WARNING: Spoilers Off applies to Moments pages!
- From Episode 2, Kirito's good-bye to Diabel as he dies. Despite being a Jerkass, you can tell that he was actually sincere when he said that they could've been friends under different circumstances.Kirito: (as Diabel begins to fade) In another life, in another time, I think we could've been friends.
- From Episode 3, seeing Kirito slowly beginning to actually like Sachi and his guild of NPCs and the moron leading them. It's nice to see the little Jerkass make genuine friends, even if they do all die.
- When the mobsters show up to collect their debt while Kirito is trying to acquire a life-saving item, BallsDe- er, Klein - offers to hold them off while Kirito flees.Kirito: That's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. Thank you... Klein.
Guildmate: Hey boss, who's Klein?
Klein: Don't ruin this for me!
- When the mobsters show up to collect their debt while Kirito is trying to acquire a life-saving item, BallsDe- er, Klein - offers to hold them off while Kirito flees.
- Episode 4 proves that, despite Kirito's insistence that he's gone "cold turkey" on emotions, he's still been profoundly affected by the events of Episode 3, to the extent that anything that reminds him of his former guild acts as a trigger that overrides his Jerkass tendencies and compels him to help others. Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
- Silica actually managing to get through to Kirito and convince him that he needs to let himself feel emotions again, because though there is sadness, heartbreak, and guilt, there's also happiness, wonder, love, and - in Kirito's warped reasoning - the "sweet taste of revenge." Not only that, but Kirito actually calls Silica a good friend, genuinely wants to hang out with her again, and even tells her that he respects her when she takes him down a peg. Our little psycho's growing up.
- Episode 5 shows that Silica's talk with Kirito about feeling emotions again actually worked, since he's more or less returned to being his snarky, gadfly self. Not only that, but we see that he's actually managed to make a genuine friend in Agil/Tiffany, who jokingly cites him as "[his] least favorite customer" before the two smile at each other and fistbump.
- Kirito refusing to take advantage of a sleeping Asuna and instead, drawing cat whiskers on her face with a marker because he thought it would be funny ("And it was!"). The mere fact that the thought of taking advantage of her sexually while in such a compromising position never even crossed his mind for a second is so unexpected that it literally baffles Asuna into a loss for words, until she finally offers to take him out to dinner.
- The fact that Kirito and Asura spend this and the next episode bickering Like an Old Married Couple is part funny, part sweet.
- In episode 6, Kirito - by reaching into a place within himself that's full of "emotions that scare and confuse me" - goes into a long-winded speech about how wonderful it is to find someone you love, and how he's outraged that Grimlock would throw it all away just because his wife wouldn't Stay in the Kitchen. Even Asuna has to admit it was pretty touching.
- In episode 7, Kirito gives Lisbeth a coat to warm herself without demanding thanks or making a sarcastic comment about his deed. This was also enough for Lisbeth to wonder if he was better than he let on, especially since Kirito made a very bad first impression by breaking her best sword.
- His Wrong Name Outburst when ordering Lizbeth to stay safe and in cover.
- In episode 8, what triggers a sociopath's ability to give a shit for humanity? Sachi, the person who has been the Cynicism Catalyst for Kirito and whose death always negatively influenced him up until this point.
Asuna: If you ruin this moment, I WILL cut you.
- After Kirito defeats Gleam Eyes, Asuna is genuinely concerned for his safety. No tactless or sarcastic comment about how reckless he was. Just a simple hug... until Kirito attempts to ruin the moment, at which point Asuna threatens to stab him. Which may still be sweet since that's just how Kirito wants it.
Kirito: (chuckles) See, that's more like it.
- Klein's response to Kirito's "World of Cardboard" Speech.Klein: Oh, and Kirito? Don't go giving up on humanity just yet, okay, buddy?
Kirito: I'll... take it under advisement... Klein.
Klein: (sniffs) Don't toy with me, man. (chuckles) See you around.
- Earlier in the episode, Klein sarcastically asks if all of Kirito's friends died again, and then immediately realizes that was in bad taste.
- Episode 9 starts off with Lizbeth hanging out with Kirito and Tiffany.
- When Kirito gets roped into the Knights of the Blood Oath, Asuna promises that things will be better and she won't die on him. And when Asuna mispronounces Sachi's name, Kirito quietly corrects her in a way that either hints A. that her death is still a very open wound or B. Kirito's touched by Asuna's words.
- Kirito outright admits that he's glad to be dating a stalker when Asuna shows up to save him, and gives her a "Give 'em hell, honey" when she goes into combat. Yandere or not, Kirito still loves and accepts her.
- Asuna uses Kirito's trigger phrase right before he kisses her. Kirito's whispered response right before the kiss makes it both heartwarming and hilarious.
- Kirito and Asuna consummate their relationship at the end of the episode.
