「鍍金(メッキ)の勇者」 (Mekki no Yuusha)
“The Gilded Hero”

I’ve taken two main things away from this episode. The first is that Sugou is hilarious. I have no idea if this was intentional, but the guy is Class-A comedy villain material! By this point, he’s little more than a caricature of a man, with no substance beyond being a horrible creep who has his eyes set on Asuna and vast wealth. Koyasu Takehito has a great voice at his disposal and it almost felt as though some Dio came out in today’s episode. I laughed a lot this week. I’m not even joking.

Zephyr once told me that it was worth watching Zetsuen no Tempest for the reaction faces alone. The same could probably be said of this episode of SAO. Sugou had some brilliant ones, displayed while stepping on Kirito’s face, casually spinning a giant sword and resting it on his finger, and even while licking Asuna’s tears. I… want to hate this guy (he’s meant to be the antagonist after all) but he’s just written in a way that I can’t take seriously. He’s completely out of place in a story that tries to take itself as seriously as Sword Art Online does. On the other hand, he was the major contributing factor to this episode’s entertainment value.

The second is that I have no clue what kind of writer Kawahara Reki is trying to be. Many times throughout the series, he’s shown a complete disregard for rules he himself set down in order to try and achieve some sort of effect that would be perfectly viable without needing to circumvent any of those rules. Since ALO began, we have not once seen any evidence of clothing damage (we saw it once or twice in SAO but that didn’t exactly make all that much sense either). People slice each other apart with swords and blow each other up with magic, yet not once does a piece of clothing tear or rip or show any signs of having been cut. But apparently Sugou can rip off the front of Asuna’s top. Err… okay I guess? Sure, it’s supposed to emphasise how ‘incredibly evil’ he is or something, but that doesn’t really make it any less dumb. By this point, we’ve been beaten in the face with how much of a scumbag he is so frequently that it doesn’t really do anything – if you hate Sugou, you’re probably at max hatred levels already. Perhaps, like the tasteless tentacles, it’s another vessel for fanservice. That seems plausible.

But this isn’t the real issue at hand, only a minor annoyance. ‘There’s no god in this world other than myself!’ Sugou gleefully informs everyone. This was kind of clever – a nice little irony. I like that. The problem comes afterwards. Never before in any medium have I seen a more literal iteration of deus ex machina that wasn’t intended to be satire. Kayaba Akihiko, the creator and ‘god’ of this virtual world, conveniently awakens and appears from the machine itself as a leftover echo in order to give Kirito the power to get himself out of a situation he couldn’t have escaped otherwise. This would be brilliant… if it were not meant to be taken seriously and at face value. If this were the first deus ex machina to be used in SAO I would be far more willing to consider the idea that Kawahara Reki was trying to do something clever with it – that he was purposely interpreting the plot device in a literal manner and implementing it that way. I want to believe that. But it’s not the first time. Something very similar led to the conclusion of the Sword Art Online arc. Instead of seeming clever, it comes across as a simplistic solution in order to conclude the story while simultaneously going ‘Oh, by the way, the guy who trapped everyone in a death game for over two years was a good guy really.’ Especially when Kirito starts throwing out praises for Kayaba Akihiko and having a friendly chat with him.

I’m not even going to talk about the way Kirito went about finishing off Sugou in the most gruesome fashion imaginable. It felt like a childish realisation of the desire for revenge on an overplayed villain. I’m going to pretend it was artistic license on the behalf of the animators and not featured in the light novel along with incredibly detailed descriptions (it was).

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Sugou is a funny guy. He’d be great at parties! #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • Sugou is evidently versed in the commands required to operate the system. Remind me, why was he using physical keypads again?
  • The reunion between Asuna and Kirito was actually handled fairly well in terms of directing. It was pretty cool at first.
  • Gravity magic seems like a very bad idea in a game where most of the combat is supposed to be airborne. Especially if there’s fall damage.
  • I also found the last few moments rather effective – I’ve said it before, but I always like it when the ED starts with the episode still playing. When done correctly it can be pretty damn awesome.

Full-length images: 07, 10, 12, 13, 17, 24, 32, 34.



End Card


      1. At least in-game we have the pleasure of doing the following:
        1. kill him by (insert favoured method)
        2. wait for him to respawn
        3. whatever happens after he does respawn, either get on with killing him again, or hunt him down relentlessly THEN kill him again.
        4. and it goes without saying, RINSE AND F!@#!@ING REPEAT!!
        AWWW YEAH

      2. Umm, maybe it was just in the fansub that I watched? But Sugou specificially said that at Pain Absorption level 3 or less it starts to affect your physical body, and Kirito set it to 0 before the fight. So… not sure how that would manifest in real world terms, I doubt it could literally cut it in half, but it sure could have killed him.

  1. Sugou really went all out this episode. He started out mild with his crazy antics and I had to chuckle despite the supposed seriousness of the situation, but by the time Kirito sliced him to pieces I couldn’t help but burst into laughter because of his screaming.

    Not to mention the Kayaba Ex Machina. I forgot if the explanation for his sudden appearance was given at this point in the novels or if it comes later, or if the anime simply didn’t want to bother.

    That said, at least there was some noticeable music this episode. I dare say I even noticed a track that had not been used so far. I hope Kajiura didn’t burn herself out with all the overtime work she had to do!
    And for what it’s worth, I thought the Kirito/Asuna moments were well done.

    One episode to go.

  2. Sugou was hilarious indeed. Ever since ALO started I’m having a hard time taking the series serious. SOA was epic inho, but ALO is meh, kirito is too overpowered, even though they pretended to show he couldn’t do anything alone… well maybe that’s not the reason ALO is meh, i’m not sure. But ALO certainly doesn’t feel as good as SAO did…

    1. He already explained it in an earlier episode. He’d rather her submit to him of her own will rather than have a doll.

      If there’s one thing Sugou actually showed, it’s that he enjoys mentally torturing people and making them squirm (The only interesting thing about him as a villain really). He was actually more interested in bullying Asuna really.

      As far as doing it before Kirito came… well, keep in mind there was really no possible way for a player to get in Yggdrasil, so why shouldn’t he have expected to have all the time in the world?

    2. That’s part of the mental torture. He knows she doesn’t like him at all, and he’s basically giving her a choice of submit and stay as yourself and admit that I broke you, or I brainwash you and you’ll be subject to my every whim.

      Either way he’d have her consensually, and pretty much the only reason why he threatened to rape her in her hospital room was because she tried to escape twice and his patience was at an end. It was left out in the anime but he has a really bad temper.

