Sword Art Online: Episode 15

Recap: Two months after the end of the Sword Art Online incident, Asuna has yet to awaken.

Iro’s Thoughts:
Alright, to sum up: Kirito and Asuna really didn’t die last episode, Asuna and 300 other players are still asleep, there’s a creepy guy who wants to marry Asuna’s comatose body and is clearly behind the whole debacle, and Kirito’s sister-who-isn’t-actually-his-sister desperately wants his cock. Yep, Sword Art Online just wasn’t egregious enough as it was, they had to stick an actual little sister into Kirito’s harem. At least it isn’t OniiAi, but that’s what we call “damning with faint praise”. I’ve been saying all along how Sword Art Online is a dumb harem show, and if you’re somehow still been in denial after this episode then I have nothing to say to you.

It was all setup for the coming arc this week, and as a result it was a very boring episode (i.e. more boring that usual). They stick in a little bit of action when Kirito spars with his “sister”, demonstrating that playing video games has given him real-life fighting skills (in case adding a little sister didn’t take the nerd fantasy far enough), and do their best to ramp up the sheer sliminess of the main villain by making him harass Asuna’s comatose body. We end on a relative cliffhanger, Kirito receiving a message that hope is perhaps not all lost, again demonstrating that they would all be fucked without Agil.

Lifesong’s Thoughts:
I can see where this is going, and I think I like it. The imouto antics are a bit cringe worthy, but I already knew that Reki Kawahara likes his imouto’s thanks to Accel World so I’m not too surprised to see it again. Honestly Suguha is pretty inoffensive all things considered. Compare her to Accel World’s imouto type character who is a both a loli, and a tsundere, and Suguha is clearly the lesser of two evils.

I’ve played MMO’s for a long time myself, and made some of my closest friends because of the time I’ve spent on them. For me there is magic in the way they are bringing Kirito back, and how he now has to come to terms with both the real life he left behind, and the one belonging to his wife and the baggage that comes with it. I look forward to seeing how Kirito will earn his place beside Asuna in the sight of the real world now that Aincrad is gone. Also, even in the real world Agil is the broest of bros. Where would Kirito be without him?

Dragonzigg’s Thoughts:

Getting real tired of your imouto bullshit anime.

Seriously, the introduction of Suguha in this episode is utter drivel and serves no purpose other than schlocky fanservice and perhaps the setup for a pointless love triangle that can only end one way. The pathetically limp-wristed ‘he’s actually my cousin!’ excuse (which they make sure to give its own scene so we know for certain it’s OK for her to jump his bones) is so cliched by this point that it teeters on the brink of parody. There’s real pathos to be found in the idea of a brother coming home to his sister, but instead the show wastes it on another boring harem setup.

In fact, that pretty much describes most of this episode. After the shock of seeing the wasted, bedraggled Kirito at the end of the last episode, I think an episode about his recovery and reintegration into society could have been powerful and moving, but at the point we enter the action Kirito appears to be basically a-ok. There’s no hint of psychological trauma, no struggle to readapt, no training to overcome the physical maladies, none of that potentially interesting stuff. Instead there’s a sword fight that shows off he has retained his sweet skillz (I’m no doctor, but shouldn’t it take more than two months to recover from two years of muscular degeneration?) and gives him the chance to build more sexual tension with his sister.

Plot? Oh right, the plot. I guess the idea that Asuna and (presumably) the others who have yet to awaken are pulled into another world isn’t too difficult to swallow – you’d think the government would be more up on that, but it’s an acceptable suspension of disbelief. What’s slightly more difficult to take is our new villain, who couldn’t be more obviously the villain if he wore a massive neon sign with EVIL on it on his head. The whole idea that he’s going to MARRY SOMEONE IN A COMA to take over her father’s company is so utterly absurd it’s breathtaking.  He even mentions himself that he can’t do that, but then the show seems to ignore what it itself has just said and carries on regardless.  Again, it’s SAO‘s failure to lay the basic building blocks of character development that’s frustrating. Trapped in the real world the show seems to have lost any momentum it possessed, so let’s just cross our fingers and get back to cyberspace as soon as possible.

2 thoughts on “Sword Art Online: Episode 15

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