I’ve mentioned before that I don’t actually remember too much of Phantom Bullet -the fact that Gunner X is actually one of the few girls in the game being a good example- but I do recall the buggy and horse chase quite clearly, it’s one of the scenes I in fact anticipated! It was actually used in some sort of reverse foreshadowing in a future side-story volume, Early and Late. Kirito goes up to Death Gun on a horse, and he’s mockingly complimented when he says, “Looks cool. Next time, I will ride on a horse to hunt you down”. Of course, it was only ever said by him because he’d already non-chronologically done it in a previous volume, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless. I felt pretty sorry for the horse, who was mercilessly killed in the fire as a mechanical casualty – although if it hadn’t been mechanical it would never have caught up to Kirito and Sinon.
While the chase was a cool action scene, I think it was only ever a backdrop for the main focus of the episode, which turned out to be the re-emergence of Sinon’s trauma even within GGO. Part of me believes that this really shouldn’t have been the first time Sinon’s encountered that particular type of handgun in-game, especially as she’s supposed to be a veteran – but then again, I suppose the deciding factor was the fact that it appeared while Sinon was being threatened with what she believes to be a very real possibility of dying. The whole point of virtual reality is that it’s not real, and that if you die in-game you’re still alive back in the real world. The threat of Death Gun removes that safety, and so for Sinon there’s effectively no difference between in-game guns and real guns, which made it extremely hard for her to even pull the trigger once without help. The irony of it all -and I’ve said this before I think- is that both Kirito and Sinon now supposedly fully believe that Death Gun can genuinely kill people, even though at various points they called bullshit on that.
Kirito is a surprisingly good listener when it matters. I could tell that he was doing a lot of thinking during Sinon’s crying, and I suppose the reason they built up Kirito’s trauma over his own murders was for a reason like this. It did feel more melodramatic than I seem to remember, but at the end of the day it’s a very emotional scene for Sinon – its like the weak parts of Asada Shino from real life and the avatar Sinon have merged, and the result is that you get a girl who feels weak, pathetic and confused over what the strength she’s looking for really consists of. All of her tough façade’s broken down now, revealing a very vulnerable Sinon on the inside… I wish I could give her a hug. Why didn’t Kirito think of doing that?! On a side note, even though she’s said that she hates Kirito quite a few times in the past, I’m sure she doesn’t really mean it by now. It almost feels like the adaptation is trying its best to work with what they can to ship Kirito x Sinon, even though he technically has a legal wife at home. I have no problems with this 😀
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“Part of me believes that this really shouldn’t have been the first time Sinon’s encountered that particular type of handgun in-game, especially as she’s supposed to be a veteran”
Well… the game has gazillians of guns. From modern ones to futuristic ones, there are guns of all sorts. So the chances of someone getting that gun in particular aren’t that high. Especially since it’s really not a very good gun. Reports from people who have used are of it commonly jamming and misfiring. The robber had one because it was a cheap Chinese import. Death Gun has one probably because he thinks the nickname for it is cool, and he doesn’t need to use it for actual combat, just ceremonial executions. Secondly, Sinon’s a sniper. How many enemies actually get close to her with pistols on a regular basis? Given that the number of people who use the gun is probably low, and the number of the people who get close to her while wielding pistols is probably low, it is, in fact, entirely possible that there has never been any overlap between the two groups.
My knowledge of guns is embarrassingly sub-par, so I’ll take your word on how good it is!
Also, my thoughts were of Sinon casually flipping through a pistol catalogue, stopping at a page and going, “oh shit, it’s that gun isn’t it?” Though it’s true that it’s different from just seeing it (if I remember right, she won a model of that gun from GGO and keeps it in her drawer as an odd form of therapy) and having it pointed at you, so yes, you’re probably right that she’s never gone up against it.
I found Sinon’s crying way too dramatic and exhausting to watch. That’s just me though. And like you said, I feel like this season so far–this episode especially–are pushing Kirito x Sinon. But Kirito is already with Asuna–for some incomprehensible reason–and I kind of wish Sinon wouldn’t join the rest of the harem. /sigh
You know how many harem members are sort of pushed out of the spotlight once their time is up? Sinon’s a great character, so it’s a pity to think that this’ll happen to her in the future. She does have her moments, but by and large she’ll never be as awesome as she was during GGO.
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