Sword Art Online, Episode 14 Rant

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The perfect way to open an episode! Another poor soul dying, and another point for the Kirito Death Count. I sure am loving my life right about now.

In either case, despite the poor start to the fight back in Episode 13, by the start of this episode the really cool looking boss has been brought down to like less than 1% of his HP. Seeing this, Heathcliff orders an all-out attack. We get a nice montage of ass-kicking which results in the death of the monster.

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This is one death that doesn’t count towards Kirito, sadly. By the way, I like how it took so much effort to remove 1% of his HP. Just how long was this fight or was that last part just for show?

On a side note, this episode is also the last time we hear crossing field by LiSA as the opening to the anime, as it will be replaced starting next episode. Minor factoid.

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With the battle won, everyone is dead tired. With good reason; anyone lacking a name so far was destined to die in one hit. We got to see 6 on screen deaths by the way, but because the anime does love me from time to time, they felt compelled to bring up the topic of how many were lost during the fight.

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Thanks, Kirito. This means the Kirito Death Count goes up by 9 so far this episode! What I like about the follow up scene to this declaration is the shocked looks on everyone’s faces. How much more shocked would they be if they learned that could have all been avoided had Kirito simply hacked into the system two episodes ago and ended the game then and there?

As the people lament the dangers of the remaining 25 floors, Kirito looks on to see Heathcliff standing rather calmly among the raid party. Kirito has a flashback to his duel with the dude, and then takes note that Heathcliff’s HP is still above 50% (therefore in the “green” as they say).

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Acting on a hunch from way back when, Kirito launches a surprise attack on Heathcliff. Caught off-guard, the man is unable to block the move, but his inability to defend it meant little regardless.

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We find out (are you ready??) that Heathcliff is also an immortal object! Something existing outside the laws of the game itself!!

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The above image is pretty much the reaction of everyone in the raid party.

After Kirito so blatantly reminds us of what it means that Heathcliff is an immortal object, we get the truth from the man himself. Heathcliff is in fact Akihiko Kayaba, the creator of Sword Art Online!

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I’m getting real mileage out of this image.

Heathcliff asks Kirito how he was able to figure him out, to which Kirito responds it all went back to the duel. He noticed how Heathcliff moved too fast to be real, that he had cheated somehow to win the match. Heathcliff (rather, Kayaba from now on) admits he goofed on that one, but was forced to cheat in order to win. Basically, he’s stroking Kirito’s raging boner right now.

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Aside from that, Kayaba outright admits he is also the game’s final boss, and would have been challenged at the end of Floor 100 had he not been found out this soon. Kayaba is also rather pleased with this, as if it’s the most original thing ever to have the strongest player become the final boss. Except even today in 2016 it’s been done to death in games, film and TV. But I suppose he is a loser nerd programmer so it makes sense he’s out of the loop on this one.

What’s more, Kayaba admits that he programmed the Dual Wield skill into the game so that it goes to a single player who would then act the part of the Hero to lead the charge against the final boss. He staged everything (for the most part), and would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for those meddlin’ kids! Oh wait… meddlin’ Kirito? Actually, if we think about it, giving a single player the ultimate skill to then thrust this role upon them was rather stupid.

He assumed the best player would also inspire a following and demonstrate leadership for the rest of the player base. Which Kirito does not. He’s in fact the polar opposite of the Hero Kayaba imagined. But then again, that’s the whole point of an MMORPG. Every player is the Hero in a sense, and having only one play this one role doesn’t jive with the very concept of MMORPGs. But again, Kayaba isn’t the brightest bulb, and it’s his first RPG. Maybe he’ll get it right with Sword Art Online 2? If ever such a thing happened…

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As Kayaba exposits like mad, one of the dudes kinda goes berserk (with good reason, I hate these kinds of reveals) and tries to kill him in one stroke. Kayaba just uses his menu to inflict permanent paralysis on him. Which begs the question: why do this? I mean, he’s already got God Mode turned on, right? The guy could attack forever and never hurt Kayaba. But I guess it would be kinda annoying to try and talk with someone wailing away on you with their sword. What’s more, Kayaba goes ahead and inflicts this paralysis on everyone except Kirito.

