「ファントム・バレット」 (Fantomu Baretto)
“Phantom Bullet”

Am I the only one who felt a little awkward by the end of this week’s episode?

Death Gun vs Kirito

After weeks of waiting, I must say that the epic conclusion to GGO’s third annual BoB tournament felt a little lackluster (I said GGO, not the arc! We’ll get into that in a second.). Even though Kirito and Death Gun were putting on a pretty stellar performance, the fight felt awkwardly light. Light in the sense that even as I watched their swords clash and their mouths talk, I just didn’t get any satisfaction out of it. Maybe it’s because it took so darn long to get to this point or maybe it’s because I know Kirito can’t/won’t die, but man was I irked about how unsatisfying this final fight was. However, what occurred afterwards in the real world was the complete opposite.

Creepy Mofo

No lie, I didn’t think the opening sequence was being serious when it showed Shinkawa extending his hand out to Sinon only to transition to a creepy shot of Death Gun. But lo and behold, this guy ends up being a complete and utter creep — and I mean that in the worst way possible. Watching him trick Sinon into a false sense of security only to tackle her down and threaten her with death by cardiac arrest just didn’t sit right in my book. But then to sit there and watch as he attempts to touch her in all the wrong ways got my blood boiling.

Which is why it felt so satisfying to see Kirito bust through the door right in the nick of time to knee the bastard square in the nose. I don’t know what it was, but watching the blood squirt out in slow motion as he fell toward the ground completely made up for the first half of the episode. And while it wasn’t nearly as awesome as watching a creeper take a knee to the face, it was nice to see Sinon find her inner strength to stand up and face her fears (but I mean, if she wasn’t able to I wouldn’t hold it against her. I don’t know what I’d do in that situation ):).

Looking Forward to An Awesome Conclusion

After everything that’s happened, I think we’re in a great spot for next week’s episode to give this arc the proper ending it deserves. With most of the loose ends tied up, all that’s left is for Death Gun to tell us what’s wrong with him and hopefully watch Kirito smack him up some more. See you next week!


  1. Another thing that felt off about the episode is how Kirito just shows up at Shino’s apartment like he did out of nowhere. Not even a quick show of him waking up to see Asuna and hearing Yui and explaining things? Did he just spring awake and immediately run off to Shino’s apartment with barely a “hi” to Asuna and Yui?

    And I guess it felt weird that they showed Asuna possibly knowing Death Gun’s SAO identity based on the choice and skill with his weapon and being able to do SOMETHING to help Kirito, only to have Kirito magically figure it out himself by somehow remembering something as tiny as those images in that briefing meeting…

    I do agree that the whole “insane, creepy Shinkawa” was drawn out way too long. Not to mention Shinkawa’s reasoning for helping and being all creepy and such felt really flimsy. If we’re supposed to feel any sympathy for him because of what happened to Laughing Coffin in SAO just because his brother was part of it…I’m not feeling it at all.

      1. There is no magic explanation. She did tell him her adress after defeating Death Gun and he pointed out that it is close to the hospital where he was. He just passed there to check on her. The question is, how he managed to ditch Asuna?

    1. @HalfDemInu
      I mentioned some of in it a comment below too, but in the LN Shinkawa’s reasonings were
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. lol I’m calling bullshit on the “ruined his character stats” part. There was a meta shift or something and agi builds fell out of favor, but really he just fcking failed hard. Dark Wind has the same agi build as Spiegel, and he’s one of the best GGO players. Shinkawa just wrote off Dark Wind’s success as “having a rare item” and didn’t bother to try and make his character work. What a shithead, if you’re going to be an MMO insanity guy at least l2p *sigh*.

      2. Unfortunately, I’m mostly an anime-only viewer, so while things may be (more deeply) explained in the source material, if it isn’t translated (well) into the anime (which Shinkawa’s reasons really weren’t), I and other anime-only viewers, will not know that.

      3. The point is, Shinkawa isn’t mentally stable and has serious psychological problems. His thought process is full of contradictions, but it doesn’t matter because his reality is different from actual reality. Also, Shinkawa’s a payfag and he lacks the actual skills to play well so he blames other people from it. Not all people who spend tons of time in a game are great at it.

        Flayvor Of Evil
      1. And Kirito running over would spoil it even more so.
        Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Again, why did he show up instead of calling a swat team. Seriously, he has help with law enforcement and they have these things called cars. Literally, there is no way he could have arrived on scene before the police.

  2. Shinkawa is like the second coming of Sugou. Just psychologically terrifying, and plain annoying.

    I can’t believe this arc is taking up 14 episodes. Are we even going to have enough time to develop and end the following arc smoothly?

