I am stunned by the incredible presentation of this episode of Sword Art Online. Every episode so far has been solid and was really enjoyable, but the drama and internal struggle really broke through this episode. Suddenly this isn’t about fun and game and gun blazing glory anymore. Despite how impressive and awesome Kirito was, I had a completely different outlook on the situation than in the last episode. Suddenly it wasn’t as cool and impressive to see him win the tournament and fight through waves and waves of enemies. Instead, It was actually really sad.
The balance between the music, the character expression and the voice acting made everything work out together to create such a heavy atmosphere of regret and pain. It was absolutely splendid. While we already had a fair idea of what the theme of this arc would be, it really became even more evident and stronger this episode. It suddenly become at the very center of everything and was right in our face. Both Sinon and Kirito have killed in their life, in different ways, both did it in self defense, but it remains that they share the burden of their past deeds. The two of them are at complete opposite when it comes to their burden, but it has the same result in the end. Kirito killed people in a video game; he worked around it by simply forgetting that part of his memory. He tried to forget about it and not think about that any further. Now in real life he was, or at least seemed, unaffected, but now that he is back in a video game, trying to stop someone who claims being able to kill people, all those bad hidden memories are coming back. It is rare to see Kirito terrifying shitless like this, it makes you remember that he actually went through a lot to become the badass we know and love.
Now on the other hand of the spectrum, you have Sinon who killed someone in real life when she was younger and she is unable to hold or see a weapon now. She is terrified and completely nonfunctional in society because of it and she is using video game as a cure. It is clear that Kirito and Sinon have a lot to share when it comes to therapy. One is afraid of the virtual world, the other of the real one. I’m so hyped and excited to see the day when Sinon will learn who Kirito actually his, when she will learn how important and how much shit he went through. I want to see her understand what kind of legend stands in front of her.
Maybe when she will understand who Kirito is she will be able to grasp what is the difference between skill and strength. While Kirito gave a decent explanation this episode, it must be difficult for Sinon to grasp what he conveyed. Until she realizes that Kirito has years of experience in VRMMO and he is the one who “created” the seed from which GGO was born from in the first place, I don’t think she will understand where that skill comes from.
At this point there is simply nothing I can add other than repeating how hyped I am for all future reveals, having the dramatic elements begin in this arc really made the show become exponentially more interesting to me and I simply cannot wait to get more!
ZeroGhj signing off