Warning, Major Spoilers Ahead
Land of Fairies — does that mean a Tinkerbelle cameo is on the horizon? All jokes aside this is the moment you’ve been waiting for, it’s time to go back to the virtual world. Kirito starts playing a game called Alfheim Online because he believe it’s the reason Asuna is in a coma. Basically SAO has morphed into a rescue mission, but is this a good or bad thing?
I have to be honest – I’m starting to think they should have stuck with the SAO stuff until the end of this series. Most of us still have questions about that world so introducing a ‘new’ one only adds to the confusion. I know this is based on the light novels, but if the pacing was slowed down the first arc could have easily lasted for 25 episodes. Sigh, could of, should of, would of.
Seeing Kirito enter another virtual world was exciting. It felt like a homecoming and he even said, “I’m back.” It was also nice to see Yui again. Her return serves as a debriefing; she explains to Kirito that Alfheim Online is using Sword Art Online’s tech. This explains why he still has some of his powers. The episode ends with our hero rescuing a damsel in distress. It’s the blonde girl from the OP and her true identity is blatantly obvious (I haven’t read the source material, but the OP basically gives it away).
‘Land of Fairies’ is a good episode, but it feels like the show has lost some of its magic. A rescue mission in the name of love is nowhere near as exciting as a homicidal MMO. The stakes don’t feel as high, sure Kirito wants to be with Asuna, but so far this isn’t a life or death situation. And even if the game does turn deadly it just won’t be the same. Still, even at its worse SAO is one hell of an anime. (Rating: 7.5/10)