This episode, just wow…trying to write this right after watching the episode might be a bad idea. But this episode definitely delivered some heavy moments to it and I say well done. It really might end up sitting as one of my favorite SAO episodes to date. If anything will allow the second season to stand up to the best of the first season it’s this arc in general. Just did a great job presenting the seriousness of the situation and let the whole thing build up. The ending as well played amazingly well into this. Both in confirming where things will go next and also just adding to the emotions of that ending.
This was a development you could see coming to a degree. It was clear that Yuuki and her group had something very serious going on. Something so tragic that they wanted to protect Asuna from that sadness. And in some ways you can see the reasoning. When it comes to online connections with people it’s easy to just lose them. If someone dies and you don’t know it, you’ll just notice they aren’t around and move on. If Asuna never found out that pain of never seeing them would eventually fade and she’d never know the truth. But that wasn’t good enough for Asuna, she didn’t want it to end like that. That focus and dedication really brought her character to life for me.
This is a very rare occasion where I see anime even mentioning AIDS. But it worked pretty darn well in this story. Just a bad blood transfusion and everything went downhill from there. Her whole life suddenly thrown off the rails. I can’t even imagine it. Yuuki had to carry a heavy burden and even more so after her family started passing away. To endure everything she has and continue onward is really something.
It was interesting that moment where Asuna was there and Yuuki was taking in her reaction. I almost wonder what she was expecting or even hoping for in that instance. Maybe that Asuna would pull back and Yuuki could think Asuna would forget about her. Or maybe she really was hoping that Asuna would stay and care as much as she did. For someone to care about you that much really has to mean something. I think she expected that Asuna would pull back since it’s hard for anyone to learn all that at once, but she got a reaction very unexpected. Asuna grateful for having the chance to see Yuuki and utterly shaken knowing that she was terminal.
I was wondering just how Asuna was going to get that information. In the end it was more Kirito just volunteering it. Plus the reason that he knows at least makes some sense. With how invested he is in that technology if there was a place that specialized in medicuboid he’d know about it. I’m sure he knew how hard this would be on Asuna, but if she wanted to know of course he’d tell her. Just that small scene was the perfect about of Kirito and Asuna. Just giving her someone to collapse against when she needed to.
Just the build up for the Asuna and Yuuki reunion was well done. Having her speak with the doctor first and given chances to step away before she got even deeper. But in the end while realizing the truth might hurt, Asuna still took it. Yuuki having a feeling Asuna would be determined enough to track her down though thinking realistically it was far fetched.
That reunion in ALO was well done as well. Asuna racing at top speed to meet up with Yuuki again and them just having that chance to talk. Their reason for disbanding the guild wasn’t that shocking either. Having lost members they decided that the next one would be the last. Otherwise it’d be a tragic to just keep on losing people and eventually there just being one member of the guild left. Who is not going to make it is up in the air. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yuuki was one of them since I can’t see this arc ending without Yuuki passing away.
Quite the scene when you first see Yuuki’s real body. No surprise of course she’s in that state. You combine the AIDS and the fact that she stays in that VR state constantly and that’s bound to happen. The same kind of condition was left for the SAO players who were trapped like that.
Finally that ending now makes a huge amount of sense. Kirito was making that for Yui mostly, but it has a huge benefit right now. It’s a perfectly good way for Yui to reach a goal of spending time in school and experiencing it. Just seeing what that technology will do for Yuuki, reminds me of how we are just starting to be able to use VR technology to give people with terminal illnesses a way to experience and see a larger world.
In the end this could stand out as one of the top SAO episodes in my mind. It just hit all the right notes and felt right. This kind of tragic situation exists all over, but it was still brought to life quite well here. For Asuna to chase down Yuuki and finally get the chance to talk openly with her was just great to see. They did a good job making this a very emotional episode. For me at the very least this episode was quite impacting.
Tags: SAO, Sword Art Online, Sword Art Online Anime Blog, Sword Art Online Blog, Sword Art Online II, Sword Art Online II 22, Sword Art Online II anime, Sword Art Online II anime blog, Sword Art Online II Blog, Sword Art Online II episode 22, Sword Art Online II episode 22 blog, Sword Art Online II Screenshots
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