Sword Art Online Ep. 14: The best comedy of the year

Oh my God, guys, don’t tell me it’s over! No, noooooo~! Not my favorite anime!

Let’s backtrack a bit.

• Even in the penultimate fight, the animation feels lazy. Halfway through our opening, A-1 Pictures just completely gives up. So we’ll zoom really far out to burn some time…

…and here’s some slashy lines on a black background ’cause that’s always interesting to look at.

And finally, a bunch of still shots full of action lines to simulate movement. I mean, did you think the characters would be animate in an anime or something? How naive!

• Suddenly, Kirito feels compelled to attack the commander. I know our hero has his suspicions and everything, but what if he had been wrong? What if the commander was just really good at avoiding damage and keeping his stamina up? Was a hunch enough to go on? Really, it was just a hunch, wasn’t it? Oh man, you don’t look tired! Let me try stabbing you in the neck:

Any normal person would’ve just asked the commander some pointed questions, but Kirito is a man of action! There’s no time to dilly-dally! Stab first, ask later. Luckily, this is SAO so it all works out.

• Kirito: “But I’d forgotten a simple piece of psychology… something any kid knows. There’s nothing as boring as watching someone else play an RPG.” Hm, well, about that… yeah…

• Our commander is revealed to be Kayaba Akihiko, i.e. the creator of the game. More importantly, he is the lamest storyteller. Kayaba was planning to betray everyone had they reached the top floor, but since Kirito had to go and ruin the fun, you get to have the final boss now. What? No special transformation? No “One-Winged Angel”-esque song blaring in the background? No pontificating about mankind’s struggle against the shackles of Western religion? Pfft… and you call yourself a Japanese RPG.

• For some reason, Asuna reacts to this revelation by grabbing one of Kirito’s arms. Innocuous gesture or yet another example of a former heroine turned damsel-in-distress?

• Kayaba: “Well, these unexpected events are part of the fun of an MMORPG.” What on earth is he talking about? MMOs rarely have unexpected events.

• I like how Kayaba has the time to open a menu to paralyze an oncoming attacker.

• From here on out, Asuna’s just going to feed us stupid faces:

• Kayaba gives Kirito another chance to fight him mano-a-mano. Now, the smart MMO player would likely play it safe. In fact, the smart MMO player who knows he has a kickass e-waifu would definitely play it safe. Why risk losing it all here when my e-waifu and I can grind some more, get some even better gear, and ensure complete victory? But we’re talking about Kirito. He’s the Gary Stu. As such, he’s got to be the hero. His dick wouldn’t allow anything else.

• I don’t even know how the flashbacks are supposed to justify Kirito’s dumbass decision. If anything, the flashbacks all show what happens when you overestimate your damn abilities. Remember the raid leader who bit the dust in the second episode? Remember the guildies who thought they could challenge a difficult dungeon floor? I REMEMBER SO I WILL BE DUMB LIKE THEM AND FIGHT ALONE.

Don’t insult you? This is about your fucking pride now? Remember that if he wins, everyone can escape this nightmare. By everyone, I mean, oh, just 6,147 trapped souls. But uguu, don’t fucking insult me!

• Me: “So what happened to Kirito’s eyes there?”
Nyoron: “He cast Blind on himself.”

• Kirito takes the time to thank people whose combined screentime have amounted to less than one whole episode. I’m amazed that such a godly Gary Stu like himself would even take the time to acknowledge the 99%.

“Chaged into Immortal Object.”

• Since this is an important fight and everything, we actually get to see some action, but conveniently enough, a dust cloud appears out of nowhere to conceal a bit of the fight. Guess A-1 had to take a breather. Don’t strain yourself now.

• Oh man, the background music has a vocal track. You know that when this happens in a Japanese RPG, shit just got real.

• XO…

…X(

Best comedy anime of the year.

• So how did Asuna free herself from the paralysis effect long enough to sacrifice her life for the Gary Stu? According to Kayaba, “I guess these things happen sometimes.” Oh, okay. It was the power of love, y’all.

• Kirito dies, but comes back to digital life somehow — I guess he’s digital fucking Jesus — then finishes off Kayaba. IT WAS THE POWER OF LOVE, Y’ALL!

