Sword Art Online – 03

“Man, it’s cold out. I chose the wrong day not to wear underwear.”

Video game time! Except…not really because this is an anime, not a game. It’s an anime about a LN about a game. Just wait until the game comes out…then it will be a game about a LN about a game! For now, let’s just stick with the anime and see what Kirito’s been up to since we last saw him put on his flowing trenchcoat of badassery…
Welcome back to another week of Sword Art Online! Every week I get so excited to see this series and follow the adventures of Kirito, but in the previous episode he was acting quite strange! Then again he doesn’t really play well with others now does he? Anyway time to start the review with Overcooled! I hope you enjoy our thoughts on the third episode.


Rough Times Ahead For Kirito

Foshizzel // So this week Kirito gave in and joined a guild. Why did he decide to keep his true level a secret from the members of the Black Cats? Honestly, I don’t quite understand why he wanted to do that in the first place. I assume he didn’t want to feel as if he was getting used? Sure, having a higher guild member would help the Black Cats succeed, but I think we all know deep down inside we feel that he is probably better suited as a solo player. Then again, maybe he just felt really bad for them and wanted to teach them how to survive as a team? DAMN IT Kirito why are you acting like a badass?! I will say one thing though he definitely has a way with words that allow him to practically talk his way out of any situation and win people over like Sachi this week, but hey maybe he really meant everything he said to her about protecting her? Can we really blame the deaths of his fellow guild mates? I mean he did try to warn them before they entered that room. I am starting to think he should use some direct message system to warm people or create a macro with something like “YO DUDE DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING UNLESS YOU WANT TO DIE!” I fully expect to see our main character feeling completely depressed over wiping out an entire guild…damn…bro you really have it rough this week.



Overcooled // Kirito was quite simply screwed over in this week’s episode, as highlighted by Fosh. While a lot of traumatic things happen to him, there’s surprisingly little weight behind the deaths of his new friends. Did any of you expect Kirito to continue out his days laughing with the guild and cheerfully buying matching furniture in a virtual Ikea? I was prepared for these guys to bite it as soon as Kirito joined their guild. I’ve been primed to expect friends to die in the most traumatic manner possible if the main character exhibits a certain level of trust issues and chronic loneliness. Mirai Nikki and Guilty Crown are some notable examples. You build up their trust by having them finally fit into a group, and just when they reach a peak of happiness you smash it all down and turn them into a mess of frayed nerves and self-loathing. His presence in Black Cat was so short that I will only ever see these characters as “the ones who existed to make Kirito feel like crap” as opposed to people I care about.

While I don’t like the way they pushed Kirito into this “emo” stage, I feel like the way he ends up because of it is a good reminder of how the stress of this game can get to people. Kirito survives by simply not thinking about death. It’s a simple coping technique. You can even feel less pain from a physical wound if you don’t think about it. However, Sachi is the opposite, and constantly grapples with her mortality and how quickly her life could be snuffed out at any given moment.


Sachi’s role is very particular in that she not only makes Kirito console her about death every night (subconsciously reminding himself that people really die here) but she actually dies in the end. She’s there to remind Kirito of what the consequences of letting your HP bar go to zero are in this twisted world. Oddly enough, Kirito seems more worried about his friends dying than keeping himself alive. Having people die in front of him – such as Diabel and his new guildmates – terrifies him. If they die, then he’ll be alone. Kirito treasures the few friends he has since making them takes so much effort. The way he desperately tried to save his guild after they sprung the trap shows how much he needs his friends – and potentially how much he fears abandonment. He’s actually really similar to Klein in that protective sense. I wish Kirito had joined him! Then again, perhaps the thought of losing someone like Klein who is also important to him is too great a risk for him to take.


Solo Players Versus Guild Teams

Foshizzel // Most MMORPG players out there prefer solo playing while other players want more of a social environment. They usually end up joining a tiny guild to start off, but later on in their gaming career they might leave that small guild and try their hand at a giant guild. I have a bit of experience in that department when it comes to starting off as a solo player and eventually joining a guild. I mean, killing mobs over and over is fun by yourself but when you join a guild everything changes because you start developing a lot of new friendships with people from all over the world and you gain certain advantages while joining a guild.

