We’re back once again. And what do we have? Oh, that’s right! It’s an SAO heroine lying around helpless, waiting for Kirito to save her! I don’t recall a girl ever saving Kirito, actually. Remember how Asuna briefly saved Kirito’s life from Kuradeel only for him to have to jump back in and save her life just minutes later? The Gary Stu can never be topped, baby! Oh yeah, that was the moment he lost one of his e-hands. Wait a minute… he loses his hand…. he uses a lightsaber… a relative of his is in love with him… DEATH GUN?! IT WAS STAR WARS ALL ALONG!
— So Sinon sees the person she killed in the eyes of Death Gun simply because the latter is using the same handgun she had used to kill the guy. So… so what, actually? I just think the girl’s trauma here is unnecessary and gratuitous. It was always ludicrous that they had to provide Sinon with some super tragic backstory just to give her a reason to play GGO. Like she couldn’t just play the game for fun or something, y’know? She had to play GGO because she has a fear of guns, and this is like the world’s shittiest version of exposure therapy. Check that, Aldnoah.Zero‘s last episode had the world’s shittiest version of exposure therapy, but I digress. My point is that Sinon could’ve just played GGO for the sake of playing GGO, but naw, that wasn’t good enough for SAO‘s creator. We needed some ridiculous sob story about how she’s traumatized by any form of guns in real life, so she’s going to surround her with guns and a veritable sausagefest by playing GGO. Alright, fine, have it your way. Give the girl some stupid backstory. What gets me is this need to dredge up the girl’s drama in the middle of this Death Gun conflict. It isn’t bad enough Death Gun’s about to “kill” her, Oh no, we must add the girl’s trauma to the mix too! So in the end, you just get this jumbled, unfocused mess of a story. Is she afraid of dying? Or is she haunted by her past? Apparently both! This isn’t complexity, though. This is just a guy throwing anything he can at the wall and hoping it sticks. Someone whose brief success has made him think he has the storytelling chops, so he’s going to try his hand at telling some sort of poignant story about psychological trauma. Dude, it’s a harem in an MMO. Get a fucking grip.
— Even when a girl’s getting traumatized and shit, there’s nothing quite like a sweet crotch shot! I love how every curve around her taint has been so tenderly rendered. Stay classy, A-1 Pictures.
— So what’s going through Sinon’s mind right now? Uguu, I thought if I studied the Gary Stu carefully, I’d get the meaning of strength. But if I die, how will I study him?! B-But it’s not like I want to watch him or anything! I just don’t want to give up. Yeah, uh, I can tell you one thing. If I think I’m about to die, I sure as hell wouldn’t be thinking about some random asshole I just met in an MMO. How ’bout my family? How ’bout my unfulfilled dreams? Oh wait, haha, the Gary Stu and his flowing locks of hair are her unfulfilled dreams! My bad!
— Needless to say, Kirito saves Sinon at the last minute. Yawn.
— Oh my fucking god. With Kirito carrying Sinon in his arms, the girl now looks up with him with that doe-eyed expression and goes, “That’s enough… leave me!” I thought you said you didn’t want to give up, dumbass. See, the writer thinks he’s adding emotion to this scene, but he’s not. It’s just stupid. The girl literally just cried for her life a minute ago, and now that her safety is more than guaranteed ’cause she’s in the Gary Stu’s arms, all of a sudden she wants to give up. It’s not poignant, man. Stop trying so hard. Just embrace the fact that, at best, you’ve written a dumb popcorn anime series! But that’s SAO at its best. SAO in its current form is this pretentious, overwrought piece of shit that thinks it can be more than anything but an action harem anime series. Enough, Gary Stu-kun. Leave me to die! To die on this e-battlefield! Save youuuuurseelf!
— I love how this shot rings out and hits a sign, but the sign doesn’t even fall anywhere near our heroes. The anime had a chance to add some action to the scene, but it’s like, “Nah, nah… we don’t need action.”
— Conveniently enough, Kirito comes across a place where he can rent buggies or horses. Yeah, mechanical horsies. ‘Cause a real horse would’ve been too unrealistic, but mechanical ones make perfect sense in this futuristic gun MMO.
— Sinon even has to tell the Gary Stu that the mechanical horse is too difficult to control. Still, I seem to recall a certain somebody telling Kirito that GGO vehicles are too difficult to control only for him to prove her wrong. But it doesn’t matter. He ends up picking a buggy.