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No, Kirito. Kayaba prefers not to do his own dirty work. But I’m sure you can help him on that account.

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Actually, Kayaba offers Kirito a chance to battle one on one. If Kirito loses, they have to ascend the last 25 floors like normal. If Kirito wins, the game ends right then and there. Not a bad choice, really.

Naturally, Kirito chooses not to fight, and continue to ascend the floors of Aincrad one by one until they reach Floor 100. After all, it’s only Episode 14! What else are we to do if the game ends here?

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But no, of course Kirito chooses to accept his duel. Despite Asuna’s protests, he thinks he can do this on his own. To “avenge” the people he let die (like Sacchi, who was shown again for the millionth time dying). Either way, I’m just glad to see this over too.

Before the fight, Kirito says what may as well be his farewells to Agil (misspelled Egil here) and Klein, before demanding one condition from Kayaba (that Asuna not be allowed to commit suicide should he fall). I find this condition a bit condescending since he seriously thinks Asuna cannot live without him. Well, condescending and narcissistic. Chances are if he were to die, she’d just move on with her life and consider him a one-off boyfriend. With the added benefit that upon returning to the real world, she doesn’t have the physical proof he was her first!

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So the battle rages on, Kirito doing his best but Kayaba really not putting much effort into anything besides blocking and the occasional swing. Kirito is at a bit of a disadvantage here since the man does know everything about the game being the lead designer. All the same he’s fighting, trying harder and harder to land a single blow against a shield that cannot be destroyed (Kayaba is now vulnerable to damage, but his shield is oddly enough still unable to be destroyed like any other piece of equipment in the game). This is proven when Kirito’s sword eventually breaks against the shield.

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I think this is the point he realizes he was cheated all the same. Caught on recoil from this, Kirito can do nothing to defend himself when Kayaba counters with what would be a fatal blow.

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And then this happens.

Let me explain this in detail.

In order to have their one on one match, Kayaba used his ability to control the very fabric of SAO to inflict a permanent paralysis effect on everyone else. This means they are unable to move unless the effect is cured. Which it can’t because one they need to be able to move to cure it, and two it’s imposed by the system and therefore cannot be removed unless Kayaba does so.

So how did Asuna break out of the paralysis effect to jump in the way and defend Kirito? We don’t know. It’s clearly illogical and virtually impossible given what I just said. Not to mention she does this at the perfect moment to take a fatal blow herself, rather than use her own sword to defend the blow and NOT die in the process.

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Considering she was killed by another player, is it right to count her death towards Kirito? Ehh… we’ll consider it at the end of the episode.

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What kills me about this whole scene (and honestly what makes it all worth watching in the end) is that Kayaba finds the plot hole amusing. There’s literally no other way to describe it; he has seen a plot hole with his own eyes and cannot actually explain it without breaking the fourth wall. Which I swear to god he should have done for extra measure.

In either case, Kirito tries pitifully to fight, but his swings have such a lack of force that Kayaba cannot stand to watch this for more than a few seconds. He disarms Kirito in one stroke before plunging his sword directly into his gut.

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This is the end of Sword Art Online.

Kirito (Final) Death Count: 31 (I considered making it 32 by counting Asuna, but she was directly killed by Kayaba so I’ll let him have that one)

Thanks everyone for reading! I hope to keep writing these rants for other series in the future. It’s been fun, to say the least.

Sword Art Online, Episode 14 Rant

Sword Art Online, Episode 13 Rant

The date is November 5, 2024. It’s been four days since the last episode, but we aren’t given an exact number of how many people have died between then and now to up Kirito’s kill count. Sad, I know.

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What’s more, this episode opens up with one of the most boring images I have ever seen in my life: Kirito fishing. Apparently Asuna wasn’t in the mood for virtual sex.

