“Aw, don’t worry about Yui. She makes an excellent meat shield!”
|Twelve episodes in and we still do not have a second new opening to drool over? Maybe we will get one after thirteen or fourteen? Anyway last week was boring for me with the lack of anything cool happening, but thankfully the introduction to Yui made up for the lack of saving the game world because wow she was so CUTEEEEOOO, but what are we in for this week? Judging by the commenters from last week I can only assume something dramatic…what about you OC? Are you prepared for something different this time?|
|As long as the lovey-dovey couple is together, I’m not expecting things to suddenly change any time soon. Now that we’re easing to the halfway point and the main story is continuing to roll along, I hope the momentum continues and SAO either keeps up the status quo or gets even better. Getting better would be preferred, of course. There’s a lot to compete with in the upcoming Fall season.|
A New Challenger Appears!
Foshizzel // No we haven’t entered Accel World this week, but this week introduces another new character named Yulier a member of the local army who arrives with a super-secret-side quest of DOOM for Asuna and Kirito because someone named Thinker was tricked by Kibaou who most of us remember from the second episode, oh and with a name like Thinker you would THINK he had a bit more brain power and maybe not fall for a weak trap set by Kibaou? So why did Asuna and Kirito accept this random side mission in the first place? I suppose they had two real reasons. They are both really high level and they felt kind of sorry for Yulier because they know what it means to LOVEEEEE and CAAREEEE someone special! That was nice but who tags along on this dangerous mission? Oh Yui of course! Wow Kirito and Asuna are such cool parental figures for taking their daughter to work with them because nothing says I love you like killing giant man eating frogs.
Error: Heart Not Found
…Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in again?
Overcooled // Most of us seemed to hear alarm bells as soon as Yui appeared mysteriously in the forest without any of the tell-tale indicators of being a player or an NPC. Something just wasn’t right. It turns out she was a program created as a counsellor or psychologist to help players cope with the trauma of living, fighting and dying in Aincrad. However, being unable to actually help people during the launch day despite that being a critical period for mental strain made her reason for existence very…meaningless. Why create a program to help people and then wait until a peak period of usefulness is over to use it? Most of the severely troubled players are dead by now and things are at a state where only the mentally strong survive. She broke down after watching so many tragedies without being able to do anything, so she was probably left alone since she was only a prototype. Does this mean they never bothered to make a final version, or that other versions of this Yui program could be floating around and helping people? The mystery of where Yui came from hasn’t been fully answered. We know she’s a program, but a lot of the nitty gritty details remain obscured from view.
Humour me for a moment and use your imagination. What if Yui was actually implemented into the game in a useful way that genuinely helped people cope with their torment. Every player could have their own personal counsellor that could monitor their mental states and just pop by when they’re feeling low. Even one Yui making visits to as many players as possible could be an option. Do you think it would work? If the players knew she was a program made by the same person who trapped them in this place, would they still trust her and treat her as human? I think the effects would be limited. While it might work in cheering up people who are only a little bit depressed, it might be impossible to help those who witnessed terrible things like their friends dying in a failed raid. Even though Yui seems real, I think if people knew she was a program from the start that it would be hard for her to gain their trust in the first place. It would take prolonged exposure for her to have any effect, and by then it might be too late.
My Artificial Intelligence Can’t Be This Cute
Foshizzel // So after Yui successfully defeated the reaper she turns to Asuna and Kirito to inform them she regained her lost memories and she discovered that she was the artificial intelligence for a system called Cardinal, but what is Cardinal? That system basically maintains the balance of monster and NPC AI, drop rates for items and money and it also monitors the player psychological care aka Mental Health Counseling Program, prototype1: Yui! DUN DUN DUUUUNN…sadly thanks to the opening I always had it in my mind originally that Yui was some type of AI that magically gained the ability to materialize into a human like form, but they placed in the amnesia storyline which started to change my mind with her introduction from last week; however the system detected Yui as a “virus” and proceeded to delete her from the game! That moment was really depressing because minutes before it actually happens Asuna makes a promise that they would be together forever which only made losing Yui even more heartbreaking. I know I usually poke fun at Asuna and Kirito most of the time, but damn I felt really bad for Asuna, Kirito and of course Yui this week. Why do all the Yui named characters have to have such dramatic deaths in anime? I swear there is a trend…so you have won this time Sword Art Online! I WILL GET YOU NEXT TIME I SWEAR!
