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- In the first arc's opening, Kirito and Asuna finish off a boss monster with an X-cut, straight out of Chrono Trigger.
- 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.
- Kirito and Asuna's first instance of cooperating in a Boss Battle in Episode 2. 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.
- 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 "I'm a jerk" act, 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.
- Kirito stands there and allows a whole group of mid-level bandits to simultaneously slash him while his Healing Factor recovers all the combined damage they output. Kirito then calmly reveals his level, explaining that he heals faster than they can damage him, and that they can keep attacking him all day and wouldn't come anywhere close to beating him. He then gives them the choice to take a teleportation crystal and be sent to prison without having to resort to violence.
Kirito: If your numbers are high enough, you're invincible. MMOs with leveling systems are unfair that way.
- 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 before immediately replenishing itself, 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 no matter how hard they try. That's right, Kirito is one of the few characters in fiction with the right to claim he beat a bunch of bad guys by standing there and doing nothing.
- Rosalia, the head bandit, refuses to cooperate so some additional persuasion is required from Kirito by holding her at sword point. Rosalia at first believes he wouldn't dare to attack a green player, but Kirito reminds her that he's a solo player and he didn't care if his cursor stayed orange for a few days.
- "Murder Case in the Area"
- After Kirito figures out that Yoruko and Kainz aren't actually dead, he shows up to save them from Laughing Coffin, successfully bluffing that he brought 30 frontline players to take down PoH XaXa and Johnny Black, forcing the three hardened killers to retreat.
- In the light novel, Grimlock, despite being caught near the scene by Asuna, refuses to go down as easily as in the anime, claiming that Griselda was wearing the speed enhancing ring at the time of her death. Yoruko proves him wrong, saying that she was wearing her guild seal and her wedding ring at the time, and then shows Grimlock the Permanent Storage Trinket with the rings inside, which Yoruko had buried at Griselda's final resting place. By doing so, Yoruko is able to prove that Griselda was wearing them at the time of her death, enabling her to prove Grimlock's guilt. Even Kirito's impressed.
- Kirito's first and greatest I Am Not Left-Handed moment: revealing his Dual Blade skill to (almost) single-handedly defeat Boss #74, the Gleam Eyes. The transition from the moment of despair to the moment of awesome gets perfectly marked with the music switching from "We Have To Defeat It" to "Swordland".
- Two words: Starburst... Stream. Cue a nearly uninterrupted crazy 16-hit combo (21-hit in the anime) and a can of whoop-ass opened. Just check the page image above.
- Kirito makes losing awesome. Yes, he lost his duel with Heathcliff... but Heathcliff had to go all out, and use the system over-assistnote to beat him. Kirito was so fast that Heathcliff had to use the System against him.
- 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 realizes that Asuna somehow broke the system limits, without conscious effort.
- Lessee... Taking the average walking speed of humans, that would be 5 kilometers. 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.
- 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.
- Then when Kuradeel pulls a I Surrender, Suckers on Asuna. Kirito gets in the way and let's the strike cut off his hand, before impaling Kuradeel with his remaining fist.
- Heathcliff's in-universe crowning moment of awesome is when he held off the boss of the 50th floor alone for ten minutes. He was using Game Master powers at the time, but Kirito later realizes that he doesn't need them. He's just that good.
- In Volume 2 (Episode 11), Asuna curbstomps a group of jerkass 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.
- Kirito and Asuna attempt to battle the Fatal Scythe, a boss that seems to be from the 90th Floor and is stomping them so hard it took out half their HP in one blow. Then Yui steps in to protect her mommy and daddy. As the Fatal Scythe tries to attack the little girl, the blow fails to make contact and gets blocked by a force field with a system message saying "Immortal Object". Yui then floats in the air, with her clothes changing to her iconic white dress, before she summons up an Infinity +1 Sword and kills the Fatal Scythe in one shot.
- When Yui is being deleted by the Cardinal System, Kirito uses the GM console that Yui uncovered to hack the system and managed to save her from deletion, turning her data into an in-game item that he says is her heart.
- Kirito has just reeled in the granddaddy-of-all-fish and it charges towards them. While Kirito cowers behind Asuna, she takes off her cloak, draws her rapier, and butchers the monster fish in one slash. Asuna is a badass again!
- In the battle against the Skull Reaper, Kirito and Asuna show how much they understand each other in battle, fighting practically as one single warrior, blocking the Skull Reaper's scythes as the rest of the Assault Team damage it.
- Kirito's final duel with Kayaba is full of this.
- Kirito manages to figure out Heathcliff is Kayaba due to the fact that Heathcliff's HP never dropped below into the yellow zone, despite the grueling boss fight they just had. The only way that was possible was because Heathcliff was protected by the system.
- Kirito comes to a simple realization on what makes Kayaba so damned powerful. This is the man who designed the fighting styles of SAO. Every single Sword Skill and fighting style is based around techniques that Kayaba programmed in. Kayaba puts that knowledge to good use, having memorized every Sword Skill and is able to fend off every one of Kirito's attacks before preparing to land the finishing blow when Kirito is left vulnerable from the Sword Skill's cooldown time.
- One of Kirito's attacks that Kayaba blocks completely is The Eclipse, a Dual Blades Sword Skill that is even more advanced than Starburst Stream above, consisting of 27 consecutive hits.
- We get to see just how much The Power of Love and Heroic Resolve is able to accomplish in the SAO universe: Asuna is able to break free of admin induced paralysis and take the blow for Kirito. Then Kirito is able to defy death itself, disobeying the System's orders for him to die and delaying his Fading Away just in time to stab Kayaba and take the GM with him.
- Kayaba's dedication to playing a role is amazing. He set himself up as the Final Boss of Aincrad after pretending to be its greatest hero. What happens next, narratively speaking? The real hero steps up and kills him. After seeing Kirito using the Dual Blade skill he created for the fastest player, with one of those blades being the rapier of his wife who died to save him in this very duel (defying paralysis to do so) and then Kirito defying death itself, it's like he thinks "I've found my story's hero". He was willing to die because not using that moment would have been a huge waste. The smile on his face coupled with deliberately not blocking the attack, which he saw coming a mile away, convey that in fractions of a second.
Fairy Dance Arc
- At the beginning of Fairy Dance arc, Kirito's 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.
- Kirito pulling a Big Damn Heroes and saving Leafa from three nasty Salamander PKers. After making his presence known by crash landing, he goads the Salamanders into attacking him. He catches the lance of one Salamander, holding it in place then flicking the Salamander back which sends him crashing into his teammate. He casually asks permission from Leafa if he can kill these guys which she agrees. He then draws his sword and moves so fast he disappears, one Salamander asks where Kirito went, only for Kirito to appear behind them and then afterwards said Salamander dies from Kirito's speed attack as the system finally registers the damage Kirito had dealt. As the other Salamander begins to panic, Kirito blitzes over to him in one leap and slices him in half. Kirito asks the remaining Salamander if he wants to fight, but he declines and decides to flee.