- In Episode 10 both Kirito and Asuna start out trying to use Yui to get out of their hasty marriage, but even at the beginning they admit how adorable she is when she's sleeping. Then they really warm to her after Yui corrects Yulier's use of irony in a blunt and insulting manner.Kirito: Holy cow, Yui, that was amazing! Wish I have, like, a tiny little mic for you to drop.
Asuna: Ohmigod, that would be adorable!
- Then when an enraged Yulier threatens to throw down with Yui, Asuna tersely threatens to kill the Thinker, and Kirito has gone dead silent.
- When Yui says Asuna is "scary," Kirito mishears it as "Gary" and flies into a rage. Even now, the pain of Sachi's death hasn't left Kirito. Also counts as a Tear Jerker.
- Even Yui, an AI trained in psychiatry, can't fathom how Kirito and Asuna managed to form a working relationship, but she has to admit that for all their squabbles, their bond only seems to grow stronger. And while she originally only got involved with the couple for her own selfish reasons, she's come to wish she was their daughter. So by the end of the episode, for all their dysfunctions and character defects, the three of them still want to form a family.
- When Kirito is able to put Yui On A Bus instead of letting her die, Asuna expresses her relief in her own way.Asuna: (fighting back tears) Oh, Kirito... You gonna need a tampon for that gigantic vagina you just grew?
Kirito: I know, I know. I'm gonna miss her, too.
- The final scene of the episode has both Kirito and Asuna admit that they were moving way too fast when they got married, but vowing to stay together anyway. Even with the Black Comedy in the scene related to the orphanage, it's surprisingly touching.Kirito: Hey, Asuna. For real this time. No bullshit. Do you think we got married too quickly?
Asuna: Yeah, obviously.
Kirito: Yeah, me too... Do you wanna stay together anyway?
Asuna: Yeah, obviously.
Kirito: Yeah, me too.
- Episode 11 shows just how much Kirito has grown as a character.
- Even though Kirito and Kayaba are Not So Different, the former defends the rest of the players despite his intense disdain for them, and Kayaba is genuinely taken aback.Kirito: Hey! At least they had the guts to be here without a freakin' cheat code! [...] They volunteered to be here. Even though they knew it could get them killed! Which is just a few magnitudes more than I can say about you.
- When Asuna questions why Kirito is willing to give up his wish-fulfillment existence in SAO so all the other players can leave it, he admits that Klein's talk with him at the end of Episode 8 actually had an impact on him. And for his part Klein is clearly ecstatic.Kirito: The thing is, a good friend of mine told me I shouldn't give up on humanity just yet, and, despite my best efforts, it's kinda starting to sink in.
Klein: Oh, oh my god! HE'S TALKING ABOUT ME! I SAID THAT! I MADE A DIFFERENCE!!
Kirito: It's true... this world means more to me than the real one ever did. But, the longer we stay here, the greater the chance I'll lose the things I love about it most of all.
Klein: HIS FRIENDS! HE'S TALKING ABOUT HIS FRIENDS!
Kirito: Klein, buddy, I'm glad you're happy, but you think [Asuna and I] could have a moment here?
Klein: Right, right! Sorry. So sorry! I'll try to keep it down. This is everything I ever wanted!
- Asuna defies her tendency to diffuse an emotional moment with vulgar snark. She nevertheless manages to make it a Funny moment as well.Kirito: So, I guess This Is the Part Where... you make fun of me and call me a big gay baby with a floppy vagina or... something to that effect?
Asuna: (short, stunned silence) No. No, I'm not even going to ruin this. This is a huge step for you. LET'S GIVE HIM A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE, EVERYBODY!
(forgets that she and everyone else is paralyzed)
Asuna: Nnnngggh... nggh... Honey, I know how this looks but I swear it isn't sarcastic.
Kirito: Ah, it's all right. It's the thought that counts.
- Before the final battle, Kirito asks Tiffany to tell Lizbeth that he didn't really name the sword she crafted for him "Piece of Shit". Whilst Played for Laughs given Tiffany doesn't understand the context, Kirito showing some genuine respect for Lizbeth and her blacksmithing after giving her such a hard time in Episode 7 is quite touching. He also apologizes to Klein for not joining his guild back at the start of the game and admits that it probably would have been a lot of fun, which leaves Klein incoherent with Tears of Joy.
- Kirito and Kayaba's confrontation.
- In the aftermath, when Kirito, Asuna and Kayaba meet again, there's surprisingly little animosity between them, and Kirito even tries to buck up his nemesis.Asuna: As someone you recently murdered, this feels kind of weird to ask, buuut are you doin' okay? You seem a bit... off.
Kirito: Yeah, like someone killed your dog in front of you and is now wearing it like a festive hat!
Kayaba: Whaaaat? No, what do I have to feel down about? I'm just standing here watching my hopes and dreams crumble into the uncaring void, thinking about how my business is ruined and, in all likelihood, I'm now the most wanted man on the face of the earth!
