「スリーピング。ナイツ」 (Suriipingu Naitsu)
“Sleeping Knights”

If you thought last week’s episode was good, just wait till you watch this one.

Balancing Games and Real Life

For anyone who’s ever invested time into any MMORPG, it should be clear just how much of a time sink games like those become. While it already takes a ton of time to grind out mobs trying to find the best gear for your character, toss in the time you need to spend with your in-game friends because they’re just as real as anyone in the real world and a few hours quickly turn into a handful. Repeat that cycle as the game gets you more and more immersed and that handful of hours literally start turning into days.

But does that mean a game that’s designed to immerse you is a bad thing? Sure we don’t currently have the technology available to go and do a full drive but at what point do you say enough is enough? And see, While I don’t want to give Asuna’s mom any credit for being a perfectly sane person, her argument this week against what Asuna’s doing didn’t really have any holes in it. Besides being ignorant of her daughter’s passions (which is pretty typical for some parents) as well as touching a very sensitive topic by comparing the Amusphere to the murder-you-in-your-sleep Nervegear, it feels like she simply doesn’t want Asuna spending wasting her time on things that seem to have no return on their investment. Something which she’s completely entitled to as well as is probably right about on a certain level.

Either ways, what do you think? I’m a gamer at heart so its tough for me to let go of something especially after I’ve invested a good chunk of time into it — but I can totally see how all those hours could have been used for something else.

Kirigaya “Bad-ass Kirito” Kazuto

Throughout the entire second season I think this is the first time seeing Kirito has made my mouth completely fall to the floor — in a good way. Some may call him overpowered, but even if he is what better way to use it then being a complete bad-ass? I don’t know about you but the moment the camera panned over him hiding among the crowd was the moment I knew either something awesome or lame was about to go down. While it’s up to you to decide how you felt about what he did, I’ll come back and argue with you after I go re-watch that scene a few more times.

Dirty, Cheating, Mofos & Looking Ahead

Even though this version of Aincrad doesn’t have everyone literally fighting for their lives, it doesn’t change the fact that the larger guild that’s been using the Sleeping Knights for their own benefit are all a bunch of scumbags. I mean, how can you even look at the people you’ve effectively been stealing from without feeling even a bit of remorse? Ugh.

Anyways, as much as I wanted to see Kirito wreck an entire sea of people it seems that we’ll have to wait until next week to see the carnage. While it remains to be seen whether or not the 20 or so people standing in Asuna and Yuuki’s way will back down or not, I wouldn’t mind watching the Sleeping Knights kick some butt before facing the boss ahead. See you next week!


    1. I really love it when Kirito goes and be like “prince charming” as he always pop on the right time.

      More importantly, while I’m not a hardcore gamer, can people do that in games? “This place is off limits” then go in there if you want to fight the boss, don’t rain on people’s parades. It’s not like you are the Game Masters! Going to so enjoy Kirito obliterating them.

      1. It’s possible in ALO since the boss room is in a PK zone. Most people don’t PK out of curtesy but there’s nothing stopping a fight from breaking out over who has the right to challenge the boss.

      2. I’ve played an mmo where that could be done; to an extent anyway.

        In aion, you play as 1 of two factions. The two factions fight each other, and each faction populate separate continents. There is a method for players of 1 faction to travel to the enemy’s home territory, where you can wreck havoc on anyone you see there.

        If there was an enemy group that happened to wish to enter an instanced dungeon and you were to camp the entrance, you could emulate this episode’s scenario… but in Aion you won’t last long alone. People will use global chat to alert every enemy player on the server and hunt you down!

  1. Show Spoiler ▼

    Also, if I may add, Asuna decided not to call Kirito as she wanted to become ‘strong’ herself and not to depend on others. (Which kinda reminded me of how Sinon pursued ‘strength’ back in GGO arc) Now this is one more reason to love Asuna’s character, more so as this arc reaches Episode 22 or so..

    Red HeartGold ZX
      1. Yeah, I understand how you feel, but if he hadn’t, then I doubt Yui and the rest of the Sleeping Knights would get a name of themselves on those ‘Walls of Fame’. Not to mention, Show Spoiler ▼

        Red HeartGold ZX
      2. In any case, I have little problems with Kirito showing up. It is not like he will be taking the spotlight for defeating the boss. He is just helping the Sleeping Knights along with their goal. Besides, Yui probably bugged her papa to lend mama a hand, if only to keep him away from the other girls.

      3. I think the sleeping Knights would have pK’d a lot of the other group pretty fast. Did you see how fast Yuuki put that one guy into the red zone? AND HE WAS WEARING TANK ARMOR!!! If that was their tank, which in any raid is the strongest player, then the other players should easily be one shotted by the Knights.

        Remember Kirito taking on that one group of PKers” I think it was the Orange Hand with Rosalie as their boss? I think the Knights would be just as overpowered vs this other raid group.