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Before the scene can get any more boring, a seemingly random guy shows up to fish alongside him. Nishida is his name, and he does very little to make this episode any more interesting than it currently is. He explains out of the blue that in the real world he oversaw network security for the internet connections of the SAO servers. Fun tidbit though it was, it does nothing for us or the plot. Nishida catches a fish before lamenting that he can’t even cook them. To which Kirito says he can offer aid.

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This is our reward. Gods help us.

You know what really scares me though? The majority of this episode is actually drawn straight from SAO Volume 1. About 23 pages worth of content that quite honestly felt like filler far more than the horrible Yui subplot. Staying true to the source material is all well and good (especially when it works, like in say Haruhi Suzumiya), but here? This was not necessary.

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We cut to this awful scene of a poor dead fish with the most terrifying look of HORROR on its face. Asuna cooked the thing for Nishida, and apparently fish bones are perfectly rendered. I know I harp on this anime for the food details but seriously? You mean to tell me it’s actually possible to consume food in a nuanced manner that doesn’t just involve simple bite/chew/swallow actions? Bullshit is called, I’m upset, etc. etc.

With nothing else pressing going on, we get a subplot where Kirito and Asuna agree to help out Nishida with catching a really large fish. Because…you know, that’s a thing? Do you see how utterly pointless this whole episode is and we’re barely 4 minutes in? Yui was just as bad but at least it wasn’t blatantly wasting our time. Just insulting our intelligence. I wonder which is worse?

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Kirito and Asuna engage in some equally pointless pillow talk, which brings up the above line. You want to know why Kirito brought him, Asuna?

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That’s why. FUCK that’s scary.

They talk about how they have to finish the game to help the people who are trapped in the game, which is hilariously hypocritical considering they have been wasting all sorts of time fucking around this log cabin on Floor 22. There is nothing going on here, people. This is the episode. I’m dying inside too, trust me.

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So the next day, we see that Nishida has apparently drawn in a crowd with his mission to catch the giant fish. Complete with custom banners! It’s a good thing this was all programmed into the game, right? Almost as if Kayaba planned for this place to become a virtual real life prison. A literal virtual prison…? I’m starting to fail at words this episode is so boring, bear with me here.

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Kirito’s expression is my expression with the amount of NO STAKES being had in this episode.

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Eventually Nishida and Kirito both pull the giant “fish” from the lake. It turns out to be this thing. Okay. Can we move on now?

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Okay, Asuna kills it dead. NOW can we move on?

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I never thought I’d be so happy to see this. In the midst of the celebration of having defeated the giant monster fish, Kirito receives a message from Heathcliff. The two are finally being recalled to the front line, which is a godsend for we the viewer after two and a half unbearable episodes of nothing happening. Kirito laments it’s only been two weeks, but honestly? Fuck you, Kirito. I just want to be done with this arc already.

It’s November 7 when Kirito and Asuna depart, but not before another long scene involving Nishida. We get it, he’s another example of the populace trapped in the game they need to save. And how being trapped in the game was the same as letting their real lives be wasted away. Got it. Move on.

 

We meet up with Heathcliff again, who informs Kirito and Asuna why they were called back from their vacation time. It seems that after sending in a party to assess the boss of Floor 75, they were completely wiped out. Ten people, dead. Add that to Kirito’s kill count, please.

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These 10 were among the best in the game (not counting cheaters Kirito and Heathcliff, mind you). So naturally Heathcliff thinks the best strategy is to send in more people to die needlessly. Because, why not? Fuck them all, am I right?

Regardless, Kirito agrees (of course) and volunteers, his only concession being some guarantee of Asuna’s safety. But she basically tells him to fuck off, that she was going to participate regardless and to keep his chauvinism to himself.

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As they wait for the commencement of the hunt, Kirito confesses that he’s totally okay with spending the rest of their lives in SAO, living in the log cabin and enjoying kinky virtual sex. However, Asuna pretty much tells him no, that she doesn’t want to let her prime teenage body rot in a hospital bed in the real world, and that they have to go back. They have to risk it all to return so they can have real life kinky sex instead.

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Naturally that’s all the convincing Kirito needs to pull up his big boy pants and double down on the need to finish the game. Great exchange, huh?

