Sword Art Online II Ep. 21: Stuff!

Episode 21: Swordsman’s Memorial

  • You know what would actually make this impressive? Context. I did not know before this exchange that it’s really hard to slash at magic, even though it looks really easy. Hell, even just parrying those spells doesn’t look very hard. If I was given something before this battle, like someone else’s attempt at directly attacking the magic, then- uh, actually I’d be just as annoyed since only Kirito is able to do it anyways. Um. At least they didn’t waste time with that, then? I honestly don’t know how they could have made this scene better at this point.
  • And then Kirito, triumphant that he totally owned those |\|008|375 with his 1337 5|<1||5, slowly turns towards the peasants and proclaims the gospel as spoken by our lord and savior Kayaba Akihiko:

Even the fastest magic is slower than an anti-material rifle’s bullet.

  • Praise be. Deliver these WoW scrubs from the hell they spawned from, for surely no one who is in the lead group of SAO would be worthy of a game as hardcore as GGO. No one. Nobody. Not even a certain black swordsman who went from the lead group of SAO to GGO. Yeah.
  • As if referencing GGO with one line of dialogue wasn’t enough, we are reminded that Caliburn existed as well.
  • What’s even worse is that no one even recognizes the sword. Hell, apparently no one knows who the owner is either. Not one urban legend. Not even gossip or any other hearsay. I mean, it’s not like he’s responsible for freeing people from SAO, where people definitely know him by appearance or at least by his username, which he never changes. Did these people just keep their mouth shut about the legendary Kirito? Did no one care about the lead group and who constituted it? Wasn’t he a celebrity at one point because people found out about his broken OP dual wielding? I’m amazed, truly amazed, that there are still people out there, people who take this game super seriously, that don’t know about Kirito.
  • It’s like a fog. This mystic, invisible, amnesia-inducing fog that just infects everyone around Kirito and makes them forget that he’s this broken OP lv.9999 dual wielding Black Swordsman who saved everyone and then some. This fog just induces people to attack him like complete idiots so that Kirito can keep proving people wrong with ease because that’s literally the only thing that defines him as a strong character where people are always, always, always unaware of who he is before they decide to attack him
  • and why on earth would anyone find that to be entertaining at this point when it’s been done this way so many times to the point of death and for the love of god can kirito just stop looking so smug everytime he pulls this shit youd think after the one-hundred-and-seventeenth time hes pulled this stunt hed be jaded as hell like maybe saitama from one punch man which by the way is a much better anime than this piece of shit has any right to be because at least that show has the common courtesy to admit that their main character is overpowered as all hell and doesnt take itself nearly as seriously
  • you know what why the hell am i still watching this shitty show i should just go watch some better anime like one punch man that would be pretty cool to do but
  • wow
  • look at me go


  • Well, it’s not as much a fight as it is a clown fiesta.
  • The fight itself is pretty one-sided, which isn’t as much of a problem to me if it didn’t feed into my uncertainty about these characters’ permanence. In other words. showing them to be this broken OP already only affirms my suspicions that these characters are expendable. If we’re not here to watch them grow or develop as characters, and the story only makes the minimum effort necessary to give them a discernible personality, then what other purpose could they possibly have in terms of Asuna’s development? Well, they could all die. That would be a government standard tearjerk right there.
  • One thing this scene could have done, though, was put more effort into making these characters seem strong.


  • Sure I’d be happier just accepting that this guy (i forgot his name) is just strong enough to stab two people at once, but then that begs the question of why two members of a lead group would be dumb enough to position themselves like this in the first place.


  • Same thing applies here. I have no understanding of how this idiot got himself in that position in time for this angle (and thus this ass shot) to happen.
  • ohgod i can see the taint
  • At least with Yuuki I understand better how she fights, staying low to the ground and using her small stature effectively to confuse opponents. I mean she too takes people down with one strike and without much difficulty but this was very nicely animated.
  • Of course, you can’t have a curbstomp given to you this easily. What could this lead group possibly have up their sleeve that can overcome these broken OP no-name players? What kinds of combinations or strategies, tested over many floors of SAO and optimized for rapid takedown of bosses, could be unleashed on these hapless players?
  • Oh, they just heal everyone when they get injured.

