Anime Monday: Sword Art Online – “Illusionary Avenger” Review

Previously on Sword Art Online:

Kirito & Asuna reunited and are roped into an investigation to solve a murder case centering on the disbanded “Golden Apple” guild. But as the clues continue to to be presented, not all is what it appears to be. Spoilers Ahead.

The bodies begin piling up as the next victim in the mysterious murder case, Yuruko, lies dead in the street after the phantom killer throws a knife into her back. Chasing after the killer and failing, Kirito begins to suspect that things about the case don’t seem to be adding up. His suspicions are confirmed (oddly enough) when he drops a sandwich that Asuna had made.

The case comes a close in this episode, and while the method used to commit the “crime” was sort of confusing; it was still interesting to see how those involved were able to fool everyone. Golden Apple is explored a bit more as the episode focuses on their guild and it was nice to see what lengths some of them would go in order to accomplish their endgame.

Kirito confronting Laughing Coffin members

There is a small introduction to the Laughing Coffin guild (a guild that specializes in assassinations) and their connection to Golden Apple, but that’s pretty much it for them as they don’t really appear again in the series. Golden Apple gets their closure and the ending for the group is bittersweet, but is wrapped up well enough.

Kirito & Asuna’s interactions are easily the highlight of these two episodes. How the nature of their relationship changed was nice to see, especially since we will be seeing Asuna more throughout the series after this episode. Kirito seems genuinely afraid of Asuna, because of her proper attitude and status within the game, and his talks with her are fun to watch. Asuna also seems to try and form a sisterly relationship with him (such as how she tells him he needs to start making friends and such). Asuna also explains the marriage system of the game (which is essential to solve a murder that happened a year ago which caused Golden Apple to disband, and is main plot point later in the series).

No real action this episode as it instead focuses on the atmosphere of the case and the factors surrounding it. The murder case is solved and we add another main character to the roster as Asuna starts to be featured alongside Kirito throughout the rest of the series. The fight to survive continues next week in SAO.

Reviewer’s Note: A couple days ago at Sakura Con the lead’s for the dub of Sword Art Online were announced, and they are *drum roll*

Bryce Papenbrook (Rin Okumura from Blue Exorcist) as Kirito & Cherami Leigh (Lucy from Fairy Tail) as Asuna