Sword Art Online Ep. 18: To The World Tree

Friday, November 9th, 2012

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*Spoilers Ahead*

This episode of Sword Art Online was full of Sugu fan service, flying, and more fan service. The episode was an alright adventure but it didn’t really get us anywhere. In previous episodes of Sword Art Online I would take a look at how fast the pace was moving and how the series needed to slow down. Now I’m about ready for it to speed up.

Sword Art Online

Although if I keep hoping for the series to speed up at the speed Leafa is flying in that image, the series would likely end in two episodes. Right now Kirito and Leafa are on a journey to the World Tree. Once they figure out how to get to the top, ten minutes will be devoted to Sugu having a meltdown and Kirito will save Asuna. To stretch the series out  another eight episodes, everything must be paced slower for character development and to express the series’ one week time frame in which Kirito will prevent Sugou from marrying Asuna.

Sword Art Online

See, there’s a large world to be covered in ALfheim Online. This screenshot really solidifies that tone. It looks like there’s a grand adventure to be had here but then the series turns back to the real world and the awkward relationship between Sugu and Kirito. She has a thing for her cousin and he doesn’t have a single clue. And then in the game she is now developing feelings for the same guy, and again he will likely have no idea what is happening.


The fan service has really been amped up recently as well. I’m not sure if it was so highly emphasized in the light novels, but Sugu’s breasts are everywhere. I wonder if this is on purpose. Well, of course it is because the creators designed Sword Art Online to be like this, but are they contrasting Asuna being locked up in a cage to Kirito’s non-recognition of Sugu’s attractive body? She’s there for him, supporting him along the way. And Asuna is locked up in a birdcage while Kirito is pursuing her location. It kind of adds to the dramatic irony don’t you think?

Sword Art Online

Maybe Oberon should have gone after the girl who’s more open to being with someone. No no, that would just destroy the entire plot. In episode 18 he continues to be a creep while asking Asuna to basically forget her morals. He made it clear that he understands it can be very lonely locked up in a cage. This scene seems like it was added to primarily convey that Asuna still needs to be rescued. It didn’t do much else I’m afraid.

There’s also the character Recon who we met before when Leafa was first introduced. His real name is Nagata and he’s a student at Sugu’s school. I don’t quite understand his purpose beyond having an entertaining voice, but it seems he has something up his sleeve.


Recon made a remark to Kirito and Leafa at the top of the launch tower about how he’s going to stay behind with the party and figure some things out. I have a strong feeling he may come in handy when Kirito will be trying to figure out how to get up the World Tree. What other purpose does Recon really have in the series? Maybe I’m not giving him enough credit but he just seems to be a weak character.

It also looks like Nagata believes he is Sugu’s boyfriend in real life, but of course she doesn’t admit to anything. This wouldn’t make sense anyway with her admitted feelings towards Kirito. I guess it’s just another day in the life of our main character, the one-man harem. I hope next week’s episode makes an improvement with pacing and storyline. I’m ready for some new developments.


Sword Art Online can be found streaming on Crunchyroll.

About Jared Cyhowski

[Former Staff] Jared is a recent graduate from Fitchburg State University where he studied communications, video production, and English. He enjoys playing video games, watching anime, writing, and of course pizza. His favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus and Final Fantasy IX, but he can’t possibly choose a favorite anime. Jared enjoys following the games industry and observing what will happen next, and he puts out an invitation for discussion on these topics. He loves a great story in these mediums and prefers a stronger narrative design over most features. Jared is personally responsible for creating and managing the Anime section of the website, and hopes to inspired and entertain with everything he writes.