Sword Art Online Episode 9: Dual Blades
Kirito and Asuna run away from the boss room, stopping halfway through the dungeon to have lunch. Upon meeting Klein’s guild and the Army, Kirito hands over his mapping data for the floor, with the Army recklessly carrying on to engage the boss. Kirito, Asuna and Klein hurry forward once the first screams coming from the boss room are heard, only to be met with many defeated Army members, and the revelation that the place is an anti-crystal area. Engaging the boss, the demon still proves to be too much for them until Kirito pulls out his hidden sword skill, <Dual Blades>, and destroys the Gleameyes.
When Asuna announces to the Knights of the Blood that she wants to take leave from the guild, leader Heathcliff isn’t willing to let her go so easily, and decides to fight Kirito in exchange, the winner getting to keep Asuna with them as a reward.
I feel like…I can take on the world now. No matter what I say, I think words will continue to fail me as I keep trying to describe that sense of complete epicness I feel when watching that sword sequence. Of course, I knew it was coming, and to think that it still had such a drug-induced high effect on me – I can only imagine the fangasms and the feels that are going to occur all around the world tonight. That, ladies and gents, was the unique skill <Dual Blades>, and it’s user, the ever-awesome solo Kirito. Go on, take a bow xD It was slightly hinted at before by Asuna wondering why Kirito never uses Dark Repulser, but it was a nice reveal nevertheless. Really, after that I feel that Kajiura Yuki is the only composer fit to assist on a soundtrack like SAO’s, what with the type of show it is, the feels it gives people and just generally, because she produces great music. Even before <Dual Blades> made an appearance, the battle with the Gleameyes was wonderfully accompanied, and like with many of her other shows (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica) I felt the despair being given off in waves. Similar to how light novels have the upper hand with description and depth, an adaptation’s strength is its ability to add animation and music. Seriously, I’m glad SAO is one of the things I end my week with.
Let’s break the episode down
and end up writing too much, as I always do. First off we have the Army, or officially, the Aincrad Liberation Force. They are the perfect example of why things like dictatorships or communism should never come into power, because let’s face it – it’s unfair despite what people claim, and is pretty much the adult form of bullying. The handover for Kirito’s map data was just that, and while the guy can prat on about them fighting for justice and all, some of their actions are exactly the opposite of justice (and will be detailed on more in the ‘Morning Dew Girl’ side story). The Army men didn’t want to carry on, and didn’t have much strength to carry on. When you’re clearing in the front lines, the last thing you want to do is try and push yourself, and go fight a boss you know absolutely nothing about – which turned out to be in an anti-crystal area, dooming the entire party. All because of one guy’s…I don’t even know what his motives were. Arrogance, I suppose, if that guy died in disbelief. Anyway, I pity the Army guys. You see other players having fun, some even forgetting about clearing, while Army members are forced to plod on, doing things they might not want to. It used to be a guild, for god’s sake.
Kirito is growing as a person, and I hope that his mind is slightly at peace from the events of Red-Nosed Reindeer. He might have just gone in after Asuna, but it still stands that he willingly risked his life and stepped into an anti-crystal boss room, not wanting to see anyone else die after witnessing his guild crumble before his eyes. Saving people might be just a reckless hero of justice belief, but the raw emotion on his face during that <Starburst Stream> was really clear. I think the LN mentioned him seemingly overcoming the system assist to attack at an even faster pace, out of his desire to defeat the demon – at the end, even Klein was happy with Kirito jumping in to save the Army, despite the majority of players focusing on their own survival, which you really can’t blame them for.
I know I talk about Kirito x Asuna every week, but I can’t help it <3 Part of the reason Kirito’s changed so much is because of Asuna, and Klein knew that very well, having been in touch with him ever since SAO started. He wasn’t just shocked to see Asuna with Kirito, but more the fact that Kirito, the solo, was going to party with someone for a while, which is insane if you’ve been tracking how antisocial he is. Funnily enough, apart from Klein and Agil all his friends are girls, but hey, anything to get him to open up xD I hope you guys noticed how long Asuna was holding Kirito by the way, and she’s even making him lunch now! Ohohoho…
I actually thought the episode would consist of just the boss battle and perhaps the aftermath, so I wasn’t expecting the slightly dislocated jump from the dungeon back into town, with another jump to the first encounter with KoB’s leader, Heathcliff.
Well, anything to get onto ALO :P There’s a reason Heathcliff wants to fight, and it’s definitely something to do with Kirito’s <Dual Blades>, though I shouldn’t comment on anything else other than how he has a nice inverted KoB uniform xD Besides, I’ll be spending next week’s post talking all about him anyway. You should be going to re-watch that fight scene *points*