Sword Art Online Episode 11: Morning Dew Girl
“That’s right. I’m your mama, Yui-chan!”
*cue silent, silent tears of joy*
Enjoying their newly married life within the forests of Aincrad’s 22nd floor, Kirito and Asuna come across a collapsed young girl one day, initially believing her to be a ghost. Taking her back to their house and assuming she was a player, the girl awakes, realizing she has no memories of anything other than her own name – Yui. Addressing Kirito as Papa and Asuna as Mama, she assumes the role of their daughter as they head down to the 1st floor to discover where she came from.
And just like that, something stirred in the depths of my cold, cold heart. No loli undertones at all, just something simple and heartwarming yet to me this episode achieved a greater effect than many of the other scenes involving duels to the death, epic boss battles and tragic occurrences. I suppose we have to step back sometimes and try and achieve without invoking the words “impressive”, “awesome” or “epic” in people’s minds, and that’s even harder in an action-packed show like this. But it was achieved, and sometime during the episode I realized that this was the first episode of Sword Art Online that was a genuinely happy one.
We’ll do the usual, going from the top. Casting aside Heathcliff’s ominous warning of returning to the front lines, that declaration was the point of change in which all ideas of swords and battles were cast aside, and we had really homely clothes for a while after that scene. The whole 22nd floor is the epitome of tranquility, peace and everything else that the front lines of SAO cannot offer us – the blue sky, with a huge lake surrounded by a quiet forest sounds like an amazing place to live, and ironically its a place that Kayaba saw fit to create, going back to complete nature even when technology has gone as far as VR. Anyway, didn’t Asuna look cute? I know some people love her KoB uniform and all, but I honestly think her moe factor is sky high wearing something as simple as a jumper. Perhaps you may have had your doubts about SAO taking a break from the fast-paced heroism, but personally I think it was a good decision, and one I would definitely prefer over more sword fighting. There’s more to life than that, y’know?
I didn’t miss this. This…newlywed look that made even my relatively mild shipper heart burst with joy. I didn’t miss the constant close-ups of their silver band wedding rings either, nor their hand holding and just generally the much more intimate level of contact Kirito and Asuna have. It’s just so perfect! The simple things like waking up to each other in the morning or giving Asuna a piggyback ride are things you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in SAO, and the atmosphere is so different it’s almost shocking. I’m sure they didn’t have a full wedding ceremony or even many witnesses like online MMOs sometimes feature; there’d be loads of jelly players that would have ruined the mood or something. Still, I hope they enjoyed the first part of their honeymoon though we didn’t see it – the fisherman scene was a shout-out to a LN event in which Kirito caught a giant fish for dinner, by the way.
Of course, the cottage in a forest clearing truly became complete with the addition of Yui. She is literally the sweetest thing ever, and I wish all kids were like she is because I’d devote my life taking care of little kids if they were. One thing I have to give a nod to is how she hasn’t been subjected to the usual loli-fied treatment anyone her age receives. These days it’s been broken down into something sexual, which is why I’ll refer to Yui never as a loli but as a little girl. She’s supposed to be pure and innocent, and I’m glad that’s how she came off as. Like with a certain curious girl from a certain mystery show, I enjoyed watching Yui’s small actions, and it seems strange when I think back and realize that watching a little girl eat a burger made me feel oddly happy inside. My heart was thawed out even further seeing Kirito and Asuna care for Yui so lovingly as her self-appointed parents – it was just like a real family ;_;
Returning to the Starting City didn’t leave me with a great impression of it. The Army, originally meant for liberation, are now doing the terrorizing. Ironic, isn’t it? That the <Aincrad Liberation Force> are now evilly taxing villagers like something out of Nazi Germany’s regime. Do they have a logo, flag and commandments too? It’s even more despicable when you remember that these are real people, and you’d be locked up without a second glance if you and your gang of thugs tried to extort money out of a woman and a few little kids. Gotta love how they all have the same standard looks though xDD It was nice for Asuna to act when she did, and display a bit of her cool onee-chan – or even motherly instinct towards saving the kids. No doubt caring for Yui did rub off on her.
The reason Kirito and Asuna visited the floor in the first place was to search for Yui’s origins, and among the fandom there’s sure to be lots of speculation. Like with the murder mystery in the area, the eventual conclusion is too good for me to give the game away ^^ Just remember that the original situation they found Yui in is important, as was that final ending part with the static noise. It’s strange no matter how you look at it, and in such a seamless VR world that kind of thing would only happen if there was some kind of error. Yui left a strong impression on me, so it was painful to see her looking so terrified in that scene.
To conclude, I’d like to issue the “box of tissues” warning now, a week early so you have time to receive your truckload. The global tissue supply will be taking a hard hit next episode, though I think “Yui’s Heart” is worth every single tear shed.