znail
    1. I’m curious how the race leaders are elected, given how much power they have. Ideally, such people would be game sages or even the GMs themselves. Instead, Sakuya, Alicia, Eugene, and Sigurd appear to be taking their roles way too seriously, which is not ubelievable given there are such people in real life.

      Actually, wait- is it safe to assume that races is a version of the guild system and each race is one guild? This would mean players can be part of the guild with, I’m guessing, free access to the hometown, or renegades banned from the guild.

      Any LN care to shed some light on this leader system?

      Beedle
      1. The only thing the LN says about the leader selection is that they are elected by popular vote in their territory. So pretty much the race chooses their leader in some form of election.

        Syaoran
      2. Umm the LN didn’t really shed too much light on how it works other than spending the taxes (so we can assume that they set the tax as well) – but the lord is basically voted into power on a monthly basis(someone can correct me on the stats but the Sylph lord Sakura was voted in with a overwhelming % of votes – something like 80%)

        AoWAkroma
      3. I use to play Ace Online and every month there’s an election of popular vote to choose the president of each faction and the faction leaders get bonus stats as well as the ability to use tax money and give player buffs. I’d assume it’s the same way in ALO

        Suppa Tenko
  6. This is all rather suspect, no? I’m guessing that must mean Leafa is pretty naive when it comes to the game, even if she has been playing a long time. But then again, given her stance on illusion magic, that doesn’t seem like much of a surprise.

    I wouldn’t quite say Leafa is naive. Instead, I’d say Leafa lacks the petty elitism most online posters/players have. In this regard, she is just like Klein and Egil. The AI pixie is suspicious but, then again, Leafa was the one to draw up that conclusion implying it’s not an unheard of occurrence in ALO. For all we know, acquiring AI pixies simply require an absurd contribution to the cash shop. The coincidence would be Leafa not having met anybody with an AI pixie before thus she does not know the extent of their capabilities.

    As disappointed as I am that Kirito has returned to dual wielding (fighting with twin swords is extremely overrated), it was handled well and brought up something interesting – apparently you can just snatch things off players without asking. Pretty unusual mechanic that.

    It could be a Spriggan-thing, just like how most thief-like classes can steal gear. I do wish the pros and cons of each race was better clarified beyond Leafa’s opinions. Kirito, read the manual next time!

    For all his moral speeches, Kirito probably just got a lot of people banned. In any real MMO, that suspiciously large amount of money would be traced back, found to have been hacked into the game, and result in the bans of everyone who had any connection to it. It would be justified too. Kirito just broke the entire faction balance with money that should not exist. So much for ‘not doing things that are morally wrong in an MMO’!

    I… don’t quite understand how you drew this conclusion. Money isn’t limited in online games. Unless someone reports this suspicious amount of cash, which will no doubt be distributed to more people to buy gear and thus transactions happen in smaller parts, there’s no reason for GMs to intervene and mount an investigation proving that Kirito is not simply a hardcore farmer on the side.

    And, how would each faction know what the status of another is? Maybe the Undines are about to mount a raid of their own but are just keeping quiet about it due to the competition between races.

    Beedle
    1. I think the assumption here is that the creators of the game are actively and diligently monitoring everything, especially if it’s related to player transactions. When the GMs see that Kirito gave to Alicia the sack containing pretty much the entire world’s economy, they will notice because such a large exchange deviates so much from the average. Following this, an investigation would likely be in order.

      Xumbra
      1. If only GMs were that efficient XD In the last (free) MMORPG I played, GMs were little more than middlemen between the actual developers from Japan and the players. That’s not to say they were horrible; half the fun of PvP was catching a GM and killing them. Still, whenever technical know-how of the game was required, they’d always reply with “that’s interesting; let me ask the devs” and never pull through. They were experts at banning people from the official forums, however =/

        Beedle
      2. Players are allowed to steal other people’s equipments as long as it’s activated an on that person’s body as part of the game’s CQC. For example, you can disarm your opponent and kill him with his own sword. However you do not have ownership of the equipment so if your the owner of the equipment dies or travels too far from you, the equipment is returned to the owner’s inventory.

