Well like I thought they ended back at the front lines. Since I wasn’t keeping track of the dates didn’t realize their ‘honeymoon’ had only lasted a couple weeks. At the start I was actually a bit disappointed since I felt they should be back at it, but considering the actual time spent on that vacation I’m alright with it. They need a chance to recharge in order to get back into this with full spirits.

Not sure how I feel about the whole fishing thing. Think if you are going to cut from the novels that’s something that could go without much issue. I mean the positive did come from getting a view of Asuna’s feelings, but that was about it. On that note though, it was nice to hear Asuna talking about her feelings. She definitely was struggling and pushing herself along. Fighting and just trying to get stronger and make some progress on clearing this game. But she wasn’t doing great personally when alone. At least meeting and spending more time with Kirito gave her something to hold onto. It gave some meaning to being in this situation and teach her that even if they are trapped they are still living. They aren’t spending their days in the real world, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t living them. While it might be the same for their bodies, they aren’t in comas here. Their minds and souls are still living and having experiences that really matter.

Of course it wasn’t just that scene before they teleported that was really special. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a couple in anime that have just shown their emotions so clearly. While the vacation was nice, it’s clear that Kirito is really feeling the pressure more than before. It was one thing when his own life was on the line, but now Asuna’s is as well. He’s admittedly scared about what’s going to happen next. If he could he’d rather hide in that house with her for as long as he possibly could. The idea of losing her in one of these battles is more than he can take. But it’s the same for Asuna. There’s no point in her staying behind because if Kirito died in one of these fights she’d lose it and probably would kill herself. The love between them is what’s carrying her and there’s no way she could continue on after. All the more reason because Kirito is now carrying Yui’s life on his shoulders. If he dies then his NervGear won’t be connected and even if they clear the game her data might not be transferred.

I just really enjoyed watching those two express how deeply they felt. You really can’t feel bad about any girl that lost out, because these two really do belong together. Whether it’s in some house by a lake or on the battlefield these two stand together and united. Asuna isn’t just someone hiding behind Kirito, but someone who will stand beside him against any opponent. This relationship is really a united front and that’s something I can appreciate. By the time this show is over this could seriously be my favorite official couple in anime. But that might be going over the top.

Asuna did bring up a good point about their bodies. That’s something that really wasn’t touched on by the episodes until now. Of course with such a large gap, most probably got novel spoilers that explained what was going on. They really are keeping the view of this situation entirely within the game world. So they have to speculate based on bodies going ‘offline’ for short periods of time. While I’m sure most try not to think about it, they probably are just hanging in there is hospitals right now. Forever is a beautiful world, but it just doesn’t exist. They might be in a digital world right now, but they have real bodies that are being kept alive. No matter how good the medicine might be in their time, they can’t keep that many people alive eternally. There is a hidden time limit and for that reason they have to keep pushing. So if Kirito and Asuna want to stay together they have to clear this game and unlock the rest of their lives.

It just makes you think about what these people will have to take on after this game is cleared. Again it does depend on how their medical technology is in 2024, but probably isn’t that much further ahead of us. A decade does make a pretty big difference though so I can’t say for sure. But while it will be a hard road for them, it is better than just suddenly dying one day in SAO because their bodies couldn’t take it any more.

The fishing part was alright, but I wasn’t hugely interested. We did meet Nishida who was in charge of SAO’s network security. I’m just not sure why, but that guy kind of annoyed me near the end. While Kirito and Asuna didn’t agree, I think it was alright for the guy to get on himself a little bit. I mean while Kayaba did pull the wool over his eyes like everyone else, he was connected to this game’s creation. Instead of doing something that could help people clear it he just decided to chill out in that area and fish. This isn’t a holiday after all. Even if he didn’t have it in him to fight on the front lines (now that’d be kind of comical) he could have taken up skills that could support people like blacksmithing. Of course he’s part of a large amount of people who aren’t actively helping out. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing either. Oh well, who am I to judge really? Easy enough to point out the faults of those in the game who aren’t helping out, but unless I’m in that situation can’t say how useful I’d be.

Now the boss battle was probably the best yet, especially because it’s not over. It kind of makes sense that this guy is super difficult. At floor 75 they are officially at the 3/4 point of this game. It wouldn’t be crazy to have that key point have a tougher boss. Still, this is pretty damn dangerous and is going to be a fight with heavy casualties. The no crystal function was shown last time, but this guy is on a completely different level that the last boss. Even that crazy front group managed to knock down that boss’s health by a quarter and Kirito could finish it. This guy isn’t taking damage easily and his attacks are nothing to scoff at.

The fact that this thing can one-shot front-liners is a pretty scary thing. I mean sure they weren’t in a position to guard, but that’s pretty extreme. At this point Heathcliff is the only one with a legitimate ability to guard against it. The rest are left hoping to not get attacked while inflicting as much damage as possible. This could be a fight with heavy losses and no guarantee they will hold out long enough. Skull Reaper isn’t someone you’d really like to go up against. Frankly just a boss that would give you nightmares. A huge, creepy body and it’s really fast. This is not going to be a casual battle to say the least. Will need every last skill they have and some insane team work between Asuna and Kirito to make it through this. That boss does have 5 life bars so it’s not going to be easy no matter how you slice it.

Even Klein gets his moments to shine

It’s not even just the main duo that are playing a big role here. Klein was really getting into it, with a pretty badass attack from below. Everyone has gotten this far by fighting in extreme situations, so they know what they have to do to survive. I feel bad for the average people who are probably going to mostly get killed here. But it seems like the named characters will put on quite the display.

Will also just note that I really love the music they used for this boss scene. That song just really works for these life or death battles and fires you up. Definitely going to pick up the OST for this series.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to next week. This battle should be just crazy and from the title it should be intense. This episode had it all from some romance, some emotions, and a crazy boss battle. Not bad in my books.
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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