「氷の狙撃手」 (Koori no Sogekishu)
“Ice Cold Sniper”

With the story taking its sweet time to get rolling, this episode decided to focus solely on our brand new character — Sinon.

#1 Sniper in GGO

As the secondary lead who’s supposed to stand toe-to-toe with Kirito in a hyper-competitive gaming scene, Sinon did not disappoint. Exerting an overwhelming amount of coolness with her relaxed but stern attitude, this episode did a fantastic job of portraying just how serious she is about GGO or more specifically the game itself. Literally flipping out at her comrades when they almost lost all hope and channeling her inner Leeeroy Jenkins to secure the victory, I doubt there’s a soul out there who didn’t enjoy the battle. 360 noscope ftw! Seriously though, I came into the episode thinking I wouldn’t like Sinon and walked away wanting to see more. She’s a female lead whose words can inspire, has the skills to back it up, and when faced with a near impossible scenario doesn’t back down and makes the sickest plays. What more could you ask for?

That said, I am curious why she’s part of a group that goes around hunting other players. Maybe it’s because of how SAO trained my brain but for some reason seeing someone actively hunt others just comes off feeling like a bad thing. Also, if the ending sequence is any indication of how she behaves in the real world, it looks like there’s a stark difference between the two. Which makes you wonder if she has an actual reason for hunting people instead of monsters!

Back in ALO

After hearing all the hype about GGO and Kirito still bringing a sword to a gunfight before ALO started, I thought it was cool to see our main cast still living it up back in ALO. Honestly, I’ve been super curious about how Kirito would handle telling everyone (Asuna especially) about how he’d have to dive into a completely different game. Somehow I can’t picture it going all that smoothly.

Looking Ahead

If the post is a bit short it’s because, well, that’s all that really happened! While I’m sure more things are planned down the road, I guess I can live with each episode dedicating itself to a single thing. If there was one thing I wish this episode did show though, it would be the moment Kirito finally logs into GGO and creates his avatar — I’m dying to find out if he’s really playing as a girl or just a guy with long hair. Well that and the moment he finds Sinon and decides to pull out a saber-type weapon against a sniper!

Till next week!

ED Sequence

ED: 「Startear」 by 春奈るな (Luna Haruna)



  1. well they gave bits stuff about why Sinon fights. she was really interested in why the Behemoth can smile on the battle field and that she wants to get stronger. we’ll see why later on.

  2. I really have to admire what Sinon said to Dyne when their backs were against the wall, because although someone could give up and log out, its more fun and noble to stand your ground and exert all your effort until one side goes down.

    Also important to note, is what Sinon does after she logs out of GGO; if you observe her hand carefully, you can speculate to why she wants to get stronger (of course, no spoilers since it would ruin the dramatic buildup). In all, the episode did a great job introducing and showing Sinon’s personality.

    *And have to say, the ending sequence is very beautiful, especially with Luna Haruna’s voice

  3. Glad to see the story is not in a hurry to rush right on into things as that makes me think that this arc will have time to properly develop and be handled with a bit more care. Sinon’s definitely the type of character you’d like to see when you think of someone who can match Kirito and at the moment, it’s a good change of pace to the remainder of the female cast who’s still centered around him like a harem. I guess the possibility of her falling into that role will always be up in the air until it isn’t but at the moment, so far as this episode is concerned and for the foreseeable future, she has her mind focused on one thing: Strength and being the best.

    1. They will have to do some info dumping before the next arc I think.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. ALO went under a complete major re-haul. The lack of flight limits except on Aincrad dramatically changes aerial combat and most combat in general. Sword arts have been added to the game to function as melee spells. They deal elemental damage and are less flexible than free combat, but Aincrad bosses have normal damage resistance so sword arts are required for them.

  4. It’s really something to see the contrast in the worlds between the warm, dusky color palette in GGO and then going to the really bright and vibrant ALO setting. It’s a good visual emphasis on what the tone of the story might be in the future, and what that mean for everyone.

    The Truth is in the Axe
    1. It’s great seeing her dragon in the anime proper! In her episode, it was only about reviving it, so we only got to see it normally in promo images!

      Plus, jealous Lisbeth shows she isn’t completely over losing Kirito to Asuna. 😉 Classic dead-pan face.

  5. Thumbs up for me and for one reason: Barely any Kirito and Asuna.

    Thank goodness for that, it actually makes the setting feel bigger when its not focused on Mr. Sue and his Waifunstein.

    Sinon actually feel like an interesting character. She *GASP* actually has to put effort in trying to take out Behemoth. Being voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro is a plus. I SO can’t wait, for Kirito to overshadow her and remove any interesting aspects of her character as she is molded to another one of Kirito’s bland haremettes.