- Kirito and Leafa are cornered on a bridge. One side is blocked by high-level magic, the other side has the Salamander party approaching, while the waters are full of high-level monsters. They have no choice but to fight. Kirito goes on the offensive as the melee damage dealer, while Leafa acts as support to heal him. Things don't look good, as the Salamanders have more players, being able to damage and heal faster than Kirito and Leafa can. Yui then gives Kirito a Metamorphosis spell which he uses to turn into a Gleam Eyes-like monster. Gleam Eyes Kirito charges the Salamanders who all start to wet their pants at the sight of the monster, where Gleam-Eyes Kirito utterly slaughters the Salamander shielders by either impaling them with his claws or eating them whole. The Salamander boss keeps telling his men not to panic and for the mages to fire an illusion spell, but Gleam-Eyes Kirito is so fast that he's right in front of them before they have time to finish the incantation, and they all meet their end when Kirito swipes them aside. Finally the boss decides they're thoroughly screwed and tells his men to retreat, but by then it's too late and Kirito shreds the remaining Salamanders with his claws. The boss tries to escape by jumping into the lake, forgetting about the high-level water monsters who make short work of him. Gleam-Eyes Kirito then holds the Sole Survivor and is about to crush his head, before Leafa tells him not to kill him as they needed to interrogate him, to which Kirito finally stops his berserker rampage.
- While Asuna is a Damsel in Distress, she manages to escape once and nearly makes it out on her own. Even when she's caught she's smart enough to grab the admin key from the terminal. She did that with her toes and maneuvered it to her hands without her captors noticing. Given that ALO is Unwinnable by Design, Kirito would have failed without her help.
- Episode 20. The Salamander army is about to attack the Sylph and Cait-Sith, but then Kirito shows up and declares he wants to speak to the Salamander general, Eugene. Kirito claims to be an ambassador for the Spriggan-Undine alliance who came to negotiate with the Sylph and Cait-Sith. Eugene will only believe Kirito if he duels him and survives. So the fight commences with Kirito managing to hold his own with lower level gear against Eugene the best player in ALO and possession of a Legendary Weapon capable of phasing through the first sword block. Though even though the two of them are equally skilled, Kirito gets pushed back due to the hax of Eugene's blade. So Kirito devises a plan, creating an ultra large smokescreen, borrowing Leafa's katana, then flies up into the sky so he's angled with the sun to obstruct Eugene's vision. When Eugene attacks and phases through Kirito's first sword, he blocks with Leafa's katana and then goes dual wielding on Eugene, without Sword Skills!
- Eugene gets one as well for matching up with Kirito in terms of Skill, as we know from his match with Suguha and his time in SAO Kirito is a very good swordsman and Eugene was on par with his Kirito in terms of skill and this marks one of the few time Kirito nearly loses a straight fight in the series, meaning that if Kirito didnt grab Leafa's Katanana he would have lost.
- When they reach the center of ALFheim 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. Kirito goes up against hundreds of World Tree Guardians and in a fit of berserker rage Kirito tears through all of them, cutting them up, slamming them aside, even punching them with his free hand! 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?! He only gets overwhelmed mere moments from reaching the top, where the Guardians decide to switch from attacking him head on to firing volleys at him, ending in Kirito getting shish-kebabed by arrows and swords, before he finally loses his remaining HP. He may have lost, but DAMN, talk about not giving up.
- This is immediately followed up by Leafa, risking her own life to grab Kirito's remain light, sustaining damage herself, before managing to get him out of there and reviving him.
- Upon finding out that Kirito was her brother Kazuto, and getting her heart broken, Leafa and Kirito meet back in ALO where they make up by having a duel. Nearing the end of the duel, both of them drop their swords, intending to let the other beat them as a means of apologizing, doubling as heartwarming where brother and sister make-up and share a hug.
- Kirito's second assault on the World Tree (Episode 24 in the anime) is just as awesome, if not more awesome than the first. Only this time he's not alone in on the awesomeness.
- Upon learning that the guardians target healers, Recon takes it upon himself to drag the aggro away from Leafa so she can heal Kirito. And when the guardians eventually overwhelm him, he pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice by using dark magic to blow himself up, taking out a large number of guardians.
- Unable to keep up with the high spawn rate, the guardians eventually form a MASSIVE wall that seems impenetrable. However, the Cait-Sith and Sylph factions show up to even the odds. At one point Kirito and Leafa go Back-to-Back Badasses to cut up the Guardians on both sides.
- All of this is topped off by Leafa tossing her sword to Kirito so he can Dual Wield. Kirito holds both swords in front of him like a lance and then plows through the defensive wall and burst through the other side.
- And all of the above is compounded by one simple fact. The Grand Quest was never meant to be beaten.
- Kirito, for all his skills and illegal stats was a player fighting and losing against Sugou/Oberon, the administrator of ALO and resident bastard. So, Kirito was near dead and about to get stabbed by an Excalibur-wielding nutjob with his pain limiters turned off. Then Kayaba Akihiko's ghost pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment by giving Kirito admin powers. The moment is handled like the god of a world granting divine power to his champion. Kirito proceeds to reset Sugou's level to 1 before lowering the pain absorber to 0. He then summons Excalibur straight right under the nose of the resident Jerkass. Guess what he does with it. Yes, he pulled a Jack Rakan move straight from Mahou Sensei Negima!. Giving Sugou the most powerful weapon in the game knowing full well that it won't make a difference. Kirito then puts Sugou through a world of hurt, making sure to let Sugou know that even though he's dead, Kayaba has screwed him over yet again.Kirito: You stole everything in this world. Everything! Including its people! You're nothing but a king of thieves, sitting alone on your stolen throne!
- 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.
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)
- 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 actually killing 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:
- And an even more awesome character moment for Kirito is when he chooses not to kill Sugou, despite him being alone and that no one would blame him if he did (Sugou certainly couldn't, because he would be dead), because he refuses to give in to his basic instincts in either virtual reality or real life.
- 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.
- While everyone is fighting the Armachthys Boss, Leafa decides to charge in but gets sucked into the Armachthys's vortex and just manages to cling onto the edge. How does Kirito save her? He dives into the vortex himself in order to get closer to the Armachthys and stabs it with a fatal blow, disrupting the vortex and finally giving him a chance to grab his sister's hand and stop her from falling.
Phantom Bullet Arc
- Sinon's Establishing Character 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.
- Sinon's backstory doubles as both this and Tear Jerker:
- 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.
- Kirito's tries out the "Untouchable" arcade game which no one has ever won before. He's able to dodge bullets using the Bullet Prediction Line. But he's able to do so even when he's gotten so close there should be no time between seeing the Prediction Lines and reacting. It even gets to the point where the NPC has switched to laser fire from less than ten meters away! How he did this? He predicted the Bullet Prediction Line! 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 intended him to do.
- Kirito is so skilled as a swordsman, he can parry bullets using the bullet prediction path as a means to guide his sword.
- In his first duel with Sinon, 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 meters, and he cuts the bullet in half without the Prediction Lines. He reveals he predicted the bullet himself by taking note of where she was looking on the other side of her scope!
- In Episode 9 he deflects approximately sixty rounds of assault rifle fire during the BoB tournament, twirling and flipping while not missing a single one!
- The "Pale Rider" player in the BoB tournament. Absurdly fast and agile, armed with an AR-17, and topped off with an awesome avatar. He took out Dyne quite handily. Too bad he didn't see Death Gun coming...
