「幻の銃弾」 (Maboroshi No Juudan)
“Phantom Bullet”

After weeks of enduring episodes full of dialogue and flashbacks to build up to this moment, I’ll be frank and say that I was a little disappointed that we still haven’t hit the climax. However, it looks like what we all want is right over the horizon!

Last Man Standing

I really don’t want to get into how the first half of the episode was all about planning and flashbacks again, so instead let’s chat about an interesting point that Kirito brought up about the remaining players in the tournament! Something which really piqued my interest was how the player count doesn’t seem to add up. Sure, it could be something as simple as Death Gun really “killing” another player and causing them to logout, but with how the rest of the episode played out (specifically Death Gun refuting Kirito’s theory), I can’t help but wonder about how big of a role this “missing” person could play. As crazy as it sounds, could you imagine a second Death Gun actually participating in the tournament? While I haven’t figured out how it would actually benefit his plan of slaying others, it never hurts to hunt in pairs!

Death Gun vs Kirito

The big battle is finally underway! While I’m a little hesitant to actually call it a battle since there hasn’t been much fighting yet, I’m just happy we’re finally at the point of no return. With the two staring straight at each other, I’m dying to know how Kirito overcomes that stupidly overpowered estoc made from spaceship metal. And as much as I want Kirito to do it all by himself, I’m willing to bet that Sinon will play a huge role against defeating such an overpowered enemy. Even with her scope destroyed, who says she still can’t hit something with it? (I’m sure all the CS players out there understand the bitterness when someone just blows you up with an awp. And if anything, Sinon has an overpowered awp!)

Looking Ahead

While it drives me crazy that Kirito may actually never figure out Death Gun’s old name from SAO, all I’m really hoping for at this point is that he turns the tables next week and smacks the grin off Death Gun’s ugly face. Because at this point, my body is ready and waiting for a rush of adrenaline as Kirito unleashes whatever ace he has up his sleeve. Besides that, I really don’t have much else to say about this one. See you next week!


  1. meh. This SAO doesnt really look that appealing. Maybe I will watch it but when it comes to guns from blades it just doesnt have that same appeal. The 1st hakf of SAO was amazing, the 2nd half was ok. But this just looks…I dont know….


    jokes aside, I do find it weird that he can sense where people are hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck style in a virtual environment.

    1. It’s explained in more details in LN.

      IIRC, Something along the line of… if there’s someone nearby and that person is targeting you, you will feel ‘lag’ in the system since there will be some kind of ‘data spike’. While Yui said it shouldn’t be possible but since she doesn’t fully understand how Cardinal works, she can’t deny the possibility.

    2. If you want to legitimate reason, just read Serapita’s post

      If you want the REAL reason, then it can be explain in 2 words: Mary Sue…. Or Plot Armor… Or Gary Stu…. or Bad Writing… You get the drift

      1. While that is true, this is SAO2 (Sinon Ass Online) not SCO2 (Sinon Cleavage Online). Her humble yet delicious boobies are not enough to compensate for the lack of her scrumptiously developed butt crack

    1. Yep I am anticipating the samething. Maybe she personally handled imprisoning these guys and will know his name.

      Still find it odd we cant simply go through old SAO records and find everyone that was a member of Laughing Clown. Surely this is a trivial check for any ongoing MMO. Especially if they were still members of Laughing Clown when the servers were shutdown. They should have all been arrested but I guess it is hard to trial them for murder when the deed was done in a virtual death game. But now they are murdering people in the real world so justice will be served soon hopefully.

      A little disappointed that the other former Laughing Clown guys are going to escape punishment the way things are looking 🙁

      Rick Anime
      1. SAO self destructed after the game ended, so even if the authorities know who were in the game, they don’t know who they were inside SAO, so it was impossible to take players to trial afterwards.

  3. I really enjoyed this episode yo. I felt that Kirito’s action scenes are breathtaking (the way he leaps all Jedi-like swinging his saber and dodging bullets). Really good stuff. I cant say I enjoy this better than the 1st season but I can say I am really digging this show so far. This is much, much improved over the 2nd season.

    Eagerly anticipating the conclusion. Like Takaii, was disappointed this was not resolved this episode. Surely we’ll conclude the epic battle next week though

    Rick Anime
  4. I remember when stuff happened in SAO. Like i think there is more action in Bakemonogatari… And that thing is crazy monologues.
    -.- I’m sad to say it. But i think this show might get dropped…
    In a series with guns and light sabers, if something doesnt happen at least every episodes, something is clearly wrong.
    At least there was more shooting that Sinon ass this week.

    1. Actually it is SAO II that telling a story in a proper way by not rushing things and focusing on character development. And it is shows like Tokyo ESP that have been ruined by cramming far to much material into far to few episodes.

  5. As crazy as it sounds, could you imagine a second Death Gun actually participating in the tournament?

    @ Takaii: I’m pretty sure you heard that one wrong.

    OTOH, I think SAO Vol.5+6 isn’t the kind of material to be transitioned to an animated format, with the Kirito and Sinon trying to talk their way to a proper closure of their “wrongs” that they have done for the past few episodes in a very slow pace. But then I don’t think I can justify that since I’ve read the LN equivilant already.

    Random observations:
    The trends of smartphone flip cases reaches out into SAOverse…

  6. It seems like next week will be the last episode of the GGO arc, and we will be moving on to Mother’s Rosario for the remaining season.

