For something that was built up last episode... it wasn't an interesting conclusion. Pretty, but ultimately brought down by pointless fanservice and politics.
Originally Posted by Light Lucario
Really, I don't know how one can make such politics interesting in a show like this. It's focus is action, and we shouldn't be getting in depth that needs time and crafting.
Though this is an RPG, I really don't think stats would cause Player Characters to find him likable.
And did we really need the cat girl and the leader hitting on Kirito, especially when they were focusing on their bodies in a fairly uncomfortable manner? I didn't even understood why they were hitting on him like that to begin with. He isn't really attractive in the slightest and he's pretty bland personality wise, so I don't see how practically every female character he comes across is attracted to him. He defeated a strong opponent with his Gary Stu powers, but that wasn't really enough to make their behavior believable or tolerable, especially when they had to throw in the awkward moment of Leafa trying to stop them without admitting her feelings, which just adds in more awkwardness when she is developing more feelings for her cousin. Kirito's smooth move with Leafa later also made me question how so many girls could fall for him. Seriously, saying that you don't see a girl as a girl to explain why you get along so well is one of the easiest ways to make them upset and yet he's apparently charming enough to the point where girls throw themselves at him.
The only other thing I can see is the air of Chivalry to Kirito. He jumps into a middle of a fight to save someone, despite the odds, and still win. Granted, it's not very believable storywise, but perhaps that sense of honor does something to get the girls.
That, and duel welding and wearing black. Even if one is a bland uberprotagonist, those two things are always cool
But overall, the fanservice does get tiredsome. At least it wasn't a full underskirt shot of Leefya, and just showed her thigh. At least there's some moderation, unlike certain other anime.
I don't get why the show needs to include scenes of Asuna and the Creeper. We got from the first couple of scenes that the guy is evil. We don't need to know the details.
Asuna breaking out of her cell was at least better than yet another creepy scene with molesting her, but I doubt that it's going to lead anywhere. Overall, it was a pretty boring episode. The whole conflict with the Salamanders felt like a detour from the plot and not a particularly interesting one at that. The fight was just Kirito overpowering his opponent with his Gary Stu powers and I continue to question how someone like him could attract so many girls. At least there's only a few episodes left.
"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." ~ St. Augustine of Hippo
"Truth suffers, but never dies." -St. Teresa of Avila