Sword Art Online II Ep. 12: So what does it mean when the bullets touch?

bullets touching

A-1 Pictures made me watch Kirito and Sinon sit in a cave and talk my ears off for more than an episode, and this is the “payoff?” This is the best you could come up with for the pivotal fight scene of the GGO arc? For fuck’s sakes, guys.

— We see in the cold opening that there are only four people left in the game, and this includes Death Gun. Good lord, you just know our Gary Stu will not only defeat Death Gun, but win the whole tournament as well. And of course, Sinon with have feelings for him that she can’t resolve, because as soon as Kirito logs out of GGO, he’ll see Asuna dutifully waiting by his side. She may be old hat, but you just can’t beat a loyal woman with maxed out cooking skills, huh? Yep, that’s pandering at its finest.

— There should be five people left, but that fifth guy is probably already dead, so who cares? Let’s just get on with it already.

SAO‘s excuse for no one showing up to look for our heroes? Oh, Death Gun has been busy taking them out! What a nice guy! As a result, Kirito and Sinon have been perfectly safe this entire time. They’re even safe from Death Gun too, who has been trying to look for them! Maybe if he had just followed his victims instead of shooting them the first chance he got, he might have found our heroes, but grr, I’m a grim specter of death! Fear me!

— Sinon: “Run and gun. A style where you run, shoot, and run again.” That’s a style? Really? As opposed to what? Stand, shoot, and stand some more?

Sword Art Online II - 1211

— I like how this Dark Wind guy finished second in the last Bullet of Bullets tournament only because he lost to the champion’s “rare gun and armor.” The best part is how most players consider Dark Wind to have been the better of the two, but hey, what can you do when gear matters this much? Yo, this is totally a legitimate esport, you guys. It’s a test of skill where people can hide out in caves until most of the competition are dead, then they emerge to defeat you with their super rare drops. We all know the best CS:GO teams out there are the ones that grind for purps.

— Last thing you want to hear from a sniper: “I’ve always been good at closing my eyes to something scary.”

— Good lord, they’re still talking. Aaaaand they’re still talking about the missing fifth person, which I thought we had already covered at the start of the episode. Most of all, I just don’t know why A-1 Pictures couldn’t have these two do something — anything — as they discuss their plans for defeating Death Gun. Maybe our heroes could double-check the status of their weapons and armor. Maybe our heroes could make minor repairs. Maybe our heroes could make their way to the fight location. Goddamn, do something! But no, they can’t do anything. Kirito and Sinon continue to sit in a cave and talk our ears off.

— Blah blah blah, Death Gun might have two partners in the real world instead of just one. Great, whatever.

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— Sinon wonders why there are so many people so hellbent on being player killers. Kirito speculates that it’s the same reason why he tries so hard to be a swordsman. So you’re telling me that all these people want to be serial killers? Not only that, they’re all young MMO gamers, they all play the same game, and they all live in the same approximate place? It’s such a stupid way to be a killer, too. Remember, according to Kirito, they must follow their one rule: a person must die both in-game and outside the game.

— Sinon: “But PKs have their own pride and resolve.” Uh-huh, there sure is a lot of pride and resolve in ganking people you massively out-level and out-gear, but that’s none of my business.

— Kirito says he has to fulfill his duty and stop these murderers from harming anyone else. Alright, that sounds cool to me. Stop murderers from murdering people! Who’s going to disagree with that? Unfortunately, our Gary Stu can’t shut up. He goes on to say he can only atone for his sins if he can stop Death Gun. What sins? Oh, the sin of killing those two Laughing Coffin members and defending yourself against the creepy Kuradeel. Give me a break, SAO. Once again, SAO tries to create drama out of nothing. Kirito basically killed two murderers, thereby preventing them from killing more people. As for Kuradeel, I’m sure he would’ve raped and skinned Asuna eventually if he wasn’t stopped. But oh no, I’m a killer! It’s one of those situations where the writer wants Kirito to have some sort of sin to atone for, but at the same time, he doesn’t really want to give the Gary Stu an actual sin. It’s like going to a job interview and claiming your biggest weakness is that you just work too gosh darn hard. In Kirito’s case, he has to atone for preventing murderers and rapists from doing the bad things that they do. Ugh, what a sinful bastard! How can he even come home to his bed full of haremettes at night? Seriously though, I’d have more respect for the show if it would just stop trying to be so deep and meaningful. By giving our Gary Stu this flaccid non-trauma, SAO is really just embarrassing itself.