        In Alicization Kirito and Sinon were talking about a guy in Gun Gale Online who fights purely using MGS styled CQC and stealing people’s weapons and killing them with it.
        Just like here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcfx3wkYUXw#t=0m46s

        Suppa Tenko
  7. Did anyone else think that Leafa realized the real identity of Kirito? Especially when she grabbed his back to claim Kirito for herself from the other two hotties and couldn’t say who Kirito was to her. Just wondering if I’m reading too much into things here.

    cheezwiz
  8. “To end with, Asuna finally stops crying for Kirito to come and save her and takes advantage of the enormous security risk to escape her cell. Maybe she’ll finally be back on form!”

    more like she didn’t hav any choice but wait before, now tht she’s found a way out, of course she’s going take it.

    shadowalker
  9. i wonder how much kirito hp at his current state after taken alot of strike from the salamander commander. He seems like immortal rather than that commander with just getting few 10 slash combo and died.

    AkiRan
    1. Considering Kirito’s slashes constituted to a OHKO back when he first met Leafa and making those tanks that attacked them last episode at half HP while guarding, it’s no wonder multiple attacks from him using two swords killed Eugene that quickly.
      Also damage here is based on 4 things: power of the weapon itself, where on the opponent’s body the attack hits, attack speed, and the armor worn by the opponent. Considering that Kirito’s weapon might be a below average(it looks like a stock weapon), the enemy’s armor is high grade, Kirito relies on attack speed and how clean his attacks go for the damage.
      Plus Kirito must have kept his Battle Healing from SAO(I remember seeing it in his window here in ALO).

  10. “For all his moral speeches, Kirito probably just got a lot of people banned. In any real MMO, that suspiciously large amount of money would be traced back, found to have been hacked into the game, and result in the bans of everyone who had any connection to it. It would be justified too. Kirito just broke the entire faction balance with money that should not exist. So much for ‘not doing things that are morally wrong in an MMO’!”

    thts one way of at looking at it but tht money would help Cait Sith,Sylph Alliance(who are on friendly terms with him now) reach the World Tree, Kirito might hav thought of it as back-up plan for him to get the World Tree if he couldn’t do it by himself.

    shadowalker
      1. But next episode you find out the reason why Kirito is able to trade so much money is because
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Another thing is, since the Nervgear is fairly new and ALfheim Online is designed using the black box from SAO, no one has had the ability to hack it so far, thus not really needing GMs to check for hacking.

        Suppa Tenko
  11. After a couple of episodes in Alfheim Online Arc, i still wonder what the death penalty is for dying in the game. Sometimes it does sound like a big deal dying, but ppl won’t really die when they die. Do you just lose your character and have to start all over again?

    MakuMaku
    1. I’ve assumed three penalties based on the past few episodes:

      1) Losing skill points – Kagemune’s reason for not pursuing the confrontation against Leafa and Kirito
      2) Respawn in home town – Leafa telling Kirito in the previous episode
      3) Possible lock-out – Recon unable to log in and warn Leafa personally after he died

      More interesting to note is that characters feel pain when they’re hurt in ALO. I may have to rewatch SAO arc to be sure, but this wasn’t the case in SAO.

      Beedle
      1. From the light novel:
        „When you are killed by an enemy, 30% of the non-equipment items in your possession are “stolen” by the enemy player. What items are taken is decided at random. However, when in a party there is something called Insurance Frame which will automatically transfer the items of a killed player to their party members.“

        ckuri
  12. ” To end with, Asuna finally stops crying for Kirito to come and save her and takes advantage of the enormous security risk to escape her cell” What? I dont think we are watching the same show. She was hardly “Crying” for him. She had to take the time to see the code for the door,memorize it,and find a good time to make her move.

