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%.
• 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.
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…”
• 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!”