OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「ANIMA」by ReoNa

「アンダーワールド大戦」 (Andaawaarudo Taisen)
“The Great Underworld War”

Love it or hate it, Sword Art Online has returned once again. For the reference, I’m an ardent Sword Art Online apologist. And we kick off from where the series left off.

War of the Underworld

Kirito is still in a comatose state – and Sinonon logging in under the god account of Solus descends to save the day. And proceeds to immediately check up on him afterwards. Can’t say I’ve been her fan – but the girl has guts to kiss Kirito’s cheek right in front of Asuna of all people. Nevertheless, it was powerful to see how sad and difficult it is for everyone to see their beloved and reliable friend be absolutely devoid of life. That said – everyone still has the utmost faith in him. They’re quick to wipe away the tears and iterate their confidence in the fact that Kirito will show up when it matters most. In his stead within this episode, Klein shows up in Asuna’s hour of need – descending from the skies to fend off those accursed Americajins. While it’s heartbreaking to see the fluctlights lose their lives – especially since that’s it for them compared to the humans who can just respawn and log in, this seems like it will be a fairer fight with Japanese reinforcements getting involved.

Not This Shit Again

Now to address the big fat elephant in the room. *sigh*. Reki, what is it with you and rape insinuating scenes. Once, I could begrudgingly excuse as a plot device. Twice and I’m beginning to rule out the chances of it being a coincidence. The third time, awful but I’d allow it because Eugeo breaking the code made for an awesome moment. The fourth time was heartbreaking – the way Eugeo got mentally and physically broken by unadulterated evil. But this particular instance was absolutely indefensible. And the way Leafa could have actually broken out of her confinement at anytime to make quick work of DIL by using her god account rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, fluctlights are essentially souls – so killing one is pretty damn close to actually killing a person. But DIL was so obviously evil. And the way Leafa stayed there and passively allowed herself to be violated by tentacles – only acting when another life was in danger… I hope that’s the last time it happens. Though it’s pretty much par for the course. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vector tried to do unsavoury things with Alice. Please no.

Bercouli’s Last Stand?

Speaking of Vector, his attempt to make away with Alice doesn’t go off so smoothly. Bercouli ends up in hot pursuit – and catches up thanks to his Time Splitting Blade technique, which allowed him to cut Vector’s dragon out of the sky. And after a brief skirmish – where it seems like these two combatants might be evenly matched, Vector reveals the ability to erase willpower temporarily incapacitates Bercouli – allowing Vector to cut off the Knight’s arm. But it will take way more than that to stop Bercouli, who is willing to put his life on the line because he views Alice as a surrogate daughter. He might not have been her father. But he sure was her daddy. And though Bercouli is at a significant disadvantage with only one arm left, this is panning out to be an epic fight for the ages.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you next week to see whether Bercouli can overcome his handicap to defeat the Underworld’s literal god of darkness.

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「I will…」by Eir Aoi


  1. I was having breakfast when I saw that Leafa scene… it’s a wonder I didn’t vomit out my food! Yeah Reki’s obsession with this kind of thing is really irritating at this point.

    That was the only thing I had zero fun watching in this otherwise really fun episode. Things were always happening and there wasn’t any dull moment. Although the ED was frankly trippy and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it (what’s a boat doing on a small body of water in the middle of a freakin’ building?!!). Maybe we’re not supposed to interpret anything from it LOL.

  2. Rain fire upon her foes and descend gracefully — nice entrance, Sinon. While the show gets a fair amount of criticism for what it puts its females through, in many respects they are pretty good characters. Sinon, especially since overcoming her lifelong trauma, is pretty mature and does what she wants when she wants. I can’t help but think that given Asuna’s role in Sinon’s recovery, she feels obligated to express her feelings for Kirito honestly and not skirt the subject in Asuna’s presence.. Nice performance by Sawashiro who demonstrates again that she was a good choice for the character.

    And as a counter, Leafa’s landing took a different form. Luckily, orcs are sturdy fellows. Regarding her encounter with DIL, I thought I read somewhere that the author had taken all the rape scene criticism to heart and was resolved to deal differently with his female characters. Perhaps this is how that new approach looks. After all, Leafa told the orc that she could deal with the tentacles — presumably she wasn’t ever in real danger — and then instead of needing Kirito to rescue her, she did the rescuing.

