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I have to say this was a really enjoyable episode of SAO. It was nice to just have this group together and seeing them interact. The last arc had good moments, but this was the first time really period that this group has been able to spend an episode together. Basically the Kirito Harem fully assembling for a raid XD.

It’s not a bad thing to have them just going into a dungeon run for a big reward. Though would have to think the reward is 90% going to Kirito. Both Leafa and Asuna have swords so they are possible, but Kirito is the MC. Kind of ironic going after this thing now after the whole ALO arc in the first season. Not sure I’d be hyped to go after that sword considering its connection to the psycho that kidnapped Asuna and all those SAO survivors, but oh well. At his core Kirito is obsessed with these games so I guess an item is an item.

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Some good interactions to be found in there. Kirito spending some more time with Suguha and her being able to poke some fun at him. In the end all thanks to Suguha and her tastes, so that they can go on this adventure. Kirito probably would have just continued to watch the oddity of two major monsters going at it. In the end they got their ride and now can go after the biggest sword in the game.

The episode just had some good laughs here and there. Lisbeth and Klein had some entertaining moments there. Clearly the road for Klein to get some girls is a long one, but at least he’s hanging out with an interesting group. I can certainly relate to Klein wanting to focus less on magic and more on swords. After all they’ve been through in SAO there is just more attachment to pure weaponry. Kind of reflected in their whole group really. Though clearly some of them have put a lot more points into their magic skills than others.

Of course some laughs to be had as well with Sinon and Kirito. Pulling her tail was risking his head, but managed to have his fun and be safe. Poor Silica was feeling a bit left out in the end there XD.

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The situation is a bit strange though. Doesn’t seem like this is some common raid they are getting into here. There is a lot of mystery as to what is going on here. That character going from normal NPC to Ai and the sudden seriousness of the situation. It could be a bug or some remnant of Kayaba haunting them. Either way this doesn’t feel like a common quest. Monsters that are actively working with players, quests being given out that are tricks, etc. Something very odd is going on here. Though personally I wouldn’t mind getting a Caliburn out of that kind of quest. It may not be Excalibur, but it might still have some decent stats in that game.

It does make it interesting that now the characters have to work against the clock to clear the dungeon. Will be under a tough time crunch to get the job done before their fellow players finish slaughtering the other monsters. I suppose even if they tried to tell those people the truth they wouldn’t be that likely to listen. Plus even if they did then they’d have even more competition to getting Excalibur. Best to just keep on the path and go for the win.

OP [Courage] by Tomatsu Haruka: (A-)

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As a whole I liked the new OP. Visually it was quite nice. I had some laughs how the first part had what I would call the Kirito family (Kirito, Asuna, Leafa, and Yui) followed by the harem (Sinon, Lisbeth, Silica) and Klein behind the girls XD. The song itself is alright, nothing too amazing, but good enough. Visually it just gives the impression that we are in for some really good moments here. I hope seeing the Kirito harem in full force will be as much fun as this OP made it look. Plus, it’s an interesting move to have Asuna’s VA sing the OP this time around.

ED [No More Time Machine] by LiSA: (A-)

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It was a pretty cute ED. Yui riding Pina was pretty adorable XD. Showing off the various characters and scenes of them from the first SAO season was good. A good reminder of what we’ve experienced and in a sense how Kirito assembled a harem. Again not a song that will go into my top 10 list for the year, but it was good enough. It just gives a nice feeling and makes you see what these people have gone through together.

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Not a bad episode at all really. It was less serious even with the stakes suddenly tossed in at the end there. A good chance to see characters that honestly we haven’t seen much of in a while. I’m looking forward to the next episode since we can see this group working together and fighting under some pressure. I tend to like some of the non-main girls so it was just a nice episode for me. As well as the little mention of Asuna heading back to Kyoto so things might get a bit serious on a real life setting before all is said and done.
Score: A-

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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