    1. The thing is that this show is flawed in many ways. And pointing out those flaws is by no means nitpicking. Moomba is at least one of those people that states things how they are instead on being a fanboy and downplay all of the flaws this show has.

      1. Looking back at other shows, you do have to admit that this show is being nitpicked more than others, where some id duly noted, and some criticism is irrational or minor. For me, SAO isn’t perfect, but I just like the adventure as it is.

      2. I thoroughly enjoy Moomba’s writeups, but one thing about the nitpicking irks me. But I wonder if that’s because of a set rule he imposed upon himself or is imposed upon every writer in RC.

        The point that irks me is the continued wonderment and seeming suprise about the kind of writer Kawahara Reki is, and about the many plot holes he left. Please correct me if I’m wrong (with a source, since I can’t find confirmation either way), but didn’t he start writing this when he was 14 or 15, as his debut novel? If you accept this, then you move beyond the surprise and wonderment and chalk up the obvious flaws in the writing to his inexperience. Perhaps accepting this will result in another kind of writeup?

        On the other hand, perhaps this is either a) false, in which case “Yay, writeups!” or b) well-known to Moomba, but he follows a rule where he only considers a series in a kind of vacuum. Moomba, I wouldn’t mind an answer to this, if you feel like it. 🙂

      3. @SpacyRicochet
        We only actually have rumours as to how old Kawahara Reki was when he started writing – I don’t think we’re actually sure how old he is. I’m also not sure how long after the first novel ALO was written but that info is probably out there somewhere. Either way, the thing is, I’d like to think he could’ve grown as a writer after the original story – the very first light novel, while not necessarily a masterpiece of writing, was good – it had interesting themes which it frequently used well and it built an intriguing world with a twist that was executed well. The deus ex machina at the end could be attributed to being a relatively ‘young’ writer (in terms of it being his first work), so it’s not too hard to stomach.

        I would’ve liked to think he’d learned from writing that first novel – that he’d grown as a writer and stopped relying on deus ex machina to wrap up storylines (since this was the only really large flaw with that original novel). But ALO casts away most of the things that actually made SAO an entertaining story for me. There don’t appear to be any real signs of growth – in fact he seems to have gone backwards, reverting to more clichéd tropes such as the princess in a gilded cage who needs to be rescued by her prince (where Asuna was once a strong character who could stand alongside Kirito) and an extremely one-dimensional villain. Perhaps with the second novel he made the decision to begin marketing his work to a different crowd – the first novel featured no harem, whereas the second retroactively introduces one and ALO, along with future arcs, begins to introduce more and more haremites along the way. But this still wouldn’t explain why he lost sight of the good parts of the first arc.

      4. Kawahara seems to have recovered quite a lot by placing Asuna as the main character of Mother’s Rosario.

        After playing through Ys Seven twice, I get this very heavy Adol vibe from Kirito. They are both badasses destined to be the destined hero of whatever place they happen to be, and neither can resist going on an adventurer. Also both attracted girls like rafflesia attracts flies.

        Suppa Tenko
    2. I’d say that Reki decided to conform to shopworn Conventions during this period. When most LN Readers claim that Reki improves as a writer, they are surely not talking about Fairy Dance, but more likely, Mother’s Rosario or Alicization. The biggest problem is that he relies very heavily on the internal monologue. Very, very heavily. And that’s where alot of the adaptation problems begin.

  3. As a fan of the light novel, I want to defend Kawahara Reki by saying a lot of game mechanics are very well explained in the novel and consistent through out every arc. I dont think I have ever wonder if something is truly out of place when I read the novel. The things that Moomba are nitpicking are mainly due to the nature of this adapted anime. Things flow differently in anime and you cant really stop to explain everything in details like in the novel. By no mean I am saying Kawahara Reki is a good writer but he have criticize himself at the end of every novel in the author’s notes. For that, I respect Kawahara Reki. Overall, I still enjoy this anime adaption. One more to go!

    1. Yeah, it’s explained a whole lot more in Alicization. SPOILER BELOW

      Kayaba converted his whole soul into fluctlight at the cost of his life in order to roam about the universes to find his childhood dream, the ‘floating steel castle’. In a way, he is the first person to be successful in making soul translator. He’s not dead yet, just that his soul is currently drifting from one world – created from The Seed – to another, observing his creation.

      So yeah he’s literally a god from the machine.

  4. I think a lot of these issues resolve themselves naturally when you realize the show shouldn’t be watched for intellectual integrity or a plot that makes sense or ties all loose ends. Its entertaining and fun and today’s episode was just that. Let’s not niggle too much at the details…

    1. Watching women get raped is entertaining, right!

      SAO is sexist. When Asuna was introduced I was expecting her to be an independent woman who doesn’t need to be saved. More than thrice, the show portrays her as nothing more than a prize to fight for. Screw character development, we have fanservice, self-inserts and wish-fulfillment.

      It’s not what happens to the woman, it’s what happens to MY woman. Sexism makes me want to puke.

      1. And watching someone get stabbed thorough their body or cut to pieces is also entertaining, right! Weren’t you bothered by that?
        This is a anime so don’t bring in ethics only when it’s convenient for you.

        Being independent doesn’t mean you NEVER need to be saved by someone, even Kirito needed to be saved, more than once.And if it makes you want to puke, you might want to take anime a little more lightly.

  5. Your criticism that deus ex machina conclude the plots in both virtual worlds is one that I share. However, it’s worth mentioning that in the first arc, the conclusion was very sudden and I expected 25 more floors of epic action, whereas in this arc, Koyasu was being set up to lose anyway, and the author just took that opportunity to introduce some themes related to Kayaba Akihito.

  6. Kawahara Reki isn’t really that good a writer. You (clearly) don’t need to be good writer to make something entertaining, you’ll just find a lot of problems if you examine their work too closely.

  7. So, Moomba dislikes Suguo being a villain with no redeeming qualities, but also dislikes Kayaba showing that he does have some redeeming qualities? Isn’t that quite some contradiction?

    1. Just because he showed some “redeeming qualities” doesn’t mean he should be forgiven as easily as Kirito seems to have. Majority of the SAO players died simply because he was experimenting. Usually that’s some irredeemable stuff right there.

      1. It’s not about forgiving the guy or not. Kayaba is dead, that was punishment enough for him. At least he could pay some of the debt by helping Kirito defeat Sugou. Looks like this Oberon’s demise was sorta foretold, like Macbeth’s instead. If he had readen more Shakespeare (or at least watched ZetsuTempest), he would know it all would bite him back sooner or later.