  2. Throwing a hornets nest into the party:
    what are your opinions of Asuna’s Mom at that point?
    -Worst Mom Ever? (scratch that, Sanka Rea got that base covered… but runner up for the prize)
    -Loving in her own way but doesnt understand daughter at all? (Tiger mom?)
    -She’s right! Asuna should quit playing games and become an adult!
    I am awating your opinions, feel free to elaborate on why you take this or that viewpoint…

    1. Too many parents have “their” plans for their children, the wealthy ones even more so. Even after what Asuna’s been through for two years, including one “arranged marriage” that was more of a company succession plan that went psychopathic, her mother is still “arranging” things for her. In Asian countries this is worse for the children.

      I can’t see a win for Asuna here. Limiting her time in ALO limits her interaction with her friends, and the arranged marriage is hard for her to reject. Asuna’s mother is going to keep pressuring Asuna, no matter what happens.

    2. Her mother means well, and has valid points. But the mother doesn’t realize one important thing, her daughter was changed by SAO and AO. Asuna spent two years of her life inside that world. It stopped being a “game” to Asuna. She is now a child of two worlds.

      I think both Asuna and her mom both underestimate that. That’s why I think what Yuuki said about sometimes fighting is the only way you can show someone what’s truly important to you..I think those words have changed Asuna. And we will see that change when she next confronts her mother.

      There are only 5 or 6 episodes left. Should happen soon.

  3. The best part of this episode was Kirito basically everyone to back the fuck off from his waifu and her character development. Joking aside, its a very good episode with Asuna growing up, although I miss the gang, Yukki does shed some very thoughtful light. Also, why she immediately said no to Kirito? Wants to be BFFs with Asuna 🙂 that’s why

  4. sending scouts to watch other groups fight bosses or open world high-value targets was a common practice in final fantasy xi. i had a big grin on my face when i saw this scene. i remembered so many different scenarios where something like this occurred in-game.

    staying invisible while a rival group kills a boss, marking the time of death and reporting it back to my group for future tracking.

    sending our strategists to watch a rival group take on newly released boss content, watch for the mechanics and revise a strat that fit our group. this was very common.

  5. One, I’m impressed that you’re trying to keep a balanced perspective on the mom and real life, Takaii. Though I should be more sympathetic to her perspective as I’m close to being old enough to be her mom, the way the story has been told mostly causes me to feel intense frustration with the character. At the same time, it’s good to have (an additional) reason for Asuna to buck up and find her own way.

    Two, I jumped in my chair in excitement at the last few minutes of this episode, and I have no problem with Kirito “saving the day” if all he’s doing is giving the rest of them space to be their own bada$$ selves. It would be one thing to step in when they were capable of defeating all the other players, but since the other guild was clearly being unfair and essentially trying to grind them beneath the weight of their greater numbers, I have no problem with Kirito lending some help. And since I don’t know what Yukki’s secret is, I’m hoping he’s stepped in because he wants to make up in part for not being able to be the one to assist her with whatever her goal is.

    I’m so glad Asuna finally gets to shine.

  6. Asuna’s mom’s a bitch, no 2-ways about it. Having a sound argument doesnt make her right when she is pretty much wrong on the most basic level of trying to control your kid’s future.

    As far as the scumbags in MMO’s goes, this is actually a pretty accurate representation of real life MMO’s. There’s plenty of scumbags, more than they should be, thanks to being internet anonymous.

    I for one was pretty happy with Kirito running in. Say what you will, but if he wasnt there, Sleeping Knights would’ve been slaughtered. But now they have a chance with Kirito holding back the backup members.

  7. Oh god wow this post is late!! >: Now I’m gonna need to remember what I wrote in my reaction doc instead of copying and pasting it (I’m not at home and won’t be for the next several hours). >:

  8. I just noticed this, but…
    Leafa was one of the 7 party leaders that cleared the Floor 16 raid boss.
    Kirito was one for Floor 17.
    Asuna for Floors 18 and 21.
    And I *think* Klein was one for Floor 14.

    Junko Tamiya
  9. What Asuna’s mom said (about having commitments in real life) actually overlaps with Sleeping Knights’ own reasons for doing what they’re doing; they will soon end up too busy with their own lives outside the game to have as much time to play together, so they want to go out with a bang.

    Asuna is also mostly going through what Sinon went through (in the most general sense) – wanting to become strong in real life through the game. She’s succeeded in being strong in the game like Sinon did, but it has yet to “transfer” to real life.

    1. Sinon was more about trying to get over her childhood trauma more than anything. The way she was forced to kill a guy in self defense, which affected her quite badly. I don’t think she was in any way a weak person, people just took advantage of her trauma, such as those girls who bullied her. Once she was able to take some steps forward, her healing began and she became more confident as a person. I personally wouldn’t say GGO made her stronger as a person.

