After the cliffhanger last week, I was expecting a bit more to happen this episode. As predicted, Kirito comes in the nick of time to save a damsel in distress.
After seeing Death Gun’s pistol, the Sinon persona is broken and her normal personality takes over. The line between reality and virtual had been shattered upon realizing that death (by Death Gun) is the same in both worlds. She was also powerless when facing Death Gun. Sinon was a prideful woman in GGO who didn’t need to rely on other players. As she laid on the ground, her fate rested completely in another person’s hands.
She’s lost all confidence that she’s built up in GGO because of her encounter. When faced with reality, all Sinon wants to do is run away. She was able to cope with guns in GGO because she treated it as a fictional world. After seeing the gun, she can’t make that mental association anymore, and can no longer run from her fears. Being with Kirito though, she realizes that she’s been using her trauma as an excuse for everything that’s happened to her. Everyone has their problems, but that doesn’t stop them from accomplishing their goals.
At first, it seemed like Sinon’s trauma came from staining her hands with blood, but in reality, it was what happened afterwards. Her mother broke down and left her, while the kids tormented her. I guess that this led to her being afraid of people more so than guns. While death is traumatizing for a kid, the fact that she was forced to deal with all of the stress on her own probably caused more implications than the actual experience.
Being trapped in SAO apparently makes the survivors much more adept at games. Kirito and Death Gun appear to be on another level relative to the other GGO players. Having to play with your life on the line for several years must have honed their skills and decision making, to the point where mistakes are rarely made. They’re both able to master abilities and skills that are unheard of for your average player (horse riding/motorbike).
Speaking of amazing abilities, Kirito has mastered the harem skill. Sinon admires Kirito’s strength. After saving her and spending time with her, it’s only natural that she’d end up having feelings for the man who “saved” her. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here… Asuna needs to keep her man in check or he’ll continue venturing off into MMO’s and seducing women from around the globe!
Overall, not too much happened in this episode. We did get some decent character development with Sinon, but a lot of information appears to be regurgitated. We heard Sinon and Kirito’s stories over the course of the season, and now they’re telling their stories to each other. It just felt like they were stretching the material a bit so that we could get a full episode dedicated to the showdown.