kunori - Episode 22 Commentary (SAO II)

Oct 6th, 2018
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  1. https://twitter.com/kunori_comm_en
  3. Asuna awaits Yuuki on her own, in the tavern she had guided her to. But someone then appears: Siune.
  5. Three day's long… it's long, right…?!
  7. And Siune takes her leave soon after leaving those ambiguous words. It must be depressing being the one left behind there…
  9. "courage", the OP for the latter half has actually reached 4th on the Oricon Weekly! Or so I heard! I had a geass put on me to prevent me from talking about my books' rankings, but it's all-ok since it's Tomatsu-san's CD! Congratulations!
  11. It's a miraculous song, a fusion of Tomatsu-san's energetic and emotional singing, lyrics invoking the stories, a strong yet fleeting melody, with the anime staff putting their soul into it, so I'm sure it can go even further!
  13. The songwriter, Nori-san (@ Nori1024gt), wrote "Ashitairo Himawari" which I love among Tomatsu-san's songs, too. "courage"'s 2nd verse onwards really gets things going, too, so please listen to the full version on the CD or broadcast!
  15. A rare appearance of Yuuki-papa! For just a second, though! He's pretty cold even at the breakfast table, huh…
  17. A rare look at Lisbeth and Silica in reality! The school coat's cute, isn't it…? The season in the story and out here has coincided all of a sudden. And I'm not done moving despite sending my winter wear over. Just me and a coat here.
  19. Yui and her robot body! …Just kidding, but it's a miniature version of the movable dome camera tested at Agil's. It's meant to be carried around by a person, but looks like controlling it is hard.
  21. Sure, he may've shut his laptop, but the network's still running… probably (sweat) Or the camera's connected to the network itself! That's to say, Yui was watching.
  23. Asuna's head collides with Kirito's shoulder! 3 Damage!
  24. Kirito's palm lands onto Asuna's back! 2 Damage!
  26. Why would you know, Kirito-sensei...? Well, there is an explanation for his guess, at least. We'll go in detail later.
  28. Of course, Yokohama Kouhoku General Hospital is fictitious, but it's probably located there. I did go to IKEA Kouhoku once myself. I'm jealous of those people living close to an IKEA.
  30. A third 《spectacled adult》 appears after Sugou-san and Kikuoka-san! But this Kurahashi-sensei's just a normal good person without bad intentions! Seriously!
  32. Dr. Kurahashi is played by Kiuchi Hidenobu who was in "The Irregular at Magic High School", too. His soothing, rational performance supports this important scene!
  34. The Medicuboid's written as Medicuboid in English, and is a portmanteau between "medical" and "cuboid". It originates from the Nerve Gear rather than the AmuSphere.
  36. Be it the AmuSphere or Nerve Gear, I'm so sorry to the cast for making them so hard to pronounce… The next generation "STL" is plenty easy, though!
  38. The end of palliative care involves using morphine to dull pain and such, so the patient's at a lower state of awareness… If we could erase the pain and allow them to keep their consciousness, it'd improve their QoL.
  40. Allow me to tweet, on a serious note, about 《HIV's Drug Resistance》 and 《HIV-tainted Blood Transfusion》 as Kurahashi-sensei explains. First up, drug resistance.
  42. Firstly, HIV refers to the 《human immunodeficiency virus》 which destroys immune cells if infected and not managed, leading to immunodeficiency. At this stage, there are signs of 《acquired immune deficiency syndrome》 or AIDS.
  44. As its name implies, drug-resistant HIV is a virus that can suddenly mutate to become resistant to HIV medication.
  46. The detection rate of the drug-resistant strain of HIV is on an upwards trend according to newly diagnosed cases in Japan (i.e. the virus is mutating as it transmit from person to person), at roughly 12 percent in 2010.
  48. That includes viruses with multidrug-resistance. Even in these days, unfortunately, it's difficult to keep AIDS from breaking out once infected with those.
  50. Specifically, in data from 2009, for drug-resistant class 3 HIV (MDR virus resistant to 3 among the 5 anti-HIV medication classes), 70% of the cases could not suppress the virus multiplication with mortality rate from AIDS rising to 30%.
  52. Likewise, that data shows the survival rate within 5 years from AIDS outbreak to be 20% (i.e. mortality rate of 80%), so simply put, 70% of those infected with MDR virus would advance to AIDS and 80% of those would pass away within 5 years.
  54. New discoveries are being made among anti-HIV medication, and the viruses continue mutating, so the situation shifts from year to year. We can only hope for medical advances to overcome the virus's evolution amidst the good and bad news.
  56. Continuing on, about contamination of blood for transfusion by HIV. By 2003, there were four cases of HIV transmission via transfusion.
  58. In 2004, when I wrote this story in the web version, the 《nucleic acid amplification testing (NAT)》 for donated blood improved, reducing the risk of HIV via transfusion, but unfortunately, a fifth case still occurred in Dec 2013.
  60. I did cover the "window period", when the virus couldn't be detected in the donated blood, in the book, but as it was cut from the anime, allow me to explain a little here.
  62. 《Antibodies testing》 and 《NAT》 are performed during blood screening, but the virus could be not yet detectable in the first six weeks from initial infection (though contagious all the same). This is known as the window period.
