Phantom Bullet – ファントム・バレット
Sinon and Kirito won the BoB together with the help of a “grenade present” but a darker menace awaits Sinon/Shino in the real world.
Death Gun really seemed to be so much stronger than Kirito that there’s way Kirito could turn the tables around. As he fought the desperate battle against the antagonist, Sinon and Asuna watches on, both praying for Kirito’s safety. I’d say the turning point came when Kirito remembered Death Gun’s name suddenly, when those freakish luminous red eyes jogged his memory. Death Gun is Akame no Zaza. It was nice timing from Sinon’s side, when she pointed her sniper rifle at Death Gun at the same time. I was slightly confused about the reference to “phantom bullet” here, but I’m guessing that Sinon’s bullets were called phantom bullets? Perhaps novel readers would be clearer on that. But it was still quite amazing for Sinon to be able to aim at Death Gun without using the scope (or even have the courage and confidence to point the gun at the two of them), when there is the possibility that she might accidentally shoot Kirito instead. It worked, and Death Gun gets shaken. Just when he was about to use his camouflage skills to escape from the deadly red beam, Kirito made a smart choice within split-seconds and shot at the almost-disappearing Death Gun, forcing the latter to stop disappearing.I really liked how everything happened in slow motion here and we get to feel the adrenaline rush effect of slowing everything down. With sheer determination, Kirito sliced Death Gun into half and that’s half the battle won. Good job, guys.
I was expecting the two of them to win together, but I was expecting more of a “raising hand to end the battle” thing so the “grenade present” surprised me as much as it surprised Kirito. At this point in time I just have to say this, but it’s quite amazing that Sinon hasn’t fallen for Kirito yet. Their actions *ahem* have been rather ambiguous and I’ve been guessing for a good few episodes about Sinon’s feelings for Kirito. She did seem thrilled when Kirito offered to go over to her house, but she held back and chose to rely on Shinkawa instead. Even though I know that nothing is supposed to go on between the two of them, it would be quite hard for Sinon to not feel anything for Kirito after all that they’ve been through in GGO and if you take what happens at the end of this episode into consideration, the “quite hard” is going to become “impossible”.
Shino opened her eyes and to her relief, there wasn’t anyone in her house. She actually checked everywhere for signs of an intruder; if I were her, I would have grabbed a knife and a phone and hide in a corner till the police comes. However, danger always comes when you least expect it and here, Shino lets Shinkawa into her house before she gets pushed down by her childhood friend. Just when we thought that he’s just a guy whose hormones have raged out of control, he brings out a tool and threatens Shino with it. Jealousy of Kirito has brought out his true colours in front of Shino and we also find out that, besides being Death Gun’s accomplice, he was Death Gun/Sterben until the BoB started. His brother was Zaza in SAO and they have been working together to kill all the players in GGO. What a screwed up pair of siblings. He killed Zexceed (voiced by Kamiya Hiroshi, in episode 1) because he was enraged that Zexceed had deceived everyone about agility being the best stat to invest points in. Because he took Zexceed’s advice seriously, he wasn’t able to get stronger in GGO and for someone who took the game too seriously, that was quite a blow. Death Gun’s actions were all purely done to promote himself as the strongest player in GGO, hence the high profile killings. Also, Shinkawa could get his hands on the drugs because his family runs a clinic; the drugs would make a person’s muscles stop working, leading to death after the lungs and heart eventually stop working too.
Shino almost gave up fighting against Shinkawa, but the Sinon in her gave her the courage to stand up against Shinkawa. For a moment, I thought that she would be able to escape from her apartment and from Shinkawa. But having that many chains and locks on your door can work against you sometimes, and before she could open her front door, she was pushed down by Shinkawa and about to be raped. At the crucial moment, Kirito burst in and started fighting with Shinkawa. Kirito to the rescue again!
i didn’t recognise his voice at first but Hanae Natsuki voiced Shinkawa. Having just heard his outstanding performance in Tokyo Ghoul, I was wowed again by him here because his Shinkawa just changed from gentle to to crazy to downright psycho within minutes. And his psychotic Shinkawa was quite gross (read it as super well done), with the heavy breathing and crazed way of speaking. Although he only appeared during the last half of this episode, he’s definitely the star of this episode by virtue of that 180 yandere change he did.
This episode was rather enjoyable for me, because it finally spelled the end of the GGO arc (I think?) and we got to hear amazing Hanae here. Honestly, I wasn’t that worried for Shino because come on, the police should be on their way, even if Kirito didn’t make it in time to rescue her. All that’s left to do, is to watch and see how they wrap this Death Gun mess up, and to also wait for any other explanations or bits of information that they reveal.