Sword Art Online Ep. 24, 25: Gilded Hero and The World Seed

Friday, December 28th, 2012

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*Spoilers Ahead*

I was going to do a write up for episode 24 (Gilded Hero) of Sword Art Online back when the episode premiered, but then life happened. That’s okay though since episode 25 (The World Seed) is the final episode in the series and they work better as a two-parter. We left off last time with Kirito reaching the top of the World Tree where he learned that it’s impossible to go any higher. Just how will he save Asuna now?

The answer is simple. Yui took Kirito’s credit card and transcribed it into a code that teleports them to somewhere near Asuna’s location. I kid… but still, the power of the credit card is overwhelming indeed. Kirito and Yui make it to their “momma” and find her in her usual glee.

Sword Art Online Asuna Crying

Of course, the moment Yui breaks down the door and her papa saves the damsel in distress, the overlord badman/king/god Oberon arrives and sets the gravity in the game to an extreme. There’s not much to cover here in all honestly, except for the fact that Sugou makes a bunch of entertaining faces and his voice actor does an excellent job at portraying a crazy man.

Sword Art Online Oberon   Sword Art Online Oberon Crazy

But Kirito can’t just save the day, especially against an admin of the game. Sugou considers himself a god because he has complete control over everything in ALfheim Online, and this means Kirito is completely at a disadvantage. Sugou uses these moments in the middle of the episode to begin to rape Asuna. Before, in earlier episodes, he made it clear that Asuna was a sort of fetish and that he always implied being sexual with her. But now he’s ripped off her top and he’s licking her…

Kirito is literally brought to the point of tears. And Sugou makes a good point that Asuna will likely break as well. To see your wife, your love, tortured emotionally and then raped would be of some extreme I cannot completely fathom. So it’s a no wonder why Kirito, after receiving full-access privileges from the consciousness of Kayaba Akihiko, completely tears the fairy king Oberon in two. Oh, and he stabs him through the head after setting the pain limit to zero (effectively making it so you feel the same realistic pain in real life).

Sword Art Online Kirito kills Oberon

This was absolutely crazy, and sort of a bit ridiculous, but I’ll eat it up for what it’s worth. It was interesting that Kayaba, formerly known as Heathcliff in Sword Art Online, showed up at the last minute and gave Kirito access to the entire system. I was not expecting this at all, and so I sort of like that things happened like this. Also, seeing the look of absolute terror and pain on Sugou’s face was worthwhile.

After Asuna is saved Kirito logs her out of ALfheim Online and finally everything is okay, right? Well not exactly, as the final episode of Sword Art Online begins with the crazed Sugou attacking Kirito in real life. What I enjoy about this is that we see a completely broken Sugou, still suffering from ALO’s in-game pain, trying to kill Kirito in the real world. I particularly liked that Kirito’s sword going through his eye caused a literal stress to his physical body part, even impairing it for a short time.

Sword Art Online Damaged Eye   Sword Art Online Kirito almost kills Sugou

It would have been shocking if Kirito actually went through with killing Sugou, but he holds back at the very end. The rules are different when you’re logged into a game compared to real life. My favorite part about this scene is when Kirito begins to fight back and smashes Sugou’s head into the vehicle. The action looks blocky at first, but then it almost seems realistic. Kirito is in pain because of a gash on his arm and Sugou just finished kicking him a few times. Once he fights back we see again how weak and mentally broken Sugou is.

Finally, Kirito is reunited with his love Asuna. It sure did take long enough, about eleven episodes to be exact. It was nice to see them come together for the first time in reality, even if Asuna couldn’t hear Kirito speak at all… That was honestly a bit strange as I don’t remember this being touched upon before. Anywho, I liked the final touch in this scene where Kirito looks out the window and sees the avatars for himself and Asuna disappearing, almost as if the final chapter to a long novel was finally finished.

Sword Art Online Kirito and Asuna

The second half of the finale focuses on a later date where Asuna has recovered enough to walk, and her and Kirito are attending a special school for people who were locked inside Sword Art Online can attend. It seems reality has pushed our two lovers’ relationship back a bit, as the dialogue here is a bit strange. It seems Kirito is just speaking to move the plot forward, asking Asuna about her rehab and the like. Their relationship seemed closer in-game (they were making love and taking care of Yui after all). But most entertaining from this scene is the real-life Lisbeth spying on them from the cafeteria with Silica. I wasn’t expecting seeing them in the finale, nor was I expecting Lisbeth to be so jealous of their relationship. I remember Lisbeth being heartbroken about the whole situation but not so jealous…

Sword Art Online Asuna and Kirito

Sword Art Online Lisbeth   Sword Art Online Silica

The episode continues with an explanation of what exactly the World Seed is, of which Kayaba gave to Kirito right before he logged out of ALfheim Online to meet with Asuna in real life. Apparently, the World Seed is some form of code that allows anyone to download and create their own VMMORPG as long as they have access to a server. Oh yeah, and before I forget, it’s also mentioned that Kayaba was able to appear in ALfheim Online because he apparently copied his entire mind and personality into the game… which is actually kind of badass. This is how he was able to give Kirito full privs and the gift of the World Seed.

The finale finds Kirito returning to the world of ALfheim Online along with a number of old friends, including Lisbeth, Thinker, Klein, etc. Before Kirito meets up with them, he finds Suguha flying about in the sky, away from everybody else. It seems like she is trying to distance herself from Kirito and the others, as she doesn’t quite belong. Of course her older “brother” convinces her otherwise and they do a little dance.

Sword Art Online Kirito and Leafa Dance

God this scene was awkward. I really have no idea what the show’s creators were thinking by putting this scene in here. It doesn’t define their relationship as being fine whatsoever. In fact it only solidifies that Sugu surely isn’t over her feelings for him as she’s seen crying. And the whole dance thing… it just shows more of a relationship between them compared to there not being one. What the heck! It’s like there was more screen time given to Sugu and Kirito being all close than there was of Asuna and Kirito.

ALfheim Online Asuna Avatar   Sword Art Online Asuna and Leafa

At least we finally get to see Asuna in her true avatar form in ALfheim Online. It’s a pretty cool design, and even better she’s right next to Sugu. I wonder if Asuna knows about the whole cousin-loving thing. I would say no… but then again Asuna comes off as the type who is so confident in her love for and from Kirito that no woman could come between them. Not Sugu, Lisbeth, Silica, or any of the other harem of girls in Sword Art Online.

Finally the series ends with the castle Aincrad floating down from the sky. It seems the power of the World Seed makes it possible for Kirito and the others to relive their experiences on the original world of SAO. It looks like Kirito is determined to work his way through all 100 floors of the floating castle. I think this would make for a cool movie, don’t you think?

And this ends the weekly coverage for Sword Art Online. Episodes can be streamed via 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.