— With Sinon in the backseat, Kirito tells her to quickly destroy the mechanical horse. How does he know Death Gun would pick the horse? What if Death Gun picks a buggy? But anyway, apparently in GGO, you can destroy vehicles before anyone can even use them. But what’s funny here is that Sinon can’t shoot the horse. She literally can’t even! Seeing that handgun at the start of the episode had triggered the girl so hard, she now can’t pull the trigger! Oh my god, this works on so many levels! What a genius story! Anyway, I love how the girl can pick her rifle up, line up the shot carefully, and put her finger on the trigger, but when it comes to actually pulling her finger back just hard enough to fire a shot, she can’t do it.
— As Kirito drives away on their buggy, he tells Sinon to stay sharp. Too bad she’s useless now.
— Oh good lord, Death Gun does pick the horse. The fucking horse. I get it. He’s a personification of Death, and he’s riding a horse. If you’re going to go this far, why not just give the fucker a reaper while you’re at it? Oh right, right… only the Gary Stu is allowed to have melee weapons in this game.
— And the entire time this is happening, Sinon just continues to whine. Nande?! Naaaaaaande?! Every goddamn heroine in SAO just turns into this useless blob of helplessness. Have you noticed that? They always start off as these no-holds-barred female warrior only to eventually become a quivering mass of uselessness. Shit, Asuna spent an entire arc being useless. And all Leafa could do was whine from the get-go about how she couldn’t bang her cousin.
— RIP, tough female anime character. Here lies Sinon, a girl with a giant rifle in her pocket. We hardly knew ye.
— Kirito tells Sinon that she has to fire her gun and distract the bad guy long enough for them to get away. Sinon insists she can’t. Yeah, c’mon, Kirito. We just told you that she literally can’t even. So of course, he suggests that they swap places, and he’ll fire her gun. All of a sudden, Sinon’s all, “Uguu, Hecate’s a part of me! No one can fire her but me.”
— First, doesn’t Kirito feel fucking dumb now that he didn’t even bother to pick himself up anything but a lightsaber and a handgun? Second, of course it would take the Gary Stu’s words to give our anime babe the strength that she needs to overcome this ordeal. Nuh-uh, that strength’s not going to come from within. Rather, it comes from the Gary Stu. He smiles down on us all and provides us with his warmth.
— Kirito and Sinon proceed to have a goddamn conversation as they’re driving down this long, incredibly straight road.
Sinon: “I can’t fight anymore.”
Kirito: “No, you can. Everyone can fight. It’s just a choice of whether you should!”
Wow, such inspiring words! But whine, whine, whine, the girl continues on to say that she would choose not to fight. It’s a video game. For the love of god, something just occurred to me. Why don’t you fucking log out then? There’s nothing keeping you in the game. This isn’t the Aincrad arc. This entire time that Sinon is whining, why doesn’t she just log out?
— This road is so straight, Kirito can reach back and guide the girl’s hand. Baby, baby, I know you can’t shoot… but I’ll shoot with you. Use the force, Sinon. Use the Gary Stu force. This entire time, Death Gun is just riding straight at a rifle, not even shooting back or anything. Hmm, they seem to be talking over there! Durr, let’s just keep watching those two!
— Sinon wonders how Kirito can stay so calm. He’s the motherfuckin’ Gary Stu, baby!
— Good lord, everything goes to slow-motion as Sinon feeds us a corny-ass monologue. The Gary Stu gives it his all! The Gary Stu doesn’t make excuses! This is the source of the Gary Stu’s strength! Barf.
— So Sinon misses, but she conveniently hits the gas tank of a nearby, parked vehicle. The resulting explosion allows our heroes to escape.
Kirito: “Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!”
Sinon: “Aw shucks, it was nothing! I used to bullseye crazed robbers in my T-16 back home!”
— Well, with the Death Gun threat neutralized for now, Kirito and Sinon proceed to hide out in a cave. Why do I feel like a long, boring conversation is about to take place? Ah well, this is Talking Art Online, after all.
— Welp, it’s time to fill in the gaps in the story!
— First, Sinon wonders if there’s a chance Death Gun had died in the explosion. Of course not. According to Kirito, the bad guy jumped off his robot horse at the last second. Hilarious.