      1. Sinon already had the strength, the courage she displayed while her life was in danger was hers alone, the game didn’t inspire it. During the GGO arc she still had the same triggers for her trauma regardless of how long she played. Good example being when Death Gun stunned her and she saw his handgun, she became a bit hysterical.

        The way she rescued Kirito when that guy attacked him in her apartment, the game didn’t inspire that, that was all her. She may have tried to use the game to become a better person but she was already all she wanted to become already.

        Also I wonder why someone downvoted, I guess they didn’t understand the GGO arc.

  10. The whole point of this series is that there is no difference between the virtual world (the ‘game’) and the real world. The things you accomplish here, the people you meet here, are no less important than anything that happens in the real world. Asuna prefers the game world for some things (ease of meeting friends, beautiful environments in the background for studying, increased privacy and freedom, great source of entertainment, Yui only lives here), and the real world for some things (increased sincerity to people’s words and deeds, the prospects of making academic and career related progress, the ability to marry and have children, enjoying a wider vista of interests than a narrow game-focused world can create).

    In contrast to this balanced viewpoint, her mother is a bigot who thinks games are worthless without ever having even tried them herself and is imposing her prejudicial values on someone else. She’s a clear villain and she has absolutely no basis for her argument, as Asuna is doing fine in school and is running her own life just fine without her ‘helpful’ Mother intervening.

  11. Kirigaya “Bad-ass Kirito” Kazuto

    Throughout the entire second season I think this is the first time seeing Kirito has made my mouth completely fall to the floor — in a good way. Some may call him overpowered, but even if he is what better way to use it then being a complete bad-ass? I don’t know about you but the moment the camera panned over him hiding among the crowd was the moment I knew either something awesome or lame was about to go down. While it’s up to you to decide how you felt about what he did, I’ll come back and argue with you after I go re-watch that scene a few more times.

    I’ll take the route less traveled on this one. As much as I enjoy watching Kirito’s bad-ass moments, Mothers Rosario is Asuna’s arc. I personally felt the scene with him “ending” the episode kinda took away from that. The focus of the arc should really be Asuna with Yuuki kinda driving her forward. So personally, if I was directing I would have cut the episode when Asuna decides to draw her sword rather than when Kirito arrives.

  12. ” I knew either something awesome or lame was about to go down.”
    I think that’s a great description of Kirito’s character haha.
    Either a BAMF or dorkable.

    I reaaaalllly love how well this is being adapted from the LN. I reread the LN chapter for this epi while waiting for the post. Although the anime doesn’t cover the nitty gritty details, I love the adaption. Also for the first time, I’m appreciating Asuna’s Undine character. I wondered why she ditched her brown-hair-Asuna-the-Flash-character (in red and white clothes) when she joined Alflhiem, but it makes a nice contrast in the scene where you really feel that Asuna the Flash was her past SAO self. (Also I think I would also like trying out a blue hair blue eyed character if I signed up for a fantasy mmo haha.) I’m happy to see SAO II and Mother’s Rosario getting positive reviews and being enjoyable for the majority again. 🙂

  13. Hi Sleeping Knights, whose names I won’t bother to remember!

    Cute smile. :3 Yuuki, you will be the death of me, you are so cute.

    “We won’t be able to adventure together after the Spring.” …. why did the camera do a close-up on Yuuki right there? -___-

    “You took 2 years of YOUR LIFE. You’d think you’d never want to see it anymore.” YES! Oh my GOD this is exactly the argument we all made in Season 1! What idiot youths would want to keep using this equipment that almost endangered their lives?!?

    Oh wow two headed monster! …oh okay… they….. fought it off-screen. … that’s not typical for this show.

    Oh right. Kirito’s in this show. -_______-

  14. While y’all were gaping at Kirito, I was looking at Yui.

    Yui has an evil smile on her cute little face. It promises death to all those that oppose her mama. Woe to the scumbags.

    I think SAO has definitely become more entertaining since GGO ended. Not that GGO was a bad arc, but now that there’s no threat of death, the characters don’t have to be serious all the time, giving way to crowning moments of badass like Kirito speeding up the wall and throwing the scumbag guild’s words back to their faces.

    1. Kirito isn’t a cheater outside of the desperate life-or-death situation he faced trying to save Asuna in Fairy Dance. That guild themselves and their kill-stealing and boss-hogging is enough scummy tactics already: no need to fall to their level. Besides, even if he can’t kill all 30 of them, he can certainly give them one hell of enough of a fight to let the Sleeping Knights break through and accomplish their mission, and that’s what matters.

    1. The twins are shown in the op, but then one disappears, leaving kirito2 by herself. Could be two things: her and sis were trapped in SAO and sis got killed by a certain floor boss or Sis played SAO and died, and kirito2 is an outsider taking revenge on the floorboss.

      Hopefully is not something like shes fulfilling the twin dream…


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