Man, you’re gonna be soooo surprised at what this show does now. I mean, it’s not even believable that such a thing could happen.
So going by the opening sequence, I can point out three things:
1: Female Kirito. Yeah, it’s pretty much an elephant in the room to anyone watching this that Kirito’s GGO avatar is going to be a female, for God knows what reason.
2: Death Gun’s identity has become so blatantly obvious now. So it’s only a matter of time until the show reveals his dumb motives/lack of motives for being evil.
3: In a game which is focused around the use of ranged weapons of both modern and futuristic varieties, Kirito apparently uses a lightsaber. A lightsaber. Everyone uses some sort of gun, but Kirito still has to use a sword. Well, I guess there’s a reason why the show is still called Sword Art Online. Gun Art Online just doesn’t sound right.
The episode is mostly set in GGO, which looks just like every other modern First-Person Shooter video game: grimdark, mature, edgy, and full of rabid teens who take the game far too seriously.
So we’re actually given a somewhat proper introduction to the main girl of the season, Shino Asada/Sinon, who is stated to be the best sniper in the game. And it appears to show that she has the mindset that fits the Cold Sniper trope: Stoic and highly efficient in popping a caps into someone’s ass. And if you ask me, the show seems to be using Sinon being a sniper as a piss-poor excuse to shoehorn in random unnecessary fanservice shots of her. Granted only two of them was because of some creepy guy in her team hitting on her, but one was only because for some strange reason, this show just can’t seem to keep its pants on for five minutes. I mean, the first thing we see of her in the last episode was her ass. We didn’t even get to know what kind of character she’ll have before Kirito eventually ruins it with his very presence.
Anyway, Sinon and her team fighting a big guy aptly named Behemoth, who wields a minigun that’s about as big as he is. And the fact that he’s able to smile on the battlefield makes Sinon want him dead. Again, one of this show’s major faults is that it treats this kind of thing as life-or-death situations when they really aren’t supposed to be. Anyway, with proper planning and stuff, Sinon actually manages to beat Behemoth. It was a pretty intense and well-animated sequence too.
And that’s where the episode ends. Nope, I’m not even going over what Kirito and his harem is doing in ALO, because it’s not really that important. Aside from the usual stupidity, and I’m actually surprised that I’m seriously saying this about Sword Art Online of all anime, this was a dece—uuurrgh *ahem* …a dece—uuuuuuurrrgh *gulp* a… not terrible episode. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be changing my opinion of this scum anytime soon. I’m still waiting on the moment when this season implodes on itself, but this was honest to God the best episode since the first few Aincrad episodes. Maybe when you focus on the more superior characters instead of the absolutely bland one, you can make an actually good episode once in awhile.
…Yeah, I’m gonna get suspicious of you now.