    1. the next arc, Mother’s Rosario, should have enough time. GGO spanned two volumes while Mother’s Rosario took only one volume. I think they might even have time to throw in a bonus chapter or two.

      1. As he said GGO was 2 novels and Mother’s Rosario is only 1 novel. If we assume they are doing each novel as 7 episodes that puts us at a total of 21 episodes to cover both GGO and Mother’s Rosario which leaves 3 episodes or so left for Caliber, which is only 1/3 of a novel. The timing allows for both. When you look at the timeline in the SAO universe though Caliber comes just over a week after the GGO arc where as Mother’s Rosario comes another few weeks after that.


  3. for all his ridiculousness and lack of subtletly, i actually like Shinkawa as a villian, for the sole reason that he actually makes some amount of sense character-wise. unlike the last two, whose motivations were literally “i had a really cool dream once” and “i want to marry your comatose girlfriend lol”, Shinkawa’s motivations were brought on directly through implications of the technology and setting.

    his motivations actually feel real; a person who can’t tell the difference between virtual reality and the actual world any more, driven to murder because of actions in that virtual world (in-game currency being directly related to real-world currency definitely being a huge factor).

    it really helps that, this time, there’s actually an overarching theme to the whole story that Sinon, Kirito and Shinkawa’s characters here revolve around. about the difference between their online persona and their real selves, what it means to get stronger as either persona, and most importantly what it means to kill as either persona. there’s a lot to take in in the GGO arc, and definitely way more than either the SAO or ALO arcs.

  4. That final fight did feel a little unfulfilling, in which I thought they would have extended the fight. Though I loved that scene when she gave Kirito a live grenade, what a way to go. XD

  5. This arc pretty much ended up like the ALO arc. I wonder why I didn’t even expect this one bit. (Both arc’s second-to-the-last episode animated attempted rape)

    Still, love how A-1 Pictures made this episode. Perfect way to end an episode: a damn (and very good) cliffhanger.

    Red HeartGold ZX
    1. Yeah I hope the next arc doesn’t end with an attempted rape scene too. The writer has pulled that angle twice in a row now. Never read the source material but hoping the next arc will do things differently at the end

      This episode was pretty good though. Kirito beat up the guy not once but twice. Hm, guess we should expect this by now. He’s done that last season too during the ALO arc

      Rick Anime
  6. The only friendly guy that was suporting Sinon all the way turns out to be creepy psycho.
    Way to destroy image of our brothers in the friendzone.

    Well, at last Sinon is back to being awesome, from the ingenious use of damaged Hecate
    to fighting back against real world killer.

    But the grenade part was most awesome, eat this Kirito!

  7. wait! If Shinkawa wanted Sinon for himself (to the point of threatening her), why would the Death Gun “trio” attempt to kill her? Didn’t Death Gun go through the motions and ritual that is normally performed when killing his prey? I don’t’ buy the “it was just for showmanship” reason.

    1. You know, the way Shinkawa was making things sound it almost sounded as though he thought killing her would make her wake up in a different world/reality. It almost sounded as though he would follow her (e.g. kill himself).

      During that very tense scene he was telling Asada that they could create their own Fantasy world, or whatever world she wanted because he didn’t care as long as he was with her in that world. I think for Shinkawa the real world and the game world were blending together. I believe he knew that death was, indeed, death, but I think he just treated it like it’s treated in the game. You just… respawn?

    2. First off, he’s completely nuts. But I think his reasoning was that he would be saving Sinon from the harsh/boring reality they lived in. He wanted to commit a lover’s double suicide where they go off into the “deep abyss together” and hopefully are reborn as husband and wife in a better world.

      Ironically, I’m finding a lot of parallels to the ending of the Aincard arc. Because actually when Kirito and Asuna were sitting at the edge of the world, they were doing pretty much the same thing where they would die together. That was the kind of ending Shinkawa was hoping for.

      The difference being that Kirito and Asuna wanted to return to reality, but Shinkawa and to an extent Sinon were trying to escape reality through games. Sinon realizes then that although in a lot of ways she’s just like Shinkawa, despite having been bullied, her gun trama, other RL problems, she still likes living. I guess that also makes her similar to pre-SAO Kirito, because he was using games to escape his problems of not opening up to people, finding out his sister was his cousin, etc.

