Memories of Blood – 鮮血の記憶
After an episode of explaining to us with Sinon/Asada Shino’s narration, why Shino is so desperate to get stronger in the world of GGO, we finally got confirmation that the action will start next episode. Sit tight, I can feel the awesomeness starting because Death Gun seems to be targeting Shino next? Ah!
We learn that Shino suffers from the trauma of having killed someone when she was a kid, thus her obsession with getting stronger. Her classmates are aware of her trauma and unfortunately, that is used by a couple of classic school bullies against her to extort money from her. Even though Shino appears to be weak, she calmly refused to give in to the bully’s demands and was about to walk away before bully-san points a finger gun at Shino, instantaneously eliminating any sign of courage Shino was displaying. Just as her money was about to be robbed from her, Shinkawa appears to save her.
I’m rather undecided about Shinkawa, because from the first episode when I saw him on the OP, I thought he might be someone on the antagonist’s side. Just a feeling I have.
Just as Zexceed (Kamiya Hiroshi, remember?) has proclaimed on the MMO stream in episode 1, GGO players who have been focusing on the agility stat aren’t faring too well now. Shinkawa appears to be the one who inducted Shino into GGO, in an attempt to help cure her of her trauma of guns. Over tea, he lament about being an agility-based player who won’t be able to excel in the upcoming BoB (Bullet of Bullets), unlike Shino who is a strength-based player. I do hope that he doesn’t harbour too much jealousy of her achievements in GGO; it feels like he is one of the few friends that she was able to make after moving to Tokyo.
After her meeting with Shinkawa, Shino returns to an empty home. Somehow convinced that she was ready to overcome her trauma, she tried picking up a gun from her drawer but that only resulted in the expected. She freaked out and ran to the toilet to vomit. When Shino was two, her father passed away and she was brought to live at her mother’s hometown where they led a peaceful life until one fateful day when they were involved in a bank robbery. When the robber was about to pull the trigger on her mother, Shino attacked the robber in a frenzy. Her determination to protect her beloved mother led to her shooting the robber not once or twice, but thrice. When she was sure that everyone was safe from the demented robber, Shino turned to her mother, only to realise that her mother was frightened of her. That brought her to her senses and as realisation dawned on her that she had actually killed someone, young Shino freaked out. The next question you would be asking is, how is Shino able to transform into the top sniper in GGO, Sinon, with just an amusphere over her eyes? Nobody knows and neither does Shino, who vows to win the next BoB so that she can become stronger in real life too.
It took me quite a while but I finally realise that Shino is the main character of this season isn’t she? I should stop waiting for more Kirito airtime and getting surprised when I only get a few minutes of him. I find myself liking Shino more with every episode, especially when she is voiced by Sawashiro Miyuki who has the ability to sound manly and cool in one moment and go all gentle and meek in the next. I do admire Shino’s in-game strength and strong will to overcome her trauma. I’m sure she will overcome her trauma by the end of this season or the next but I’m looking forward to watching the process of her overcoming it.
The episode ended with us seeing Kirito logging into GGO (finally) and Death Gun scrolling through forums discussing about himself and making some sort of decision while caressing Sinon’s picture in a creepy manner. It would be reasonable to conclude that he has decided to eliminate Sinon in order to dispel rumours saying that it is impossible to kill someone in reality by pulling the trigger on them in the virtual world. But why is he targeting all the top players? What is his motive? Guess we still have a long way to go before we find out about that, or even see Death Gun’s face.
I like how this show is developing so far and I have a good feeling about it. Even though it might not live up to it’s first season (sorry I just can’t stop comparing), I think it looks rather promising as a stand-alone ^^