Oh how I wish I had been truthful the last time I visited this series of rants. But unfortunately for the world, the story did not end with Kirito’s death. And sadly, this also means his death count will continue to rise as the series progresses. What? Thought I’d forget about that? NEVER!
So last we left off, this had happened. Broken by the loss of Asuna, Kirito hardly tried to fight Kayaba one-on-one before getting impaled in this manner. Now, this is where it should have ended. This much is true, because we clearly see the following images following his impaling:
As you can see here, Kirito’s life bar is completely empty. Now, I’m no expert, but I have played enough video games to know that an empty life bar usually means DEATH.
Yup, even the server seems to agree with me. Kirito is clearly dead. That’s it. Has to be, right?
Oh, but there’s still a lot more to this episode and rant. So of course it’s not the end. Let me tell you what follows. Come, stay a while and listen.
Kirito is fading from the game world. His avatar is going through the pre-set animation to explode his body into a million tiny fragments as we’ve seen dozens of times throughout the course of the show. But somehow, he’s willing himself to remain corporeal just long enough to enact one final action! This has no logical explanation, not if we’re going by the rules laid down by the anime itself. Kirito is dead now; his last moment in this virtual reality is solely for him to complete an animation process that will then trigger the NerveGear in the real world to emit deadly microwaves that will fry his brain.
And yet this is happening. Even Kayaba, essentially a god to everyone here because of his ability to manipulate the game directly as well as being the lead creative mind behind the project cannot fathom what is happening. Look at his face! He’s so stunned by this utter bullshit that he can only take a step back in disbelief.
And Kirito manages to stick his sword directly through Kayaba’s gut. He doesn’t move to get out of the way. He doesn’t try and parry the blow with his invincible shield. All he does is SMILE as this happens. He has no words for what just happened. Twice in the span of minutes he has witnessed plot holes so grand whole galaxies could fly through. I can only imagine Kayaba would have shrugged his shoulders at this had he enough time to. Because you know, he can’t delay his own death in this game like Kirito. Oh no, that’s a power exclusive to our cheating protagonist.
We get a few sweeping shots of various characters and locales before an automated message informs the whole of Aincrad that the game was successfully beaten. This echoes a bit before we cut to the next scene. We don’t get a huge celebration from the populace. We don’t get to see the tearful reactions of the masses at hearing this most wanted of news. Because how dare we care about someone other than Kirito? No, we MUST know what happened to him!
We find Kirito standing out among the clouds, Asuna close by. His interface tells him that the final phase of the game is about 55% complete. Questions arise of course; why is Asuna still alive? She died like whole minutes before Kirito. Kirito being spared the death because he cheated to win the game I’d buy. But Asuna? There’s just no way.
Reminder that was a single item capable of reviving a character, whose effectiveness was mere seconds after their deaths. Those seconds have come and gone, so by my reasoning Asuna should have been a corpse back in the real world. But because we can’t have our boy Kirito cheat and win without his piece of fresh booty to squeeze after going back to the real world, she’s also been spared. How nice of the series.
We’re treated to a shot of Aincrad, which appears to be falling to pieces far below their feet. What kills me about this is that for a brief moment, despite being as high up as they are, Asuna was able to catch a glimpse of their house just before it was destroyed with the rest of the castle. Again: how nice.
Finally we meet Kayaba in person. Dude’s strapping. He informs us that within ten minutes, the SAO servers will finish self-destructing (without the explosions), deleting all trace of the game world forever. Props to the guy, he really thought this through to the end. 6147 players were allowed to leave, while the rest are indeed dead. Kayaba won’t lie; his plan to have them killed was totally legit.
Of course, sitting here as we are, we have to ask the biggest question. The question that has been on our collective minds since this whole fiasco started. The question that has caused me so much grief.
And his response?
Kayaba tells Kirito that he doesn’t remember why he did anything there. Only that it was his longest dream, to create that castle. I guess it was too much to ask for Reki to give us a reason why Kayaba did what he did. I mean, who wakes up one day and says “I’m going to create the most advanced game ever made just so I can terrorize the world by trapping them in the game and kill them off one by one”? That was oddly specific, man. And you have no reason to give?
Those 4000 people died just because? Because we needed a threat to make this game world feel more real? I don’t get this. What was the point? Did Kayaba have a thing against gamers? Did he hate the way they smelled or dwelled in basements? Did he want to thin out their ranks in Japan because the place is too crowded? Because they’re the worst scum known to man? JUST GIVE US A REASON!
Either way, now that it’s all over, Kayaba feels a bit bummed by it all. Mostly because he’s surprised someone beat his game.
I’m pretty sure what he wanted to say was “someone cheated to beat my world”.
Kayaba congratulates Kirito on beating the game, and also Asuna. Why her? She was already dead. In any RPG, the dead members don’t get credit for being dead at the end of the fight! I call bullshit. I always call bullshit.
And then Kayaba just walks off and turns into a puff of smoke. That’s it? The guy successfully orchestrated the mass murder of nearly 4000 innocent people and he just… gets away with it? No justice whatsoever for him? Apparently not, as if you ever read supplemental material you learn that to “cheat death” he uses a super powered NerveGear to scan his whole brain into the Aincrad server. The process fried his brain in much the same way normal people die from playing the game. So… he cheated death by killing himself. Great plan, guy. But I suppose he was able to kill all those people and get away with it so… mission success?
So with Aincrad all but destroyed at this point, Kirito and Asuna figure they’re about to die as well. Never mind that Kayaba just told them they won the game, so doesn’t that mean they get to leave? Why are they assuming they’re about to die? Apparently they didn’t think this through. Before that, Asuna asks Kirito for his real name, something I’m surprised they didn’t share with one another before. You know, since they technically got married and probably even engaged in some creepy form of virtual sex. Thank god we weren’t subjected to that.
So Kirito reveals his full name as Kirigaya Kazuto. Which is a mouthful and stupid so he remains Kirito. We also learn that he’s now 16, meaning he was 14 when the game began two years prior. Asuna gives her full name as Yuuki Asuna (a fact that I’ll bring up again come Mother’s Rosary), which causes Kirito to cry. You only married the girl and probably fucked her virtual brains out and only now she shares her name? Also, tears were programmed into the game. More development dollars spent wisely, am I right?
So Kirito is really shaken up by the idea that they’re about to die. But because we know that they won the game, we also know they’re not going to die. It’s just common sense. So this whole “touching” scene is just pointless. Sorry, I’m not moved. And with that, the world of Aincrad comes to an end.
We are finally back in the real world. Kirito wakes up in a hospital, his hair grossly long as he hadn’t been able to trim it in years. Also, wouldn’t his hair growing in that helmet have caused it to become ingrown? Food for thought.
He immediately gets out of bed and starts walking down the corridor. Which is BULLSHIT considering he’s been bedridden for two whole years and his muscles are probably mush by now. I’m serious, even his arms are skinnier than dried twigs. His attempt to get up would have ended in his ass on the ground and probably with broken bones to boot. But no, he continues to trudge along, whispering Asuna’s name as he goes.
But will he find her alive and well?
This is the true end to Sword Art Online’s Aincrad arc. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch any of you losers next time when we begin looking at the worst arc in the series history: Fairy Dance.
Gods help us all.
Kirito Death Count: 32 (because he did stab and kill Kayaba, even if Kayaba had technically killed himself two years prior? I’ll still count it for him.)