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So finally the raid party gathers on Floor 75, including Klein and Agil as well. These two die, and you can be certain I’d cry. But they don’t, so no worries. Would almost be more dramatic if they did. In either case, the raid is being lead by Heathcliff, so it’ll be the first time we see him in legitimate action outside the sissy duel with Kirito a few episodes ago.

Heathcliff gives a rather weak pep talk which nevertheless gets the whole party pumped, and then in they go. It was mentioned in the novels that Floors 25 and 50 were especially difficult, and that’s where most of the fear and tension came now that Floor 75 was upon them. Nothing to this effect was mentioned in the anime, so that’s why I had to bring it up.

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The party runs into the boss room, only to come face to face with this. Admittedly it’s a rather nasty looking boss monster, and props are due for the design. It also instills fear in the generic party members, so naturally they shit themselves and make idiot mistakes in the process.

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And right off the bat two of them are killed with one strike. Add two to Kirito’s death count please.

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Despite Heathcliff’s best efforts to safeguard everyone, another poor fool is offed. Add another to Kirito’s death count please.

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After an initial strike against the boss, another two are downed with one hit, while Agil managed to survive the same blow. It sucks that nameless characters get killed so easily while those who have associated with Kirito get to endure. So unfair. Also, add two to the Kirito death count.

The episode ends here mid-fight, with Kirito and Asuna going for an all out offensive. We will see how this all ends next time.

Kirito Death Count: 22 (10 members of the initial recon team killed off screen, with another 5 killed in the fight with the boss of Floor 75. Yes, he is responsible for all of them because he could have ended the game last episode.)

Sword Art Online, Episode 13 Rant

Sword Art Online, Episode 12 Rant

We open on November 1, 2024. It’s immediately after the end of the previous episode, where a whole lot of NOTHING happen and it ended with Yui having a spasm over poorly written reasons for her existence. But trust me, that’s not the worst of this episode. If Episode 11 had nothing happening, and everything before that was supposedly infuriating, that was all NOTHING compared to what awaits us this episode.

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See, the woman from the previous episode (who is strangely enough dressed like a nun while residing in a church, talk about dressing the part) is looking after a bunch of kids who are trapped in SAO much like the rest of the population. I get that kids also got their grubby little mitts on SAO back when it launched, but it does make me wonder how kids as young as the ones seen here (let’s put them around 10 tops, so about 8 when this all started) managed that. A game that had a limited run of 10,000 hard copies and no other way to get it outside standing in line. Did their parents wait in line? An older sibling? It just doesn’t add up, really. A few kids here and there sure, but this many?

Either way, what’s more surprising is that they’ve been huddled into this church and floor for two years since it all started. Kids are resilient buggers, and they aren’t exactly capable of understanding a concept as profound as permadeath even if explained to them. Well, this might just be me talking down, but frankly I’d think most of them would have taken to the game like fish to water. I’m surprise more of them aren’t front runners like Kirito and Asuna; hell if that moronic Silica with her tween idiocies can become somewhat famous and successful, why not these kids?

But I digress, since talking about these nameless kids is far more interesting than what the anime wants us to focus on: Yui.

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Yui is a waste of our time. A character written into the plot for no other reason than to pay homage to another series that no doubt inspired series author Reki Kawahara. Except it hardly worked in that series any better than it does here. And on top of that, gives us a reason to want to SLAP THE SHIT OUT OF KIRITO MORE THAN-

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. I just want to share this so bad I’m tempted to skip ahead to the end of the episode.

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Ironically, this is the excuse we’re given as to why these kids didn’t just take the news that they would be playing SAO forever like some godsend and high tail it to the fields with swords in hand. That’s it, really. No other elaboration or explanation, just they suffered trauma and they stayed behind. Did they regress mentally? Did they want to hole up in a room and never see the light of day again? All this would make for interesting character studies, to see a side of the story we don’t get to focus on often because we have to follow our glorious protagonist Kirito as he defeats everything that gets in his way and fucks every girl that crosses his path.

Except all he does is virtually bone Asuna who is somehow still embarrassed about him seeing her in underwear? I guess if she started walking around out of clothes all the time the allure of her timidity would be lost entirely, huh.

