Sword Art Online II – 20

SAO 2-Getting ready to fight

All Ready to Go

spring14-highwWhat happens when I miss my turn at SAO, and then take someone else’s? That means you’re stuck with me for two weeks in a row!


Recruited… or Shanghaied?

SAO 2-The Sleeping Knights

Meeting around a table

So we get introduced to the Sleeping Knights, Yuuki’s group. And they’ve got a goal: Because they can only play together until ‘spring’ (the show time is currently at the end of New Year’s break), they want to make a good memory, they have decided to try to get everyone’s name on the Swordsman’s Memorial on the first floor by defeating a floor boss. But they can only get everyone’s name there if they do it as just one party, rather than a raid because of game reasons. So they’ve got a goal, and they’re trying to get there, even if it shouldn’t be possible to beat a raid boss with just one party.

SAO 2-Facing something new

Facing a new boss is pretty exciting

Of course, this is SAO (the anime), where the abilities in the game are affected more by the power of belief than the actual game mechanics. And if they really want to do it, then they’ll probably be able to do it because they have, to borrow something from WoW, [Extraordinary Armor of Plot Convenience] (WoW players, don’t bother mousing over that, there aren’t any stats). And they do have a pretty darn good swordsperson in Yuuki, and now Asuna, who agrees to help them out after having a personal epiphany: This isn’t SAO (the game) anymore. Losing to a raid boss doesn’t mean that those people die. You give it a try, if you wipe you run back and give it another try. And the most important part is that you have fun doing it.


SAO 2-The big boss

“You’ll get this back later, young lady”

Of course there are some things in the way. One of them is Asuna’s mother, who reminds Asuna of her requirements outside of the game, such as coming to dinner on time, by pulling the plug on her game. It’s certainly obvious that her mother doesn’t understand even the concept of an online game. Was she never a kid? I mean, Asuna would have to have been born a couple years ago in our time, which would make her mother something about 30 now in our time. Are there really people now who have no idea whatsoever about what online games are? Especially remembering that Asuna’s mother wasn’t high class when she was growing up. But she’s still being obstinate about it, and there are going to be worse consequences if Asuna misses dinner again.

SAO 2-Yuuki doesn't back down

Did I say ‘if’? I mean ‘when’. Unfortunately, you know this show isn’t subtle enough load Chekhov’s Gun like that without firing it. And to be honest, I was convinced that they’d fire it before the end of the episode, when the group was going to keep trying the boss. I thought they’d keep trying and lose track of time and Asuna gets in trouble and there we go, big drama. But they actually came up with other drama: another raid group preventing them from trying again. This same group actually spied on them, having been denied the ability to sneak in and watch directly, and while Asuna thought they couldn’t bring enough people that quickly, they bring enough to stymie the Sleepers while waiting for the rest. And with the rest of the raid group coming, probably to overwhelm them, the one-man cavalry of Kirito shows up to be the rear guard.


I’ll be honest: I was so sure they were going to have Asuna blow her curfew again that I skipped most of the B part of the show to get past something so obvious. So I was surprised when they didn’t do the obvious thing. They did the other obvious thing having Kirito show up, but that was much less obvious than Asuna getting in trouble. Of course, that just saves getting in that trouble for another time, like when they’re almost about to beat the boss. I’ve had some occasions where a raid member gets yelled at by their parents, and even gets the “I have to go”. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but it’s always something that’s undesirable.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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30 Responses to “Sword Art Online II – 20”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    The raiding party looks like it is from LH…

    • BlackBriar says:

      Maybe because both shows were playing in the same season, they decided to do a crossover.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    In a way, the Sleeping Knights’ ambition is a selfish but admirable one. Selfish in wanting to engrave themselves to attain fame but admirable because they want all their members to share the spotlight other than just the captain and doing so as a farewell memory before going their separate ways.

    Tsk. Hopefully, the less of Asuna’s mother showing up, the better. Only her second appearance since the beginning of this arc and already she pisses me off severely. All she cares about are what she thinks should be done. As long as those two don’t see eye to eye, their relationship will progressively get prickly. Should that happen, Asuna will resent her. If she doesn’t harbor resentment against her already.

    • Wanderer says:

      The SLeeping Knights don’t want FAME, per-se, they want to leave behind a record that they were there at all. After the time limit that they mentioned, some of them… well… some of them won’t be able to play any more, let’s say that. They will effectively disappear from that world, and before that happens they want to leave behind proof, a legacy, to show that they existed at all.

      • BlackBriar says:

        That would be notoriety, which is in a way, a form of fame because the record will be there for all to see. They just want to make sure all their guild members’ names are there.

  3. JPNIgor says:


    But I remember there being more people with him… Oh, well… He is jesus, he can do whatever he pleases.

    • d-LaN says:

      Jesus? Lol, Kirito is nothing when compared to the actual divine being like OneTrueTatsuya. At most he just a guy who play MMO really well which is nothing compare to all the stuff OTT is able to pull off 😛

      • BlackBriar says:

        Kirito vs Tatsuya Shiba? Oh, the skies will burn during that bout.

        • Highway says:

          Kirito wouldn’t stand a chance. Tatsuya can vaporize you from 200 yards away without even being able to see you. I don’t think ‘dual sword skill’ is gonna counter that.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Not to mention Tatsuya has another unfair advantage. The dude can actually fly.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              *Sits back and watches the fallout between 2 super-jesus while munching popcorn* :3

            • BlackBriar says:

              Hey! Those other seats better have popcorn as well or heads will roll.

          • d-LaN says:

            The only thing I can think off atm that can counter that is Touma IB.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Then the fight would end up in a continuous stalemate.

