Sword Art Online - "Return" Episode 15 Recap
It has been two months since Kirgaya (Kirito) saved the players of Sword Art Online from their fates inside the death game. However, Asuna is still not waking up in reality and the situation becomes much more grave when Kirgaya finds himself meeting Sugou Nobuyuki.
It has been two months since Kirgaya was able to successfully save the players of Sword Art Online from their gruesome fates. After waking up from a nightmare about Asuna, he decides to kendo spar with his sister Suguha, who is growing concerned about her brother’s behavior. Suguha recalls when she watched over Kirgaya in the hospital and learned from their mother that she and him were really cousins and not siblings.
Kirgaya visits the comatose Asuna in the hospital and reflects on how thirty other people are still in the same state. Asuna’s father soon enters the room with his associate Sugou Nobuyuki, who abruptly remarks that it might be the right time for him to become part of the family. After Asuna’s dad leaves the room after receiving surprising news, Sugou boldly tells Kirito to stay away from Asuna because in exactly one week she will become his bride. He continues that marrying her while she’s in a coma would be the perfect timing to finally achieve his desires once and for all, due to Asuna never being fond of him. Before Kirgaya can react against this, Sugou slyly tells him that he shouldn’t act rashly because his very company is what’s been keeping her alive since the Sword Art Online developers went bankrupt.
Later at night, Suguha finds her brother breaking down over the situation and comforts him, saying that he shouldn’t give up on somebody he loves so much. As Kirgaya wakes up the next morning with new resolve to move forward, he discovers a surprise email from Egil. Attached is a picture of evidence pointing to where Asuna’s mind may be located…
Season 2 begins by adding more truths to an already complex situation. Kirgaya begins to adapt back into reality only to find his world crashing down when he meets Sugou Nobuyuki, a businessman so tainted by greed that he plans on forcing Asuna to marry him against her will in one week. The one big problem I have with Sugou’s characterization is that between his position in the gaming company and his taunting personality, it feels way too obvious that he’s most likely the main reason why Asuna is still in a coma for a mysterious reason. Nevertheless, he excudes antagonism through his cruel facial expressions and malicious words that get under the skin of both Kiragaya and the viewer easily.
One of the coolest parts about this particular part of the story is that we get more information on the backgrounds of how the characters live their lives in reality. Kirito is revealed to be more of a genius, while his sister Sugou is a kendo expert and is able to even outrank her “brother” in skill when it comes to swordplay. Hopefully new and old characters will make more entrances in the real world so we can receive a better understanding about what they go through on a daily basis. The journey of the player Kirito is definitely not over, and it looks like Asuna’s fate now lays tangled in both reality and yet another online game.