Sorry, I’m going off on tangents again aren’t I?

The fact of the matter is the girl who’s playing Mother Theresa has never seen Yui before (naturally), and has no information to give our protagonists regarding her. So the entire last half Episode 11 and the first few minutes of Episode 12 were a colossal waste of our time. Thanks, anime.

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Finally we have the arrival of Yulier, a weird name if ever I heard one in this anime, who’s come on behalf of herself and not her guild (the Army) with a quest of sorts for Kirito and Asuna. Because you know, there’s clearly no one else in all the first floor who could possibly help her out. But I won’t harp on this much since at least SOMETHING other than the quest to find out shit about Yui is happening.

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Before we hear what Yulier’s request is, we’re treated to a bit of background information regarding the Army, including how Kibaou (remember this stupid fuck??) rose the ranks in the guild and has since caused it to splinter from within. On top of that, he’s also hogging spawn points and other video gamey nonsense that makes little sense to a real gamer but sounds legit for people who don’t play games. Needless to say, he’s become an asshole and a “threat” if one can even call it that to anyone without a pair of balls below Floor 50. And to keep himself in some semblance of power, he also sent the highest leveled members of the Army to the front lines so people couldn’t say he was being a lazy bastard. In other words, the same group of morons that nearly got themselves killed way back in Episode 9.

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As a last ditch attempt to stay in power, Kibaou has also caused the Army guild leader to become stranded in a dungeon. And this is why Yulier has come to our protagonists with her problems. She can’t do anything about it on her own, and clearly she can’t ask anyone IN HER OWN GUILD FOR HELP. Because you know, Kibaou is somehow coercing people loyal to the guild leader to NOT go helping him. Convenient, right?

Either way, Kirito and Asuna both ask obvious questions, such as why Thinker (the guild leader) hasn’t used a crystal to get out of the dungeon when shit went south.

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So he went into a dungeon not only unarmed, but also left all his gear at home? Thinker didn’t think very hard, did he? I say fuck him, he deserves to die for being a fucking ASS CLOWN.

But naturally, the two decide to help. Asuna because she MIGHT be a genuinely good person, and Kirito because he has to play the hero and because Yulier happens to be a woman. Odd how many women are in this game and Kirito just so happens to meet them, huh?

Asuna is a bit smarter than average, though, and mentions that before she goes stepping into any crazy traps she wants to verify that Yulier is being on the level with everything she’s said so far.

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How the fuck do you know this, Yui?

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THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP!

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But of course Kirito says why the fuck not and off they go. Why oh why can’t his fuck all attitude get HIM killed instead of people around him? Also, side note: I like how detailed this “game world” is that even TEARS are rendered in real time. Smells, tears, grass effects; all this in the next 6 years!

Kirito and Asuna plan to leave Yui behind since they will be going through a high level dungeon, but the brat says she wants to go so without much of a fight Kirito and Asuna just say FINE and bring her along.

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Worst parenting ever.

We cut to a place called the Black Iron Palace, which is located in the Town of Beginnings. Turns out there is a super high level optional dungeon here, and this is what Kibaou has been monopolizing when it comes to those “spawn points”. Just before they enter, Kirito, Asuna and Yui all have this cheerful little exchange about how Yui is not scared at all despite them about to enter a dangerous high level dungeon.

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This is the face of a woman who can’t believe these two fuckbags are bringing a kid who can’t fight into this place. Can’t say I blame her.

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While the group explores the place, Kirito has a blast mowing down the monsters solo (because he can), and then presents his would-be wife with this. Not only does it look fucking DISGUSTING, it turns out to be frog leg meat that he wants her to cook. Asuna is naturally disgusted (as we’d all be by that thing) and throws that shit away immediately.

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Kirito just pulls out more… I don’t even… is this supposed to be funny?