  • why even care about sao
  • the sleeping knights are legitimately surprised that healers exist on enemy compositions
  • kill me please
  • Oh, so basically the team conveniently forgot about healers so that Asuna can finally do something.

  • how are these people even competing for the lead group
  • i think they need to fight more boars
  • this is very fun to watch as you can tell
  • im so comfortable knowing that asuna and her new best dead buddies will always overcome their opposition not because of their own ingenuity but instead through their enemy’s negligence.
  • i am proud to emotionally invest in this anime
  • anyways they kill everyone and are preparing to enter the boss room. Oh yeah, this was about killing the boss by themselves, right.
  • Okay, here’s where it gets real.

  • can we talk about this for a second
  • So if I’m getting this right, this fight was to teach Asuna an important lesson which is as follows: if someone is getting in the way of what you want, and words aren’t getting through, then fighting works better. I guess that makes sense. Conflict can be healthy if done with the intent of making up afterwards.
  • So, as a parallel to this fight, since Asuna is having trouble with convincing her mom to respect her wishes, then Asuna should beat the shit out of her mom until she submits!

  • I am being flippant, of course, but I don’t think this is the most accurate metaphor you can make for Asuna’s situation. Ah well, since I seem to understand the jist of this scene either way, I guess it’s not bad.
  • Once this battle is over, tell me about yourself.
  • ASUNA.
  • GIRL

  • So I’m looking at this fight. The Yuki Kajiura choir is harping in the background. Shit’s obviously real right now. And truly, truly, ever so truly, I am doing my best to buy into the intensity of this situation. I’m being given all the cues that this is an important battle. The music and lighting seem to be making this happen. My problem is with everything else.
  • Well, that’s a bit excessive. What I’m actually talking about is how this fight connects back to Asuna. Despite all my hemming and hawwing towards how she’s handled, Asuna is still the main character of the show, and perhaps against my better judgment I am invested in her character arc. I want to see how this particular fight ties back into her own struggles in real life.
  • And if not that (because it turns out to not really tie into her life), at least I want to see how her presence in this guild benefits their group dynamic, their strategies, and perhaps even their chemistry. I feel like I’m being told that Asuna values this group a lot despite meeting in such a short period of time, and I’m interested in learning how such an unlikely thing can happen, and if the show has a sufficient (if not good) explanation as to how she’s able to attach to them so fast.
  • So it’s miraculous, at least to me, that this show manages to give me everything except the things I actually wanted out of this scene. Case in point:

  • They’re all low here, right? This would have been a good opportunity to showcase her healing prowess. The sequence of events here even implies that getting healed is a significant and sorely needed turn of events given how much time the sequence eats up in this fight. I don’t care how dumb I may think it would be if that were actually the case. At least I would get to see Asuna’s role in this group being given the time to shine.
  • The problem is that Asuna is hardly the team’s main healer. This guild already has a healer, you see, and we’re given no evidence that she can’t handle those duties on her own. And the show itself doesn’t give any attention to the possibility of the guild lacking enough healing/defense in their composition, so I’m really given no room to interpret it this way. Hm.
  • Well, Asuna isn’t just a healer. She’s also a pretty good fighter with a rapier. That way you can argue that she plays the role of Red Mage in this group, weaving back and forth between what the team needs at a moment’s notice. But I don’t get the feeling that this is what the group needs, either. I mean sure, this is what ends up happening in the previous fight and for all the dumbness I called it out on, it was solid evidence that the group needed some sort of trump card to surprise the opposition, to which Asuna fit in perfectly. I would happily expect Asuna to recognize an opening and lunge into combat when the timing was right.
  • Instead, I’m given something stupider:

  • Asuna is the only one in the room who realizes that the boss’s guard move has an easy and predictable trigger, and also reveals that the boss’s weak point is the gem on its chest. Realizing this, and knowing that her healing partner can handle a solo job for a short time, she rushes into combat and… tells Yuuki about the weak point. That’s it. That’s all she does. No sword. Not even going back to heal. Just this.