— Let’s just casually center the camera on Sinon’s (non-)rack.

fist bump of justice

— Aaaaand now we have the fist bump of justice.

— As Sinon tracks Dark Wind from a distance, she sees that the guy is smiling. He probably thinks he’s about to win this whole thing. That’s another problem with the story: the rest of the players are apparently idiots. If Kirito can notice that the numbers just don’t add up, i.e. the mysterious whereabouts of the fifth person, then how come no one else has realized it either? Or, y’know, how come the tournament administrators haven’t already stopped the damn contest because something fishy is going on? The likely truth is that no one but our heroes suspect anything. Our heroes are just exceptional snowflakes.

— What’s A-1 Pictures strategy to show us that Kirito is engaging his keen sense and intuition? By putting this ugly filter on everything!

— Yeah, dude, just feel the enemy’s killer instinct. ‘Cause that’s one of the many things that is possible in VRMMOs. Ever since patch 3.49273, killer intent is now recorded and transmitted through the headsets.

— Do you like flashbacks? ‘Cause here’s another one! How many times do we need to see Kirito fighting those Laughing Coffin assholes? Not enough times, I’ll tell you what.

— Oh goodie, bullet time. That’s fresh and original. Not only that, the bullet is strong enough to destroy this structure over here. Yeah, a single bullet.

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— Dark Wind is taken out so quickly, it’s not even interesting. If one of Death Gun’s partners is lurking nearby Dark Wind’s home, why wouldn’t he just kill the bastard anyway? I mean, he’s already a cold-blooded murderer. But ah, our one rule, you guys! We’re PKers have our pride and resolve too, y’know.

— Sinon soons spots Death Gun, but when she takes a shot at him, the bad guy takes a shot at her too. You guys already saw the silly bullet thing up above, so there’s no need to cover it again. In any case, Sinon and Death Gun simply manage to take out the other person’s sniper rifle. Sinon is now useless, and she can thus step out of the way and let the Gary Stu do what the Gary Stu does best, i.e. hog all the glory.

— This duel between Kirito and Death Gun will be easy right? After all, our Gary Stu has his badass sword and Death Gun doesn’t! Wrong. Death Gun proceeds to pull out a sword of his own (it looks like a rapier or an estoc). Yes, the final battle of the GGO arc will come down to a fucking sword fight. Who needs guns! Certainly not this gun-based MMO with the word ‘gun’ literally in its name!

— Look at Sinon’s concerned face as she sees Death Gun land a hit on her precious harem lead. It’s fucking anime. You can literally draw her in a way that makes her look worried, but A-1 Pictures can’t even hack that.

— Oh man, there’s just too much action in this week’s episode. Quick, cut to our dutiful waifu rushing to be at the Gary Stu’s side. Gotta have Asuna do something, y’know? How else is she going to prove her worth? But yeah, literally all Asuna’s done in this sequel is watch Kirito on a livestream, then run to his side. This girl started out as a warrior too, but once she took off her clothes in the original series, it’s been downhill ever since.

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— This MMO battle is just so intense!

— Death Gun is so deathy, even his name is just German for death. Death death death. Do you see the symbolism? Do you?! DEATH DEATH DEATH!

— We cut back to Kirito and Death Gun, and surely, these two are engaged in a life-or-death battle, right? Right?

Death Gun: “Looks like you should have studied more, black swordsman. You can make it with the gun-blade skill. Though the length and weight can’t be much more than this.”

Are you kidding me? Are you two idiots really talking about crafting right now?

Kirito: “Then I’m afraid you wouldn’t be able to make a blade I’d like.”
Death Gun: “You still like blades with high strength requirements?”

Yo, the blade’s just not long enough for the Gary Stu. It needs to be big and heavy. That’s what MMO chicks dig.

— Death Gun is surprised Kirito even remembers anything about Laughing Coffin. Really? You don’t think the hero of Aincrad would remember the notorious player-killing guild?