— Next, Sinon wonders how Kirito was able to return so quickly to save her. Apparently, not only is Gunner X really Musketeer X — yeah, really — it’s also a woman. And if you think Sinon’s outfit is silly, here’s Musketeer X’s get-up. Nothing like gunning enemies down in a mini-skirt and bikini top. Don’t hit on me, boys! I realize she has some kind of tight-fitting pants on underneath the skirt, but c’mon. Anyway, Kirito promptly finished Musketeer X off.
— Kirito tries to be nice; had their positions been reversed, she’d be the one saving him! Nah, knowing Sinon, she would’ve aimed for Death Gun at a distance, see that handgun, then proceed to freeze up anyway. Not that it would’ve mattered, mind you. We’ve already pretty much guessed that Death Gun is a multi-person team, and someone is running around in real life, killing people off. I doubt that someone has already tracked either of our heroes down, so the only thing they would’ve suffered is a disqualification from this shitty tournament.
— Sinon: “I’m being consoled by the man I thought was my rival…” First, no one rivals the Gary Stu. No one. Second, let the tsundere flow through you. You know you want the Gary Stu’s love. You know you need it.
— Sinon: “He knows I’m broken and weak. And he’s trying to console me like a child.” I don’t even know what this means. What’s consoling someone like an adult in this scenario?
— Holy shit, look at Sinon’s legs. How can she even stand?
— Kirito: “If he points that gun at me again, I might abandon you and run.” As if anyone would buy that. But anyway, Kirito claims he can’t just throw his life away, because he has people he has to protect in both the real world and the virtual world. Y’know, his waifu and his e-daughter. So knowing this, why did he take this dumb job? Naturally, the first argument is that he’s the only who can stop Death Gun, but I don’t believe that. That’s just a story contrivance.
— Sinon suggests that they just wait it out until the tournament ends. Kirito claims he can’t allow this, because who knows how many people Death Gun will end up killing if they just sit here and do nothing. Again, Sinon can’t help but think that the Gary Stu is super-duper strong. Well, that’s really heroic and all, but I seem to recall you sitting there and doing nothing as the Pale Rider took Dyne out. Sure, sure, the Pale Rider wasn’t Death Gun, but at the time, Kirito didn’t know that for sure. Plus, when Death Gun did show up, all Kirito could do was yell at Sinon to shoot her gun. A real hero would’ve jumped into the fray and tried to save Pale Rider. So again, don’t buy the Gary Stu’s bullshit.
— But whatever. Yo, if you can’t afford to sit around and wait, why not just win the tournament? Y’know, go around and take the other competitors out before Death Gun can get to them. Not only would you save their lives (not really), you’d also win the goddamn tournament. It’s fucking win-win, bros.
— Inspired by Kirito’s empty heroism, Sinon steels her resolve and claims that she’ll go out there and help fight Death Gun. They then argue a bit over this, because Kirito thinks she’ll just die. That’s when the girl drops the bomb: “I don’t care if I die.” Sinon feels she’s even weaker than when she was five years ago, so she’d rather die than be like this. Yo, why didn’t you come to this realization a few minutes ago, when you could’ve actually fought back against the bad guy? Sure is convenient to have an epiphany now in some cave!
— Kirito: “No one dies alone. When someone dies, the part of them that lives inside someone else also dies. You already live inside me.”
— Oh man, it doesn’t stop.
Sinon: “That’s impossible. I haven’t given myself to anyone else.”
Kirito: “WE’RE ALREADY INVOLVED, WOMAN”
I know they’re safe from the satellites in this cave, but could you imagine if Asuna could watch this entire conversation take place? Oh man, what would her face be like? Probably this.
— Wait! Don’t touch that dial! We’re just getting started!
— This scene just keeps going and going. Apparently, Sinon’s ruined for marriage ’cause she’s a murderer. Can Kirito really hold the hands of a killer? Can he?!
— So fucking poignant, bro.
— There’s just something quite transcendent about watching a tsunderekko cry as we stare at her bizarrely-shaped ass.
— Then afterwards…
Holy shit, when will this end? For the love of God, when will this end?
— Sinon finally tells her sob story to the Gary Stu. Yes, yes, confess your sins to the Gary Stu. Only then will you be forgiven…
— The girl is literally telling us she’s scared to die, but that doesn’t mean the camera won’t take the opportunity to lingeringly pan across her tiny, nubile body.
— Then Kirito tells his story to the girl. Alright, there’s nothing new here. I’m done, my friends. I’m fucking done. How do I feel about this week’s episode, you ask?