Sword Art Online II Ep. 20: Running away from it all

Sword Art Online II - 2002

After meeting Yuuki’s guild, Asuna tries to have a leisurely stroll through a generic MMO town. On the surface, she seems rather happy and pleased with herself. After all, not only did she just make some new friends, she has the golden opportunity to lead a raid group. It’s like she’s gone back in time to the old Asuna — y’know, the one that wasn’t just a waifu. All of a sudden, she is forcibly disconnected from the game. The screenshot above is apparently what this experience looks like. It’s just astounding how lazy A-1 Pictures has become. They don’t even try to do anything cool or trippy with it. You literally just zoom out until white nothingness completely surrounds you. In any case, our heroine wakes up to see her mean, old mother glaring at her. God, stop telling me to get a life and worry about my future! I joke, of course… somewhat. I don’t believe in arranged marriages, but other than this issue, Asuna’s mother isn’t really being unreasonable with her demands. And just look at Asuna’s reaction. She sounds like someone who has just been violated. No, your mom unplugged your game. Moms have been unplugging games, TVs, and computer monitors for a long time now. They’ve done it so much that I don’t even see it as a big deal anymore.

Not only that, Asuna lost track of time and forgot all about having dinner with her mother. Put yourself in the mother’s shoes, then. You see your daughter — who, I must add, is two years behind most of her peers thanks to the Aincrad incident — spend all of her day playing these VRMMOs. It’s not even like, “Oh, I’ll just park myself in front of a TV and play games all day, but I’ll answer you if you call to me.” No, Asuna becomes completely unaware of the real world when she plays these games. Asuna also has to lie down in order to spend time with her virtual friends. Like I’ve said in the previous post, you hurt your physical body in order to level up or gear out your virtual body. It doesn’t matter what the author intended. I don’t care if his intention is to portray a universe where the virtual world is merely just as important as the real world. Rather, we should pay attention to what he ends up accomplishing. And what he’s accomplished here is a story where these characters necessarily kill themselves in the real world in order to indulge their virtual personas.

Sword Art Online II - 2014

Asuna is so addicted to these games that she even forgets to eat. So what would you do if you were in her mother’s shoes? She’s watching her own flesh and blood suffer, so of course, she’d try and take control of her daughter’s life. Asuna’s mother might not be the most affectionate person out there, but man, most mothers’ hearts would ache at the sight of their child just laying there, motionless and reacting to no real world stimuli. And that’s the kicker! If the virtual world is really just as important as the real world, then you wouldn’t have to choose between the two. Instead, you’d be able to balance your responsibilities between the two worlds. But the virtual world is actually more important, because these characters become so wrapped up in it that almost nothing in the real world can even reach them. The only way for Asuna’s mother to get her daughter’s attention is to literally “pull the plug.” Again, forget what the author intended. Focus instead on what he actually accomplishes. I say “almost nothing” in a previous sentence, because you can apparently shake and jostle a VRMMO player, and in doing so, they’ll get some in-game message telling them to log out and check up on the real world. But think about it. Why is this actually preferable? You’d rather your mom shake and jostle you like you’re a dead corpse? Really?

Not only that, according to her mom, the last time this happened, it took Asuna five whole minutes to wake up. Five minutes of vigorous real world stimuli to bring her back to life, so to speak. That’s ludicrous. What if the house is on fire and you’re being choked out by the smoke. Smoke is nowhere near as vigorous as a concerned mother shaking your lifeless body. Would you just die, then? Asuna whines that she has to say goodbye to people and such, and if you pull the plug on her, she can’t do those things! Man, it’s not like we no longer have phones. Oh right, not everyone will know your phone number. But even then, it’s not like we no longer have chat clients. It’s not like we no longer have Skype-like programs. For fuck’s sake, if you want to say goodbye to your friends, you can still do it outside the game. Asuna and a lot of Sword Art Online apologists act as if all these various means of communication have instantly disappeared simply because VRMMOs now exist. Social media will continue to exist even if VRMMOs become a reality. Asuna doesn’t sound like a poor child who has to deal with her uncaring, cruel mother. Instead, she sounds like a addict.

