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Old 2012-09-09, 03:13   Link #221
Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 36
Originally Posted by miroku2192 View Post
Just to add on to that, he's finally found something he really wants to protect again. In some ways, he has been able to semi-move over the Sachi hurdle, not entirely, but she's the light that he's been looking for. He's tired of playing solo, really.

I mean the whole solo business - wearing dark clothes, the "night" symbolical meanings, with Asuna being sort of the counterpart to that, nice, bright, outgoing. Really liked the bedroom scene when Kirito was telling the story about Sachi, and how the light from outside sort of shined on Asuna as she grabbed him and turned him around.
Well said. I think that it can sometimes be a bit hard to get a clean read on Kirito because there's rarely any internal monologuing that explains what he's thinking. You basically have to go on subtle visual cues both in the character gestures, and in the anime itself. (Audio cues are pretty good as well.) I think one of the key things they've been trying to communicate over these past few episodes is just how much the situation with Sachi has weighed on his consciousness, particularly as recent events have jogged that memory to the surface.

What Asuna said to Kirito in that scene was very significant. We recall Kirito giving his reassurances to Sachi that she wouldn't die, and that weighs heavily on his mind given how that turned out. He generally flies solo because he thinks deep down that he's not the sort of person who can protect anyone any more. But here she reassures him that she's not going to die, because she's going to protect him. In that scene, when Asuna hugs him, they show Kirito's hand reaching out towards her, but pulling back. Later on in the anime, after they save each other's lives with Kuradeel, the same gesture comes back again, with Asuna reaching out to Kirito but pulling back out of guilt for getting him involved in this whole situation that nearly got him killed. This helps explain what Kirito was thinking before when he couldn't reach out for Asuna -- still mired in guilt by what happened in the past, not sure if he deserves to be protected by her. That's why, even when he went for the kiss, all he could do was give his life for her sake.

I think it's not just that he's found something he wants to protect again, but I think he realizes that he's really not strong enough to go it alone any more. He fell in love with Asuna not because she's someone who needs protecting, but because they can protect each other -- they're stronger together than apart. Even though he's strong in some ways, he also realizes he's terribly weak -- and where he is weak, she is strong, and vice-versa. (Like last episode where, while he was mired in his trauma and unable to move, Asuna was able to do to the right thing and take that first leap forward to save the Army guildsmen. And here, where Asuna was momentarily blinded by compassion even for a murderer, Kirito was able to make the move and deal the finishing blow when she hesitated.) So I think being alone is no longer really an option for either of them any more, and I think that's what this episode was trying to convey.
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