First things first, yeap they cut off quite another substantial amount of content for this but it’s not really all that important so I’m not as disappointed. They did redid the story structure quite a bit, so the time skipping and floor jumping felt quite a bit jarring at times. I really felt it would have been better to keep the original structure so that the emotional impact would be easier to understand. Nevertheless, I still teared up for Kirito this episode. Lesson learned: Never hide your levels from noobs.
Surprisingly, Argo actually appeared in this episode (even though she doesn’t really in the original work) so, I’m glad to know they aren’t planning to ditch her. Just that… she doesn’t really pop up much in the later stories, but I guess they might try to write her in. For those interested, her seiyuu is Izawa Shiori.
Thankfully, they still kept in Klein’s heartfelt plea to Kirito. Although it still feels a bit off since they didn’t really show the earlier confrontations. It still works though and now I’m just nitpicking.
One thing I feel like commenting though is how the music in SAO is really suspiciously similar to the Fate/Zero tracks. Aside from the ‘main’ theme (PV here), the normal tracks really do feel like they’ve been lifted wholesale from F/Z. I am a little disappointed by this since I was hoping for SAO to get its own ‘sound’, but I think Kajiura’s falling back to the phase of reusing her stuff efficiently. Hopefully it will improve as the show moves on.
This week’s end card. Black Cats of the Full Moon (;_;)
Next week, the loli episode! That should be a nice change of pace after this week and last week. I don’t think they can really screw that story up either w.