      2. @Exukvera(Because I’m a noob at message boards and it won’t let me reply)

        Well, keep in mind I was replying to a post about why Moomba didn’t like Kayaba despite his redeeming qualities. No matter if he paid his dues by dying, it doesn’t mean that someone has to like them for that. Not to mention he didn’t like Kirito praising Kayaba. I wasn’t really discussing the character so much as pointing out that he’s still dis-likable to viewers.

  8. Reki Kawahara didn’t improved much at writing villains looking at the more recent Accel World.

    Villain : vile person who loves doing terrible things because they’re evil, needless to be said they must be hated as much as humanly possible by depicting them in the most repulsive ways possible.

    1. Ananas & Exukvera, Reki Kawahara is no good pencil-drawer. Like Stephenie Meyer and E. L. James. To call him a writer is an insult to other writers. It pisses me off that this sort of no talent can be allowed to keep stinking up the joint and even worse people keep on gobbling all up. Why the heck people spend their hard earned money and waste their limited time on earth on Twafuckingilight and Fifty shades of pukeray and this garbage??

      1. He’s no better that George RR Martin.

        Which is not to say he’s good, but to typify how bad of a writer he is and how easily bad writers can be popular.

        Look at George RR Martin.

        His writing style is so devoid of talent, that after going through his latest book, I literally threw the book into a fire, then proceeded to write my uni paper on the fall of modern literature.

        Look at Tom Clancy.

        He writes like an 8th grader after a recent session of soft-core pornography and MW2. I read a few of his novels when I was just going into the 4th grade, and the writing seemed simplistic.

        Yet these writers, along with Rowling and Meyers, rake in millions upon millions. Popularity will never come with intelligence or skill. The mass of people who purchase these books are literally at their intellectual limits when attempting to scrawl through the unedited chicken scribble of people who call themselves “authors”.

    2. Ehhh, Death Gun is a reasonably decent villain because at least he’s a mystery instead of “LOOK AT ME I’M EVIL” Sugou. His works are way more interesting in the middle, unless it’s Fairy Dance in which case most of the fun is loaded into the end (everything after this Ep actually…)

      Although yeah, there is a tendency to wrap up arcs with cheese and cliche. Although the cheesy cliche brought me to tears in Mother’s Rosario because it was executed properly.

  9. Fuck eh. This show is so fucking infantile. Look at that stupid face of villain with his tongue sticking out, evil face laugh and shit. Can you make a villain any more childish? Reki Kawahara is fucking whore with no talent. That’s what he is. Why the hell are you spending time on this shit!! I respect you all too much to not say anything for your wasting time on this shit.

      1. Yet another Reki Kawahara sheep appears. Why don’t you defend his writing, if you must, instead of the classic “why bother writing negative comment” answer? You are the odd one, my friend.

        Purple Jake
      2. Because I really don’t get why people bother to bash shows they don’t like, when you can simply stop watching it and forget about it.
        And this isn’t a ‘negative comment’, Jimmy’s just bashing the writer.

      3. And yet that’s why we are in the mess we are in U.S.A. People just stop watching and listening to those who don’t agree and just live in the bubble with ONLY likeminded people. That’s not the way a society should work.

        Purple Jake
  10. I’m so mad after episode end.They can zoom in to Sugu’s butt at the end but can’t let us as see Asuna boob (even white bar censor is fine cause In Blu-ray It would get uncensored)
    Why Why Why?

  11. “Since ALO began, we have not once seen any evidence of clothing damage (we saw it once or twice in SAO but that didn’t exactly make all that much sense either)”

    The tearable clothes could just be some extra flair Sugou added to Asuna’s outfit alone if he was planning to play around with her eventually.

    Not like the magical bondage chains appearing out of thin air would be a standard ALO feature either.

  12. “Since ALO began, we have not once seen any evidence of clothing damage (we saw it once or twice in SAO but that didn’t exactly make all that much sense either).”

    System Command: destroy top!

  13. When Yui breaks the walls, I was like ‘hookay… Hacking all the way through..’
    I’m glad the in-game part ends this episode so I don’t have to feel anxious not being able to watch the subbed epilogue while in Japan~

    Thanks Moomba for covering this show and everyone who stayed watching~
    In the first few episodes I desperately tried to convince people to stay watching this when there were quite a few hate, more than now at least, I really enjoyed the LN so I felt sad when there were people who had so much negative prejudice on this.

    I can’t say that this is the best anime this season though, but that’s just because there’s quite a few good ones such as Sakurasou~ But I definitely am satisfied with the adaptation – the timing (pacing) of the story development, the scenes to be cut out, faithfulness to the novel, and especially for Fairy Dance, the art.

    There could be more BGM, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment~
    Only one thing I ‘regret’ from the watching the adaptation.
    I wasn’t expecting Suguha/Lyfa to be as hot, if not hotter than Asuna, in the animation. Now I’m hoping for some Suguha x Kirito doujins.

  14. I’ve been comparing this show with Twilight for awhile but only now has SAO truly become worthy of being the anime equivalent of Twilight. Its just so hilariously bad and people just eat this stuff up.

    Once again the show tries to play our resident Mary Sue and Gary Stu as a perfect couple (with a child!) despite its lackluster development. Yep I’m sure convinced that they truly love each other. Then comes Sugou who is written the dumbest way possible including doing sexual harassment like its a hentai. At least hentai has the excuse of pandering to specific fetishes here its just out of place.

    Then it gets even dumber (which I didn’t think was possible) and a Deus Ex Machina comes in to solve everything and give Kirto god powers because he’s Jesus(MAY HE LIVE FOREVER!). SO basically both arcs of SAO resorted to DEM to solve everything. TOP. NOTCH. WRITING.

    Kirito then uses the god powers that were spoon-fed to him and TORTURES Sugou. But of course its played up as heroic because anything Kirito does is right and he can do no wrong. He’s so perfect that the ghost of a psychopathic murderer who toyed with and killed thousand of people(did the show just forget that?) now designates him as his messiah! ALL HAIL LORD KIRITO!!!!!!!!!

    Bravo SAO! I thought I would hate you this episode, but instead you’ve turned your retard into something enjoyable.

    1. Non non non. The “anime” equivalent of Twilight is Vampire Hunter D.

      SAO is more like any regular anime (which speaks to a trend anime in general is taking which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your tastes.)