Sword Art Online II - 2004

Asuna’s mother then says, “What do you mean, ‘say goodbye’? What takes place in that weird game is more important to you than your real commitments?” The “weird game” comment might be a little insensitive, but she’s not wrong. Again, if the goal is argue that the virtual world is just as important as the real world, SAO’s author hasn’t accomplished this. You still have to eat. You still have to pay the bills. You still have to worry about your health. And to even be crude, you still need to fuck in the real world if you want to have kids — real kids and not magical, expository loli. Until you can one day upload your consciousness into an MMO and live forever in a fantasy world, the real world still matters. All the story has done is say, “Oh, well, you can form meaningful friendships in the virtual world.” Well shit, we’ve known this for a long time now. Ever since the Internet became mainstream, people have been making friends in all sorts of virtual worlds — from MUDs to actual MMOs to just people pathetically flirting with each other on Twitter. If this is the message, then SAO ends up saying nothing new whatsoever. In fact, it used to be that you could die in this anime. In other words, the virtual world actually had real consequences! But that hasn’t been a thing since the very first arc of the very first season. Nowadays, it literally comes down to, “Well, I’ve made a friend.” So again, if the goal is to make the virtual world just as important as the real world, I don’t see it.

Naturally, her mother threatens to confiscate the machine if Asuna screws up again. And you know what? I still think this is reasonable. If you play games so much that you forget to even feed yourself, should you complain if your parents forbid you from playing the X-Box for a week or two? The story wants to make it seem like the mother is this horrible, insensitive ogre, but I don’t see it. I just see a worried parent who just isn’t as affectionate as we expect most mothers to be. But outside that, I can see her legitimate worry for her own daughter: “You lost two years of your life to it. I’d think you wouldn’t want to even see it anymore.” Again, another reasonable statement. I get it. The virtual world is important, so Asuna didn’t really “lose” those two years of her life. She spent those two years with the Gary Stu, so in actuality — in her sad, little heart — those two years were super special. At the same time, however, she almost died because of the NerveGear. She almost got raped because of the NerveGear. She was literally held prisoner by some ridiculous maniac because of the NerveGear. This would’ve been a traumatic experience for most people, but Asuna continues to throw herself back into the VRMMO world. It doesn’t matter if the VR headsets are now safe. Think about how this must look to her mother.

Sword Art Online II - 2016

In the end, Asuna petulantly refuses to have dinner anyway. Hilarious. She’s a child through and through. She may be 18, but she’s as immature as a young child who’s throwing a tantrum because her toy has been taken away. Check that. Her toy hasn’t even been taken away yet, and Asuna is already lashing out at her own mother. Again, instead of just stepping up to the plate, and proving to her mother that she can actually be responsible with her life, Asuna opts to play a game all day, lose track of time, and even forget to eat dinner. And why do you suppose the mother pushes her to eat dinner downstairs? Isn’t it because the mother had lost two valuable years as well? Asuna wasn’t the only person who lost two years of her life. Her parents couldn’t spend those two years with their own daughter. Not only is this a significant amount of time, they lost two very important years  as well. You’re supposed to be able to take joy in watching your daughter grow up, especially as she matures into an adult, but Asuna’s mother couldn’t do this. She lost that privilege when Asuna got trapped in Aincrad. This isn’t Asuna’s fault, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem like anyone cares how the mother feels. She lost two years of her daughter’s life, too. The whole thing is just sad all around.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten that Asuna is unhappy with her home life. I haven’t forgotten that she feels as though she has no control over her future. But this isn’t a case where she’s a complete victim, and her mother is just picking on her. Our heroine isn’t pulling her own weight either. Hell, if she keeps skipping dinner, she won’t have any weight to pull at all! But what does Asuna do? Does she put her head down and try and find a solution to her problems? Nah. Instead, Asuna merely gets dressed and wanders out to some park. It’s cold and it’s late, and that’s enough to worry any parent. Nevertheless, Asuna continues to run away from reality. At the park, she looks at her phone and notices that she’s had some missed calls. Two of them are from her own mother. Take a note of the setting. Even in the real world, our heroine opts to put herself in a child’s playground.