      In short Shinkawa probably thought that Sinon liked him back and that in a delusional hopeful way that dying would let them be reborn in a better world, although it’s possible he didn’t care if they weren’t reborn as long as he could escape reality. :/

  8. It was really satisfying to see Sinon fight back and the sequence when Kirito burst in the door. I’m sure they saved the explaination for how Kirito got there in order to keep the tension/keep it in Sinon’s pov. It was like that in the LN too.

    I actually enjoyed the quality of the end duel between Death Gun and Kirito. Show Spoiler ▼

    I knew Shinkawa was going to be creepy, but wow that was terrifying. Also that sequence, when Sinon woke up and was checking her dark room/turning on the lights. I remember it being more suspenceful in the novel, where she’s waking up, knowing that there might be a murderer with her in the room, slowly shifting her eyes.
    A couple of details that the anime didn’t include:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I really didn’t like the villian from the ALFheim arc because he was just too ridiculous, rapey, etc. Although in some sense Shinkawa is just as bad, I think the terrifying aspect about Shinkawa is that it’s a realistic situation where Sinon let her guy friend into her room not knowing his intentions. She really trusted him and was going to call him over anyway, ironically in case that the Death Gun murderer was still nearby.

    Some of the episodes of SAO II have been not as exciting/satisfying for me, to the point where I almost didn’t watch this episode because of my low expectations, but I’m now looking forward to the conclusion. I liked the duel between Death Gun and Kirito, Sinon and Kirito’s tie, Sinon fighting back, and Kirito bursting into the door.

      1. Yes it was a ghost of his second blade from Aincrad. The warmth on his hand (and in the LN he could feel Yui’s hand, too) reminded him that he had a second weapon. After he drew it out he was able to go through the proper motions to execute a special dual-wielding sword skill that he used to finish off Death Gun.

      2. If you replay it again, you will see it’s more than Liz’s sword. The handgun turns into Liz’s sword while his lightsaber becomes his old Elucidator blade. And his avatar reverts to his old SAO Kirito avatar. I guess the wanted to hammer home that the old Kirito is back in full to finish the job.


        The Pointman
  9. Just remember that Kawahara Reki’s been closely involved with the show’s production. Back when Season 1 aired, he regularly attended script meetings and even coached the voice actors on the LN terminology.
    I assume he’s exercising author involvement again for Season 2.

    1. I really liked all the arcs so far. Even the Alfheim arc, though not as much as the Aincrad and GGO arcs.

      But I wish that the two strongest females ended up helpless, being raped, and needing Kirito to save them.

      The Pointman
  10. From the beginning of the episode, on the first person view, this view of death gun stabbing you with a sword, is your typical gaming experience in every FPS game, and (realistic => fake + gay)

  11. Not surprised Shinkawa was involved. He already came off as a creeper before. And now it turns out his brother was a Laughing Coffin member, so it makes sense for him to be an accomplice.

    That knee to his face was extremely satisfying, I agree. My favorite moment of the episode next to the grenade hug.

    Sinon’s totally in the harem now after being rescued in real life :3

  12. I actually felt some sort of satisfaction when Sinon blew herself and Kirito up..it felt like the perfect ending to the arc 😛

    What’s with SAO and unsavory, disgusting, and creepy villains. Akihiko Kayaba is a hero compared to Shinkawa and Sugo.

      1. I was being sarcastic…it was an exaggeration to show how much I dislike Shinkawa and Sugo. I really don’t like any of the villains in SAO, but Shinkawa and Sugo were just too over-the-top and cringe-worthy.

  13. I still can’t get over Asuna’s and especially Yui’s wife/daughter antics. It’s really hard to stomach to me. Thankfully there wasn’t much of it in this first half of season 2.

  14. Things that I found out ob this episode.

    1. Final boss in SAO world has rapist tendencies. (I don’t include Aincard arc boss because he doesn’t look final boss enough).

    2. Sinon > Asuna. (I like Asuna also but if I have something I wish never happened was the finality of the Asuna x Kirito pairing, effectively killing any hope I have with Sinon x kirito).

  15. We’re not happy unless the seasonal villain is a fucking creep … and yay! 4 the usual carbon copy char development. Not that it was any surprise at this point. LOL

    How could you people stomach this is the real mystery here.

  16. what’s the point in screaming your victim’s name while you are not actually doing anything “worthwhile” to your victim? hahaha! this is ridiculous. Same like that Asuna NTR Alfheim arc scene. I smell censors here….

  17. Sighs, as someone who has read the LNs and was glad SAO got a second reason, all I can say is that for some scenes, you just don’t want it to get animated. Props to the animators, they made this scene way worse than I could ever imagine. Now if only they can go beyond my imagination with the good parts and not the attempted rape scene.


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