Sword Art Online Ep. 22: Stay calm and look cool

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We’ve got a hot babe to save.

Plot summary: Kirito tries to bust through the invisible barrier, but he fails. Somehow, however, Asuna manages to drop a keycard to him. Our hero finally decides to stop wasting his energy and brave the dungeon all by his lonesome instead, but he fails pretty hard. Leafa has to put herself in danger’s way to resurrect him, but since there’s no real death in ALO anyway, the scene loses much of its impact. After being revived, Kirito wants to throw himself at a thousand arrows again, confessing to Leafa that he has to save Asuna at all costs. It is at this point that Leafa realizes she’s been questing with her oniichan. Drrrraaaamaaaaaa~

Notes:

• Leafa takes off after Kirito and wonders to herself, “Kirito-kun, what’s wrong? The person at the top of the World Tree is that important to you?” It makes me wonder why she hasn’t once asked him about the purpose of their quest. Yes, they all want to climb the World Tree, but Kirito obviously isn’t doing it for some stupid perma-flight (or maybe he is…). Plus, this can’t be the first time Yui has referred to the person atop the World Tree as ‘mama.’ Such a thing has to pique her interest, no?

• In a cooler, sillier anime, Kirito’s determination would just pierce the heavens. But then we wouldn’t have a dungeon to crawl, now would we?

• Are you serious, girl? It looks like you can just slip your little twig body through the bars!

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C’mon, what are you waiting for? Just go! Oh that’s right: Kirito has to literally save her. Some of you will object and say, “She’ll just fall out of the sky and die!” Nuh uh, looks like there are plenty of places for her to slip through the bars and plant her feet on solid ground:

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• Remember how she pilfered some keycard last week? Asuna decides to toss it over the side and it lands softly in Kirito’s hands. I guess it’s a one-way barrier!

• Kirito pokes it like some kind of monkey.

• Aw what is this corny shit:

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The holy trinity of anime: the Gary Stu, the former heroine turned damsel-in-distress, and the inexplicable loli.

• There are guardians in front of the World Tree that even raids cannot overcome. Oh boy, let’s just see how Gary Stu does it — probably with one punch too. It’s hard to highlight the differences between the SAO arc and this arc, because it feels painfully similar. Uber-important story quest >> Kirito pairs up with another girl >> Kirito does it all by himself and looks cool. What’s the contrasting element other than the fact that you can’t die in ALO? Flight? That’s it? No critical character growth?

See, this is why I would’ve liked Kirito to have some sense of urgency in saving Asuna, ’cause he dragged his feet in SAO despite the fact that his life was on the line. I mean, if your true love can’t motivate you, what else will? I also would’ve liked to see Kirito actually recruit help since he lone wolf’d it up last time and look where it got him. But there hasn’t been any character development since Kirito realized he loved Asuna. No, really. What has he learned since then? What has changed about him or his character since then? No, don’t list the wings. That’s superficial. The answer is nothing. Nothing at all. His character arc is a straight, horizontal line.

• Kirito: “And if I have to waste another second just standing around, I’m going to go insane.” Oh, now you’re in a hurry!

• I thought this dungeon would be interesting to look at, but uh:

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Where did all the world-building go? Those of you who have played MMOs… you guys know that dungeons are fairly interesting setpieces. In SAO, however…

• Hey, I’ll give SAO credit for one thing: Kirito didn’t just waltz his way to the top instantly. Actually, one more thing: “Somewhere in my heart, I believed this world was just a game. Is this my punishment for that?” Is this finally some introspection? Does our Gary Stu actually have any pathos?

• Wow, the resurrection time is over 500 seconds. Ain’t nobody’s got time for that! I’m assuming he can’t just respawn at some home point or whatever? I mean, it doesn’t look like he got very far into the dungeon. All you’d have to do is have release and try again, right? But I guess in ALO, you gotta wait ten minutes to respawn or hope someone comes to save you. Speaking of which…

• Another heroine needlessly sacrifices herself for Kirito’s sake again ’cause he decided to brave the dungeon alone. I mean, c’mon now, it’s almost like we’re watching the same damn arc. It’s just that in the previous arc, your life was at stake. But think about it: what would Kirito do if Asuna dies or gets NTR’d? She’s his life now, i.e. his life with his ideal e-waifu is at stake. He has something real and tangible in the outside world to save, and yet people say that his true self lies only within MMOs. What a lark.

