Review: Sword Art Online II, Episode 7: Crimson Memories

Review:

After a few episodes of in-game action we now receive a breather of sorts as we see our main characters outside of the game. While there is very little in-game action (save for flashbacks and one current ALO scene), that doesn’t mean this episode isn’t tense. Kirito continues to struggle with his memories of killing members of the Laughing Coffin guild. Of course, we also see the support Kirito receives from those around him, as well as the character who ironically ends up being his ultimate comforter in this episode.

Elsewhere, Sinon and Spiegle spend time discussing the way things have been going, with Sinon visibly angered due to Kirito’s antics in the previous episode. Spiegle, of course, takes this opportunity to exercise poor male anime-character-timing, but thankfully (for him) it doesn’t have any serious negative repercussions. Basically, what this all boils down to is that this is more of a character-development episode than a plot-development episode, and that’s okay (unless you’re just in it for the action). It shows that, despite his Mary Sue-esque gaming skills, Kirito isn’t perfect. He suffers from his own shortcomings, and I think that is very well illustrated this time around. Don’t worry, though; if you didn’t like this week’s focus on the characters, then next week looks set to return us to the action of GGO. Stay tuned!

A Christian Perspective:

While this isn’t a perfect application of this Scripture, I still think we can apply it to this episode:

James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

We see something similar played out in this episode when Kirito confides in another character about what happened in SAO, and essentially how he feels about having forgotten about it up until this point. I won’t say which character he confides in, as it may come as a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, it’s not until Kirito allows himself to be completely vulnerable with this character that he starts to find healing. As he pours his heart out to his confidant, he doesn’t find condemnation or revulsion, but rather acceptance, comfort, and—possibly—love. I don’t know if that’s exactly what James had in mind when he penned the above verse, but the key connection here is that, in both cases, the confessing to another person of what we’ve done plays a role in ultimately finding healing.

Another lesson we can take from this is the necessity of forgiving ourselves. While I don’t think the Bible specifically states anything about self-forgiveness, I think we can all agree that it’s a necessity. As we see with Kirito, refusing to forgive ourselves and instead living in a sense of shame and self-condemnation can be destructive. Left unchecked, it could possibly drive us mad (well, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic there). The point is this: if we’re to love others as we love ourselves, then shouldn’t we first learn to love ourselves? I don’t mean in a hedonistic, selfish way, of course. Likewise, if we can’t forgive ourselves, then how can we expect to be capable of truly forgiving others?

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”, 1 “p***es”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Shirtless Kirito 16:23 – 16:44; Leafa’s top shows a bit of cleavage; Sinon’s top shows a bit of cleavage–in one shot it also looks like you can the see the top of her butt crack sticking out from her shorts (sorry for lacking a more sophisticated way of saying that…)

Violence: Flashbacks to a violent battle in SAO; Asada pushes another character away; characters in ALO are shown fighting a monster

Blood/Gore: Just little red fragments that are presumably meant to represent blood; deceased SAO characters are shown with blood running down their faces and from their eyes

Other: Asuna uses magic within ALO

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Rob M.

Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).

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