Kirito and Asuna’s peaceful life stye comes to an end when the leader of the Knights of Blood asks them to return for the next boss on the 75th floor.
While fishing at a nearby lake Kirito comes across a old fisherman by the name of Nishida, who turns out to be the security manager of the game and one of its developers. Kirito takes Nishida back to his house, where Asuna happily cooks the single fish they obtained for dinner. The next day Kirito goes along with Nishida’s request to enter a fishing contest that involves catching a rare fish, which is later revealed to be nothing more than a giant monster . Asuna eliminates the foe and Kirito gets a message from Heathcliff, leader of the Knights of Blood, to return to the guild HQ at once. The couple says their goodbyes to Nishida with the understanding that they have each other, no matter what happens next.
At the headquarters, Kirito and Asuna learn that a scout group has vanished inside the boss room of the 75th floor. This event pushes Heathcliff to decide that they will all pursue the boss and destroy it at once. A worried Kirito tries to convince Asuna to stay behind, but she refuses and remarks that they will protect each other. The Knights of Blood troops arrive in front of the boss room with the added additions of Klein, the Furinkazan and Igneel. The group storms inside the room, but is caught off guard when the Skull Reaper jumps down and eliminates various troops with a single strike. Kirito, Asuna and Heathcliff go on the direct offensive while the rest of the soldiers prepare to attack the sides of the beast.
The honeymoon era comes to a close when Kirito and Asuna are forced back into the nightmare environment of the front lines. Our main characters have known that they would have to fight for freedom again and that they can’t run away inside the virtual world, as their own bodies will eventually die out in reality.
Edge of Hell’s Abyss splendidly mixes many emotions inside the context of a single episode. It was intriguing to feel the moods of the story slowly decay from the comedic happier feelings, to the utter despair of how powerful the Skull Reaper is. You could sense Kirito’s fear through his terrified expressions of watching players being wiped out from single attacks. Kirito’s anxiety of losing his beloved ones seems to be slowly becoming a weakness, as he continues to push himself so far where he tries to even keep Asuna away from the battles now. It definitely seems like Asuna’s protective feelings for her husband may play a huge part during the next episode, given how things played out between them at the guild headquarters. What worries me is the idea of Kirito losing Asuna and being driven into a melancholy state, where he constantly blames himself for not being strong enough to save the girl he loved.
On a side note, watching a mellow Kirito accidentally fish out a giant monster instead of a rare catch and then proceeding to have Asuna take it out was definitely one of the funnier moments in the series. It’s really hard to say where the story is going to go now, given how unpredictable it can be. All of this foreshadowing continues to tease my thoughts about what happens if one of the main characters really is about to perish.