    One thing I hated was the over-serious tone of the PVP battle. It’s a video game and gamers don’t act that way! Why is Dyne s***ting has pants when they are losing? When my party was in that exact situation, we wiped hard and had a good laugh about it. The dumbest part was when Dyne tells Sinon that it was just a video game and not to be so serious. How can a line like that be written without any self-awareness? At least when .hack// did this it actually had real-life stakes. It just once again convinces me that Kawahara doesn’t know how MMO’s work or just doesn’t care about it.

    1. They tell you that the game is filled with proffesional players, meaning people make money of it and there is money at stake. When someone makes the money for food and for their house off of playing a game then they are going to take that game pretty freaking seriously I would imagine. Correct in that most PVP battles in games do not have those kind of reactions, but when money gets involved and it affects the real world, it kind of ceases to be a game.

      I can’t say I agree with your opinion entirely on Kirito and his role in the anime either but to argue would be an endless bias war. I just hope you can enjoy this season and have a fun time watching the action like I do :3 <3

    2. you cant really conclude that answer base solely on your gaming experience. Just like Kirito said during the first episode the difference between reality and the Virtual Reality is the detail and the amount of data your brain is receiving. With our current technology of a only a monitor interface the realism is truly lacking, when you hear, feel, see and smell things in a more realistic manner you will soon realize that your playing not just another game where you are like a spectator but another living another reality itself. It requires a lot of fortitude and self convincing to say that what you are feeling right now is an illusion. but then again they are professional gamers, they should already have a separate mindset with playing the game.

    3. Most of SAO was okay with Kirito and Asuna. Kirito had to actually earn his fighting abilities and whatnot while Asuna remained quite strong. It wasn’t until the end of SAO that things just broke. Then, ALO worsened it by literally handing Kirito all his SAO stats by a glitch bug so he didn’t have to actually learn anything more than how to fly properly (which didn’t take that long), and turning Asuna into a damsel-princess-in-a-tower character.

  6. Kinda want to see Kirito with a desert eagle and Asuna wielding a double baretta…since I haven’t read the book i donno what weapons they will be adopting but I sure hope they won’t be swinging their blades around lol

  7. Well looks like i was right about OP giving away their real life identities, Sinon was the glasses girl on the swings https://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%20OP%20-%2004.jpg,

    so I’m guessing death gun IS the kid https://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    Uh oh, they are geniuses of production “hey, lets give away everyones real identities in the opening so there would be no suspense or surprise.

      1. Agreed. I already said that it was stupid to add what appear to be spoilers to the OP.
        I can’t make you do anything, Dwarg, but I urge you to abandon that prediction.

    1. When all is revealed, you’ll realize how huge of a failure this arc is. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. The problem isShow Spoiler ▼

  8. Can someone explain to me (in a spoiler tag) what is the relation between “real world” Sinon and Kirito? She will be another girl of the Kirito “harem” or what? Thanks ^_^

    NaruSaku forever!!!!
    1. I assume she takes the game so seriously (and is so good at it as a result) because its a form of escapism for her from her weakness in the real world. From what i got from this ep, she seems like a timid child, probably physically weak as well. But in GGO, she can be free and do these amazing things she cannot in the real world. And since her mind is technically experiencing all that stuff, its like getting a second chance to be a different person instead of the frail and most likely timid person she is in the real world.

      PS. I find it funny that people are arguing the physics of shinon’s battle in a video game….one should have thrown any sense of realism upon reading the premise of this series. Not to mention these characters do crazy gravity-defying acrobatics in the air while fighting.

  9. I am watching SAO II only for the guns, Sinon and Sawashiro Miyuki.

    Other than that…. It’s irrelevant thanks to SAO I.

    Is Yuki Kajiura still the BGM composer and arranger?

    1. Yeah, I really wish this scene was worked on a little more. It could’ve used distant shots and close ups on Behemoth’s stance that showed that the guy was lifting the mini gun at the sharpest angle he possibly could when he started shooting at Sinon above the building, and that the jump placed her just over head.

      This was definitely a style over substance scene, but it worked well enough that it had our group cheering for the whole thing.

    1. Yeah, I liked it with Sinon alone. Kirito should stay away and continue playing married couple with his submissive waifu instead of getting involved. I wouldn’t miss him.

  10. I’m not exactly a fan of the series, but I’ll say that this episode was a notch above a lot of the series’ previous ones and I actually quite enjoyed it. The sole focus on Sinon (within GGO only, no less) was a great choice here, and it served a dual benefit of giving us a bit of a foundation to a new character while helping viewers familiarize themselves with the game, which imo should be more of a focus for a show like this.

