Sword Art Online II Episode 14: One Small Step
And so we arrive at the end of the Phantom Bullet arc! While I was slightly unnerved by how they repeated the sudden escalation of Shinkawa’s attempts to rape Sinon, everything ended up okay – even though Kirito was stabbed (and made a dramatic show of it) I admit I didn’t really believe the syringe had managed to puncture him at all, nor did I really mind. Hooray for suspension of disbelief! Even though the government have apprehended Shinkawa and his brother, it’s interesting to note that Johnny Black hasn’t been caught yet – in fact, XaXa is still suggesting that nothing’s really over yet, which is a small bit of foreshadowing. They’ve caught the ringleaders, but just how many Death Guns were there? What I found rather odd was that Sinon wasn’t overly repulsed by Shinkawa, even though she was very nearly raped – I was surprised she was even willing to touch him without flinching after he was knocked out. And she was even calmly debating his motives and feelings to Kikuoka as well, even going as far as to ask to visit him. She in fact has every right to never want anything to do with him ever again, so maybe it shows that she’s gotten a little closer to her search for her own strength.
I think that’s what this episode largely tried to deliver – closure for Sinon and her troubles. Her reaction to Shinkawa was one step towards that, and how she handled the bullies was another – I don’t remember whether that was a real gun or not (it sounded like it shot out plastic pellets or something) but wow, did she destroy those bitches. When you compare it to how she fell apart during the start of the arc at the sight of a finger gun, it’s a really nice circular touch – she’s grown during her time with Kirito at the BoB. The meeting with the mother and child was the cherry on top – all along Sinon has focused on the life she took. But the guy was trying to rob a post office, and had people at gunpoint – maybe it’s questionable whether the extent of her reaction was correct, but she did manage to save lives nevertheless. That little girl would never have been born had Sinon not saved her mother.
Next week is a recap episode, and I’m happy about that. I’m at university now, so it’s already costing me an arm and a leg (i.e. sleep) to blog this and watch Fate/stay, which I shall be doing after finishing this post. Reviews will probably get shorter, more succinct or maybe even non-existent, at least until I work out some sort of routine. Sorry about that. I won’t bother covering the recap, but after that we’ll be having both Caliber and Mother’s Rosario, in that order! And Tomatsu Haruka and LiSA are returning for the OP and ED respectively. Much hype to be had. The former is action-based, and the latter is feels-based, so there’ll be a bit of something for everyone!