• Rather odd to me that his soul or whatever that flame is supposed to represent is located around his crotch:

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Well, maybe it’s not so odd if you really think about it.

• I’m amazed 16 minutes of the episode have passed already and we haven’t gotten anywhere. Oh how the time flies by.

• I’d feel bad for Sugu… if it wasn’t incest, but since it is, I don’t give a damn. In fact, I’m not even going to analyze the last few minutes of the episode. Don’t care, don’t want to care.

• The sound effect when Sugu landed on her bed… aaaaaaahahaha, just listen to it again. A perfect ending to that eye-rolling “We are not literally siblings!” conversation. Kirito and Sugu simply grew up together, shared the same home, shared the same “mom,” referred to each other respectively as oniichan and imouto, etc. But c’mon, we’re not literally siblings. Just literally first cousins. *fartz*

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32 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Ep. 22: Stay calm and look cool”

  1. That feeling when you’re in love with your brother when he’s in love with another girl who he needs to save in an online game which breaks your heart so you seek solace in a relationship in said online game only to figure out the guy you fell in love with is actually your brother. It’s the worst, isn’t it?

      1. Just so you know, after one of those periods where you think it can’t get any worse then it does repeatedly, your SAO post made me smile. First two comments made me lol. Thanks.

  2. “We are not blood related so I want to fuck my brother” also known a.k.a the poor way to say “it’s not incest, see , they are not related !!”. -_-

  3. Last episode started with World Tree and ended with World Tree.

    This episode started in front of World Tree and ended in front of World Tree.

    At this pace it will take 100 episodes.

    (on another note, I thought the entrance was hidden? I mean, if this is the entire dungeon to reach the top, what’s so hard about it?)

  4. Normally if there’s a large timer like 500 seconds in an MMO after your death, it’s the time you’re allowed to make a choice of waiting for a resurrection to occur, or head back to your spawn point. Just saying.

    1. I think you all didn’t realize something. This is the future. The future is obviously a place where honest, skill-based MMORPG gaming has gone to the dogs, and pay-to-win gaming prevails. In other words, when you die, either you wait +500 sec to respawn, or you spend your Crystal Money or whatever, bought with actual real world money. So since Kirito is nowhere near a productive member of society (also he has no useless relatives, where ‘useless’ means ‘that can’t be used in some love triangle’), he’s stuck with his waiting times. Or maybe he’s just stingy. That’s why every gaming mechanism is so broken. It’s just a money sucking machine. Someone didn’t tell Sugou that this is actually a much safer and more evil scheme than STDing a bunch of teens for the sake of some bogus American corporation.

  5. -Can someone explain why they were able to immediately log out? I thought you had to hang around 20 minutes?

    -Why did Kirito start avoiding Sugu when he found out they weren’t siblings?

    -I’m still confused over Kirito’s “deep” dialogue: “I thought this was just a game”…it IS a game you f*cking idiot, and like all games it has rules (something someone pro at playing them like you supposidly are, should know) that can’t just be broken because you are passionate about it. Also, if he thought it was just a game, why did he bother to stop saving his waifu from real life problems to help game politics? Before I could pretend a bit that he was still thinking it was somehow true because of his 2 years in SAO, but nope.

    -“many raids tried and failed” great, this means I won’t bother to ask what is in there and instead immediately try it alone because my giant ego makes me think I’m somehow better than tons and tons of players doing this together.

    -As you pointed out, there is no tension. After lazily making his way over and picking up potential waifus he suddenlly is in a hurry, ugh. The faces he made this episode made me laugh as much as Samon’s did thrusday, but Samon was supposed to be funny, whereas I was supposed to feel pity for that damn Gary Stu.

    -The whole ‘we’re not blood related so I’ll throw our sibling relationship down the drain and fall in love with you’ thing is so ridiculously overused in anime that i can’t really get mad anymore.

    1. -Can someone explain why they were able to immediately log out? I thought you had to hang around 20 minutes?

      Probably in a safe zone.

      -I’m still confused over Kirito’s “deep” dialogue: “I thought this was just a game”…it IS a game you f*cking idiot,

      I think he’s referring to his blase attitude, thinking that he could just win because he’s awesome. Let’s see how they get through the tower though.