Kirito: Well, I mean... everyone wants to feel wanted? Right?
- Kayaba admits that he did enjoy his chats with Kirito, even if he doesn't like the thought of why he does.
- Kirito's promise at the end of the world.Kirito: I'm gonna find you, and we're gonna become a real fuckin' family! I'm sorry I've never said it out loud before, but... I love you, Asuna!
(they embrace, fade to white)
Asuna: I know...
- Even the YouTube subtitles get in on it once the credits roll.Subtitles: Well it ended guys. Here is to the better SAO, SAO Abridged! Thanks for all the laughs. And all the feels. To everyone on these credits. And thank everyone who comes later down the line. This hit me in the heart more than I care to admit. And I cannot wait for the next great thing from all your geniuses. So in the name of the audience I, Mr. Subtitle Writer, thank you all. We all love what you have created. You are the best!
- The last shot of the episode, following the credits, is of a Sword Art Online Abridged arcade machine with a "Continue?" screen ticking down as the video fades to black... whereupon the sound of coins being inserted is cued.Something Witty Entertainment: Just to be clear, we plan to abridge all of SAO. This is merely the end of season one :)
- Even though Kirito and Kayaba are Not So Different, the former defends the rest of the players despite his intense disdain for them, and Kayaba is genuinely taken aback.
- In Episode 12, Kirito mentions that he goes to see Asuna in the hospital every day.
- Episode 12 also gives us what the original Alfheim arc was missing in Asuna. Taken prisoner and held captive she gets the last laugh of the episode when she spits in her captor's face just before the credits roll, showing that she's still the badass young woman she was in the SAO arc.
- A Freeze-Frame Bonus shows that Kirito is following Silica on Twitter.
- Episode 13 starts with Kirito loudly complaining about his problems to Tiffany, but even while ranting the kid states that knows Tiff's a good enough guy to take it, and that he treasures their friendship. For his part, Tiffany doesn't get mad that Kirito's venting on him, and even though he hates Asuna, Tiff still puts Kirito on the path to rescuing her.
- After coming back from Tiff's bar, Kirito finds Suguha choking on a blueberry muffin, and really wants to let her die instead, but as he's considering, he can't stop himself and gives her juice to help her breathe. Considering his sister is probably the person he hates the most, it shows how much he's grown that he helps her sister without his Trauma Button being pushed, which was the usual cause of his Chronic Hero Syndrome moments.
- The episode also gives us the reunion between Kirito and Yui. Though unlike canon, this was slightly less heartwarming due to how Yui faked her death as a joke and Kirito accidentally trapped her in the item (which was like purgatory for her). But once she learns what's happened to Asuna, Yui becomes almost scarily-focused on helping Kirito rescue her other parent.
- Episode 14 gives us Kirito interacting and talking with/about Recon. Why is that Heartwarming? Well simply put
Recon is exactly the kind of person SAO Kirito would have MERCILESSLY talked down on. A weak player who just screams bully victim. Even when Leafa talks down on him, Kirito makes no move to do
ANYTHING towards the meek boy. In fact, he empathises with him, literally calling him too precious for this World, afterwards even referring to him with Oh that poor sweet boy. It just goes to show once more how much Kirito has grown as a person and that this kind of development sticks with him. Our sociopath is growing up.
- He also defends in-game marriage, insisting it counts for something.
- Kirito and Leafa's banter is a lot friendlier and on more equal footing in Alfheim than it ever was in real life as Kazuto and Suguha - although this becomes Hilarious in Hindsight once Suguha realizes she was bantering with her brother.
- Leafa helps Recon through the aftermath of his NervGear-induced panic attack.
- When Kirito attempts to leave, thinking Leafa can't help him, he makes an offhand comment about finding someone with a bit more experience. When she responds, offended, his immediate reaction is to apologise because he hadn't actually meant to insult her. He's come a long way from mocking Klein for not being able to kill a boar.
- Episode 15:
- While both Asuna and Yui have some legitimately scary scenes (Asuna threatening Sugou and Yui removing Leafa's face), they both have a heartwarming aspect in that both are in response Kirito being threatened (Sugou revealing he plans to drive Kirito over the Despair Event Horizon and Yui realizing Suguha is so paranoid and bitter she refuses to stop bullying Kirito inside the game even when obvious proof that he is legitimately worried about Asuna is presented).
- While demanding that Leafa hurry along with helping him rescue Asuna, Kirito offhandedly calls Asuna his beautiful wife.
- Kirito defending Recon from Leafa. Considering how much of a jerk and a snarky asshole Kirito normally is, having Kirito earnestly defend someone for being nothing but nice is both a touching gesture and a demonstration of how far Kirito has come since Season 1.
- It's not much, but Sugou mentions that he pays for his guards' therapy bills.