    Felipito
    1. Much thump up for you, and inb4 people jump in and say fanboy defends their waifu together. I am not even Asuna fan. While the anime might not have made it as clear as the novel, it is still no where near the level – has been crying all the time and finally stopped now. I guess if one to takes time with their escape plan and not like..hitting or scream trying to break free then they will be classified as “crying all the time”?

      Takurannyan
    1. one would think people who think this is such a bad anime would hav stopped watching it by 20th ep.
      well, i guess one of the reasons tht makes SAO a good anime, is tht it manages to keep the haters(and people who think this is a bad anime) to still keep watching it.

      shadowalker
      1. you may hav noticed tht in my post i also said good anime not masterpiece(but this would probably make my top 10 list), and i also believe tht people who view this as masterpiece should enjoy it as such(after all the definition of a masterpiece isn’t a fixed fact and can differ from person to person).

        shadowalker
  13. I think that huge amount of money wasn’t hacked. Remember he deleted his entire inventory prior to starting all his adventures?

    Plus given how the pair travelled all the way to this point, whatever loot he has was simply liquidated, given how none of them bought new gear or stuff.

    Dude
    1. There are still hordes of monsters to fight. Like at the World Tree, which no race has cleared yet, so it’s obviously not possible to solo. And keep in mind the old adage, “there’s always someone stronger out there”.

      Anon
    2. Kirito is the strongest on ALO however,

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Megas
    3. it’s not surprising tht Kirito is already the strongest player in ALO, if you think about it, all the players in ALO, hav been playing ALO as ‘just a game’ for about a year while Kirito has been fighting, with his life on the line, to get out of SAO for two years(as well as retaining his stats from SAO in ALO).
      but it’s possible tht there are AI’s with higher stats or he can still be overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

      shadowalker
  14. To the snatching of Leafa’s sword: I’m guessing since its equipped on their person and not in their inventory it can be removed. So since their out in the field no town type restrictions stop Kirito from “stealing” the sword. That’s just my guess though.

    Syaoran
    1. They are kind of. Dual wielding isn’t rare in ALO, it’s just that everyone else who dual wields sucks at it. The only people who can dual wield properly are people who have proper dual wield training, ei high-dan nito-ryu kendoists and people who specialize in dual wield kungfu. But those people don’t play ALO so pretty much no one can dual wield proficiently.

      Suppa Tenko
    2. In ALO Dual Wielding isn’t an actual game-skill. In order to do it, you, the player, have to actually be able to perform all the moves yourself. That’s why no one else has really made use of it, because physically training yourself up to that level of capability is just not worth it.

      Wanderer
  15. World of Warcraft does the same thing. There are 2 factions the Alliance and the Horde. If you play an Alliance race you are told the Horde are evil bastards robing and pillaging the land. If you are a Horde player you are told the races are mostly peaceful and the Alliance invaded their territory.

    So that might also apply here. The Salamanders might not be an evil race. The leader seemed like a douche when he attacked Kirito past the 30 seconds mark but in the end was pretty gracious and honorable in defeat.

    Karmafan
    1. That’s not true. Both Alliance and Horde have their own virtues and faults. Its just that Horde players have a tendency to be self-righteous and over-exaggerate their innocence in lore.

      fragb85
    2. Salamanders aren’t evil per say, it’s just that the Salamanders and Sylphs are competing for territory and money so they are fairly antagonistic towards each other. None of the other 7 races particularly give a shit about them.

      Suppa Tenko
  16. Good EP. Couldn’t the evil game maker just find Asuna’s location, pick her up — BAM, back to bird cage? Or even better, just wait for her to find Kritio and then take both of them. Anyone notice Haru in the end card btw?:D

    ctscloud
      1. That would be incorrect, there are GMs.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Syaoran
  17. For once SAO actually did something right and made an episode that’s actually about the game!? The show actually remembered what the setting is and not generic shonen-fantasy crap!? What a total shock!

