Sword Art Online II Episode 3 Review: Immersive Therapy

It’s that time once again folks, the third episode of Sword Art Online II has been released and it is certainly an exposition filled doozy. In the third episode, Sinon’s past is revealed and somewhat dragged out. Kirito delivers the news to Asuna about going into GGO to investigate a rumor, and then proceeds to head to the hospital where he will be monitored as he searches for Death Gun. By the end of the episode, both Kirito and Sinon are now logged into GGO.

In short, Sinon has a fairly messed up backstory. When I saw the gun in her drawer and the scene where she was near catatonic due to a bully from her school aiming at her with a finger gun, it became immediately obvious that Sinon had some sort of gun trauma that might have been caused by being near a gun when it was fired. As it turns out there was more to it than that. Unexpectedly, it turns out that it was Sinon who fired the gun in self defense when she was really young.


Of course to make matters worse for Sinon there also may be some amount of abandonment trauma, based on the horrified look of disgust that her mother gave her after she saw her pick up the gun and kill the guy who was attempting to rob the post office. That and the fact that Sinon was talking to her Uncle on the phone rather than her mother, which implies that Sinon’s mother abandoned her at some point and left her in the care of other family members. This episode certainly makes it pretty clear how severe the trauma is with Sinon freaking out just from holding what appears to be a toy gun. Sinon is attempting to use GGO to try and overcome her trauma, but it doesn’t seem to be working all that well yet.

Oddly enough, Sinon seems fine with holding and using guns in GGO. I wonder if it is because she is able to feel disconnected from that trauma simply because the guns in GGO only exist virtually? Perhaps they feel different in-game than they would in real life? Given how realistic the virtual games in SAO are, I can’t help but wonder if even a virtual gun would realistically send Sinon into a panic attack. Of course, I am not an expert in anything medical or physiological, so I can only make broad speculation about why Sinon is not bothered by guns in GGO regardless of if they are being used or aimed at her.


The third episode did end quite strongly with an online voice chat between three people and the player that is known as Death Gun. I can’t fathom why anyone would volunteer to be shot by Death Gun just to see if people really do die. Maybe it is just me, but if there was a weapon in a game that would kill the player controlling the recently deceased character I would stop playing that game immediately and go do something else. Question of sanity aside, I am rather confused as to why Death Gun is planning on going after Sinon. While it is unclear how far she has gotten in the tournament that is known as the Bullet of Bullets, she doesn’t seem like the typical kind of target that Death Gun has been going after so far. There are at least four other icons behind the two that Death Gun has already killed, so it could be possible that there are other people that Death Gun plans to go after next either before or after he goes after Sinon.

As far as predictions go for the next episode, I imagine that it will eventually lead to Kirito and Sinon meeting somewhere in GGO as them teaming up seems to be implied during the opening of each episode. Also this is probably the point in which Kirito is transformed into a girl for whatever reason, but I’m not going to discuss that any further until it happens in an episode. At the very least, the title of the next episode certainly leads one to believe it will take place in GGO. Keep an eye out for the episode four review early next week.

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