- Sinon has a panic attack from seeing Death Gun using the same gun that she killed the robber with. Her PTSD hits so hard she can no longer fire a gun. All the while, Kirito and Sinon are trying to escape Death Gun on a buggy while Death Gun pursues them on a mechanical horse. After much prompting from Kirito, Sinon finally works up the courage to fire the gun with Kirito's also putting his hand around her trigger finger to help her out. However Sinon has difficulty aiming due to the vibrations of the buggy, so Kirito resorts to launching the buggy over a ramp to remove the vibrations while they're airbourne. Her shot manages to hit the fuel tank of a car next to Death Gun and he gets blasted away in an explosion.
- Asubtle moment for Asuna is where she basically intimidates Kikuoka into telling her where Kirito is just by stopping her foot and advancing towards him. He was probably about three seconds from eating Death Penalty courtesy of the Berserk Healer.
- 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.
- The original plan was for Kirito to just distract Death Gun while Sinon sniped him... however, after he shoots out Sinon's scope (and her his), they face off one-on-one. Here's a breakdown of all the epic moments:
Kirito: That laser... is all of Sinon's skill, experience and feelings put into one shot... A Phantom Bullet!
- Sinon who just got her scope sniped out by Death Gun, aims her Prediction Line 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.
- In the final moments of their duel, Kirito pulls out his gun and shoots out Death Gun's attempted invisibility. There's then a silhouette of Kirito in his SAO avatar superimposed over his GGO avatar, with his two iconic swords taking the place of his Photon Sword and gun. Then when Death Gun decloaks and slashes at Kirito while he's in midair. Kirito then lands back on his feet and his eyes turn gold with rage as he charges at Death Gun screaming, and using his Photon Sword burns through Death Gun's midriff, bisecting him clean in half.
- Then just afterward, he gets to Shino's house, where Kyouji was attempting to keep her all to himself. Rushing in, he straight out knees the assailant in the face, drawing blood.
- A couple from Volume 6 that involve her getting over her fear of guns while in the real world:
- Shino is confronted by Kyouji, 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 herself, pulls off her glasses, and fires a BB from it herself which hits a nearby empty soda can. She then 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.
- Sinon has made an ALO account so she can join her new friends in the fantasy game. However for her ALO character build, she essentially ignored every other logical option and went straight for the Difficult, but Awesome sniper build. Yet she still turns every battle against spellcasters into a pathetic Curb-Stomp Battle.
- At the start of the Calibur arc, Klein and Sinon both agree to help Kirito get Excalibur if they'll help them get legendary weapons of their own. Klein has apparently asked the aid before, as Kirito is familiar with the "freakin' hot" dungeon where it's held, but when Sinon asks for help finding the legendary bow Shekinah, he's incredulous.Kirito: You've hardly had your avatar for two weeks and you're already looking for a legendary weapon?
- It gets better: Sinon wants the bow because Lisbeth custom-made her a bow with a practical range of 100 meters. Being from GGO and capable of dismissing a 1500-meter shot as "tossing a balled-up wad of paper in a wastebasket", Sinon's not quite satisfied with that, and so she's looking for a legendary weapon. In other words, the only thing better than a bow that Liz specifically made for a sniper is a legendary weapon.
- The team's assault on the Jotenheim quest (Episode 16, SAO II), dealing with two giants, one who is extremely physical-resilient and the other magic (plus they switch if you attempt to exploit this). So, Silica has Pina stun the physical-resistant giant, then they rush him with Sword Skills, taking off half its health... suffering the Skill delay as a result. Kirito however, chains together Sword Skills with very good timing in an exploit known as Skill Connect. He continues the beatdown as everyone else joins in to take the giant down, Klein slices the giant's midriff, Leafa delivers several slices, Silica leaps up and stabs at the giant's face, while Lisbeth descends from above and slams the giant's head with her mace, while Sinon jumps up to the top of the giant's head and pulls a Legolas by firing the arrow point-blank. On its last legs, Kirito charges in with another Sword Skill, and reduces the giant to just one sliver of HP, yet it still doesn't go down. The giant gets ready to attack as Kirito is helpless due to the cooldown time... only for Asuna to rush in and deliver the finishing blow.
Klein: (grinning) Get ready for your beatdown.
- And needless to say, the magical-resistant one didn't even stand a chance after that.
- And the awesomeness continues into the next episode where they team up with Freyja /Thor to take down Thrym. They deliver a great beatdown at first, but it's not fast enough and they're growing tired. Then Thor gets Mjolnir back and entire party proceeds to deliver a combination attack upon Thrym, ending with their new ally bashing Thrym's head in as the finishing blow.
- Sinon 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.
Mother's Rosario Arc
- 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.
- Asuna's duel with Yuuki. Even though 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) didn't manage to accomplish. Special mention to the moment when she sucker-punches Yuuki in the gut. In the anime, it looks incredible!
- 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 period, complete with explosions, shockwaves, and the remix of the Luminous Sword theme from the original SAO playing in the background.
- One of the best instances is in Volume 7. The Sleeping Knights and Asuna are trying to get through to the boss room, but a raiding guild of about 20 members is blocking their path.
- So, what does Yuuki do? She decides to charge through despite knowing reinforcements are on the way.
- So the Sleeping Knights 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. 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 asks Kirito if he really thought he could defeat all of them, to which Kirito replies he didn't know because he had never tried before. The leader then tells the mages to attack. Three spells fire at Kirito and he slices them out of the air. Kirito remarks that even the fastest spell was slower than bullets fired by an anti-material rifle. Immediately after this, Kirito gets serious by bringing out a second sword from his inventory, and not just any 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.
- While Kirito and Klein keeps the majority of the guild at bay, Asuna and the Sleeping Knights deal with those still blocking the door. Yuuki tears apart the other players, practically dancing and twirling about as she swings her sword and knocking each of them over, all the while giggling and having the time of her life. However, she gets bummed when all the players she had beaten down get healed by the mages and get right back up. Asuna realizes that she and the Sleeping Knights will never make it to the boss room if they don't kill the healers. She leaves the healing to Siune while she charges through the enemy lines, so fast that she's merely a blur, knocking everyone in her path away. One of the healers just gets the time to utter her "Berserk Healer" title before she cuts them down.
- In the boss room:
- Asuna shows off her leadership skills, skillfully coordinating the Sleeping Knights in defeating the level boss. She wasn't KoB's subleader just because she was a pretty face.
- Yuuki finishes off the boss 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 Yuuki and Kirito. While we don't get to see too much of it, the two were neck-in-neck with Yuuki having slightly higher HP. Just when Kirito is about to land an attack, the time runs out and Yuuki wins.
- Klein alleviates the Badass Decay he had been subjected to by dominating Ordinal Scale with his guild, done even better than Kirito in his first battle. He even takes on Eiji in a fist fight after the asshole beats down his entire guild, and only loses because Eiji was cheating.
- Asuna gets the chance to shine in battle like she hadn't since the Aincrad arc:
- She delivers the final blow in the first action scene, proving that she's an amazing swordswoman in AR as well.
- In the second action scene, Asuna also proves she is still leadership material, even if she's thrown her KoB lieutenant days behind, by commanding all raid members and organizing the battle. And of course, by delivering the final blow once again.
- Making this all the more awesome, these are not her official subordinates. She just started giving orders and, through sheer charisma, everyone obeyed. Kirito was never such a Magnetic Hero.
