Awesome / Sword Art Online
- Kirito's first and greatest I Am Not Left-Handed moment: revealing his Dual Blade skill to (almost) single-handedly defeat Boss #74.
- Two words: Starburst... Stream. Cue a nearly uninterrupted crazy 16-hit combo and a can of whoop-ass opened.
- Kirito calmly revealing his level to a group of mid-level bandits, and explaining that, even attacking together, it would take hours to overcome his Healing Factor. He then sends every one of them to prison with a teleportation crystal.
- A little context: these bandits, seven in total, wail on him for about ten seconds while he just stands there and tanks it without so much as flinching. When they're done, his health bar dropped a fraction of a fraction of a percent, and he remarks out loud about having totalled up the damage they did to him in that time. He then tells them his level, maximum health, and the speed of his Healing Factor. Mass "Oh, Crap!" ensues and one can only imagine the bandits' horror to learn that he's so many levels higher than them that his passive health regeneration alone outpaces their combined DPS - they physically cannot kill him, or even do any lasting damage.
If your numbers are high enough, you're invincible. MMOs with leveling systems are unfair that way. - 'Kirito
- Kirito makes losing awesome. Yes, he lost his duel with Heathcliff in Volume One... but Heathcliff had to go all out, and use the system over-assistnote to beat him.
- One of the best instances is in Volume 7. The Sleeping Knights and Asuna are trying to sortie the level boss, but are being blocked by 20 members of an opposing guild. The Sleeping Knights decide to charge through them, but are about to be overwhelmed: there's only six of them and Asuna. And just as the guild's 30 reinforcements arrive... Kirito pulls a Big Damn Heroes You Shall Not Pass moment. It should be noted that technically, the only reason Kirito doesn't succeed in soloing 50 high level players is because while he's attacking them from the front, Klein is attacking them from behind, both of them bantering at each other as they take on the guild. By the time the guild defeats them, the Sleeping Knights have won. This moment is so awesome it deserves a blow by blow:
- 30 adventurers that specialize in fighting bosses are about to swarm the Sleeping Knights. Then Kirito zooms up from behind like The Flash, runs up the wall, and jumps down in front of the guild. He plants his sword into the ground and says "This area is off limits". The leader of the group says that Kirito can't possibly defeat all of them and tells the mages to attack. Three spells fire at Kirito and he slices them out of the air; compared to anti-material rifle fire, they're slow and easy to deflect. Immediately after this, Kirito draws a second sword, the Excalibur in his off-hand, revealing to all that THIS is the crazy guy with the Dual Blades skill. The opposing mooks go straight to Mass "Oh, Crap!", and their leader isn't any better off... And then it gets worse, as someone else (Klein) starts chopping away at the guild's ranks from behind. It's a two-person pincer tactic against thirty and it works. As the gates to the boss chamber shut, the last look Asuna has at Kirito is of him standing amiss flames and the remains of many adventurers. He flashes her a victory sign and the doors close.
- In his first duel with Shino, at the end she fires a fifty-cal round at him. Kirito cuts the bullet in half.
- Specifically, she fires a fifty-cal round at him from ten metres, and he cuts the bullet in half without the Prediction Lines.
- Also, going on to be co-winner of the tournament, despite being a novice GGO player.
- At the beginning of Fairy Dance arc, in his first fighting appearance with the ALO system, he creates a sonic boom when he starts running. That is how fast he can react when the system doesn't restrict him.
- Before that, his display of his sword skills in a real world sparring match, having barely got out of physio and still skinny from the 2-odd years spent trapped in SAO, is arguably more impressive, as he forces his sister/cousin Suguha, a National-level Kendo practicioner, to work hard to beat him. Keep in mind that he was able to read her moves and keep dodging, and she only got her shot in after his exhaustion forced him to slow down and stumble, and when he tried to use a Sword Skill, to obvious effect.
- In "Morning Dew Girl", he uses Yui's temporary GM access to hack the system in order to keep her from being deleted.
