kunori - Episode 24 Commentary (SAO II)
Oct 6th, 2018
- A barbecue at the forest home! It's tough in the real world (even finding a spot for it in Tokyo's hard...), but air's the limits in this world! Cleaning up's quick, too. Well, someone may get mad if it's held in the teleport plaza...
- It's real nice with all the characters interacting with each other for the first time! Like Sakuya stopping Eugene from recruiting Yuuki. Or Recon and his dark aura looking at Leafa chatting with Tecchi.
- Silica's adorable going "Seriously…?" with her face like （゜△゜）, lol.
- The pre-OP ends with the 28th floor boss finished off on a whim… but there's no OP this time round! There were rumors that Adachi-san crumbled when he found that out from the storyboard.
- Instead, there's an insert song! It's the song coupled with "Courage", "Separate Ways"! I love this song, so I'm glad it made it into the anime!
- The happenings of Feb and Mar run on as the song plays. Yuuki continues to take lessons via the probe. And Asuna goes "mumumu…" as she watches Kirito in a passionate discussion with Yuuki over the probe's improvements.
- Nori and Yuuki puts up a good fight against Leafa in ALO's aerial race, the 《Speedholic》. The Sleeping Knights and Asuna breaking through the 29th floor as well with a single party.
- Kirito and Yuuki engaged in fierce combat in the duel tournament open to all races. And the probe accompanies Asuna, Suguha, Rika, and Keiko on their trip to Kyoto. Yuuki's complaint: "I want some of that food, too!"
- Time passes on quick, and a mail comes in on Asuna's mobile terminal on the last Sunday of March from Doctor Kurahashi.
- And I just noticed, but there's a time difference between BS11 which has ads and niconico which doesn't…! I'm going with BS11's, I'm so sorry!
- Asuna races to the hospital, hearing of her sudden deterioration, and she gasps, seeing the door to the clean room open.
- Resuscitation is often not performed for terminal care, but Dr. Kurahashi went for it in order for them to meet.
- In the real world, Yuuki had lost most of her vision due to the progress of CMV retinitis. She barely has the strength to move her body by this time. Understanding that, Asuna plead with Kurahashi to reactivate the Medicuboid.
- As the Medicuboid is far more powerful than the Nerve Gear, it is able to pick up even miniscule amounts of input. That is why Yuuki could still move and talk even on the verge of death.
- Forcing through the last strands of her strength, Yuuki lets loose her OSS, Mother's Rosario. The item created is an 《OSS Inheritance Scroll》.
- Yuuki collapsed as the level of signals sent from her brain to her avatar have dipped beyond the minimum requirements. The AmuSphere would've shut down, judging its user unfit, but the Medicuboid barely continues reading Yuuki's thoughts.
- I wrote that OSS inheritance was limited to one generation, but there were exceptions. That referred to when the OSS's creator left ALO (account deletion). The first player to receive it (or a designated player) would then inherit it.
- The chapter title, 《Mother's Rosario》, is now revealed to be the name of Yuuki's 11-hit OSS. I guess you now know why Asuna uses Moher's Rosario in Dengeki Fighting Climax!
- Rosario is Portuguese and it's Rosary in English; it refers to the rosary used in Catholic prayer. The beads are standardized with the basic 《single-decade rosary》 having 10 small beads and 1 large one. That's why Yuuki's OSS is 11 hits.
- There was a church scene in episode 23, and Yuuki's mother who passed away two years ago was Christian. OSS Mother's Rosario was simultaneously a prayer from Yuuki to her, and a form of her mother's continual protection.
- Finishing the OSS inheritance, Asuna looks simply divine watching over Yuuki… Adachi-san and the rest of the staff have exerted much effort into each character's expressions this episode.
- The Sleeping Knights rush in. Nori smiles before her expression crumbles, and that's just... The lip-sync's perfect, too…
- Kirito said that "The real world fading away is the dark side of VRMMOs" at the end of the GGO arc. That applies not just to Kirito but the members of the Sleeping Knights as well.
- To them, 《the real world is just one of many worlds》, and 《death in the real world is a journey to the next》. That could be considered salvation to them, fighting against their individual illnesses.
- Players from all races crowd in, following Kirito.
- This development may somewhat dilute the impact of this scene, and I was at a loss whether to write it in. But I wanted as many people to see Yuuki off as possible.
