「小さな一歩」 (Chiisanaa Ippo)
“Small Steps”

Leaping straight back into the action, this week’s episode started with a fitting fight to close out all of Death Gun’s antics.

Shinkawa Kyoudai

While it’s a little tough not to hate the younger brat for trying to rape Sinon and to a lesser extent kill Kirito with a cocktail of nasty drugs, Kyouji and his older brother Shouichi’s skewed view of reality brings up a really interesting question about the rapid advancement in technology. In our world, where passable VR is nearly within our reach, what do we do when the line between real life and virtual reality starts to blur? Among all the various health issues that could arise (I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of people dying of exhaustion in internet cafes), what I want to know is how do you handle people who’ve basically devalued human life? Using Death Gun as an example, what started as a simple conversation spiraled into three people murdering innocent gamers in cold blood. The reason I bring all this up though is was anyone really able to sympathize with Sinon while she was talking with Kirito’s boss? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty positive guy and I like to see the best in people but when you go around killing people out of spite, you’ve crossed the line. And to watch Sinon somehow stick up for the guy who tried to feel her up with a death syringe pressed up against her just didn’t sit right in my book.

There’s Always a Brighter Side

Even though I’m awfully curious about how Kirito managed to escape Asuna’s clutches after logging out of GGO, I’ll put that curiosity aside as I try to figure out how I feel about that last few minutes of the episode. What I thought should have felt like a heartwarming dawww moment between Sinon and the OL she saved felt a little flat. The message behind all of it made complete sense but everything leading up to Sinon shedding tears of joy felt like it was shoved in as an afterthought. I mean, if I had the choice to move things around I’d say say the crowning moment would have been when Sinon confronted her bullies even after they pointed a BB gun straight at her. Not only just because she finally stood up for herself but for having the restraint not to smack the shit out of that lipstick wearing bitch.

Looking Ahead

With Kirito narrowly avoiding death again, two out of three Death Guns safely in police custody, and Sinon embarking on a new path it seems that the GGO arc has finally come to a close. While I’ve seen in the comments where the story might go from here (I haven’t read the novels though so they’re just names of possible arcs to me), I really do hope that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Sinon. She’s been an amazing addition to the cast and it would be a shame if she didn’t show up again.

And that’s about it! See you next week c:


      1. Mother’s Rosario had to be covered because the Alicization arc is absolutely huge. At least if they cover this arc, they have plenty of time to work out how to approach Alicization.

  1. And now GGO comes to a close, I’m not sure what comes next, I keep hearing this arc and that arc, clarify please. That aside, while the episode tighten loose ends, I felt it did not have the push that it should have, I’m not sure what it was missing. Maybe how Kirito convince wifey he had to save another harem sister?

    1. This anime is based on a book series and the story arcs got named there. The GGO story arc was two volumes. I will put the lenght of the upcomming arcs in a spoiler.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  2. “And to watch Sinon somehow stick up for the guy who tried to feel her up with a death syringe pressed up against her just didn’t sit right in my book.”

    Same here. I was kind of upset with her. I guess some people are quick to forgive and all that though. But that was a bit too fast. She wanted to go see him too. Um, what? Why do you want to go see the guy that just tried to do all that… Sigh…

    It felt like it was good writing and nice pacing. Now, like the blog just covered, I also wondered why we did not see Kirito talk to Asuna? Light Novel readers, surely this was a dropped scene from the anime?

    So my only 2 complaints:
    1) Only Kirito can save the day. Hence, he did not bring any police with him. Makes no sense too me. A few weeks ago I did not hear from my little sister. So I called the police and had them check on her place. This is why we pay taxes. Made no sense too me for Kirito to go by himself

    2) Another attempted rape scene. again… Just like last season.

    Rick Anime
    1. But I assume you wasn’t nearby your sisters place nor did you know that she had a murderer in her apartment when you called be police? Kirito just had to run across the street or he could have called the police and waited an hour?

      1. I called the police and asked a friend to stop by her place.

        Let’s stop for a bit though and think bout this a bit.