- Also, the end of Episode 1 of the anime counts as a CMOA for Kirito, the writer, and the anime team. To be specific, Kirito thinking "I... I... will survive... in this world!" And then shouting at the virtual skies. While one-hit-killing a wolf. With a totally awesome sword skill. Fifteen minutes after learning he's been trapped in a Death Game.
- Episode 20. His duel with Eugene, the Salamander general. He holds his own with lower level gear against Eugene's ultra rare sword... And then he borrows Leefa's katana and goes dual wielding on Eugene. Without Sword Skills.
- When They reach the center of AL Fheim and Yui tearfully informs Kirito that mommy is right above them. It's just such a powerful moment, especially with the music reaching its crescendo, and Kirito being slow and taking side trips for the first half of the story arc because he didn't really believe Asuna could be saved until that moment. And when he realized she could be saved, his hopes fulfilled, Kirito just snarls a deadly snarl, and launches into the sky without any hesitation.
- Episode 23. Kirito's battle inside the World Tree. The first try doubles as a Heartwarming Moment when Kirito has flashes of memories of Asuna as he fights, which makes him more and more determined and fierce. How can anyone NOT cheer him while that happens?!
- Kirito is so skilled as a swordsman, he can deflect bullets using the bullet prediction path as a means to guide his sword. In his final showdown with Sinon, he sees her eye through the scope of her sniper rifle and manages to predict where her shot would land and deflect it without being able to use a bullet prediction path.
- There also is the point, at the beginning of the Phantom Bullet arc, when he predicts where the bullet prediction beam is going to appear in order to be able to evade in time. It's what defines the reason why he is so good in these games - because unlike other players, he does not limit himself to what the system allows him to do.
- When Kirito returns to ALO with abilities from GGO, he is able to easily slice attack spells making him one of the best players of ALO, no ID Heathcliff required.
- The way Kirito defeats Sugou at the end of the Fairy Dance arc. He provides him with an Infinity+1 Sword, knowing full well it won't make a difference. Kirito blocks all of his blows with impunity, and then slices his right hand off. After that Kirito cuts his legs out from under him, picks him up by the hair, throws him upwards and lets him fall into his blade and land on his eye. On anyone else it would have been horrifyingly brutal, on Sugou it was a glorious moment of catharsis for an audience that was probably sick to death of him being a Smug Snake.
- In the novels, instead of throwing him up and letting him fall onto the sword, he finished with deliberately piercing his eye with the sword. With the pain absorption off.
- Which means that he feels the full and real pain of having his eye stabbed (on top of the aforementioned injuries) which continues on as phantom pain in the real world, even if his body is physically unharmed. Ouch.
- Just as satisfying is his pwning of Sugou in real life. Sugou attacks him with a knife on his way to the hospital and overpowers him, fortunately his time in SAO and ALO gives him the skill to disarm the bastard, smash his face into a car so hard that it dents then holds the knife to his throat , considering to kill him, cue Sugou passing out from fright. Badass.
- Even better? The only reason he survived the first blow? Sugou has no depth perception...BECAUSE HIS RIGHT EYE IS BLIND FROM PURE PAIN!
- If you look closely you can see steam rising up from between Sugou's legs after he screams. After spending an entire volume/half season hating him more and more, it's incredibly satisfying to see Sugou so thoroughly humiliated.
- His Pre Ass Kicking One Liner for the occasion is pretty badass too:
Kirito: Such a weak weapon (Sugou's knife). Light. No reach. But it's more than enough to kill you.(cue Oh Crap! from Sugou)
- In Volume 9, when facing the goblins:
Kirito: NO! I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE YOU ON! —I’M GOING TO OVERCOME YOU!
- Taking out Kayaba at the end of the Aincrad arc. Also, the way he figured out who he was was just genius.
