Another somewhat slow episode as they introduce us more to Sinon/Shino’s character. I guess she had a rough upbringing, and uses GGO as a way to escape reality (and “therapy”). She doesn’t really have any friends at school aside from Kyouji who introduced her to GGO.
She had a traumatic experience as a child. She had already lost her dad and her mother was being threatened during a robbery. While being in a robbery alone is a traumatic experience, her trauma stems from her own hands. She took the gun from the robber and ended up shooting him in self defense. I’m amazed that a grown man was unable to wrestle the gun out of the hands of a child (maybe he was drugged up or inebriated), and the fact that Shino managed to shoot him three times. Considering how close her mother and the workers were, she could have easily hit one of them while firing the gun.
I think her fear of guns is a bit extreme (finger guns, toy guns) but I’m not a psychiatrist so I’ll buy it. The incident seems to have caused her a lot of problems in her life. She’s no longer able to live with her mother and is bullied by her peers because of her fears. She’s grown up in solitude and can only be herself behind an avatar on GGO.
Kirito finally takes the spotlight again, after Shino’s life story. From his and Asuna’s conversation, it seems like Kikuoka has leverage on him and he has to take part in his plan. When Kirito finally prepares to enter GGO, he’s fondled by yet another female. I don’t think the nurse was introduced back in season one, so they had to once again, fill in the gaps as to what happened in between SAO and ALO.
At the end of the episode, the person behind Death Gun is somewhat revealed. With Sinon rising through the ranks in GGO, she’s become a target of interest for him now. It seems like he has a bit of an odd fascination with her though, since he began to stroke his monitor. I hope we don’t have another villain who is as creepy as Sugou on our hands here. Either way, it looks like it’ll take a bit longer before Sinon and Kirito meet in GGO.