Sword Art Online: Season 2/ Episode 22 "Journey's End" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

As Yuuki’s life is revealed to us, Asuna finds a way to become a hero once more.

Topic 1: The One I Can Always Count On – Asuna & Kirito

Topic 2: Selene Garden – Asuna & Yuuki

Topic 3: Despite It All, There Should Remain Hope – Asuna & Yuuki

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Topic 1: The One I Can Always Count On – Asuna & Kirito

Despite Asuna’s father returning home, there is no interaction there. However, with his return does mean her mother has an ally when it comes to Asuna leaving the school where the rest of the survivors go. But, before she may end up extracted, she still has time left with Kirito. Someone who is still working on ways to bring Yui into the real world through various forms of robotics. But, when it comes to Asuna’s story, his part, as with the last two episodes, is to support her. Which, for this episode, means giving her the information which could lead her to Yuuki.

Commentary

Setting aside how exactly Kirito learned about Yuuki’s possible whereabouts since his government contact could easily have helped with that, much less the various other people he knows, there are two things I want to focus on: Asuna’s parents, and then her relationship with Kirito.

Now, beginning with her parents, it would see episode 23 or 24 will likely lead to them forcing their decision on Asuna, but I found it weird that Asuna didn’t even address her father. She just looked at him for a moment then moved on. Though, considering he was going to have her married while in a coma, I’m sure things aren’t good there. Making you wonder how does her brother feel about all this? We have yet to see him.

As for Kirito and Asuna, while not much more could be added, you have to admit his capability of letting her shine is very appealing. Much less him not feeling the need to join her on every adventure, yet you innately knowing that if she asked, he would likely drop everything for her. Such a romance I find to be so rare in either animation or live action shows, and it makes me proud to be a Sword Art Online fan.

Topic 2: Selene Garden – Asuna & Yuuki

After Kirito provides the information for where Yuuki is, she discovers everything. The first thing being that Yuuki is within this quarantined room and hooked up to a medicuboid machine [1] and that she is around 13 or so. Though the real kicker is that Yuuki has a terminal disease, as do the rest of the Sleeping Knights. Making what Kirito said about her, during their fight, explain why she was so powerful. For, within the medicuboid, she has sometimes played for 24 hours straight in virtual worlds. Enjoying in them what her body isn’t capable of handling in the real world since she has AIDS.

Commentary

You ever get that feeling where you want to be happy you were right, but at the same time wish you weren’t? Well, that is how I feel with learning Yuuki has some drug-resistant form of AIDS which has left her, for three years, in a state where her body seemingly is withering away. Though, at the same time, while a very sad story, I must admit I sort of like the idea that characters within Sword Art Online have more to overcome than sometimes a boss battle or quest. For, like we saw with Shinon, and now Asuna, there are always real problems to address. Some of which, for those two, could possibly be dealt with through VR interaction. However, with Yuuki, a happy ending, or conquering an obstacle, doesn’t seem possible. An idea I feel is very rare for even with shows like Game of Thrones and Akame ga Kill, usually it is the battle which kills a character. Not an outside force which prolongs suffering.

Topic 3: Despite It All, There Should Remain Hope – Asuna & Yuuki

To add onto Yuuki’s battle, we learn 3 members of Sleeping Knights have 3 months to live, her family members have all passed away, and she could very well be on her way out as well. However, even with death coming towards her, she seems satisfied. Though she confesses to Asuna, she does have one wish left: to go to school. Something Asuna may be able to do for her using the stuff Kirito is working on.

Commentary

I have to admit, this arc has got me a little teary-eyed, but not to the point of tears actually streaming down my face. With that said, I wonder if the end of the arc may lead to that because it seems like fate for this to end badly. Not just for Yuuki, but also Asuna once her parents decide to make moves on her life. Though all things considered, perhaps the show may have Yuuki die but let Asuna maintain control of her life.

Things To Note

[1] The way it is explained, the Medicuboid is like the headsets VR players currently use, the Nervegear, but rather than simply immobilizing the player for gaming, but allowing them to feel their body touched I believe, the Medicuboid completely numbs you from the neck down. The idea here is that for terminal patients, like Yuuki, it can provide them with some relief, while they can go off into the VR world and still interact with people. Though, per her doctor, there is desires to use it as a sort of new form of anesthesia for surgeries and all that. However, due to Medicuboid coming out around the time of the Asuphere incident, support is there, but not at the levels needed for Medicuboids to become a norm in medicine.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?