Zekken – 絶剣
Asuna, Asuna and more Asuna.
It’s strange that I’ve never questioned about Asuna’s family until the recent episodes, where it’s obvious that Asuna is going to become the focus of this arc. From the Fairy Dance arc, it was apparent that Asuna is born into a rich family but we never really got to see how her family was like until this episode. We have your typical strict family with oppressive parents who micro-manage every aspect of their daughter’s life because they want the best for her, in their terms. It’s a miracle that Asuna even managed to lay hands on a set of nervegear in the first place, given how gaming is probably on top of the prohibited list in her family. What her mother wanted for her, which is something very typical of Asian mindsets, was a good education, a reputable career and ultimately a life which is guaranteed to be without financial worries. Judging from what Asuna spitefully said to her mother before shutting the door, her mother probably didn’t have an easy life before marriage. I guess, based on that, you can’t really blame the mother for having such a narrow vision as to “what’s best for Asuna”. Although I didn’t feel very friendly or sympathetic towards her during the awkward and stiff dinner between mother and daughter, on second thought, she probably really had Asuna’s best interests in mind despite having questionable ways of expressing it. For now, it looks as though Asuna is set to transfer school and marry the son of a banker. But I’m sure that won’t happen, but the joy of watching this will be to see how Asuna goes about overcoming this hurdle in life.
Zekken & The Sleeping Knights
I knew it from the moment the OP sequence ended, that Kirito isn’t going to be a major part of this arc at all. He’s probably going to be like how Asuna was in the previous arc, and I’m still coping with the fact that our hero of the series isn’t going to be hero for an arc. How is that possible?! One of the main reasons I watch this show is to watch Kirito (yes, despite my complaints about his unfaithfulness towards Asuna and my snide remarks about him and his harem, I actually do like him quite a bit) so having an Asuna-ful arc isn’t really… I’m still trying to accept it. Anyway, Asuna goes ahead to have the duel with Zekken and “passes” the test that Zekken was actually putting everyone through. Having become the chosen one, Asuna was asked to help Zekken with something. So, Asuna was chosen over Kirito for this heroic task? Hm… Anyway, Zekken/Yuuki is voiced by Yuuki Aoi whom I’m honestly never heard of before but I’ve become a fan of her voice after just one episode. There’s a child-like quality to her voice and I especially liked how carefree and cheery she sounded as Yuuki (they have the same name!). I have a feeling that I’m going to really like this (main) character~
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I really really like the OP and its sequence; how the melancholic piano introduction became a rather typical hopeful-sounding chorus. Also, I noticed that the two babies which became two girls merged into one Yuuki (Zekken). It piqued my interest about Yuuki’s back story, which I hope we will get to know in this arc.
In the future world you described~
So far, I don’t really know how I’ll take to this arc. There is the pressure to like it, since the general sentiments from novel readers are positive about it, but I really don’t know. I’ll need to do the 3-episode test before I know how I feel about this.