Sword Art Online II episode 18

sword art online - Asuna

It’s time for a new arc, a new day, a new song…actually there isn’t a new song, I just have Michael Bublé’s song stuck in my head. BUT! There is a new end animation, so that’s something… Now that the Calibur Arc is done, the much anticipated and hyped arc is set to take over. Mother’s Rosario and unlike the previous arcs, this one is all about Asuna. About time! Home girl has been getting the shaft for awhile now, so it’s nice to see her take center stage for a change.

The episode starts with the girls, minus Shino, doing their homework in ALO. They start feeling falling asleep though, especially after they look at Kirito’s sleeping face.

After showing up and never talking, it seems like Agil actually gets a chance to speak. Considering the fact that he allowed a highschooler to mess around with his bar/cafe, it only makes sense that he can talk again. So he does and he tells us the story of how he met his wife. Like Asuna and Kirito, he met her in a MMO game.

sword art online - Asuna, Kirito & Agil

I guess there is hope for Klein now. Maybe he learned about finding a mate through Agil and that’s why he was so thirsty in the last arc.

Turns out that Agil and his wife were both going to play SAO, but they could only reserve on NerveGear. After playing a game to see who would play first, Agil won and the rest is history. His desire to return home kept him sane in the game. Kirito agrees, but Asuna didn’t feel the same way. There were times when she even forgot why she was fighting because she doesn’t really like her family.

But Kirito gave her a home and then forgot about it for the following two arcs. I guess in this sense, it’s understandable to see why she’s so attached to Kirito and is able to overlook his flirting. She has nothing else but him.

sword art online - asuna, kirito & yui

Agil tells them about an updating and Asuna and Kirito, along with the others go out to fight in order to unlock the floors. If they beat the boss and get to floor 22, then Asuna and Kirito might be able to see the Log Cabin that they had in Sword Art Online.

So everyone fights the boss and the Asuna’s log cabin is still there. Asuna then wakes up, making me think that this was all a dream but it turns out it wasn’t. They’re all at the cabin. Liz then tells Asuna about a major player that’s rising through the ranks named Zekken. Asuna hasn’t heard of them though because she’s in Kyoto with her dad I’m assuming. She meets some rapey looking guys there, but has to keep up appearances so she’s nice to them.

sword art online - potential rapey guys

I’m assuming they’re guys who want to marry her or something, but since this is SAO and they are looking at Asuna then that probably means that they want to rape her. It might sound bad, but you can’t take your chances with other male characters on this show. Unless they’re Kirito approved they’re bound to try to rape someone sooner or later.

Anyways, Zekken seems to be like Kirito and had their skill points converted to this game even though they are a newcomer. Unlike Kirito, they brazenly told everyone that they’re strong and challenged everyone to a duel. People come in droves to duel with them and put the newcomer in their place, but everyone loses in the end.

Silica didn’t challenge them, but Leafa and Liz did and failed miserably. Instead of wondering whether she should go out and fight, Asuna mentions that Kirito should go out since she’s a good wife and wants him to get all the glory. Too bad for her Kirito already tried and failed. Zekken and Kirito did say something to each other, but we don’t know what it is.

sword art online - asuna

Since everyone lost to Zekken, Asuna finally decides that it’s her time to shine and that she’ll go out and fight. But after hearing about how Zekken is so strong and that Kirito said something to him, she wonders if Zekken might be a former Sword Art Online player. We get a flashback to Death Gun, which would actually be pretty interesting if the last member of the game killers was in ALO challenging everyone.

Since it’s a crime to kill, you might as well duel players and get your kicks that way. But Liz shoots that theory down. According to Kirito, if Zekken was in Sword Art Online then they would have gotten the double sword skill. This shocks Asuna that there could be someone better than Kirito.

sword art online - asuna

Overall, I’m glad we’re seeing more from Asuna. I do find it very interesting that this episode didn’t really show Shino at the Log Cabin scenes. She’s there for the boss fight, but even then she’s not shown in an awesome way like everyone else. I’m probably reading into this a bit much, but maybe Shino still doesn’t know that Asuna is Kirito’s girlfriend and if she saw them together, acting normal and stuff, she’d freak out. That, or the creators probably didn’t want Asuna to have any proper competition when it comes to Kirito.

To be completely honest, I find Shino to be a more compelling character than Asuna even though they both have very similar character arcs on the show. Both went into a game in order to get strong, both met Kirito and became second fiddle to him despite being a strong player in their own right, both ended up falling for him, and both were almost raped before Kirito stopped that from happening.

sword art online - asuna

The only difference is that we know Shino’s background, so we’re able to sympathize with her a lot more. We don’t know what Asuna’s back story is, even though she’s been there since the beginning. Instead of letting us know bits and pieces, Asuna got shoved to the background and became the wife instead of Kirito’s equal. Unfortunately, the show established that Shino is his equal. I guess for that reason, it was better for her to not show up here and have Asuna reclaim her role.

So she got the most screen time here and was the one who delivered the finishing blow to the boss. Not only did she do some magic, but got out her sword and actually fought as well. I was actually happy to see this and see the show remind us that Asuna and Kirito are a couple, but despite this I feel like this episode didn’t really win her any favours.

In fact, I found myself kind of bored. I’ve heard this arc is absolute mathematical though, so I’m assuming that it will get better once Asuna and Zekken fight.

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