Sword Art Online 16 – Brofist

How often do you come a cross a black man running a bar in Japan?

Summary:

Kazuto meets Egil at his bar. Egil shows him a copy of Alfheim Online, where Asuna was supposedly seen.

Egil then shows Kazuto the screenshots of Asuna someone managed to take while scaling the World Tree in the game.

Kazuto returns home and which surprises Suguha into choking on a muffin.

Kazuto thanks Suguha for last night (Ohohohohoho!) and tells her that she’ll meet Asuna soon.

So now Kazuto puts on his NervGear to play ALO.

And he decides to make his character “Kirito” again.

Kirito experiences a glitch in the game before he could reach the beginner town.

He winds up in the middle of a forest.

Kirito checks to see if a Logout button is available.

He then checks his status and notices that it’s identical to his stats in Sword Art Online.

He also checks his items. They’re intact too, including Yui.

Kirito informs Yui of the situation and asks a few questions. Yui takes a second to analyze and says that ALO is built on basically the same structure as SAO so his save data in SAO was loaded by the game. Lazy game developers…

Turns out, Yui is identified as an assist character and turns into a pixie.

Kirito then practices flight, an emphasis in the game, with he help of Yui.

He ends up crashing in the middle of a battle between a female character (who uses a kendo stance. Not suspicious at all) and a group of thugs.

Kirito, confident in his instantly attained skills, manages to wipe out the thugs.

Thoughts:

Pretty decent episode though a bit rushed. Rushed in the sense that it never really gave the viewer enough time to grasp that Kirito is in a new world. I know a lot of people consider the typical panoramic camera shot to be the animators’ technique to consume more time while doing less animating, but that technique really helps expose the setting for the story. Do writers go into detail about a character’s surroundings just to fill up more pages? No, writers get so descriptive so that the reader can visualize the world of the story that the writer is trying to show him. This episode, I feel, didn’t really look into Alfheim Online with much detail. It went more on the games system and how it was similar to SAO except with flight. Anyway, this episode flowed kinda smoothly. It didn’t take too much time in the real world which is good. It didn’t take too much time with Kirito having internal monologues either. Everything that happened in this episode happened with just the right duration. The fight scenes seemed to have taken a step down now that it’s taken to the sky. What a paradoxical statement that was. It all felt really goofy and uncoordinated when it doesn’t have to be. Shows like Gundam and Dragonball have great aerial action and they’ve been around for years. The scene with Leafa fighting off those guys in red came off as if the animators were clueless on how aerial combat should look like. Overall this was a decent episode though I wish Alfheim Online had a better introduction.

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