Sword Art Online 23 – There Goes the Budget…

But hey, look how high quality Leafa looks.

Summary:

Kazuto remembers the moment he found out about how he’s not blood related to Suguha, which was around the same time he started playing online games. He remembers his time in Sword Art Online as well as the moment he first saw Suguha again after recovering.

Kazuto just tells Suguha to meet him in the game.

Sugu logs in to find Recon waiting for her.

Leafa tells Recon that she separated from Kirito and walks away. Recon stops her to confess his feelings for her only to be friendzone punched.

Leafa meets with Kirito who challenges her to a duel.

The fight takes them to the air.

Leafa falls and Kirito catches her and apparently that makes everything okay now.

The two return to the base of the World Tree and now Kirito, Leafa, Yui and Recon enter together.

Kirito goes on the offensive while the two play support because only Kirito is allowed to be the manly hero in this anime.

Recon breaks formation to try to be a manly hero himself.

Only his finishing move is committing suicide. This scene is actually really more awesome than I’m making it out to be.

Despite Recon’s sacrifice, Kirito is still overwhelmed by the guardians.

Just then, Sakuya and Alicia appear.

Apparently cat people ride dragons and Alicia brought cat people on dragons to provide cover fire.

Leafa throws her sword to Kirito.

He uses both swords to rip through the guardian’s defenses.

Kirito manages to make it to the entrance.

He remembers the keycard Asuna gave them and uses that to open the entrance.

Thoughts:

Well, it’s Sword Art Online doing what it does best. I admit: I was actually wowed. They really went all out with this one. I thought it would have been hard to top the previous episode in terms of action and animation quality, but this episode is easily superior to the last in terms of those aspects. But what about the other parts of the episode? Pretty meh. The whole incest storyline is back to going nowhere and how (I assume) they just ended it with a magical airborne hug of reconciliation is just flat-out disappointing. “HEY SUGU. I’M HUGGING YOU IN AN ONLINE GAME. WE’RE OKAY NOW DERP.” I don’t see the logic in that. Actually, I don’t even see the logic of Leafa meeting Kirito in-game. It’s quite unrealistic really. Normally, when someone is mad at you, they either a) want to hurt you or b) ignore you. Sugu did neither. Yes, she did fight Kirito, but did she ever have plans of winning? Also, that line Kirito said about wanting to give that fight to Leafa just made him come off as a smug bastard who thinks he has to stoop lower for others. I’m agreeing with the SAO critics in that Kirito is too much of a Mary Sue. Anyway, there was also that little bit with Recon. Boy, where has he been off to? I don’t know if his confession was supposed to be a comedic segment or something because I was pretty much straight-faced throughout the whole scene. It’s cool though that he got his crowing moment of awesome by committing a heroic sacrifice but really, the writers just want him out of the story, don’t they? He just got killed off like an unpopular character from a telenovela. Then there’s Sakuya, her cleavage, and Alicia making their return to the show. I do remember that they promised to aid Kirito in reaching the top of the World Tree but apparently Kirito didn’t. He seriously couldn’t have waited for the MASSIVE ARMY willing to help him out? He could have saved himself and Leafa and Recon from getting killed. They just conveniently spawned at the World Tree when Kirito was about to be defeated again. That’s another really improbable coincidence, but hey, I don’t really expect anything better from the writing. The main reason I sit down to watch Sword Art Online every week is to see some great action and stellar production quality. If I wanted a good story, I’d watch Robotics; Notes. If I wanted both, I’d watch Zetsuen no Tempest. I’m telling you anything that don’t you already know…

Hey, if you wanna discuss anime with me, there’s the comment section but there’s also the Facebook page. Drop a message and I’ll get to you when I can!

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