The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Starting from here, it’s a managerial decision that I’ll be covering Sword Art Online, and Liam will be covering Arcana Famiglia. Why me? Well, I’ve started to notice that Sword Art Online isn’t going word-for-word from the internet’s hate threads, so an opinion from someone who hasn’t read the novels is going to be best in this scenario.
This time around, it shows the story of how Kirito joins a guild of people, probably seeking companionship, and works together with them, getting on with his life and the like. Much like a proper story, they spend the time levelling and bonding with each other, in the manner that only an MMO adaptation would manage. As the plot progresses in this episode, the guilt starts to change, moving people who fight in the back row to people in fight in the front row. The best way to explain this in gamer terms is to think of a game like Final Fantasy 3, front row fighters do more contact damage, take abuse for those in the back and defend, where back row fighters heal and attack from range. However…everyone was meant to be friends on that team, yet they’re forcing someone into the role of front-line tank, regardless of the fact that she’s going through a mental breakdown over it.
And thus, Kirito seeks her out and comforts her, possibly even developing a little crush on her. They sleep together for comfort, support each other and train together, growing ever closer, until one fateful day when they stumble across a hidden room. I can’t blame them for acting so rashly, but it’s the first rule of these kind of games: there’s a trick to everything and nothing comes for free. And the blame for this lies on Kirito’s head, he had the chance to stop them, and he had the chance to defend them, if he hadn’t kept secrets from them. Do I blame him for keeping the secret about being a Beater? Not really. But there was a need for him to be honest about his level, he’s a solo player…solo players don’t need to share EXP between anyone.
Deaths always affect everyone, and i’m really interested to see just how Kirito gets affected by the death of Sacchi, considering you can tell from that really moving scene at the end that they were really into each other. That was just one of the many details that went into the episode, and, well…it’s hard to list them all without going over-the-top. The theme of Christmas, the rumours of a rare drop, the return of Klein…this episode didn’t hesitate to continue building the amazing atmosphere it’s got, and I can’t wait until next week.