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Sword Art Online: Season 2/ Episode 23 "Beginning of a Dream" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

Overview

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After Asuna fulfills Yuuki’s school wish, Yuuki helps Asuna pursue something which needed to be done a long time ago.

Topic 1: To School and Back Home – Asuna & Yuuki

Topic 2: Come Into My World – Asuna

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Topic 1: To School and Back Home – Asuna & Yuuki

Using the gyroscope Yui usually utilizes, Asuna & Kirito provides a way for Yuuki to attend school, as well as participate. Something Yuuki quite loves and thanks Asuna for. Leading to perhaps one more wish: To see her last house once more before it either gets torn down or made into a convenience story. Something Asuna gladly does and it leads to them talking, sharing issues, and then Asuna sharing her admiration of Yuuki. Which, in turn, leads to Yuuki sharing her admiration of Asuna for being willing to get to know her, do all she has, and make what may be her last days quite awesome.

Commentary

I’m not exactly sure what may happen in “Mother’s Rosario,” episode 24, but everything is setup for Yuuki’s death. She got her final wish, got to see her childhood home, and gave back to Asuna by giving her the strength and encouragement she needed to talk to her mom. So, though I could be wrong, I think the setup has been done and the bit of tears which came from Yuuki this episode were just a prelude for me, and perhaps you as well.

Topic 2: Come Into My World – Asuna

After Asuna’s day with Yuuki, and with Yuuki encouraging her, Asuna asks her mom to talk. Something which Asuna isn’t quite strong enough to do in reality, so she brings her into virtual reality. An idea Asuna’s mom isn’t strongly for, but she eventually gives in. What this leads to is Asuna opening up to her mom and revealing why Asuna’s mom is so adamant on Asuna’s education. The reason being, Asuna’s mom was a village girl who left the village, went to university, and now is the type of person articles are written about. So, being that Asuna’s mom came from such a background, she has high expectations for her daughter and simply wants her to have the same stability she has grown to have.

However, in pursuit of that, as we see from seeing Asuna’s grandfather on her mother’s side, Asuna’s mom has lost herself to the work. To the point where, upon Asuna letting it all out, and Asuna’s mom taking in a landscape similar to her father’s home, she begins crying. Something she seemingly has been holding back from doing for a long time but, being that the game doesn’t let you hold back tears, the flow can’t be stopped.

Leading to the end of the episode where, after Asuna mentioning her intentions to help people, and her mom accepting this, it seems Asuna won’t be forced to transfer schools. However, it is still expected of her to go to university and keep her grades up.

Commentary

Being that a similar journey of growth was shown with Shinon earlier in the season, I do feel Asuna’s evolution as a character wasn’t as impactful as it could have been. With that said, though, it is hard to deny that Asuna’s story isn’t touching. But I guess since the show doesn’t seem as balanced with the drama and action as the first season, or my memories of it, that is why the episode feels almost filler like. For truly, this episode had that slice-of-life genre feel, with slight sci-fi aspects to make it a bit more interesting. Which perhaps is the main reason I may have downplayed Asuna’s storyline. Especially in comparison to Shinon.

Collected Quote(s)

“Life isn’t just about doing things for yourself, it’s possible to live in such a way that other people’s happiness makes you happy too. I want to live in a way that makes all the people around me happy. I want to live in a way that lets me support those around me when they get tired.”

—      “Beginning of a Dream.” Sword Art Online

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