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One Small Step (小さな一歩, Chīsana Ippo?) is the fourteenth episode of the Sword Art Online II anime adaptation, as well as the fourteenth episode in the Phantom Bullet Arc. It aired on October 4, 2014.

Plot[]

While Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) tried to defend himself against Shinkawa Kyouji, he left an opening for Kyouji to attempt to inject him with succinylcholine. Instead of running away, Asada Shino (Sinon) returned inside and knocked Kyouji out with a stereo. Shino then checked on Kazuto's condition, but found out that there was an electrode stuck at the part of his chest where Kyouji had attempted to inject him with the drug and that the electrode protected him against the needleless syringe. Shino thanked Kazuto, but he told her that he was not able to protect her and apologized for being late.

Several days later, Shino was called out by Endou and her cohorts, who again tried to demand money from her. As Shino refused the demand, Endou took out a model gun and threatened Shino, causing her trauma to resurface. However, after Endou unsuccessfully attempted to fire with it, Shino quickly regained her composure and took the gun from Endou, showed her that the safeties needed to be disabled to fire and then shot a can with it before returning it back to Endou, leaving her shocked. As Shino was about to leave the school grounds, she saw that Kazuto was waiting for her near the entrance and drawing unwanted attention.

Kazuto first drove Shino to a cafe to meet with Kikuoka Seijirou about the Death Gun incident. In a monologue, he explained that Kyouji and his brother Shinkawa Shouichi were arrested, but the third accomplice, Kanamoto Atsushi (Johnny Black), was on the run. He also explained that Death Gun began when Shouichi acquired the Metamaterial Optical Camouflage Mantle that allowed him to turn invisible and acquire the real-life information of other players while Kyouji's avatar had difficulty in Gun Gale Online because XeXeeD had lied about agility-type characters being the strongest. When Shouichi heard that XeXeeD had misled Kyouji into choosing a non-viable build, Shouichi informed his brother about XeXeed's real name and address and the two conspired in killing him.

The pair stole succinylcholine and a master key card from their father's hospital and focused on targeting people who lived alone and had weak security locks. They would then synchronize their actions: Kyouji would shoot the target in-game with his pistol, while at the same time, Shouichi would inject the target in real life with succinylcholine. After killing XeXeeD, they repeated the pattern on Usujio Tarako. However, since players did not believe Death Gun and treated it as a joke, the brothers were infuriated and targeted three more players in the third Bullet of Bullets: Pale Rider, Garret, and Sinon. However, in order to kill the three people, a third accomplice was brought in. The third accomplice, Atsushi took the role of killing Pale Rider and Garret, while Kyouji and Shouichi swapped place, as Kyouji wanted to be the one to murder Shino. Seijirou mentioned that after Shouichi escaped Sword Art Online, he told his brother how he murdered others in the game and Kyouji idolized him for it. He also mentioned how both of them believed that the Death Gun plot was just a game.

After Kazuto claimed that the dark side of virtual reality was that reality itself would seem less real, Seijirou asked where Kazuto's reality lied. Kazuto responded that he did leave a part of himself in the virtual world, but Shino reminded him that he had claimed that there was no virtual reality, as he treated any world that he was in as a reality. Shino then asked what would happen to Kyouji, and Seijirou replied that he and his brother would be sent to a medical reformatory as they did not seem to have a sense of reality. However, Shino corrected Seijirou that Kyouji's reality was Gun Gale Online, and that he had abandoned the real world for it. When Seijirou questioned why would Kyouji confuse the virtual world with the real one, Kazuto explained that he did so because he wanted to get stronger. Shino then planned to see Kyouji and talk with him on the matter, which Seijirou allowed once Kyouji was able to have visitors. Before Seijirou left, he told Kazuto that Shouichi left him a message, which Kazuto agreed to hear. The content of the message was that the incident was not over and that Kazuto would be powerless to stop it.

Kazuto then took Shino to the Dicey Cafe, where he introduced her to Yuuki Asuna and Shinozaki Rika (Lisbeth). Kazuto then revealed that he had told the two girls about Shino's past and explained that he had them help him with finding a certain person that she should meet. Shocked, Shino attempted to leave, but Kazuto stopped her, declaring that he could not ignore her past. The person whom Kazuto and the girls had contacted was revealed to have been a woman, named Oosawa Sachie, who was the post office worker threatened by the robber that Shino had killed. The woman thanked Shino for saving her life and informed her that she was pregnant at the time, thus Shino had also saved the life of her daughter, Mizue. Kazuto thus explained that he wanted Shino to think about the people that she had saved by killing the robber and thus be able to forgive herself for it. At that moment, Mizue approached Shino, presenting her with a drawing of herself, her mother, as well as her father, and thanking the teenager for saving them, which lead to Shino bursting into tears.

New Characters[]

Locations[]

  • Asada Shino's apartment
  • Asada Shino's school
  • Salon de café
  • Dicey Cafe

Adaptation Notes[]

Adapted from Volume 6, Chapters 15-16
  • In the novel, Shino and Kazuto had agreed to meet, though Shino did not expect him to arrive with a bike and park it at the school's gate.
  • Part of the dialogue among Kazuto, Shino and Seijirou was changed to a summary by Kazuto in the anime.
  • Kazuto's negative remarks about Seijirou were omitted.
  • Information about what had happened after the events in Shino's apartment and the day when Shino and Kazuto met with Seijirou was omitted.
  • The scene where Kazuto and Shino talked about who Seijirou really was, was omitted.
  • Kazuto explaining that he wanted Shino to come to the Dicey Cafe to help explain what had happened during the Bullet of Bullets, and what happened at the cave, was omitted.
  • Andrew Gilbert Mills's (Agil's) introduction was omitted.
  • Kazuto and Shino explaining what had happened during the Bullet of Bullets tournament to Asuna and Rika was omitted.
  • Kazuto mentioning and explaining the scene when Asuna held his hand and reminded him of his side arm while fighting Sterben was omitted.
  • Kazuto explaining that he had a bad feeling when he heard about the meaning of Sterben, as well as the fact that it was only used in the medical field, and then remembered that Shino was about to call a friend who was a doctor's child, which was why he rushed to her apartment, was omitted.
  • The cave scene was not mentioned during the conversation in the Dicey Cafe in the anime.
  • The scene of Shino's hesitation to befriend new people and holding hands with Asuna was omitted.

Errors[]

  • Although Shino knocked out Kyouji with a radio, the stereo is seen undamaged and on the place it was before the fight in the following shots.

Trivia[]

  • The license plate on Kirito's bike is "0930" which is also Asuna's birthday, September 30th.[1]

References[]

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