Forest House

Synopsis

Kirito and Asuna on a date at Dicey Cafe reminiscence about the good old days in SAO and their home on floor 22. Agil tells them that in the next update, new Aincrad’s floors 21 to 30 will be unlocked. This means that after clearing the boss they can buy their old home again.

On update day, Christmas eve, a bunch of players defeat the boss and reach floor 22. Kirito and Asuna rush off to buy their old house.

After that, whilst relaxing in their house, Liz tells Asuna of ‘Zekken’, a really strong player who appears every day at a certain time and place and takes on anyone in a duel. Of course when someone like that is issuing challenges a lot of people wanted to team them a lesson, but they were all defeated.

More people are still continuing to challenge Zekken as they’re willing to teach the person who beats them a new sword skill that hits 11 times, with the current strongest only at 8 hits. Zekken has only shown the skill once, and has not needed to use it as no one’s been strong enough.

Even Kirito lost, but he apparently wasn’t going completely all out. Though Liz doesn’t think Kirito will go all out in a normal game again as the stakes aren’t high enough, which is for the best. During the duel though, Leafa did notice that Kirito had spoken with Zekken, but what about, he won’t say. Which is why now Asuna’s going to take the challenge and find out what Kirito asked.

There is the possibility of Zekken being an old SAO player, but Kirito disagrees as he says that if Zekken was, the dual wield would’ve gone to them.

Thoughts

Another very relaxing episode as we get the final arc, Mother’s Rosary, under way. A lot of lazing about and a lot of chat. Not that I mind, as much as it’s good to see action, I always like a calm episode here and there. There was action, but it was short lived and wasn’t anything special, felt like it was in the way which I suppose the boss was, and they just wanted him out of the way asap.

Now call this a spoiler if you will, but with that new purple girl appearing in the OP and the ED, I have a distinct feeling that she is Zekken and not that big armored guy we saw Asuna imagining. Because as we all know, the OP spoils everything.

I’m quite glad they’re not painting Kirito in this ‘unbeatable’ light anymore, I prefer that over the typical shounen main character beating everyone. Of course when you look at it overall, no one said anything that he was the best in the games. He just happens to be able to beat some strong characters because his or someone else’s life depended on it but he can be outplayed. He’s just made a name for himself to us. I remember watching Demi Gods and Semi Devils and the two who had made a name for themselves were strong, but the strongest were people you never even knew existed. Zekken is a good example of that, ever since the seed was distributed and the online world opened up, I’ve been waiting and wondering if there’s someone out there that could challenge Kirito.

Thinking about what Kirito could’ve said, it surely isn’t anything game changing, otherwise he’d be off on another adventure by now. I was wondering could he have simply said, good game well played? How I would love for that to be the case, something tells me it’s very unlikely. Whatever the case, this Zekken who looks to be a very cheery looking girl seems to be a new member to the cast. Good to see the old cast continuing strong, but I still think they should include more Sinon. For one thing there aren’t many archers around and another I think it feels like as much as everyone has accepted her into the group, she herself doesn’t feel as if she fitted in.

I don’t know why, but for some reason I was surprised to find out that Agil has a wife. For one thing when I thought about it, I’m sure he mentioned it in SAO at some point but I suppose it may have been one of those passing comments that people don’t remember. Or it’s just my bad memory. The latter’s probably true. Either way though, it’s a very sweet story, knowing he had a home to come to and knowing there was someone waiting for him. The more interesting thing is that they met online which seems more and more commonplace these days. Nothing wrong with it, it’s all about people’s perception and I felt Agil’s story was actually quite realistic.

I was wondering why they couldn’t get Yui back to normal size for when they go back ‘home’ and then she answers my question immediately and turns back to ‘normal’. I guess it’s much more convenient to stay small, can get anywhere and fly. And speaking of ‘home’ the log cabin was definitely a cosy place, quite a nice Christmas present. A lot of emotion left behind when they had to leave SAO and a lot of emotion expressed as Asuna demonstrated just how significant the place and the moment that they finally returned was. Who can blame her, it was probably the best time of her life considering her family situation and then having to escape a death game.

The thing I’m most concerned about is the situation with Asuna and her marriage suitors. We all know how SAO likes its sexual assaults, I’m really hoping none of those nasty looking suitors will do anything. As far as I’m concerned they’ve way overused that premise. With the focus on Asuna’s family situation in this episode, it feels like whatever this arc is about, her situation will crop up again at some point. Hopefully in a good way. Though if anything like Sinon’s final event was to happen to Asuna and Kirito saving the day, as he would, perhaps then her family will rethink their arranged marriage strategy. Surely putting your daughter in danger more than once is enough?

Advertisements