Stray notes & observations:

Sword Art Online II - 2017

— Yuuki drags Asuna to meet her guild face to face. I wonder why. Well, at the end of the day, this is a story about a VRMMO, so they’ll probably just do something like fight a raid boss.

— Even this guild has to be generic in its composition. They all fall into neat, cookie-cutter archetypes. The brash hero, the shy guy, the motherly-sounding girl, the older-looking guy with a square jaw, so on and so forth. We don’t really have to learn any of their names, because outside of Yuuki, none of them will receive any significant characterization anyway.

— Yep, they want to beat a floor’s boss monster. If they wanted help, why wouldn’t they just post a guild recruitment? And if the the candidate has to be someone who can go toe-to-toe with Yuuki, then why did they skip Kirito over? Oh, the nerve of these people! Don’t they realize they just passed up the golden opportunity to work with the Gary Stu? But seriously, if you’re looking for a new member, it seems silly that you would test the extra person on just their ability to duel. Being able to tackle a raid boss requires so much more than just the ability to 1v1 someone.

— The gimmick here is that Yuuki’s guild wants to defeat a raid boss with just seven people. Now, in SAO, a full party is made up of exactly seven people. Seven. Isn’t that such an odd number? More like Kirito’s harem + Klein equals seven people, so they just decided to roll with it. Then they decided to double-down on this stupid idea, because a raid group is made up of a whopping forty-nine people. Yeah, seven groups of seven. It’s just ridiculous.

Sword Art Online II - 2024

— Lemme offer some context for the non-MMO readers in the audience. Raids are supposed to be these epic boss fights in MMOs. World of Warcraft‘s old raids used to be 40-man, but they scrapped the idea because it was often a logistical nightmare. WoW is arguably the most successful MMO out there, so it’s not like there’s a lack of players or anything. Recently, Wildstar tried to bring back this hardcore WoW flavor by also doing 40-man raids, but I hear they’ve given up on the idea as well. So as you can see, as much as everyone wants these epic boss encounters to be super epic by having forty people pile onto some poor Olden God, it’s just not realistic. Some MMO veterans with rose-tinted glasses will say that 40-man raids represented the golden days of MMO endgame, but they will often fail to mention that they were likely students with no obligations back then. Few people can really afford to raid for four hours with thirty-nine other people anymore. WoW raids these days are what? 25-man at the highest level? Hell, Final Fantasy XIV raids consist of only eight people. Anyway…

— The idea is that you’re supposed to marvel at Yuuki’s ambition. Wow! Tackling a 49-man raid with just 7 people! That’s insane! Or, y’know, that tells you that the raid is poorly designed. Often times, a raid will require that many people because of the mechanics. There will be adds, tank swaps, so on and so forth. If seven people can do the job of forty-nine, then this raid boss is a joke. But of course, we just saw how boring the previous arc played out. Thrym was supposed to be a raid boss himself, but he was as lame as can be in execution. Anyway, Yuuki’s group has already challenged previous raid bosses with just six, but apparently, another guild keeps beating them to the punch. Well then, we’ll just add one extra person!

— According to one of them, they’ll only be able to play together until the spring. Uh, why’s that? Someone’s going to die or something? Well, Yuuki starts staring solemnly at her drink as Siune states this uncomfortable fact:

Sword Art Online II - 2019

Yeah, Yuuki’s terminal. Oh well! If she’s not going to be a part of Kirito’s harem, she may as well have a short shelf life! That’s hilarious, though, isn’t it? Asuna actually has an opportunity to befriend someone outside Kirito’s harem, but it’ll be a limited time affair. Better make good use of your time here, babe. You ain’t befriend anyone again!

— More exposition explains to us that they want their names etched onto some monument on the first floor. For some odd reason, if you defeat the boss as a single party, everyone gets to be immortalized. If you do it with a full raid group, however, only the party leaders are immortalized. Yeah, we’re hard up on space in SAO. Can’t create more room. What? Do you think this is a fantasy word that we can just make up on the spot or something?

— The guild would’ve been happy to reward Asuna with money for her troubles, but our heroine naturally turns it down. Little does she know, dead people don’t need money.