    We have actual players who act like this is a game! I didn’t even care about Kirito pulling stuff out of his ass again, or how the females are once again are absolutely worthless other than to fall for Kirito. I’d would have watched 26 episodes of fun in an MMO and Gaming Politics, not the drivel SAO has shoved down my throat. Too bad we’re going back to Asuna, I couldn’t care less about her.

    The only problem I had was with Sigurd, who is a complete joke. I mean slave girls servants and kneeling tributes? That’s so godamn stupid I can’t even wrap my head around that. And talking s*** to your guild ledaer? No actual inteligent MMO player would do that, unless they really wanted to sabotage their own guild career.

    fragb85
    1. >The only problem I had was with Sigurd, who is a complete joke. I mean slave girls servants and kneeling tributes?

      I laughed at this. I hope those girls are NPCs because I can’t for the life of me imagine people actually doing this. Then again I dunno what kinda fetishes these people have.

      Sol
    2. “I mean slave girls servants and kneeling tributes? That’s so godamn stupid I can’t even wrap my head around that.”

      At least this part is anime-original and wasn’t mentioned in the novel.

      ckuri
    1. End cards are art pictures of the show drawn by various artists and shown at the end of an episode during the last sponsors display after the ED& Jikai. Official Streams rips never have them. I never watched one, so I dunno if the rippers cut them out or if they aren’t in official streams in the first place.

      Rockmanshii
    2. Yeah most fan subs stopped showing them about midway through the first season, but they are actually in the original airing. Lots of other anime’s have done guest artist end cards as well.

      Tez
    1. IMHO, conclude from LN, FullDive device: NerveGear, AmuSphere can detect emotion change, and transmit to the VR and simulate it accordingly. But I don’t know whether if the player cries in game, he/she will cry too in reality, maybe not, because all nerve transmission things from brain to body are blocked by FullDive device.

      vrr4141
  18. Given that you can sell your account in most MMORPGs, i don’t think its that difficult for Leafa to assume that its someone who splashed cash for an empty (aka gear/gold was sold off seperately) account

    Zaku Fan
  19. Furthermore, Kagemune decides to lie on Kirito’s behalf. It’s hard not to wonder what his motives are for doing that.

    Kirito has unknowingly triggered a bro flag 😛

    Again, no complains adaptation wise. Kirito vs Eugene is as awesome as the LN. Also is it exactly thirty seconds be4 Eugene decides to prolong the fight?? I didn’t noticed it…

    I’m just curious, is it Alicia Lu or Alicia Rue??

    d-LaN
    1. Just enjoy the waiting, or if don’t care about spoilers , like me, read the translated LN, google it. Of course the best experience is to read the LN in Japanese to support the writer! 😀

      vrr4141
  20. As for ALO, 100k yuld able to build a castle on a prime land but as per SAO, 5M Cor for just a decent house with furniture.
    Kirito might be used up his cor to buy a house as proof in eps 11, so wondering where is his “money/cash/currency” come from?

    Meow
  21. Just a reminder: Kirito doesn’t have the Dual Blades skill in ALO. That was definitely just him wielding 2 swords. For anyone who has been reading the novels, you should notice that there’s some form of bleeding effect on him (just like the bleeding effect in Assassin’s Creed)when he’s able to execute his SAO skills in some way in ALO even though ALO doesn’t have sword skills. It seems like the bleeding effect is also happening IRL. Those series of attacks he did with 2 swords in this episode sure looked a lot like Starburst Stream. Or it could be The Eclipse, since I’ve forgotten the details of this fight in the novel.

    bobon721
  22. https://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20-%2020%20-%20Large%20End%20Card.jpg

    LOL Haru, what are you doing here? Have you forgotten you belong only to Kuroyukihime?

    Again, this might be unrelated, but considering it is the same author, is it possible Brain Burst 2039’s developers based each King’s power to expel a member of his/her Legion on ALO’s banishment system as seen with Sakuya banishing Sigurd? (Though BB’s conditions would be harsher as banished player would be more or less “perm banned” rather than just end up as a neutral player. )

    Kinny Riddle
  23. Any LN readers know how Kirito & Leafa made it to the conference before the Salamanders attacked? By the way How Leafa emphasized, it didn’t seem they would make it but they did, and I’m wondering if the animators skipped altogether How they got there in time.

