「鮮血の記憶」 (Senketsu no Kioku)
“Memories of Blood”

After last week’s episode introduced us to Sinon and just how serious she is about gaming, I was completely caught off guard when this week’s episode strove to show us just how she is IRL.

The Sinon Show

I’ll be honest here — I had a pretty tame childhood. Besides nearly cracking my forehead open once and getting into a small scuffle after someone knocked my glasses off with a five square ball (Yes, Five Square), the extent of any kind of debilitating trauma ended right before middle school. Which is why whenever I see an anime character dealing with some sort of fear that was induced because of some horrific accident in the past, it’s hard for me to make a connection since I’ve been lucky enough to avoid such horrible situations.

But in Sinon’s case, h-o-l-y crap. With nerves of steel to stand up to a nut job flailing a gun around like it was a toy, how can you not admire the way she kept her cool in such an intense situation? While I don’t know if it was necessarily the smartest thing to do at the time, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Especially when a loved one is in danger. All of which boils down to a character with a childhood trauma story that I can really get behind. Sure some of Shino’s beliefs about what will help her overcome her past are a bit off and I really wish she got some revenge on those girls who were screwing with her but something about the buildup and execution of it really convinced me that “Wow, I can actually see this messing someone up.”

Kirito and The Others

While there isn’t too much to say here since the focus still seems to be on Sinon, I’m glad we finally got some progress on Kirito’s side. While I’m still a bit irked that we haven’t got to see him actually enter GGO and make that fabulous avatar of his, I’m really hoping that next week is when his fated encounter with Sinon occurs. Also, haters are going to hate but I wish Asuna would get some more screentime with actual dialogue. I’m slowly getting sick of seeing her simply smile or frown without throwing in some witty/tsuntsun dialogue.

Looking Ahead

While it’ll be one more week until we get some good GGO action, I’m still relatively happy with how things are going so far. Seeing how Sinon will be playing a large role throughout this arc, I’m glad we got a deep look at what fuels her passion for gaming. If I had one request though, it would probably be for the story to move a bit quicker. Maybe it’s because we need to know a lot about Sinon or maybe it’s because they’re trying to milk this show as hard as they can — all I know is that progress is super slow and I don’t particularly like it.


  1. I seriously don’t see how people hate SAO/GGO to begin with. People say Sinon being afraid of guns and to self-therapy in the game is the stupidest idea ever…. [read from seventhstyle’s website].

    I personally love SAO and GGO. So far it’s going very good at a steady pace. Next episode will probably start the real GGO online game. Can’t wait!!

    1. For me personally, it’s not so much stupid as it is over-exaggerated. I can buy the model gun trauma, even if it’s been a long time and it’s a rubber band gun, fine, it seems acceptable enough for me. But freaking out like that over a finger “gun”, which first off barely resembles a gun in the first place and secondly is a lot more common in daily life is too much for me to accept.

      1. And that, is why PTSD still carries a stigma. Most people can’t comprehend it, because they have never experienced anything that’s remotely like it. Many think the same way you do, “it can’t possibly be that bad, they’re over-exaggerating it!”

        Even grown men can, and have been broken. Taking a human life can weight very heavily on one, much less a young girl.

      2. Maybe you should volunteer to help work with people who from PTSD.

        Ever seen a 40+ person drop to the floor in cover, screaming and crying like a newborn infant just because some d*ckwads throw a firecrackers near his dog? Afcourse this is one of the more heavy examples. You also have the ones that just lock up and shut in into a corner.

      3. @Mike @.Mero And you two are probably right, maybe I just don’t understand PTSD. I thought I had at least a general grasp of it but apparently not. In case I wasn’t clear, my feelings of over exaggeration aren’t towards the reaction itself (to the model gun anyway). While I don’t have experience like you two do, I could see that happening as trauma from a past event. I could completely understand someone vomiting and feeling intense fear after seeing a gun. I’ll ask you two then, since you both have more experience than I do. Would a “finger gun” be similar enough in order to cause such a reaction from a person that went through the same events as her. I just thought because of the relative commonness of it as well as the fact that it didn’t resemble it very much it wouldn’t be enough, but maybe it is. I don’t mean to sound aggressive if I do, I’m generally interested so I can be a little more informed and make sure I don’t say something insensitive again.