First off you have better access to larger bosses for better loot from instances and harder quests; however I will say you really are never guaranteed to win any actual loot after killing a raid size boss! Trust me you can go weeks without winning a damn thing and that kind of sucks, but I didn’t really care too much for winning stuff every week! I just enjoyed how my guild seemed to always spend most their time cracking jokes over Ventrilo while we are either getting owned by a boss over and over again. So yeah, all of that sounds amazing right? Sadly there are certain times when guilds are plagued with random moments of drama which are usually tied to loot, real life issues, or there are a few players in that guild that you just can’t get along with. So as you can see there are positives and negatives to joining a guild…so what kind of player are you? Are you like Kirito who prefers solo playing or are you like Keita who formed his own guild with the Black Cats? There really is no wrong answer to that question.


Desperate Times, Douche-y Measures

Best friends…until you realize someone is a beta tester and you rip their spine out :3

Overcooled // Kirito had to hide his level from the Black Cat guild just so that he would fit in. At least, that’s why I think he did it. The Black Cat guild is a humble group of players who are kind, willing to give, and therefore scornful of the top-level players who hog everything. Revealing his true strength with automatically lump him in with the pro players, and get the guild to hate him. He had to make himself seem like an unassuming, average player like them to avoid intimidating them and scaring them off. I’m getting to see how inaccurate just calling him a loner is now, because he really wants to b part of a warm, friendly group. The pro players are probably too brutal for his taste. Of course, it all falls apart in the end. The surviving leader is livid when Kirito reveals his level, even after getting to know him personally during their time working together. Being a ‘beater’ is enough to attract all the malice in the world, so it makes sense that Kirito was so secretive about his level and status as a beater.

lol brb suicide

The almost blind rage towards the beta testers made little sense before, but now it seems to be more justified. The stronger players have been leaving very little left for the weaker players. Overall, this week revealed a lot about the different methods all kinds of players are taking to beat this crazy game. Some are becoming information brokers to make extra cash and get all the juicy info, some are joining guilds, some go solo and hog everything, and some guilds terrorize the rest of the players. I was expecting some sort of unscrupulous group of people to rear their ugly heads at some point, but I didn’t think it would be a huge, powerful guild. It’s not surprising that some people would just race to the top without stopping to help others since lives are on the line. If you’re in a burning building, it’s easier to run out yourself as opposed to stopping to help people, right? Not that it’s the morally right thing to do, of course…but it certainly keeps you alive.


Christmas Filled with Sadness…

Foshizzel // Merry Christmas Everyone! Oh right I forgot that Kirito’s Christmas adventure completely sucked. After all, he watched every guild member of the Black Cats get owned right in front of him which caused the leader to commit suicide; however I think Sachi’s death hurt him the most because of that promise he made to her. So what did you think about her final words she sent to Kirito? I think it was great that he meant a lot to her and at the same time it was also very sad. Hell, even the singing made me feel sad for her at the end of the episode…ah well I don’t mind that kind of drama in my anime, but there has been a repeating formula with Sword Art Online so far with main character meets new person gets attached to them and they get owned. This week he spent over two months with the Black Cats before they all died, but he was trying to bring Sachi back to life with that item. Oh and Klein did offer him a spot in his guild maybe he’ll break down and actually take it? So I bet the girls screamed when he grabbed Kirito like that I mean the only thing missing was them hugging right? So anyway this episode was filled with lots of die-o-rama which made it a good episode, but I hope next week they bring out the action and maybe some comedy moments? Just kidding! I don’t think we are ready for that to happen just yet.


Final Thoughts

Overcooled // I still stand by my statement that episode 2 was good and didn’t feel rushed. Unfortunately, I can’t say quite the same thing about this week’s little…excursion. I understand that some floor-skipping is in order to make sure this anime isn’t 100 episodes, but having 2 skips in one episode was a bit much. I don’t know what the LN covered, but I felt like I could have gotten a benefit out of seeing Kirito’s first encounter with the Black Cat guild and getting to know them a bit more. They died almost as soon as they appeared, which was predictable and did absolutely nothing close to achieving the heart-tugging sadness they were going for. I felt nothing because I had foreseen their deaths almost immediately.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with Kirito going through some traumatic stuff. He’s not exactly in a pleasant situation. I just wish they slowed things down and lulled me into a false sense of security to make things more of a surprise. Or just slowed down a bit! They even cut out the santa battle, ultimately making the final scene laughably short and poorly set up. I’m really feeling the rushed story here. There are lots of good points (ruthless guilds, players living in constant fear etc.), but the pay-off is stunted because of the short set-up time. If these wonderful concepts were given more time to stew and build up, I’d have enjoyed this episode more. It was pretty average…which is a tad disappointing considering how much I’ve been enjoying SAO.

