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Warning: this article is full of spoilers. Read at your own risk or choose another article to read.
Welcome to one of the best anime for those RPG and game fan! Who of us hasn’t customized our avatars, gone on missions, formed guilds, explored entire worlds, or defeated evil without desiring for it become real? I mean, those shiny coins or jewels would be useful in the real world… Not to mention that some gaming communities grow so strong in the non-virtual world that they become truly like family.
The ubiquitous presence of mobile devices has also contributed to spreading and normalizing the gaming culture. Japan is on the cutting edge of this industry, thus, it is not surprising that Japanese creatives and artists ponder on how technology will affect entertainment in the future.
On this premise, writer Reki Kawahara and illustrator Abec published a light novel about a virtual RPG with ecchi hints in the internet of 2009. The light novel, Sword Art Online, has been adapted into an anime series, manga, films, and video games (of course). Although almost all the ecchi was left out of the anime, the premise proved to be a success.
Having a charismatic leading couple helped a lot, too. Gamers all throughout the world can identify themselves with either Kirito or Asuna, an intelligent combo who become powerful, virtual, sword-bearing warriors. As the game develops into a nightmare where no one is allowed to log-out unless they clear all the levels, Kirito and Asuna team up to defeat their enemies in order to escape alive. Otherwise, they will die in the real world too. So not cool…
Combining a clear cut style of animation with cheerful colors, great 3D graphics and a story with sweet undertones, Sword Art Online has offered us an unforgettable virtual couple. So, without further ado, let’s remember some of the best moments of Kirito and Asuna!
1. Because Kirito is a talented hacker
Our protagonist is Kirigaya Kazuto, better known by his name in the Sword Art Online gaming system, Kirito. He is a high-school student who works a part time job as game tester. Kirito is the typical geek who spends most of his time in front of computers. Therefore, his social abilities are not the best. It is true that Kirito tends to be blunt and teasing towards other people, but he keeps calm even in the most extreme situations. Kirito also refuses to leave other vulnerable people alone, as shown since the first episodes in the anime.
This guy is also highly intelligent and a capable programmer since his childhood. He even built a computer when he was at elementary school! His hacking abilities have come quite handy in the world of Sword Art Online, as shown in Episode 6 where Kirito teams up with Asuna to investigate the murder of Kains and Yolko. A cute scene involving Asuna and Kirito—and a vanishing sandwich—helped him to solve the mystery, saving the members of their friends’ guild. Also, when their foster daughter Yui is in danger of disappearing, he manages to preserve her virtual memory with his hacking abilities.
2. Because Asuna is as talented as Kirito
Enter Asuna Yuuki, or simply known as Asuna, our protagonist’s romantic interest and partner in crime (or should we say partner in sword?). Asuna is an excellent sword fighter and strategist, although merciless and uninterested in surviving in the first episodes. As the Sub-leader of the Knights of the Blood, she devised a plan to defeat the boss of one of the game’s levels, although that meant having to sacrifice the entire village and other innocent gamers in the process. Fortunately, Asuna did change her views on the lives of the NPCs and gamers after meeting Kirito. But that didn´t affect Asuna’s fighting abilities, as we can see in episode 15 how Asuna proves her strength by easily slaying a monster-fish, saving Kirito.
Asuna also shows that she has a soft side, as she is an excellent cook who spoils her sweetheart with delicious food. Her talents allows her to fight alongside Kirito as well as support him off the battlefield. In general, Asuna acts in a cute and tender way with Kirito, making of her a perfect combination of girlfriend and guard—I mean, sword bearer ☺.
3. Because they find moments to relax
One of the rules of the Sword Art Online game is that, in order to stay alive, the players should not let their energy levels run out, however Asuna never takes the time to rest. That’s why in episode 5, Asuna is irritated when Kirito takes a nap under the shadows of the trees. Yet, she ends up taking a nap herself while he watches over her. On this way we can see that Asuna let’s herself rest with Kirito. And they even plan to have dinner together later. It’s like going on a date in the real world—how cute is that?
How about that nearly ecchi scene in episode 10 where Asuna misunderstood Kirito’s intentions and appeared in glorious underwear by night? This couple had room for comical moments, although they were in a life or death adventure. The best part of it is that Kirito, instead of taking advantage of Asuna’s mistake, asked her to marry him. They quit the game’s missions and even found their foster daughter Yui to create a happy family, even if just for a while. They can just relax when they’re together.
4. Because they protect each other
We have mentioned that Asuna changes due to her relationship with Kirito, but Kirito also becomes a happier person, as now he has a travel companion who cares for him.
For example, on episode 6, Kirito faints after he defeats the level’s boss and Asuna looks relieved when he regains consciousness. Thus, he finally has someone who is happy that he is alive and well. In episode 10, Kirito also feels secure enough to open up about his past in the Sword Art Online game, so he tells Asuna about the Moonlit Black Cats guild. This is depicted in the first chapters of the anime, but to make the long story short, everyone in the guild except Kirito died. This made a great impact on him because he promised one of the members, called Sacchi, that he was going to protect her. Asuna ends up promising Kirito that she will protect him.
Actually, in the same episode Kirito saves her during a mission. So, this couple take turns to save and protect each other. Showing reciprocity is very important in a relationship. Remember that, boys and girls!
5. Because their love pushes them to give their best
Both Kirito and Asuna become better people through their relationship, caring about their fellow gamer friends and saving as much of them as possible. In episode 14, it is revealed that the last boss is Akihiko Kabaya, the creator of the Sword Art Online game world. Akihiko paralyzes everyone except Kirito so they fight. When Kirito was going to receive the final blow, Asuna sacrifices herself, so that he can override the Death system to clear the game. This lets all the surviving players to log-out safely. Here we can see that Asuna is willing to sacrifice herself to save everyone else.
And so, Kirito awakens in the real world after spending two years inside the game. Although he is being shown to have become physically weak, Kirito must start his search for the real Asuna to save her from a world she may be lost in, a quest that apparently he managed to accomplish.
That, my friends, is some real love born from a virtual adventure! ☺
The story of Sword Art Online makes us wonder how different our online lives are when we compare them with our offline lives. As technology progresses more and more, some people have actually met their partners online, married them and had children with them virtually first. This anime plays with the idea of how life or death scenarios can show us who we really are. In the case of Kirito and Asuna, they started the game as loners, only to finally become heroes for the sake of other people. And, as their inner self is essentially the same both in the game and in the real world, their love and of course, their relationship, remains authentic. Thus, the virtual world and the offline world do not have such a clear division line, right?
Kirito and Asuna had more virtual adventures together, as the pair of hard core gamers they are, but that would be the subject for further articles. For now, we leave you with several questions. The first is the obliged, which is your favorite Kirito and Asuna scene? The second one would be, which other game worlds would you love to see them in? We remind you that we welcome all your comments and suggestions. See you soon!