      4. Different people have different triggers. PTSD comes in many forms. The firecrackers/explosions are just a common used example. Sometimes something as little as an image of something flashing by can trigger a reaction, or even a certain atmosphere or just smell can be a trigger.

        Remember that it’s not just the gesture of the “finger gun”, it’s also the buildup of stress by being cornered/threatened. Even when standing up against it, the whole atmosphere brings her back to that life threatening moment.

    2. 1 Bad memories from SAO I

      2 Bad memories from SAO I

      3 Bad memories from SAO I

      4 Pacing and chronology of SAO I

      5 The over-in-your-face lovey doveyness of KiritoxAsuna (It really was too much for me to watch)

  2. What I don’t get is why would she need a cure for her gun phobia? It’s not like guns are a daily thing that you’ll see at every corner. (At least in Japan)
    Oh and I hope that the villain will turn out to be someone else than the obvious choice.

    Waifu Asuna is so boring that I don’t miss her at all.

    1. in case you missed some of the dialogue – having a toy gun pointed at her in school was enough to make her have a panic attack and throw up in school. Even the gun hand sign is enough to make her freak out. Trying to overcome it is an important step for her mentally in general but even more so with her classmates tormenting her.

      1. uchiha boy seventhstyle dont hate sao they love hating sao.they enjoy bash animes what others enjoy and speak what animes how fate zero are the only worth watching.are the “pc master race” of anime, you better do not lose time discusing with these guys.

      1. Yup, that’s what I thought as well.

        Can’t have a character whining so much over not playing well enough and thus mostly stopping to play (that’s what he sounded like to me), and then not use him in-game a lot as one of the villains.

  3. I’d like to point out for the record that it’s been nearly a month and the plot hasn’t progressed. so far it’s been: expository dialogue, character introduction action scene, and background information in that order. Believe me, her fear of guns won’t be readdressed until the very end. The next episode is where the series really starts. Look forward to it!

    1. To this day, i still feel sad that they’ve made Asuna’s character the “Come back safely” character…she use to be soooooo badass….what happened???? They can build on the bond between Asuna and Kirito by having them work together; that would convince the audience of their compatibility a lot more than giving us those bench scenes. Not that those scenes are bad, but Asuna’s character is better than that.

  4. Oh SAO, after I’d thought you disappoint with a perfectly reasonable episode two, you come through with a wonderful basket of inconsistencies to tear into discuss.

    The main issue this episode is of course Sinon’s back story. The problem is not the back story itself, it’s how the thing was written. Firstly let’s deal with the actual shooting. Ignoring the probability that a preteen girl would manage to shoot an assailant not once, not twice, but three times (of which one is a head shot and all play out under the aura of mental shock), there is the lack of any injury to Sinon herself. At that age a 2-5 pound pistol’s recoil is enough to either break bones or result in serious muscle straining, not to mention there is high chance the recoil would send the gun flying into her face. I believe the LN has Sinon suffer physical injuries as a result of the shooting, so I’m surprised the producers chose to omit them from the adaptation as it would have helped add a better sense of realism to the whole thing.

    More concerning though is how Sinon’s trauma is handled, the way it has been portrayed really screams of over exaggeration and melodrama, all for the sake of edgy character development. Being afraid of guns is completely understandable as a trigger, but really, a finger gun too? That precludes Sinon to breaking down to everything from the nozzles on spray cans to the handles on electric drills; it really appears to be a trawling for pity designed to clobber an emotional reaction out of the viewer rather than an honest weakness. Once again the LNs also apparently have Sinon seeing a psychiatrist for assistance, so why is this not shown here? Of course this is only episode 3 and we may see it later, but seriously, at the bare minimum the girl would be on some sort of medication and having weekly to monthly sessions.