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— Fuck me, man. There’s no fighting here. Instead, these two are just going to stand there and talk. And fine, dialogue between the protagonist and the antagonist can be compelling. But these two idiots aren’t having a meaningful conversation. They’re just repeating shit we already know! Why the hell is Kirito even bothering to explain Death Gun’s modus operandi to Death Gun himself? Heh, lemme tell you how you really kill people!

— “You can’t remember my real name! ‘Cause I never told you my real name! Bwahahahahahahaha!”

— The bad guy then tells us that his sword is made from the best metal you can find in the game: space battleship’s armor! Wait, what the hell is space battleship’s armor doing in a gun-based MMO that, well, doesn’t have spaceships?

— Anyway, Death Gun lunges for Kirito again, and as you can see, the animation in this anime is just amazing. Unfortunately, the episode finally comes to an end, so you’ll have to tune in next time for the not-so-exciting continuation of this duel between the Gary Stu and some pathetic PKer. Having said that, we still managed to waste over half of this week’s episode on pointless conversations about stuff the audience either already knew or could have surmised for themselves. I thus can’t help but imagine next week’s episode will just be more of the same.

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25 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II Ep. 12: So what does it mean when the bullets touch?”

  1. A few days ago I finally went ahead and looked up spoilers for how SAO as a whole ended in the web novels, after seeing the phrase “Star King Kirito” being tossed around piqued my morbid curiosity. I’ll just say I guess I’ve officially given up hope of SAO ever getting truly BETTER now… yet at the same time, I’m more fascinated with this trainwreck of a franchise than ever before.

    Another thing of note about this episode – apparently until Asuna turned up, it literally had not fucking occurred to this government agency or whatever to set things up so that the nurse could actually see what Kirito was doing in the game corresponding with his condition in the real world. In fact, pretty much everything about this plot hinges on the Virtual Division being wildly incompetent, but I guess that’s really nothing new here.

    1. I pretty much want A-1 Pictures and whoever’s associated with them on SAO to pretty much go bankrupt dry animating everything.

      But that’s never going to happen, seeing how the man-children who like this garbage will just keeping throwing money at them.

      1. SPOILERS that no one here probably really cares about: apparently he spends 200 years in a virtual world, invents virtual space flight or something, takes on the title of “Star King”, has a DBZ-esque battle with some sort of cosmic horror, and then promises his virtual civilization that he will one day return to lead them into the real world. I guess that’s really the only suitable way for SAO to end anyway.

        Also, the summary I read suggested that he was implied to have had multiple wives.

        1. *facepalm*

          The retardness of this story is over whatever count DBZ stopped measuring power level. Are you sure it’s not a fanfiction? But then again, with the exception of very few LN, most are fanfiction tier stories.

        2. This sounds ridiculously stupid. This is coming from a fan of SAO too. Well… former fan? Something this stupid………………………………………. ugh. Well SAO is not being translated anymore so I can put it out of my mind.

  2. So, that random guy was Death Gun?
    it’s somehow disappointing, I was expecting idk… someone else,
    this anime doesn’t pays off by any means.

    1. This is really just a throwaway side story somehow inflated into an actual arc. Hell, it was hardly even about an MMO. We hardly got any world-building this time around.

  3. it would be more plausible if he just say his sin is about Sachi, the lost Lenore whom he never got to give his big D yet before his unfortunate demise rather than the Yaoi act with Laughing Coffin.

    1. Nobody’s got time for EXTRA female characters. We already got a handful that don’t even matter now.
      Sachi might as well have never existed.

  4. 1. Again, gum-flapping. Needless gum-flapping. Needless gum-flapping about shit we already know. About shit we already know that nobody gives a second shit about. Whoever thought that this was a great way to fill for time needs to get slapped consecutively in a public square. Let’s bring back the Dark Ages-style punishment.
    Fuck, it’s egregious enough that they had to stretch this shitty arc as far as they could but couldn’t they have filled for time in a more artistic way? Maybe I dunno, actually using the creative process and ADDING new things like a filler arc? Like, I fuckin’ HATE filler arcs but they could have added some non-consequential action to the side instead of this tedious talking.
    Fuck the integrity of the canon. As if there was anything here of value to preserve.