— When Asuna looks at a reflection of herself, she suddenly see her former self: “But I’m still thinking about odds of victory and safety margins.” That’s pretty funny, if you think about it. She’s already eighteen, so she has to worry about soon becoming an adult. Nevertheless, our heroine years to go back in time. Not just any time, mind you. She wants to feel like her old self… the same self that was trapped in a game with 10,000 other people by some madman. And in this game, you could literally die. In the real world, Asuna claims that she wants to be able to make her own choices, but look at her now. There’s nothing about the old Aincrad that should make you think, “Ah, those were the good ol’ days.” Rather, when they finally managed to escape from that hellhole, they should’ve thought, “Man, we now have our lives ahead of us!” Instead, Asuna just wants to look back! If the argument is that the virtual world is just as important as the real world, then I’m not seeing it. Rather, SAO is arguing that the virtual world is better than the real world. So much better that Asuna is running away from her real life responsibilities.

Sword Art Online II - 2001

— Asuna’s proportions look a bit off…

— Even Asuna can’t help but wonder why the Gary Stu wasn’t chosen instead. God, my e-husband is so much better than me, and I know it! But seriously, why? Why wasn’t Kirito recruited instead? Is it because Asuna did better? Nah, nothing like that! This is SAO, after all! As such, we still have to suck the Gary Stu’s dick: “He figured out my secret.” So in the end, the story couldn’t help making Kirito sound like a bad ass anyway.

— After Asuna’s dramatic encounter with her mother, it’s almost as if the whole thing didn’t happen. Asuna looks a bit distracted from time to time, but she’s back with Yuuki’s guild and busy preparing their small group of seven for the upcoming raid. When will Asuna take her life seriously? When will Asuna worry about her future? Who knows? She’s got a raid to worry about.

— Ah, I don’t miss this. I love how barren and simple the environments used to be and still are. Here, it’s literally just a straight pathway surrounded by a bunch of concentric rings. All hail the future of gaming!

— Right before they reach the boss room, Asuna’s group encounter a bunch of people hiding out by the entrance. I guess she’s had to do this in the past. The whole act of conjuring up some magical fish then blowing them towards the stealth’d players, however, is pretty convoluted.

— I love how Asuna has to remind them of very basic MMO things like don’t just return to town as soon as you can if you die. Also, they should try and study the boss’s patterns. Christ, Yuuki’s guild have done this before. They’ve even said it themselves. They only recruited Asuna because they needed one extra person for the latest boss. I think they know what to do, but as always, the writer has Asuna prattle on and on about commonsensical things in order to fill the silence.

Sword Art Online II - 2007

— Literally just a blank background as a backdrop for our characters. Yes, I know the pathway is white, but just think about it. We’ve reached the final arc of the second season, and there’s no visual imagination here whatsoever. What’s the point of even adapting this to anime if you’re not going to take advantage of the format?

— When they finally enter the boss room, it still looks boring. The outside areas of the battlefield has been set on fire, and you see a few torches here and there. Is that it? Is this really the extent of our imagination?

— The raid boss reveals itself to be a two-headed giant with two hammers. Haha, okay.

— Do we get to see our heroes fight the boss? No, of course not. That’ll be saved until the end when they are finally ready to overcome their trials. Instead, the anime skips right to them returning to town after what sounds like a thorough defeat at the boss’s hands.

— Remember those three players our group had met earlier? They’re spies! Well, not really. Rather, they’re looking to study how other players tackle the boss so that they can relay the same information back to their guild. But wait, doesn’t the door just close behind you, so no one outside the party can see anything? Oh no, you guys! Someone had created a lizard familiar, and it followed our heroes into the battlefield! I’m sorry, but that’s fucking ludicrous.

— In the real world, guilds are very secretive when they are going for world firsts. And as you can expect, there’s no way to just steal secrets this easily. But hey, this is SAO so whatever.

Sword Art Online II - 2020

— But don’t worry, you guys, because master poopsocker Asuna’s got this! They have one hour until the large guild can mobilize its players. In the meantime, they can try their best and beat the boss before that happens! So let’s poopsock some more, friends!