    The largest problem, however, concerns Sinon’s move to escape her trauma. I can accept the shooting, I can overlook the trauma triggers, but how am I expected to believe she would not suffer an event from looking at (never mind using) virtual guns in a virtual reality game, especially when she was shown in a flashback to be looking at them in a magazine!! To show why this is a problem consider a similar case in Showcase’s Shameless. One of the main characters Shirley suffers from severe agoraphobia (a fear of open, often crowded spaces) to such a degree she never leaves her house. To help break Shirley of her fear, one of her friends lends her an Oculus Rift-esque headset that lets her pretend she’s walking around a grocery store. Everything is fine in the simulation until she is ready to leave the store and enter the parking lot, at which time she breaks down, even though it’s not real. The point here is the trigger does not differentiate between real and virtual, this is not something that can be controlled. As long as the mind can perceive the trigger, it will react to it, which is why Sinon’s trauma case is contradictory. If she can react to a finger gun she will react to a virtual gun, especially one which looks just as real as any in normal life. Overall Sinon’s “use” of GGO heralds back to Kirito’s magical(ly ridiculous) acquisition of real life sword fighting skills following release from SAO. Just replace skills with trauma therapy.

    IMO the best way to have handled this situation would have been to present Sinon coming out of her trauma, already having recovered enough to not experience events whenever seeing a gun. GGO could have been her calming therapy, the way to ensure she never suffers from her trigger again (thus maintaining the “I need to be stronger” front consistently given to us). Not only would Sinon therefore have had a solid back story, but one that also was consistent and easier to relate to.

    1. Allow me to tear into yours then 😉

      Ignoring the probability that a preteen girl would manage to shoot an assailant

      Shinon was 11 years old.

      there is the lack of any injury to Sinon herself. At that age a 2-5 pound pistol’s recoil is enough to either break bones or result in serious muscle straining, not to mention there is high chance the recoil would send the gun flying into her face.

      Again, she was 11. Very young to be sure, but not exactly a toddler like you think. And yes, she ended up dislocating her shoulder.

      Being afraid of guns is completely understandable as a trigger, but really, a finger gun too? That precludes Sinon to breaking down to everything from the nozzles on spray cans to the handles on electric drills; it really appears to be a trawling for pity designed to clobber an emotional reaction out of the viewer rather than an honest weakness.

      Even you’ll have to admit that a “finger gun” is a pretty universal gesture at this day and age, and those people left little to the imagination as to what their intentions were. I’ve already talked about PTSD in a prior post, but suffice to say that me personally, I’ll never judge anyone for it. Frankly, the case here is relatively mild compared to some others.

      Once again the LNs also apparently have Sinon seeing a psychiatrist for assistance, so why is this not shown here?

      What did you expect? Medical Diagnostic Online II? This is not new for adaptations, things that can be mentioned in a sentence or two in books doesn’t always translate well onto the screen.


      So, where’s your psychology degree? :p People react to things differently. Some loud noises doesn’t faze my buddy, while others can make him jump thinking it was a mortar.

      Overall Sinon’s “use” of GGO heralds back to Kirito’s magical(ly ridiculous) acquisition of real life sword fighting skills following release from SAO. Just replace skills with trauma therapy.

      Kirito’s bit is completely unrelated to Sinon’s situation, that one is directly related to the way mind/soul works in the SAO universe, which is something that won’t really be touched upon until Alicization.

    2. @Mike

      Obviously Sinon is not a toddler as you’re trying to imply I stated (which I did not), but without a doubt she would have experienced some form of injury as the LN describes. The adaptation’s decision not to show Sinon experiencing any injury is a personal nitpick, enough people have already tried to poorly criticize the shooting events as being “wrong” when they are perfectly reasonable under those abnormal conditions.