    Sadly though, I can’t help but feel a large part of my enjoyment is because Kirito and Asuna play no real role here. The show’s just a lot better when you don’t have a character that turns the game’s mechanics (the highlight/focus of the show) upside down every time he comes in (and devolves the female characters while he’s at it), and it leaves me shaking my head because we all know he’s going to pick up that mantle again sooner rather than later.

    1. I went into SAO II because I’m able to look at it in a “so bad,it’s good” way but I found this episode pretty good for the same reasons you stated. However…

      Sadly though, I can’t help but feel a large part of my enjoyment is because Kirito and Asuna play no real role here. The show’s just a lot better when you don’t have a character that turns the game’s mechanics (the highlight/focus of the show) upside down every time he comes in (and devolves the female characters while he’s at it), and it leaves me shaking my head because we all know he’s going to pick up that mantle again sooner rather than later.

      Judging by that OP,I’m expecting him to be the only player wielding a lightsaber in GGO. It’s most likely gonna be stupid,but for those who have learned to revel in SAO’s stupidity(*raises hand*),it’ll probably be damn funny.

    2. actually i was thinking: “wow GGO sure got game physics”.

      also : “really? they got tracers for INCOMING bullets? someone get that mod for CS:GO! i also wanna DODGE sniper bullets!”

      1. It’s a game mechanic to stop snipers and others with OHKO weapons from being completely OP. Once a player has given away their location by firing, the game projects their line of fire until either a certain amount of time has passed or they relocate. That’s why Sinon’s first shot hit (first shot, no warning), while Behemoth was able to simply tilt out of the way of the second (she gave away her presence, so the game showed the bullet path).

  11. Kajiura Yuki is definitely doing a good job diversifying the OST, which is great. Sinon’s butt also got more screentime than Kirito. Made me remember what SAO is really about.

  12. I’d probably say that the only odd part of the episode was when Sinon sees Behemoth with the minigun, yet DOESN’T warn the rest of the team as soon as she notices (and they clearly had radios for communication). She just lays prone all wide-eyed and then the first team member dies. I mean yeah, it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the battle much, but they could’ve at least kept that first guy from getting picked off by running right into a wall of bullets.

  13. Episode 2: 10% Setups, 20% Snipers, 10% Assault Rifles, 10% Energy Weapons, 20% Assault Miniguns, 30% Sinon.

    They extended a few scenes in there just to let the other girls in hehe. Though as usual there’s the unnecessary fanservice tentacle crap.

    Anyways nice episode, I like it when it feels like it was too short rather than dragging overall.

    Ah love how the ending is all about the best girl. 😛

  14. The ED made it look like Sinon gave off some Mikasa vibes.

    Even with comparing the two EDs, ‘Utsukushi no Sekai’ of Shingeki no Kyojin and ‘Startear’, they are strikingly similar with regards to how the characters in the EDs are portrayed.

  15. Shinon never played Grand Theft Auto, that’s why she does not share the sentiment of laughing while shooting our big gatling. i at least played vice city and always enjoy five staring with my M60’s around the city with my [type] panzer and sing “Welcome to the jungle!”

    babe, next time play candy crush lah…. if you can’t swallow the world without rules.

  16. This series is always a bit of a chore for me. I kind of like the base premise. I don’t even mind that Kirito is sort of broken (it’s anime, half of all the heroes are broken) but they just never manage to deliver on the potential of the series with possible exception of the original arc.

    WHY is SAO a harem show given that Kirito has completely made up his mind in book 1? Why can’t they actually make side characters who are male and female and have more interactions with Kirito than wanting to marry him? Why, after the first arc, can’t they spend a bit more time actually getting to know these rather fascinating game worlds?

    It’s just frustrating, because I liked this but you know it’s just going to drop off very soon.

    1. is not a true harem… BUT there were 3 (or 4) girls romantically interested in the male lead… the male lead only got eyes for the female lead tho and that is the reason it is not a TRUE harem.

      i bet my ipad that we gonna add Sinon name to the quasi harem

  17. “someone actively hunt others just comes off feeling like a bad thing”
    You don’t play online FPS games? That’s basically the basic premise of the genre, so a gun-based MMO would be that plus some resource-gathering/leveling.

