I don’t always use that quote often, but when I do, it means that there’s something wrong with the show that I’m watching.
Beginning where the previous episode left off, Episode 10 opens with the start of Kirito’s duel with Commander Heathcliff. As it turns out, Heathcliff has a unique skill on par with Kirito’s unique dual-wield skill: Divine Blade, which maxes his attack and defense.
So the duel starts and both combatants appear to be on equal footing, but when Kirito manages to break through Heathcliff nigh-impregnable defense, he leaves himself open for Heathcliff to lay a hit on him and claim victory.
I don’t really understand the point of one-strike duels. I know they don’t want to kill each other, but knowing that the entire duel all comes down to whoever lands the first hit is kinda anticlimatic. Also, how exactly does one-strike duels work? I’ve seen at least two instances where it should’ve been over.
Anyway, Kirito lost and now he has to join the Knights of the Blood Oath. Can’t win every battle, I suppose. If he did, we’d have an even more boring invincible protagonist on our hands. Anyway, Kirito doesn’t seem to mind it at all since he pretty much reached as far as any solo player can possibly go.
At Asuna’s request, Kirito brings up the reason why he’s not a team player: He recalls the Moonlit Black Cats, the very minuscule guild he was with back in Episode 3. They accepted him in, even though he was a bunch of levels higher than the others. One day, they all fell into a deadly trap, resulting in everyone, save Kirito, getting killed.
So, the next day, Kirito is taken on a training exercise with Godfrey and the sore loser Kuradeel on the 55th floor’s dungeon entrance. And because it’s a training exercise, Godfrey takes their teleportation crystals. Because it’s not like anything can go wrong. 😉
So they decide to take a break and it seems to be alright.
As it turns out, Kuradeel laced their drinks with paralysis poison. Kuradeel then murders the helpless Godfrey and reveals to Kirito that he’s actually a member of Laughing Coffin, a guild of bloodthirsty killers, all the while slowly torturing him to near-death.
And just when Kirito is on the verge of death, in comes Asuna to the rescue, who was tracking them on her map and soon rushed over there as soon as Godfrey was killed. That was quick…
So Asuna starts beating up Kuradeel with a technique that kinda reminds me of Sword Rain artes from the Tales of series. And after the overdone “Villain begs for his life, Hero spares Villain, Villain takes advantage of Hero’s gratitude and tries a sneak attack” deal, Kirito blocks the sword attack with his hand. That goes as anyone would expect it to go.
And Kirito lays the final attack on Kuradeel by… jamming his hand into his gut. How the hell does that even work? So anyway, after Asuna blames herself for what has occured (She’s not wrong, by the way.), Kirito gives her the Shut Up Kiss and decides to stay with her for the night.
He gets his hand back, by the way. I don’t exactly know how. Maybe they stitched it back on his arm or something like that. But doesn’t matter, it’s time for silly pointless romance antics!
Well, looks like someone’s sleeping on the couch tonight.
Anyway, amidst all the nonsense, Kirito drops the big marriage proposal, which Asuna accepts. Keep in mind that they’re only 16 years old.
Something that’s been bugging me for awhile. How are the players’ bodies doing? I read that the average human body can only go for a few days without food or water. Unless they’re on something that’s keeping them alive, they should be dead by now. And when they get out of the game, they’re gonna need rehabilitation to get their muscles back in shape since they’ve been inactive for so long. Anyhoo, moving right along…
Episode 11 opens with the newlyweds taking a brief leave of absense. Because in this show, romance is way more important than escaping the game with your life.
So they’re at a cabin on the 22nd Floor, enjoying their time off, as Kirito wonders if their relationship extends beyond SAO. Asuna believes so, saying that if they escape, they’ll still be together again. Unless you two live far away from each other, then there might be a problem.
Again, they’re 16, i.e.: 10 to 12 years too old for piggybacks. Anyway, Kirito tells Asuna about a rumor he heard about the forest they’re in: That it’s littered with the malevolent ghosts of defeated monsters, oooooh!!! I’m pretty sure he’s screwing with her.
Anyway, they see a strange, young girl wandering the forest alone who is neither a ghost nor an NPC, but possibly a player. The next morning, the girl awakens and reveals that her name is Yui, and that is the only thing she remembers. She adopts Kirito and Asuna as her papa and mama respectively.
…What? Are you serious? She only just met them!!!
So, they both head down to the Town of Beginnings on Floor 1 in search of any family of Yui. As Kirito points out, around 6,000 players are still kicking, and at least a third of that amount should be in that town. However, the place looks virtually empty.
They both hear a few members of the Liberation Army harassing a day-care lady. Kirito and Asuna steps in and Asuna scares them off with…
…non-lethal sword strikes. Since they’re in a safe zone, they only get a mild knockback but take no damage.
Anyway for some reason, Yui begins to freak out, and that closes the episode.
It’s clear to me now that I misjudged this show. These past episodes have failed to meet the expectations that the first few episodes established. I mean the romance plot has pretty much overtaken the “MMORPG of life and death” plot to the point that I don’t even see it as what it should be. Hell, why am I even using the word “plot” since there hasn’t been much of it, anyway? I’m not going to give up on this show just yet, but at this point I think the writers need to realize that the actual reason that Sword Art Online was worth watching has been tossed aside.
I’m gonna make a vow to myself: If Sword Art Online drops to a worse level than Accel World, I will undrop the latter.