Anime: Sword Art Online – Episode 21 Summary + Review

“Asuna’s detour”


(“Dammit I gave away all my money. How will I gamble?”)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Game, MMO, Fantasy, Sc-Fi, Age: 13+

Released: 6th July 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, Kirito and Leafa reach the city of Arun; the largest city in Alfhaeim Online. They are closer than ever to the World Tree.

Warning! May contain spoilers!




Asuna is making her way through the corridors after breaking out from her cage.


(Super-large ears, and convinced of hearing enemies in a empty corridor)

A map points the way towards an experiment room, which hosts a large collection of brains. Overhearing a conversation between two slug-avatars reveals that in this room, they control players’ brains while they sleep.



Asuna attempt to sneak off and finds a console. She is just about to log-out when the slugs spot her.


(“What’s a pretty girl like you doing here?”)

The two slug-avatars, who are scientists that work for Suguo, don’t believe Asuna has authority to view this experiment. Asuna loses her attempt to log-out of the Alfheim, but manages to steal a card from the console.


(“Oh my! It’s a brain with a body attached. Fresh!”)

In the real world, Kirito displays great affection for Asuna during his hospital visits. His sister Suguha, who harbours feelings for him, is greatly hurt by his actions.


(Asuna’s raised hand gradually lost all feeling.)

Asuna winds up back in her cage, and with more security. She has lost her chance to escape from the prison.


(“Dammit, they put the lock on the outside of the cage this time!”)

Leafa blurts out her hurt feelings to Kirito’s avatar, not knowing that they are the same person. Although she is comforted by Kirito, Kirito’s main goal is to plunge ahead into the World Tree.


(Leafa should ask for a real name, before getting too involved.)

They begin their attempt to get to the top.


(The games of the future have high graphics spec.)

Overall, this roundabout episode begins with Asuna’s escape, only for her to run into two of the creepiest scientists I could possibly imagine.

“Yes, they are slugs, so why not let them be perverts as well…?” – Writers.

The scene where Asuna is almost tentacle-raped is… well… frankly, taking it too far for the kind of audience that this show is supposed to be aimed at. Luckily, the pervy slugs receive their orders to take Asuna back to her cage. Which is pretty unproductive.

Leafa comes across as self-centered. Expecting her brother (who believes that they have a perfectly platonic relationship) to read her mind and decide to pursue her romantically is pretty far fetched. However, she is thoroughly convinced that Kirito should be able to manage this, and when he does not, he is clearly denying her.

He can’t read minds, and even if he could, I think the incestuousness might be an issue. I’m rather intrigued as to how far the incest-side-plot can be dragged, because the series is in its last few episodes, and needs to draw to an obvious close with Kirito and Asuna.

Rated – 3/5 Interesting plot, but winds up back to the start.

See the next episode!

See the previous episode!

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