Review: Sword Art Online II, Episode 16: The King of the Giants


Do you like action? Do you like battles? Of course you do, and this episode presents a nice battle early on in the episode. While there may not be a whole lot of tension in terms of whether or not Kirito’s crew will be successful, it is still fun to watch as they duke it out with an enemy duo, and to ultimately see how they overcome the trial, and, as with last week’s episode, it’s really just enjoyable to watch some good old fantasy-style action. Of course, there seems to be something of a purpose lurking beneath all of this (more on that in a moment), but in the end this story line is just pure entertainment in this writer’s opinion. It’s also quite humorous to see Klein wrestle with his own conscience over whether or not to rescue a female NPC even though the rest of the party is pretty convinced it’s a trap.

So, in terms of plot, we do find out a little more about the ALO AI this time around. Apparently, it seems like the Cardinal System is able to continue spawning quests, which is what lead to this current line of events. If the current quest line is seen to its conclusion, then there will be a final battle that will destroy the world tree, or something like that. So, as I said, there is something of a plot here, and a pseudo sense of peril, but compared to a couple of brothers murdering people, it really seems like light fare.

This episode also gives us a bit of insight into how the combat works in ALO. It is mentioned—possibly in the previous episode, but definitely in this one—that sword skills were introduced into ALO. As we’ve already seen, Kirito is still our favorite dual wielder, and we get to see him in action this time around. What’s interesting, though, is how the dual wield system works (or doesn’t work) in ALO. I won’t say anything, I’ll let you all see that for yourselves. So, if you have any interest in how the ALO game system actually works, then you may get at least some insight in this episode. If not, then just enjoy the destruction of some gigantic monsters.

A Christian Perspective:

So…. I feel like I actually had something in mind for this as I watched the episode, but I don’t remember what it is now. Kids, learn from this: take notes of the things you want to say in your reviews.

That being said, I’d rather not leave you all with nothing, so please take this consolation point I came up with:

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6:10

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”” – 1 Samuel 16:7

So, how do all these verses tie in and relate to this episode? Well, let’s look at Klein and Freyja. The rest of the party was ready to leave her in her ice cage, convinced that the quest to free her was a trap. Klein began to go along with their decision, but ultimately could not bring himself to do so, instead choosing to free her from her imprisonment and to take her along with the party. Now, my whole point will fall apart if this thing turns out to be a trap in the next episode (I know nothing about Norse mythology, and apparently the events in this storyline are pretty much following whatever mythological story this is based on). Assuming that Freyja is not a trap, though, we see the Galatians and Luke quotes put into action here: Klein has indeed done good to a person here (well, an NPC, but cut me some slack), and certainly he has done what he’d want others to do for him. I’m sure if asked, Klein would quickly say he wanted to be saved from an ice cage. Furthermore, the other party members were quick to become suspect and abandon Freyja in case she was a trap; however, Klein could not bring himself to do it. While his personal motives weren’t all that noble, it still is a good lesson in not judging by outward appearances. This idea is a little more redeemed by the fact that Freyja buffs the party’s HP before they head into the final battle with Thrym.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “d**n”, 1 “j**z”, 1 “ba***rd”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Leafa cleavage; female NPC cleavage; a close up of the female NPC’s cleavage as she hugs Kline

Violence: Kirito and Company do battle against in game enemies

Blood/Gore: Only the red marks that appear to indicate damage

Other: Characters in ALO use magic

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