My memory with these kinds of things is not the best, but if I’m not mistaken, then this was the first time in which Kirito actually killed a person, right? I mean, not indirectly like what happened with that one guild of his, but in which he was actually forced to strike down and kill a fellow player. This episode was stuffed with character-development, of which that was only the tip of the iceberg: Kirito was forced to join a guild and he and Asuna officially became a couple (including the two of them sleeping together, which is something you rarely see outside of the outright porn shows). But I do feel that this episode was rather forced…
Kuradeel… I get why he was used, but I didn’t really like him before, and this episode did not change that. I mean, I like that he’d try something, considering that he hates Kirito quite a bit, but I feel that he also could have done that without the overacting. In fact, I think that the points in which the characters in this show go mental are hard to buy and annoying, and it didn’t really help that this was followed by a badly covered “I nearly killed you but because I like to talk to myself your ally arrived just in time to save you”-twist. If you’re going to go with a twist like that: at least deliver it properly, because to be honest, at this point I have pretty much been programmed to exactly point out the moment in which these twists happen due to how bloody overused they are. You could have shown this from Asuna’s point of view, perhaps. that would have spiced things up a bit, and at the same time it’d also show that she actually did something… other than look at Kirito on her personal map. A few weeks ago I complained that we saw her do very little guild-duties, and that’s a problem that still hasn’t really been fixed here.
The direction on was on other points really good though. I mean, ignore the hapless overacting and I got quite a few chills from how Kirito and that one guy were killed off. I also like how the creators succeeded in making the first night between Kirito and Asuna rather awkward. One complaint to this however is that things moved incredibly fast. I mean, the end of the episode moved right from sex to marriage in an instant. Wouldn’t it have worked better if the creators put some time between that?
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)