        We know, a murderer was/is in the same room with Sinon’s real life body. While in transit to her place, we should surely tell Asuna to call the police right? That should only take a second. Give Asuna the address and head straight over.

        I know while they were still in GGO they discussed the Police and decided against it. Even back then I thought that logic made no sense. I would’ve called out the police just in case.

        Who knows? A cop might be in the area and might have went in there first.

        Rick Anime
      2. There was no transit. When Sinon told Kirito where she lived so did he say that the place he logged on from was just nearby her. And also:
        Show Spoiler ▼

  3. The arcs to follow has actualy been confirmed. But for those who haven’t read the novels so are they just names as you say, so I wont bother with spoilers for the arc names.

    First up is a recap episode (14.5) then Calibur followed by Mother’s Rosario.

  4. WOW this post was late.

    I did notice how Kirito introduced Asuna as “his friend”. I chalk it up to bad writing once again. That ending with the former bank teller was incredibly touching, probably the most heart-warming in the show.

    1. Agreed. I really don’t like how the Anime goes out of its’ way to make Asuna and Kirito seem like they are just friends. I guess so we can keep growing the harem and give all the girls a fair shot at him.

      I am confused however because in the web novel Show Spoiler ▼

      . Apparently the Light novel is completely different?

      Rick Anime
      1. Znail just said it’s most likely a sub translation problem, because Kirito really meant to say “part of my nakama”, which is more formal and broader than just one friend or one girlfriend.

        That said, Sinon has become my favorite SAO girl. Her arc was the most well-paced in the anime, her backstory was well-established, she showed no real signs that she was officially in love with Kirito and instead showed that she grew into his close friend, and she overcame her fears.

    2. That bit reminded me of a scene in SAO:HF. Show Spoiler ▼

  5. So…nothing on how Kirito ditched Asuna?

    And Sinon essentially added to the harem.

    Still, seeing Sinon put those bullies in their place and starting to finally move on was the best part of the episode I think.

    1. We will probobly get the explenation in the next episode. It’s no great mystery though and you can figure out what happend and else read the spoiler:
      Show Spoiler ▼

    1. If you’ve been keeping up with the novels, you’re not wrong…I honestly hope that they don’t go that route and push for a 3rd season. I don’t think that it’s a good idea.

      1. I would hope if they did that they announce Season 3 for 2015. My main worry though is given the length of the Alicization arc they might not be able to cover everything in 24 episodes. I hope we get a movie and some ovas after Season 3.

  6. On a side note, the anime is not the only SAO project set to head (back) to ALO: Bamco Japan announced Sword Art Online: Lost Song for PS Vita and PS3 this weekend.

    The game will show up in Japan in 2015. Here’s hoping that it will follow Hollow Fragment over to the West thereafter.

  7. Sinon does show up in Caliber, but Mother’s Rosario focuses mainly on Asuna (and a new character). Kinda curious how they’re gonna set up Caliber since they skipped the relevant scene in the Fairy Dance arc.

    1. I suspect they will just bring it up in conversation, like one character saying to another, Hey do you remember when we did *insert event here* and let the convo flow from there, and perhaps use flashbacks.

  8. Sinon’s sympathy for the Devil – Lets not forget, he was the only one who held out a helping hand to her when she was all alone and in despair. This actually has made me think very highly of Sinon.
    People losing the borders between fiction and reality are not solely creation of VR and the net (though certainly aided and abetted by both).
    The volume of wannabe Natural Born Killers volunteering for plethora of terrorist organizations is definitely bad sign…
    Of course best moment was Sinon coolly disarming the Queen Bitch and proceeding to demonstrate her how the guns are operated. While not as brutal as certain other similar moments (VN example: Yume Miru kusuri, Antoinette…) it was still immensely satisfying.

  9. I found it funny that Kirito didn’t introduce Asuna as his girlfriend, at least in the subs. I mean, seriously? I don’t know about Japan but it’s pretty common everywhere else to at least say “she’s my girlfriend” when introducing her to someone.

