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Sword Art Online II Episode 15 Review: Legendary Weapons
Well Sword Art Online II is now back from its temporary hiatus that was the needless recap episode, and it has come back strong. This time around, Sword Art Online II focuses on Kirito and his friends as they go on a quest to find the legendary sword known as Excalibur. It seems like this will be a small subplot before the story moves on to another SAO story arc. There is even a new opening now, but I wonder if it will change again in the event that this is a short lived story arc. Odds are this will be, given that apparently the Mother’s Rosario story arc will be starting in early November.
Kirito’s interest in Excalibur began with an event that occurred in the Fairy Dance story arc of the light novels. Although this event was cut in the anime, it has been switched around to make it sound like it happened later on sometime after Fairy Dance. It isn’t the best change in events on the timeline, but it could’ve been worse. Either way it’s a great opportunity to have the whole cast working together and sharing the spotlight rather than it being the Kirito Show again.
Fan service is all well and good, but I fail to see the point in having a scene where Asuna is in the bath while pondering her departure to Kyoto and hoping that she’ll get to see Kirito before that. That story moment could have easily been done after or before the bath, but apparently it was deemed necessary to have excessive fan service. Either way it is a brief scene that isn’t too obnoxious, so I suppose that is a good thing. While we are focusing on issues with this episode, let’s discuss this bizarre idea Kirito suggests of the giant jellyfish monster known as Tonkii wanting him to find a way into the dungeon and obtain Excalibur. Tonkii, and most other AI controlled mobs in ALO are simply following their programming and nothing more. Yui is the only exception, given that she is a full-fledged AI.
I will admit it’s rather cool to see another big quest in ALO, which was something that the Extra Edition recap movie did after it was done summarizing the previous season. That and I feel that at present, Sword Art Online II is at its best in the post-Aincrad story arc when it has Kirito and everyone else all together trying to accomplish some task. The risks may not be anywhere near as high, but the characters are interesting enough that the viewer wants to know what will happen next when each episode comes to a conclusion.
Although I do wonder if there is some sort of ALO equivalent of a website like Wowhead (a website that allows World of Warcraft players to get all kinds of info like drop rates, locations of NPCs and Mobs, and more) in the world of Sword Art Online II. If there was, then surely other players would have figured out by now that doing the slaughter questline would not actually reward Excalibur. Of course, in that scenario the sword would have already been claimed long before Kirito and his friends set foot in the dungeon. Also, I really doubt that any MMO could have a quest that would result in the destruction of a town. That would require some actual warning on the official website, and even then it could cause problems if that is a low level quest hub.
The next episode will be called The King of Giants, and this will likely be the first encounter with the antagonist of this little story arc. I’m thinking that it will take at least an episode or two for Kirito and friends to clear the dungeon and obtain Excalibur, assuming that is what will happen. Perhaps Excalibur will end up not being a useable weapon, like a quest objective or something? We will find out when the sixteenth episode is released this Saturday. This episode may have had a few flaws at various points, but it sets thing up nicely for the remainder of this story arc.