• Kirito and Asuna find themselves in digital heaven or something. See, this is where the final fight should’ve been! That is simply JRPG tradition!

• According to Kayaba, they’re not even hiding the servers for the game or anything like that. It’s just sitting in some corporate headquarters, but the real world was nevertheless unable to save anyone for the past two years. Those servers must have one hell of a password system.

• I want to call the show pretentious, but the show isn’t even trying to sound smart:

Kayaba: “In every world, once you die, you’re gone.”
Kirito: “Why… why did you do this?”
Kayaba: “Why, huh? I forgot a long time ago. I wonder why…”

C’mooooon.

• Look at them. Look at them listen to Kayaba go on and on about his mystical fucking castle:

Hey guys, you are talking to a mass murderer. He trapped 10,000 people in an MMO, of which nearly 4,000 died. He is pretty much responsible for their deaths. But how does Kirito react? Herp derp, I’m sure a floating castle exists somewhere. Keep on dreamin’, bro!

• Asuna: “It’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.” Yes, yes, a 17 year old girl is happy to have died in her e-lover’s arms. No, I didn’t waste my life or anything… why do you ask?

• Alrighty, since we’ve just spent two years in a hospital bed atrophying our muscles away, welcome to the best MMO ever: Life!

• But wait, isn’t this series supposed to be 26 episodes long or so? Oh boy, I can’t wait till they find themselves stuck in another MMO. And in some basement out there, Kayaba mutters to himself, “And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”

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51 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Ep. 14: The best comedy of the year

  1. Marcomax

    This is the first thing I thought of when I finished the episode (Lost Season 3 last scene). They’re going to end up in another MMO. Hopefully it’s preceded by a scene like this. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, it would be funny as hell.

    Reply
  2. Ballermina

    It’s interesting how almost everyone’s crying over this episode and you’re just like:
    These SAO episode reviews are just too humor. You’re not going to drop it yet, are you? :(

    Reply
  3. Where is my controller ?

    My mom always watch me play RPGs … hell she even watch me play harvest moon for hours long
    SO it’s not boring for some people
    Anyways about Sword Art, why did the admin of the game lose anyways … Kayaba is supposed to be really smart ? what’s the point of the entire game up to now … I don’t get it

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Anyways about Sword Art, why did the admin of the game lose anyways … Kayaba is supposed to be really smart ? what’s the point of the entire game up to now … I don’t get it

      Magic.

      Reply
  4. Ian Caronia

    HaHAha! Fucking seriously?! This is the hardest I’ve laughed in a while! Thanks, SAO!
    -This has got to be the best episode yet. It goes from trying to be somewhat of a self-aware parody(in so far as certain characters just shrugging as the impossible happens), to trying to deny the generic anime cliches only to end up swatting viewers in the face with them.
    -Thank the dead for their (not) support
    -Power of love x2
    -Ultimate Ex Machina
    -Be nice to the Asshole
    -The “Not” Heaven scene
    I can’t even continue the list. It’s just so… Wow.

    Imagine that now the rest of the series is actually a realistic take on someone getting over their lover’s death? Kirito has to find a way to go back to his everyday life after his physical rehabilitation. He’s made into a media sheep because of his actions in the game, but all the attention feels empty to him and keeps reminding him of what happened. Asuna’s parents find out what happened and blame him for everything, which only compounds his guilt. He resorts to playing dating-sims in order to fill the void, occasionally signing into MMOs in hopes of seeing Asuna in some multidimensional digital not-heaven (which never happens). In the end he puts back on the game helmet which, because the servers and such are now shut down, doesn’t do anything but convey blackness around his character.

    Reply
    1. Arbee

      I don’t really see Kirito fighting for and/or thanking the dead. In fact, aside from his magical e-waifu, he only thanked two side characters for doing something. I think that was about it. In fact when his e-waifu “died”, he didn’t fight back for that he became so damn powerless that he swung like he life never mattered anymore.

      Also, seeing the future episode preview, Kirito seems to cope up his apparent post-traumatic stress disorder with guilt seeing people he care for die and even the guilt of killing the creator of an MMO and also difficulty adapting to the change (both physically and mentally) around the real world for the past 2 years pretty well.