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Yulier, I’m just like you right now. I just want it to be over…

Eventually they find Thinker, who has been hiding out in a safe zone within the dungeon all this time. And with good reason:

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Turns out the Grim Reaper is haunting the halls of this dungeon. While the monster design is generic at best and corny as fuck at worst, it does cause our protagonists to panic slightly when they realize the boss’s level is so high they can’t even SEE it. Naturally this means Kirito has to play the badass and tell Asuna to escape while he holds it off.

Uhh…WHY? Kirito can just as easily go into the safe zone with the others, use a crystal and escape. Why does he have to hold this thing off?

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Check this, Asuna and Kirito both are no more than TEN FEET from the safe zone! There is NO REASON for him or Asuna to act as decoys when a quick sprint will put them out of the monster’s reach!

But no, Asuna is just as STUPID as Kirito and decides to step forward with him to face this ridiculously overpowered monster. You know what? FINE. Better this way, they can both die together. Maybe now we can focus on the adventures of Klein as he acts like a genuine human being on his quest to save the rest of SAO from certain death.

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I like how one attack from this monster took Asuna down to less than half her max HP. Despite the fact that not only was she blocking, but she was doing so BEHIND Kirito and therefore should have taken less damage than him. And yet his HP is still at like 90%. Just how broken is he for the sake of being a badass? Also note the error where Kirito’s HP gauge appears closer to full on Asuna’s menu but above his head is much lower.

Regardless, Kirito cannot move after the attack, and both of them watch in horror as Yui just walks out of the safe zone and up to the monster with the intent to kick its ass solo. She’s got bigger balls than both of them combined, at least. But of course, nothing to fear; she was never in any real danger you see.

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Turns out, Yui isn’t an NPC, but something entirely different. Labeled an IMMORTAL OBJECT, it basically means she cannot be harmed by anything; she’s like a piece of decoration that is not subject to the rules of the game. She then proceeds to pull a giant flaming sword out her tiny ass and one shot this super monster. Because you know, she totally can.

If I were Kirito, I’d be more upset that I didn’t get EXP for that kill.

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And of course, because she suddenly turned on GOD MODE, Yui now remembers everything about herself. She also donned her white dress again because why not? It’d be weird if she were explaining who she were wearing that tasteless pink sweater anyway.

Prepare for the cliff notes of an exposition dump!

Yui explains to us that SAO is run by Cardinal, the name of the AI that runs the game. Basically, Cardinal is the RNG Goddess, so to speak. Designed to run SAO without help, it’s the reason why no one in the real world has to manage the game. Bullshit, of course, as the servers do need routine human maintenance but this is the anime’s way of handwaving that little bit of nonsense. Shame they couldn’t address this 11 episodes ago and save me a ton of grief. Not that I buy it in the least, but it’s still nice to know. Makes it easier to bitch about things, see.

Anyway, Yui is a part of Cardinal, specifically designed to oversee player mental health. How this is even POSSIBLE isn’t addressed, nor why this system was personified as a little girl. Either way, Yui suffered something of a malfunction (characterized as acute insanity and amnesia on the little girl avatar) when SAO was turned into the death trap it is now. Something about her being taken offline and unable to assist players with their mental health issues. Because you know, AI is capable of this kind of thing.

Do you see how ridiculous this sounds? This isn’t me being unwilling to suspend my disbelief to give this anime a pass. This is sheer fucking stupidity.

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I’m being honest here. This is an idea taken directly from dot Hack, only instead of being programmed directly into the game, in that series the consciousness known as Aura was birthed from the game itself; the game became self-aware. That is crazy, but plausible even considering the story. This? This is paying homage while ripping off the plot point from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and what happened with Yuki Nagato.

Why did I accept it there and not here? Not because Haruhi came first, but because in that series Yuki was an AI created by beings with far greater technological prowess than humans. Yui is an AI created by one man. Six years from now, roughly. You mean to tell me one man was capable of creating an AI this self-aware and decided to stick her in the middle of a RNG in a video game as a pet project? That’s what I don’t buy.

That’s what I call bullshit on.

