Sword Art Online II Episode 18: Forest House
Yuuki is wonderful. I’d like to mention her first, if you don’t mind. They haven’t even introduced her properly yet, but I’m sure they’re not fooling anyone. Plus I really dig her character design. Maybe it’s a product of both my sleep-deprived state and the feels LiSA’s amazing new ED has conjured, but I don’t remember having cared much about this sort of thing before. Actually, it might be because we’ve never seen her anywhere outside of Volume 7 of the light novels, and certainly nowhere properly coloured other than the volume cover. But yeah. With Yuuki, this arc will work. It must work. I don’t even know who she’ll be voiced by, but I hope they’re good. I almost cried during that ED.
Ultimately, Mother’s Rosario is an arc about Asuna and featuring Asuna, which I hope came across quite quickly in the sense that Kirito was asleep for the entire episode, bar flashbacks. There’ll be lots of character development for her, an insight into her life and relatively minimal fighting and action – for those who dislike the latter, you’re in luck. We’ve already had hints of that – as an ojou-sama, her life can get rather restricted at times, and she’s had to do a lot of fake smiling while at home in Kyoto. There’s excessive formality everywhere, and her male ‘acquaintances’ look like little shits – you know it’s not good when she’s openly admitting her dislike for her family to Agil. Really puts the whole family scene with Kirito and Yui in a different sort of light. It’ll be a different sort of SAO all over again, but in this case it’s not a bad thing at all.
So rumours are abound of a supposedly strong player who’s just recently converted to ALO, and is duelling lots of players at a certain time and place each day. Liz, Sugu and Kirito all tried, and lost. Yes, even Kirito – it was actually quite funny how Asuna’s first response wasn’t how or why, but rather “was he serious?” Everything about Zekken is shrouded in mystery for now, not least of all their creation of an 11-hit OSS. Understandably glossed over in the anime, they’re self-created sword skills that can only be established if they’re unique – the combo can’t have been performed before. And even then, to register it you’ve got to perfectly perform the movements of the OSS without system assist, which is why they’re so hard to create. It’s all building up around the central idea that Zekken is an incredible fighter, who can even overpower someone already overpowered like Kirito – it would be positively strange if Asuna were to win, yet I doubt that’s her aim in going to meet them. Anyway, tl;dr – a quiet start, lots of nice exposition and based Yuuki.
Spot the Klein!