- Right before she dives into Aincrad to help Kirito and the others (while suffering from memory loss, no less), she realises how brave Yuuna, who died in SAO, would have been, and praises the latter's courage in the face of the death game.Asuna: Yuuna. If you died in SAO, it means you've adventured beyond the safety zones.
- Diving into SAO at all is an epic display of courage. She'd lost her SAO memories, the memories that made her the badass she is today. She admitted to being a terrified wreck crying her self to sleep in SAO at first. She was missing the experiences that transformed her from that scared little girl to the battle hardened badass, and decided to fight anyway.
- Kirito going Berserk Mode when he finds out Asuna and other SAO survivors have had their memories stolen during boss battles. He furiously drives around the city on his bike determined to take down every boss by himself before anyone else comes to harm. While fighting, Kirito furiously attacks the boss, shrugging off the damage he's taking and is so focused on the battle he takes no note of bumping into another player or Yuna showing up to give everyone a stat boost.
- Kirito's duel with Eiji in the stadium underground carpark. Eiji loathes his days as Nautilus in SAO due to losing Yuuna, and seeks to rob his fellow players of their memories. Kirito rips out the neck piece of Eiji's exosuit (which allows him to overcome his fear-based paralysis), and subdues him.
- Kirito: I won't lose to a man who denies his past.
- Special Mention should go here, Eiji has a move predicting auguma and a powered suit, not only does our boy stay a step ahead of the guy who fights likes his in other like anime Naruto or My Hero Academia, he wins. Kazuto Kirigaya is in a place where his body can never match his Super Reflexes and he STILL BEATS A GUY IN A FREAKING KNOCK OFF ARMOR WITH NOTHING BUT PURE SKILL.
- The Final Battle against "An Incarnation of Radius", the alleged 100th floor boss of SAO, which is one of the biggest Moment of Awesome in not just the movie but the entire series. Going into FullDive and entering into one of the drones used by the Big Bad, the battle begins with Kirito, Silica, Agil, Lisbeth, and Sinon charging the boss and getting easily overwhelmed in what seems like a Hopeless Boss Fight. Until Asuna pulls a Big Damn Heroes, stabbing Incarnate's in the eye, and saving Kirito and Silica from its grip as well as catching the latter mid-air. Then The Cavalry arrives via Leafa, Klein, Yui, and everyone from ALOnote and GGOnote showing up to help. Yui gives everyone their old SAO avatars along with Sinon's GGO avatar, making everyone at their peak beating the boss up. There's a truly spectacular battle of spells blasting, gunfire, and swords slashing, as everyone attacks the boss simultaneously, wearing the impossible boss down. Then Asuna and Kirito go in for the final kill, with both executing their Finishing Move Sword Skills. Yuuki appears in spirit as Asuna executes her signature technique, Mother's Rosario! Before Kirito finishes the boss off with a Starburst Stream.
- Kirito, becoming the #1 player of Ordinal Scale, surpassing Yuna. His SAO avatar appears in the stadium, wielding Durendal (a BFS rewarded to him for finally clearing SAO). He then proceeds to go God Mode, one shotting all the boss monsters like they're confetti balloons.
- Klein, Lisbeth, Silica, and Asuna have converted over to GGO to help out Sinon, with all of them having different avatars to Fatal Bullet, with Kirito also back using his Kiriko avatar.
- Asuna now wields a Photon Sword, where she and Kirito tag-team an enemy squadron and cut them up.
- Kureha and Zeliska from Fatal Bullet show up in Episode 1, being the first instance of video game characters appearing in canon! Itsuki also appears on the BoB ranking list.
- Sinon is revealed to have scored second place in the 5th BoB, placing only behind Subtilizer.
- The fight between Kirito, and the goblins in the End Mountains:
Ugachi: Grurah! Filthy Ium brats...You think to challenge the great Ugachi the Lizard Killer?!Kirito: I'm not going to challenge youI'm going to beat you!
- When facing the goblins, Kirito, after reflecting on what's at stake and how he's killed larger foes back in SAO, gives a nice Badass Boast.
Eugeo: Kirito! This time I'll be the one to protect you!
- Kirito shows why he's a swordsman, proceeding to tear through the goblins before he takes on the boss, where he then activates the "Sharp Nail" Sword Skill and cuts off the boss's arm off.
- After Kirito gets beaten onto the ground by the boss goblin, Eugeo finally overcomes his fear and attacks the goblin himself.
Kirito: I've taken the head of your boss. If any of you still want to fight, come on!
- After Eugeo gets struck down by the boss goblin and lays dying, he finally remembers Kirito from his childhood and reminds Kirito of the promise of being born together and dying together. This causes Kirito to remember too and gives him a Heroic Second Wind, fighting the boss goblin with renewed vigor, vowing to himself that he cannot lose this fight. Kirito ends the battle by activating the Sword Skill "Sonic Leap" and cuts the boss goblin's head off. Kirito then picks up the severed head and holds it up for the other goblins to see.
- Because of Kirito and Eugeo's fight with the goblins, their Object Control Authority has rapidly increased. The Blue Rose Sword was too heavy for them to pick up before, but afterwards both of them can now swing the sword with ease. Kirito demonstrates by activating a Sword Skill against the Gigas Cedar, proceeding to make a gigantic slash larger than the three centuries of axes cutting away at it.
- Following Eugeo's Training Montage from Kirito, Eugeo takes one more try at the Gigas Cedar. Eugeo activates a Sword Skill and slices right through the tree and sends it crashing down! Bet you thought Kirito would be the one to cut it. Granted, Kirito did give Eugeo the honors, but considering that Eugeo thought he'd be working on the task for his entire life, he's earned it.
- Asuna, Leafa, Sinon and Yui work out where Kazuto was taken after leaving the hospital. They have nothing to go on initially but they find clues, make deductions and successfully pinpoint his location.
- With help from Rinko, Asuna successfully infiltrates Ocean Turtle despite their advanced security and extensive identity checking, and she does it with a single photo swap and a wig. Then she confronts Seijirou Kikuoka directly. The look on the Smug Snake's face is priceless.
- "Take me to Kirito." The look on her face and the steel in her voice is undeniable.
- Kikuoka incredulously asks Asuna "How did you get through the firewalls, much less hack the student database" which allowed Asuna to masquerade as a half-Japanese student in Professor Shigemura's University Course, she proudly declares "My daughter (Yui) happens to be an expert at bypassing firewalls."
- Sortiliena finally manages to defeat Volo, the top-ranked student in their class, in a duel, when Kirito had only managed a draw against him.
- Eugeo, determined to protect his and Kirito's pages against Raios and Humbert, summons up the Heroic Willpower to violate the Taboo Index and slices Humbert's hand off.
- Kirito's short but concise Shut Up, Hannibal! in response to Raios ranting about how he, a noble and an elite disciple, will use his authority to punish Eugeo for his transgressions.Kirito: I dont care about your taboos and noble rights.
- Kirito, using a technique he learned simply by watching Sortiliena, manages to defeat Raios and slice off his hands.
- Ronie and Tiese manage to carry Eugeo and Kirito's swords all the way to where Alice is preparing to take them away, despite the fact that said swords are significantly above their authority level (which means it's very difficult for them to even carry those swords and impossible to wield them), and in the light novel, their hands ended up getting bloody from the effort. If they hadn't gone to all the trouble, Kirito and Eugeo wouldn't have been able to get their swords back.