Not to mention the fact that after two years of just being idle and unable to do anything, Yui claims she saw Kirito and Asuna being HAPPY and decided to break free of her programming and meet them. And that’s why she has a physical presence in the game world now. Do you see now? How utterly ridiculous this is? You mean to tell me that Kirito and Asuna were the ONLY two players happy in SAO in two years? That NO ONE ELSE was as happy as they were? BULL. FUCKING. SHIT.

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It is, but that’s not stopping the shitty writing from happening anyway.

I’m not saying this whole idea couldn’t be salvaged. Surely there’s a way to make it so you could have Yui in some fashion as a self-aware AI born of this fuckfest game. But the way it was written was not going to work. Just doesn’t fucking work. On top of the fact that this plot point wasn’t necessary anyway. We could have done without her and the gaping plot hole she brings with her.

What plot hole,” you ask?

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Being a part of Cardinal, Yui has access to a GM console. That is to say, she has DIRECT ACCESS TO THE INTERNALS OF THE GAME WORLD. At any point during her lengthy explanation about what she is, she could have given Kirito and Asuna direct access to this terminal and everything that entails.

See what I’m getting at?

Yui’s very existence has given Kirito and Asuna a chance to directly fuck with the game. To end this game of death RIGHT THAT SECOND. An opportunity that doesn’t last long because she wasted all that time talking while Cardinal worked behind the scenes to delete her and her access for good. So even as she’s deleted from SAO, Kirito and Asuna have mere seconds to use the terminal and end this game for good.

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Thankfully, even Kirito picks up on this and immediately goes to work. Somehow he’ll find a way to force a shut down of the game, or at the very least remove whatever changes were implemented that would cause immediate death to the player in the real world. Frantically he types, hoping to get his work done before Yui’s access is wiped from the system for good.

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The race is on. Hundreds of thousands of unintelligible shit floods Kirito’s field of view as an intense HACKING MONTAGE plays. It all rests on his shoulders now. If he can manage this, he can save 6000 lives in one fell swoop.

Just as the process finishes, Kirito is forcefully booted from the system terminal. Did he do it? Was he able to accomplish something, if not a safe exit from the game?

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Kirito hands a small tear shaped item to Asuna. This is what he was able to accomplish. This item will surely be invaluable to their escape from SAO. With baited breath Asuna awaits a response from Kirito on just what this item is.

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…what?

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…WHAT?!

I wish this were some cruel joke. But it isn’t.

In the few moments Kirito had to access the very fabric of SAO, he chose to waste his time converting Yui’s data into an in game item.

Remove the death penalty? Nah.

Force quit the server and end the game? Of course not.

But save the memories of an AI little girl?

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THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT!

I just…I can’t…

>404 ERROR

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Bonus round: Yui says this line as she’s fading from existence. Tell that to Sachi and every other person Kirito has killed.

Kirito Death Count: did not rise this episode, but from now on any other on screen deaths can be attributed to him directly. He had a chance to stop this game, and didn’t. All other deaths from here on in? HIS FAULT!

Sword Art Online, Episode 12 Rant

Sword Art Online, Episode 11 Rant

So we open this episode on October 24, a couple days after the Kuradeel incident to see that NOW Heathcliff allows both Kirito and Asuna to take a break from the guild activities following that breach of security. What surprises me (as well as our two protagonists) is that Heathcliff is just okay with this leave of absence. He protested it before to the point of challenging Kirito to a duel, and now it’s just okay? It could be argued they earned it following that nonsense but this isn’t even brought up as a determining factor. He’s just like, “Okay, take a break.”

It’s nitpicking I know but it only provides further proof that forcing Kirito into the guild was a pointless plot thread to fill time.

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We cut to Floor 22, where Kirito and Asuna have purchased a nice little cabin in the woods. There are a few shots of the woods around the place and the view and all that jazz. But it’s clear why these two chose such a remote place to live as a married couple:

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By that, she means crazy kinky virtual sex. Which I still don’t understand given this IS a video game and I’m pretty sure it’s neither possible to have sex (no dicks or pussy to stick said dick into) or even remove the underwear from the avatar. But I think even the writers forget this is all a video game at times.