      1. Take it how you will.

        I’m just saying that the hatred for SAO seems blown way out of proportion if someone thinks it’s the anime version of Twilight, and that there are far more deserving of that title.

        Seriously, a show where there are harems (normal and reverse) is so normal I don’t know why anyone is surprised/bothered by it anymore.

      2. Not even close. Vampire Hunter D continuosly shove perfect (and bland) Mary Sues as protagonists down our throats with writing that continuously tries to portray how awesome they are and get spoonfed plot developments that always work on their favor. Also Bloodlust was a fairly decent supernatural action movie.

        And please spare us the generalizations. You’re implying that the harem aspects are solely what the detractors are talking about. The list of problems of SAO is far bigger than that.

      3. Seriously? Vampire Hunter D doesn’t try to shove perfect Mary Sues down our throat?

        (The following is not an exaggeration. It is what I have noticed in the first 13 novels. And it’s not subtle. Everytime the book shifts to D, it starts singing his praises)

        The book series with a main character so beautiful the entire world would be his harem if he bothered to have sex? Everything in that world wants to jump D’s bones. Men, women, young, old, humans, vampires, animals, vampire’s experiments, Lovecraftian demons, nature itself, etc., etc…

        D, the Dhampir so powerful that if he gets serious, is the most powerful living thing on the planet in a world where they harness black holes for energy, and where humans can move faster than the speed of sound. Who through nothing but pure skill can cut through time, space, and gravity.

        D, the Dhampir so beautiful that when he encounters a copy of himself, the book literally has a line saying “there was so much beauty in the air the world might collapse because it could not sustain it.”

        And there are 25 novels of this.

    2. I gotta agree.

      I just don’t know how this episode can be seen as THAT good.

      Sugou was so hammed up that what little threat he may have posed went down the drain, and it was only further impacted with Kirito’s usual magical Deus Ex Machina moment and saving the day. Also, considering Kirito changed the pain adapters to 0 (Sugou also saying how anything Level 3 or lower would affect the body outside the game) and then ruthlessly destroyed Sugou, doesn’t that mean he most likely killed him in real life too, thus committing murder? I can understand that he would WANT to and perhaps people here have experienced the same type of situation themself, but even disgusting actions like Sugou did doesn’t give Kirito the right to play judge, jury, and executioner.

      It feels like a bunch of the things that made the SAO arcs much more decent (character and plot development, for instance) were just tossed aside this arc and replaced with all the DEM and unneeded fanservice and fetish feeding.

    3. Eh, NO. The anime equivalent of Twilight is Vampire Knight.

      1. depressing girl?
      2. Sparkly vampires?
      3. 2nd lover not quite vampire?
      4. girl can’t decide?
      5. Vampire council to mess shit up?

      Vampire Knight is Just Like Twilight.

      Suppa Tenko
  15. Dam, what a wasted opportunity at something clever in my opinion. When Heathcliff showed up, I thought he was literally going to show up and save both Asuna and Kirito. Why I think that? Well, out of respect for those two. Now that would have been really cool and would have made more sense than Kirito logging in as Heathcliff and using his admin privileges. Well, hopefully this Seed will bring something interesting to the table. Also, loving Yui’s hacking skills, too bad she only use them sparsely.

      1. I treat SAO as something relaxing, that you’re not supposed to focus on all the aspects that are cliche or illogical. I mean, I know a lot of people, even a teacher, who enjoys the show, not for all the hype or like that, but its nice to cool down your brain and watch anime like this(with that sort of adventure, even if its not perfect).

    1. @ Dualash – Trust me… I’ve released all limiters on my free-easy mode but I just can’t seem to enjoy this. First it was due to the copious amounts of time skips. The aspects of the show that I enjoyed was when Kirito was back in reality and not VR.

      Even that, my limiter-free free and easy mode can’t enjoy it

    2. You guys have watched too much Psycho Pass, Fate Zero and Madoka, you are no longer capable of getting aroused without extreme brain stimulation through plot twists and tragedies

      *For those that don’t understand you’ve watched too many good ones*

      Suppa Tenko
    3. Try Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Lots of shifting settings on the first season (and a awesome battle between a non combative dancer and spearwoman….with the dancer winning). Lots of WTH? But cool on the second season.

      Arashi Yamato
  16. It seems to me that SAO was written to cater to people with all sorts of different… fetish.
    First we have excessive fanservice, followed by incest, congrats, now we are one step futher,
    Welcome to NTR Online!

  17. Actually I dont think kirito hates per se kayaba at all, and by no means he is your average villain, he just wanted to create a world and “let” people live it, ofc, he could fit perfectly into the “mad scientist” troupe but even his own defeat and demise was under his own rules so probably one of the greatest antagonist in a while. about his last appearance, hmmm, well the novel explains it quite well and it’s pretty much believable considering what his wish was.

    1. I dunno about you man, but if I saw the guy who essentially imprisoned 10k people including me and killed 4k of them, including some of my friends, I would go apeshit. Here we don’t even get a “YOU AGAIN YOU SONOVABICH” from Kirito.

      It’s hard to believe grudges like that can be let go so fast.

      1. Well Kirito still doesn’t like Kayaba for his actions. But after learning about Kayaba’s motivations, Kirito could actually see a little of himself in that. So it’s more like, Kirito hates Kayaba for his actions but can’t deny he would do the same in his shoes.

  18. I’m not going to even finish watching the anime to comment on this, but this episode just seriously turned me off completely.

    Something like this bordering on hentai is NOT what one would have expected of SAO, regardless of how good/crap it was in the past episodes. Sugou is nothing more than a terrible, pathetic of a villain who’s only characteristic is being an unbelievably stupid and one-dimensional pervert. The rape scene was something right out of a B-rated show or doujin and certainly does the hype generated for SAO zero justice.

    Terrible. Now I get why Kawahara Seki wants to do a rewrite, especially so if the entire scenario was actually written in the novel itself. I’m not sure what those in charge of developing the anime were thinking, because I’m pretty sure many will turn away just because of this episode alone.

    This was no ‘gilded hero’. The act of killing Sugou slowly but surely was nothing short of what a vengeful human would typically do – an eye for an eye. All that supposed character development about Kirito realising he needed help to achieve his goals have just taken a huge step backward in that moment.

    That, though, does serve to remind me that Kirito is by no means perfect. Yes, he hardly ever dies or loses (Kira Yamato comes to mind in GSD), he always succeeds (stories like that are a dime a dozen) and he gets the girls…BUT he isn’t totally in control of his emotions.