      Concerning the trauma and the gun triggers I have already mentioned I have no issue with them, the personal criticism lies with her not reacting to actual guns in a virtual reality game and on the pages of a gun magazine when she has suffers from a break down at the hands of a finger gun. IMO it seems contradictory against everything else concerning her condition described this episode. As for the psych bit again that’s a personal nitpick, I like my character development.

      Also I’d prefer not to play the stupid credentials game, but if you want me to bust out my neuroscience thesis and psychology minor then I guess I can 😛


      But then where’s the fun? Half the value from shows like SAO (at least for me) comes from critically thinking about them 😛

    3. Could it be a degree of separation? Maybe she’s only affected by personally witnessing a gun (or the symbolic representation of a gun, like the hand signal), but not when there is some separation, like the pictures in a magazine. This would require that her mind subconsciously distinguishes Shino and Sinon as different people, such that her experiences in the game as “Sinon” aren’t processed as Shino’s, even if Shino experiences Sinon’s actions in first-person. This would mean that playing GGO won’t actually help Shino with her trauma, since her mind isn’t seeing Sinon and Shino as the same person.
      Not sure if the above is actually plausible, considering my limited background with psych/PTSD, but something I considered.

      1. That is a definite possibility, and yes it’s plausible. It would explain away the magazine and also the finger gun. It would be a harder stretch for Sinon in game, however; The way the VMMORPG is structured in SAO is one of an alternate reality. You are fully immersed in the game, it lacks the “obvious” separation we take for granted when playing a game on a computer for example. Unlike standard games GGO stimulates all five senses through the AmuSphere to “trick” the mind into believing what it sees is reality.

        Under this principle then the brain by itself would not be able to subconsciously differentiate Shino from Sinon as both RL and in game would be treated the same by it, Shino would have to do so consciously. Shino in effect would have to live as Sinon for the entire time she is online playing GGO (i.e. forget that Shino even exists). Now such a thing is possible (it’s the primary basis for alias construction in spy programs for example), but it is no small feat and has no guarantee to dissociate Shino from the things that triggers her trauma as that process is subconscious.

        It’s why I consider Shino/Sinon’s trauma to be inconsistent because whatever triggers her panic attacks should be able to do so in game considering the information we know regarding SAO’s FullDive equipment and VR games.

      2. According to Kawahara Reki’s live commentary on the episode (translated by tap):

        “Panic attacks are a combination of psychological stress and somatic symptoms. Stress causes perspiration, palpitation, shortness of breath, chills in the limbs, nausea, and such, resulting in the fear, “if this continues, I might faint or even die for real”.

        Thus, I imagine that interaction will not occur in a full dive environment where most somatic sensations are blocked.

        Such a device would first have to be developed to know whether it truly works or not, however.”

    4. Overall Sinon’s “use” of GGO heralds back to Kirito’s magical(ly ridiculous) acquisition of real life sword fighting skills following release from SAO. Just replace skills with trauma therapy.

      Just a quick note.

      If I remember correctly it’s stated in the anime that Kirito had been trained in Kendo by his grandfather, a national champion. Suguha took his place training after he quit, I think two years before SAO and she is a national level finalist. So his grandfather’s lessons are established in-story as pretty good.

      Given that Kirito spent two years inside SAO honing his skills in life or death situations, plus his prior real life foundation I don’t think that the takeaway of the story is that he got the real life skills “magical(ly ridiculous)”.

  5. Homer Simpson is still better parent than Shino’s mother. poor Shino…

    Lisa : Dad! we’ve done something terrible!
    Homer: Did you wreck the car?
    Bart: nope
    Homer: Did you raise the dead?
    Lisa: Yes!
    Homer: But the car is okay?
    Bart and Lisa: Eh-hem.(nodding)
    Homer : alright then.

  6. Eh, as inconsistent/over-dramatic the episode may have been with Sinon’s back-story, it’s nice to hear it all the same rather than just instantly jumping into things and barely knowing anything about her otherwise, telling us what her goals are and such rather than just being a pretty face to be part of Kirito’s harem or anything.