    2. Other characters don’t matter. Hell, even Asuna and the other haremettes don’t matter. And they’re main characters!
    So Dark Wind? Yeah, nobody cares. Also, if Reki knew anything about MMO’s this nobody’s name wouldn’t be “Dark Wind”; it’d be more like “DarkW1nd143” because we all know that the original name would’ve been taken seconds after GGO came online.
    But really, we’ve already established that Reki knows shit all about the theme and setting of his own work, much less of anything.

    3. The whole PK-er thing is so retarded. There’s no pride or prestige in PK-ing. Even if you go up to the BIGGEST NERD you know who lives and breaths MMO’s, I’m pretty sure they’d go, “Yeah, PvP and PK-ing’s pretty fun, I guess.” They don’t act like Gold-medal winning Olympians about this shit. They know it’s a game, it’s for fun and they don’t ACTUALLY get anything in real-life other than chilling with friends and some entertainment.
    But hey, maybe these human-looking creatures in the SAO universe actually do get a sense of pride from PK-ing. What sad little rodents, quivering and living out their lives underneath the Gary Stu God. They’ll never catch up to his God-tier skillz. What a waste of a life.
    Pro-tip: if you actually want to care about PK-ing and PKK-ing, go watch or play .HACK.

    4. Great points on the grossly artificial nature of the “trauma” that Kirito shits himself over. It’s as realistic as the “chicken” in fast food chicken nuggets. Again, it’s just incredibly bad writing on Reki’s part who literally put no thought in “crafting” these “characters”.
    What a great yawn-inspiring internal look at the Gary Stu. It’s enough to put someone to sleep.

    5. Leaving Sinon weaponless and helpless is so incredibly appropriate for this show that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It’s so indicative to every character other than the Gary Stu. Sinon has to look on like a damsel concerned for the Knight in Shining Armor, like every other female character in this show. The utter lack of respect for characters still leaves me speechless.
    Hey, let’s look at the bright side. At least she isn’t tied up and threatened to be raped while being licked on the face. But I’m pretty sure something like that would’ve led to some more wanks by the creeps watching this shitty show.

    6. Oh, Asuna. You make feminists the world over faint from both rage and shock.
    Shouldn’t you be too busy buying groceries? You know, to prepare a bento with wiener octopi, tamagoyaki and a cute graphic in the rice? I’m sure your danna-sama will be hungry and will appreciate a waifu-made meal when he wakes up after SAVING THE WORLD. Make sure you’re wearing a naked apron, this season’s been dry without fan-service starring you.
    Better hurry bitch, I’m sure that the rest of the harem will be making their’s as well. But don’t worry honey, you got max cooking skills remember? Of course MMO skills carry over into RL.

    7. Death Gun? *Yawn*.
    Don’t we have a better bad guy lined up? What? Nobody but him came in to audition? Fuck, well, might as well then. No, don’t change the name; it matches the camp factor of this show.

    8. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that everybody with half a brain half-expected that the final battle with be a sword fight. I mean, why else would we give the Gary Stu a sword in a gun-centric setting? MAXIMUM SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE TEEN POWER FANTASY MODE ACTIVATED. Like Christ. There’s a bunch of shit here, but really the only thing that needs to be said is that not even the SETTING is respected. One of the pillars holding up any story?
    But is anyone really expecting anything else? Reki doesn’t even respect his characters (the most important aspect of a story), so it really shouldn’t be a surprise when he probably thought “fuck it” about the setting near its end.

    At this point the show is a worm’s death throes after it’s been frying on a blazing hot summer’s sidewalk. The expectations are low but the only expectation that I have is that the finale will shatter it even then.

    “Please, [A-1 Pictures], I want some more…”

    1. Fuck the integrity of the canon. As if there was anything here of value to preserve.

      From the sounds of it, however, if they had stayed true to the canon, this arc wouldn’t have been so long. But why would A-1 Pictures want to squeeze in another arc for SAO2 when they could just save it for another sequel? Normally, I wouldn’t even care. Bring on another SAO sequel. People seem to enjoy it when I trash the show, and I’m sure it brings A-1 Pictures plenty of money. But what has A-1 Pictures done with the money they got from the original SAO? Have they turned around and used it to fund awesome projects? Not that I can see… No one’s going to convince me Shinsekai Yori was a good show.

