More off-the-cuff thoughts this time around.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Detective Work:
1) “Did Death Gun take anyone else? No, his accomplice is standing by Sinon’s apartment.” So how did he take out Pale Rider and then shoot at Sinon immediately after? He has more than one accomplice.
2) “Is he strong?” He wouldn’t get this far if he weren’t.
3) When you remove all the impossible options, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. Yes, Pale Rider living 30 mins from Sinon is an option, but there are more options remaining.
4) “Let’s use Death Gun as a decoy”, quite a different thing when he can’t really be killed, in which case he’s not really a decoy, and whether he can. They use Kirito as a decoy, but it’s not really his life at risk here, which is why he’s willing to do so. But are they willing to risk another’s life? Hmmmm.
5) Technically, killing someone while they’re full-diving is literally Pking, heh. And again, everyone wishes to feel strong, to live their fantasies, to make themselves stronger. They were released from the Death Game, but just like Kirito and Sinon, they carry their traumas with them. They are out of the game, but the game is still within them.
2) Our Naked Resolve:
1) Kirito, making real-life villains pay for in-game crimes since Aincrad! Well, in-game crimes that reflect on the real world.
2) Sinon speaks of shooting unaware people as cowardly, then goes back to being a sniper who relies on decoys and spotters ;-)
3) Kirito’s long hair flowing in the wind looks great. Seriously.
4) Sinon’s power went away by shooting someone, and now she wishes to shoot someone to get that power back. Taking a life to save a life, but still adds to one’s burden. Probably helps that here she’s not going to literally kill anyone.
It’s interesting how she beseeches her gun, as if her gun is her partner, someone who can lend her strength, not a simple inanimate object. Then again, guns can also rob her of strength.
5) Kirito with his maxed hearing skill, like a friggin’ sonar, heh.
1) Full agility build, looking ridiculous as he runs like the Roadrunner. Then again, so are MMORPGs. And well, that’s how Kirito must have looked from the side in ALO when he cut those mooks when he first came across Leafa, or ran with her out of the cave, eh?
2) That bullet that missed Kirito took down a building? Ok, we get it, that bullet deals massive damage. I mean, it’s a sniper bullet to the head, does it really matter? Heh. It does look cool, I guess.
3) Thank you for the “Dead!” signal, it’s a video game, so having a big ass hole in one’s torso isn’t enough indication to tell us they’re truly dead :D
4) “Pappa won’t lose, because he’s pappa!” – At least Yui sounds like a genuine kid. Or, “Kirito won’t lose, because he’s Kirito!” Asuna to the rescue.
5) “Specialized medicine term”, and who do we know whose family wants him to be a doctor, and who hates agility-based builds?
4) This Darkened Mirror – Face to Face with My Monster:
1) Chit-chat between bloodsworn enemies, who are sort of friends, because they must know one another. They’re veteran game-players, of a game that no longer exists, so they’re exchanging comparisons about the new game ;-) I like Kirito’s “I’ve always wanted to use something like this” about the lightsaber, cause we all did.
2) “You’ve breathed too much of the real world’s rotten air.” Didn’t he say something similar once already? Kirito began the first episode in saying how the real world has more information, but Death Gun is intimating that this extra information is but a distraction from the purity of their real selves, and their killing skills. He kills and sees himself as a PK not just because his in-game self reflected back on his real-life self, but because it’s now realer to him than the life he’s had before. A life where he must live and kill by his skills, rather than the dreary life one’s used to.
3) “I’m a real red player.” Continuing with that definition, though a year has passed, he still defines himself by that one trait.
4) “You can’t stop me, because you can’t remember my old name.” – This is like Rumpelstiltskin, where you must remember the name of an old phantom in order to take away its power and put it away. Kirito is like a child who has to come to grips with his demons in order to move on, which sounds about right.
And here is a past mistake, part of the original sin, coming back to haunt him. The original sin wasn’t merely killing other people, but trying to put it behind him. Filling himself with hubris, and turning down the losers’ final words.
Post Episode Thoughts:
“Can’t remember something you’ve never known, can you?” – But Asuna might know, or Klein. Kirito isn’t alone in this fight.
This episode finally graduated from talking to fighting, and it’s quite a nice fight we’ve got going on. The villain is a mirror of Kirito’s. He doesn’t simply know what troubles him because he heard of it, and isn’t just pressing those buttons due to cruelty, but because he tackles the same issues, of trying to define himself, of trying to go beyond his old dreary life, because he too can’t put Aincrad behind him.
They’re Aincrad survivors, and that means Aincrad survives within them. It’s a question of how far you’re willing to go to protect the dream. Not too much to say about this episode on its own.