Sword Art Online Episode 9: Dual Blades

“…Starburst Stream.”

Summary

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.

Impression

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*

Vantage

I love cute things.

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14 Responses

  1. Eva says:

    SO MUCH FEELS, JUST, OMG, SO INTENSE. I COULDN’T BREATHE AT ONE POINT.
    =w=/ I’m thrilled to see Kirito being able to be a duel sword wielder, the skill is so badass.

    • Vantage says:

      It was an amazing sequence, and I found myself watching it over and over again xD Yeah, and he’s the only one with the skill too, which makes him even more overpowered cool.

  2. Train says:

    WOW, THAT FIGHT WAS SOOOOOOOOO……EPIC… AMAZING… “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.” you pretty much summarized it, Vantage. Kirito is now in a another level of overpowerness, he practically soloed that boss, who was wrecking everyone in there, i mean just WOW. <( and yeah, i remember you saying that there was some truth when i thought about he and Asuna soloing the boss, but i didn't expect it.). That fight was reaaaaaally awesome, animation,music and all! And Kirito's are incredible, REALLY.
    Anyway, i think that lunch scene between Kirito and Asuna was slightly different in the novels from the little i’ve read, wasn’t it?And yeah, i seriously noticed that she hugged him for quite the time, this scene was so cute and sweet, and i really enjoy seeing their scenes, while their relationship grows. :D

    That HeathCliff guy, i dunno, but if Kirito fights as well as he fought The Gleameyes, i think he got this..( is this me, or the KoB guys have a thing for wanting to keep Asuna with them? Maybe with Heathcliff, it is probably something different, like he wants to see/test something with this battle, using Asuna wanting to leave the guild as a pretext or something).

    Anyway, is the ALO arc good?

    • Vantage says:

      They skipped out Kirito licking the mayonnaise off Asuna’s finger, which I think was a crucial point that should have been included xDD And to me it looked like Heathcliff was more interested in Kirito’s skills rather than keeping Asuna – oh what am I saying? Everyone’s secretly after Asuna in KoB

      Personally, I enjoyed the ALO arc. I really connected with what Kirito was fighting for in ALO, and for me, the whole experience in ALO was really surreal and definitely sets itself apart from SAO for a number of reasons. I know people were miffed about (highlight for spoiler) //a change in the main girl protagonist to Lyfa>// and even more miffed when //they revealed her real identity>// as well as some of the situations //Asuna>// ended up in, but I felt it was all for good cause in the end.

      • Eva says:

        //They skipped out Kirito licking the mayonnaise off Asuna’s finger, which I think was a crucial point that should have been included xDD//
        *GASPS* THEY DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!!! D: THAT WOULD’VE BEEN AWESOME!!!! ;A;

    • Linzz says:

      I personally enjoyed ALO arc as well. Although one downfall of this arc was the game they are “in” this time. The game was not as good as SAO is even though they are both using the same system. Not to mention the intensity on ALO is less compared to Aincard’s arc except for the main character, Kirito, of course. LOL

  3. Linzz says:

    Although I was looking forward to the humorous scene where Kirito and Asuna figured that they shouldn’t have ran THAT far from the Boss Room. I wanted to know the feeling on the anime. lol Guess that won’t do. D8

    But yeah, it was awesome to see Kirito in this episode especially that fight! *Q*

    • Vantage says:

      *sighs* The drawbacks of adaptations…especially in a series where the LN is so widely read lol xD Though I’m glad the anime has its own twists, rather than making it an animated carbon copy of the original like Medaka Box did (down to every last panel).

      • Wanderer says:

        That episode was awesome. Btw, if anyone ever crosses the Yonkoma Manga version of SAO (Sword Art Online 4-koma), they’ll find a lot of jokes inside to undo even the most serious parts of SAO. Its definitely an ineresting twist from the original LN.

  4. Linzz says:

    I wouldn’t mind them changing some parts but I do need those comedy scenes!!! OTL lol
    But overall, I liked how they manage to direct this episode since this episode is a good turning point for SAO in this arc.

  5. Train says:

    Agreed, that was a really important point that they left out…( well it would be funnier at the very least right? haha)(About the slashed part > In KoB? Pretty much almost every male player in the game,haha jk.)
    Sorry Vantage, i wanted to highlight the spoilers but i don’t know if i should spoil myself( i ended up reading the first one > D: , but if it was for a good thing in the end, than i guess it is acceptable ;;), but i got that some things changed from the Aincrad arc and some people complained about the changes, something like this right?.
    Maybe i will end up spoiling myself reading the novels some time, one week for a new SAO episode can be pretty long xD. Anyway, once ALO reaches its middle/almost end i will be sure to come back here and read it. :D

    • Vantage says:

      Yup, some of the constants from SAO were changed in ALO and I know some people weren’t too happy. ALO is both Volumes 3 and 4, so I suppose you can hold back and read just one of them when you feel like spoiling yourself.

      Personally I don’t think it ruins the experience of the anime too much, but I wouldn’t know. How are the “epic feels” when seeing them for the first time?

  6. Train says:

    It is different in many aspects i guess, it is like a “ride, a “wild ride”. You don’t think like: “Ah, that scene is next, i wonder how they did it.”, maybe it is because you don’t know what will happen exactly, but you basically just sit there and enjoy the epicness unfold before your eyes.
    For example, in episode 10, i felt that my heart accellerated a little during the fight between Kirito and Heathcliff, and in some scenes( like the fight with The Gleameyes), you just see and get like “Wooooooow! Go!!!” or even speechless in some very rare cases and such are the reactions( dunno if it’s just me, though). One of the only cons i can think of is having to wait a week to watch, but i guess that’s okay. xD
    In a nutshell, it is really awesome!

  7. TheVicious says:

    “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” Sounds like the Incarnate System in the related work; Accel World…

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