Sword Art Online – Episode 6 Review: The Ring of Guild Breaking Part 2
Episode six picks up from the cliff hanger ending of the previous episode. Yolko falls out the window after getting a knife in her back and dies upon hitting the ground. Kirito looks out the window and sees a robed figure on the rooftops. As the cloaked figure starts running, Kirito jumps out of the window in pursuit. While running and jumping from buildings Assassin’s Creed style, Kirito gets close enough to see the cloaked figure pull out a teleport crystal. Kirito tries to stop them from teleporting away but is unsuccessful.
Kirito heads back to the hotel to deliver the bad news to Asuna and Schmitt. Schmitt claims that everyone is clearly being killed by Griselda’s ghost. Later that night while Kirito and Asuna are sitting on a bench discussing the murders, Kirito dismisses the ridiculous ghost theory, stating that a ghost wouldn’t need a teleport crystal. Also there is no way there could be a ghost in a virtual reality MMO, but Kirito does raise a valid point.
Asuna hands Kirito a sandwich, telling him to eat it quickly as the durability will reach zero soon and it will despawn. Kirito is amazed at the taste and believes that Asuna bought them, however it turns out that Asuna has a high cooking skill so she is able to make the sandwiches. Kirito accidentally drops his sandwich and it runs out of durability. As Kirito watches his sandwich despawn, he instantly realizes something. Caynz and Yolko are still alive. How is that possible, you ask? Well according to Kirito the weapons used on Caynz and Yolko were only draining the durability of their armor. Upon the armor reaching 0 durability, they would both use teleport crystals to make it look like they died. The purpose of this plan was to draw out Griselda’s killer.
Meanwhile, Schmitt stops by Griselda’s grave on the 19th floor and begs for forgiveness. Two cloaked figures appear and demand to know how Schmitt was involved with the murder of Griselda. Schmitt admits that he was bribed to set a teleport crystal to Griselda’s hotel room, that he didn’t want her to die and that he was only doing it because he was paid to do so. The cloaked figures turn out to be none other than Caynz and Yolko who recorded everything that Schmitt said.
Schmitt is suddenly paralyzed by a dagger thrown at him. Three shady looking players come out of the shadows and it becomes clear that they intend to kill Caynz, Yolko, and Schmitt. Schmitt recognizes them as players from Laughing Coffin, a guild that murders people. As the members of Laughing Coffin move in for the kill, they stop when they see a horse charging in from the distance. The horse rears up and Kirito falls off, someone clearly doesn’t have a high enough riding skill to use that mount.
Kirito bluffs to the Laughing Coffin players that there are thirty players from the Assault Team on their way. The three players from Laughing Coffin are fooled by the bluff and quietly leave. Schmitt thanks Kirito for saving them, and asks how he knew about the assassination attempt. We then flashback to a conversation between Asuna and Kirito thirty minutes prior.
Asuna explains how her guild handles the distribution of items that drop, and then explains how the marriage system works. Ordinarily no one else will know what you have in your inventory, but once a player gets married their inventory automatically combines with their spouses. Kirito asks how many times Asuna has gotten married and soon finds a fork near his face. As Asuna explains what happens when a spouse dies, Kirito realizes something. Since the inventory of the deceased spouse would go to whomever they were married to, then it means that Grimlock has the ring and there is a good chance that he is responsible for Griselda’s murder.
We jump forward to the present where Kirito explains how it was likely that Grimlock hired a red player to kill Griselda. That Grimlock also planned on killing the rest of his former guild mates in order to make sure that no one would discover the truth. Asuna comes out of the mist, her sword pointed at the back of Grimlock. Grimlock admits to hiring a red player to murder Griselda.
However, the murder had nothing to do with the ring. No Grimlock was upset because Griselda was his wife in real life, and she was no longer a quiet submissive woman when she entered SAO. She changed, and since Grimlock saw her as nothing more than something he owned he was not happy about that. He claims that he’d rather love the memory of her, but Asuna tells him that he stopped loving Griselda the moment he saw her as a possession. Grimlock sees how wrong he is and collapses, and he is carried off by his guild mates who will deal with him off screen. Caynz thanks Kirito and Asuna for their help.
Asuna asks Kirito how he’d feel if he was married to some one and saw a side of them that he had never seen before. Confused and stuttering, Kirito states that given that he’d have loved them enough to want to marry them that he would also love the other side of his spouse as well. Asuna seems to approve of his answer. As they are about to leave the turn around and see… the ghost of Griselda at her grave. So apparently it is possible to have ghosts of players in SAO, I don’t know what to make of that really. The episode ends with Asuna asking Kirito to add her to his friends list. Kirito seems reluctant about the idea given that he is a solo player in SAO (AKA doing it wrong). Asuna tells him to think about it while they are eating.
This was an interesting two part subplot. It has nothing to do with the main storyline, but adds so much depth to the world of Aincrad. Not only that but we get an idea as to what kind of systems and mechanics are in SAO. Although I do have concerns about the idea of being able to get married in a virtual reality MMO. Sure it would be a neat feature for people who are actually married outside of the game, but in SAO it is not a good feature to have. It could easily lead to two people completely abandoning the concept of beating SAO and focusing only on a happy live in SAO together.
Also, Grimlock and Laughing Coffin sink to new lows that there are no words for. I mean the fact that players would actually kill other players in a game like SAO is disgraceful, but to have your own real life wife killed simply because she is adapting to the hostile environment that is SAO is just insane. It’s crazy death traps like SAO that should bring people closer together, not further apart.
That said, this was a good episode with a great subplot. It isn’t advancing the main story forward, but that is fine. It is the side stories that help make a world feel more alive when they are intertwined with the main story. Stay tuned for the review for episode seven.