Sword Art Online 9 – Quality

Not even SAO is exempt.

Summary:

Kirito and Asuna retreat after getting a good look at the floor boss. While taking a break, Asuna gets suspicious of why Kirito only uses a one-handed sword.

Kirito and Asuna have a lunch break while Asuna shows her cooking research she’s been doing for about a year.

Just then, Klein and his guild appear after a long day of level grinding.

Kirito introduces Asuna to Klein. Klein starts acting awkward so Kirito has to gut punch him back to his senses.

Klein’s guild start fanboying over Asuna when another guild called the Army appears.

The Army’s leader asks Kirito for the floor map after Kirito tells him he’s cleared the floor up until the boss’ room.

Asuna and Klein object to freely giving away the floor map for free but Kirito does it anyway.

Kirito, Asuna and Klein’s guild get up to train some more.  While alone together, Klein respectfully asks Asuna to take care of Kirito.

The group hears a man’s scream and rush towards the boss area where they find the Army getting their asses handed to them.

Also, they can’t teleport out.

Asuna rushes in to drive the boss’ attention away from the struggling Army. Kirito and Klein follow shortly after her.

Kirito remembers Sachi dying in a similar situation and lets himself go all out.Kirito brings out a second blade and starts hacking at the boss.

Kirito’s attacks get faster and faster as th boss’ HP quickly dwindles.

Kirito defeats the boss with barely any HP left and faints.

Kirito wakes up with everyone’s eyes on him and Asuna especially close to him.

Klein reports the casualties but quickly changes the topic to asking what skill Kirito just used.

Kirito reveals that he just randomly acquired a dual weild skill which apparently no one else in the game has.

After everyone leaves, Asuna, who’s been holding on to Kirito for a good 5 minutes now, tells Kirito she’ll leave the Knights of the Blood to be with Kirito.

Kirito slaying a boss single-handedly with a dual wield skill makes front pages in the in-game newspaper.

Here’s a shot of Lizbeth for no reason.

Asuna and Kirito get summoned by the guild leader of the Knights of the Blood.

He’s not at all pleased with Kirito taking away one of his vice-commanders and challenges him to a duel with Asuna as a wager.

Thoughts:

Pretty okay episode. We got to see some of the other important characters like Klein and Lizbeth, albeit she only appeared for 5 seconds. Still, it’s good that the show acknowledges that its viewers want to see more than just Kirito and Asuna. Now, there really isn’t much to say this time around. The most important thing coming out of this episode is Kirito revealing that he had a dual wield skill. Now this is what I hate about this show’s story telling. It skips so many origin stories! Kirito can dual wield? When the hell did that happen? Which episode? God Sword Art Online! Why don’t you ever tell me about these cool things?! Yeah, sure. They’re objective was to surprise everyone but doing so puts a distance between the viewer and the protagonist. I mean, look at Kirito. He’s dressed in all black, he has one sword that can cut other swords and another one made out of dragon poop. Aren’t you curious as to how he got all that? The dragon poop sword? Fine. They actually had an episode showing how he acquired that. But the badass longcoat and the badass sword? Nope. The show has 24 episodes and I’m sure that Sword Art Online is big enough to go on as many seasons as it wants. It needs to realize how much time it actually has and it needs to slow down and stop with all these damn time skips! Look at the character development in a show like Guilty Crown. Shu started out as some sissy who wanted nothing to do with Gai’s plans, but the more battles he fought in, the more he grew. By the end of the series, Shu was just as powerful as Gai and was strong enough to defeat him. This didn’t happen in the span of two episodes like the evolution of noob Kirito to longcoat Kirito. Guilty Crown utilized all 22 of its episodes to show how Shu grew. Next thing you know, Silica’s going to reappear at level 9999 with an army of dragon warriors at her disposal and with G-cup breasts…One last thing I have to poke at is the visual quality in this particular episode. The ep didn’t look like the header image at the top of this post the whole time, but I did notice a lot more still shots and low-detail, zoomed-out angles. Sword Art Online usually has high-quality animation and great action sequences but it seems to be losing its consistency. Again, slow down. Take your time, Sword Art Online.

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