Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 01The last episode feels more like an epilogue to the series than a finale.

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 04We still have the final confrontation with Sugou, but at this point the man can’t be embarrassed more than he was in the previous episode. Really, Sugou, you think that you can just kill a kid outside a hospital with a knife and you won’t get found out? Not to mention what a stupid idea it is to try and kill a guy who just spent over two years in a kill-game involving swords.  Bitch please.  At least he got what he deserved for.

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 08And then there’s finally the reunion with Asuna. It was pretty sweet, and the avatars’ appearance at the end was quite nostalgic, if a bit corny. I guess it signifies an end of a certain era for the people involved.

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 11I loved that they showed us what actually happened afterwads in the school for SAO survivors. Obviously, Kirito Kazuto and Asuna are all lovey-dovey, but it was nice seeing Lizbeth Rika-san and Silica Keiko-san as well. Maaaaan, Liz is really jelly about Kirito – and she even had heads-up, what’s with Asuna being trapped in another VMMORPG. Ah well, I guess she’s too good of a friend with Asuna to do something as sly as this.

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 13Let’s not forget about the party at Egil’s. Poor Sugu, now she knows that not only she has to compete with Asuna, but there’s also an entire Kirito’s harem out there! I kinda wish Argo was there, but we can’t have everything, ne?

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 16Now THAT is what I call an add-on! Putting Aincrad in your Alfheim so that you can play SAO while playing ALO… Dawg would be proud. It’s a great idea IMO – not only can it serve as a therapy for the SAO survivors, but it also shows these people are still gamers at their hearts. There’s still 1/4 of a game left to discover, and who knows what wonders terrors Kayaba put in there?

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Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 18A fitting final scene – good enough to close off the series, but enough open-ended to allow for the (inevitable, if you judge by the BD sales and available material) sequel. Plus, that HNGGGGGG blue-haired Asuna – a sight to behold.

The entire episode was rather low-key, feeling like an epilogue, but I kinda liked that they gave some explanations and showed quite a few familiar faces. Plus, we got that goodie:

Sword Art Online - 25 Screenshot 19AHAHAHAHAHA, dat Heathcliff peace sign. He may have been quite a troll, but in the end, he wasn’t evil per se. There was a lot of potential with this character – perhaps Kawahara Reki’s remake of the SAO novels will do something interesting in this department?

It was a bumpy ride with Sword Art Online, but in the end, it was always the show that I most looked forward to each week, despite there being some better series (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Shinsekai Yori, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Zetsuen no Tempest). I’m doing a re-watch of the entire series with a friend this Thursday and I should have the series review finished by the end of the year.

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