We finally get an episode that shows the audience what’s been going on in the real world while Kirito has been with Eugeo. This ended up being a good place to put this, since the previous episode had ended with Kirito and Eugeo just starting out on their quest.
The episode begins by showing the audience the attack on Kirito that took place right at the end of the first episode. From there, we see he went into surgery, and learned that his heart had technically stopped for five minutes. While we may be out of the woods, he’s unconscious and it’s not known what kind of brain damage may have occurred. The doctor says Kirito needs to be transferred somewhere that is better equipped to take care of him. At around this time, Kikuoka shows up and helps to make the arrangements to get Kirito transferred to another facility.
But a mystery arises when Suguha and Asuna go to visit Kirito at the new facility, and they are turned away. Thanks to help from Yui, it’s discovered that Kirito was never taken to that facility. By using information from the heart rate monitor that is attached to Kirito, it’s determined where the ambulance actually went. Unfortunately, when they get to the location, they find Kirito isn’t there.
Through sharing information and making deductions, Asuna and the others realize that a character who had appeared briefly earlier on in the franchise could hold the key to finding Kirito. Asuna reaches out to this person, and the episode ends with the beginnings of the answer as to what has been going on in regards to Kirito in the real world.
As a viewer, I was glad to finally see what’s been going on in the real world. Looking back, the previous three episodes needed to focus on Kirito in order to establish the world he’s in, as well as characters in that world. As I said earlier, this was the perfect place to finally reveal what’s going on in the real world, because Kirito’s story had a natural stopping point for the time being. We know that when we return to Kirito’s part of the story, he will be on his quest with Eugeo.
But now the question is, which story will be focused on in Episode 6? Will we continue following Asuna? Will we return to Kirito? Or will there be intercutting between both stories? I can see pros and cons for all of these options, although as a viewer, I would personally like to see some intercutting between the stories now, since we have established what’s going on with both of them. As the series continues, we’ll see how the writers decide to handle the execution of the storytelling. But hopefully, there will be more in the way of action and plot progression in each episode going forward.