      Reply
      1. E Minor Post author

        I don’t really see Kirito fighting for and/or thanking the dead. In fact, aside from his magical e-waifu, he only thanked two side characters for doing something.

        Well, he was allegedly a loner until he hooked up with Asuna. I wouldn’t expect a loner to have made many friends throughout his quest. I wouldn’t fault the story too much for having him thank only a couple characters. And this is coming from a guy who loves to fault the anime.

        Also, seeing the future episode preview, Kirito seems to cope up his apparent post-traumatic stress disorder

        Sounds fun.

        Reply
        1. Arbee

          Well, he was allegedly a loner until he hooked up with Asuna. I wouldn’t expect a loner to have made many friends throughout his quest. I wouldn’t fault the story too much for having him thank only a couple characters.

          Justified.

          If anything, I sometimes wonder what is Kirito’s true motive in this game, hell his true motive in this anime.

          Do you think that Kirito can be this way because he motive was to be a standard hero that everyone wishes they can be? A brooding loner with a tragic “past” and an extraordinary power… a love interest who clings to his every word… challenges he can overcome by the power of skill, luck, love and friendship? (If you call his recurring side-character companions friends is still up to questioning, but it depends on what a person’s standard of “friendship” is). Maybe he did these things because he WANTED to be these things. Not just your average MMO player, but a hero for some ego-boosting self-fulfillment, perhaps? Thus him caring for other characters that does not fill his Heroic Bucket list are questionable at best.

          That is why I’m surprised that he didn’t hit Kayaba in his “not heaven” or call out on his BS. Maybe Kirito follows that “villains are just misunderstood and hey, at least he gave me a challenge” trope rather than calling him a criminal and a murderer.

        2. E Minor Post author

          I think it’s a good question whether or not Kirito ever wanted to leave SAO. I keep bring it up, but at the very start of the series, Kirito claimed that he feels more alive in the MMO than in the real world. Then throughout the series, he argues again and again that Aincrad is a world worth appreciating. He even got into a fight with Asuna over whether or not they should sacrifice the NPCs in the game in order to aid their ascent through the floors. When faced with a serious predicament, i.e. a situation Kirito couldn’t simply Gary Stu through like a badass, he immediately suggests to Asuna that they run away and live some boring life in a forest.

          At the end of the day, Kirito has never really expressed a desire to escape the game. Sure, he fights Kayaba despite Asuna’s pleas, but he does so only because he’s mad about his friends’ deaths. So y’know, I don’t think he ever wanted to leave the game. And now that he thinks Asuna’s dead as a result of him screwing up against Kayaba, he’ll probably feel even worse about trying to leave in the first place. Of course, that’s expecting a reasonable character arc to explore from SAO. In all likelihood, he’ll find out that Asuna’s alive, save her, and they live happily ever after.

        3. Arbee

          Maybe Kirito thought that if he truly defeated Kayaba in the duel without repercussions, he can get an option to stay in SAO permanently with Asuna and be forever praised as a hero while everyone else can come and go in the game as they please without the permadeath bug.

  5. illegenes

    Tbh I think the ending is actually a plot twist!!!!!! Kirito wakes up in a hospital looking for Asuna, but finds that it’s abandoned – and worse, zombies are at every corner! (I mean, look at this, even the hospital alley shots are the same)

    WELCOME TO ZOMBIE ART ONLINE OR ZAO-
    I mean, uh, I’m sure the next arc is going to be great.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Since Kirito was walking off into the light, I wanted to come up with some faux-analysis about how it’s really a story about some kid who hit his head and has been in a coma all this time. I decided against it because……..

      Reply
  6. elior1

    @e minor oh i cant wait to see how you will react to the new arc next episode i only can say to you without spoil anything that the new bad guy is the pure evil itself and he going to be so anoying you will lough.also the pacing of the new arc will be slow

    Reply
  7. alsozara

    Kirito broke the programming, he is Neo, clearly. Seriously, after reading this post I just had to go watch the episode. Maybe I don’t understand the term properly, but that scene with Akihiko in digital heaven seems pretty much like the definition of cognitive dissonance. This show is a special kind of dumb.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Kirito broke the programming, he is Neo, clearly.