— When our heroes get there, there are twenty people already standing there, waiting to fight the boss. Apparently, it’s one of those games where only one group can fight the boss at a time. Yes, the battlefield isn’t instanced, and that’s hilarious. We have the technology to create realistic virtual worlds, but only one raid group can go for the world first at any given time. This sounds like a terrible MMO.

— Yuuki’s solution? Let’s just fight these twenty jackasses! Certainly, seven organized players can beat twenty unorganized players. But these aren’t just twenty unorganized players. These are twenty players from a high-level guild aiming for world firsts. The idea that Yuuki’s group can just kick their ass is not very believable, but again, it’s SAO so logic just goes flying out the window.

— Yuuki tells Asuna that there are some things you can only share by fighting. For some reason, Asuna takes those words to heart and starts thinking about her mother. As a result, she puts away her wand and takes out her sword. What?

— In the distance, the rest of the guild is about to show up and pull a pincer move on our hapless heroes. But here comes the Gaaaarrrrrrry Stuuuuuuuu:

Sword Art Online II - 2012

Yes, he’s shown up to hold back the other half of the massive endgame guild. Mai waifu wants to feel important, so y’all gonna have to back it up. BACK. IT. UP!

— In the end, Asuna can’t even accomplish anything in the virtual world for herself without Kirito’s blessing, so it’s just hilarious to think she’s got anything figured out in the real world.

— What? You didn’t think Kirito would just disappear for the rest of the arc, did you? Here’s a parting shot to haunt your dreams.

32 thoughts on “Sword Art Online II Ep. 20: Running away from it all

    1. Anonymous

      Which exactly why something like the NerveGear would be such a dangerous piece of tech if it were real. Getting your consciousness getting yanked out like that couldn’t be healthy.

  1. beavis2323

    maybe its me but why is it that yuuki’s group is so butthurt that the other guild got there before then i mean its not that they reserved that boss fight or something

    1. E Minor Post author

      Well, they’ve been spying on Yuuki’s groups, so maybe they’ve violated some sort of VRMMO etiquette.

  2. Killer Queen Arbee

    Here is the thing about internet relationships sometimes, SAO. Sometimes there is drama and fighting in there too. Sometimes people bring their bashing and clashing from the real world into the virtual world, ruining shit to those who are not involved. The Virtual world is not a wonderful wonderland where everything you do there is better and matters more. The virtual world can be as freaking toxic and terrible as the real world.

    Also, yeah after all the trauma Asuna faced of being trapped, almost killed, kidnapped, and raped in a VRMMO, wont she be feel just a bit traumatized to not touch a video game ever again? Unless we have to account that the only probable reason she even plays is because Kirito. Gamer Jesus absolves all gamer trauma!

    And finally… The backgrounds of SAO got so boring, i wonder to myself why cant they just LARP instead IRL. Oh yeah drama twist.

    1. E Minor Post author

      The virtual world can be as freaking toxic and terrible as the real world.

      Yeah, it’s odd how Kirito’s group never get into any sort of arguments.

      1. Killer Queen Arbee

        We truly believe that harem girls are only taught to be painfully sickently plastically nice to each other because no otaku would want dramu and spats.

  3. Anonymous

    Why the hell are people so afraid to die now that there are no consequences? They even have to rely on “spying” to make sure they don’t die while doing the boss.

    Plus why are the rest of the guild not all using some of their abilities to meet up faster? Its like they’re all brain-dead on autorun. Has this author ever played an MMO?

  4. Hotdog

    I literally facepalmed at the ending. Gah, whyyyy

    (Also I meant to comment on this wayyy before, but Sinon does this ridiculous move with her bow. I understand in archery that there’s a technique of letting your bow swing freely after you take a shot, but I highly doubt there’s one where you let it swing COMPLETELY BACKWARDS http://tinypic.com/r/24uwcv6/8)

    1. phoenix7240

      its a type of japanese archery called Kyūdō. i would not question it it is a really old form of archery it isnt worth the time to do so.

  5. Archmage

    “Hell, Final Fantasy XIV raids consist of only eight people.”
    ^ And it’s still a nightmare to find/organize a good group most of the times. Players in this game must all be neet/students if they can raid with 49 people.