Foshizzel // This was certainly an interesting episode this week and the drama between Kirito and Sachi was nice, but part of me already assumed she was going to die along with the other Black Cat guild members! All because they are not considered as official “main characters” then again Sword Art Online has a lot of awesome side characters to play off of later on. So what did you think of the drama and are we dealing with a rushed story for the anime version of Sword Art Online? Because I have noticed after reading a few blogs and even some Tumblr posts that the current story is leaving massive gaps in the story. Like how did Kirito manage to get his current level and how the other floors were cleared? However I don’t really plan on reading the novels right now, but I plan on checking them out after this anime series ends just to see what all the hype was about.


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45 Responses to “Sword Art Online – 03”

  1. xRichard says:

    Time skips uh? After EP2, I read Vol 1. Time skips in SAO are… lets say common.

    • xRichard says:

      I mean, was anyone expecting 100 episodes? “Floor of the week” format? SAO won’t be like that. I think we will reach the end of Vol 1 by episode 10 or so, it depends on how much they cut. By then, people will understand what makes this series different from .hack or any other anime with similar premises.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah from my understanding the events in this episode take place waaaaayy into the LN and I could read that, but I am having fun just following the anime version right now.

      Yeah I imagine with what at least 16+ volumes out there they are going to do a lot of time skipping here and there because the producers sadly have to pick and choose the “best of the best” for 20+ episodes and that really pisses all the LN fans.

      LOOOOL Yeah if they copied word for word you would have something like you said 100 episodes not to mention how boring it would become if you had Kirito clearing all floors every week with Asuna? Honestly that would get really really old fast…so I forgive them for pulling like 1 or 2 stories from every other chapter.

  2. †Croos† says:

    This is what I really wanted SAO ep3 to happen .
    Just change it to Rudolf song

    • †Croos† says:


      • Gecko says:

        :O Ahhhh as soon as the song started I was ready to cry a little ;.;

    • Foshizzel says:

      Trololololo best song! Seriously every time I hear it I turn to my brother like “Oh god someone just died.”

      So yeah Ano Hana ED = BEST DEATH RELATED SONG for any characters <3

    • enma says:

      When I watched the episode I felt absolutely nothing (serioulsy, they were all oviously destined to die from the moment Kirito joined them), but watching this actually made me cry ;A;

  3. xochandaox says:

    Although its to be expected since all his new friends died before his eyes.. And I feel bitchy for saying this… but yeah that little emo stage he went through was pretty annoying.
    Would love to see him more as that guy at the end of last ep, when he put on the midnight coat.
    Like: haha bitches, I’m better than all of y’all.
    Other then that… Enjoyed the developments..

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hahaha no worries there I feel the same way about Kirito like you…that emo phase was lame, but I forgive him because it looks like he was starting to feel happy with Sachi and the other black cat members well..sort of…

      Agreed and yep there was some nice developments.

  4. tatsuya says:

    I told ya ..santa was dead ..but nobody listen ~~~

  5. Bob from Accounting says:

    Wow, what even happened this week? Went by too fast for me to catch.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Abridged version: Kirito joined a guild called the Black Cats who were all around level 20? He was around 40 and they all died one by one thanks to them setting off a trap, but there was a girl named Sachi that Kirito got attached to until she died.

      Yeah this episode was fast for me as well…

  6. Highway says:

    I actually thought the pacing was just right. I mean, you knew at the beginning of the episode that all these people had Death Flags up, so it was mainly about how to get on with it. I’m glad it was only a single episode, because I think the main point was the emotional effect on Kirito, not the emotional effect on the audience. So I think it was fine that we didn’t spend another episode getting attached to Sachi and Keita and the other guild members (it was sad enough already).

    And I completely agree with the reasons that Kirito joined the Black Cats. He sees the way the game should be played, and thought Keita was a guy to help spread that way. Kirito doesn’t like the way the top guilds play either, that’s why he doesn’t join them. And I think that Keita’s rage at him after learning his level is completely misplaced (and primarily driven by shock).