  64. If the blood was donated during this period, the blood could slip through the cracks and be used as transfusion.
  66. To prevent contamination of blood for transfusion, it's important to avoid 《donating blood for the sake of receiving the test》.
  68. The blood centers operated by the Japan Red Cross do their best, but it's a difficult, yet to be solved, issue when it comes to how to notify blood donors that they've tested positive.
  70. I believe as potential recipients, we need to hold proper interest in the subject and have further in-depth discussions in order to stem the spread.
  72. Regarding the source of infection here, the mother was infected upon receiving a transfusion for the haemorrhaging resulting from an urgent C-section during delivery. The father was infected due close intimate contact with her.
  74. Yuuki and Aiko were infected through either direct contact with the contaminated blood during delivery (blood transfusion to replace the entire body's worth of blood is performed when blood loss is severe enough, such as in DIC)…
  75. ...or breastfeeding after they were born (there is no way to identify which). The chances of a mother infecting her child is up to 30 - 40% if she is unaware of her HIV infection.
  77. As Dr. Kurahashi mentioned, depending on the advances of anti-HIV medication, it may be possible to suppress HIV for decades, even for one's entire lifespan. (aside from MDR viruses)
  79. But that requires early detection and proper, constant treatment. It still maintains its effectively 100% mortality rate if untreated.
  81. Mother's Rosario takes place roughly 11 years from now, in Jan 2026, but even then, it is unlikely any medication would've been developed capable of destroying any viruses (not just HIV).
  83. I believe what's truly important is the correct knowledge regarding diseases in order to protect one and one's partner. For Yuuki and her elder sister, who lost that opportunity from the start, and her parents, too.
  85. The scene where Yuuki listens to Asuna and Dr. Kurahashi from her VR space wasn't in the book. It's an idea that came up during our turbulent discussion over the storyboard, to show Yuuki's reaction…
  87. but I do believe it was done well, demonstrating her loneliness and distance from the real world! That space is Yuuki's 《personal room》, and though it can be customized into something more girlish,
  89. it was made into a dark area with screens to drive the point that it's a VR space. It resembles that space Yui was shut away in during the Aincrad arc before meeting Kirito and Asuna, huh?
  91. I trembled at how the BGM began while still in the dull hospital before transiting to the virtual world at daybreak… Kajiura-san's BGMs are lovely as always!
  93. Allow me to express my greatest respect to all of the staff, for portraying the 《coming and going between the real and game worlds》, SAO's basis, throughout all of Ⅱ, starting from the Fairy Dance arc.
  95. Yuuki had continued full-diving via the Medicuboid for a long three years, making her the 《person with the longest history of full-diving》.
  97. I wrote this before, but the affinity between the full-dive machine and one's brain improves with time spent diving. Additionally, the Medicuboid provides higher fidelity and power when compared to the Nerve Gear.
  99. Of course, it depends on one's nature, but those are the three factors behind 《Yuuki's strength》, and the major role played by the Medicuboid was what Kirito noticed in the battle against her.
  101. Yuuki realized what Kirito noticed and that was what she meant by thinking "he wouldn't work" as "he'd realize my secret".
  103. This scene where Asuna, usually distancing herself from others, takes a step forward and hugs Yuuki tight certainly shows the changes in her heart. Naturally, Yuuki isn't unaffected from that either.
  105. Her elder sister's《藍子》and she's《木綿季》when written in kanji. Konno Aiko-san sounds like a truly indigo-blue-ish name! In the setting, their ancestors actually did synthesize indigo dye for a living.
  106. (tlnote: 藍子 is literally "indigo child")
  108. As Dr. Kurahashi said, a hospice specializes in palliative care and 《Serene Garden》 is the private VR hospice utilizing The Seed program. Most resources are spent on the beauty of the scenery with few game elements (housing & gathering),
  110. but there is no combat elements. Still, the young Yuuki, Siune, Jun, and so on formed a team with the thought, "We want to try fighting now and then!" and converted into various other game worlds.
  112. Their guild name, 《Sleeping Knights》, conceals the fact that they all suffer from terminal diseases. The first guild leader, Aiko-san, naturally took 《Ran》, her character name, from her real name.
  113. (tlnote: 藍 can be read as "Ran")
  115. I know I wrote it myself, but Yuuki's voice as she whispers, "It's enough. It's enough for me" made some swell up from in me. I'm truly glad we had Yuuki Aoi-san take up Yuuki's role.
  117. This scene taking place on this small island is speechlessly beautiful, be it the background, characters, or speech, and I would like to thank the art staff who put their all in it.
  118. It is an 《exposition episode》, but this 22nd episode was wonderfully done, packed with such intense emotions!
  120. The ending comes on as Asuna suggests an unexpected proposition with a smile. The ED theme, Like-san's "Shirushi", has been released as of yesterday, 10th Dec (sorry for the delay)!
  122. Argh, what a mistake… I meant LiSA-san, not Like-san! Real-time communication's a real risk, really!
  124. I had the pleasure of listening to the full version for the first time yesterday myself, and that fake out at the high point hit me in the heart… I want to hear it live… I want to go to its release event…!
  126. I writhed for real. I'm glad it’s the OP, and as the author, nothing made me happier than having a song written which matched so well with its worldscape.
  128. Hope to see you again for the 23rd episode next time, "Beginning of a Dream"! Thank you for accompanying me on this long commentary!
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