    Asuna sounds like she can use some counselling/therapy to help her with gaming addiction, family problem and future planning. Yes her mother is reasonable in regard to her gaming habbit and future plan, but coupled in their strained relationship and arranged marriage and I think Asuna couldn’t see anything beyond her anatagonism. An outsider perspective and good communication from a professional would help a lot.

    Also on Asuna’s childlike personality, I think it’s kinda make sense given her 2 years trapped in mmo. Can’t really grow up and mature all that much when you’re so removed from reality and responsiblities.

    1. Anonymous

      “Outsider prespective and good communication from a professional”?

      My fellow commentator, have you forgotten that we are fully delved into SAO world? Where everybody from outside of Gary Stu’s cult is either a nobody or a bad guy? Also, where psychotherapy doesn’t exist? What? Did Japanese mental health care suddenly materialize after Sinon self-sorted out her trauma via GGO?

      Of course I kid.

    2. E Minor Post author

      Also on Asuna’s childlike personality, I think it’s kinda make sense given her 2 years trapped in mmo.

      Eh, she was 16 when she got trapped. It’s not like she was ten at the start of the story, and didn’t escape from MMO hell until she was already an adult. Plus, the idea behind the Aincrad was that it was real. You could die and all that jazz. So it’s not like she didn’t have to responsibilities.

  6. Anonymous

    1. Honestly by now, I think a lot of us figured out that SAO is a story about LOSERS. And only because this shit is “anime-ed” up to high-fuckin’-heaven is it that these characters aren’t disgusting, overweight pizza-box-&-soda-can-cave dwelling creatures.
    Now, I’m NOT saying that all MMORPGers are like that. But really, if we objectively observe how SAO’s characters act and live, we can all imagine how realistically they’d be like. And it’s incredibly gross and disturbing how sanitized this shit is. We are watching shit about MAN-CHILDREN.
    Well, chalk this up to another instance that Kawahara is full of shit.

    2. Meh, since the almighty VR came along, it made past devices completely obsolete and also erased all forms of said obsolete forms of communication.
    Let’s be realistic: When real virtual reality comes along, it’s still probably going to be a fringe technology other than gaming and simulations. Moms aren’t going to go into a virtual store to order groceries; they’ll probably use a smartphone and send a simple grocery document. And no, when programmers need to write or edit code, they’re not going to dive into the code directly to get work done; they’re going to sit at a desk and use their fingers to type like we do today.
    And the fact that these idiots need to go into virtual reality, nay, a GAME to hang out is only more proof that these kids have some fucking damage in their heads.

    RIP in pieces chatrooms.

    3. As much as anime portray parents as being nag-monsters and/or just being asshole-y old-peeps who are killing our awesome anime teenagers’ vibes, Asuna’s mom is so obviously just being a responsible parent no matter which fuckin’ way you cut it.
    And it’s hilarious sad. These characters are so shitty that Asuna’s mom is the most empathetic of this bunch. Like wow, way to fuck up the most important aspect of the story.

    4. Again, the logistics and logic of all of SAO’s are just worthy of all the world’s real MMORPG players’ groans and facepalms. It looks like when VR became a reality, all of the world’s actual game designers all died at the same time. It smells like a conspiracy to me.
    And it looks like all of the world’s concept designers happened to be killed off as well. The blandness of the landscapes, you know, the fantastical FORTE of a fantasy world? At this point, even the REAL world has more beautiful landscapes than these shitty places. Too bad they’re too busy to take a bullet train a hour in ANY direction and come across breathtaking rural and natural views.
    Yeah, I know this is the failure of A1 Picture’s artists and animators, but hey maybe they should’ve put effort in their flagship series. Or maybe not, since it seems like they stopped giving a shit about this show a long time ago.

    Also, the fish and the lizard spells/summons. Which are basically just spy-tools that can be used to snoop on private chats and players’ movements. Yeah, that’s not cheating at all. Why don’t all FPSs have team-chat actually be pub-chat and implement permanent wall-hacks while they’re at it? But hey, if Gary Stu can be all SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE and fight with dual swords and also cheat death/defeat by the power of love, then why the fuck not.
    Contrary to popular belief, this show doesn’t feature MMO’s. It’s some retarded halfway between bullshit and magic, which is also bullshit.