    1. It is because of superman help them 😀 ..
      No, it is just a supersonic speed flying, that’s all. If you read the LN, it explains that because Kirito is too damn fast, he creates sonic boom when flying, just like jet plane flies faster than the speed of sound travel thing. Sorry for my bad English 😛

      vrr4141
  24. Good on you Moomba for calling out a weak female lead for what she is. It’s a pity you have to deal with whining weaboos who can’t stand the least bit of justified criticism toward their animu waifu.

    /downvote to oblivion, please.

    Storm
      1. That’s exactly why she’s a weak character. Take, for example, from Hokuto no Ken: Kenshiro’s an extremely powerful one-dimensional moral-loving, white knight, but he’s a weak character because his character doesn’t develop from that.

        Sol
      2. Clearly the “Weak” Sol is trying bring up here, for wtv reason, that as a character Asuna is weak, and not weak as in helpless crying useless or power level. Which totally missed the whole thing, since Moomba called Asuna crying all day, (clearly ? ) meant Moomba felt she is weak as in the later not the former.

        One is free to dislike a character, no one can stop you, but at least don’t go blindly dis a character for what he/she didn’t do.

        Takurannyan
      3. @Sol
        although i don’t know the other character your referring to, minus your first sentence, it seems your supporting my point.
        and also one-dimensional doesn’t refer to character development rather how many sides of the character the anime manages to show the audience.

        shadowalker
  25. The most idiotic thing about this entire thing is Leafa not knowing the username Kazuto used for years. I mean everyone kept on calling Kazuto the “hero Kirito”, it’s practically impossible for her not to know.

    Elucidator
    1. Yeah the anime didn’t make a good point of that.

      In the light novel it was explained clearly that his family didn’t know what his username was and that Sugo knew since Recto was managing the SAO servers after Argus went bankrupt.

      Syaoran
    2. username of SAO players are kept secret, only the players and people of “department of internal affair something” which take care SAO incident know them. To prevent lawsuits or vengeance from dead players’ family toward the surviving players.
      Just imagine what will happen if the family of Kuradeel find out who is Kirito in real life.

      vrr4141
  26. I believe most have forgotten that although this game is not about death and you dying, but it’s a race against time to rescue Asuna’s conciousness from being kept ingame and marrying Sugou without her consensus. If he dies, all is for naught as he would be respawned back in Spriggan town and he doesn’t have the time to fly back to Arun. I guess the focus isn’t there in the anime, but I really felt it plenty in the LN.

    iPONG
  27. “For all his moral speeches, Kirito probably just got a lot of people banned. In any real MMO, that suspiciously large amount of money would be traced back, found to have been hacked into the game, and result in the bans of everyone who had any connection to it. It would be justified too. Kirito just broke the entire faction balance with money that should not exist. So much for ‘not doing things that are morally wrong in an MMO’!”

    Well,if this was a normal mmo then by all means I totally agree with you here. But you’ve got to remember the fact that Kirito’s running on limited time in order to rescue his wife that is being held CAPTIVE by a evil corporate head who is also trapping people in the game against their will in order to develop mind controlling technology (which he later intends to sell as weapons for war)! All this talk about Kirito being inconsistent with his morals or too op just doesn’t really do him any justice due to his dire situation. Without all of his current power-ups, recusing Asuna wouldn’t even be possible. So please, for goodness sake, give the guy a break!

    Otherwise, great post. Looking forward to next week’s one as well.

    bakakubi
    1. Sigh. The way you put it, anything Kirito does becomes reasonable no matter how unreasonable it is.

      I have to say… that’s kinda ridiculous because there should definitely be a limit to how many breaks a character can reasonably get. You can’t just excuse something just because it would be impossible for him to do something otherwise. That’s just excusing poor writing and inconsistency.

