It just had to be in one of the best episodes…
So, the untied players finally defeat the floor boss.
Kirito notices something strange about Heathcliff and attacks him, revealing his “immortal object” status.
Heathcliff reveals that he is actually the game’s creator, Kayaba.
Heathcliff begins to paralyze everyone except Kirito.
He throws a challenge at Kirito: If he defeats him right there, He will free everyone from the game. Asuna tells Kirito not to fall for it but Kirito accepts Heathcliff’s challenge.
And so an epic duel ensues. I just have to get this show’s OST. It’s damn good.
One of Kirito’s blades break leaving him open to an attack.
Somehow, Asuna breaks out of paralysis and block’s Heathcliff’s slash.
Then she dies on Kirito’s arms.
Heathcliff finishes Kirito by poking him.
Kirito somehow defies the rules of the game and stabs Heathcliff before he dies.
Oh hey, Silica, where have you been all this time?
Kirito and Asuna wake up in some invisible floor above the world.
They watch as the world of Sword Art Online crumbles.
Just then, Kayaba appears in his real form.
He tells the two that the 6000 who survived are already waking up. Hey! Kibaou’s still alive!
He tells the two about how his idea for Sword Art Online came to be. Then he walks away and disappears.
Kirito and Asuna share their real life names before parting ways.
Kirito wakes up.
He’s now a pale, shrivelled boy.
He gets out of his bed and walks, probably to find Asuna.
No doubt, the best episode Sword Art Online has delivered so far. In terms of plot and drama, it doesn’t get any better than this for SAO. This episode leaves the viewer with so much to think about and feel for. In the end, watching that pale, malnourished kid walk out was simply heart-wrenching. When you think about it, this boy has been in a coma for two years. Kirito hasn’t eaten in two years and his real life appearance sort of reflects that. Though his face should probably be a lot skinnier. What kind of ruined that scene for me was when the credits song started playing. That was very anti-climactic and didn’t fit the mood at all. Then there was that scene with Asuna and Kirito watching the world crumble, definitely a highlight of the story. You just know that the turning point has come when that scene plays. No, it definitely doesn’t have to do with the fact that the show is halfway done. Wait. The show is only half way done? What’s going to happen in the next 10 episodes? N-E-waaaay…Something that I totally have to criticize for in this episode is its abruptness. It’s like the writers got bored with the online game world and said “F**k it. Let’s reveal Heathcliff’s identity already and have Kirito finish the game.” Not sure if it was like that in the novel because I haven’t read it. Yes, it was a plot twist but it was a terrible one. It’s like when a live drama series kills off one of the characters because that actor’s contract was expiring. Maybe Heathcliff’s VA thought he had better things to do? Anyway, it just came off as forced and it just ruined the momentum this show was going. Then again, I really shouldn’t be surprised. This is the show that has month-long timeskips where its main character is shown hunting for dragon poop in one episode to dual weilding against a giant goat-thing in the next. Really, the story of this show is good, great even, pretty small-scale given what it could be but still good. The problem with this is the pacing. Godammit writers, Kirito better not be a 42-year-old office worker with a wife and three kids in the next episode! All kidding aside, it’s quite a deal breaker for me. Towards the latter half of the show, those pacing problems seemed to have died down then this happens. Hopefully the next ten episodes fare better.
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