Busy, busy day, so let’s just get Kirito’s delusions of grandeur out of the way. As you’ll recall, the author put yet another SAO heroine in danger of rape just so Kirito can burst in and act all badass. Sadly, we’re in the real world, so we won’t see our pathetic boyhero chop Sinon’s would-be rapist into a million little pieces like he did with Oberon the Fairy King. Instead, brace yourselves for Sinon burying her face into Kirito’s manly, manly chest, but nevertheless coming to the sad realization that she’s just a side-story haremette. With that knowledge, she can do no more but fade into the background as we prepare ourselves for a new arc. Hey, it happened to Asuna, and she’s the waifu!
— I know crazy people, you guys. And what they do is climb on top of someone and just repeat said someone’s name over and over until the hero can make his triumphant entrance!
— Why is he telling her to run? Where are the cops? Where’s Asuna? Did she drop by the hospital just to be by his side, but when Kirito decided to play hero, she’s like, “Okay, be safe!” Also, what did Kirito tell the nurse? Y’know, the nurse who’s supposed to be in charge of his health? According to her, he was really dehydrated, you guys. Did she just let a guy who’s been lying in bed for hours to just charge off by himself to stop a known murderer?
— Instead of calling the cops, Kirito tried to be a hero. Instead of kneeing the bad guy in the face then grabbing Sinon and run, Kirito tried to hold the bad guy back. So you’re damn right he got you.
— I’m not even amused by the fact that Sinon ran back to save her harem lead. Again, she would’ve given up in last week’s episode, but the thought of Kirito coming to see her gave her strength. So whatever, her character hasn’t undergone any breakthrough in my mind. She doesn’t act for herself.
— Sinon looks at Kirito’s wound; she even pulls up his shirt. Hm. Hm. Yes. Quite. Just one question: WHY HAVEN’T YOU CALLED THE POLICE? I’m not quite sure what I’m looking at, though. He got a condom stuck on his left nipple? By the way, psst, call the cops.
— Oh, Sinon wipes the liquid away, then puts her hand on the Gary Stu’s tiny, tiny chest. The cooooops. The cooooooppppssssss.
— Y’know, she hasn’t killed Kyoji. I’m not saying she should, but she hasn’t. So at any point in time, the guy could come to his senses and see his defenseless crush sitting before him. But hey, let’s caress the Gary Stu’s chest like we’ve got all the fucking time in the world, baby.The cops.
— Sinon: “Hey, what is this thing that’s stuck to you?” Hm, hm, good question.The cops.But thanks to that awesome question, Kirito bolts upright as if he’s perfectly A-OK.The cops.Apparently, he still had an electrode from a heart monitor stuck to him!The cops.So he didn’t get injected at all! Kyoji missed entirely.The cops.Oh, the coincidences!
— Sinon starts shaking Kirito, because he had made her worry.The cops.Haha, that scamp!
— Kirito: “Is he okay?” Another great question!The cops.Let’s reach over and feel his pulse.The cops.It’s the least we can do for a murderer and wannabe rapist. Then, let’s turn around and thank the Gary Stu for coming.The cops.We wouldn’t want to be rude, now would we?
— Sinon starts sobbing, so Kirito slides over to put his hand on her shoulder. There, there… it’s okay. And with that, the scene comes to an end. I can only assume that they eventually called the cops but that doesn’t change the fact that this scene was incredibly dumb as hell. It’s amazing how these two idiots are the winners of some massive PVP tournament, because they have no common sense or survival instinct whatsoever.
— The next day, we see Sinon sitting alone as her bullies from school round the corner. Y’see, they had called her out, and she stupidly complied. But it’s different this time! She’s totally not scared of guns (read: penises) anymore! It’s quite simple, really. What? You think a girl joining a game full of guys and guns just so she can shoot down said guys isn’t symbolic of anything? You think the Gary Stu acquiring an androgynous avatar to get closer to the girl doesn’t mean anything either?
