Y’know, if they aired this episode with the first one I would’ve been immediately hooked. I found the first episode to be initially dry and slow, but with this one following up, I retract that statement. We have a good idea of what kind of world we’ll be witnessing from now on and what to expect in terms of characters. And I can’t wait.
The first episode established a premise that’s personal and quite frightening to think about, but it lacked emotional sympathy on Kirito’s part. This time, we got to look into his mind and situation a bit more; he’s a solo player, but not one by choice. He’s on his own because he wants to survive, but mostly because he’s bad at conversing with others.
The guilt of being a beta tester weighs him down, especially during his epiphany of how Diabel was helping others while he was only helping himself. This episode makes it perfectly clear he’s completely alone and without anyone to lean on, something I can sympathize with. Which is why I was shocked when Kirito pulled a Batman Gambit in the end and turned everyone against him. It’s things like these that allow a show to connect on a more emotional level.
I was actually sad when Diabel died; he was a pretty interesting character. Yeah, he tried to grab that final kill, but it takes serious guts to take charge in a world where death is easy and there’s no escape. He’s an ideal leader, looking out for other players and while encouraging team morale, not to mention he’s also brilliant strategist. The world of SAO will be even more treacherous now without him.
We finally get to see our leading lady Asuna. Not much is really known about her, other than she’s a solo player and wore a hooded cloak. I can understand why, since there aren’t many girls in SAO and she happens to be extremely cute and really powerful… but how could she see in that? Anyway, she lacks any MMO knowledge by the looks of it, and is particularly regretful about her situation, but seems strangely interested in Kirito. Well, since SAO looks like it knows what it’s doing, I’ll look forward to learning more about her character. I’m also anxious to see what kind of relationship she and Kirito will have in the future.
Then we have our token black-guy (I mean that in the most un-racist way possible), Agil, who appears in the opening so I expect to see him again soon. Definitely hoping to see more characters come in next episode.
From what I seen online, this episode rushed some of the events from the Light Novels. Can’t say anything regarding that, nor do I want to, but if you’re all curious (eyes light up) then check out this person on Tumblr who analysed events not included from the novels. BE WARNED of possible spoilers if you plan to read the LN. As an anime – and from a critical standpoint – SAO is doing a great job so far. It delivers on its promise of good leads and plenty of action; the boss battle is excellently crafted and animated, and is just simply entertaining. The grounds on which this anime takes place is still a bit shaky, but it’s a blast nonetheless with lots of potential. So don’t blow it, Tomohiko Ito.
“Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Ohmygod, SANTA’S COMING?!
Thanks for reading!