    The Story You Don't Know
  10. There are many things in the novel left out in the anime that would help explain some of their actions and their thoughts better. Like why Sinon wanted to meet Kyouji and also the scene where Kirito revealed to Sinon he told his friends about her past. He called Kikuoka before he went to her house but he couldn’t understand and they were losing time:

    “But that wasn’t all. After the tournament ended, I logged out, and Asuna told me… that the log in name «Sterben» Death Gun used was actually German, and it should be read as that. It meant «Death». But this was a name that only doctors and nurses would use in Japan, and so… I remembered that you told me that you have a friend who’s a doctor’s kid, and you were about to call him to your house, so I had a bad feeling. Once I found out that it would be too late once the police arrive, so I rode my bike to Yushima… but I didn’t really help out much…”

    1. “I should warn you. I have a tiny bulletproof shield the exact size of a bullet, somewhere on my body. And if you hit it, I’ll be unharmed and your plan will be foiled. You’ll be the laughing stock of me.”

      Adam West’s impersonation of Kirito.

    1. Have you been in a really fight or seen one. Most people would get their asked kick agains a deranged SOB in flight or fight mode. I think Kirito did well. I appreciate a show that shows really life consequences a bit when it’s about online gaming.

  11. I was like “what the hell?” when kirito told her to run away. How about “give me some help, bring under control this crazy bastard”, it’s not like he had a gun. I’m glad she helped him instead.

  12. I’m kinda disappointed when they skipped the part where Kirito thought he was dying so he told Shino to leave him alone.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Flayvor Of Evil
  13. Why the next season is Mother’s Rosario?!! Ugyaaa!! I hate itt!!! And why the Opening is Haruka Tomatsu’s song??!!! Owaaaaa!!!! Hate itt!!!!!! You the fu*k,baka no butasuna!!!! Sinon..i will miss you,miss you when with Kirito <3 Well,I will say "Sinon is the new girl who Kirito love in the Phantom Bullet arc!! You know??Kirito say "You already live inside me!" To Sinon,it so romantic!!I will say "The Phantom Bullet Arc is so full with romantic Sinon and Kirito!!!!!!" (I'm Sinon is Fans )

    1. That’s right.I and my friends was like Sinon x Kirito.The reason is Sinon and Kirito relationship is so natural,even GGO arc is finishied,Kirito and Sinon still teaseing each other.And you know?They relationship as friend is so strong.I like it.But,when in SAO,Asuna and Kirito is..so forced.I very like this Phantom Bullet arc.But,I hate that Asuna.Sorry,Asuna fans.

  14. It’s nice to see all the fellow LN readers in the comments,
    1. I was surprised at how quickly Kirito got done in by Shinkawa. It was such a contrast considering how experienced he is at fighting in-game and I suppose realistic of his RL abilities.
    2. They should have taken the time to draw in all the electrodes that he forgot to take off so that it didn’t look so unlikely when Shinkawa hit that one spot.
    3. Like other comments mentioned, Kirito did call the police via his boss, but went anyway to Sinon because his boss was taking too long to understand what happened and Kirito thought the police would get there too late.
    4. I thought the little kid scene was touching as well as when Kirito’s words for Sinon were also aimed at himself.
    5. Was it just me or did Asuna and Lizbeth look a little suspicious of Sinon and Kirito’s relationship when Kirito introduced her x)?
    6. In the LN, there is no doubt that Kirito and Asuna are still dating. I think the anime took it for granted and didn’t bother to show a scene with Kirito saying “this is my girlfriend” because it would break up the flow (Sinon reacting to that, her thinking about her feelings, etc.)

    Thanks for the coverage Takaii! I’m looking forward to the Caliber arc. 🙂

  15. Of course this wont be the last we see of Sinon, she’s been effectively initiated into the harem after being introduced to Asuna and Liezbeth, whom gave their expected but hilarious “great, another girl” disappointed face lol.

    I agree with one thing, Sinon sympathizing and standing up for Shinkawa was dumb. Im all for second chances if its warranted but some people dont deserve one. Shinkawa and his brother certainly doesnt. Im surprised they arent receiving the death penalty considering all the crap they did.


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