      Makes sense. A kid who has been stuck in the game since he was 14 just knows how to transcend the game’s code. See, when The Matrix went to all these lengths to portray Neo as a brilliant hacker before Morpheus ever recruited, I just sat there wondering, “What’s the point! Characterization is stupid!”

      Reply
  8. Arbee

    To be honest, I do not really care for this anime anymore after this. It gave me MMO cancer. Not the temporary debuff, mind you.

    Reply
  9. etery-chan

    Here we are, the show we love so much to bash.

    Spoiler time!!
    Kayaba IS DEAD. This super evil villain was happy that he has met Jesus/Messiah. He reached enlightment and pass on. Even though he appears later, they are just digital imprints of him, the real person is gone.

    BTW, I can’t help but think of Final Fantasy V while reading your post.

    PS : If Asuna died, she’s really wasted her young life. She sacrificed her life for a Gary Stu in slick black coat / a bland guy whose personality as thin as cardbox / a Jesus who keeps pulling the impossible. She will be lamenting in hell. “Aaah, the mistake of my youth.” But of course, Jesus in this anime is not just one person…

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Kayaba IS DEAD. This super evil villain was happy that he has met Jesus/Messiah. He reached enlightment and pass on

      SAO is a story where you can have your shitty MMO cake and eat it too. Trapped 10,000 people — and this includes young children and old people — in a shitty MMO, thereby allowing them to die? Welp, don’t have to face punishment or anything. I’ll just die and go to the floating castle in the fucking sky.

      BTW, I can’t help but think of Final Fantasy V while reading your post.

      I’ve no idea why.

      PS : If Asuna died

      Oh I’m sure she did not die whatsoever. This is not that type of story. This is a wish-fulfillment story. The Gary Stu isn’t going to pour his years of pent-up semen into the heroine only once.

      So let’s just a look at what happens next because this is SAO so I don’t give one fuck about spoilers:

      (Though if any other readers do care about having their precious SAO spoiled for them…)

      (…last chance to look away.)

      After Kirito defeated Heathcliff, she was supposed to have been freed but instead she was imprisoned in ALfheim Online and forced to play the role of Titania the Queen of Fairies, by Nobuyuki Sugō who similarly played the role of Oberon the Fairy King.

      AHAHAHAHA FAIRY QUEEN.

      Reply
  10. sandwich

    >Not using UTW’s TL
    “Kirito: ‘But I’d forgotten a simple piece of psychology… something any kid knows. There’s nothing as boring as watching someone else play an RPG.’ Hm, well, about that… yeah…”
    Completely irrelevant because that wasn’t the fucking point, it’s really not that hard.
    LOL TWITCH .TV STREAMING VIDEO GAMES
    but no seriously it is somewhat boring especially growing up as a kid to watch somebody else play an RPG, actually especially then and watching people play a game for 2 years without them having NONSTOP BOSS FIGHTS would be so fucking boring.

    For some reason, Asuna reacts to this revelation by grabbing one of Kirito’s arms. Innocuous gesture or yet another example of a former heroine turned damsel-in-distress?
    BECAUSE COUPLES TOTALLY WOULDN’T DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN A MOMENT OF SEVERE CRISIS
    Also the fact that her superior officer or whatever the fuck is in charge of trapping them all within a game for 2 years who she deeply trusted couldn’t have anything to do with it right?

    “I don’t even know how the flashbacks are supposed to justify Kirito’s dumbass decision.”
    FLASHBACKS OF PEOPLE DYING COULDN’T BE A MOTIVATION FOR REVENGE YEAH REALLY
    In one of the previous episodes Kirito even says “I’d rather die trying to save someone than survive alone.” That alone is his reason for challenging Kayaba Akihiko also the fact that many more people will die fighting the higher floor bosses…

    “Well, these unexpected events are part of the fun of an MMORPG.”
    And then you say “MMOs rarely have unexpected events.”
    OF COURSE THAT”S THE FUCKING POINT. They don’t happen a lot but when they do it’s quite an experience.

