What it Means to be Strong (強さの意味, Tsuyosa no Imi?) is the eleventh episode of the Sword Art Online II anime adaptation, as well as the eleventh episode in the Phantom Bullet Arc. It aired on September 13, 2014.
After hearing that Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto) had killed people in Sword Art Online, Sinon asked him how he was able to overcome the memories of the people he killed, but Kirito revealed that he did not overcome the memories and instead accepted the weight of them, as it was the minimum that he could do to atone for his actions.
Kirito and Sinon then began discussing about Death Gun and his victims. Kirito deduced that Death Gun was only killing to appeal to people about his "power" to kill people in real life. While thinking about how Death Gun was able to stop the heart of players by shooting them in the game, Kirito wondered why Death Gun fired back at him with his sniper instead of his pistol. Based on this, Kirito deduced that Death Gun had to make preparations in real life to be able to kill the players with his pistol. He then remembered that players could input their real life details in the Governor's Office and that someone could have seen the details being input, as it was an open space and the terminals did not offer much privacy. Kirito then brought up the idea that Death Gun could have used his mantle to spy on other players without being noticed. After some thinking, Kirito realised that Death Gun was actually more than one person: one shot the player in game, while the other killed the player in real life by injecting them with a lethal drug. Furthermore, Death Gun could easily have infiltrated someone's home due to outdated electronic locks not offering proper security. Kirito then asked Sinon if she lived alone and if her home was locked. She replied that she did live alone and had locked her door's electronic lock, but not with the chain. Realising that Death Gun was aiming for her, Kirito deduced that Death Gun's partner had infiltrated her home, waiting for her to be shot in-game. Sinon began to panic and rapidly increase her heart rate, but Kirito calmed her and told her that Death Gun's partner could not do anything until Death Gun shot her.
Meanwhile, Chrysheight (Kikuoka Seijirou) came to ALfheim Online under Asuna's request. As Chrysheight had trouble starting his explanation, Yui revealed the Death Gun incident's origins, and Chrysheight explained the situation that Kirito was put in. Asuna then demanded to know of Kazuto's whereabouts and decided to go to him in real life.
Back in Gun Gale Online, Kirito and Sinon decided on a course of action: Kirito planned to serve as a decoy while Sinon attacked with her sniper. Both of them then discovered that they were being filmed by one of the cameras, indicating the very few players remaining in the Bullet of Bullets tournament.
- Adapted from Volume 6, Chapter 12 and 13
- In the novel, after Yui finished explaining the situation based on her research, Asuna immediately reached her hand out and carried Yui in front of her chest and whispered a thanks to her, as she knew that Yui's emotion processes were not strong and the research was thus hard on her. In the anime, all of this was omitted and instead Yui flew on Asuna's shoulder when Asuna started asking Chrysheight for Kazuto's location.
- The reference to Rath in Chrysheight's dialogue was omitted.