Mission accomplished, and seemingly the arc is over.
Review (with Spoilers)
Well, to my surprise, after just starting the arc on episode 15, it has come to an end. Making you wonder, at this point, what is next on the horizon? For with it now being 2025 in their world, and Kirito in college, it makes you wonder if they are going to jump into Mother’s Rosario or else Alicization? Either way, let’s talk about “Excalibur.”
Topic 1: The Thunder God Thor – Kirito
As Kirito and co. continue to fight against Thrym, it seemed the battle was going to last at least 2 episodes due to Thrym’s health being massive. For while they are all giving it their best, Thrym is a behemoth. But, luckily for them, they have Freyja on their side. Someone who knows of the family’s legendary item: Thor’s hammer. Something which, as soon as it touches Freyja’s hand, allows her to turn into Thor. Thus turning the tides on the battle and leading to Thrym’s defeat.
Once again Sword Art Online presents the type of action which makes you so upset it may take a decade, if not more, for games like this to perhaps be possible. For while this arc was short, imagine experiencing it in real life! Just taking a morning with your friends, going on this epic game saving quest, and then getting the same feeling I talk about in my Shadow of Mordor review. Oh, I can’t wait!
Topic 2: Excalibur – Kirito and Shinon
With Thrym defeated comes the last bit of the quest: Extracting Excalibur. Something which is quickly done and leads to Thrym’s castle disintegrating. Luckily for the cast, however, Tonki arrives for the save. But with Kirito not being strong enough to make the leap and still carry Excalibur, there comes an issue. As issue he resolves by originally planning to sacrifice Excalibur so he can complete the quest with everyone else. However, thanks to Shinon, she finds a way to save the sword. Though, before she hands it over to him, there is a catch. A simple one: she says she’ll give the sword to Kirito as long as he remembers her in his heart. A flirtatious moment that doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone.
But, after that odd moment, comes Urd to thank them and so seemingly ends this quest.
The only takeaway from here, for me anyway, was the question of: what is Asuna and Kirito’s relationship status? Also, does Shinon know, much less care? For, back in the GGO arc, Kirito was the one making their relationship uncomfortable and making moves, and now Shinon is doing it back to him. Though, before Kirito met Shinon, it seemed he was sort of dating Asuna. I mean, they got married, if I recall right, and seemingly were on the path of making their relationship real when it came to reality. So what is going on here?
Topic 3: What Lies Ahead – Kirito
With everyone done with the quest, they all celebrate the coming New Year together. Then, just to give us hints of the future, we see Kirito use his college education, focusing on Mecha-tronics, in order to make the café into a sort of virtual world so Yui isn’t trapped by the limitation of someone cell phone or something similar.
To me, this episode almost feels like a season finale in a way. I mean, I know it isn’t since the season has 24 episode, and we have 2 possible arcs the show can use, but something about this storyline feels so much like an ending. That thought aside, I hope the amount of action, and the sense of life and death, is carried over into whatever the final arc, or arcs, the season holds.