      -”many raids tried and failed” great, this means I won’t bother to ask what is in there and instead immediately try it alone because my giant ego makes me think I’m somehow better than tons and tons of players doing this together.

      What I don’t get is the whole “I don’t want to trouble you” attitude. If my wife was in trouble, I’d do anything possible to save her — y’know, short of killing someone. “My wife’s in labor, can you give us a ride? Wait, no, I don’t want to be a bother…”

  6. Hey E Minor, do you go on 4chan? If not, you should. At least, for now, because this episode’s big incest reveal has been exploding all over 4chan’s /a/ board. It’s fucking hilarious. I know that the show’s director was probably trying to make this scene emotional and profound, but I couldn’t just help but laugh at how silly and absurd it all is.

    > Plus, this can’t be the first time Yui has referred to the person atop the World Tree as ‘mama.’ Such a thing has to pique her interest, no?

    It’s pretty much this over on /a/, but with a whole lot more Frodo.

  7. Dumb episode as usual, but I like hearing Sugu whine about her onii-chan complex. I know you don’t want to think too much about SAO, but is it possible to fall in love with your relative’s avatar (provided that you don’t know)? My teacher told me that there was study in which women smelled men’s socks that were placed in the men’s armpits. Ones from relatives smelled repugnant, while those from potential love interests smelled nice. Incest isn’t supposed to happen because of biology and psychology, right? But avatars aren’t the actual body, so…? Awkward topic, but just curious.

    1. Well, incest is real despite all those psych studies. I mean, I’ve seen them before, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t fall in love with an avatar. It’s just an avatar.

  8. i cant believe it kirito the guy who finished sao killed the headchiff without problem and took few clan members in alo has been killed by some lame soldiers in the world three

  9. Waaaah. I love me my brother, but he doesn’t love me. I am so heart broken.

    Jokes aside, what the hell kind of MMORPG is this?
    Not only your character linger around to be attacked by people after you logged out. Now you have to wait 10 minutes in order to revive?! That’s more than enough time to make instant noodle and eat. I know the ‘log out’ rule is created to prevent abuse, such as somebody running away by logging out when he’s about to be killed. Many MMORPGs implement the same thing. But this a VR which is able to lock your brain! They could simply program it so that you can’t log out when you are engaging in battle. All these wait times are too much of a bother.

  10. It makes me wonder this week: Does Kirito really love Asuna? I mean with him just wasting all his sweet time on just hooking up with useless guild ambassadors and the Pseudo-Imouto, I was thinking that he’s only saving Asuna now because he wanted to look cool for everyone else and boost his ego. In fact, he introduces Asuna to Sugu in the previous episode like he only cared about her in-game credentials instead of her personality which just deepens the question.

    “LOOK! Kirito defeated the final boss and reached the World Tree first! He saved the beautiful Queen from the castle and possibly many other hostages but who cares about them brains! God I wish I was like Kirito!”

    1. Well… that added new insight into what kind of person this trashy main character is. Instead of introducing Asoona as someone dear to him, someone who is the most precious to him in this world, he introduced her as some vice leader / flash something / someone with good gaming abilities. This retard is too immersed in games. That explains why he went out of his way to help some catgirl and big boobs woman; instead of finding some other player (preferrably a guy) who’s also determined to climb the wurldz tree. Instead he took a dumb, big boobs elf who want to climb the tree for lust reason, so that she could stay with him, and has sex with him. Great job, Reki.

      1. The problem is how else would you describe Asuna? She likes to cook? In a vacuum, that’s a hobby, but considering how SAO likes to portray women… heh. Anyway, the two of them were in SAO 24/7, and SAO is considered a game, but what did they really do for fun? What did they do on their time off from dungeon grinding? We saw a boring glimpse of that during their honeymoon, but the anime never really fleshed out what it was like to live in an MMO. You certainly didn’t grind all day. What did people do on breaks? For all the world building praise that this anime gets, it never answers that fundamental question of “What is life really like in an MMO that feels so real?” It’s not like people could go to the mall, or the movies, go to concerts, read for fun (I doubt SAO had a big enough team to have an extensive library of lore), etc. What did Asuna do! How else could Kirito have described her?!

        inb4 others chiming in with “WELL ACTUALLY IF YOU READ THE NOVELS THIS IS FLESHED OUT!” Yeah, I’ll go read the novels to some shitty anime.

