Episode 23 Impressions: Sword Art Online II

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Asuna’s newfound spirit makes her not one to back down from something she’s passionate about. Struggling against her mother and bringing happiness to her new friend, she’ll stop at nothing to finally bring change to her life.

e23swordartonlineii01Synopsis
After borrowing Kazuto’s (Kirito) recently developed optical interface device that he was creating for Yui, Yuuki is tapped in to get a perspective on school life while viewing from Asuna’s shoulder.

As Asuna introduces Yuuki to the faculty staff and her classroom, the response is overwhelmingly well and Yuuki is quickly accepted amongst the attendance. Much to Asuna’s relief, and Yuuki’s joy.

Once school concludes, Asuna proceeds to take Yuuki on a trip around the town, and eventually to her old home. A place Yuuki hasn’t seen for some time. After joking about Yuuki marrying someone in order for them to protect her home in her stead, and Yuuki speaking on her struggle to understand her mother, the conversation takes a turn for Asuna to finally confront her mother.

e23swordartonlineii06Taking her conversation with Yuuki in mind, Asuna confronts her mother with a VR headset. As she believes it’s the only way she can convey what she needs to convey, she requests that her mother give her a brief moment in the game to show her something important.

Thoughts
What an extremely powerful moment for the series of Sword Art Online. Featuring easily one of the most emotionally charged moments I’ve ever seen in the series. It’s enough to make one saddened by the prospect that this arc was so late in the season.

While the idea of utilizing Kazuto’s interface device was one of the foreseen methods of granting Yuuki’s wish, it was much more impactful than simply creating a classroom within the online world. It brought in genuine people and seeing her acceptance was powerful in itself.

e23swordartonlineii08Though the moment Yuuki was called upon in class was something that caught me off guard. A simple nervous task of reading in front of the class turned into Yuuki fulfilling something everyone else groans at and takes for granted. Something she never though she would do again. I was heartbroken the entire time.

But the great moments of this show doesn’t end there. Following all of Yuuki’s sightseeing was a moment between Asuna and her mother. Quite comical at first, seeing her mother there. Quite impactful secondly, as Asuna is finally able to reach in and grab her mother’s hardened heart. Admittedly, while I found the concept of tears flowing easier in the virtual world a bit video game’y, it was cute and led to her being unable to hide her change of heart.

Again, some of the best writing in this season so far, and arguably the series as a whole.

Episode 23: Beginning of a Dream

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Fantastic

Pros:

  • Emotional
  • Best moments of SAO
  • Great character progression

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.