    UTW’s TL(the one you should be using) uses “Screw it.” Instead of “Don’t insult me.” Screw it would be less prideful and more “fuck it he’s killed so many people LET”S DESTINY MOTHERFUCKER”

    “Kirito dies, but comes back to digital life somehow — I guess he’s digital fucking Jesus — then finishes off Kayaba. IT WAS THE POWER OF LOVE, Y’ALL!”
    He didn’t die yet, he was about to die though, kinda a cop-off he shouldn’t have lasted that long anyways.

    According to Kayaba, they’re not even hiding the servers for the game or anything like that. It’s just sitting in some corporate headquarters, but the real world was nevertheless unable to save anyone for the past two years. Those servers must have one hell of a password system.

    Mad scientist/ Genius logic, do you even watch anime? This happens all the time in anime, manga, hell even other mediums of fiction. (A bit of bad writing)

    “Alrighty, since we’ve just spent two years in a hospital bed atrophying our muscles away, welcome to the best MMO ever: Life!”
    Hey look one of the overall themes(life in an VR world/MMO) of the show! Where’d that come from!

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Completely irrelevant because that wasn’t the fucking point, it’s really not that hard.

      Kirito says it’s boring to watch people play RPGs. Here’s a link of thousands of people watching people play RPGs. Whoops, you totally got me with your killer logic, bro. SAO doesn’t have bad writing after all!

      BECAUSE COUPLES TOTALLY WOULDN’T DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN A MOMENT OF SEVERE CRISIS

      Nah, we get it. You like your women submissive.

      FLASHBACKS OF PEOPLE DYING COULDN’T BE A MOTIVATION FOR REVENGE YEAH REALLY

      WAY TO IGNORE MY POINT ABOUT HUBRIS YEAH REALLY

      OF COURSE THAT”S THE FUCKING POINT. They don’t happen a lot but when they do it’s quite an experience.

      “Quite an experience” times 0 = 0

      Screw it would be less prideful and more “fuck it he’s killed so many people LET”S DESTINY MOTHERFUCKER

      Still dumb.

      Mad scientist/ Genius logic, do you even watch anime? This happens all the time in anime, manga, hell even other mediums of fiction.

      Do you even read pisstakes? This happens all the time in pisstakes.

      Hey look one of the overall themes(life in an VR world/MMO) of the show! Where’d that come from!

      You’re right, I’ve never considered that SAO might have been about simulation and simulacra. Nope, not once in the last thirteen posts about the show. You’ve… beaten… me…

      Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Nice, you’ve managed to crack open a book and learn what a strawman argument is! Now let’s see if you can spot it in your own shitposts! Go, go!

  11. Louis Cypher

    The comfort of mediocrity will come. for creators and critics alike .. by the guidance of the Great Fuck

    Reply
    1. etery-chan

      I once broke my arm, didn’t move it much for one month, after the bandage had been taken off, I need more than one week before I can lift things. Oh, wait, he is Jesus. Jesus can make maimed people walk again, blind people see again, so this is pretty minor miracle.

      No, not his mom. The sexy nurses gave him special services / exercises for being a hero who’s about to save 6,000 lives. There is one who’s especially close to him. I don’t remember her name.

      Reply
    2. Arbee

      In fact, where was a nurse in this? Wasn’t there even a standby and maybe someone interviewing him with questions starting with “Are you okay?” Won’t the security even notice a survivor of Virtual Permadeath has finally woken up?!

      Reply
  12. I Hate Memphis

    Wow. This had me rolling with laughter, but on a serious note, how on earth can people actually LIKE this kind of crap? No wonder I’ve lost interest in most anime… the plot and characters are horrible and riddled with ridiculous and childish writing with no direction whatsoever. I still can’t get over the fact that I’m supposed to consider a protagonist “badass” when it looks like he has at least four years before he hits puberty.

    Reply
  13. Electric Fence

    This writing seems like the sort you’d pull from a high-schooler’s delusional fantasies.

    *checks author’s age* Fuck.

    Reply
  14. banagherlinks

    You’re wrong. This post is the real comedy of the year. You really made burst to laughter- good thing I dropped this shit a couple of episodes ago for major facepalm and dissappointment. For a guy who didnt read the LN? Yeah right!!! Best anime of the year congratulations A-1!!! XD

    Reply

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