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Sword Art Online II Episode 6 Review: A Sword at a Gunfight
Despite the rushed pacing in terms of the matches after Kirito’s first round, the sixth episode of Sword Art Online II proves to be an emotionally powerful moment in the series. A flashback tells the story about the fate of Laughing Coffin while showing Kirito in a very vulnerable state. Kirito and Sinon go head to head in the final round of the Bullet of Bullets qualifier, and Sinon learns that she can relate to Kirito to some extent.
The episode starts off on a high note, with a flashback from Sword Art Online. In the flashback, it depicts an event from the light novel where the entire Assault Team attacks Laughing Coffin on their own territory. Of course Laughing Coffin somehow knows about this and is prepared. The result is a very bloody battle that’s the closest thing to a war that ever occurred during the game. During this time, Kirito killed two members of Laughing Coffin in self defense. While he may not show it any point prior, his encounter with Death Gun triggers a panic attack for Kirito as he remembers the battle.
The scene with Kirito freaking out was very powerful and well done. It clearly shows how the incident has troubled Kirito without being over dramatic. It felt natural, and it is a good moment of character development for Kirito, who hasn’t really changed much since the middle of the first season of SAO. Not only that, but it allows Sinon to be able to relate to Kirito given that she too has gone through a traumatic experience. This comes into play later on in the episode.
Speaking of Sinon, I would never want to play against her in a shooter. If there was ever any question as to how good a sniper Sinon is, this episode put an end to those doubts. During one of her matches she is able to snipe her opponent as he is driving an armored vehicle. The vehicle wasn’t moving slowly either, so the fact that she was able to nail him with one shot is pretty impressive, and rather scary.
Unfortunately, very little of Kirito’s matches in the Bullet of Bullets qualifier are shown. Even less of Sinon’s matches are shown, which was an unfortunate decision. I’d prefer a slower pacing in favor of seeing those battles take place. It’s like how most of the events in the first season of Sword Art Online are unknown since only a handful of floors are depicted. While there may be more stories told through the light novels, there are still massive gaps in time where there could have been all kinds of stories being told.
Regardless of the pacing, Kirito and Sinon eventually meet face to face in the finals of the qualifier. Taking advantage of the system, Kirito angers Sinon so that all her shots will miss him. Of course, they don’t just stand there and talk during this scene. They decide to settle the battle with an old fashioned duel, and by old fashioned I mean Kirito does the impossible and cuts a bullet in half with his light saber while being at point blank range. There’s skill and then there’s just something that is too over the top to the point of being unbelievable. Kirito might be good and have insane reaction time, but even the results of that match should not have been possible.
Either way, Kirito and Sinon have a moment where they return to more friendly terms. Sinon falls for the odd charm that Kirito exhibits and surrenders. The qualifier is over, and now the actual Bullet of Bullets will begin relatively soon I imagine. I wonder if Death Gun will actually participate in the tournament or if he will try to kill Kirito from afar. Since Death Gun is a former member of Laughing Coffin, I don’t honestly expect him to play fair and try to kill Kirito in a fair fight. Laughing Coffin wasn’t exactly known for being upstanding members of the SAO community. The next episode will be called Crimson Memories. This will likely have something to do with Kirito and Sinon trading stories about their past as far as I can tell.