    I am still going to grin and bear it and finish it, though. From what I heard, the worst arc of the entire story is near its end and we’re HOPEFULLY progressing on to better things if they decide to animate the rest of it.

    1. Slight point of order – ‘gilded’ hero isn’t actually a positive qualifier in the original Japanese. The insinuation it carries is actually more in line with ‘gold-painted’ than anything else. So that much isn’t really a fault in the writing.

      Doesn’t change the fact that Kirito is a hypocrite and that this episode managed to be cornier than Ixion Saga DT, though. 😛

  19. The battle should have ended with Kirito defeating Sugou with sheer willpower alone. Uh, yeah, it started like that but …. SAO totally copped out with the whole “ID Heathcliff” thing. It missed the mark and would have tied the two arcs together. Neo flashed through my mind for a split second. To overcome the limitations of computer programs and code with the human mind and/or love was what I thought they were trying to say but …. I guess not lol.

  20. Kayaba Akihiko being a good guy, he really is to be honest his intention was just to create a real fantasy world to be as real as possible, he might have kill like 4k ppl but later on you will find out the true purpose of his invention and the amount of lives it will save in future generations. Is like radation yes it can kill tons of ppl but if it was use in the right way it could also save millions from cancer.

    1. Sounds like the author pulled that out off his ass with there actually being a purpose in all those deaths. I don’t buy i and don’t believe that Kawahara Reki planned that far ahead.

  21. The story writing was lazy this episode. Well, it’s been lazy often times before. Moomba is right, the deus ex shit can only be appreciated as satire.

    I also hate how the creator is trying too hard to make Kirito come across as “cool.” Kirito was actually trying to sympathize with the man who was going to rape his girlfriend and then essentially kill her personality. lolwut?

  22. I have reread the SAO LN about 5 times now, and i usually skip the Fairy Dance Arc and Mother’s Rosario Arc.

    Mother’s Rosario is one of the best tear jerkers i have ever read. Its probably up there with Clannad. The reason I skip it is coz my manly pride cant hold the tears back.

    On the other hand, I skip Fairy Dance coz its one of the finest examples of horrible writing.

  23. As I was saying in the Tonari no Kaibutsu episode blogs, where Koyasu Takehitoalso plays opposite Tomatsu Haruka as her dad, someone ought to make a parody video parsing his hilarious Sugou dialogues over with clips from TnK, that would be really interesting to watch.

    The virtual Sugou has been vanquished for now, allowing Kirito to free his wife from ALO, but he would still need to free her from the hospital in the real world, where a butthurt Sugou would no doubt do everything to stop him.

    Kinny Riddle
  24. SAO arc was bad, this arc was terrible. Accel World was crap too. You know what, screw Kawahara Reki fans, I’m not listening to their bullshit lies anymore. On two separate occasions now the signal before the show starts is overwhelmingly “IT’S GOING TO BE SO EPIC YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY THE LN OWNS OMG” and both times we’ve gotten steaming piles with such poorly written characters that I honestly wonder if Kawahara Reki isn’t, in fact, 8 years old. What’s that you say, fans? The adaptations were bad? No. Both adaptations were done by different companies. I can either believe that two separate companies who have both done EXCELLENT adaptations in the past independently screwed up on a royal scale, or I can believe that the problem is with the source material. I’m using Occam’s Razor to declare that the second option is far more likely. So from now on Kawahara Reki’s works are blacklisted in my world, I’ve let him pollute my mind enough.


      This quote alone is enough to make you reconsider the real worth of such shows.

      “I honestly wonder if Kawahara Reki isn’t, in fact, 8 years old.”

      Give him at least 4 years more, 6 max.

    2. This is less in defense of Reki Kawahara’s works, and more an offering of an alternative theory for your Occam’s Razor:

      Adaptations of novels tend to be worse than their source material. There are exceptions, but that’s exactly what they are. Exceptions.

      If you don’t like his works or his plots, that’s fine. Everyone has their own taste. But his stuff is not significantly worse than the bulk of stuff out there. Sales records for his novels are proof of that.

      1. I agree that adaptations of novels tend to be worse than the novels themselves. That’s why novels remain such an enduring form of entertainment. But some novels are Ender’s Game and some are Twilight, and there is a significant quality difference between the two categories that has nothing to do with personal taste. It’s about the skill of the writer in creating characters and events and places that seem like they might be real even when you know they aren’t. Personal taste is well and good but this argument I hear all the time that there are no objective qualities to base entertainment on is complete bunkus.

        And I don’t want to hear about sales, the tired “popularity = quality” excuse has worn thin as well. A quick Google of the top selling albums of 2012 lists such artists as Mumford & Sons, Michael Buble, and a Rod Stewart Christmas album in the top 10. The only lesson possible from this information is that a majority of people have bad taste.

      2. I don’t feel like spending too much time in arguing with you, so this response won’t be well-organized.

        Your argument is looking at “absolute” value of quality. I’m looking at “relative” values of quality. So we’re arguing for two different things.

        On popularity does not equate to quality, I agree. However, it is indicative of tastes.

        Let’s start with the assumption that SAO is bad, for the sake of this argument.

        Then yes, the majority of people have “bad taste.” This is apparent in the best selling video games (Madden ANYTHING, Grand Theft Auto, etc.) to movies like J@ck@ss, to people liking ANY sport at all. And millions or billions are spent on each.

        Since businesses operate with the intent to make money, they produce things that appeal to masses. Therefore, SAO is not unique/alone. Look at Mahoukouka no Rettousei, Campione!, Hidan no Aria, Highschool DxD, Madan no Ou to Vanadis, etc. etc. The point is not to say these are quality works, but that SAO’s quality does not significantly differ from bulk of the others, at least in the eyes of the masses.

        In other words, the things that bother you so much do not bother most other people as much. What this means is that your standards are different from the norm. It is a sad truth that what is normal (again, not “good”)or popular is determined by the majority. And the tastes of the majority of those who read Light Novels IS indicated by sales numbers.

        And the majority do not appreciate being told what they like is low-brow or pointless. Go into a sports bar sometime and tell them they’re wasting their time and money watching an activity that produces absolutely nothing more children that want to participate in this non-productive activity, and edges out more serious student applications in colleges.

