「コード８７１」 (Koudo Hachi Nana Ichi)
Not This Shit Again
What is with Sword Art Online and sexual assault scenes? Two episodes down the line and already, we have Subtilizer mentally raping Sinon and almost forcibly kissing her against her own will, in an extremely rage inducing way. Like why? On the other hand, she was able to recover and is seeking to put up the fight of her life to buy time for Alice, having incarnated her GGO guns into the Underworld. I really hope they show us the fight – instead of having her off screened. It’s the least they can do to make up for featuring yet another awful scene – though I won’t deny that it does an amazing job of demonstrating just how overpowered Subtilizer is.
Yanai is Mentally Unstable
Yanai has many screws loose. His obsession with Quinella reminded me of many weebs and their supposed waifus. And I could imagine AI corrupting people to further their own agenda if they happened to gain sentience the way Quinella did. All I can say is, god help us if technology ever reaches that level of sophistication. Turns out this guy was the one who maliciously sabotaged the Underworld – inducing pain in the right eye of its denizens for disobeying Code 871 and rigging it so that his descendants and Quinella could have free reign over the world. With Rinko and Kikuoka realising way too late. In terms of the artificial serfdom, that’s really fucked up, if you consider that fluctlights are akin to humans – and can experience suffering. But I guess that was to be expected from one of Sugou’s lackeys, considering the blatant lack of empathy these people had back in Alfheim. Not to mention he was a mole delaying the realisation of the first Fluctlight – which gave the Americans time to attempt hijacking the project. He says he did it for the American dream – but I gotta say, that’s a pretty twisted interpretation. And I would be surprised if the Americans held up their end of the bargain. Why keep such an unreliable person with knowledge of the most sensitive technological secrets alive?
Prince of Hell, More like Piece of Shit
As expected from the original leader of Laughing Coffin, PoH is also a PoS – a.k.a Piece of Shit, who revels in seeing maximum chaos and suffering. He’s overjoyed to see the Aincrad survivors suffering so much – having plotted to saddle Kirito with the mental burden of killing real humans during the original SAO, sadistically pleased to see the Chinese and Korean players massacring both the Japanese players and Underworld denizens, and gleeful to see Kirito in a comatose state bound to a wheelchair. He can’t keep getting away with it. So how is he able to do it? PoH is able to grasp this tribalistic essence of human nature, and even when Syune tries to defuse tensions and properly explain the situation to SAO, he preys upon nationalistic resentment to whip up players into a hysteria where they disregard the logic and reasoning that temporarily confused them to continue crushing the Japanese. Unfortunately, if the real world shows anything, politicians who play up nationalistic sentiments are often pretty damn successful – with the likes of Trump, Bolsanaro and Abe heavily promoting similar xenophobic sentiments. So it’s pretty true to life.
Unable to change the mind of Korean/Chinese players, Asuna begs every Japanese player to stand down so that the denizens of the Underworld can be spared – though PoH has finally obtained his prize that they had so desperately tried to protect – Kirito in a wheelchair. And with Yanai intending to kill Higa as a sacrifice to Quinella in the real world, the story demands a crazy Deus Ex Machina at this point lest Kirito becomes donezo. Speaking of Kirito, it seems that a fragment of his Fluctlight protected Sinon from being sexually assaulted by Subtilizer. So that would indicate his consciousness is out there somewhere, and I expect the trigger for his return will be the need to protect his loved ones from the onslaught of Subtilizer, PoH and the hordes of Chinese/Korean players.
Additionally, it tore my heart to see the Chinese and Korean players killing off these lives. It’s just a game to them, and they cannot distinguish these actual, arguably living creatures from humans who won’t suffer consequences in the real world. Which really goes to show how human these fluctlights are – to the point actual humans can’t tell the difference. And that’s a really well-written moral basis that Reki integrated into the overarching framework of the story. So while I wouldn’t be a fan of Kirito somehow turning the tides and saving the day (I can’t see how he can do it), Reki’s set up the stakes in such a way that I feel coerced into wanting it to happen. Because the alternative would be too cruel.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you next week to find out if PoH will abuse the comatose Kirito, and whether our protagonist will show any signs of waking up before it becomes too late.