- It wasn't in the anime, but when news leaked of Yuuki being a HIV carrier during her 4th year of elementary school, she was forced to transfer, harassed at home with protests at school. AIDS settled in soon after, and she was hospitalized.
- Dr. Kurahashi mentioned the ill will from many others could've been the spark to her AIDS outbreak. I wrote this, wanting her to be showered with the good will from countless others at her end.
- Asuna and Yuuki's farewell scene is utterly amazing, be it the direction, art, music, or acting. I'm truly fortunate to have these staff and cast work on this anime.
- The visage Yuuki sees upon Asuna could've been her elder sister, her mother, or perhaps someone else… I can't properly express how beautiful this cut is.
- The long Part A comes to an end, and Part B is Yuuki's funeral mass at a church. Her relatives must've not expected this long line of attendees. Those are ALO players or the students of the Survivor School.
- Siune, real name An Si-eun, appears before Asuna. This name was decided with the help of Kim Wan-san who translates SAO into Korean.
- 《Remission》 refers to when a disease lessens in impact temporarily, and relapses are possible, so it's not a total recovery. A complete remission refers to infected cells are completely absent in case of cancer, especially leukaemia.
- Siune had a relapse after a remission via chemotherapy, and underwent salvage therapy after not finding a marrow donor, so a complete remission's quite a miracle.
- Yuuki's direct cause of death is organ failure through malignant lymphoma from HIV. This illness is from a virus called EBV turning B cells (B lymphocytes) cancerous.
- Actually, over 90% of all Japanese people are infected with EBV. In healthy bodies, cancerous B cells from the EBV would be dealt with through tumor immunity, but immunodeficiency from AIDs and such allow them to develop into lymphoma.
- Yuuki was infected with the EB virus by the time she went into the Medicuboid. In other words, as Dr. Kurahashi told Asuna, her final cause of death was a "virus that was originally in her body".
- The immune system protects human bodies from many pathogens, but they're the cause for allergies or collagen disease. The more you investigate, the more you realize human lives are truly balanced on a tightrope.
- This Professor Koujiro Rinko whose name appeared at the end of Part B was once in the same university research group as Kayaba Akihiko, Sugou Nobuyuki, and Higa Takeru (from the fourth arc), researching full-dive technology.
- Kayaba used a high powered modified Nerve Gear before her to scan his own brain and died. The Medicuboid is a reconstruction of that.
- It is based on Kayaba's thoughts, but he did it not out of good will but as a stepping stone for greater heights. The data from the Medicuboid tests was sent to not just medical companies, but an organization led by Kikuoka Soujiro,
- and that is where it was used for the development of the fourth generation full-dive machine, the 《Soul Translator》.
- The ED, "Shirushi", comes in as its version with the outro (it was originally TV size), and ends off with a cut of Yuuki's sword. It's touching…
- And Part C with a picnic at Kokyo Kita Gardens! This is a completely original scene from Director Itou who wrote the screenplay for the final episode!
- Kirito and Asuna who had a private date there in mid-Winter in the first episode of season two mentioned that "they would come with everyone else someday", and here's that day!
- Allow me to give a reply to a question I previously received: 《Why did you have Yuuki suffer from AIDS, an actual disease, rather than hide its name or use some fictitious illness?》
- When I used full-dive technology as the basis of this tale called SAO, it was inevitable that it would involve the theme 《VR and Medical Care》, and that includes the usage of technology for palliative care.
- That is to say, Yuuki, the heroine in Mother's Rosario, would naturally suffer from some progressive fatal ailment.
- On one hand, AIDS is an extremely sensitive illness to be used in fiction, and obviously, I should avoid it entirely if I'd rather not entertain the questions regarding it. That path was naturally open to me.
- However, as an author, I found meaning in having this character, Yuuki, face her bitter, severe fate.
- I have no intention of arrogantly re-educating my readers through the stories I write, but if, by involving AIDS in fiction, I could have the readers hold more interest or gain knowledge regarding it through inviting discussions or such,
- I do believe the limited span of time between Yuuki's arrival in and departure from the story would be of significance. It was with those intentions that I used a non-fictional disease.
- I was never asked "Let's change the name of Yuuki's illness", be it when it was published or turned into an anime, by my editor, the producers, or directors. I would like to thank all involved in sending out this story into the world.
- With this, that's the end of Sword Art Online II's 24 episodes. Everyone, thank you so very much for accompanying me through this half year.
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