- After the defeat of the floor one boss, Kirito realizes he has to do something to prevent all out discrimination towards the other beta testers. He proceeds to put on a badass Jerkass Façade, stating how he is an entirely different breed of SAO beta tester, gracefully accepting the title Beater and putting on the reward he'd gotten for defeating the boss, a Badass Longcoat, to punctuate his new leagues above status.
- His response to Kuradeel's I Surrender, Suckers? Let the strike cut off his hand, them impale him.
- In SAO II, Kirito wins the "Untouchable!" mini-game in GGO on his first try thanks to his SAO-built reflexes, even dodging a last-second near-point-blank laser attack.
- And those reflexes are in full force when he uses a sword to deflect bullets. In the first round of the qualifiers, he's still getting used to the technique, deflecting half and getting hit with the rest, but still winning. Later, he effortlessly deflects a sniper bullet from ten feet away thanks to anticipating it before Sinon even fired, and in Episode 9 deflects approximately sixty rounds of assault rifle fire during the BoB tournament, not missing a single one!
- The original plan was for Kirito to just distract Death Gun while Sinon sniped him... however, after he shooting out Sinon's scope (and her his), they face off one-on-one. Then, Sinon laser sight aims straight at Death Gun, who freaks... Kirito pulls out his gun and shoots out his attempted invisibility, before in mid-air, tearing Death Gun in half.
: That laser... Is all of Sinon's skill, experience and feelings put into one shot... A Phantom Bullet
- The 18th and (apparently) final volume of SAO's light novel adaptation: Alicization Lasting. After spending the previous three whole books being out of commission, the awakened Kirito is back to finish the heroes' job, complete with his iconic Aincrad black longcoat. His speech to Asuna is heartwarmingly badass:
Kirito: I definitely won't let everyone's will, blood, and tears go to waste. Let's go save them. Can you help me, Asuna?
- Kirito's epic comeback from the same book is made of pure awesome: he freezes 30,000 foreign players in ice, imprisons PoH in a tree before leaving him to die in UW, and gives Gabriel just desserts.
Kirito: You better pray your allies will drag you out soon, otherwise you'll spend the rest of your life here as a tree, until maybe one day, this place is settled and a kid will try cutting you down with a axe.
- Speaking of Gabriel, there is a reason why Kirito's title as the "Black Swordsman" isn't just for show: Gabriel, better known as "Darkness God Vector", possesses the "Darkness of the Void", cuts Kirito in half, and attempts to eat his heart. Kirito's response? Injure Gabriel's mouth by summoning countless steel blades from his heart, and then retaliate the Darkness God's "Darkness of the Void" with his "Darkness of the Boundless Night Sky" to gain the upper hand for the rest of the fight.
- And Kirito's finishing attack on Gabriel? A 17-hit version of Starburst Stream, the very same sword skill he used on 74th floor boss back in Aincrad!
- Made better when Eugeo's "spirit" shows up to help Kirito finish the job.
- Kirito is well-known and feared by everyone as the "Black Swordsman", the "Twin Blade Swordsman", and the "Hero of SAO". Near the end of Alicization Lasting, he is called the "Star King" by the UW people, and his accomplishments during his 200-year rule in UW proves that he's worthy to earn such title.
- In Volume 1 (Episode 10 in the anime), realizing that Kirito is in danger, she Flash Steps to him, arriving in the nick of time to save him. In five minutes, she covered a distance that had taken Kirito one hour to travel.
- Kirito does some ballpark calcs, and realises that Asuna somehow broke the system limits, without conscious effort.
- Lessee... Taking the average walking speed of humans, that would be 5 kilometres. Asuna ran that distance in 5 minutes, making her speed about 60km/h. For comparison, the fastest human footspeed IRL is Usain Bolt's 44.7km/h. She isn't called the Lightning Flash for nothing.
- And her reputation is further solidified by her attack on Kuradeel. We see her slash her rapier a grand total of five times, but the number of strikes-per-second easily put her into the hundreds, her opponent being able to see every single one taking down his health. Quite the badass use of Death of a Thousand Cuts.