    I mean, how much do we really know about Kirito and Asuna in real life after all besides what was actually said or shown in the episodes themselves (at least for an anime-only viewer who hasn’t read the source material like me)?

  7. The nitpicking was very high on this show, good thing is those people who expected SAO II to be a train-wreck from episode 01 is disappointed to find out it’s not the same SAO they laughed 2 years ago, and are probably looking on other things to complain about this show. I’m not saying that SAO II can sustain it, but I hope that they learn their lesson from the previous SAO to make SAO II better.

  8. ………..

    …. it’s only the start of Season 2 and yet I can safely say that Sinon is so far the most believable and awesome main character in the show so far. She has LESS of the character traits that make her perfect or author-appealing in any way, her emotional conflict and back story are portrayed in the most realistic way I ever seen in this show so far! She killed a man by gunshot, as an early teen, after seeing her father die. Anyone who unexpectedly has to weld a gun without any prior experience goes through a traumatic state in some way. And her will to “get stronger” may sound like the standard shonen goal, but here, she’s actually trying to DEAL with it in a believable way by living the life of a badass girl she WANTS to be, to improve HERSELF! You go, Sinon!

    … and then let’s see her fall for Kirito, and have all of those great traits get tossed aside!! >:

    1. I like the character, but this trauma think is BS. Her problem is that she gets sick when she sees a gun or tries to hold one. Ok, but… that’s barely a problem, c’mon. I’m 28 and I have seen a guns near me only when I go near a cop, which doesn’t happen very often (and I’ve hold a gun like, once in my life).

      1. I doubt you’ll ever have the guts to shoot someone with a gun though. It is not so simple as to just firing a gun, it involves psychological and philosophical aspects as well. Being prepared to kill someone means accepting the responsibility of causing one’s death for greater good or other kinds of reasons.

        Bragging about not being afraid of guns or not understanding why is it so hard to shoot someone clearly illustrates your understanding of responsibility and emotions in the first place. I, for one, could probably shoot without hesitation provided that I have a reason to. The difference between you and that fictional character name Sinon is that she understood what it meant to hold a gun while you do not.

        Sorry, I do not wish to come off as hating (even if my name is “Hater”, I am just too lazy to change it), but I merely desire to help you out in understanding why she is a realistic character. Too many people lack real understanding of how and when to use a weapon nowadays, which leads to harmful decisions that affect the public.

      2. /Facepalms…C’mon at least know the saying “Different strokes for different folks”…Do not be too judgmental as to compare her experiences with yours, put yourself in her shoes and see things from that perspective before saying such things. Oh, and apparently you haven’t even experienced finding yourself at gunpoint.

      3. Alright, Hater, but WTF are you talking about? Me not having guts to shoot someone? Me bragging about not being afraid of guns?

        I’m sorry, but… WHAT?

        When did I say something about shooting or something about not being afraid of shotting? What the heck are you talking about? Really, WTF?

        I just said that her problem seems to be BS, because, according to what has been shown in the anime, her in problem is that she gets sick and remembers her trauma when she sees a gun in real life.

        Ok, knowing that, I said her problem is not that big of deal because, if you’re not a cop or a criminal, the chances of you seeing a gun in real life is next to zero. I mean, she lives in Japan, guns are illegal there, remember.

        And I decided to use myself as a example of that. I’m 28 and I’ve hold a gun only ONCE in my whole life (and it was for like, 5 seconds, just to have that experience, I don’t want a freakin’ gun near me). I also don’t see guns in my daily life. To see a gun a need to look for one of those cops who walk around with a guns (not all cops do that), and then look at his belt to check out his gun (yeah, I because I can choose not to do it).

        So, really, how often do I see a freakin’ gun? Pretty much never.

        So, if her problem is getting near guns or seeing guns in real (since guns trigger her trauma), she should be fine because, really, it extremely easy not to get involved with guns in real life, c’mon.

