Sword Art Online 20 – Bouncy Things and Explodey Things

Gainax? Did you make this episode?

Summary:

Kirito and Leafa get out of the cave and spot the army of Salamanders.

They’re too late to prevent the attack though.

Kirito literally crashes the party and proclaims that he is the ambassador for the Spriggans and if the Salamanders attack. They would incite war with all the races.

A man named Eugene steps up and challenges Kirito to prove himself.

Sakuya, the leader of the Sylphs, explains that Eugene is the most powerful player in the game.

Kirito proceeds to get his ass handed to him.

Kirito creates a giant smoke explosion and while everyone is blinded, he steals Leafa’s sword.

Kirito emerges out of the smoke slashes Eugene to death with his dual blades.

Eugene dies in an explosion.

Buuuut this is an online game so Eugene just respawns anyway.

Kagemune, the Salamander who attacked Leafa before, points out that Kirito was the one who wiped out his party.

Eugene praises Kirito’s skill and hands him a brofist before calling his troops back.

Learning of Sigurd’s plot of treachery, Sakuya pays him a visit and fires him.

The ladies start flirting with Kirito and Leafa butts in to stop them.

The two leaders thank Kirito again.

Leafa tells them about their plans to reach the top of the World Tree and asks help from them.

Kirito hands them a big bag of coins for their funds.

Meanwhile, Yui’s none too happy with her lack of screen time, and the fact that Kirito pretty much got a boner from the two ladies.

Kirito explains that Leafa is barely a girl. Leafa gets mad but Kirito clarifies that he meant that Leafa is easy to talk to.

Meanwhile, Asuna escapes from her cage somehow.

Thoughts:

Best episode in a while. I think this had the perfect balance of action and plot. It really showed off what SAO was good at while avoiding being a flop in things it needed improving on. Seriously, something must have been up in the budget because this episode was well animated. There was even boob physics…Yeah, there was that. Fanservice. Really depends on you to decide whether thats a motivator/demotivator to watch SAO. I’m the type who disapproves of fanservice but I expected it from Sword Art Online unlike Tasogare Otome x Amnesia where the fanservice just came from left field and it totally ruined the show for me. Still, it kinda adds to the evidence that the writers aren’t even trying to write something that would blow your mind and instead stuffing the show with the “Action and Fanservice” formula. At least they do it well. Almost Gainax level even. Speaking of Gainax this episode was more Gainax than Gainax is currently being. I mean, the action (and the boobs) were so exaggerated that it reminded me of Gurren Lagann. It’s not there yet, but it gives me hope that some day, probably by the final episode, Sword Art Online will pull of something that would make me go “Wow!” in real life. Also, I always felt that this little bit was side tracking from Kirito’s main objective. I mean, it’s “Let’s go to the World tree and save Asuna!” one day, then “Let’s go stop the Salamanders and forget about Asuna for a while!” the next day. Well, this little arc saved itself from my criticism (not that that means much anyway) since it ended in a way where it joins in on the Save Asuna story. So now, Kirito and Leafa are backed up by the two races. Making things bigger here. By the way, I still think Sigurd is a pointless character. Unless he’s going to pull something in the last two to six episodes, he’s pretty much there for almost no reason. He wasn’t even with the Salamanders¬† when they attacked. I believe that the story would have gone the same even without him involved. He just seems to be another generic evil character for the audience to hate. Huh. Whatever, he’s gone (I hope) and now the story moves on without him. Oh yeah, then there was Asuna breaking out of her cell. I hope this means the end of her playing the Damsel in Distress.

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