Well, there was all sorts of ridiculousness going on in this episode. But among that ridiculousness, there were some touching moments as well.
Since last week ended on a cliffhanger, we start off with Shinkawa and Kirito brawling it out over Shino. I guess Kirito isn’t as overpowered in real life. He gets manhandled by Shinkawa pretty convincingly, despite getting that first surprise blow from his flashy entrance. Things are looking bad for Kirito, but wait, a FREAKING electrode, that covers half an inch of his body, happens to be the one spot he gets stabbed in. While it’s obvious Kirito can’t be killed, I would have expected a better conclusion to this fight. Instead, we get a random stroke of luck and coincidence that saves Kirito.
It was nice to see Shino change for the better after all of this. She decides to face her bullies head on, and overcome her fears. Everything is going well until one of the girls pulls out a freaking gun. Who the heck gives a weapon (even if it’s only a pellet gun) to their little sister to scare some kids with? The bully the proceeds to point the gun at Shino and tries to shoot her, over a measly 20,000 yen… I don’t know what the heck is going through their minds, but they have to be pretty messed up to pull that, even as a joke.
After the girls fail to shoot her, it gives Shino a chance to be a badass and show them how it’s done. Personally, I would have preferred to just see her telling them off. These girls have been tormenting you for months now, and one of them literally just tried to shoot you, but you’re going to just play it cool and walk away. I guess she shows that she’s the bigger person, but the whole scenario was just ridiculous for me to watch.
We get the run down on how the Shinkawa brothers started all of this. I dislike how Shino tries to defend Shinkawa’s actions, after he aided in several murders and assaulted her. Sadly, there probably are people out there in the world who have similar thoughts as Shinkawa. They’d rather spend all of their time in a game and hate reality. Since they’re still young, there is still hope for rehabilitation, but if I were Shino, I’d probably cut him out of my life and move on. Maybe it’s just the way Shinkawa was introduced, I find it hard for him to redeem himself.
Kirito finally brings Shino along to meet some of the other SAO players. I can’t help but noticed that he introduces Asuna as a friend. I wonder why all these girls get their heart broken by him… On a more serious note though, this was another big step for Shino. She’s been alone her entire life. Her mother left her after the accident, and she’s never been able to open up to people. She’s no longer alone since the SAO crew have opened their arms to her.
The last thing Shino needed to move on was closure from the incident. She had only thought about how she took the life of another human being. What she didn’t know, was how she saved two other lives that day. She’s overcoming this in a similar way as Kirito did. Had she not stopped the man, many others could have died at his hands.
With three arcs being completed in Sword Art Online, I have to say that GGO would rank second for me. It had it’s moments, and had a decent ending (minus the first 2/3 of this episode). Shino definitely played a strong female lead who grew as the series progressed. While she ultimately did get saved by Kirito, she was capable of handling enemies on her own.