“B-but the author is too dumb to intend that!”
He doesn’t have to intend anything.
“What about Kyoji?! She was friends with him before he went all rapey on her!”
I’m not saying she was literally scared of men. I’m not saying she shakes like a leaf whenever she meets one. Obviously, this isn’t the case. I’m just saying she’s got unresolved issues towards the opposite sex ever since her traumatic incident at the post office. The gun is just a stand-in for something deeper: she has no fucking agency. If she had been a boy, everyone would call her a hero. But because she’s a girl, it’s all weird and shit that she fired a gun. This wasn’t a throwaway line in the previous episode: “I’m sure you’re the only girl in Japan who’s killed a real bad guy with a real gun.” Sinon’s supposed to be different, tainted, corrupted, and all that bullshit just because she’s shot a man with a gun. Her own mom was scared of her. She’s been robbed of her moment of heroism all because she’s a girl. So in the real world, she doubles down on being the helpless girl who can’t do anything as if to overcompensate. Then in the virtual world, she literally wields the longest penis (sniper rifle) she can find, which she then uses to penetrate men with her seed (bullets). So who is Sinon really? The shy, weak girl in real life? Or the badass, buttcrack-showin’ sniper in GGO? The answer is somewhere in the middle. The lesson — in theory, anyway — is that Sinon should just learn to accept herself instead of swinging from one extreme to the next. Her exposure therapy doesn’t work until she meets Kirito, because, well, guns were never the real issue to begin with. Why else would she be able to use guns in the virtual world and be shit-scared of a toy gun in the real world? In the virtual world, she gets to be the aggressor with anonymity. In the real world, she can’t stand up for herself, because everyone knows who she is.
So Sinon meets Kirito, who’s not like any of the other guys in GGO. He looks like a girl, he only uses a handgun (and even then, he barely uses it anyway), and he spends a lot of his time getting all emotional about his stupid feelings (we sat in a cave for an entire episode just to talk about his dumb feelings). And yeah, Kirito still uses a sword, which is a phallic symbol in its own right, but therein lies the rub. Using a sword allows Kirito to look fabulous. Guns are cold and utilitarian. You aim and you shoot. Done. With a sword, Kirito expresses himself. He twirls like a fucking ballerina. None of his movements are necessary whatsoever, but he gets to put his feelings on display. Anyway, despite all of Kirito’s flaws, he accepts who he is in order to save the day. So blah blah blah, watching the Gary Stu in action gives Sinon the courage to finally accept who she is as well, even if that means she’s a girl who had once pulled a trigger and murdered a man. But this isn’t an empowering story by any fucking means. In the end, she just allows herself to be saved over and over. Salvation is just tacit acceptance of your gender role: sure, sure, accept who you are, but afterwards, let the Gary Stu take care of you. And yes, she does technically save Kirito’s life in return. But again, she only acts for the Gary Stu, because of the Gary Stu, so on and so forth. When Kyoji was all over her and she could have honestly kicked him hard in the crotch, she didn’t do a damn fucking thing until Kirito showed up. Sure, she gains the courage to act, because her friend is in danger, but considering her trauma, her triumphant moment should have come on her own without Kirito’s help. Sinon should have been able to defend herself the same way she had defended herself at the post office: kick Kyoji in the dick, then stab him with the syringe. Instead, her heroism just gets robbed again.
And that’s the story. Buy my analysis or not, I don’t care. I already anticipate many of you guys to balk at what I’ve written above. Overthinking it, taking it too seriously, the writer couldn’t have intended this, blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all before.
— So is that an airsoft gun in the bully’s hands? I don’t know, I don’t know guns. I don’t care about guns. But again, that’s the point of this dumb scene. The bully merely steals her brother’s gun, but she doesn’t know a damn thing about it. Sinon knows what the gun is (1911 whatever), she even thinks the bully’s brother has good tastes, and she knows how to use the gun properly. Before, this would’ve troubled her, i.e. “Why can’t I just be a normal girl like everyone else?” Now, she accepts it, which allows her to stand up for herself. The only problem is that she should’ve had the same courage with Kyoji.
