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After a quick face off against Death Gun, Kirito and Sinon verbally share the guilt which comes from murdering in self-defense.
Review (with Spoilers)
As you can tell, for the most part, this arc deals with guilty feelings coming from doing what was necessary to protect yourself and the ones you love. Though, as Kirito notes, pretty much that is what the whole show is about. Him protecting, fighting with, and sometimes saving, Asuna was what the whole first season was about. So now, after killing for the sake of survival, this season really has him dealing survivor’s guilt. Something which, I believe, was a topic in the first season, but now is being explored full force with Sinon dealing with it right alongside Kirito.
Topic 1: Last Minute Save! – Death Gun, Sinon, and Kirito
We begin where we left off, Death Gun is just about ready to execute Sinon, but then gunshots are fired. Making it seem, at first, maybe a 3rd party is going to join Kirito and Sinon’s fight against Death Gun, but alas it is just Kirito. For, somehow over the course of the 5-10 minutes since he has been gone, he defeated Gunner X, was able to take her gun, and then fire at Death Gun just in time to make a save. How lucky is Sinon huh?
Topic 2: Time to Escape! – Death Gun, Sinon, and Kirito
But while Kirito is able to save Sinon, getting away from Death Gun becomes their next issue. Especially since Sinon and Shinon have basically merged and while holding a gun doesn’t lead to a giant freak out, she is unable to pull the trigger. Making it so not only is she unable to take out Death Gun, but she is forced to rely on Kirito once more to give her strength. Which, of course, she hates doing not only due to his past actions but because it makes her feel weak in front of her rival.
Topic 3: Survivors’ Guilt – Sinon and Kirito
Though, after he help her fire a bullet at a car, which makes a grand explosion, they seemingly get away from Death Gun long enough to have a chat. One in which Sinon fully breaks down in front of Kirito and in her moment of being open and vulnerable about her past, he opens up as well. They both talk about the guilt which comes from murdering someone, and Sinon goes into how ostracized she was after she killed the post office robber . She also talks about how she both hates and admires Kirito. For, as noted, she sees him as a rival, the person she wants to be, and a pillar of strength, yet there is that side to him that is cocky, the lie they based their friendship on, and these weird feelings he inspires in her.
Feelings which I have often said were perhaps romantic, but now I feel like it could also be a brother/ sister type of thing. After all, Kirito is a big brother to someone and their relationship is very close like the one Kirito has forged with Sinon/Shinon. So while the way he holds her and how he interacts with her can certainly come off as flirting or romantic, I think the main reason I came to that conclusion is because how rare it is for people of the opposite sex to be as close as Shinon and Kirito are without some type of romantic entanglement.
Refocusing on their interaction, however, it seems Kirito wanted Sinon to stay in the cave they were hiding in, collect herself, and just log off when possible. For with him still having to take out Death Gun, and her unable to shoot, she becomes more a liability than an asset. On the polar end of things, though, Sinon wanted them to stay together and just commit suicide when it is just them and one person left. Issue with that idea is, there are still, not counting Kirito, Sinon, and Death Gun, at least 15 players left. Meaning that by not acting, Death Gun could kill 15 people. So hiding isn’t an option.
Thus leading Sinon to want to continue, despite her fears. For she seems to hate her feelings of fear so much that she rather face death than wallow in helpless, and this upsets Kirito a bit. If just because the way Sinon puts things, she makes it sound like she has nothing to live for and rather a suicide mission than to sit and wait to die. But, in the end, through their conversation about their guilt and everything, it seems Sinon becomes a bit stronger than she gives herself credit for, and Kirito strengthens both his resolve, and his friendship with Sinon.
“This… This is my battle, and no one else’s! Even if I lose, even if I die, no one has the right to blame me!”
— “Pursuer of Death.” Sword Art Online II
“No one dies alone. When someone dies, the part of them that lives inside someone also dies.”
— “Pursuer of Death.” Sword Art Online II
Things To Note
In the news, it was told that the robber’s gun misfiring killed him. Likely to protect Shinon. Also, it should be noted she doesn’t mention how Shinkawa ended up becoming her friend.