Sword Art Online ep. 14 doesn’t play around. When the episode is titled The End of the World, it does so for a reason. This is the episode where everything we witnessed up until last week finally comes to an end and the full two years of in-game drama evolves into a saddened conclusion.
If I were to list out exactly what happened during this episode it would literally be split into two halves. The first would be Kirito revealing that Heathcliff is actually Kayaba Akihiko and the second being the deletion of Sword Art Online’s game world. The event that splits these two halves is the death of our main characters Asuna and Kirito.
It was nice to see Kirito take the initiative in investigating just what was up with Heathcliff’s ridiculous ultimate defense. When fourteen of SAO’s clearers were killed in the most recent battle and Heathcliff had hardly broken a sweat, Kirito put two and two together. It’s just impossible for a normal player to still have their health in the green. So yeah, a congratulations to Kirito, but I think it was a mistake for him to take on Kayaba Akihiko so early. I know Kirito wanted to save everyone and I commend him for doing that, but it was too risky.
Yeah, I know that somehow Kirito was able to defy the game’s rules and he somehow suspended his own death (what?) with his last action being that of killing Kayaba. Yet if he had waited to take on the final boss he probably could have avoided Asuna’s death. Although now even this is a grey area because we have no idea if Asuna is alive or not. Assuming that because Kirito was able to log out successfully, Asuna should be doing fine too, right?
But there’s another half of this series that’s about to play out in the coming months. For some reason I feel like Asuna is probably still trapped within the game or something to that nature, and so Kirito will log back in to save her. Or maybe the second half of the series will go back and re-tell a number of events that weren’t discussed before. I haven’t read the light novels so I’m not sure what to expect.
My favorite scene from this episode features the conversations between Asuna, Kirito, and Kayaba. We finally learned a bit about why Kayaba created the world of Sword Art Online. It helps to establish him as a human being who started off with a simple dream but then ultimately took his passion to an extreme. And of course one of the cutest scenes so far features Asuna blushing at the fact that Kirito is actually younger than her. They exchange their real names at the last minute because they don’t know what’s going to happen once the game’s world is finished deleting itself. Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto) and Asuna (Yuuki Asuna) then fade into non-existence. It was rather nicely done if you ask me.
And of course when Kirito awakens from his two-year slumber his body is wretched with malnutrition. His only inspiration for existence is the knowledge that Asuna must have awakened as well. If Kirito can’t find her in the real world what will he do? We should be finding that out in the next episode I hope.