Just as the title suggests, this episode is all about Asuna and Kirito’s house on Floor 22 of Aincrad.
Returning to the Forest House
During the latest system update for Aincrad, it was announced that Floors 21-30 will be unlocked. Kirito and gang immediately set on unlocking Floor 22 so that they could purchase their log house once again. After a grueling battle against some stone robot which resembled the robot soldier from Laputa, the gang rushed out of the dungeon and was greeted by a beautiful vista. This hadn’t happened to me since the Aincrad arc, but I felt close to tears during the scene where Asuna, Kirito and Yui bought their log house. The variation of “a tender feeling” amplified that emotional scene so well that I could practically feel Asuna when her eyes brimmed with tears after she stepped into the log house. A past which they thought was lost forever is now back in their hands. I did feel rather weird about how SAO II is only able to to move people when they borrow elements from the first arc, and it’s quite sad that things are so different in the current arcs, especially with Kirito’s harem hanging around all the time. However, I’m still glad that the spotlight seems to have shifted back to Asuna for this arc, looks like someone finally remembered her presence and role as Kirito’s girlfriend.
A New Foe or Friend?
Zekken is a mysterious new player in SAO who issued an open challenge to all players to a duel, where the prize for winning him would be a single-handed sword skill which lands an 11-hit combo. As Zekken is a converted character, nobody really knows much about him but as of now, he doesn’t come across as a bad guy. Rather, it feels that he’s some righteous man seeking out something by issuing that open challenge. Since everything usually revolves around Kirito, I was quite surprised when Kirito didn’t manage to beat him, and it didn’t seem as though he was seeking out Kirito. What’s going on? Who can this Zekken be and what are his intentions? Does he have anything to do with Asuna? Guess we’ll have to wait for Asuna’s fight against him to find out more. Again, I’m quite surprised that we’re giving more attention to Asuna’s fight with Zekken than Kirito’s. Step back Kirito, it’s Asuna’s turn to shine! By the way, Kirito spent this entire episode sleeping, gosh! So, we couldn’t really find out what he was talking with Zekken about. Of all the tidbits of teaser information we were fed during this episode, this is the one which I’m most interested in. Does Kirito know something about Zekken?
Asuna’s Arranged Marriage(?)
Ew at that snobbish looking trio who seemed to be giving Asuna a hard time. Are they the bad guys for this arc? Are they looking to marry Asuna and take over her family’s business like the what’s-his-name voiced by Koyasu during the ALO/ Fairy dance arc? It seems to be the rule of thumb to make the antagonists appear in trios; the main bad guy and his two sidekicks. Asuna seemed reluctant to divulge anything more than a flashback regarding what she’s dealing with back at home, so we’ll have to wait to find out more.
I can’t remember what the previous ED was, but I’m really liking this new ED. Everything about it is just so pretty with all the sparkles and fluttering petals/leaves… From the OP and the ED, it seems like we’re getting a few more new characters, specifically a cute brunette. I did think that she would be another addition to Kirito’s harem, but none of the graphics put her with Kirito. Instead, she seems to be more of Asuna’s friend or something. *Shrugs* I’m used to all these random girls popping up every arc.
The Mother’s Rosario arc is apparently the good one which everyone was looking forward to after GGO, so I’ve upped my expectations for SAO II for now. We’re back in the beautiful world of Aincrad which also holds lots of memories of SAO for many of us fans so this arc already looks promising. I can’t wait for the next episode~