Shadow’s Six – Best Moments in Sword Art Online

In honour of the finale airing today, I’ve decided to list my favourite memories of Sword Art Online in this ‘Shadow’s Six’. Please note, this article is going to contain huge spoilers, so if that bothers you please don’t read any further. Fair warning has been given! ;)

 

#6: “Invincible!” – Episode 4: The Black Swordsman

After helping obtaining a rare flower that allows the revival of an in-game pet, Kirito and Silica are confronted by an Orange Guild who wants to steal the flower. During the confrontation, Kirito admits that he is actually here seeking their leader to punish her for a crime. Disbelieving him, a half dozen or so players charge and attack him all out – but are unable to move his health bar even the slightest bit. A truly hilarious moment, and one that really makes the game feel like an mmo where players at a much higher level are virtually invincible to the lower level players.

This scene always felt like a defining moment for Kirito’s character, after Sachi’s tragedy he moved to being more concerned about others, which is shown in the fact that he was willing to, unpaid, seek out a player who was griefing to ensure she was punished – yet he was still the powergamer and was giving the other players a lecture about how stats work in an rpg.

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#5: “I made it in time?” – Episode 10: Crimson Killing Intent

A routine training exercise turns into a traitor’s attempt to kill Kirito. As Kirito’s life fades, Asuna shows up out of nowhere, saves him… and then, unable to believe it repeats the words “I made it in time” over and over again, almost in shock. After verifying Kirito’s alive, she turns back to the traitor and if looks could kill, Asuna wouldn’t have needed a sword right there. The pure fury in her eyes was enough to make me wince, and this scene has stuck in my head ever since as one of the most emotional and intense moments of the series.

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#4: “Om Nom Nom” – Episode 19: The Lugru Corridor

Trapped between a wall and a group of hostile players, Leafa and Kirito are forced to fight or die. Kirito, not willing to accept death even in a world where it’s not permanent, decides to fight. He begins casting a spell, and then suddenly…  a massive goat-headed beast that strangely resembles Gleam Eyes stands in his place. An absolute slaughter occurs as the hostile players are faced with an angry Kirito who has taken the form of a vicious boss. The moment comes to a hilarious head when he devours another player, killing them instantly. This battle is incredibly hilarious, but also provides a good demonstration of the power of magic in Alfheim Online.

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#3 “Yui: Death and Rebirth” – Episode 12: Yui’s Heart & Episode 16: Land of the Fairies

Okay, so I’m kind of cheating with this one. But I couldn’t decide which between Yui’s Death and Yui’s Return was more memorable and emotional… so I decided to consolidate them into one option here. In Episode 12, Yui finally regains her memory and remembers that she’s actually a part of the SAO system, designed to counsel depressed players, but inexplicably forbidden from interacting with them when SAO launched. This realization comes with it her memory of the GM commands as she dispatches, in a rather glorious way, a boss that is trying to kill Kirito and Asuna. Unfortunately, the game considers her a bug at this point, and deletes her. As Asuna breaks down at the loss of their ‘daughter’, Kirito screams to Kayaba that things won’t always go his way, and hacks into the GM console to store Yui’s program on his console.

A tremendously emotional moment, and an important one that helps to further deepen Kirito’s protective nature and help to make it obvious that Kirito is more than your average gamer. On the flipside, a few episodes later when Kirito gets into the new game, Alfheim Online, and realizes that his data from SAO is all their except his items, he begins to panic looking for the item containing Yui’s data. Luckily, it remains intact and he is able to summon her into ALO for a heartwarming reunion. Then, to make things even more memorable, Yui finds out that this game sees her as a personal assistant program called a ‘Navigation Pixie’, and she transforms into this tiny little pixie that might well be the cutest character I’ve ever seen in any anime. Ever.

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#2 “Starburst Stream” – Episode 9: The Blue-Eyed Demon

After uncovering the 74th floor Boss in SAO, Kirito and Asuna provide the information to a raid group from another guild who ignore their warning and go to challenge it anyways. Kirito and Asuna follow them and find the demon about to kill their entire group. After Asuna charges in, unable to watch these people die to the boss, Kirito decides he can’t stand on the sidelines any longer. Demanding 10 seconds to get prepared, he reveals a unique ability he’s kept hidden, the ability to dual wield swords. Unleashing an incredible 50 hit combo, he tackles the boss solo, beating it just as his health is about to run out.

This scene is not only the first time Kirito’s shown his true strength, but also the first time that Kirito and Asuna reveal their true feelings for each other. Because this scene is so essential from both a story and a character perspective – and also because it is just incredibly memorable for the epic combat – it earns the #2 spot on this list.

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#1: “Revenge is Sweet” – Episode 24: Gilded Hero

Kirito and Yui are finally reunited with their beloved Asuna, but that’s not the end. No, the villainous Suguo, who has kept Asuna captive within the game, makes his appearance. Using his admin abilities, he begins to both torture Kirito and molest Asuna. Kirito sees a vision of the original creator of SAO, who reminds him that he has overcome the system before and can do it again. He stands up, activates the still-active Heathcliff ID (the former creator’s admin account), strips Suguo of his admin privileges, and immediately begins to take his revenge on him. And, being able to imagine what it must feel like to be tortured while watching the love of your life be abused like that… I was cheering for him every moment of it. It leads into the cliffhanger before the final episode of the series, which as yet has not aired but promises to be good…

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  • Soldier671

    Totally agree with you on these scenes !