    And while Sachi’s death is sad, and crushing to him, her message shows what his presence really meant to her. She knew she would die sometime, they’re in an environment where it’s almost inevitable if you go outside the Town of Beginnings. But his reassurances helped her go from a person consumed by the fear of dying to a person who can understand that death is possible, but not to let it get in the way of life. He needs to know that he helped with that.

    And I’ll even take Hayami Saori humming Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Right in terms of character development this was a perfect episode for Kirito, but what are we going to have to sit through with the next few episodes? Probably depressed main character being emooooooooooooo! I don’t mind that however I honestly don’t want that to drag on to long…

      Kirito joining them was great! Like you said he doesn’t like how the bigger guilds operate and don’t help people out. As for Keita’s rage! Yeah I was waiting for one of them to bitch at him for hiding his level…I took it as he was hiding it to avoid getting used as a higher level and of course “beater” status >.>

      Sachi was cute, but sadly I saw all the guild members and I was like…yeah…they are screwed! Yeah I suppose this is a wake up call to Kirito? Just so he realizes what he has to do!? I know usual character deaths = gives the main character the whole ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWER thing from TTGL or it triggers a power up ie Goku turning SSJ for the first time that sort of thing.

      <3 best humming ever

  7. D-LaN says:

    Well since ppl haven’t explain it…..you don mind a non-expert LN reader do you? (This is based on stuff ppl say at RC)

    I am starting to think he should use some direct message system to warm people or create a macro with something like “YO DUDE DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING UNLESS YOU WANT TO DIE!”

    If he were to do tht his secret would be out lol. Ang there some cuts here,Show ▼

    They even cut out the santa battle

    It was cut out in the LN. Heck the LN also hav time skips

    All because they are not considered as official “main characters”

    She in the OP and website btw.

    Oh Sachi, joining the likes of Shirley and Hare…..

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hmmmm I found a tumblr that breaks down the differences from episode vs chapter and most of them are tiny things like how certain characters meet like Asuna? She doesn’t meet him this early from what I gather! And there are holes in the game as in the mechanics of the game how this works and why this works type of thing.

      Yeah I bet they had a hard time with Sachi’s introduction! I know shes in the opening, but still that really doesn’t save you! Just look at Guilty Crown openings? I had no idea Gai would die and then BOOM! HE DIED…so I suppose I was to quick on the draw to say oh shes not a main therefore she is screwed xD

      This tumbler is nice! BEWARE SPOILERS you were warned.

      • D-LaN says:

        Lol yeah but Guy came back frm dead and died again lol. And the 2nd OP kinda spoil some scenes but tht FINAL scene of OP……

        Well most of it are just some trivia though. Its justified tht they cut them out.

  8. Another sad episode. Still, Sao never cease to amaze me.

    I feel sorry for that guild. having a retard member that brought the team to a trap, and cause the Leader decide to suicide. Who thought Black Cats got nine lives?…

    Sachi’s message however gave a little light for Kiriko to move on. Not a bad ending. But for me, nothing changes… Kirito works alone again to survive.

    • †Croos† says:

      Lessoned learned: Never call your guild BLACK CAT. It just brings bad luck.

      • Indeed. Don’t form a group calling themselves Black Cats, unless they “do have nine lives”.

        Speaking of groups, I was surprised Klein’s Samurai group beat the entire Holy Knights Guild. To think that those greedy players calling themselves “Knights”!? I think they should rather call themselves “Bandits” instead.

        At least Klein’s Guild is not disappointing in this episode. Thanks for the reply. I will look forward next week.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Aye! Very sad T_____________T

      I did not think about that! Then they were screwed from the start!? LOLOOOLLL

      Yep sad but true! Were going to have to deal with emo Kirito who hates people and avoids them then again that is just how he is going to be forever so lets hope he runs into Asuna fast?

      • Allergic2Cats says:

        Black Cats, plus somebody armed with a lance/spear/polearm… Yup I see where this is going.

        Ye know what I actually like emo-Kirito… *is shot*

        • Overcooled says:

          I like emo Kirito too, because I love when main characters suffer. :3

          • Foshizzel says:

            Like the tragic life of a certain OH MA SHOE? Yes!

            -high five- OC

            • D-LaN says:

              Or how ’bout ANOTHER EMO with the same voice as SHOE named HARUYUKI but is FAT instead?

              Yeah……emo charac r annoying/amusing to watch. Tht or a cool emo.