    5. *PHEW* Wow. Great. Awesome. We got a dying person on our hands. While just the crushing (well, flacid) tragedy is something to behold, I’m not going to say that it’s just an obvious way of ending an arc.
    Okay, it’s a fucking obvious way of ending an arc. Having a character that fucking DIES so that she doesn’t have to have substance in upcoming arcs? Like I get it, in real life a lot of dying people want to spend time on games because it’s just their thing.
    But if you frame it in SAO’s universe, it’s a painfully obvious venue of the inconsequence. It’s “hit-it-and-quit-it” because Kawahara apparently doesn’t want to burden to keep this new character in the loop any longer than she needs to be. Hey motherfucker, if you think it’s a pain in the ass to spontaneously create a character for whatever and LITERALLY kill her off, then don’t fucking create a new character JUST for the “dramatic” effect. It’s fucking disgusting and just tasteless to the lowest degree. (as if I should expect anything more or less from this idiot)
    Wait, Sinon’s not like secretly dead right? Because she apparently dropped off the face of the Earth.

    Better idea: why not just have one of the useless haremettes take dying-girl’s place? Right? What an amazing idea! That way we can ACTUALLY GET A DECENT LOOK AND FEEL AT AN ESTABLISHED CHARACTER. Isn’t that a novel idea? To actually fully utilize characters? And I just pulled that out of my drunk ass.

    6. Oh look. Gary Stu doing Gary Stu things by saving the day again. Yaaaaaaay. (FUUUUUUUCK). Like I realize that we’re in the relative early stages of this new arc, but I was promised that I would see this motherfucker GONE. When is he going to be fuckin’ GONE.
    Hilarious, seeing the MAIN CHARACTER consistently destroying their own story. It’s actually pretty impressive. There should be like a German literary term for describing just that.
    Yeah, just shit on the importance of Asuna’s story. I guess Kirito couldn’t help but budge into anything relating to his waifu-slave. Pssh, like what is she? A person? Much less a person that’s got her own shit to deal with?

    The episode overall is still pretty okaay but still full of its trademark SAO-retard filling. Well, actually, Gary Stu’s entrance pretty much knocked it down a couple of pegs.
    If new-girl reacts “positively” to Gary Stu for NO REASON, that’ll be the nails in the coffin.

    1. Dig

      “(…) Like I realize that we’re in the relative early stages of this new arc, but I was promised that I would see this motherfucker GONE. When is he going to be fuckin’ GONE.”

      Lol, do you still believe in SAOtards lies, dude?!

      They said Gun Fail Online would be a increase in the quality of the writting, compared to SAO and Fairy Dance arcs. Look what we got: another rapey villain, an ELECTRODE saving the life that emo-wannabe hero from a poisoned syringe, ANOTHER tsun haremette on the party of the Gary Stu, etc, etc.

      Sure as hell the Alicization shit after this, in the 3rd season, will be the same trash, despise SAOtards insistent claims of it being soooo much better written than all other arcs together…let’s pretend we believe :wink: :wink:

    2. E Minor Post author

      And only because this shit is “anime-ed” up to high-fuckin’-heaven is it that these characters aren’t disgusting, overweight pizza-box-&-soda-can-cave dwelling creatures.

      Well, it’s anime. Most otakus aren’t adorable pettankos with attitudes either, but we still get stuff like OreImo.

      Yeah, I know this is the failure of A1 Picture’s artists and animators, but hey maybe they should’ve put effort in their flagship series.

      I suspect their lack of effort won’t impact the bottom line, i.e. money, so they have no reason to change.

      1. Anonymous

        Oh, Jesus. I almost forgot about OreImo. What a great example of fantasy and wish fulfillment “writing” at its best.

        Gotta keep selling those body pillows and give dojin-artists something to release at the annual Comiket.