  18. lol’d at that guy trying to LIFT the muzzle of his minigun xD those things ARE heavy. i was like: “noob! drop the minigun and get out your secondary weapon..cant you see shes FALLING?”

    wonder how their localized damage works: sinon got her leg blown out so she couldnt walk…but what about Behemoth? he got shot in the shoulder…what penalties that incurred? was that the reason he couldnt lift his minigun faster?

    enjoyed the episode … but i have to admit that it was mostly cu i play a lot of shooters (mostly CoD or CounterStrike)


    -incoming bullets tracker = i call HACK! … makes sense someone could use a SWORD to fight then…
    -Sinon seems really.. resolute.. smelling some trauma in her life.. that hand shaking… also is just me or she doesnt seem to have much “fun” .. she sure was exited for the figth but she didnt seem to have fun… mebe that is why she hunts people? bad experiences with gunners? robbers? police? lol dunno
    -that Sinon is pretty fast for a lil girl carrying a sniper rifle taller than herself.
    -Leroy Jenkins

    1. Regarding the trajectory lines: that’s a feature of the game, but they only come up after that person has already fired once. That’s why sniper rifles work, because the first shot is pretty much guaranteed to hit unless you suck. On the flip side though, it also means they’re pretty much useless after the first shot because people can see the line. That’s why they were talking about using decoys to let her fire again, because sniper rifles totally lose the element of surprise after the first shot.

      1. like in most FPS: the sniper is screwed if the first shot wasnt a kill: one can always tell (radar, sound, positional damage indicator, minimap , smoke trails, muzzle flash, w/e most games make it that way so snipers arent too OP) normally the position of a sniper is known after the first shot is done, that is really common on FPS and thats OK , what i mean is that knowing exactly were the bullets are going to hit is “ODD” (unless that “trajectory line” only marks where the muzzle is aiming and not the bullet’s path) … and i have played Blacklight.. a FPS where you can SEE your enemies thru walls…

        it must be the FPS player in me that was crying “cheater” the whole time >..<

      2. Do also remember that bullet trajectory is based off of real life. (i.e windage, humidity, elevation, bullet speed, rotation of the earth, ect.) Unless one is some elite marksman, one is almost guarantee to suck.

    2. The minigun is mounted on a rail on his back so he doesn’t carry a secondary. A couple things, Behemoth was shot in the shoulder twice by a 5.56 rifle while Sinon’s leg was hit multiple times with 7.62 rounds. As science will tell you, 5.56 rounds have high bullet speed and low stopping power while 7.62 will absolutely destroy soft targets because it’s 3 times heavier and has 3 times the powder of a 5.56.

    3. I didn’t watch the episode in its entirety, but I believe the reason Behemoth couldn’t lift his gun quicker is because of the centripetal force. It’s like a top or a gyroscope, when it’s spinning, it’s REALLY hard to make the axis point in a different direction. That’s why tops and gyroscopes stay standing.

      Similarly, because of the way the chain gun fires, by rotating about an axis, to make the axis change directions requires a LOT of force.

  19. I noticed that Kajiura Yuki has gone with a style that mixes in a lot of motifs like she used in Madoka. I’ve listened to the OST’s to SAO and Madoka so much that I instantly noticed. It’s fitting though seeing as GGO seems to be a darker world than Aincrad and ALO. Needless to say I found it fitting that she incorporated a similar vocal line to “Mami’s Theme” during Sinon’s battle.

    1. mmm thats is a bad example: Warframe has a whole lot of warframes (classes? dunno how to explain it to people who has not played it) designed to rock it in melee attacks , you could say that the game is about guns and swords. that warframe in the video is Rhino, and IIRC it got 2 melee skills and 1 armor skills , and 1 buff skill… is really good melee/tank.

      PS: they got some “casters” too… but i find them not so good, really hard to rely on only skills i got a Nova to lvl 30 but still trying to get the aura for energy regen.. having to rely on orb pickup is soo anoying… was told i should have picked up a Banshee

  20. They wanted to make Sinon look badass, but I couldn’t NOT laugh at how tryhard it turned out. LOOK SHE’S THE COOLEST GIRL IN GGO. ADMIRE JUST HOW BADASS SHE IS.

  21. Oh man that sniper rifle! If only there was a game like this right now, I’d play the hell out of it. Also those moves Sinon has are OP as hell! Especially the mid air sniper shot haha

    Jason Isenberg
  22. So Sinon has a sniper rifle and decides the best way to help her team is to close the distance? uhm, okay.

    And Behemoth firing his gun like he was getting off…

    Sinon, warn your mates about the mini gun! And why can’t you shoot again? the mini gun makes him a slow target! it does not neutralize the advantage of a rifle, but they needed a flashy combat sequence of her jumping from a tower…

    PS. I know nothing about guns, but I guess the creators know even less. Time to completely suspend belief.

    Impel Down Hippo

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