Sword Art Online Episode 23: Overfly

“”Fly. Fly forever…keep flying through the sky…to the heart of the world!”

Summary

After agreeing to meet Kirito in Aarun once more within ALO, Lyfa meets Recon, who had been following her from Sylvain and had wanted to confess to her. She decides to settle things with Kirito via a duel, however at the last moment they both throw their swords away and apologize instead, with Kirito asking Lyfa to wait until he achieved what he originally came to do in ALO. Deciding to challenge the World Tree again with Kirito, Lyfa enlists Recon’s help and begins ALO’s Grand Quest, facing off against an impossible number of Guardians standing in their way.

Impression

Oh my god, the feels…I can’t take this guys, I don’t even know what to say! Everything’s a jumble in my head after that, and while I think I should start somewhere, I can’t quite place where that should be. Okay okay, deep breaths. Going chronologically shouldn’t hurt, so let’s start from the top.

First of all, the family issues that remained from last week’s heartbreak eventually sorted themselves out in this episode – and it’s not only Sugu that suffered from knowing Kirito wasn’t truly her brother. As Kirito himself said, him finding out about his identity and his true parents would have already distanced himself from his aunt and uncle, and this would have had a larger effect due to Kirito being at an earlier age at the time, which would have made him more impressionable. Net gaming was the therefore the answer to Kirito who didn’t know where he fitted into his makeshift family – he instead went to a place where no-one knew anyone else and you forged your own identity. Similar to how you are the sum of your experiences, who a person is in your mind is their real identity, despite the world you’re currently in. It applies to other concepts as well – take SAO for example. People understand and process the real world using signals received by the brain. Online games allow you to log out to leave a world, and if you die it’s just temporary. But what if there was a world that you process using brain signals, where you can’t log out and die if you get killed? Wouldn’t that define reality as well?

And the image Sugu/Lyfa has formed of Kirito is that of a swordsman who has stayed strong against impossible odds, to fight for what he wanted to achieve. I think she was actually going to head back and leave Kirito in Aarun before Recon showed up – who, let’s be honest, is a bit of a dope. Despite his failed confession, he had an optimistic outlook even though Lyfa wasn’t exactly receptive of his feelings, which is something Lyfa could learn from. The way she decided to resolve things was fine by me, except there weren’t too many emotions as I would have expected, since they were saving it for the second half of the episode xD Both ended up feeling pretty guilty and apologetic, and throwing away their swords was a really sweet thing to do! Their willingness to accept the other’s pent-up emotion through a sword blow proved their sincerity to each other – notice how the position where both swords fell was a mimicked X-shape of Elucidator and Lambent Light from LiSA’s crossing field OP.

She was unable to see Kirito’s figure due to the wall of guardians, but reflected in the eye of Lyfa’s heart, rose the figure aiming for the place that no one had ever reached, rising higher and higher.

Much like how the stream of outbursts at the end of last episode were emotionally superior to the battle scene, this episode had it completely reversed – Kirito’s second attempt at scaling the World Tree was truly the definition of badass. Everything about the entire battle was a torrent of emotions that kept fluctuating up and down, and the way it was presented made me feel like I was experiencing that battle myself – even while knowing what was going to happen. When they despaired, I despaired, and I’m sure at the end, when Lyfa was cheering Kirito on, everyone watching it joined her as well. Don’t lie xD Imo there’s something epic to be gained from watching an overwhelming victory, but it’s another thing entirely to watch someone fail, not lose hope, and come back stronger to win and conquer instead. It’s pretty cliché, but it’s in conjunction with the music, Kirito’s character and everything he set out to achieve when he went into ALO – to rescue the caged princess from the evil king sitting on his throne high in the clouds. Everyone pitched in to help – Recon and his self-destruction dark magic, Sakuya and Alicia Rue’s forces (their equipment is what the money ended up paying for) and most importantly, Lyfa. That moment when she threw her katana to her onii-chan to let him use Dual Blades was really symbolic, and I’d like to think that what got Kirito up past the Guardians was their combined power, doing what is meant to be impossible in the world of ALO. Admittedly it was a bit OTT though. Kirito, blasting through at the speed of light! xDD

Last episode’s number of Guardians had nothing on this week. Last week already had far too many – even Yui mentioned that the quest’s completion was not designed to be possible because of it. The LN described their spawning rate as exponential with the distance you were to the top of the dome – 12 of them appear per second once you’re near the top. For one guy to challenge them all is suicide, which is what happened the first time Kirito tried. The Guardians apparently also target those who aren’t directly attacking if they deem them to be a threat – like healers who stay back, which makes a common tactic of group boss battles in MMORPGs useless. Personally, without aid from the Sylphs and the Cait Sith, it’s likely that Kirito, Lyfa and Recon would have failed purely because of the sheer number of Guardians – as Kirito got closer, the animators stopped bothering to draw each individual one and they looked like a swarm of flies rather than an enemy.

Even if someone did get past, players were never intended to be able to open the dome’s door in the first place – it’s locked by the system, and so it’s an impossible quest. Of course, by now we know that there’s no such thing as a city in the sky above the branches of the World Tree – it’s just modern white hallways in a building and a few branches, because ALO is only an MMO on the surface, with its true purpose being to conduct human experimentation on SAO survivors, as well as keep Asuna in check. Without that keycard that Asuna dropped down (or Yui, who processed it) Kirito’s journey would have just stopped there, and he’d have failed. Even so, this is only a small victory for him in the grand scale of things – his own “grand quest” is about to reach its climax in next week’s much-anticipated confrontation with Sugou, where everything in this show will finally come full circle.