      1. It’s true that we wouldn’t want a super character that just saves the day without having any difficulties. There are points in the story that just lets him win way too easily, I agree with that. I think that maybe due to the fact that the anime’s not showing enough of a situation due to rushing or focusing too much on certain areas (e.g fan-service). I might need to catch up on the LNs since people are saying that a lot have been left out during many fights that actually allow the audiences know how dire a situation is and how Kirito had lots of help to do certain feats, such as killing The Gleam Eyes back in episode 9.

        I’m not trying to say that Kirito’s perfect, far from it. I just think that maybe it’s the anime’s poor delivery on certain aspects of the story that makes him seem OP lately. Still, I think he’s getting a tad bit too much hate than he deserves. I still really like how he’s giving his all to rescue Asuna and not giving up (though he does make some stupid decisions).

        Also, as a side note, do you not like OP characters in general? I sort of want to know your opinion on characters such as Simon from Gurren Lagann, or Mr. OP himself, Goku. Would they be considered poorly created characters to you?

        Not sure if you’ll read this, but thanks for replying.

        bakakubi
      2. Upon reading your initial comment, the thing I got from it is this:

        “Because Kirito’s in a dire situation, he’s allowed to be OP or inconsistent with his morals. In fact, he needs to be OP in order to even rescue Asuna for the story’s sake.”

        And I just couldn’t agree with that, because I feel a dire situation shouldn’t automatically make it so that a main character can be overpowered or inconsistent… especially when it was never shown why/how he developed into the person he is way back in the first SAO arc.

        I’ll point you to my arguments here so I don’t have to type them out again… http://leetneet.com/anime/item/1005-a-discussion-on-anime-mediocrity-pt-i

        But the basic thing for me is I don’t dislike overpowered characters. Just because Kirito just so happens to be OP and I dislike him, should not be misconstrued as a dislike for OP characters in general. I dislike Kirito because he’s a normal human kid in the confines of a virtual world with natural limitations, who somehow just ends up being the strongest character and somehow ends up with the personality he has (again, the reasons for me stating this and a few counters can be found in the article above).

        As such, moving on to the other characters you mentioned, there was always a kind of innate understanding that their respective universes had potential for superhuman development. SAO on the other hand, is a restricted game world that also revolves around normal humans living in a normal world. In addition, the other series actually had some kind of developmental pathway into why they became OP and why they had the personalities they did. SAO, various things were never explained, loosely so, explained in a side story (then ignored as if they never happened), or explained by things like that example in the article: “I forgot” / “I guess things like that happen from time to time.”

  28. Regarding why Lyfa doesn’t suspect Kirito’s absurdities, I suspect it’s at least a little because she’s fairly absurd herself. The anime doesn’t talk about it, but she’s a newbie player in every sense of the word, who is one of the best players in ALO. I don’t know if Kirito is faster than her, but no one else she’s met likes to go at the speeds she does, and even with relatively little player time, she was already one of the best fighters (thanks to her kendo experience)

    Also, being a newbie, I imagine hacking doesn’t come to mind so quickly.

    Lastly, how would hacks work in a game where you react in real-time? The only practical hacks I can think of relate to damage output per blow, natural resistance to damage, and something like Kayaba’s shields. Even teleportation. But speed is a much more complicated factor. If you move faster than you react, you’re more likely to mess up and look like an idiot most of the time.

    Rasen
  29. Well now that Asuna has managed escape (I get the felling the new update for the game is going to have bug or something)

    It was too easy for Asuna to escape and for Krito to just log in. Some how the system would be able to pick up on the issue even if the same name is used.

    Cant wait for the Hobbit whooo. Anyone else excited

    Dragonite88
  30. Why I think Kirito deserves more praises…

    I will put things on this perspective:

    1. Kirito as a person who experience REAL wars and REAL deaths where death is permanent

    VS

    2. Gamers who experience countless deaths and countless re-spawns while playing Call of Duty games.

    I don’t really want to dig further because I think it’s self explanatory.

    1. Yeah, uh I’m going to have to disagree here too.

      To be blunt, his experience in SAO never really involved many of the elements and trauma that come with the “real death” aspect, because the fact of the matter is he rarely faced any such scenario. Even when he did, he was saved by some Deus Ex Machina or something of the sort. Combine that with the fact that he never really mentioned any of those who died again post-SAO or was even shown caring past the episode they died in, he arguably never really experienced anything worth mentioning to even warrant as qualifying as a “big experience.”

      Compared to other main characters/heroes in other stories that lost (many) close friends, went completely insane/depressed, suffered long periods of PTSD, and/or actually had to drag themselves up from the depths of near suicide… Kirito doesn’t deserve much praise to be honest, because he just hands down never went through half as much as some other characters. Even what he did go through, he just shrugged it off like it never happened, which means the whole death aspect never even played a part in altering him or his development as a character.

      1. Do we actually need an episode showing Kirito having PTSD? Isn’t the last part of episode 03 more than enough
        ? Or we need a Neon Genesis Evangelion style drama to convince people?

        Ghostalker
      2. Also, for the benefit of all, PTSD is a disorder. It’s an abnormal coping mechanism which may actually need psychiatric intervention and counseling. Yes we grieve the lost of love ones but it has stages and duration that is acceptable. I don’t know why you even suggest PTSD.

        Ghostalker
      3. @Ghostalker – Regarding your points:

        “Do we actually need an episode showing Kirito having PTSD? Isn’t the last part of episode 03 more than enough? Or we need a Neon Genesis Evangelion style drama to convince people?”

        Yes and no. There doesn’t have to be an entire episode, but there should be at least some kind of proper detail regarding his reactions to the given PTSD-inducing scenario and how he overcame it (or how he is still fighting it). You point to episode 3, but as I mentioned in my article here: http://leetneet.com/anime/item/1005-a-discussion-on-anime-mediocrity-pt-i

        “You can argue that Sachi’s death and the subsequent events (in episode 3) qualify, but the problem is that any impact from that event is nullified by the fact that it’s merely a side story and is never revisited upon the start of the main story. In fact, aside from episode 3, the future episodes make it seem like she never even existed, let alone impacted him in some discernible way.”

        tl;dr – The “real” death aspects sure didn’t look like they impacted him in any shape or form. Post SAO-arc, he wasn’t ever even shown grieving many of the friends he lost. You can argue it didn’t need to be shown or that it’s stylistic whether or not it’s included, but come on, you can’t tell me it wasn’t something that could’ve been given more than a few minutes in a side-story episode that wasn’t even theoretically part of the main story line. You don’t need something super dramatic like Evangelion, but you do need to at least show SOMETHING.

        Also, he was never shown to have grieved for any of the people he lost post-SAO arc = what impact? You can keep saying we can assume that happened, but in that case, SAO sure makes us assume a lot… which is just lazy writing. Need I mention the end of the SAO arc’s explanations/discussion with Kayaba here to support this further?

        “Also, for the benefit of all, PTSD is a disorder. It’s an abnormal coping mechanism which may actually need psychiatric intervention and counseling. Yes we grieve the lost of love ones but it has stages and duration that is acceptable. I don’t know why you even suggest PTSD.”

        I know the actual definition. However, the PTSD I refer to here is the usage as it is along many anime blogs/discussion areas. For your reference, it’s an analogy to a particular traumatic event experienced by a certain character, and the struggles they have in dealing with it. Hence why I used it.

    2. No I just find it funny that you said Kirito fought in quote on quote, REAL wars. What wars? Dude just played a game with a real life death penalty builtin. Meanwhile in the works we read, the MC fought for humanity’s survival as a species and even bought them 30 years of time as opposed to the few years if he didn’t do what he did. If Kawahara wrote about that kinda story, the MC would’ve eradicated humanity’s threat with his bare hands, and that’s just unrealistic because wars are fought and won with large groups of people, not one dude.

