August 2nd, 2014.
1) Game-Face On:
1) “Top-ranking prizes”, as a hardcore MMO player, Kirito had a hard time passing on the promise of loot, even if he’s only here to do a job.
3) So, you can’t get involved with the game in real-life. You want to do stuff with the game? Log in. Keeping worlds apart. Yet, she’s looking to bring power from here over to the real world, and the game’s mechanics require bringing the real world into the game, with the heartbeat-reliant reticle size.
4) They showed us Kirito reacting to the bloodlust of all the players around, while Sinon seemed unperturbed, and only chided the others for trying to show off, rather than be impressed.
5) Yes, they really gave us Sinon in her underwear from all angles. I guess it’s the equivalent of having the camera linger on an awkward situation for some time so as to make us realize how awkward it is. But yeah, they definitely wanted us to see her.
6) Kirito, back in his familiar colours. “The Black Swordsman.”
7) “I want to teach you one more thing, the taste of the bullet that means defeat.” Ho-ho! Also, wasn’t this Kirito’s “lesson” at the end of the 2nd arc? That he was “punished” for thinking it’s all a game and not knowing what losing is like? Well, he ended up winning that time too, in the end.
2) Our True Natures:
1) Kirito realizes, Sinon isn’t afraid of the other people’s bloodlust, because hers is even stronger. She doesn’t feel like a sheep, or even as a fellow wolf, but as the one standing at the top.
2) This arc is really reinforcing that Kirito is more than a bit of a jerk – misleading Sinon, back in the cafe with Kikuouka, and now, again. Yup, he’s a bit of a jerk who likes playing with others.
3) People shooting in the air… feels like a game alright.
4) “Which is the real Sinon?” – Asada Shino would like to know the answer as well, Kirito-kun.
5) “Once we fight one another, I’ll learn something.” – The age old manga and movie trope, “You can’t fight a man without getting to know them. Fighting is a form of dialogue!” – It’s like I’m watching a samurai or sports show here, like it’s Ping-Pong the Animation all over again :P
3) Killing’s All We Know:
1) Why is Kirito speaking his thoughts out-loud? We just saw him think of Sinon without speaking them out loud. That’s just weird. We can hear his thoughts, you know.
2) Kirito is playing a rhythm game, he knows the order in which the bullets will come as well, hee hee.
3) Honestly, impaling someone with a laser-sword sure seems brutal. No simply sliding into them, eh?
4) Watching the OP again, it struck me. Kirito has a light-saber, Death Gun looks somewhat like Darth Vader, and in the OP they fight in a manner that really made me think of Star Wars, heh.
5) “SAO Survivors”. Not people who played a game, but people who survived an ordeal. They said it in the final episode of the first season, but one of the reason they collected all the players in one school is to monitor them, and help treat their mental scars.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Laughing Coffin, the Red Guild. This season, for both Kirito and Sinon, what did they name the third episode? “Memories of Blood”. The theme is very much how our bloody pasts come to haunt us, and which we can’t escape.
I do wonder if they’ll show us Sinon’s duel next episode or simply skip it. It’s not really important. But they might want to fill out next episode so they’ll use it.
This was a pretty standard action episode. Highlights, in terms of themes, were Kirito suspecting Sinon of being Death Gun – her real-world self is squeamish, but her game-self projects quite the bloodlust, and desires to kill the strong, in order to prove her own strength. Sadly, for anime-watchers, it was literally spelled out that she’s not Death Gun, not that it was much of a mystery, and then it actually got answered within the same episode, so it’s not like much was lost.
They did cut out a small detail – when Kirito was steeling himself before charging at his opponent, and how he had to actually shout himself into movement, it was about forcing himself to run headfirst into enemy combat. It relates back to the moment from the 2nd episode – even if it’s only a game, there’s the subjective feeling of really being shot at, with these full-dive games.
And yes, Kirito is somewhat of a jerk.