            • Foshizzel says:

              I know right? Silly Haru

  9. Gecko says:

    I don’t think this episode was too fast. Honestly, these guys were just a trigger for Kirito to realize that this isn’t fun. He has trust issues, so this just confirms them and will probably make it hard for him in the future. I saw that they weren’t really going to make it- their levels were too low for him.
    I understand why he joined them, though- he’s really nice at heart. Sure, he had the Lelouch moment last week, but he wanted to distance himself from those people who were pushing further ahead. At this point, he isn’t ready to get close to anyone here- after all, they’ll die if they lose, and that hurts to lose someone you only know through this kind of game. You don’t even know the real person behind it.
    Actually, I understand Kirito completely. It’s a bit creepy, really. I think the author found me in real life and copied me down into a male version (and Asian too) as a main character. None of his actions surprise me at all since I would do the exact same thing- join the Black Cats, comfort Sachi, flip out when they die and get really depressed, defeat Santa alone, ditch the revival orb right after.
    As for the time skips (since everyone is mentioning them) seeing all the levels would be sooo boring. After all, we don’t need to see Kiriko defeating painless bosses. SAO is building up to the serious fights- maybe floors 50, 75, ect (going with the common numbers loolol), and of course the final few. I’m not concerned when it comes to action- this seems like it’s more about how Kiriko tries to survive alone but in the end he needs a friend to keep him going to the end. The “beater” status was just to fend off the guys who saw his strength. I wouldn’t know, though, since I haven’t read the LNs.

    • Overcooled says:

      Introducing characters and then killing them off in the same episode seems like a waste though. Especially since they were supposed to be important to Kirito. I get what they were going for, but because things went so fast it felt like Kirito barely even got to know and care for them. Thus, I felt a bit disconnected since Kirito felt so bad about these people I couldn’t care less about. It needed more time.

      Hmm, interesting, so Kirito is like an alternate version of you! I can relate personally to some aspects of his personality, but not as completely as you can. Does it feel nice to be able to relate to him, or is it just creepy?

      Oh goodness no, I wouldn’t want to see all 100 levels. It’s just that they did TWO SKIPS in one episode, and they went through a rather large number of floors. I get that the final floors will be more important but it’s episode 3 and we’re already halfway through the game. Maybe if they had done it later in the series when I’m more used to things.

  10. skylion says:

    Everyone got an epic beat down this show; including the audience. I was catching up on Dog Days with the kid this week and the dissonance is as brutal as Fosh’s “Human mining” joke.

    Yeah, the individual deaths would have been more dramatic had soooooo many death flags not been given us in the prologue alone. But,I think it was done on purpose. How they died, and the pacing of which is not as important as the impact it has/had on Kirito. It is his story after all. The only thing I didn’t expect was the guild leaders permanent AFK. Made me wonder if that damned tanuki didn’t cheat him on his house deal. CURSE YOU TOM NOOK!!!!

    Which makes me think of the moments surrounding him putting on the SAO gear IRL. He seemed reluctant, didn’t he? Makes me wonder what else besides his beta/cheater/level status he continues to hide.

    This show is gonna end in tears, and most tragedies are written from the “hero’s” flaws.

    As for Sachi’s virtual life/real death, I think it might be preparing us for things to come. If it’s a big impact for an eternal noob such as her to die, what happens when we get more developed characters.

    • Overcooled says:

      I like how the deaths changed Kirito’s mentality, but I’m not willing to say “because the result was good, I don’t care how they got there.” :/ I want deaths to affect me!

      Haha, maybe the Black Cat guild should have just shook trees and went fishing to get money for the house then. You find extra Bells in the darndest of places!

      He did seem rather nervous when he was putting on the NerveGear. I’m not sure what it could mean though aside from him potentially knowing more than he lets on or just being really anxious to play SAO.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Ahhahaha <3

      Yep that whole guild was cursed the moment they invited Kirito to join them...damn why did they have to kill Sachi!? She was cuteeee and so hnngggg! Ah well I figured she was screwed the moment we saw her pop up in the episode.

  11. BlackBriar says:

    Man, this season is packed and I’m so late trying to catch up with these good shows. I even bought an external hard drive for the number of animes here.

    Maybe it’s not about being used. I imagine Kirito hid his true level from everyone because if he joined a guild and his power was known, it was cause instability and jealously among its members and they would get nowhere. He probably wanted everything to be evened out so there would be equality. After all, there was that guy that comitted suicide because he found out he was a beater.

