Holy crap that was a battle worth waiting for. I figured from the OP that the battle against ‘The Gleam Eyes’ was going to be something epic, but Sword Art Online managed to surpass my expectations for that showdown. Once the fighting really got going it didn’t last that long, but damn it impressed while it was going on. From the moment Asuna jumped in till the moment Kirito struck the final blow took about 3 minutes, but that was a pretty intense three minutes.

As expected this episode’s highlight was the boss battle. But overall it was an episode that really impressed me. Think this is proving how the episodes that set things up really did their job well. Whether it was the flashbacks of Sachi or Klein asking Asuna to take care of Kirito you could understand the motivations of the characters. I know that 2-7 had some complaints to them from those who read the light novel, but from my perspective here I think it all worked out pretty well.

I find it pretty refreshing just how straightforward Asuna is when it comes to Kirito. I mean sure she isn’t proclaiming her love or anything, but she doesn’t hesitate to express her worry in this episode. She partied up with him last episode in part because she was worried about him. He’s going around soloing on the front lines and things are only getting more dangerous for the players. Better to keep a closer eye on him to make sure he doesn’t end up dead. That thought becoming all the stronger after he nearly gets killed in this boss battle. There’s no way she can focus on the guild when he’s out doing things like that. Has to stick by his side at least until she can be sure he’s not going to die when she’s not looking.

But yeah Asuna was pretty cute this episode. Whether it was the sandwich scene that had a tasteful amount of blushing on her part or just outright hugging him after the boss battle. I don’t know how long she just stayed there hanging onto him, but it made her feelings pretty clear to Kirito. No way he can turn her down at that point. I do find it funny just how far into cooking Asuna has gone. Thank you Kirito for spicing up her bread back in episode two, it clearly made her addicted to making increasingly better food. It’s no wonder she maxed out cooking with how much work she put in. Recreating the tastes of the outside world thanks to some effort. I agree with Kirito she’d be rich if she sold her food. What wouldn’t some give for the tastes of the outside? But yeah I enjoyed watching Asuna in this episode. Someone who can’t hold back whether it is attacking a boss to save some lives or just grabbing onto the guy she likes out of relief for him still being alive.

But really the combination of Asuna and Kirito just works. Kirito just looked incredibly excited when finding out Asuna made homemade food again. I’d bet that he could remember back to when he dropped that sandwich of hers during that murder investigation XD and just watched it shatter into nothingness. Just some great moments that can make you laugh like Kirito saying Asuna shouldn’t sell her food because then there wouldn’t be any for him XD.

I can’t believe though that Kirito has to get into a duel just so Asuna can take a break from the guild. What’s the point of being in a top position in a guild if you don’t have enough authority to take a break? I mean the leader pretty much treating her as a posession. “If you want to take her you have to fight first.” When did Asuna sign a lifetime contract to that guild? Even worse Kirito now has to gamble having to join that guild if he loses. Now Kirito has been soloing so he should be stronger than this guy, but it’s just annoying that he even has to do it. The big guilds really do get too full of themselves. I can see how it’d be a problem to temporarily lose a major part of the guild, but Asuna should have the right after all she’s done to take a break and party with Kirito if she wants.

Now I have to say that dual wielding skill of Kirito’s was pretty badass. It makes perfect sense now why he went to Liz to get a sword just about as good as his main one. If he had to switch it up and dual wield he needed a weapon that was on the same level so his power would be at the best possible level. I have to say it shows the trust he has in Liz with her being the only one he originally told about it. No doubt Kirito is going to have to deal with a lot of people who want that skill. Not only is it a pretty cool skill, but obviously it makes him all the more powerful in a fight. If you are playing a character going for speed and power then that is the skill you want.

As to how Kirito got that skill I can only guess. It might be because he has played this entire time with a one handed sword and no shield. Could be a time played condition on the ability. Most people would just put on a shield if they are going to only use one-handed swords so that might explain why he’s the only one who has it. It could also be tied into his allocation of level up points. Maybe a lot of points put into speed and attack allowed him to unlcok the ability? Regardless it wasn’t something Kirito intended and was clearly something he wanted to keep under wraps.

It’s certainly not unlike Kirito to hide things. He spent the entire time hiding his level from the Black Cats, hiding his goal from Silica, etc. Just not the type of guy that will openly talk about things. He probably did just want to solo this game while at the same time standing out as little as possible. After the whole Beater incident in the second episode he just pulled himself back worried about rejection, and then the Black Cat Guild incident happened. I just think he would rather sit on that skill and hope more people start acquiring it and then he could just begin using it without worry. Instead had to pull it out against a boss and there went any hope of being subtle.

It was good to see Klein again though. As always he’s looking out for Kirito. Seems like Kirito is still feeling bad about not staying with Klein when the game started and going off on his own. Every time they run into each other there seems to be some tension or regret on Kirito’s side. It’s clear Klein is worried about him and if Asuna has the ability to get close to Kirito then he has to count on her to take care of him. He just wants to help his friend. It was fun watching Kirito knock Klein away when he started to give his biography and say he was looking for girlfriend XD. Though did like Klein stepping right back in on Kirito and showing that when Kirito isn’t thinking too hard about things they really are good friends. Hopefully we see more of that guy as the series goes along.

I still can’t believe how crazy that Kovats guy was. Doing something as reckless as taking on the boss with just his group was borderline insane. I really do wonder if he’d just snapped and was going to push ahead through everything that stepped in front of him. Though he does give us a picture of those that are so focused on clearing the game they end up getting themselves killed short of the goal. Like I said before this game is a marathon not a sprint, one can’t expect to clear it in no time. People have to be careful and take on the bosses in a rational and structured way. If you just try to force the issue you are going to get killed. I’m just glad that only a few people ended up getting killed because of that guy’s recklessness. But I have to say this kind of thing is worrisome. What are the chances of more people just saying “I can’t take it anymore” and just charging straight into danger? How long can some remain patient despite the need for that? While some people are starting to adapt to that world it’s clear that not everyone is.

Once again I’ve just got to say the boss battle was intense. It was full of chaos with the players in danger, the crystals not working, and Kirito struggling with the decision to reveal his skill. The fact that the boss rooms are somewhat acting like that trap room is something to worry about. It’s not the worst possible situaiton since as we saw people could still just leave through the door and be safe. It seems like the boss still follows the rule of not leaving the room. But once the crystals stop working who knows what might happen next. It could reach the scary point where you just can’t leave once you’ve entered the boss room and have to come up with the strategy on the fly. Just reminds you though that anything can happen.

But as to the boss in question, that guy was just nuts. I mean going all blue eyes and looking like some crazed beast is enough to give a scare to anyone in that game. I do not blame Asuna and Kirito for making a break for it XD. That is one boss that does a good job being intimidating. Now at the same time Kirito’s dual wield was just badass. He just jumped right in and started to duke it out with a floor boss! He took his the boss took hits and eventually it was the boss that went down and not Kirito. Of course thanks to Asuna really for doing her share of damage so that Kirito was the one left with a sliver of health and not the boss. This just proves how high Kirito’s level is that pulling out a dual wield ability like that is enough to let him just fight a boss head on until he goes down. Hope to see more from that amazing skill.

So yeah this episode was pretty darn good. It probably is my favorite episode of the series. It brought the emotions, made us think back to what has already happened, progressed what is clearly the main pair of the series, and of course had Kirito just going nuts on a boss. That’s what I call a good episode.
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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