- Kirito uses the high durability chains, that bind him and Eugeo in their cell, as makeshift weapons to wear each other's chain down and escape their cell.
- Kirito and Eugeo vs Integrity Knight Eldrie Synthesis Thirty-one. Eldrie had been stationed outside the Central Cathedral Tower on instruction of Alice that the boys would try to escape. However Kirito makes it clear that they would put up a fight, using nothing but their chains as weapons, to whic Eldrie decides to use his Divine Object whip. Kirito uses a Sacred Art in the form of thermal arrows to which Eldrie counters with a ice bird Sacred Art, with the two attacks clashing and Kirito using the smoke as a distraction to charge.
- Cardinal's retelling of her battle with Quinella. After Quinella was under the belief she had taken over the little girl's FluctLight, she was shocked to find Cardinal had taken over the child and puts up a battle using System Calls. After exchanging Luminous and Umbral Element Sacred Arts, Quinella and Cardinal use Redefinition Object System Calls to forge a sword and a staff. After Cardinal realizes she cannot defeat Quinella in that form, she flees using an Aerial Element and escapes into the Great Library, the one place that Quinella cannot control and seals it off from the rest of the Underworld.
- Kirito and Eugeo versus Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the Crimson Knight. The pair's first battle against a true veteran Integrity Knight who has seen his share of real battle, and they prevail. The anime takes this Up to Eleven with incredible visual effects when Kirito uses Spinning Shield to block Deusolbert's Conflagration Bow phoenix, which gives Eugeo the opening he needs to close the distance and engage Deusolbert in melee combat... and then the Blue Rose Sword manages to overpower the Conflagration Bow by freezing its flames into nothingness, to the point that even Deusolbert's blood on the blade solidifies and crumbles away!
- Episode 15:
- Kirito showing off his exceptional deductive ability and immediately figuring out Fizel and Linel aren't the Sisters-in-training that they claimed to be. He noted that all nuns and sisters of the Church were ordered to stay in their rooms, an order that apprentices could not possibly disobey. He also noticed the ruby oak scabbard that is able to contain poison weapons without rotting. With all these reasons in place, Kirito deduced the girls were planning to poison them and began reciting a poison dissolving art, and upon it finally working, he gets up and slashes the girls with their own poisonous daggers to paralyze them.
- Kirito vs Fanatio Synthesis Two is full of these. While it was already a pretty intense battle, it becomes all the more epic when Fanatio is revealed to be a woman and she and Kirito fight fiercely with everything they have.Kirito: I don't intend to hold back because you're a woman. I've lost plenty of battles to swordswomen!
- Eugeo unleashing his Armament Full Control Art for the first time, stabbing his sword into the ground and unleashing a wave of ice that encases all of the Integrity Knights. Fanatio tries to evade the attack by leaping into the air, only to see Kirito already above her and kicking her back down.Eugeo (thinking): Now! Now's my only chance!
Enhance Arnament! Bloom! Blue Roses!
- Adding onto the above scene, even with the ice expanding and enveloping her, Fanatio still has enough power to raise her arm and point her sword at the duo and charge up a full-power Sword Beam. It makes the episode title's "Blind Idiot" Translation "The Relentless Knight" extremely aptnote .
- Episode 16:
- Kirito activates his Enhance Armament ability for the first time to counter Fanatio's light beam. It turns out his sword's special property is to unleash a wave of dark energy that very promptly overwhelms the light. And for good reason too: his sword is made out of the wood of the Gigas Cedar tree, an organism that soaks up light as if it was a very dry sponge. The Heaven Piercing Sword never stood a chance.
- Kirito vs Alice! The fight consists of Alice curbstomping Kirito the majority of the battle by knocking him back with simple sword thrusts, with the fact that Kirito managed to survive so long already speaking volumes of his ability. The fight ends with Kirito blocking Alice's attack, holding her arms, then having Eugeo use his Enhance Armament to freeze them both, but Alice's Fragrant Olive Sword breaks through it. Kirito and Alice then fire both of their Full Armament attacks at each other in a Beam-O-War which results in them blowing a hole in the wall and falling off the Tower.
- Episode 18: Eugeo vs Bercouli! The boy manages to outsmart the legendary hero by throwing his sword in the air and using a decoy to strike Bercouli's blade, before grabbing his Blue Rose sword as it falls down and casting the Perfect Weapon Control Art to freeze both of them together in the onsen, gambling on the fact that Bercouli was older and had less durability than he did.
- Episode 19: Alice's Dare to Be Badass speech of her finally accepting the corruption of the Pontifex and that she defies her Integrity Knight pledges for the good of the country... all the while the Seal of the Right Eyes burns her eyeball and causes it to burst.
- Kirito vs. Eugeo Synthesis Thirty-Two! Now it's time for the master to face the student.
- Say what you will about his personality, but it's impressive that Chudelkin managed to summon 22 Fire Elements simultaneously (one on each finger and toes, and each of his eyes) to conjure up a flame atronach.
- Eugeo, with Cardinal's help, fuses with his sword, destroys Quinella's Sword Golem and manages to cut off Quinella's arm before ending up broken in half.
- Eugeo manages to turn a moment of heartbreak into a moment of awesome, where he uses Incarnation to fuse his broken Blue Rose Sword with his own spilt blood, repairing the blade so that it's now red in color. Rechristened the Red Rose Sword, Kirito is able to once again dual wield against the Big Bad.
- Then Kirito himself follows suit, using Incarnation to materialize a familiar black outfit, then he does what he hasn't done in a long time- equipping two swords simultaneously- and clashes with Quinella, one of the most powerful individuals in the Underworld. After trading blows for a while, the fight climaxes with Kirito and Quinella both charging up a Vorpal Strike... with both blades cutting off each other's arms. An infuriated Quinella uses her Prehensile Hair to strangle Kirito, however Kirito still has one arm left and with that arm, incidentally the one holding the Red Rose Sword, cuts through Quinella's hair and strikes right through Quinella's chest and bores a hole in her!
- Credit goes to Quinella however - she not only manages to kill Eugeo at the cost of an arm, but manages to know and counter Kirito's moves and land a significant physical blow to Kirito since Kayaba with only one arm, no less! Yes, it requires the sacrifices of all of Kirito's companions in order to bring Quinella down to his level. On top of that, her killing of Eugeo damaged Kirito's mental state to the point of depression, something no other villain, past or future, was able to do. This cements her as one of the most dangerous and badass antagonists of the series thus far - especially when you take into account that she took Kirito down a few pegs!
- Hell, she almost managed to get away as the cherry on top had it not been for a certain someone ruining her exit...
- With Kirito's Fluctlight damaged, it seems unlikely that he will recover. What's Asuna's reaction? To lift Kikuoka up by the front of his shirt with one hand despite him having a good six inches on her. She coldly tells him that if Kirito doesn't recover, she will never forgive him. Despite having a black belt in judo, Kikuoka was thoroughly intimidated. Maybe him deciding to stay on Ocean Turtle after transporting Kirito there was to try and keep as much distance between himself and Asuna as possible.