      I honestly couldn’t tell if you were trolling or just being serious. You can never tell wih SAO fans nowadays.

      Sol
      1. @Sol

        Sorry to tell you this, but the moment SAO is declared a game of death, Kirito like the other 10,000 players in SAO “ceased” being “just” gamers…they become real people and their very lives at stake.

        If you cannot comprehend that, then there is nothing more I can really do for you.

      2. >Sorry to tell you this
        You’re not sorry.

        >but the moment SAO is declared a game of death, Kirito like the other 10,000 players in SAO “ceased” being “just” gamers…they become real people and their very lives at stake.
        >they become real people and their very lives at stake.
        >real people

        “Man, if die in the game, you die in real life, this is so hardcore and COOL. DEEP, ENGROSSING PLOT, GUISE”

        Are you implying they were never controlled by “real people”? So who the hell was controlling their avatars? It wasn’t like everyone was out to kill each other ala Battle Royale or more recently, BTOOOM. They were still constrained the mechanics of the game world (it’s still relatively tame, play it right and you’ll never die), which is why I said they’re still playing a game, just now with a perma-death mechanic built-in. If it was a free-for-all situation with PvE and legal PKing, then I’d probably like SAO (but then what you’d get is Gantz crossed with .hack).

        The situation really isn’t as dire as you make it out to be.

        Also, >glorifying Kirito
        Shiggy diggity do dah yippity yay

        >If you cannot comprehend that, then there is nothing more I can really do for you.
        http://i.imgur.com/9f1XT.gif

        Sol
      3. I hope you get my point here:

        When I do gaming, I make it a point that my objective for gaming is met ie. To get entertained. What I’m trying to talk about is the 10000 players who played the game has different reasons for playing SAO but which is still primarily entertainment. Yeah its a VR GAME where the players themselves act the role of their avatars, so they play the game, meet new friends, grow their character, fight evil monsters and die and respawn – all of this are fun and certainly fulfills the “to be entertain” object. But to this 10000 players, that is not the case. Imediately aftere playing the game they are robbed that aspect of gaming, to this people what is suppose to be fun suddenly became “frightening” there is no escape there and death became very real. In a sense, they are bombarbed with a problem that shouldn’t been there in the first place. To this people what suppose to be just being gamers suddenly they are to deal with a different reality far from just being a gamer, and dealing with it goes far beyond the boundary of gaming.That’s what I’m trying to point out.

        Ghostalker
  31. The writer already state that Kirito was a clear evil “CHEATER” since episode 2. confirmed with amazing ability to debug program and change AI into item. He definitely not a normal player. He also tricked Kayaba Akihiko into mortal form and killed him miserably.

    A
  32. “Notice how there are always female players amongst the ‘good’ factions, already waiting to join Kirito’s harem, while on the other side of the fence, all foes are male.”

    Yep. That’s one of my biggest gripes with this series, second only to Kirito’s overpowered status simply because he’s the hero.

    That aside, I enjoyed the choreography of Kirito’s battle with the fearsome EUGENE (pfft!) and the character designs of Sakuya and Alicia. Last and probably best of all imo was Asuna’s seeming return to badass form. It’s been a huge letdown to see her reduced to a damsel in distress after all the awesome she accumulated in SAO, so taking the initiative with a jailbreak was beyond a breath of fresh air. Hope she manages to meet Kirito halfway in his rescue attempt at the very least.

  33. Sakuya and Alicia added to Kirito’s harem – check! almost getting them into cat-fight over him…
    Dual wielding and implausible fencing skils defeat Salamnder ace – check! (though, unlike most players he managed toa t least draw blood from Kirito – furhter kudos for taking defeat nonchalantly and in “no offense taken” spirit)
    Asuna finally makes her bid for runaway, I hope she will fare at least partially well…

    ewok40k

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