Sword Art Online – Episode 18

I actually liked this episode. Sure, it was a bit on the slow side and nothing really happened until the end, but we did get to learn more about ALO and see more of Suguha. So I was happy. Since she showed up, I’ve wanted to know why she decided to play a MMO, considering the fact that her cousin was trapped in one for two years. It’s kind of weird. Then again, her mom didn’t mind either and actually allowed Kirito to keep his NerveGear. In Suguha fashion, we learn that she picked up the game to get closer to Kirito and figure out why he liked these games so much. The more she plays, the more she realizes that she likes playing them as well.

I’ve also wanted to know more about Suguha, because despite the amount of screen time she gets, not much is known about her. We know that she likes kendo and that she loves Kirito. That’s pretty much it. Since this was Suguha centric episode, I was hoping we’d see more of her when Kirito isn’t around. Sadly, not much changes for her.

I want to like this character, but I don’t like what the show is doing with her. She loves Kirito in the real world, but she’s slowly finding herself falling in love with him in ALO. This provides an interesting conflict for her. Will she use the game to help her get over Kirito from the real world? Or will she stick to her original feelings? Both will leave her devastated in the end, but it would also provide character growth as well.

Instead, we hear more about how she feels about real Kirito while she wears little to almost no clothing. I don’t know why she’s used as a tool for fan service, when she’s technically a middle school student, but it comes off as redundant when you realize that her body would never tempt Kirito. Never. However, this sadly is the reason why we’re shown so much of her body. Since Kirito is in love with Asuna, Suguha has to have something that Asuna doesn’t. A better body…i.e. bigger breasts.

Think about it for a moment. Both Asuna and Suguha are shown (told to us) to be great game characters. They’re both strong and very popular in their guild/party. Both are also willing to trade everything for the chance to spend time with Kirito and this decision leaves the guild/party leader to try to stop them. Kirito then saves the day.

Parallels. Sword Art Online, I see what you did there. Sigurd even looks like Heathcliff.

The only big difference between the two is that Kirito spent more time with Asuna and developed a deeper love connection with her. So, in order for the show to prove to us that Suguha is still a valued member of this non-existent love triangle, they gave her giant breasts and have her wear revealing clothing. Does it make sense, no. Not at all. In fact, its lazy writing, but I do get where the animators are coming from. Suguha’s fan service is the only thing she has that Asuna doesn’t.

I still don’t hate Suguha (and for some reason she gets a lot of hate), I just don’t feel like she’s developed much. And when I say developed, I mean as a character and not her body. Here’s hoping she isn’t used for fan service as much as before.

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