Sword Art Online – 06

Kirito spots Yoruko’s killer on a rooftop and pursues him, but he escapes via teleport crystal. When food Asuna made expires, Kirito gets the idea that the deaths of Kains and Yoruko were faked through use of simultaneous armor expiration and teleportation. He tests the theory by visiting Griselda’s grave, where Yoruko and Kains are questioning Schmitt, then ambused by a PK guild that Kirito scares off. Meanwhile, Asuna apprehends Grimlock, who had his wife Griselda killed because she changed from his wife in the real world. After discussing the perks of marriage, Kirito and Asuna add each other to their friends lists.

SAO will run for 25 episodes, so it can afford to take the odd sidequest, but we’re relieved this particular one didn’t extend past two episodes. While it was a competantly wrapped-up mystery with a twist ending, neither the mystery nor its participants were particularly novel or interesting. It as just kind of there. To be candid, we just couldn’t connect with this guild and its ring pacts and death-fakers as much as we did with Sachi, Silica, or even Klein. In fact, the best parts of this episode were those with Kirito and Asuna, as their mutual trust and friendship grows.

Sure, Asuna can be a tsundere at times, and Kirito can be too quick to play the weary victim, but as we said last week, they make a good team, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they became one on a more permanent basis. Asuna wouldn’t be sharing her homemade food or taking “hypothetically” about marriage if she didn’t like Kirito, even if he is a somewhat innocuous lone wolf. Both are pragmatists and mindful of the future. While their encounter with Grimlock (or -rock, whatever) showed that “storage sharing” isn’t for everyone (especially if the couple was involved in the real world), it definitely has its advantages.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Sword Art Online – 05

While having dinner in a town and safe zone, Kirito and Asuna come across a crime scene when a player is killed by a spear while being hanged. Asuna insists they investigate the matter. One of the witnesses, Yoruko, knew the vicitim – Kains – from her guild. Kirito has the weapon appraised by Egil, who determines it’s a custom job made by one Grimrock. They return to Yoruko with this info, and she tells them he’s the husband of their guild leader, who was killed while on a mission to sell a rare ring won in a battle. Three of the eight voted against selling: Kains, Yoruko, and Schmidt. While sitting next to a window dreading her fate, Yoruko too is stabbed by a dagger that comes out of nowhere. She falls out the window and dies.

Though we’re not sure about MMORPGs (we’ve never played one) the side quest is an integral part of all the RPGs we’ve played. While not necessary to the main storyline, side quests can take up most of a game. This week, Kirito and Asuna go on a side quest: a detective story. Sure, they could forget about the strange murder mystery and return to the front lines, but they want to find out how someone managed to kill somone else in a “safe zone”. Kirito notes that the rules of SAO are relatively fair, so it must’ve taken some doing to make it happen not once, but twice – and potentially thrice.

The OP is quickly filling up with faces of characters who only last an episode, and the ill-fated Yoruko is one of them. She waited a day to reveal the whole story to Kirito and Asuna, and in doing so prevented them from potentially solving the case in time to save her. We don’t have high hopes for Schmidt surviving the next episode either. But if someone can kill with impugnity in safe zones, they have to be stopped. Both Kirito and Asuna are on the same page when it comes to justice. We liked how Kirito made Asuna stop and smell the roses. If nothing else, this side quest has brought the two back together, and they seem to make a good team.


Rating: 6 (Good)