Momentum was not wasted with Sword Art Online – the series had established a solid tier of thunder, and the storm of spectacular simply continues onward, growing greater as the hero bravely develops as well.
One need not even wait till a minute later into the episode before being astonished by this series – with the plot presented by this anime, there’s many a method to go about it, as with any, although Sword Art Online has decided not to merely make this episode a direct continuation of the one prior. In other words, menial moments don’t receive attention over the more relevant and prominent points – this entire episode is substantial, and not a second of it was wasted on anything worthless.
And thus turning to what this constant development delivers, the meeting of hero and heroine unfolds in a wonderful manner of chance – and one which isn’t definite from this mere episode alone. Basically, by the end of it, one will feel the corridor of potential leading to many a door – making it all so mysterious as to what the third installment will hold.
Yet focusing now on what the protagonist faces, he finds himself amongst an aggregate of others – albeit sitting off to the side alone. It seems that while a grander populace of those hostages entrapped within the digital world of Sword Art Online are off doing whatever they will – this group has assembled to work in unison, under a blue haired leader, to defeat the boss of the first floor and be on their way upward to success and survival.
While the visuals at face value do not seem particularly distinct or heavily refined – one can be sure however that they are incredibly precise and well-considered in conjunction with the story, as well as with each scene to transpire. This is instantly noticeable in the beginning as our protagonist male, Kirito, visibly looks to be satisfied as the idea of a consortium is discussed – and likewise, when heat turns against his favor, a sudden heckler arriving to start a mess versus the “beta testers” of Sword Art Online, one will see our leading male’s concern.
Indeed, the artwork is immensely expressive – and this becomes perhaps most critical when comparing our protagonist as seen during the episode’s start, and shortly before the end sequence initiates.
As for now, our leading male meets the inevitably present female of his life – both being more so left out from the rest, they form a miniature party of two on their own to contribute to the overall venture led by the blue haired fellow to defeat the first boss. That challenge however is to come the next day – in the meanwhile, the characters enjoy the night. And again, a stronger point of Sword Art Online glistens here – the character development is not instant, and it’s not explicit.
In reality, most communication happens non-verbally – the staff behind Sword Art Online apparently took this into consideration, and one can see it within the series quite well, resulting in that relationships are built within this series on a realistic scale of action, versus the usual generic filling of roles where everyone is just doing everything as if programmed by default.
Additionally, the pace leaves more to be seen – the characters have hardly been touched, not in that development is lacking, but in that the series is taking a proper path to uncovering all there is to know regarding them.
With a basic bond now built between hero and heroine, the day of attack arrives – the characters all head out as planned, and there, one must admit the events are expected for the most part, the hero and heroine somehow prove ridiculously leagues above everyone else in skill, yet the unforeseen is what follows the death of the boss. The heckler of earlier once more stirs needless whining and trouble regarding beta testers – and our protagonist, who felt himself becoming part of a group for just a moment, feels all alone once more.
He wavers for a second, pondering what route to take, and his choice is certainly commendable – yet even more than that, it’s truly baffling to the extent in which it is magnificent and more. With the majority weighing against them, he turns neither afraid nor hysterical – he doesn’t attack them either, not in any way, shape, or form, he simply recognizes the truth. Indeed, he was within the beta test, however he states himself to be far above any of the others who faced similar – and seeing his confidence and skill, one will find it hard to deny.
Further, he tells the many who stand against him now that they’re likely also better than most beta testers as well – with this, and what he stated prior, he has practically shown them that their words are meaningless, and rather than focus on ranks or titles, he centers on achievement. And with that, he prepares to head out – feeling rather dejected, though aware of his place as it honestly stands. This is his life – and he intends to face it.
Interestingly however, on his way out – the heroine stops him for a moment to make some moe gesture and speech – though the crucial portion to note is how as he stands shaded in exile, the heroine is a contrasting light of brightness. And after he mentions to her that one will not get very far within Sword Art Online whilst solo, this shimmering star standing behind him asks what he intends to do – at which point, the episode goes black and concludes.
This series has brought an episode to a suspenseful close for the second instance in a row – not through a cliffhanger, but through sheer impact of realization at what must await from here on out. The next episode may perhaps start from a spot in which our hero and heroine have already entered a basic affiliation – yet alternatively, of the other possibilities, another of the most likely include that the series could continue not too far off from where this episode leaves off, showing the hero and heroine build a stronger relationship.
Finally however, Sword Art Online could also go somewhere else entirely, hero still alone as he tackles another adventure within the virtual world – and the matter of the heroine could be returned to at a later time.
No matter the direction however, hopefully the series sustains its excellence all throughout – if not excelling beyond that and further, which actually isn’t too far-fetched if this current rate keeps up.