A lot of the kids playing the game suffered trauma and so the girl Kirito and Asuna rescued last episode decided to look after them in a church.
A representative from The Army, Yuriel, comes by to request assistance. The leader of The Army, Thinker wanted a group of people that shared information to help clear the levels. But because it grew to this size, internal power struggles caused groups inside to defect.
Kibaou, if anyone remembers him, grew powerful. He monopolises good monster spots and taxes people. He sent his highest level players to the frontline to give the image that he’s clearing the game, but they died by The Gleam Eyes. He’s about to be kicked from the guild, so he set a trap for Thinker’s and he’s now stranded in a high level dungeon.
When they are about to reach Thinker, a boss monster, The Fatal Scythe appears, something Kirito says is as strong as monsters over the 90th floor. Kirito and Asuna attempt to fight but are easily swept aside until Yui intervenes. She brings out a large sword and destroys it.
She explains everything as her memories return. The game is controlled by a system named Cardinal. This system controls the game without human intervention. She is part of this system, a Mental Health Counseling program, prototype 1. Since the beginning she was suppose to interact with players, but Cardinal didn’t allow her and all the negative feelings built up by the players eventually caused errors in her programming.
Seeing Asuna and Kirito’s warm positive feelings she wanted to meet them. She wants to stay with them, but she used the system to delete that monster so Cardinal considers her a foreign object and deletes her. Kirito accesses the system and manages to turn Yui’s data into a game object before they delete her. He gives Asuna a tear shaped object, Yui’s heart.
A very Yui focused episode, and the end of an interesting side ‘main’ story, if you get what I mean. Raises a lot of questions, episode related and others. I’m still not sure why Yui was introduced in the first place. I know that this story is part of the main story, but this didn’t really develop anything. Still very much feels like a side story, a nice heart-warming one though.
I was wondering about Thinker being unarmed to meet Kibaou. I mean surely another player isn’t able to tell if you have or don’t have any weapons in your inventory right? Unless Thinker was that naïve and actually went after purposefully storing all his weapons away. I think in a world like this you gotta be a bit more careful than that, even if it’s someone you trust your life with. I mean what if a monster suddenly jumps out, you are meeting in a dungeon after all.
I did think there would be a trap somewhere down that high level dungeon. Those frogs were hardly any trouble, I’m sure someone like Thinker who leads the largest guild in SAO could beat them. So when a big empty corridor to the person in question greets you, stop and think for a second. But I didn’t expect an unbeatable monster. Makes me wonder how Kibaou got out, unless he was the one who activated it.
Hopefully Kirito will get Yui back somehow when everything’s over. But a program with human emotions and can act individually? Been a while since something like this came up, to me at least. That being the argument of artificial intelligence is just that and nothing more, so we shouldn’t care about them like we do normal humans as it’s a machine/program so it’s emotions are fake, just lines of code. How do you feel about it? Yui feels, looks and sounds real enough, but bottomline is it’s still a program. It doesn’t ‘exist’ everything is simply code. But if you can talk with it, interact with it and it can remember you and talk back, what’s the difference? Simply put, what makes a human, human? Emotions? Functions? Memories? Relationships? Flesh and blood? If all of these could be synthesised would that not make them human? Or would the ‘naturalness’ of a normal human still be the deciding factor?
Hmm okay, may have strayed off track a bit there. Anyway, back to normal proceedings next episode. What will be dealt with next? Clearing the floors is still the top priority of course, so probably continue with that and they’ll run into problems. But I think their next main ‘enemy’ will be Laughing Coffin guild. They’ve been showing up now and then and recently made it ‘personal’ with Kuradeel. It’s about time they’ll show themselves. I thought that Asuna and Kirito resting would be when they show up, to ambush them, but I was wrong there. So I’m looking forward to a guild war hopefully soon.