Swordsman’s Memorial

Synopsis

Kirito’s fight start with a barrage of long range homing magic attacks to him from the backline which he easily fends off with some GGO bullet deflecting tactics. He shouts to Asuna that he can buy them three minutes to get to the boss room and Klein shows up to help as well.

Asuna focuses back on their fight and dives straight for the enemy healers making the fight an victory without their backline.

The seven of them face the boss again, with a plan and better prepared this time. During the fight Asuna figures out the boss’ weak point and by making that the target of their next attack, they win. Asuna invites them to her player house for a party, Yuuki seemed reluctant at first, but goes eventually.

After they eat and drink, they take a picture at the Swordsman’s memorial where everyone’s name appears. But noticing that Yuuki had called her ‘sister’, Asuna asks about Yuuki’s sister and she instantly logs off without saying a word.

Thoughts

Well I’m happy we got to see Excalibur, but I’m not happy that we didn’t really see any fighting apart from Kirito’s bullet time/jedi spell deflecting abilities which we knew very well from GGO, and compared to bullets, magic’s speed must be child’s play. I guess this isn’t Kirito’s arc and it isn’t his time to steal the limelight. However I am also happy to see that people recognise him and he has a reputation. It’s at least a sense of realism that people remember others who are good at a game. Also, it’s good that whilst Kirito was acting the amazing powerful character he is, he did lose to that mass of people. He isn’t unbeatable as we’ve already seen this arc.

From calling Asuna ‘sister’ it’s obvious she has a sister. Why else would you call someone else sister so naturally? I’ve actually done that before, where someone’s been very like my sister and I’ve called them by my sister’s name by accident, much to my embarrassment. But the unnerving thing is that Yuuki was crying and she instantly logged off. That makes the sister topic sensitive… I feel something depressing may be coming our way… I mean it’s also hard to miss the giant death flag hanging Yuuki’s head this arc as well and the sympathy they’re trying to get us to feel by setting this melancholic mood. Though the main problem is, I feel no attachment to Yuuki at all and so it’s having no affect. Hard to feel anything for a character you’ve met only a few episodes ago who hasn’t done much.

Berserk healer is definitely the right choice of nickname for Asuna instantly switching from support to damage and launching herself into the middle of the fight. I remember when I played another MMO a while ago and I maxed skills in lightning nuking and healing, a weird combination yes, but I’d call that berserk healing and it’s great. Like Asuna I was able to switched from defence/support to offence in an instant and surprise enemies with my damage.

I found the fights elegant and well animated, apart from Asuna’s insane charge into the enemy, slightly less elegant. Yuuki’s battle style is more of a swords dance, elegantly turning and waltzing around the enemies cutting them apart. Reminds me of Demi Gods and Semi Gods where three fights broke out in a big gathering and a rough translation of what the people watching in awe were saying would be ‘these people are viciously targeting the enemy’s vitals but their stances are beautiful, as if they were involved a dance together’. Once a sword fight gets to a high level, I believe it should look elegant and fluid like a dance.

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