- In Volume 2 (Episode 11 in the anime), when she curbstomps a group of arrogant ALF soldiers. Yes, the Truce Zone keeps you from taking a fatal wound inside towns... but the physics engine means that the force from an extremely fast sword repeatedly hitting you in the head will knock you out.
- In Episode 13, Asuna shows how awesome it is to go fishing with a rapier.
- While Asuna is a Damsel in Distress during the Fairy Dance arc, she manages to escape once and nearly makes it out on her own. And even when she's caught she's smart enough to grab the admin key from the terminal.
- In Volume 7, when she leads the Sleeping Knights in defeating the level boss. She wasn't KoB's subleader just because she was a pretty face.
- In Episode 18 (SAO II), when the tides are turning against the Floor 21 Boss, Asuna charges directly in to finish the job herself. In her final blow, she's clearly channeling Kirito's drive to win, proving how strong their bond is.
- Her duel with Yuuki. Even if she loses, she puts such an impressive fight she forces Yuuki to use her secret sword skill, something even Kirito ( who also lost to Yuuki) struggled to accomplish. Special mention to the moment when she sucker-punches Yuuki in the gut. In the anime, it looks incredible!
- Asuna realizes that she and the Sleeping Knights will never make it to the boss room if they don't kill the healers. So, she charges through the enemy lines so fast, that she's merely a blur, knocking everyone in her path away. One of the healers only has time to utter her Berserk Healer title before she cuts them down.
Basically, every time Kirito and Asuna fight together
, awesomeness ensues! Here the stand out examples:
- Right from their first fight together in Episode 2 against the first floor boss. Seeing them coordinating their attacks so perfectly is quite a view. Also, the fact that this is the first action scene in which we listen to the Luminous Sword theme definitely helps.
- Again, in Episode 9, before Kirito's aforementioned I Am Not Left-Handed moment.
- Even in Episode 12, when both get curbstomped against the unknown enemy! There's something endearing about the way the two of them form that joint defensive stance. Even if said stance doesn't make any practical sense!
- And finally, the battle against the Skull Reaper in chapter 13, when Kirito and Asuna show how much they understand each other in battle, fighting practically as one single warrior.
- In the first arc's opening, they finish off a boss monster with an X-cut, straight out of Chrono Trigger.
- Her very first moment is her defeating Behemoth. She tries going to the top of a tall building to snipe him, but he finds out and aims his minigun at her. So, she jumps off the building, gets her leg shot off, then avoids Behemoth's next salvo, flips five times in air and makes the killing headshot in freefall.
- In the climax of the Phantom Bullet arc, Sinon and Death Gun engage in a Sniper Duel, and at one point, both fire their rifles simultaneously. Death Gun's shot takes out the Hecate's scope (and potentially Sinon's head, had she not moved moments prior), while Sinon's shot hits the receiver on the L115A3 and completely destroys the weapon.
- But before then, Death Gun was pursuing Sinon and Kirito on a mechanical horse. Sinon overcomes her PTSD to fire on Death Gun, hits the fuel tank of a car passing next to him, and takes him out in an explosion.
- Shortly following getting her scope sniped, her Prediction Line lights up on Death Gun's shoulder. Let us observe: the distance between Sinon's sniping position and the Kirito/Death Gun sword fight was such that even when she... did that thing that gives her scanner-vision and zooms in slightly, she could barely just see the duel, and it was hard to tell who was Kirito and who was Death Gun. She aimed such that it showed up on Death Gun's shoulder. Call of Duty players, eat your hearts out; Sinon just no-scoped a specific one of two targets at ridiculous range in a VRMMORPG.
- A couple from Volume 6 that involve her getting over her fear of guns while in the real world:
- Shino is confronted by one of the people behind Death Gun and is about to receive a lethal injection. She manages to turn the situation around, mustering the guts to threaten him with a model gun. Sadly, this moment was omitted from the anime in favor of her hitting him in the head with a radio.
