Sword Art Online: Season 2/ Episode 20 "Sleeping Knights" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

As Asuna preps for a one team boss battle, she deals with a personal obstacle.

Review (with Spoilers)

This Asuna arc is very interesting, if just because she seemingly is getting a sort of Shinon treatment. For while Kirito has been the star of the show since the beginning, after learning about Shinon, and now Asuna, I must admit I feel like I don’t know Kirito at all. I know he is good at swordplay, has aspirations in getting into VR design, and has a sister. But as for knowing him personally? Well, outside of him having guilt over the few people he killed, what else can you say about the man behind the avatar? Those thoughts aside, let’s talk about the continuation of Asuna’s journey in “The Sleeping Knights.”

Topic 1: Meet the Team – Yuuki & Asuna

The Sleeping Knight’s, Yuuki’s team, is a 6 person team which, due to reasons unmentioned, seemingly won’t be able to play together as much as they used to in the past. So, to cement their friendship, they want their names on this swordsman memorial in the Black Iron Palace. A place where you can see Kirito and Asuna’s names multiple times for defeating level bosses. However, what you may notice is that the stone tablet is hardly full. The reason? Well, when multiple groups go after a boss, one the one who defeats the boss gets the glory. However, if it is one 7 person group, everyone’s name is added.

Commentary

With some group members mentioning Aincrad, I think the main thing they want out of Asuna is what her legacy would bring. For, lest we forget, Asuna was one of the strategists for most of the campaigns in the original Sword Art Online. So if The Sleepy Knights wish to defeat a boss with just one team, they need her expertise. Though, from what it seems, there is more to her being picked than that. Something Yuuki sees but doesn’t put into detail. However, she does mention, Yuuki that is, the reason Kirito wasn’t picked was because he knows her secret. Making me wonder if Yuuki is in a coma, possibly dying, but remains alive, in some fashion, because she is transitioning from one VR to another.

Topic 2: Home Life – Asuna

When Asuna returns home, it is by force since her mom disconnected her. For with her growing tired of how much time Asuna spends in the virtual world, especially since she lost Asuna for two years, he going back is frustrating. For while it seemed Asuna didn’t have much love for her family before Aincrad, who knows what the exact issues were that made only Kirito her eventual reason to live.

Commentary

With what is said in the summary, I must admit I do wonder if Asuna’s parents trying to direct, if not outright control, her life is the sole issue here? For with us not meeting her brother, or father formally, it makes you wonder if they have a role in this? For while her dad is guilty by association, what about her brother? Why wasn’t he worth living for?

Topic 3: You Shall Not Pass! – Asuna, Yuuki, and Kirito

With The Sleeping Knights having scouted the boss and learning some guild spied on their session in order to prep, we learn why this talented group needed Asuna. For one, the aforementioned experience, but also perspective. For they never knew about people being able to spy on them as they scouted a boss, or about this guild following them around. However, they do now and Yuuki is ready to take them on when they try to stop her, and her team, from fighting the boss. But, before the battle really begins, Kirito shows up.

Commentary

As said in the last episode I believe, Shinon and Asuna’s stories seem very similar. For I get this sense that they find their ideal selves in their characters. For Shinon it was someone who didn’t have a gun phobia, and could handle herself, and as for Asuna? Well, her character represents the person who controls her life, can plan out her own life, fall in love with whoever she wants, and is allowed an opinion which is not only seen as valid but sought out for. Something completely absent in her real life.

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