- The raid on Rulid Village throws the villagers into total disarray, with the richest man in town prioritizing his possessions over the people's safety, and man-at-arms Jink making the worst tactical decisions by having everyone gather in the main square instead of fleeing the village. Alice tries to get the people to evacuate, but nobody will listen to her besides her sister Selka. So she ends up throwing off her cloak in glorious fashion, revealing to everyone that she is the third-highest ranking Integrity Knight in the realm, overrides all other orders, then proceeds to annihilate the goblin and orc raiding party through judicious use of her dragon Amayori and her own Enhance Armament abilities. Bonus points for finally overcoming the indecisiveness and emptiness she has been trapped in for the past 6 months, gaining the willpower to Incarnate her missing eye back into existence, and finding a reason to fight again. Oh, and we should also mention she arrives on the scene in a Marvel-worthy Three-Point Landing.
- We finally get to see what the Integrity Knights are really capable of when they have no need to hold back.
- Deusolbert takes Arrows on Fire to a whole new level, making them more like napalm missiles. When Golgorosso finds himself at Goblin Chief Shibori's mercy, Deusolbert activates Incarnation so hard he engulfs himself in flames, burning the goblins holding him down, and being out of arrows, shoots his sword instead which Incarnates into a flaming phoenix so enormous it incinerates the entire remaining remnants of the mountain goblin army. It makes the phoenix Kirito struggled against in the Central Cathedral look like a baby fledgling.
- Fanatio's first Hard Light shot at the giants' army tears an entire line through the horde, putting the fear of God into Sigurosig, the giant Chieftain. With his Fluctlight breaking down due to two contradictory impulses (simultaneously believing himself to be far stronger than a human, yet crippled with terror that a human could be stronger than him), he Incarnates his own ability to paralyze Fanatio. However, one of the Four Whirling Blades, Dakira Synthesis Twenty-Two, blocks the attack at the cost of liquifying her internal organs and breaking half the bones in her body. Fanatio then Incarnates her own ability to turn her sword into a massive Laser Blade, slices Sigurosig in half from top to bottom in a single blow, and leads her army to crush the remaining giants.
- Fizel and Linel are so much more than just assassins who play up their cutesy act to shank unsuspecting targets: they are devastatingly effective on the battlefield too due to their speed and small size, and their intimate knowledge of vital organs allows them to rack up a kill count in the hundreds of the flatland goblin army.
- Then there's Bercouli, who set up a massive "minefield" in the sky of time altered slashes just waiting for the right moment. In the light novel, it is detailed that setting up and maintaining this field took a massive physical and mental toll on him, to the point that he was nearly ready to collapse by the time night fell, but it all paid off in the end when it proves to be the most effective defense against the Dark Territory's gargoyle aerial fleet, butchering all 800 of the monsters in seconds.
- Props to Ronie, she manages to detect PoH, who was previously sneaking to the human army camp and killing patrols undetected, sneaking up on her, surprise and calls for reinforcements. Sure, it gets undermined when he reveals that he brough a bunch of Dark Knights with him, but credit where credit is due.
- Asuna logging in as Stacia. When things are looking bad, with PoH holding Ronie at knife point, the Dark Knights ready to slaughter the unprepared human forces and the Pugilists charging to the camp with only Bercouli to hold them off, the sky suddenly emits a bright shine as if the heaven just opened, and everyone can see a shining figure in the sky, like an descending angel. And just as soon as they see her, the ground suddenly opens up beneath the Dark Knights, including PoH, and drops them to their deaths while another chasm blocks off the Pugilist's charge, practically changing things in the human army's favor in but a moment. And this was all Asuna's doing with an account she just logged in as! Big Damn Heroes at it's finest.
- The anime adds to it, namely by having the Stacia account's ability to alter the terrain being accompanied by a heavenly choir and and an aurora appearing in the sky.
- Albeit brief, the sudden duel between Asuna and Alice is a sight to behold, with Asuna being able to react in spite of Alice having the element of surprise and the two managing to clash without with either managing to land a blow. The duel itself only ends because Bercouli steps in to stop them.
- It should also be noted that despite any Kirito-related animosity the two end up holding for each other, they both regard each other as a Worthy Opponent, with Asuna recognizing that she was inferior in terms of skill and that it was her Stacia Account that largely gave her an edge and Alice being impressed by the sheer speed of Asuna's attacks, describing that it felt like each thrust of her rapier struck at same time!
- Let us not forget about Yui either. Despite not being capable of combat, she was able to intercept Gabriel's plan (via Critter) for mass massacre from foreign MMO players against Asuna along with inhabitants of Underworld and inform Sinon and the others to act. What foreign players were not aware of is that converted accounts are far superior than default accounts assigned to them by Critter. Even though she could not fully obstruct Gabriel's plan, Yui actually saved her mother and father's lives, increasing Kirito's chance of revival if Sinon and friends are not aware of it. Once again, her screentime is very little compared to her parents and human friends but when she had one, especially that involved crisis, Yui made full use of it inscreen and offscreen.
- Yui demonstrates exactly why Mission Control is so important in war-scenarios such as this one. She detects the enemy's secret plan, quickly realizes its implications, alerts agents in the field, arranges for additional off-site support, and calls in reinforcements. Its all support-based, rear-line stuff but it is characters like Yui that enable heroes like her parents and friends to shine.
- Lisbeth's speech to the other ALO players, in which she describes how the SAO survivors and other VRMMO players are stigmatized for not living in reality, but says that to her, the Underworld is real."But I know how it is! I have faith! That what we have here is real!! This world, and all the many virtual worlds connected to it, arent just some empty escapes from life! To me, its reality, where I have a real life, real friends, real encounters and emotions! And thats true for all of you, too, isnt it?! You put all your effort into playing because its another kind of reality for you! But if this is a game... if this is all just a virtual fake to you, then what is real to us, anyway?"
- Like with Asuna's earlier login, Sinon logging in as Solus proves to be something of a Divine Intervention for the human army. While pursuing Vecta after he captures Alice the army suddenly sees a large group of mysterious red soldiers, actually American players, spawn in front of them to hold them off. And just as Renly's about to charge them and possibly make a Heroic Sacrifice, a bright light appears similarly to how Asuna appeared earlier. And just as soon as she appears Sinon, as Solus, uses the bow that comes with the account to take out all the American players, with one arrow, before casually expressing surprise that the bow she used isn't Full-Auto only to shrug it off since she's more used to single-shot weapons anyway.
- While not as bombastic, Leafa logging in as Terraria is also pretty badass. Not only does she cut down a revived Dee Eye Ell while she's distracted, but she's able to pull a Big Damn Heroes to save an exhausted Sheyta, Iskahn and a group of Pugilists by attacking an entire group of foreign players by herself!. And the best part? With a combination of speed, her skill in Kendo and the Terraria's near-infinitely regenerating HP, as well as outright ignoring any and all pain from the enemy's blades, she's able to kill all of them! This makes her well-known and renowned as the "Green Swordswoman" after the war, with the Orcs looking forward to her return someday, even after more than 200 years.
- This volume serves as a reminder of just how inspiring, terrifying, and downright brutal Kirito can be:
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?
- His epic comeback is his biggest Kick the Son of a Bitch moment: 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.