    Black Cat means bad luck and there’s no exception here. Sachi’s death was painful to watch. It really made me flashback to Hare’s tragic demise in Guilty Crown. Why do all the cute ones die like that? The deaths hit even harder since the guild members are friends in the real world. Though the promises and reassurances Kirito made were honest, he should’ve known there are promises that won’t be able to be kept. Not only will things end in disappointment but they will haunt the ones that made the promise. Especially to those they value dearly.

    • Overcooled says:

      It is? I’m not watching a lot, so I’m a bit out of the loop ^^; Glad you’re enjoying the season though!

      I don’t think he’d be used either. They don’t have the capacity to force him to do anything for them anyways. It really highlights the key element of beater/normal player segregation going on this episode.

      Eh, I didn’t find her death to be very sad at all. I forgot that the Guild members knew each other in real life. Ouch. That must be partially why the leader committed suicide at the end (hearing Kirito was a beater all along didn’t help either). :/

  12. Reaper says:

    Hm, they’re animating the side stories first? My brother told me that, which I don’t mind, since they are in chronological order in the other context of the story, but it would probably be a while until the main story hits off? Apart from that, I felt the episode was pretty good; redshirted characters which were done pretty well (Sachi, no!), the American Sword Art Online dream of getting a house with the ‘family’ crushed (yeah; losing your life is another bummer too whenever you die. I know that suicide was suppose to be emotional, but ‘lol brb suicide’ just cracked me up) and Kirito’s moment of weakness.

    IMHO, human moments like this make the show that much more enjoyable (as well as the art and aesthetics etc 😛 ) but you know what made this episode great? DRUNK SANTA!!! 😀 jk, but the whole reward of reviving someone and the truth behind it felt like the Holy Grail; the cake prize was a lie. Oh, and glad to see Klein’s still kicking around the place, since he’ll probably one of the few ppl Kirito can count on.

    • Overcooled says:

      Side story, huh? I guess they’re just going in chronological order then to try and keep things similar to the LN. I’m guessing your brother read the LNs.

      I like how they were focused on getting a house instead of trying to beat the floor boss. So sweet and fluffy! Of course it was shattered with a horrible tragedy…D: Glad I could take the edge off the sad bits with a classy suicide joke!

      lol drunk santa was a winner. I was waiting for reindeer mobs to show up too. I wonder if Klein will actually get to use that revival item some time down the road…

    • Foshizzel says:

      I was told there were some other “game” words that show up…but yeah anyway they are following a chronological order for the most part, however the producers sadly have to pick and choose what they feel “fits” their overall idea of the story.

      LOLOLO Yep brb suicide was nice! I would have laughed if the guy respawned somewhere because I can see the game developers removing the option to kill yourself! Like you can only die from monsters xD

  13. plushkin says:

    lol brb suicide

    LOLOL dammit, man! you almost made me spit out my drink XD

    • D-LaN says:

      Lol yes right!?? Fosh(?) meme pic keep turning a srs business into a conflicting comedy…..

      Levels…..I see wht u did there. 😀

      • Overcooled says:

        I hate to claim credit and be all “HEY, LOOK AT MEEE! I DID THAT!” but any captions under my section are done by me. So…yes…LOOK AT MEEE.

        Of course, all the glorious macros are Fosh’s work. I claim no credit for that!

      • Foshizzel says:

        Thanks! Yeah I have a lot of fun making those macro things!

        Ahahah yessssss

        @OC: Your cap comments are great! Nice work

  14. plushkin says:

    “…, but having 2 skips in one episode was a bit much”

    I had the exact same thought. This should have been a flashback episode. If they started off at Christmas Eve 2023, and then flashback to the guild, the pacing wouldn’t have felt so bad, and you’d be able to get over the fact that the Black Cats weren’t as fleshed out before they died. There would also be no “time skips,” there would only be that one between episode 2 and 3 (which would have been perfect since Asuna asked at the end of episode 2 “what will become of you?”) You start episode 3 with Argo and Kirito’s conversation, and there you have your story.

    • Overcooled says:

      Hmm, that might make things a bit better, actually. However, If they downplay the Black Cats, then it feels like Kirito has become “emo” for no good reason. Although I guess he has already sunk to a certain level after episode 2, so it wouldn’t be too jarring.

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