  7. tf5f89

    I heard Kirito invents the technology used in Accel World where the virtual game world is sort of laid over the real world, or something to that effect. Maybe it’ll end with that as a sort of reconciliation with the virtual and real worlds being equally important and the fact that you have to kill yourself in the real world to go to the virtual world? I’m sure the end of SAO is a very long way off, but maybe they’ll find a way to go that route.

    1. Anonymous

      Okay, that sounds like a legit cool idea.
      Do I have faith in anybody involved in SAO right now to deliver that in any significant way?
      That’s a resounding no.

      There’s idea and there’s execution and I think we seen for years at this point that neither A1 Pictures or Kawahara are skilled enough to execute.

      1. tf5f89

        I don’t think they’re going to end it that way because I don’t think they even realize what they have right now, and their track record so far already shows that they constantly forget elements that could have panned out into something good in favor of doing something awful. But I can dream, can’t I?

    2. E Minor Post author

      I’m sure the end of SAO is a very long way off, but maybe they’ll find a way to go that route.

      I can’t consider stuff that I haven’t seen. I only judge the show on what has been presented to me.

  8. Pia

    I don’t get Asuna either, I can only see her mother as a caring one, yeah she’s wrong in some of her judgments, but at the end of the day, Asuna doesn’t have any clue about her future.
    Isn’t like Asuna is doing something meaningful in the virtual world either, she’s just hanging around with new people, hell they’re not even her friends, they’re just people that want something from her.
    Now the Gary Stu made his glorious appearance with loli fairy in shoulder, that sucks, and I thought this arc would be interesting, silly me.

    1. Killer Queen Arbee

      Iunno either, her only true wish for the future is to be Kirito’s one and only waifu. Hell, Asuna quickly said yes when Kirito invites her to go to the US with him for his Summer Mechatronics Training. It’s not like she has a future to think about or at least a dimension outside of ALO and being Kirito’s main waifu, it’s that she’s too much of a perfect waifu character stereotype to even be fleshed out. Asuna cannot carry her OWN personality now BECAUSE Kirito. I mean we can state her lesbian romance with Yuuki made her “stronger” but she still goddamn decides to be a Waifu anyway.

      Also, the mom DOES admit that she married Asuna’s dad just for money and advancing in her career. I mean, yeah I can still sorta side for Asuna’s mom, but it’s like they WANT Asuna’s mom to be a terrible person to make Asuna’s reasoning so reasonable.

      1. Pia

        Yeah, you can tell how hard they’re trying to frame Asuna’s mom as the villian of the story , they make her sound like a matter of fact heartless shallow strict lady, just imagine the impact it would cause if they allow her to cry or feel sad because of Asuna’s doings, but no, she must act like a gold digger bitch.

  9. neomanat

    Is it possible that Asuna’s childish attitude is intentional? After all, most stories have to build an issue for the main character to overcome during the course of the story. Perhaps the author is meant to have her fix her relationship with her mother after she has journeyed with Yukki, and finally learn sometime valuable about real life at the finale.

    Still, this is SAO,.. I hope for the best, but I’m also prepared for the worst.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Unless she honestly quits VRMMOs for a short while and takes real life seriously, I don’t see a good finale on the horizon.

  10. Crystal_Secret

    If you go to war and surrive there’s a chance you won’t come back. When you do, what life do you have with blood spilt in your hands, counseling can only go so far. I have to be honest, Asuna’s Mother needs to look at her daughter in a different light. If she is able to watch the events of her daughter being a Guild Leader Commander and making tactical decisions to SAVE lives back in SAO, that would make me feel proud that not only did my Daughter survive something horrible, she beat it. So I guess I’m just not mother enough for this guy and his opinion on bashing Asuna’s child mentality. Take a life saving lives of your comrades, then live in the real world. Sorry you can’t defend anything on Asuna’s brain. It’s broken and do you know who can help her more then anyone else? The Gary Stu. But well, Kirito works too. It’s terrible what happened in SAO but it’s a fact in this story and this Universe. These kids put there life on the line for everyones sake. You don’t really get that too often in the real world except our soldiers defending our country if for Gods sake you have that. Otherwise I pray for you, because those Men and Woman do not come home the same. No one does, Blade to Steel that’s the fate of those worth it.


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