- 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 Outfit from Aincrad. His badassery has finally reached its peak with this line:
PoH: As expected, thats what Im talking about. But... this isnt the end. Even if you log out from this world, I will show up in front of you all, over and over again. It doesnt matter how many times I do it before I slit the throats and tear out the hearts of both you and the "Flash"...
- His Pre-Mortem One-Liner on PoH is absolutely not only badass, but also very sinister:
Kirito: No, this is it. You'll never log out from the Underworld.
- As for Gabriel, there is a reason why Kirito's title as the "Black Swordsman" isn't just for show: Gabriel, better known as "Dark 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 around his heart, and then retaliate against the Dark 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.
- Kayaba hijacks the Niemon robot body, kills Nobuyuki Sugou's mole on the Rath project by bashing his head in, and then thwarts the remaining GDS operators' final attempt to blow up Ocean Turtle by defusing the bomb after said body is shot up by a U.S. mercenary and slowly starting to break into pieces! Furthermore, even though the robot scientifically and logically could not move from its broken condition after being shot, Kayaba merely moved it through sheer will, just like what Kirito did against him in SAO after Kirito's avatar was killed by him in their battle. And at the end of it all, he is still around, having escaped to the online realm, and still managing to send a coded email to Alice detailing exactly how to gain access to the Underworld despite the Ocean Turtle and its satellite connection being completely locked down by the JSDF.
- Even Kikuoka gets time to shine, given that he kills the assault rifle-armed Brigg and Hans with only his Minebea 9mm pistol. Extra bonus points for his takedown of Brigg, which was done while hanging from a ladder shooting down with only one hand yet still nailing the mercenary in the head and neck.
- Kirito is well-known and feared by everyone as the "Black Swordsman," the "Twin Blade Swordsman," and the "Hero of SAO." At the end of Alicization, 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 of such a title.
- Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment:
- Kirito's duel with Heathcliff on the 75th Floor features beautifully animated CGI cutscenes. It's just as spectacular as the anime, but with one key difference: Kirito wins! Rather than breaking his sword on Heathcliff's shield, the glitches start buzzing through, allowing Kirito to stab Heathcliff first. Though it's later revealed Heathcliff got teleported away rather than dying.
- Philia's Establishing Character Moment and meeting Kirito for the first time, once again in beautifully animated CGI. After Kirito gets teleported into the Hollow Area and has a Crash-Into Hello, Philia mistakes him for a Hollow Data enemy, drawing her dagger and attacks him. Kirito draws his own sword and the two cross blades, before promptly having their hostile introductions interrupted by a Skull Reaper like boss!
- Upon reaching Floor 76, Kirito finds that among his scrambled item data is Yui's heart. He and Asuna are pleasantly surprised when she gets released and once again reunited with her parents.
- Philia is at the mercy of Hollow PoH who kicks her while she's on the ground, then hefts her up and takes his cleaver and begins cutting at her throat. Then Kirito arrives in the nick of time slicing PoH's hand off and knocking him back, saving Philia's life.
- The Final Boss of the Hollow Area is Kirito himself, specifically his Hollow counterpart. Kirito meets his match as he battles against himself in a fight to the death!
- When Alberich finally reveals himself to be Sugou and attempts to pull his The GM Is a Cheating Bastard on the entire Assault Team, paralyzing them and sending in the Level 100 Boss to finish them off. Strea steps in and takes away his admin privileges, at the cost of getting stabbed by Sugou's InfinityPlusOneSword that is guaranteed to slowly kill her.
- The CG cutscene of the Assault Team taking down the Floor 100 boss: Sinon fires off an arrow, Leafa follows up with a thrust from her katana, Asuna delivers several quick thrusts with her rapier, and Kirito finishes by striking down with his two swords. The boss then shatters as the last of its HP drains away.
- 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!
- Lost Song:
- Yuuki's fate in the games is pleasantly different than it is in canon:
- 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!
- And, of course, in the sequels... Yuuki is potentially cured, and you get to see the REAL Yuuki Konno, getting to take on a new version of Aincrad.
- Speaking of Mother's Rosario, remember that awesome moment in the anime where the Sleeping Knights go up against a raid party and Kirito pulls a Big Damn Heroes to Hold the Line? In Lost Song Kirito joins the Sleeping Knights in their raid, while all of their friends (Klein, Lisbeth, Leafa, Silica, Strea, Philia, Sinon, Agil) arrive to keep the raiding party at bay.
- Kirito's final battle with Sumeragi. The CG cutscene has Kirito and Sumeragi evenly matched, clashing in the sky. Kirito then activates a sword skill with his right-blade, which Sumeragi manages to dodge. Sumeragi is confident he has won the duel due to the cooldown time between each Sword Skill. However as he prepares to make the finishing blow, he has a massive Oh, Crap! moment when he sees Kirito has already turned around and had already activated a second Sword Skill with his left-blade and this one Sumeragi has no way of dodging. Once this Sword Skill hits, Kirito keeps chaining Sword Skills together using his Dual Wielding in an exploit called Skill Connect, before thrusting his blade into Sumeragi and sending them both plummeting to the ground as he finally defeats him.
- Kirito fights against Rain the True Final Boss where she reveals to have an even bigger I Am Not Left-Handed moment than Kirito, having hidden her OSS, "Thousand Rain", which allows her to magically summon hundreds of swords out of thin air and pelt them at her opponent. After Kirito wins the duel, he has Rain uphold and agreement and tell Seven that she is her sister, leading to a heartwarming moment where the two sisters reunite for the first time in years.
- Yuuki's fate in the games is pleasantly different than it is in canon:
- Hollow Realizations
- CG scene where Kirito fights against Tia, only for Genesis to come in with an ambush and knock Kirito back with a strike. Genesis then pushes Tia back into battle with his foot telling her to finish Kirito off, but just as she charges, Asuna pulls a Big Damn Heroes and parries Tia's rapier, before standing in front of Kirito and vows to protect him.
- Kirito's climactic duel with Genesis, the pretender Black Swordsman, animated in CG. In an epic battle, Kirito parries Genesis' BFS and sliding his own sword along the blade as he runs towards Genesis, Kirito lands several Sword Skills across Genesis' chest before telling him "You are not worthy of the title, Black Swordsman."
- Alice and Eugeo are available as part of DLC with their own side stories!
- In Accel World vs Sword Art Online
- The game gives us several instances of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
- Kirito vs Black Lotus, after being manipulated into fighting each other by Persona Vabel.
- Leafa and Sinon vs Sky Raker and Ardor Maiden!
- Scarlet Rain vs an Evil Knockoff of herself, with both blasting each other with their Immobile Fortresses!
- And of course the battle of The Protagonists: Kirito vs Silver Crow!
- The Burst Linkers from Accel World join forces with the Sword Art Online crew. Black Lotus, Silver Crow, Scarlet Rain, and many others can now fight as part of your party!
- Oberon is back, only this time he doesn't have Asuna captive. So you get a chance to make this creep suffer without having to worry about Asuna coming to harm.
- Yui is finally Promoted to Playable in Accel World vs Sword Art Online! ...As a Dark Magical Girl version of herself from a thousand years in the future...!