  4. skylion says:

    Geez, Asuna’s mom is getting nothing but grief from the fandom. I’ve seen “Worst Mom Evar” vids on YouTube. Really? Ah well, parents are good guys and bad guys, often at the same time.

    This has to be the most artificial goal I’ve seen in a while, get our name on the wall. It felt so forced. But as long as they have fun, that’s what counts.

    • d-LaN says:

      There actually a pretty sound reason behind that, but saying more would be spoilers

      • BlackBriar says:

        Then make sure fight the urges to spoil until we seen everything ourselves.

    • Highway says:

      People have very short memories and very poor judgement. Asuna’s mom is very typical of moms everywhere. I’ve seen very little in her behavior to indicate that she is doing anything out of maliciousness or cruelty. She thinks she is doing what is right for her daughter, to provide the best opportunity at a future that Asuna would want. Children are notoriously short-sighted, even 18-olds (heck, people are short-sighted, but younger people more reliably so). Asuna’s mom doesn’t see the value in playing ALO, and that’s justifiable because she has no experience in it. She also sees very little of value in Kazuto, because he doesn’t meet her standards for a husband for Asuna. She’s allowed her judgments. The line should be drawn at making sure Asuna is a sovereign being.

    • Highway says:

      And I don’t think that that’s a particularly unworthy goal. Everything in an online game is an artificial goal. Kirito wanting the group to help him go get Excalibur was hardly any different.

      • skylion says:

        I should have set “trumped up plot point”…

        • Highway says:

          I guess. As a WoW player, tho, it doesn’t seem too far outside the realm of things people would actually do. We have people in our raid group who contrive far more unrealistic goals that they try to rope others into doing. At least this one is something they could actually do, despite Asuna’s initial thoughts to the contrary (as opposed to things like the worst player in your raid group, the one you have to carry through all the content, being the one who thinks you should push for progress on things that your group could never do, like heroic modes in WoW).

          • skylion says:

            Highway and I have had some Skype convos about WoW. I was the guy that just liked to galavant with my Tauren Shaman and marvel at the landscape. All the other stuff seemed to get in the way! I was also quite taken back in the most ironic fashion upon realizing the cost of death in the game (I played circa 2004 for about five months). You can be brought back for nothing, but had to have your stuff repaired. As in real life, it could be cheap, but stuff was expensive..

    • BlackBriar says:

      Can you blame them when at this point she’s presenting herself in a very oppressive fashion?

      • skylion says:

        She said to come to dinner on time, gave her another chance with the Gear. This woman is a monster..

      • Highway says:

        Yeah, it’s not particularly oppressive to say “These are your responsibilities, and you should do them, otherwise you lose your privileges.” Every parent should be doing that, to do otherwise is abdication of parental responsibility. There can be discussion about what responsibilities should be, and what privileges should be affected, but in this case, “Coming to dinner on time” is not in any way, shape, or form an onerous responsibility, and “continuing to play your video game” is pretty unquestionably a privilege.

        Now, Mother might do something later that moves her from “normal mother” to “unreasonably oppressive ogre”, and I don’t discount the possibility that at least some of the people claiming she’s so awful are basing it on future actions which have not been presented in the anime. But from what we have seen in the anime so far, I would not agree in any way with those claims.

        • Wanderer says:

          Oppressive is “I will take you away from your friends, your love, your life, without making any effort to understand why these things are important to you. I shall ignore the earth-shattering event that took place in your life and the fact that it fundamentally changed you as a person, and as a result I will attempt to direct your life using value-systems that no longer even apply to you.”

          I feel I should also mention that the novel states plainly at this point that Asuna’s mother has no room to complain about someone else being disrespectful by being late for dinner, or leaving dinner early, or skipping dinner entirely, as she has apparently done all those things plenty of times herself, whenever something she considers more important comes up.

          • skylion says:

            Yeah, she is guilty of that. Most parents are. As for ignoring her time in the original SAO, how much has Asuna confided in her. How much has she said she needed her mother. A thing that teens often ignore: see Highways “children are short-sighted” comment above.

            But then, this might all be moot when the story starts to develop more…

          • Highway says:

            And you know what, it’s a parent’s prerogative to apply their rules for their children to themselves selectively. The argument “My mom smoked cigarettes (or any other thing A) so she can’t tell me it’s bad to smoke cigarettes (or do A)” is an extremely childish one. The point is to instill in children a sense of responsibility, and the point that you can make a choice about what you think is more important, but that there are always other people who can judge you.

            I also think that Asuna’s mom has made at least some attempt to judge Asuna’s playing of ALO fairly. It’s just that her values are very very different, and the things that Asuna finds worth in in her relationships and in the game are things that her mother just doesn’t value the same way. Again, that doesn’t make her ‘oppressive’. It makes what she’s saying be “I think that you are wasting your time on things of little value beyond the now, and in doing so you are recklessly burning time that you should be spending doing other things.” If that makes a parent oppressive, then almost every single parent in the world is oppressive. What it is is called “parenting”.

            Asuna is a sympathetic character. Her mother is not. it’s written that way, partly because of the audience of the book. Does anyone really think that the average LN reader would favor mother’s point of view here? As such, there’s no way that the portrayal will be fair to her at all. We all like Asuna. We want her to get the things she wants. But that doesn’t mean that anyone who doesn’t want to get her the things she wants is cruel or evil or awful.

            • skylion says:

              It’s ironic how much a pushy parent can shape you. My Dad was much like Asuna’s Mom when I played D&D back in the day. But I knew my Dad valued learning about real world stuff, and by seeing that fantasy had some real world references, I studied those. My love of history was born there.

              The grindstone can shape you…

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              It sounds like Asuna’s mother is a typical East Asian Tiger Mom.

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