        I’ve gotten side-tracked. The point I was trying to argue is that SAO’s quality is not significantly worse than everything else out there. And sales numbers are indicative of this. Because that’s how they make money. It’s also a bit of a chicken-egg problem: does SAO cause more low-quality stuff to be produced, or was that already the prevailing environment. (I’m leaning towards the latter, because as I’ve mentioned in a different post: Vampire Hunter D. And THAT one is considered a classic)

      3. I think we mostly agree with each other. My main problem is not so much that the show is bad. You are right, there are many bad shows, they happen every season and we’ve all watched our share of them. My problem is more with the fans who hyped it into the stratosphere before it started. Those other bad shows you mentioned got little to no hype before they aired, so when they turned out to be bad everybody shrugs and moves on. But SAO is the Twilight of the anime world, it’s incredibly bad while meanwhile it’s inexplicably huge fanbase continue to insist that it’s actually brilliant without being able to name a single reason why that doesn’t boil down to “it’s, like, subjective man!” I guess I just need to accept this the way I’ve come to accept the presence of Celine Dion, an unexplainable blip on the radar.

      4. Eh. Close enough.

        I guess the thing about your earlier comment that I didn’t like was that you were basically judging Kawahara’s works based off other people’s adaptations of it.

        Don’t get me wrong, I see the logic of it.

        However, I’m reluctant to condemn something by judging something the original creator didn’t produce. I do not like the Trinity Blood anime, but I like the novels. Same with Chrome Shelled Regios. The less said about Dragon Ball Z, the better. To use a more American/English example, I wouldn’t judge Sherlock Holmes by Robert Downey Jr.’s version. (Don’t get me wrong, I love them both. But they’re SO different.)

        Now obviously, if there were plot elements, or characterizations, or characters you did not like, that’s fine. Reading the original source material would not change your opinion. But I remember earlier complaints about execution, foreshadowing, game mechanics, story transition, character’s thinking. And the thing is, Kawahara Reki DID do a better job of it than the anime. (Which should be obvious, because having watched the anime, I think it would be safe to say it would not have garnered the same level of a following by itself.) Granted, Kirito’s still incredibly competent. But anime has so many competent characters (with harems even!) that he doesn’t stand out. (And of course, after reading Vampire Hunter D, my tolerance for wish-fulfillment characters of a lesser degree is like, over 9000)

        One other way of looking at the hype, was that it was not done through advertising. Which means the original source material was entertaining enough on its own questionable merits that a large number of people were excited about it. There was a certain level of genuineness to it. This is in stark contrast to say, I dunno, John Carter or Waterworld, for which the hype was generated pretty much entirely through advertising.

        I’m drifting again, so I’ll try and sum up my points. Depending on which aspects of the anime adaptations of his works bother you, at least consider giving them a volume to read before writing Reki off as a producer for mass-consumerism? Also, in defense of the hype, I was one of those greatly looking forward to SAO. Not because I thought it was a revolutionary story, but because it created a world and characters I enjoyed reading about, and seeing it animated was a treat for me. (I CAN’T WAIT FOR MAOYUU, but I’m also a little apprehensive) Some shows, which are by all measures excellent, are so depressing at the end of it I feel like I wasted my life. (Because I watch to be entertained, not to be depressed. Urobuchi Gen reminds me of why I avoided everything Japanese for so long. And now Korean.)

      5. Let me clarify my dislike then. The thing I have disliked about both of his works that I’ve seen adapted so far is that the characters seem like they were written by a teenager who has spent too much time on TV Tropes. All of his characters almost without exception are one dimensional caricatures with no depth. As I mentioned earlier, the difference between a great writer and a merely popular one is in creating worlds that feel real. None of the characters in these shows feel real, there is never a sense of suspension of disbelief, you are always acutely aware that you are watching a cartoon. As you rightly mentioned, there are many anime like this. By and large I accept that as a matter of course, hell probably half the shows or better that air every season are bad. But most aren’t touted as being the Second Coming of Evangelion by legions of fans before they air. There are two main things that can make me rage against bad anime:

        1.) Fanboys insisting that was is bad is actually brilliant if you only “got it”. People can like bad anime, that’s taste. Hell I like plenty of shows that can’t be considered good on any reasonable objective scale. You mentioned Campione! earlier as a bad show, and I’d have to agree, but I still liked watching it, it was fun. But I’m never going to claim it was brilliant, at best it was mindless entertainment, like a sitcom.

        2.) Shows that are good or even great right up until they blow it with an unbelievably badly written ending. See in this category: Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate.

        Hope this sheds some light on where I’m coming from. By and large I think our opinions are pretty close so I wouldn’t call what we’ve got going on here an argument, more of a discussion ;). MAYBE I was a little harsh in my wording last night in my original post, but A.) The wound from the latest episode was still fresh, B.) I’ve been sick all week and was exhausted, and C.) The overwhelmingly “everything is sunshine and rainbows and anyone who doesn’t like a show is just a meanie hater” attitude on this site sometimes gets to me, I’d like to see more Real Talk. Apologies if anyone was unduly offended.

    3. *monotone voice*

      Oh no. Some anonymous blog reader called Beckett will no longer support any of Kawahara Reki’s work? Quick, someone get a hold of Kawahara and relay this detail – Kawahara’s entire career may depend on it!

      */monotone voice*

      We all know you’ll be watching the last episode and pirating the BD torrents when they come out.

      1. I’ll be watching the last episode, yes, because I’ve already watched 24 episodes and it won’t cost me anything to watch the last. Pirate the BD’s? I never download BD’s even from shows that I liked. I have a full time job, if I want BD’s I will buy them, and if I don’t like the show enough to buy them, then it’s a show I’m never going to watch again anyway so I don’t need them.

        Also, go away, your opinion on the internet is just as irrelevant as mine.

    lmao… possibly the lamest kind of king possible. May as well be wearing a dunce cap and proclaiming himself the king of the losers… SAO’s weakness in story source really came through this week I think. I preferred the drama from Sugu’s arc.

  26. regarding the cloth damage thing. Well, these are Otakus after all. So, it’s possible that they’ve written some specific codes to satisfy their specific needs. I suppose the same cloth damage is more difficult to implement in battle situation.

    Well, that was a satire.

  27. Oh man, this episode was more hilarious than most actual comedy shows. I was rooting for Sugou all the way through, because he really is just impossible to take seriously. The moment he started drinking Asuna’s tears I was rolling over the floor with laughter. I mean, really? This is like a bad hentai! Whahahahaha!

    Of course, Kirito gets literal plothax powers at the last moment and saves the day yet again while having a friendly chat with a massmurderer. How nice.