        1. The novel states that there are newsletter of some sort, compiled by the informants. But that’s all. There is no movie or televison, manga or novel. Or any kind of video games. Or any kind of sports. Or internet connection.
          Don’t waste your time reading some shitty novels. Even I skimmed around a lot, just to find out spoilers. I don’t even realize there is tentacles raep. I like thecartdriver’s ranking. “Light Novels with Imouto” is ranked at last position. That would be SAO. Also it’s correct that “Otome Games adaptation” ranked 2nd from last. I don’t remember watching any good one.

        2. Iunno, but the hospital scene in the earlier episode should have been a perfect opportunity for Kirito to tell WHY he loves Asuna, methinks. Something that I can believe on why I should give a damn about the two instead of “I like Asuna because she’s hot, and she can cook, and she can fight.” and Asuna will just be all ‘Kirito is now MY MEANING OF LIFE”.

          Also, you’re questioning a game that has printed pictures (no seriously, how CAN they print pictures in that episode with Kirito and Asuna’s pictures all over dat bulletin board) and have PRINTED newspapers in there. I mean, what do they do for music? What do they do besides slay slay slay and skill up skill up skill up? What about those who wanna stay permanently in the safe zone? Are there some free DLCs that gives players some relief in order for them to live in SAO as comfortably as possible (like a music player, movie player? in-game internet browser? mini-games? Additional freaking lore)? Or they are just trying to keep the tone of the game as Medieval as possible so they became insane and just RP the shoop out of it… I mean, I wonder what happens if someone talks about the real world in there? They said that they can ban someone if someone can talk about IRL in ALO. What happens when it’s in SAO?

          Now my brain is seeing all these plotholes… It’s giving me a headache.

        3. Something that I can believe on why I should give a damn about the two instead of “I like Asuna because she’s hot, and she can cook, and she can fight.”

          But what is there to say? What could they have done together in SAO other than typical MMO activities? Literally all he knows about her is her name, what she looks like, and what she did in game.

        4. To be honest, since this is Kirito… I expected nothing BUT talking about her in-game credentials. In fact, i would be surprised if he says other stuff about Asuna that he liked asides from said credentials. You know, she was always there for him for the two years, and that she is an equal that typa thing.

  11. I’m still totally confused as to how Sugu didn’t recognize her brother from the beginning (actually until this episode I assumed that she did all along). They seemed to show how the nerv-gear scans your IRL face/body in the first episode (when everyone changed back in their IRL selves and we inexplicably ended up with all these guys in skirts) When Kirito was setting up his character for ALO he seemed to bypass the entire configuration part so he could choose the race that was (inexplicably) wearing the same armor that he had been (inexplicably) wearing since level 1 in SAO. So Sugu sees a guy that looks exactly like her brother in ALO, calls himself “Kirito” (Kazuto), both of them are using their nerv-gear IRL at all the same times that “Leefa” and “Kirito” are playing together in ALO (at least Sugu doesn’t call herself “Sugito” and has seemed to change her character bit, hair, eyes, and most importantly the boobs)…oh and they both also happen to take breaks at all the same times too. For some reason I just assumed Sugu knew it was her oniichan all along and was just not saying anything because, incest. God this show is killing brain cells…why am I even asking these questions, it’s not like it matters one bit.

    1. They seemed to show how the nerv-gear scans your IRL face/body in the first episode

      That was only true of SAO. It didn’t apply to ALO. Kirito chose an avatar that resembled himself, but that’s probably for the audience’s sake rather than that he literally looked like himself.

      both of them are using their nerv-gear IRL at all the same times that “Leefa” and “Kirito” are playing together in ALO

      They rarely went into each other’s rooms though. Cause, y’know, uguu how embarrassing a boy in my room, etc.

      But in general, I agree with you that it was dumb how neither of them noticed that the other person was playing the same game.

      1. I just noticed something else from the most recent episode (the one after this), the poster of Leefa that Sugu has on her ceiling that they always show when she logs off–that I originally thought was some sort of ALO log-off screen, but is actually (and inexplicably) a GIANT poster, literally the size of her bed that takes up almost half the size of her ceiling (HA!). looksie:

        (that’s a pretty giant ceiling light too!)

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