- The second is when Shino is confronted by a Girl Posse that regularly bullies her. The leader brought a very realistic looking M1911 styled gas powered airsoft gun with her in order to intimidate Shino. When it fails to fire, Shino calmly takes the gun and fires a BB from it herself, hits a nearby empty soda can, hands it back to the bully who's in shock at all this, and calmly walks away, only collapsing when they're out of sight. This is a far cry from when someone merely making a finger gun and a banging noise was enough to make her break down.
- In the sidestory "Caliber", Shino uses a special arrow to snag a falling Excalibur. Note that she was firing from an unstable, rapidly descending position, and her bow was only rated for a range of 100 meters, and Excalibur was over 200 meters below and falling rapidly. AND said special arrow has a different handling from normal arrows. And she did this by aiming with the naked eye.
- One offscreen: Her ALO character build. She essentially ignored every other logical option and went straight for the Difficult but Awesome sniper build. She turns every battle against spellcasters a pathetic Curb-Stomp Battle.
- Her backstory: an armed robber came into the post office and demanded money. Shino proceeds to bite him to loosen his grip on the gun, disarm him, and shoot him three times with his own gun.
- Also from a narrative standpoint: the robber has to be shot three times, in an aversion of Instant Death Bullet. She gets him center of mass on the first shot, and shoulder on the next shot. The final shot is not only a headshot that, again, a tiny child who is almost certainly limp-wristing is making, but the gun also had a failure to eject, meaning if she hadn't killed the robber on that shot, she would have been shit out of luck. Truly the spirits of Tokarev, Kalashnikov, and Browning were smiling upon her that day.
- For only one volume, and sadly no more, Yuuki manages to pull off all sorts of awesome. To start with, Kirito concludes that there's no way she could have been an SAO survivor. Why? Because her sword skills and reflexes are so elite that if she were in SAO, she would have been awarded the Dual Wielding skill instead of Kirito. This lady isn't called Zekken for nothing!
- And it SHOWS in episode 19. Yuuki manages to show off some amazingly fast Super Reflexes, deflecting blows just as they were about to hit, to the point where she effortlessly blocks Asuna's Original Sword Skill, Quadruple Pain while she's still stunned before busting out her own Original Sword Skill, which ends the duel.
- Liz had earlier mentioned that Yuuki had showed off her Original Sword Skill when she had first issued the challenge, to show what the prize was for beating her, and had not used it since. Which means that Asuna was the first one to push her to the limits such that she needed to use it!
- Heck, the duel between Yuuki and Asuna in that episode just might be one of the most spectacular duels in the anime, complete with explosions, shockwaves, and the remix of the Luminous Sword theme from the original SAO playing in the background.
- A raiding guild is denying Asuna and the Sleeping Knights entry into the boss room. So, what does Yuuki do? She decides to charge through despite knowing reinforcements are on the way. And thanks to Kirito's You Shall Not Pass moment above, she and the Sleeping Knights succeed.
- Bonus points go to her finishing off the boss on that floor with her 11-hit Signature Move (she actually does land eleven hits; you can count them). It just might be the only thing capable of beating Kirito and Asuna's X-cut back in the first season's first opening in terms of sheer awesomeness.
- The final match in the tournament between her and Kirito. While we don't get to see too much of it, the two were neck-in-neck and Yuuki eventually wins by timeout just a split second before Kirito is able attack her.
- Exclusive to the video games:
- Remember how Kirito said that even with Dual Wielding he may not win against Yuuki? Well, in the game Hollow Fragment, you can prove him wrong by challenging Yuuki to a duel after defeating the final boss. Now you can truly fight the best with the best!
- Even better? In Lost Song, Yuuki becomes a playable character. The catch? You have to beat her in a duel with Asuna, which means that, yes, you get to reenact the duel between Asuna and Yuuki.
- And even better? You can unlock the use of Mother's Rosario for Asuna AND Yuuki. This seems like a posthumous upgrade until the game throws the final curve ball at the end of Yuuki's arc... she lives!