  • anyone got 599 usd on them
  • id make fun of this more but i too partake in dank meming so guess this gets a pass
  • I can’t tell whether Yuuki’s taking a battle stance or just miming her way into a box.
  • Also, Yuuki calls Asuna “sis” and I’m not sure if it was intentional. I reeeeaaaaally hope this doesn’t turn out the way I’m expecting it to. But in a way, I’m also hoping that it does. More excuses for me to snark at its expense, you see.

  • and then it was over.
  • god her feet are so tiny
  • that a side effect of cancer, right, because im 100 percent certain she has cancer at this point
  • You’d think that taking on a boss with only the minimum amount of party member would be an admirable feat, but nooooo any competitive gamer that isn’t the main cast has to be self-centered enough to given them zero credit and just wallow in defeat.
  • dae basic human decency
  • oh my god they’re saying it’s over now i cAN STOP WRITING ABOUT SAO TODAY

  • nooooooooOOOOooOOOOoooo
  • i dun wannaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • wait maybe if they dont know im here the episode will end itself

  • are they gone yet
  • is it over
  • no?
  • ohgod do i have to
  • who even reads this stuff anyways its not like anyone comments
  • what even is my life with this anime right now
  • uggggghhhhhhhh

  • if you insist.
  • Asuna asking to join the Sleeping Knights is pretty much the culmination and purpose of her time with the guild. It’s clear that she feels some sort of connection with Yuuki and it seems like she’s having a lot of fun playing with the guild. She’s drawn to them somehow. By what exactly? Well, don’t look at me. I don’t understand, either. These people have been partying for, what, an episode and a half? Perhaps not even that much? And all of a sudden she values this group enough to devote her online time, which is very precious to her by the way, with this specific crowd.
  • See, I get the underlying purpose of this decision. Asuna is attempting to make a very monumental commitment with her online time and it reflects how she should be approaching her issues in real life: with an excitement towards new possibilities and newer perspectives. Sure she has no idea what she’s getting into with the Sleeping Knights, but she certainly has no clue about what her mother’s trying to do for her future, either. She may not like the prospect of studying her youth away under her mother’s thumb, but Asuna’s behavior online shows that there’s hope in that attitude transferring over to the real life version of Asuna and being applied to make her life happier, if only slightly.
  • Of course,  I’m just not convinced that the show has given me enough information to actually back this interpretation. After all, the episode had just got done drilling in the fact that Asuna must fight with her mother in order to settle their differences, so these types of negotiated compromises are pretty much out of the question. It also doesn’t help that these events are happening far too quickly for comfort.
  • It actually kind of reminds me of when Yui was introduced back in S1.
  • In fact, this is exactly what’s bothering me right now
  • is this arc going to pull a Yui on us
  • i hope not.
  • Ah well, to think of what could have been. It’ll be the death of me, for sure.
  • Another problem is that the Sleeping Knights are actually disbanding after achieving their dream, citing that each of their lives will get busier after this.
  • i swear its as if they all have cancer or something
  • of course the whole purpose of this boss fight was to get their names on the wall, so they’re gonna go there and check it out.
  • Asuna and Yuuki are holding hands. dont do that asuna, you’ll get yuuki’s cancer that way.
  • as if to drive further the point that these people are being memorialized in the game, they also take a picture commemorating their achievement. They must have like double dog triple cancer or something
  • Once Asuna points out that Yuuki’s been calling her “sis” ever since the boss fight, the girl promptly tears up and logs off.
  • uh

  • I guess I’ll figure this out next episode? Whenever I get to that?


  • most reactions ive seen when it aired were… interesting. i dont know whats going to happen but this is gonna be good. once i actually get around to writing again
  • jesus im so good with this whole blog thing arent i

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