Sword Art Online II Episode 7 Review: Ask Your Doctor

If you were looking for an action packed episode this week, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. The seventh episode focuses more on character development and drama, while having a very small bit of action on the side. Although in my opinion, this is fine.  A story cannot be action and adrenaline pumping moments one hundred percent of the time. It feels like they are building up the setting to deliver some ‘holy crap, did that just happen?’ moments.

To start off, I’m going to revise a statement I made earlier that Sinon and Kirito were on friendly terms again. Kirito might be, but it seems like Sinon is still mad at Kirito for pretty much everything he has done since they’ve met.  Yet at the same time, Sinon seems to have a great deal of respect for his abilities. At the same time, it seems like Sinon might be making progress in managing her childhood trauma.  It seems likely that there will be a much more intense rematch between Kirito and Sinon during the actual Bullet of Bullets tournament.  Perhaps Kirito will help Sinon somehow put her past behind her and give her the strength to hold a gun without having a panic attack?

SAO2_7_screenshot3At first I had thought that those who lost in the qualifier were out of the Bullet of Bullets for good. Yet it seems like the qualifier is merely where you will be positioned in the actual tournament bracket. Although there are not many details about the system, it seems that a player is awarded points for winning and performing well. Kirito’s score is only slightly higher than Sinon’s, which means they will likely fight one another for real much sooner than I thought they would.

This episode also served a followup to the massive panic attack and flashback that Kirito had during the previous episode. Kirito’s encounter with Death Gun really shook him up, and appears to be giving him nightmares about the Laughing Coffin members that he killed. Kirito does the sensible thing and seeks counseling from the nurse that oversees his vitals while he is in GGO. In a very emotional scene, Kirito finds solace knowing that his actions saved both his life and the lives of those he cared about. I don’t think he’ll ever truly forget the fact that he had to kill three people out of self defense, but it won’t disturb him as much anymore. At the very least it’ll keep him from flashing back while riding a motorcycle, which doesn’t seem like a safe thing to do.

SAO2_7_screenshot6While the opening might have already partially confirmed it, this episode makes it official that there will be some scenes where all the big characters from the first season of SAO will be watching the Bullet of Bullets while logged into ALO. Even Klein got some screen time, excluding his brief cameo during the flashback last episode. I can’t wait to see their reactions when they discover that Kirito has been turned into a female avatar. He is going to be in a bit of trouble, I’m certain of that.

Meanwhile there seems to be a bit of a possible romance subplot between Sinon and her real life friend, Shinkawa.  Although Shinkawa is doing it wrong and is coming off far too strong. Sinon is simply focused on the tournament, but Shinkawa can’t seem to get that through his thick skull. At the very least he seems to be willing to support her and cheer her on, so he isn’t that bad of a guy. He just simply seems to let his emotions get the better of him.

My only real issue with Sword Art Online II so far is that it makes me wish episodes were forty five minutes long so that there could be more story packed episodes. It isn’t much fun having to wait a week to find out what happens next, especially when there is not much information during the preview for the next episode. While I realize that I could read the light novel, I prefer not to in order to keep my reactions and reviews genuine. So keep an eye out for the next review, as that will be posted very soon.