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Kirito asks the hard questions; such a relationship would normally only be a silly in game thing. But this is anime, and the game in question is so real to them that it may as well be real life. But this question is honestly only brought up for the moment. There is no follow up to it, nor do we spend any real amount of time dissecting the idea of what’s real and what isn’t when it comes to Aincrad. Admittedly it would be redundant eleven episodes into the show, but it never stops being a relevant topic of conversation if these were even remotely like real people. Which they aren’t.

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What follows is a bunch of nothing as these two spend a honeymoon together. Since this isn’t a porno and hardly well written, this mainly consists of cheesy love messages between the two. It’s honestly quite dull.

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Yeah, they “played” all right… Also, how the fuck did they nail pictures to the wall? Can you just snap screen shots in game and have them generated into physical objects? If this is a thing, why hasn’t it been brought up before? And if it is a thing, you do realize how possible it would be to spread scandalous photos of people all over the game world? This is an interesting idea! Can we follow this?

No, we can’t. We just cut to them taking a stroll through the forest. There’s really nothing happening in this episode at first.

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If they’ve fucked (or come as close to fucking as they can), why does she care if Kirito gets a glimpse up her skirt?

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After a few minutes of literally nothing happening, the two come across a girl in the forest just wandering about. This is how boring things have gotten. Anyway, because there was nothing else going on, the two carry the suddenly unconscious girl back to their cabin. They of course wonder why such a young child was wandering about such a relatively high floor, as well as point out the fact she has no player cursor or doesn’t act like an NPC. But they don’t outright give us the answer to what she is. Because that would mean something is happening this episode. And we can’t have that, can we?

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Eventually the girl does wake up, and it seems she likes staring at people creepily as they sleep. I say they should throw her back out in the woods where they found her.

The girl identifies herself as Yui, without any clue why she was in the forest or even without much in the way of vocal skills. So apparently fucked up is the girl in the head she immediately starts calling Asuna and Kirito mama and papa. This raises virtually no red flags to the two, and they just roll with it. Because, you know, this totally isn’t a game world and this totally isn’t a potential player character who has experienced some kind of trauma that has left her all kinds of fucked up.

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They do come to this conclusion before long, but they seem to forget the fact that Yui lacks a player cursor. This isn’t something casually forgotten, either. These things are ALWAYS above a player’s head, and Yui is lacking this. Meaning she can’t possibly be a player character!

So they decide to check the first floor for clues as to who she really is. These two are complete morons.

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You two have known her for all of a few hours. Fuck off if you feel any kind of paternal instinct towards her. Perhaps if it had been a few days, sure. But it has literally been less than a DAY.

We cut to Floor 1 on October 31. While casually remembering when this whole mess started, the two lead Yui around the town hoping to jog her memory. But of course, that won’t happen because she doesn’t have a memory to begin with, but we have to pad out this episode somehow, right?

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In the process of this, they run across a group of players from the Army guild (last seen and mentioned in Episode 9) harassing a woman and children players in the street. These thugs are basically shaking the kids down for money, which in a more realistic setting would make sense. But this is a game, remember? These kids, young and frightened though they may be, have to know TWO YEARS INTO THE GAME that they cannot be harmed within the confines of the city. Yet this is a thing? And this woman doesn’t just push past the idiots and take the kids and go? Seriously?

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It doesn’t matter if they’re a group of Lv100 fully stocked player killers. Within the city, THEY CAN’T DO SHIT.

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But of course, this whole situation exists so that Kirito and Asuna can step in and save the day. How fucking typical. And boring, to be honest.

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And still these ass clowns continue to blow hot air around. Until Asuna kicks one of their asses.

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But even this does zero damage, so it’s all for show. And then they run away scared shitless. Why? Because. Yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds.

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And then out of no where Yui starts spazzing out over hearts in the sky before she falls silent again. I think she was having flashbacks of playing shitty Kingdom Hearts spinoffs. It happens to me all the time.

Her spasm also causes the entire game to flicker out of color, which should raise more red flags but Asuna’s first concern is Yui? And with that nonsense, the episode ends.

A whole lot of NOTHING.

Sword Art Online, Episode 11 Rant