Sword Art Online’s upcoming third episode is looking to have quite a wave of sentiments as it seems the episode starts from a point of prosperity – only to then dive into a recess of depression and disconcerting sights.
Similarly to what was seen within the PV, one can see here that this third episode will initiate with our protagonist meeting Haruka from The iDOLM@STER – and with that, he’s seemingly welcomed into a guild quite warmly. It looks to be a short period of peace and cheerful days – something very clearly evidenced throughout the imagery which establishes the typical “positive” and “friendly” atmosphere through scenes full of smiles and intimate interactions.
And of course, the joyous sights are simply preparing for the harsh alternation of mood – our protagonist can be noted as concerned quite early on, a foreshadow for the worst. Even with everyone surrounding living a more frivolous life, he’s keeping his mind occupied as he’s already come to face the full circle of exile and dejection more than once.
An interesting aspect to keep in consideration is how the episode shifts in atmosphere overall – the PV exhibited that after a while of liveliness, it looked as if something were on the verge of breaking apart. A more sorrowful moment will be noticed with this set of pre-release images, although the implications appear far different – the pop idol lookalike apparently is feeling the pain of our protagonist as he tells her of his escapades.
Although even with that, there’s still certainly more sadness to be seen – it’s likely the entirety of the episode will scale in about three tiers, the first being the segment of enjoyment as aforementioned, which is then to be followed by a downtime composed of our protagonist’s trouble nature and establishing of a relationship with the pop idol girl, and finally, a climax of actual tragedy and action, met with resolution, and a lone protagonist once more.
Whatever arrives however, it’s truly magnificent how strong the sense of emotion is from this series – being enough that one can already grasp the protagonist’s ideals well in advance of the episode’s release as his character has already been developed so expertly, as has been the feeling of an awaiting grand adventure.