Score – 8.5/10
Following the events from Episode 10 where Asuna dived into the underworld using the super-account of Goddess Stacia, in this next episode, Rath finally realized how dire their situation actually is. Evidently, Kiuoka has been oblivious to the one-to-one time ratio change between the underworld and the real world the entire time. Gabriel’s master-plan was not based on the dark army, but real life players…
Gabriel’s ultimate plan was to send in more than 30,000 real-life VRMMORPG players into the underworld. The tide of the battles turn as the Integrity Knight quickly find themselves at a disadvantage against such massive threats.
However, Yui, apparently being the only AI on Earth that was able to deduce these plans, quickly gathered the Kirito friends and formulate a plan to save Kirito and the Underworld. To carry out the mission, there are challenges and sacrifices to be made.
To dive into the underworld, players must convert their ALO character data with the risk of losing it forever. The difficult task comes now in which Lisbeth must successfully convince an angry and seemingly unforgiving crowd into lending them a hand.
I feel this is the moment where Episode 11 shines the best. Having already read the Light Novel up to this point, I can confidently say that the anime execution of Lisbeth speech is better by a huge margin. Is there a difference between the real world and the VRMMORPG world? Is the time that she spent leveling, making friends and overcoming challenges together in a VRMMORPG all meaningless? Of course not!! Yet, the same world that Lisbeth relied on everyday is being threatened. She cannot just stand-by and watch everything crumble into nothingness.
Maybe I am just an easily satisfied person, but Lisbeth speech nailed its emotional and meaningful message. People who constantly game all day are treated as ‘parasites’ of modern society. Yet, to some, gaming is a way to escape the cruel and brutal reality that we live in today. As an avid gamer myself, though many might say that the time spent gaming might as well be invested in something else, I have never think of gaming as a waste of time.
If we consider why people game in the first place, especially MMORPG, it is due to the adventures that players are unable to experience in modern society. Swords and bows are reminiscent of the past, hence we must rely on video games to fulfill our restless imagination. Evidently, what Lisbeth says is true. There is a blurry line between the real world and video games: not in terms of its specific content, but the time we spent socializing with players, learning strategies, as well as obtaining other life skills. And in the case of Lisbeth, her friends are truly worth much more than a simple ALO account.
Overall, Episode 11 was on-point and truly meaningful to a gamer like me. And asides from its perfect execution of this message, I am definitely hype for the upcoming final episode.
Also, considering what I said above: Has anyone ever looked down on you simply because you spent too much time gaming? What was your overall thoughts to their comments?