    Seriously, I haven’t seen writing this bad since Guilty Crown.

    1. hahaha!! that’s hilarious man, thanks for that link! and im referring to kirito(link) receiving the world seed(uhh what’s the three stones called again? i already forgot. damn me!)

      1. It was explained in the novels that Heathcliff’s sub-conscious system program only kicked in at that moment when Kirito had nearly given up. Convenient perhaps in terms of timing, and though the novels never stated this, but my belief is that Kayaba’s program only activated because it sensed that Kirito’s will was failing.

  28. I agree… though this story is really cool w/ great characters, but the ends of the arcs are just too convenient for my tastes and the true villains are too over the top. Hell, the only decent antagonist, Kayaba Akihik,o is being shaded as “not so bad after all”

  29. Kayaba Akihiko was never a good man. But I think he honestly believed what he was doing with SAO would benefit the players, by placing them in a virtual fantasy, a dream world, where they would be forced to change and live out new lives. In some regards he was right, as those who managed to live through SAO, such as Kirito and Asuna, irrevocably changed and became arguably better people than they were prior to playing the game. But in no way does this justify what Kayaba did, killing thousands and causing mental scars that would never fade away, and he very much deserved to be brought down by Kirito. Though in the end, whatever the players may have gotten out of SAO was only a side benefit in Kayaba’s mind. All he was ever really after was for the world of his dreams that he could live in apart from the real world, and all the players were ultimately just a means to that end.

    Kirito’s talk with Kayaba didn’t strike me as “friendly,” nor of Kirito treating Kayaba like a “good guy,” but more of two individuals with respect towards one another having one final conversation. Kirito had always respected Kayaba even before SAO, and it was only after the Black Cats that I think he finally started resenting and hating him, while Kayaba’s respect towards Kirito came from his skills and his ability to defy the system, something Kayaba thought near impossible. Whatever hate Kirito had for Kayaba he took out in full force when he killed him in episode 14, and all that was left here was apathy towards the remains of his mind.

    I think that after all was said and done in SAO, Kirito came to somewhat understand Kayaba’s actions. To live in the ultimate escapist fantasy and truly leave the normal, limited, and unfulfilling reality, is something that Kirito could sympathize with. It is afterall the same reason why he immersed himself with MMO’s, looking for the same escapism Kayaba sought. The only difference is that Kirito would never have sacrificed innocent lives just to achieve it, and as he put it in this episode he “never wanted to be Kayaba Akihiko,” a man who would sacrifice thousands just to achieve his own dream.

    Yeah, Oberon/Sugou was pretty over the top in this episode, even by my standards! Even Noumi never got this bad, though if we take Sugou as a prototype for him it makes sense why. I never necessarily thought of Sugou as a parody of villain archetypes, but since I saw him as just a regular businessman playing at the role of an evil mastermind, I get how others would see him as just an outright parody. I now feel a bit bad that I never found him as hilarious. But his pathetic actions in this episode towards Asuna was really a bit too much, and unnecessary. Though as a whole Sugou was never the main focus of this arc, and as a result was more of just another antagonistic obstacle in ALO blocking Kirito from Asuna than an actual character, so I’ll just be glad we’re done with him and can move on.

    Kayaba’s “death” was always ambiguous, especially after he had allowed Kirito and Asuna to live. While I’m sure he’s fine with his physical body dying, I think he’d have issue with truly dying as a whole and leaving his fantasy. As such, I can see Kayaba allowing his mind to continue living within the confines of the game world, the world he was so attached to that he gave it’s data to Kirito so that it may still live on. How he got into ALO is another question, though I’m under the theory that he either hitched a ride on Kirito’s Nervegear or on the transfer of data from SAO to ALO.

    So I had no problem with his arriving as “God” to aid Kirito, especially after our hero had finally vocalized what’s been his major flaw since the series began: always going it alone and trying not to rely on others. The downside of this is that while Kirito using Kayaba’s account, which I assume exists because Heathcliff being a GM was ingrained into the data of SAO used to make ALO, was pretty cool, it also made the final fight quite disappointing. In comparison to Kirito vs. Heathcliff, Kirito vs Oberon was quite lackluster. Oberon just harmlessly slashed at Kirito with Excalibur and Kirito cut him to pieces so easily to the point where it’s arguable it even was a fight. Silver Crow vs. Dust Taker, a fight that was very similar to this one in both characters and emotions, was much more satisfying.

    But the best part about this episode that saved it in my mind was Kirito and Asuna’s reunion, both as lovers and as a family. Heartwarming, cute, and straightforward, as the couple’s relationship has been since the beginning. Also, major props to Suguha for pushing Kazuto to get off his butt and go see Asuna, even as the two of them were finally having a moment to themselves. That takes a lot of emotional maturity. I congratulate Sword Art Online on being able to make me like and root for both of the heroines.

    So with one final episode I’m hoping Sword Art Online can pull off something very enjoyable and heartwarming with the reunion of Kirito and Asuna, and of course offer a better conclusion than this episode did. From beginning to end it’s always been a fun ride for me, even amidst tons of arguments and criticisms regarding the show and its plot, and I’ll always look at my time of watching the show, reading Moomba’s posts, and replying on my own feelings about it, very fondly and hope to be able to watch it again in the future!

    1. You should really think about become a randomc blogger. Or maybe come back if you’re
      Omni. 😉
      The reunion didn’t touch me. Might have to with the fact that Asuna had been relegated to a “princess in the castle”. To me it felt like another clichee (“Oh look, the snow is falling”) event in a clichee ridden episode.

    2. It was mentioned in previous episodes that ALO is merely a copy of SAO revamped with a different leveling system (skills instead of level) and setting (Alfheim instead of Aincrad). This leaves the base system (Cardinal System) intact.

      Arashi Yamato
    3. Are we even sure that Kayaba is dead? He could have programmed his persona into SAO to run Heathcliff while he was AFK. Heathcliff had to be in the world 24/7 but Kayaba could be on the run from the law and hiding in Jamaica for all we know. Or in prison for all we know.

      Sugou probably was more concerned with his experiment than focusing on recreating the original game. So all the old ID names and accounts from SAO are probably still in there. Normally you would need a password to login, but since everyone had only one login into SAO, you could explain and say the password entry was a fake facade and there was no real password check programmed into SAO.