Overcooled // Most couples around the age of Kirito and Asuna have problems such as what movie to see on the weekend, how to sneak in a make-out session before their parents get back home, and arguing over whether it’s best to eat the crust or the tip of the pizza first. Trivial things. These two have to mind a house, regularly save people from life or death situations, raise a child and then deal with the soul-crushing agony of losing her. The amount of responsibility thrust into their hands is huge, and they have grown stronger as a couple as a result of braving these storms together and making it out on the other side okay. They support each other. It’s great for their development as husband and wife, but they already seem so…so perfect!
Yui mentioned that these two have an unusually high mental fortitude for a pair trapped in a virtual world surrounded by bloodthirsty monsters and impending doom 24/7. They seem to overcome everything with relative ease. Killing Kuradeel – a living, breathing human – left no lingering guilt or doubt. Kirito and Asuna flip from total despair to hope within a few minutes in the same episode after Yui dies. I understand that there is some hardening and emotional growth going on here that makes them overcome obstacles more easily, but it just makes the previous tragedy seem cheap. It’s like they’re saying “Yui? Pshh, she’s old news now. Onto the next arc!”
Yui Loves Monsters
Foshizzel // So the producers of Sword Art Online are telling us to bring small children into dangerous dungeons this week because it is totally safe for all ages! Wait…no it isn’t! THOSE KIDS WOULD GET OWNED unless Kirito and Asuna trained them like I said last week? While on this mission to save Thinker they encounter a super elite monster that looked like a grim reaper! Elite mobs usually take a while to kill by yourself in any game and trust me I should know because Guild Wars2 has lots of them running around that can practically two shot you within a matter of minutes. So what about this reaper monster? Well after Kirito and Asuna tried to fight this monster that knocked them around! Yeah that part made me laugh and go “OH SNAP KIRITO IS GONNA DIE!” Just kidding…now this is where things get amazing because for some reason Yui walks casually up to the reaper and whips out a massive sword! Seriously that sword is like twice her size and it catches fire for some extra wow factor, but Yui takes out the reaper with one swing causing it to burn to a crisp!
You can expect more love from me for this episode based on the (thankfully) decreased levels of AsunaxKirito fluff. It’s still there, but it’s in the right level of dosage to offset the shakes, whereas last week was a full-blown overdose of romance. My tolerance level is pretty low, so anything after that will seem better by comparison. But really, I was moderately sad when Yui died because of what it meant to Asuna and Kirito. I didn’t care so much about our moe pile of data since she’s a new character and hasn’t done much expect mewl “mama” and “papa” ad nauseam. I was more concerned with what it would mean for Asuna and Kirito, and their distraught reactions were my favourite part of the episode. I could frame that misery and put it on display. :3 If anything, I’m kind of upset that they got over it so quickly! However, I doubt this is the last we’ll hear about Yui, so maybe things aren’t as ironed out as they appear. Ahh…if only the reason Yui died wasn’t because a throwaway character-of-the-week lead them there…*sigh* Well, I guess SAO is comfortable with this formula now so I shouldn’t be surprised.
This episode…THIS EPISODE! Damn you for killing off Yui like that! Just kidding I sort of had a feeling in the back of my mind that this cute girl was doomed ever since Kirito picked her up…that dude I swear has powers of being totally awesome and a trigger for several death flags for other characters and yes I know not everyone he bumps into dies after all Klien, Liz and Sicila are still alive and kicking ass in the game world! Speaking of Kirito for a moment when the hell did he learn how to hack computers? Does being a beater grant you other skills besides the ones based in the game world, but then again the anime series really fails to explain his real life minus the stuff about his sister. Oh right I forgot the whole “gamer code” that doesn’t allow for such things…I swear that gives me a headache whenever I stop to think about it…silly gamer codes…anyway the loss of Yui was so freaking sad, but in the end they turned her death into a positive and it gave Asuna a fancy necklace…
Sorry, sorry…MANLY tears. Maybe things will be more cheerful next week?