  5. “But no, they can’t do anything. Kirito and Sinon continue to sit in a cave and talk our ears off.”
    Haha So, E Minor: better or worse than just having them walk in a circle around each other and spouting the same dialogue?

    Still, this episode did not disappoint…
    …In that it delivered just as little as we expected.
    Well, not entirely. I mean who would’ve thought the final battle seriously, SERIOUSLY would end with a sword dual?

    Still having a ball with your following on this series, mate, though MahoKou seems to be stealing its crown in terms of awful. haha
    I suppose the real question is, do you think we’ll ever get another burst of Kirito-power to truly trump the majesty of becoming Immortal Object?

    1. Haha So, E Minor: better or worse than just having them walk in a circle around each other and spouting the same dialogue?

      Funny you should say that, ’cause I’ll be blogging the upcoming Fate/stay night series. Let’s see how long I last.

  6. @eternia

    oh please, everyone know that illya is of legal age and boobs… well she is just getting early experience since she was younger, not really a problem.

    you watch kaleid liner prisma illya too much.

  7. Boring plot, horrible animation….
    You know at least aldnoah zero had the common decency to have all those annoying fuckers die.
    Autism stu: dead.
    Princess dumbass: DEAD.
    Count Sülzbaum: dEaD
    Damn they missed the drunkard but hey, 3 out of 4 thats a good number actually.
    AT LEAST they wiped the board clean of these black holes of non-development.
    Perhaps this series can now bring us something interesting next year.

    Oh sorry, this is the SAO post. sorry for derailment. But SAO is just so.. boring.

  8. It seems like they could’ve made the re-exposition marginally more tolerable had Kirito been using it to try to bluff DEATH GUN. I mean, even if he’s worried about Sinon being killed, he can’t really do anything about it at the moment. What he CAN do is prevent her from being killed by the phoney Death Gun ritual and troll the hell out of Death Gun by daring him to kill him IRL. Which he knows Death Gun can’t do because he’s in a secure location being watched by at least a nurse and I presume at least some kind of government security detail (I mean surely his agent buddy spared one dude to sit around and watch for suspicious people, right?). Also, HE’S BEING TELEVISED. He could call out Death Gun being a faker who operates as a team like he figured out several episodes ago and dare him to kill him, something that he can’t do (even if he kills him in GGO, Kirito just logs right back on and proves to everyone watching the tournament that he didn’t really die). Hell, tell Death Gun that you’ve already figured it out and cops are on the way to all the RL addresses of the people still in the tournament. It’s a bluff, but how the hell is Death Gun gonna know that? Worst case is he can’t stop his partner from being arrested, best case is his partner is watching the game on a phone or something and decides to bug out just in case.

    But PKer pride or whatever the hell, I’m sure that’s it. Nevermind that at this point Death Gun could actually defeat Kirito and his entire plan would be completely ruined. It’s a foregone conclusion that Kirito will win next episode, but seriously he doesn’t even have to. He could let Death Gun kill him, log back in to prove the point, and by loudly telling everyone who is watching he’s bound to get through to his government buddy even if he can’t message him. In fact, they’ve already shown he hangs out in ALO, which is watching the tournament. This is actually the FASTEST way to ensure Sinon is OK as there’s no other way to get the authorities’ attention because mumble mumble can’t log out during the tournament because ???.

    Most shows or movies that set up “everything is being televised” actually use that at some point as a way to either make the hero look bad through selective editing or to get the villain’s plan to fall apart as it’s blabbed to the entire viewing public. SAO set this up, let Kirito and Sinon hide in a cave for multiple episodes, and now Kirito is just going to ignore that televising his claims against Death Gun essentially prove that he’s a fraud and could actually save Sinon’s life. But no, he has to defeat Death Gun in the game, because if he does that then… uh… how does this ensure she’s not in danger anymore, again? If he kills Death Gun in-game then the guy’s partner could still murder her IRL out of spite or something.

    1. how does this ensure she’s not in danger anymore, again? If he kills Death Gun in-game then the guy’s partner could still murder her IRL out of spite or something.

      He just won’t, gawd! Don’t you have any pride as a murderer!

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