      I personally loved the end fight with Kirito and Sugou. But if it had been my girlfriend instead of Asuna, I would have cut her free, given her my shirt and handed her my sword. I think she would have deserved the right to take Sugou out

      Moonlight BlackCat
    1. Kirito has become “The choosen one ” cofcofneocofocofocfo

      Obviously if you copy a server and leave security holes without patching you’re going to have a bad time , eh Sugou ? 🙂

      Other players would be like , aww that’s BS , bug exploiter !

    2. When Kayaba said that Kirito had “transcended the system”, he was referring to how Kirito had basically defied many things that were pretty much impossible when he was in SAO. It is pure speculation at this point but we can pretty much narrow it down to these…

      1) In SAO, Kirito had already achieved something that no other could porobably have, being a top clearer whilst being mostly solo. I think it was hinted or said that when SAO ended, he was the highest level player amongst everyone. It showed his determination in that he could survive all this time like that.

      2) Whilst in SAO, his abilities displayed sometimes transcended the capabilities of the system itself. For example, in his duel against Heathcliff and possibly when he took on the 74th floor boss alone. Think the only other person to have surpassed the capabilities of the system was Asuna when she went to rescue Kirito from Kuradeel.

      3) This would be the strongest point, but in the final battle against Heathcliff, Kirito had been defeated. His HP was already zero and he should have died. But through sheer willpower he persisted, defying death and stabbed Heathcliff, thus bringing Aincrad to an end.

      The points above are just my speculation. But I think it is very viable that it is what Kayaba was referring to. The 3rd point especially would be the most likely one that Kayaba was talking about.

      1. Ah, the first two points make sense. But for the last point I think it was explained in the comments that Kirito didn’t defy death, but merely took advantage of the short lapse of time between having your HP reach zero to actually dying. It apparently only seemed long in the anime for dramatic effect, so in that instance Kirito didn’t transcend the system.

  30. After reading Mother’s Rosario, I have come to the conclusion that Kayaba Akihito is the absolute mastermind of the development from the entire world, and Accel World is probably ruled by his ghost seeing how every bit of VR tech will always stem from Akihito.

    Suppa Tenko
    1. Well, that’s the funny thing about Fairy Dance, isn’t it? As asspulled as most of the developments are, its very existence is absolutely vital for the premises of every other SAO arc.

  31. Kinda strange when i think of the “attempted” rape scene here the one in Berserk came to my mind immedietly due to the many similarities between them .. and of course there are drastic differences .. but i’ll say it .. the scene in SAO was just pandering and pointless (i mean tearing Asuna’s clothes and molesting her) and if it didn’t happen nothing would have changed, where in Berserk the scene was central to the story and changed everything dramatically .. and that’s how scenes with a touchy subject like that should be handled .. why !!? .. read on –> but beware the spoilers:-

    Edit: Berserk Spoilers:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Aside from that i did enjoy the action, the music, the themes (specially in SAO), and the relationship between Kirito and Asuna which i admit was developed somewhat nicely over the course of SAO (and got stalled in ALO).

    Let’s just hope the next episode ties loose ends and doesn’t pull any more deus-ex-machina (usually one is enough per story to ruin it XD)

  32. I don’t usually comment here for SAO, but after reading this post did it leave a better “after watching experience” than just finishing the episode by itself. I didn’t think this episode was funny so after reading the comments did it got funny for me. I was put into the full mood swings from being extremely happy to seeing the reunion and then to rage with that “Fairy King cr@p” and then happy at the end.
    P.S. Total disregard for the young minds of the viewers I’d say there’s an age restriction to watch this.

    random viewer
  33. I hope there is a season 2, just for the bitter taste of Fairy Dance to be replaced by the next arcs. Kawahara sucks at creating villains, but Mother’s Rosario doesn’t have one, Phantom’s Bullet have an acceptable one and Alicization… well, that one is far from over, and it’s villain is not properly one

  34. System command: set player race to HALF-elf. EXECUTE.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the pain unleashed on the Sugou. Kudos to the VA for bringing out epic comeedic villain we can all love to hate. Animated persona was rivalling the Charlie Chaplin in “Dictator”.
    I wonder what happened to him in real world, because if he didnt get some pain-caused body damage he can be still dangerous… e.g. making sure Kirito and Asuna got into “accidents” before they alert the authorities of his “300 players experiment”.
    And with the second season coming close to ending, the question is, will there be any continuation? For all its weaknesses, I enjoyed the series enoug to want to see another season. Will the studio accept the challenge?

  35. I wonder what’s going to happen to Kirito? Since he set the pain meter to 0, wouldn’t that cause harm to someone? So, if Sugou actually died isn’t that bad for Kirito? Sugou…pedobear status there. Other than that, love when a show dedicates a whole ep for “closure”…it can never be bad!

    1. I assume once they alert authorities – and Asuna’s father! – usual lab of mad scientist raid ensues, with henchmen (the tentacled avatars!) being taken care of and victims woken up.

  36. LOLs to you all! RC community makes some of the funniest episodic comments around. Especially because you take all the funny shits around the internet and then put them here. I’m busy, so good job everyone! Keep the comments funny!… and, um.. idiotic! XD

  37. Kirito didn´t say Kayaba was a good but if you compare him with Sugou it´s obvious who´s the less disgusting. Kayaba had a lot of charm and he demostrated in his performace of Heatcliff and that´s what Kirito was talking about, in the other hand Sugou was just a lame bastard. If you have a choice of course you would rather fight Kayaba, at least he had the guts to see his dream throught to the bitter end.

    1. Lack of edit button…hngghhhhhhh

      Constantly hesitant about watching this episode because I had previously known from the LN the disgustingnessughomgsogodawfullygross of what would happen here. I was hoping that Kirito’s vengeance upon Sugou would overshadow it…but…I got a completely unexpected comedy episode.

      I can’t help but to think of the dying scenes in Mai-Hime when I saw Asuna log out ><

  38. As silly and bass-ackwards as it was, I still couldn’t help but enjoy the ever loving hell out of the moment when Kirito accessed Heathcliff’s admin powers. The cartoonish levels of scum and villainy that Sugou reached in this ep. were absolutely ridiculous, so while I was shocked by the brutality I was actually rather pleased with how our “hero” finished him off as well. The overall savagery itself was certainly nothing I expected, and it got me to wondering: If Kirito had been an axe crazy awesome hero from the start… oh, the possibilities. Asuna and eventually Yui as his sanity tethers… but I digress.

    Overall I greatly enjoyed this episode even with the cardboard cutout of a final boss and the not-so-stealthy DEM that let Kirito save the day.

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