      4. I can understand not being able to handle cars being a big problem, since cars are everywhere and you pretty much need them to go to places. Yeah, if you can see or get near a car, you are pretty f… That’s a huge problem.

        But guns? C’mon.

        If you’re not able to handle guns because you have a trauma related to them, ok, then don’t get near guns. As long you don’t live a country that is a state of war or full of criminals and terrorists, you should be just fine.

      5. @Andre
        I’m pretty sure I get what you’re saying, but your initial reply could have been worded better. My first reaction to it was that you were saying that her trauma is BS. If that was what you were saying, go look up PTSD before you say anything else.
        What I think you were trying to say isn’t that her trauma is BS, but that her trauma shouldn’t be something that comes up in her day-to-day life, because there aren’t many situations where she should/would encounter a gun. However, if she gets panic attacks from even a finger gun, then there are plenty of people in the world like those girls who will take advantage of that. And just because real guns are illegal in Japan, doesn’t mean she won’t encounter other “guns”; BB guns, water guns, light guns at an arcade, etc. are legal and fairly common in Japan.

      6. You also probably don’t recoil in terror when hearing alarms of any sort, but then again you’ve probably never been trapped in a dark closet with the alarm system wailing, while two armed robbers are leading your mother around, ransacking your house.

        Trauma is the most unbelievable thing until you experience it yourself…although in my case, I didn’t exactly have any conscious memories prior to that trauma…

  9. I like Sinon´s character for many reasons but her trauma and the idea of getting stronger to overcome it is what I like the best about her. Makes you wonder who has the worst experience with death: Sinon or Kirito. Kirito has killed in self defense (Cradil) just like Sinon and he didn´t take too well like our new heroine (but I don´t think there is good way to take the idea you just kill someone no matter the reasons), but Sinon definitely had it worse in the gore department; just like Kirito wonders so often, what´s more real? Reality or virtual reality?.

    1. I’d say Sinon by a bit.

      Kirito may know that he did kill Kuradeel in real life because of his death in the game, but he never had to actually see that real life death happen. Visually, Kuradeel died just like he would’ve at any other point in the game even if Kabayama didn’t do what he did, so not exactly a “realistic”-looking death. Kirito really just has guilt in knowing that his actions caused his death, but that’s about it.

      On the other hand Sinon not only caused the death, but had the gore all over her and actually stared right into the eyes of the person she killed as he died. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she had to see it while he was in pain from the first two shots, so seeing a face go from insanely pissed off/shocked to the life draining from it right before her eyes and I’m sure it was more traumatic.

      Now if Kirito had actually met, fought, and killed Kuradeel in real life, face to face, that would’ve been different, I think.

  10. So this covers Sinon’s tragic backstory. It’s……….ok for the most part but a little part of me thinks it could have been done better.

    Sinon scoring the first two shots is reasonable since they were point blank. But the third shot she made was a little bullshit. She wasn’t even looking and has never held a gun before. Not to mention she scored a perfect headshot. The guy was some distance away from her so either she has natural gun handling ability or………well i don’t know what else it could be. I think it would have been more believable if she just started firing multiple shots out of fear while the guy attempted to attack her again. One thing i complement the show for doing though is showing realistic recoil. You don’t see that often. But then again a child firing a gun like that would likely result in injury.

    And from the looks of things her mother deserts her afterwards? Why? I mean there is no solid proof this has happened yet but I think the fact she calls her Uncle instead of her mother hints at that. I don’t really buy her ending up being deserted by her mother because she killed some crazy robber in self defense. So I’m hope there is some clarity on that.

    Anyways I thought this was a okayish episode. A bit over-dramatic for my tastes though. I think they made it pretty obvious that death gun is Shino’s friend(with how the final scene had him rubbing her picture and the fact he a almost identical hairstyle/face). But I’m prepared to get my mind blown if it isn’t.

