Friends, Fights, Tears.
From those ace people at A-1 Pictures comes the final instalment of SAO II, that takes a different tack to the previous arcs. Director Tomohiko Ito takes us on a roller-coaster of emotions in this excellent series ending anime.
After her duel with Yuuki, Asuna follows her to an inn in Ronbaru where she meets Yuuki’s friends and fellow fighters ‘The Sleeping Knights’. Asuna is pleased to meet up with Yuuki’s friends and she knows that all of these fighters are top-notch.
But she did not expect what these six people were proposing. Jun, Nori, Siune, Talken and Tecchi and Yuuki want to have Asuna join them on taking down a Boss. Shocked Asuna tells them that it normally takes 49 fighters to study the Boss and his moves before they can finish them off and that it would be impossible for just seven fighters to pull off such a feat.
But the sleeping Knights will only be together for a few more months and they want set their names in stone (Monument of Swordsmen) to show that they really existed.
Asuna finally agrees to give it a go and they all decide to meet up the next day. They separate but before she can say her proper goodbyes, the plug is pulled, her mother is disapproving again at her tardiness with her time keeping. Asuna must improve her grades and fill in her Uni application and leave the people she spent two years incarcerated with.
But next day they all meet up on floor 27. They quickly get through the level and end up at the end of level Boss’s doors. Asuna feels something and does a spell that reveals three guys lurking in the shadows, they say they are waiting for their friends and they pass by each other as the Sleeping Knights enter the Boss room. They are soon respawning back in town, but with valuable knowledge of the Boss’s moves, Asuna realises the three they had spotted outside the Boss room were members of a guild that has been taking down Bosses and that they know as much about the Boss as they do because of a spy sent in with them. The guild will be going into the Boss room soon, The Sleeping Knights might just have time to get back there before the guild gathers all their members. But when they get back there are a lot more of the guild waiting to go in but as they are not at full strength, Yuuki asks if they can go in first as time is running out. They refuse and it’s a stand-off until Yuuki challenges the biggest guy to a fight. She easily gets the upper hand and tells Asuna that sometimes you have to fight for what you want. The rest of the guild are very close behind until Kirito turns up to help along with Klien.
They make it through the guild and into the end of level room, this time they are prepared and they all fight together and a strong bond between Yuuki and Asuna is formed as Yuuki calls the latter ‘Sis’. The fight goes well with Asuna working out the Boss’s weakness and they manage to defeat the Boss earning them their place on the monument.
But it is when Asuna says she wants to know more about Yuuki and the Sleeping Knights things go wrong as she disappears, leaving Asuna in a quandary. This is where the series takes a different tack from the normal ASO and you will need the box of tissues at the ready as we find out Yuuki’s and the rest of the Sleeping Knights’ story.
This is an excellent end to a great story, lets hope for lots more from Kirito , Asuna, Yui and gang via A-1 Pictures.