Woke up despite jetlag to watch SAO. I REGRET NOTHING.
A month after the start of Sword Art Online, 2000 players have died, and the boss room to the first floor has finally been found. A strategy meeting is called by the knight Diabel to discuss tactics, and a player named Kibaou berates beta testers in public for getting ahead in the game themselves and leaving the beginners to struggle. Kirito makes a party with a girl in a hood named Asuna, and discovers during the boss fight that she is actually skilled with a rapier, despite being a gaming beginner. When Diabel gets killed and dies, Kirito is forced to reveal what he knows about the boss as a beta tester.
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I’ll jump straight to the main focus of today’s ep and comment on how insanely cool that boss battle was, especially with Kajiura Yuki’s music playing in the background. I noticed how it was mainly Kirito, Asuna and Egil that ever did anything to Illfang the Kobold Lord, while the background characters (including Kibaou) just stood there and got tossed around by the boss. In terms of Illfang, I imagined him to be more of a scary dragon-type monster rather than a Zelda moblin, but it’s just the first floor boss after all.
Action does play a huge part, but in a death game like SAO, you really feel the in-depth psychology that’s being portrayed. You have people like Asuna (OMG IT’S ASUNA *GLOMPS*) who decide that they don’t want to spend their virtual time holing up in a starting city inn, and instead make a difference and try to remain herself, as she would have slowly wasted away otherwise, sitting in a random inn waiting for someone to clear the game. If you can’t see anyone realistically getting anywhere, do it yourself. Even though she’s a complete newb at gaming, I’m sure her mentality is much better than some of the 2000 who died, probably because of stupid reasons. On a random note, her rapier looked much cooler once it had lengthened. Or that might have just been the angle I saw it from xD
Then you have guys like Kibaou, who I’m sure was a victim of some sort of situation where he lost out because of not having enough knowledge. Go on, blame it on the beta testers then. It’s true that they have a better advantage, but there really is no real reason for the beta testers having a responsibility to help out everyone else. The way he said it, it just makes Kibaou look like a guy who’s trying to find someone to blame for his own problems. Egil even said that the beta testers compiled a book for all the beginners and sold it for free – what more does Kibaou want?
He was definitely butthurt that Diabel died – though he didn’t know that Diabel didn’t die because of lack of info, but instead because of his greed at wanting to get the LA, last attack bonus, as a beta himself. It makes sense coming from a gaming point of view, and I’ve come into situations where these leechers stand by, waiting for you to cut the enemy’s HP, then steal the LA and get the drop. Bastards. Anyway, it’s clear that Kirito did a noble thing by taking all the rage against beta testers and shoving it onto him, labelling himself a beater, beta tester + cheater. It’s best described as a sort of in-game swear word I guess. I’m sure he did it due to having no real friends in SAO, and thus won’t drag anyone down with him, much less a whole group of beta testers. It was a pretty good evil laugh actually, complete with badass Coat of Midnight and all. Though now Asuna seems interested in him, especially after spending the episode wondering what his name was xD
Fellow LN readers will recognize this ep as the SAO side story Aria in the Starless Night, compiled after Volume 1. It looks like they’ll be doing everything chronologically, meaning that another side story, Red-Nosed Reindeer is next, instead of the later Vol 1 events. Oh my god, I just remembered this one. Prepare tissues, guys ;_;