Fly – Go – Go anywhere! Through the giant tree, soar through the sky, to the heart of the world -!

Vantage

I love cute things.

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. Eva says:

    DAMN! What a way to end the episode!!!! 8D Seriously the raid was amazing, I love raids like these, major team work and badassery LOVEEE IT!!!!!!

    • Vantage says:

      They really went all out! And this is supposed to be just the buildup, not the actual climax itself xD From a production POV, I can only imagine the kind of effort it must have taken to produce something like that, so I’m really appreciative of it too.

  2. Linzz says:

    YES FINALLY!!! This is actually the thing I am looking forward to! Especially when the dragoons of the Caith Sith appeared and when Sakuya and the other Sylfs came to the rescue!!! Everything from that half of the episode was too epic for me and I had chill ran down my spine and I don’t want to really complain about it.

    Kirito has his reasons concerning his actions towards Suguha, that I understand pretty well and I know, Sugu does understands in the end. And wasn’t it too cute of RECON TO ACTUALLY MAKE SUGU FORGET ABOUT EVERYTHING AND JUST MADE HER LAUGH JUST LIKE THAT?!?! OMG HE IS PERFECT. HE IS.

    • Eva says:

      HE’S PERFECTION.
      RECON x LYFA, I SHIP IT.

    • Wanderer says:

      When they dropped their swords, I was thinking if Recon was watching it below, how funny would it be if those swords stabbed him as they fall down. Then he ruins the scene’s mood by flying up with two swords stabbed into his head. I know it would really ruin the mood, but it will be funny if they included something like that in their special joke episodes.

      I do have to agree, Lyfa and Recon make a perfect couple.

      • Eva says:

        //When they dropped their swords, I was thinking if Recon was watching it below, how funny would it be if those swords stabbed him as they fall down. //

        *CHOKES ON DRINK* OMG AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

      • Vantage says:

        LMAO that would be hilarious! How did the swords even fall so conveniently after throwing them in different directions?

        Are the joke episodes Sword Art Offline? I think I remember watching the first one, where they hosted some kind of show and had Klein as a guest or something…

    • Vantage says:

      It was just…THE FEELSSS ^_^ I watched the latter half of that episode over and over just to experience those emotions all over again xD

      As insignificant as Recon is in the grand scheme of things, I do have to admit that his presence did break up the tension between Kirito and Sugu. And Recon x Lyfa? Sure, it’s preferable to Kirito x Lyfa anyway.

  3. Arimpact says:

    Gah, what a cliff hanger! I was this close to reading the LN after watching that.. I couldn’t help myself after last week’s drama and read ahead and I felt i didn’t enjoy this ep as much as i probably could have if I saw it fresh. Not that it wasn’t completely awesome regardless. Must.. not.. read ahead.. again…

    I didn’t realize kirito’s shoes are magnetic to stones O.o, he was standing upside down with his wings retracted near the end. lol

    • Wanderer says:

      It could have been just a shift of gravity. It’s a game, right? It’s not real life.

    • Vantage says:

      I know someone who’s reading the LN right after each episode, and stopping after the events of that episode – she has some insane willpower to do that on a weekly basis. Personally, even if you know what happens from the LN., they’re two separate forms of media in the end – you get a different experience with reading and watching.

      …But for the purposes of self-gratification over next week’s ep, don’t read ahead if you want to freshly experience the thrill xD

  4. Train says:

    THIS EPISODE, THE FEELS!!

    The second part of this episode was so awesome that i couldn’t help but stare and wait for what was going to happen in the screen. Oh, yeah and i also got me cheering on them while they desperately tried to climb the tree.
    Even if it was self-destruction, Recon got his bad ass moment. I thought last week’s episode had an insane amount of guardians, but then i saw this week’s and they looked like they formed a cloud when Kirito was near the top. This episode had a ton lot of emotions, not only with the resolution of Kirito and Lyfa’s problem( that reference to the first opening was beautiful), but also with the battle, with the climax and everybody’s struggle to help Kirito reach the top. Kirito’ s breakthrough was just epic( which reminded me of certain TTGL scenes, as well as “Recon’s Sacrifice”), and certainly Lyfa had a hand in that, without her power Kirito maybe wouldn’t have got it in the end.

    And Sugou, what a bastard, if making the million guardians wasn’t enough to prevent anyone from passing, he ALSO made the door locked by the system. In this part i was like: “REALLY? THAT BASTARD!” But then Yui and the keycard Asuna gave them came in handy and i was like “YEAH!”.

    Well, good thing everybody was there to help, and what is important is that they did it. Now, it is the time everybody who watched the ALO arc waited for: Seeing Kirito beat Sugu! Guess it will be more “satisfying” for the viewers to see than Nomi’s case, taking into consideration people disliked Sugu more than Nomi in general. xD
    I also think it is different when you read and see after, and when you see it animated first. It is more of a “surprise” when you don’t exactly know what is going to happen. Guess it changes from people to people.

%d bloggers like this: