Warning, Major Spoilers Ahead
SAO took and unexpected turn last week. The only way you could have predicted that coming is if you read the light novels (which is basically cheating). Now it feels like a completely different series. ‘Return’ is another great episode, but it left me feeling extremely anxious.
Kirito is back in the real world and we’re introduced to his little sister. It’s obvious from the beginning that she has a crush on her big brother. She shows some signs of jealousy and all bets are off once it’s revealed she really isn’t his sister. Incestuous relationships between cousins is still immoral, but for some reason in the anime world it’s borderline acceptable.
Asuna is still in a coma. This is the big plot point on ‘Return’ and the reason Kirito will inevitably enter another virtual world. But that’s not all; some creep is moving in on his turf and trying to marry Asuna while she’s in a coma. Also it’s apparent that he’s the one pulling the strings and the episode ends with a virtual Asuna in a cage.
SAO remains impressive; most shows would lose steam after such a big transition. Still, I can’t wait until next week when the plot goes back to the virtual world. I’m not crazy about the elf designs in the OP, but I’m willing to over look that if this arc is as good as the first one. (Rating: 9/10)