    Despite the difference in treatment, I thought the orc’s decision was a bit cheap. It was a great leap to take just because a hot female treated him decently, no matter how unique an experience that is in his world.

    I don’t hold out much hope for Bercouli, at least not on his own. We’ll see if Sinon arrives in time to make a difference for him.

    Weird sound effects throughout, culminating for me in the clunk of Klein’s blade on the back of his neck when he made his own grand entrance. The sound of his voice made me wonder if he had a new seiyuu but now I’m thinking that maybe they changed something at the last second and didn’t have time to process the audio properly. Overall, I think the show shares too many effects with Fate Everything. It sort of diminishes the impact this way. The over the top music production was also disappointing to me.

    Overall a decent beginning.

    1. Had the same impression. Part of her special avatar privileges, I bet.

      On the other hand, since we were told that pain inflicted in this world feels very real, it makes Leafa’s passivity even more glaring.

  3. Gotta admire Sinon for being so bold, especially in front of Asuna. Imagine if Alice was there.

    Leafa seems to follow the code of the Ninja Turtles, or kendo, or whatever? Perhaps it’s due to her upbringing that she never fights unless someone else starts it? Kind of like how Luffy orders Zoro to not fight back against Bellamy?

  4. Once, I could begrudgingly excuse as a plot device. Twice and I’m beginning to rule out the chances of it being a coincidence. The third time, awful but I’d allow it because Eugeo breaking the code made for an awesome moment. The fourth time was heartbreaking – the way Eugeo got mentally and physically broken by unadulterated evil. But this particular instance was absolutely indefensible.

    My memories of the previous seasons are a bit hazy, so I find both sad and telling that I don’t know if you’re talking about all the assault scenes in Alicization in particular or SAO in general. And given that Alice is still in the hands of the evil emperor, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of another “suggestive” scene in the likes of Sugou’s treatment of Asuna in Fairy Dance.

    Sigh. I know that “rape is a special kind of evil” is a tried and tested trope, but sometimes it seems as if Reki can’t think of any other thing to show that a character is irredeemably evil. This in turn contrasts how other crimes are shown in a more understanding, sympathetic or even forgiving way (coughKayabacough).

    Even if she ended up killing the rapist, Leafa’s initial passivity left a sour taste too. I understand her unwillingness to kill who she knows to be an intelligent, living being, but if this was real life, nobody would mind if she defended herself against a very real, very human abuser… or would they? Suddenly, I’m reminded of Sinon’s background story.

    1. I recall Kawahara apologising over some of SAO’s content like this, saying it was a relic of the time when he was still an inexperienced author and when SAO was still a webnovel (I understand the LNs up to Alicization were adapting his webnovel content).

      Granted he could’ve edited them out for the publications, although the fact he didn’t either means he was lazy, he couldn’t think of an alternative scenario, or he just decided to leave everything as is, warts and all, as a reminder of his past.

      1. I don’t think he was expecting Sword Art Online to be the monster hit it is today when writing the web novel.

        That said, it was quite a while from when the web novel ended and Unital Ring was published as new original material in light novel form.

      2. Yes, from what I saw, he published the first SAO story as a webnovel in 2002 and continued it until the Alicization arc in 2008. They weren’t released as light novels until the success of his first published series, Accel World.

        Nevertheless, as you point out, it’s not as if those scenes couldn’t have been edited or improved for the light novels and, thus, for the anime adaptation.

        If anything, I find it harder to defend: both writer and publisher had years to check the material to adapt, edit and enhance it,which they probably did with other scenes. But they seemed to be fine with it, and those assault scenes kept appearing for years as a recurring tropethroghout the published light novels (the first one appeared in 2009 and Alicization began publication in 2012; while it’s been years since then, it’s not as if the overuse of rape as a plot device suddenly went out of fashion just recently).

  5. Read this because I saw tentacles. Is it really getting more common in Kirito’s universe? I remember one of the guys in ALO say they are hard to control. If I understand correctly, the one here was used by a human soul right? Was it ever explained how the could manipulate such extensions?


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