Wow… there was quite a bit to unpack in this episode.
First, we’ll focus on Ocean Turtle. At the end of the previous episode, we saw Yanai point a gun at Higa to try to stop the operation of trying to repair Kirito’s damaged soul. It comes out that Yanai was connected with Sugou, the main antagonist of the Fairy Dance Arc, and how he infiltrated Rath in order to further his own goals and ambitions. We also see how crazy this guy has become after he reveals that he made contact with Administrator and how he fell in love with her and is now trying to avenge her death. Yeah, this Yanai gone has totally gone off the deep end. It’s in this part of the story where the title “Code 871” comes into play.
We return to Gabriel and Sinon, and Sinon recognizes his character from Gun Gale Online. She freezes and panics, and Gabriel intends to steal her soul. This scene was a little uncomfortable, though, because of how his attempt to steal her soul is depicted. When he unleashes his power to draw her to him while she’s too scared to move, it’s origin starts near his groin. And it appears he has to kiss her to try to steal her soul. The allusions to rape here make sense considering what he’s trying to do, but it was still a little uncomfortable to watch. But something unexpected happens, and it allows Sinon to get away and to regain her courage to fight Gabriel. We don’t get very far in the Sinon vs. Gabriel battle in this episode, though.
We return to Iskahn and Scheta Synthesis Twelve, where it appears that they’re done for. At least we don’t have any cheesy dialogue with them this time. And remember how I’ve been asking about what happened to Leafa and Lilpilin over the past couple of weeks? I finally got my answer in this episode, when Leafa, Lilpilin, and Lilpilin’s forces appear just in the nick of time to save the day. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of what’s going on with them, because the action shifts elsewhere on the battlefield.
We then shift to where some of the players Liz encouraged to help them in this adventure are up against the players from China and South Korea. They manage to subdue them enough for one of their party members to try to explain what’s going on. While most of the troops don’t seem to trust her, the two people we saw in the previous episode who were a little skeptical about the situation come forward and point out what they’ve been skeptical about with this whole thing. Unfortunately, just as it seems progress is being made, Vassago appears and manages to rile up the Chinese and South Korean players. At least the two who were skeptical seem to be siding with the Japanese players. Again, this is where this portion of the story ends in this episode.
We return to Asuna and her group, and they are basically down for the count and overwhelmed by the Chinese and South Korean players. Vassago appears here as well, and he insists that Asuna and the others put down their arms. Asuna, feeling she has no other choice, agrees. Vassago reveals the truth about the incident with Laughing Coffin, which angers Asuna. But it does make me question something… are the Chinese and South Korean players listening to this conversation? If I was among them and I heard about how this guy betrayed his own comrades in another game, I would be questioning his sincerity in this current situation. The episode ends with Vassago asking to see Kirito, and Kirito being brought out in his wheelchair.
For the most part, this episode is making it look like just about everything is leading up to the worst possible conclusion. The only real bright spots here are Sinon gaining the strength she needs to go up against Gabriel, and Leafa and Lilpilin’s appearance to help the pugilists in their hour of need. Outside of that, it’s basically doom and gloom. But with Kirito now being brought out to being face-to-face with Vassago, a miracle is going to need to happen pretty quickly with him. I’m curious to see how this story is going to progress next week, since things are looking pretty grim at the end of this episode.