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Not to mention she scored a perfect headshot.

      One of the problems with omitting narration. She was aiming for his chest, in fact. The recoil threw her back and dislocated her shoulder, causing her to entirely miss the point she was aiming for. Hitting him in the head was an accident.

  11. I’ve seen a number of people complain about the pacing feeling too slow. The SAO arc took 14 episodes. The ALO arc took 11 episodes. The GGO arc is on track to take about as much as either of them, which is to say one cour give or take an episode or two. So it’s not slow paced at all, it’s just taking the time to properly establish it’s new major character for the arc before getting into all the action.

    1. It has to be taken into consideration that the Phantom Billet novels are the longest and most detailed of the novels so far, it´s awesome they taking their time build the story and the characters.

      1. I was talking about the number of pages of the 2 volume, I´m currently reading Alicization so I know it has many, many volumes but in the number of pages per novel GGO takes the cake; even Kawahara-sensei was surprised when he realized that Phantom Bullet was longer than Aincrad.

  12. I really, really like the pacing. Fleshing out the characters so we’ll empathize with them more is always good and GGO is doing its best to make it clear to everyone that Sinon = best girl.

  13. Pace is good for me too.
    And i can to relate for Sinon PTSD, i have one friend with similar PTSD and your “recover” was hard.
    Real firearms in the world of SAO are lighter than ours, after all they are years ahead technologically.

  14. In a difference of opinion to most other commentators, I totally hate the pacing. Episodes 1-3 could be done in 1 and half episode, with Kirito getting into GGO by the start of episode 3. And so far the only death by Death Gun that we’ve actually seen was that one guy, not setting him up the proper antagonist as of yet.

    I don’t quite get how a finger gun (symbolic) would cause more mental backlash than a accurately rendered 3D modelled gun (also symbolic in a sense, since it doesn’t really exist) that actually fires at people. Is what Sinon trying to achieve via GGO is vindication that it is okay to shoot guns at (bad) people?

    Despite the detractors, I liked the ALO arc because the world and mechanics were introduced quite well. This arc seems like a couple steps back, hopefully pace will step up once Kirito and Sinon meet.

  15. OK, Sinon’s real life alter ego has some really bad trauma behind…
    But, to put in a quote from certain book:

    It is not allowable for any one to be lavish with death,
    but if anybody menaces your fatherland or puts in jeopardy the life of
    your mother, sister, or the life of a woman entrusted to your care,
    shoot him in the head and ask no questions.

    Girl, you have done right thing and I totally would support you.

    Anyway I admire her ability to say “NO” to the thuggish girls. All resistance starts with saying “NO” to evil’s demands.

    On the lighter note: gotta love the hot nurse checking Kirito’s, erm, musculature…

      1. Well, talk about a blatant lie.

        In general terms, there is little difference between the west and the east (which btw is entirely overbroad) on the value of life – ie, both talk pretty, but in all honesty not something the general population cares much about unless it affects them, much less the government.

        But please, do continue to espouse the “virtuous eastern culture”, though you may want to look into the kind of human rights abuse that’s still going on in China, India,various SE Asian countries etc. first.

        Hell, just take a look at Imperial Japan, which part of that would you like to use as support for eastern culture values life?

      2. Western people value killing people, while Asians value life more.


        There is no distinction on which culture values life more: all have “conditions” and “exceptions”. Slaves are not equal to their masters so it’s okay to kill them. Different race/religion = blasphemous sinners so it’s okay to kill them, etc.

        Humanity, in general values life above all else. It’s just that in the past everyone has different views on who is part of that “humanity”. And it isn’t any different today.

  16. I love love loved the back story. What was up with Shinon’s mother? Really? If my child did that, I would have consoled her afterwards and not look at her like she was some sort of a demon.