- Persona Vabel is a version of Yui from a Bad Future, wishing to die after reaching the Despair Event Horizon. As she her programming forbids her from killing herself, she opts to kidnap her younger self from the past and pull her from the timeline to prevent herself from existing to being with. Kirito, Asuna, and friends fight her to stop her from destroying herself. In the end, Vabel and the present Yui are merged together and both brought back to the past, so that Vabel won't have to live on along in grief.
- Eugeo's DLC appearance. An Alternate Timeline version of Eugeo (implied to be Eugeo from the canon timeline) is pulled into the game due to the time travel shenanigans happening. He was separated from the Kirito of his world and starts looking for him in ALO. Upon hearing about this, the gameverse Kirito goes to find Eugeo for himself. Eugeo at first mistakes Kirito for his Kirito and is overjoyed to see him, however he becomes confused when this Kirito has fairy wings and has no memories of Eugeonote . Unable to get Kirito to remember, Eugeo requests a duel to see if this person really is Kirito. While fighting, Eugeo is delighted to find that this Kirito fights the same way as the Kirito he knows, assuring him that even though this isn't his Kirito it's still Kirito. After the fight ends Kirito offers to let Eugeo hang with their friends until he was able to find a way home, to which Eugeo becomes emotional when he realizes this Kirito is every bit as kind as the Kirito he knows.
- Graphite Edge meets Kirito, where it's strongly implied that he's Kirito himself from the future. He even sounds like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka.
- The game gives us several instances of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
- Fatal Bullet:
- The fact that in this game, you're not playing as Kiritonote , you're playing as you!
- The Player meeting Kirito for the first time, has Kirito attacking them with his Photon Sword and the player shielding the ArFA-sys from danger. Establishing the Player's Chronic Hero Syndrome which Kirito immediately respects them for.
- The Death Gun sidestory which serves as an adaptation of the Phantom Bullet arc. There's a beautifully animated CG recreation of Kirito's Final Battle with Death Gun. The difference is the slow-mo that the anime used has been sped up so the fight occurs much faster.
- The final scene has all of the Fatal Bullet characters staging an ambush raid in a ruined city map. In the final moments everyone is surrounded by enemy players, before they all teleport away, with Kureha sticking her tongue out, and taking their place is Kirito and the Player, who go Back-to-Back Badasses before charging the enemy players.
"Versus" (Accel World and Sword Art Online crossover)
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Kirito vs Silver Crow!
- While Kirito tests out a 4th generation FullDive machine, he somehow gets transported into the world of Accel World with his SAO avatar and weapons. There he meets Silver Crow and the two instinctively duel. The fight ends in a tie as just before either can land the finishing blow, Kirito gets sucked back out of the world.
- Yui is Promoted to Playable in the Memory Defrag mobile game.
- The "Ragnarok" story line is full of these:
- Eugeo and Alice's presence in ALO causing Cardinal to view them as foreign and performs a memory defrag to have them eliminated, leading them to go on a killing spree and attack every player in the game. It does so by merging the Divine Objects with the Norse God NPCs which transforms and buffs them into a Hopeless Boss Fights. But then it's revealed that Eugeo and Alice are also Divine Objects, so they are the key to beating these Mad Gods, where they start with Urdr and revert her back to normal.
- Forming into teams, with Kirito and Eugeo along with Asuna and Alice, they beat each of the Gods attacking a different territory, until at last they go up against Odin. But when Odin gets beaten, instead of dying he transforms into Fenrir. Essentially Cardinal was adapting so that it would replace one beaten monster with another more powerful one.
- Fenrir is too powerful even for Eugeo and Alice to handle, so the rest of the SAO gang prepare to even the odds by merging with the Divine Objects themselves, where they proceed to transform into forms resembling the empowered Norse Gods: Kirito as Odin, Yuuki as Loki, Asuna as Freya, Sinon as Hel, Leafa as Tyr, and later Alice as Valkyrie. That's right, the SAO gang have all become Physical Gods!
- Seiko / Makoto, a real life kendo champion and complete newbie to VR is able to use her real life skills to dominate ALO and take down some of the strongest players like Strea, Agil, and Rain.
- The Helheim Invasion conclusion has Kirito and Makoto joining forces to take down the now rampant Thokk who is the Final Boss.
- For the first time ever, you get to journey through Aincrad not as Kirito but as yourself! You get to create a custom character with your own story separate from that of Kirito's adventure.
- Diavel gets Spared by the Adaptation, thanks to the Player blocking the blow that would have killed him.
- The fact that the Player and Koharu went from beta newbies to two of the strongest players on the Assault Team.
- Kizmel's appearance on it's own is pretty awesome, but here she becomes close friends with the Player and Koharu.
- Yuuki debut by pulling a Big Damn Heroes and joining the Player, Koharu, and Kizmel in fighting off several Fallen Elves.
- After coming under fire for being a Beater, Kirito decides to sit out of a Floor 7 Boss Fight. However while he doesn't physically partake in the battle, he's still there as he found an item that makes him invisible. Earlier the Assault Team had procured an item to disable the boss's Healing Factor, but one isn't enough. So the invisible Kirito sneaks behind the Player and passes them a spare copy of the item he was holding, allowing the boss to be disabled and defeated.
- Sinon makes her presence known by pulling a Big Damn Heroes to save the Player and Koharu. Then she's seen defending Miyurin and Ulrik against a mob of monsters. She also acquires her bow and her Improbable Aiming Skills much earlier so she can already pull few hundred meter stealth shots!
- The climax of the Elf War Campaign on Floor 9. The Dark and Forest Elves form a truce after discovering the truth and ally together against the Fallen Elves, joining the Assault Team in the labyrinth. There's then a CG image of Kizmel, Koharu, Asuna, and Kirito all charging into battle against the Floor Boss while shouting battle cries. Then, in the aftermath after defeating the boss and clearing the Elf War campaign, the Queen rewards both the Player and Koharu by Knighting them.
- The Alicization anime tie-in event gives the most interesting Adaptational Early Appearance yet, with Alice and Eugeo ending up in Aincrad. Furthermore, Alice is already an Integrity Knight, while Eugeo already knows Kirito and grew up with him in his world. Despite IF Kirito being unfamiliar with Eugeo, the two of them quickly develop a strong bond, having a friendly sparring match.
- Leafa finally reuniting with her brother, Kirito, after nine floors where the two of them constantly just miss out on seeing each other. While the revelation was long since known, it's still played up very emotionally in the game with a heartwarming CG image of brother and sister holding hands.
- When Yuuki and Alice meet for the first time, the first thing Yuuki does is to challenge Alice to a duel after hearing how strong Alice was. Alice eventually agrees and the two strongest SAO girls fight it out. Alice blows Yuuki away with one blast.
- After being Adapted Out of the anime, the Zakkaria Sword Tournament is now adapted into Rising Steel, meaning players can experience it for themselves.
- An game-original chapter reveals that after Raios' death, Ronye and Tiese were at the risk of being expelled due to their involvement in his death and Humbert losing his arm. Azurica sticks up for them however, stating that they haven't broken the Taboo Index and therefore should not be punished due to merely being witnesses to what happened. When the other instructors prove stubborn and unreasonable, Azurica offers an alternative; Ronye and Tiese can stay at the academy if they beat two Elite Disciples! While the other instructors readily agree, believing it'd make a show out of expelling them, Tiese and Ronye throw the whole thing in their faces by winning thanks to Kirito and Eugeo's teachings.