Episode 19 Impressions: Sword Art Online II

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After a night of fun and studying, Asuna returns to reality to find her mother not so pleased by her messing around in the online world.  Talk of her future and discarding her past is in play and the conclusions are not what she will find appealing.

e19swordartonlineii03Synopsis
Asuna’s mother doesn’t take kindly to the schooling that has been commissioned by the government for those that survived Sword Art Online.  Seeing it as merely a place to monitor online killers, she finds the faculty to be incompetent and unable to help Asuna get back on the right track.  Especially after Asuna has been pushed back 2 years of schooling.

Of course Asuna is infuriated by this forced decision-making for her future, even more so at her mother’s dislike for Kirito who won’t provide her an easy and luxurious life.  Though she feels powerless, despite the power people claim she has in the virtual world.

In an attempt to show her bravery and follow-up on her plans to test her strength, she challenges Zekken.  However not before being a bit hesitant after discovering the gender of the famed duelist.  e19swordartonlineii05After the two clash weapons, Asuna almost feels defeated, but is unwilling to back down.

Thoughts
Sword Art Online! Where have you been? What a refreshing episode that did everything right. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so connected to the characters and wanted to see what’s coming next.

It looks as if our focus is due to be shifted into Asuna joining a new group alone and diving into her character even more. While we’ve only really had hints at a rich family in the first season, this one seems to dive deeper into her future and forced marriages inside her strict raising.

What was most surprising was how I didn’t completely disagree with Asuna’s mother. While e19swordartonlineii08there is a gamer and online social side of me that sees Asuna’s perspective, I also agree with the mother in how much Asuna seems stuck in time. Kirito is progressing his knowledge in technical engineering, and even other side characters have shown that they are moving on after life in SAO, but Asuna seems to be stuck in a rut so to speak.

The issues Asuna’s mother takes in the SAO recovery school seems legit, and with them being 2 years behind, it’s only natural that she would see that the school is unhealthy for her. Being at her age, she should be moving on, yet she shows no sign of desires in her future.

With all that said, seeing her come alive in the game and take on Zekken was great to see. Although I hope they explain more about Kirito’s decision to back down. I can only imagine it was because he couldn’t invest himself in helping them with so much going on in his own life.

As for Zekken (or Yuuki), I’m curious on what exactly she desires. I hope whatever it is, it’s not a stupid quest-like thing we’ve experienced during the last arc. Rather something more entertaining. But I can’t help but think Yuuki is some sort of female replacement for Kirito, as her style and manner reminds me too much of Kirito.

Episode 19: Zekken

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • Great Asuna progression
  • Great conflicting futures
  • Yuuki’s introduction
  • Returning to good writing
  • Asuna gets a harem?

Cons:

  • None

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.