    The only negative comment I have about this episode is really not a negative comment per se. After experiencing the trauma, Shinon is on the bed and she says, “someone save me.” This slightly irked me, because throughout the past episodes Shinon in real life and in the virtual world wants to solve problems by her own power and skill. I really hope that this SAO doesn’t fall into the pitfall of SAO I and make an independently minded badass character into a soft, lovely dovey, “weak,” I need Kirito kun fodder.

    I personally would like to see Kirito and Shino first become competitive enemies that become allies after the threat to Shinon’s life appears. I also really hope that the power dynamics are done right (as they were in the first half of SAO I) and Kirito does not become de facto powerful when he enters into GGO. I would rather see Kirito lose some, learn the game better and ultimately win the game (solve the death gun mystery) in the end.

    1. To quote haseo0408 from above:

      Sinon’s mother was never completely sane, part of the reason they moved with the grandparents is that she could not take care of herself and Sinon alone, the sudden death of her husband left her emotionally broken. I don’t know if this going to be included but she went insane after the incident in post office, she has the mind of a child now and can’t stand being near her own daughter.

      To address your “someone save me” point: Sinon wants to overcome her gun phobia by becoming the strongest player in GGO. That means defeating strong players. Behemoth was such a strong player, so when she killed him she thought she was ready to face the “real” gun. But she still got a panic attack, which crushed her hope (momentarily).

    2. The thing about trauma is that most of the time you cannot overcome it alone, specially when originates in the early childhood like Sinon´s case. Her alter ego in GGO is trying to find a way to fix herself but her test with the gun left her back to zero, she feels trap with nobody to turn to, this was not said but the bastards in old chool bully her because of the incident and her new school is no better, this more than a sole girl could handle.

  17. always makes me wonder why people would argue so much about SAO. it’s a simple thing for me, if i like an anime i would praise it, but if i don’t like an anime i would just ignore it rather than spending all my energy arguing about it, i believe that once someone didn’t like something just because you won an argument against them it’s not going to change their view, the person that lost the argument might even hate the anime even more and always try to find something to bash from it.

  18. I like the pacing of this season more.

    Its better when things are written in a linear fashion and things flow more coherently.

    I think it’s Asada’s background and circumstances that cement a lot of empathy and reasons to like her even more as a character. Definitely shows how the author has gotten somewhat better at characterization over time.

    Sigh… Shinkawa I hope keeps Shino away from Kazuto’s harem. He has enough on his plate to get this gem. @_@ Too bad he’s such a Kawahara trope.

  19. Considering that Asuna has the next arc all to herself, I was sort of hoping they’d have leapfrogged the two arcs into one overarching story…even if it required manipulating the original story a bit. Otherwise, I despair of them spreading the GGO story too thin for a 26 episode run (assuming it’s getting one).

    On the other hand, if Asuna’s arc is only 1/3 of this new season, that puts the pacing about on track for a 26 ep season, IMO.

    I don’t understand all the hate for SWO…guess it’s the whole counter-clash of “it’s popular to hate what’s popular.” I could see how some might dislike how the first 3 eps were paced, but they were very integral story pieces. Still, I feel the season starts in-haste next episode, and hopefully begins to knock the socks off of the doubters!

  20. This was not my favorite episode. I loved the scene with the flashback, it was a good scene It just has some quality I don’t quite like. Can’t explain it. I think it was just different from what I had in my head. I think having read the ln gives a different perspective

  21. This series is so awesome! It will now soon have another favorite feature added: Lightsabres and Jedi Fighting vs lame bounty hunter wannabees!! Yess!! (I miss Jedi Clone Wars..) But now I get my two faves in one: GGO. 🙂

    If you’re as good as a Jedi Master aka Kirito, then YES! You can bring a sword to a gunfight. Boba Fett V 1.0 can attest to that. And so can many a thousand storm troopers and wannabee Jedi Killers in the galaxy.

    Master Jedit Kirito use the Force and crush(nvm. SLASH) your enemies before you!

  22. hmm if the id guess… based on the OP and the glimpses of deathgun’s face shape / hair style that Show Spoiler ▼

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