— Afterwards, she comes to the school gates just to find Kirito being all badass and shit. Seriously, he’s just standing there, leaning against his motorcycle. He’s even got his back turned to the school. Heh, I bet you girls want to know what I’m all about, dontcha?
— Unfortunately for our heroes, the third culprit is still on the run. Oh looooord, who wants to bet he shows up later to fuck with Kirito? Actually, this will so obviously happen, it’s not even worthy of a bet. I sure am glad we got this information through a boring, expository voiceover from Kirito, though!
— It’s just a matter of time before the third guy is caught, Kirito tells us! You’d think after all that our heroes have been through, maybe the government would put them under some sort of protection until the third and final culprit has been caught. But nah, that won’t happen.
— I don’t know why Kirito is now explaining to us again how the Death Gun trio went about stalking and killing their victims. Haven’t we been over this?
— More filler as Kirito painstakingly explains to us why Kyoji had gone mad. Great. The arc is basically over, but we’re still padding this shit out. I’m not going to discuss what Kirito’s saying here. It’s just old information. Even the resulting conversation with the government official is just more old information.
— I like how Sinon is also wearing a tie. How very formal.
— Here’s where we explain why the older brother did what he did: he had a weak constitution, and his father didn’t believe in him. How sad. So let’s go murder people! Man, the father must have believed in him even less when he got himself stuck in SAO like an idiot.
— Kirito pontificates on the dark side of VRMMOs: “Reality starts to seem less real.” And in a better anime, this would totally be a salient point. Unfortunately, this is SAO, so it’s painfully unexplored. The idea that reality becomes less real is merely something we hear about at the end of an arc after the bad guy has been caught. It’s discussed in a rather clinical way.
— Haha, sure, Kirito left things in the virtual world, and as such, there’s less of him here. Whatever, man. As for Sinon, she accepts that her reality is wherever she is, but we’ve been over that so…
— More talk about people’s realities. Kyoji apparently abandoned the real world to make GGO his reality. He then proceeded to kill people in the real world. He also tried to rape Sinon. He’s got an odd way of abandoning the real world. But despite this, Sinon even requests to see Kyoji in person. I’m barely keeping myself awake…
— Through a letter, Red-eyed Zaza taunts Kirito one last time. Time for a new arc?!
— But first, Kirito must properly introduce Sinon to the rest of his haremettes. Y’see, she’s got to have a place to stay safe while he runs off to yet another virtual world to gallivant about with yet another hot anime babe. So Sinon, meet Asuna. Asuna, Sinon. Just look how pleased Asuna and Lisbeth are!
— Dude even introduces his girlfriend as “the berserk healer.” You two had virtual sex, but just because a new girl is here, you neg her? That’s low, man. That’s low even for you. Plus, since when did she become a healer? I thought she was a capable swordswoman.
— It turns out Kirito blabbed all about Sinon’s trauma to his friends without asking for permission. That’s… that’s pretty fucked up. Then Asuna and Lisbeth went to Sinon’s old hometown to drag someone from the past back into the present. What the hell? You guys are a bunch of nosy assholes. Yeah, yeah, they have good intentions, but man, you don’t force your good intentions on people like this. But all of a sudden, a mother and her daughter enters the room. The two of them then thank Sinon for saving their lives back at the post office that day. But what did Kirito and company do? Just ask around the post office about that day? Yo, remember when a girl saved you guys from a gunman? Anyone want to come all the way out to some bar to give her thanks? Anyone? C’moooooon, she’s all traumatized and shit! Who wants to be nice and give her thanks! What a dumbass way for this arc to come to an end.
— Bunch of tearjerking stuff follows, but I don’t care. Let’s go watch something else.