To start things off on a lighter note, before getting into the feels… Asuna really knows how to make people quit a game.
Being left in the dark sucks. Asuna thought she had become friends with the Sleeping Knights, but in the end she just feels like an outsider. Seeing how insecure she was, she can’t help but think that it’s all her fault. While Siune assures her that’s not the case, them withholding the truth from Asuna just causes her to feel worse.
Of course, leave it to Kirito to resolve everything. Obviously, he knows where Yuuki resides and gives Asuna the info. The Medicuboid device really is a miracle for terminally ill patients. These illnesses are hindering them from living their normal everyday lives. With sickly bodies, it’s hard to go about your daily activities. In the virtual world, these patients can live out their dreams before their death. Not being limited by physical capabilities, they can experience what it’s like to live a normal life.
I can’t say I’m too surprised regarding Yuuki’s condition. They hinted at it pretty heavily throughout the arc, emphasizing the fact that they want to leave their mark and how time was against them. Still, it was weird seeing the bubbly Yuuki in person. She’s like a shell of her online personality. Even if she found her resolve, she’s so frail and weak.
Yuuki’s case highlights how unfair life can be at times. She contracted AIDS through factors that were beyond her control (pretty sure blood has to be screened and tested before donating but go figure). Her entire life has been unfortunate in that regard. She lost her entire family to the virus, and all she could do was wait until it was her time to go. Even though she made peace with dying, she still wishes she could have had a normal life. Rather than leaving abruptly, her and the other Sleeping Knights, thought it would be better to end on a good note. Being able to say goodbye to each other, rather than waiting for the inevitable.
She also didn’t want to put them through the pain of being left behind that she knows too well. The Sleeping Knights kept their distance from the rest of the world so that they didn’t form deep bonds that weren’t meant to last. It makes it that much harder to say goodbye, and causes a lot of emotional stress for the survivor.
VRMMO’s have given her the opportunity to roam around the world freely. Since she had no real world, she made ALO and other virtual worlds her new home. This is what Kirito meant when she was literally living in the world, thus giving her fast reaction time. Her brain was so immersed in the world that she has full control over her avatar, as if it were her own flesh and blood.
Of course, Asuna just wants to be there for Yuuki. She’s finally made a friend, and doesn’t care what her condition is. She just wants to support her in anyway she can. Rather than leave her to die on her own, she wants to make the most out of what little time she has left. Lucky for them, this is Kirito’s show after all, and he may just have the technology for Yuuki to attend school!
Overall, it was a touching episode, but parts of it were a bit overdone for my tastes. Constantly hearing Asuna cry out “Yuuki” made it feel a bit too dramatic for me, but other than that, it was a great episode even without any action!