    Hopefully, the Calibur side story will be given an OVA.

    1. While Mother’s Rosary is the next light novel it was only 1 novel unlike the other arcs which were all 2. I would think since they have 12 episodes left they will need more content than that. When you look at the timeline of the SAO stories in the novels caliber actually comes first chronologically and could probably use up two or three episodes depending on how they animate/extend it so I expect that first.

  7. i like how the story is the best part of SAO2 (it’s miles better than SAO’s) and here’s everybody crying that there’s too much talking. you people really can’t see a good show when it slaps you in the face doesn’t it?

    1. Too talking is not a problem. Look at Log Horizon. for example. It has a lot less action than SAO, it has a lot more talking than SAO, but it is a MUCH better show. The same is true for something like Hunter x Hunter, which has dialogues focused episodes as good as the action ones. In fact, sometimes the conversations in Hunter x Hunter can be even more exciting than its battles.

      And that’s because both shows are very creative, very intelligent, very well planned and very well written. When you watch Hunter x Hunter or Log Horizon, you’re constantly thinking: “holy shit, this is awesome”, “oh, crap, are they really gonna do that?”, “man, wtf, I can’t wait to see what happens”.

      SAO is the complete opposite. When somebody open his/her mouth in SAO, you’re starting thinking: “oh, c’mon, that again? Shut up! C’mon, let’s get going, oh god, please, kill me, kill me now, please”.

      SAO is better when the characters are fighting, because the plot ifself and the lines are freakin’ terrible. They very stupid, retarded, cliche and amateurish. It’s painful to hear the conversation between Kirito and that annoying girl, because they clearly don’t have anything interesting to say. It’s just BS conversation that goes on and on and ond and on for ages… It’s freakin’ torture.

  8. Gah the German kills me, sterben is not a medical term and does not mean death, Tod is the word for “death”. Sterben as already mentioned means “to die”, which in sentence form looks like ich sterbe (I die) or er sterbt (he dies) for example. At least the idea that Kirito and harem members friends took it as an alternate spelling of Steven/Stephen was confirmed to be correct though.

    Also can we stop with the monologues now? We finally get out from the damn cave, for what, just to get even more words and things which do not need to be mentioned for the upteenth time? I think we all get it as this point, Kirito’s trauma is total serious business and Sinon now uses Kirito as her source of power rather than finding it herself. The more the raid flashback is shown too the more I firmly believe how well it could have been slotted into the ALO arc; besides providing a nice little subplot it would have foreshadowed the later events here and made SAO (as a whole) more consistent. As gone over thoroughly in other episodes, it’s not the character development itself that’s the issue, it’s how it’s been handled and when it has appeared.

    The final few minutes of shooting, hacking, and slashing this episode is what the majority should’ve been IMO.

    1. Up until the 1980s the medical language in Japan was German, as prescriptions and health records were written in German. Many clinical and medical terms are still German, like “karute” from “(Patienten-)Karte” for health record or “runge” from “Lunge” for “lung” as well as “pulmonary tuberculosis”. So it may be possible that they used “sterben” to indicate death.

    2. @ckuri
      Thats interesting and could be the explanation for the claim that its a “medical term”… something like “baito” being only used for smaller jobs, whereas in German “Arbeit” is used for a steady employment.
      Well appearantly none of us is an expert here;) Its “er stirbt” not “er sterbt”.

  9. Why are they so fixated on his name, it doesn’t matter, if he can’t kill them ingame. Ok they can identify him and catch him later i get that, but in the last episode they established that Kirito figured it out before the Final started that he must have a partner outside the game who does the actual killing, so why didn’t the send anyone to protect the players.

  10. >(I’m sure all the CS players out there understand the bitterness when someone just blows you up with an awp. And if anything, Sinon has an overpowered awp!)

    thats funny becasue death gun’s rifle is the actual AWP being an accuracy international L115A3

  11. Dafuq? this show is still going?

    I liked it better when SAO focuses on pure action. The script is just so bland that a 3rd grader can write a more entertaining and intelligent dialogue. So sad that LH cannot come any sooner

  12. There was a severe lack of Sinon’s ass this week. I am disappoint!

    On a serious note, seems like Asuna might know the identity of Death Gun based on his skill with an Estoc.

    It’s interesting how Death Gun refuted Kirito’s theory by saying he’s not completely correct. Now Im really curious as to how Death Gun is doing the killing. The missing player count might be the key to this mystery after all.

  13. Cannot believe how superior the book was to this season…especially after the team did such a great job in the first season. I’d go so far as to say the anime was actually better edited than the novels for the first season!

    This go around…I dunno. Maybe they got a different team, or the team felt they had to do things this way…but all the dynamics and drama of the novels are lost. Instead, we get endless talking to separate the action. That isn’t to say such things can’t be done well (Fate Zero and Blast of Tempest are great examples of dialogue-heavy done well).

    As for the “missing combatants,” I won’t spoil anything, but I recall thinking, back when I read it: “Really, you are going to throw some random characters into the bag NOW?! They had better just be some scrubs who managed to get booted due to lag or something…or it’ll delve into Deus Ex Machina territory!”

    Ah well, to those who dislike this season, read the books. As a story, I still find SWO compelling, even if a few arcs are only mildly interesting.


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