This was a fun episode that focused pretty well on the action, but also setting up the stakes. Normally it might not mean that much whether this quest succeeds or fails, but they certainly made it important in this case. While they won’t physically lose anything, they certainly would suffer a great deal by ALO getting nearly obliterated. Although personally that’d be quite the interesting situation to be put into. Where your actions either helped to save or actually destroy an entire online universe. The stakes in a game don’t normally get that high.
I’m somewhat impressed how quickly the girls are on guard against potential new harem members. It sure didn’t take long for Sinon to join the group with the jealous and suspicious glances. While Kirito thought it was a trap based on the situation, I’m 100% sure the rest of the girls were thinking it was a trap because it was a girl. Considering most of them wouldn’t have gotten to join the harem otherwise you’d think they’d be less on edge about other girls. They are all on the same level anyways behind Asuna who is the main girl. You think they’d be more for it since it might get Klein out of the harem XD.
I say props to Klein for going ahead and helping the NPC out. Sure it wasn’t the most pure of motivations, but partly it was motivated because he is a good guy. Klein steps up when needed and isn’t going to leave someone in trouble if he can help it. In the end he is playing the best friend role and I say if he wants to help Freyja out then I’m behind it. In the short term it paid off with that huge health boost which they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
Really I’m a bit surprised they immediately thought trap. I figured it would be more like a escort mission. Have to get her somewhere and protect her from attacks along the way. Can’t say I thought she’d be a secret boss or something. In the end thanks to Klein they got a mage in the party which they desperately needed. That should give additional support and maybe allow Asuna to drift a bit more into direct combat and not just supporting.
The action was fun and I got what I wanted in seeing this group cooperate. Kirito was the center on this, but the rest did play their parts in getting the job done. It was a smart move on his part to imitate the dual wield skill in that manner. Really if that gets out I can see a lot of people wanting to do it since it is copyable. Just using sword skills on one sword and then the other to chain the attacks together. Not quite the same as the great attacks he could pull off before , but good enough.
I really loved how they made use of the original action tracks in this episode. This was the kind of thing I wanted a bit more of in the first arc of this season. That song just works well in a fight and lined up nicely with everyone just unleashing their best attacks one after the other.
Everyone just has their own combat style out there which is fun to watch. Silica bouncing around with quick strikes using that dagger, Klein using power hits and quick draws, Leafa’s swordsmanship, Sinon going all Legolas, and even Asuna had her usual attack style ready for the right moment. I think adding sword skills into ALO was a good move for that game. The sword skills in SAO were awesome. Just because the situation itself was horrible and dangerous, doesn’t mean the attack skills were a bad thing.
That boss though looks to be a tough one. If they are going to need that health support they got out of the gate then it won’t be easy. Plus kind of amazing that even this guy turned out to be quite the creepy guy. I think ALO just has trouble avoiding these sorts. That creepy guy who kidnapped Asuna and even this boss is pretty blatant with his intentions here. Should be fun to watch them bring this guy down though I expect it will be a hard one. For now looks like he’ll just be trying to punch the heck out of them. Curious to see what kind of crazy attacks he’ll be able to use.
I’d say this was a really enjoyable episode overall. It felt a bit silly with all the girls going on about the trap thing, but overall it was a strong episode. The characters just got a chance to dive into these fights and recognize that there are high stakes involved. Should be good to see them have one more big fight against this upcoming boss before the focus narrows back down again and we go into the final arc for season 2.
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