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Sword Art Online Episode 23

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Bonds

SAO 23 Kirito Leafa

Episode Information
Kanji

Romaji

Kizuna

Air Date

December 8, 2012

Arc

Fairy Dance

Episode Navigation
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Bonds (, Kizuna?) is the twenty-third episode of the Sword Art Online anime adaptation, as well as the ninth episode in the Fairy Dance Arc. It aired on December 8, 2012.

PlotEdit

As Suguha and Kazuto fell into sorrow, Kazuto remembered when he discovered the truth about his parents and thought his gaming addiction was a way to run away from reality, but after his two years in Sword Art Online he understood that the real and virtual worlds were the same. He then told Suguha that he would wait for her in the north terrace of Alne back in ALfheim Online.

SAO 23 Leafa Recon

Recon meeting up with Leafa.

Suguha also felt sorry for how she treated Kazuto and decided to enter ALO again. However, Recon suddenly appeared before her, revealing to have escaped from the Salamanders by paralyzing them with poison, and followed her all the way to Alne. As Recon noted that the Spriggan was nowhere to be found, Leafa stated she said something mean to him and that they would not be seeing him again, and told Recon that they should head back to Swilvane. However, Recon used the opportunity to confess his love for her and tried to kiss her, but the surprised Leafa punched him and sent him rolling down the stairs. He quickly returned and told her that he thought that if he was honest about his feelings she would understand him.

SAO 23 Kirito Leafa outside

Kirito and Leafa hugging in the air.

Leafa arrived at the terrace where Kirito was waiting and they decided to fight to express their feelings. As they prepared for battle, Leafa recognized his stance as the one he had used when he fought her in their kendo duel and realized why he seemed so accomplished. She then decided to do begin their duel by launching the first attack. The battle quickly went up to the skies, but Leafa suddenly dropped her sword and fell towards Kirito, intending to be slashed by him. Instead, Kirito also dropped his sword and caught her. He told her that he wanted to apologize, but did not know what to say so he wanted her to get a free hit on him. The two apologized and hugged, and, afterwards, Kirito stated he felt that he could never fully return to reality until Asuna woke up, which is why he did not know how to think of Leafa, but she assured him that she would wait until he came back for real and agreed to help him finish his quest.

Sacrifice

Recon using «Sacrifice».

Back in front of the dome, Recon was surprised to be joining Kirito and Leafa in their raid on the World Tree. Kirito summoned Yui and asked her if she had learned anything about the Guardian Knights, and she responded that their individual stats were not very high, but they made up for it in sheer numbers and thus she believed that the quest was intended to be impossible. Kirito muses that the monsters add up to a single, unbeatable boss, but Yui also believed that Kirito could break through with his speed.

Feeling pressed on time, Kirito, Leafa and Recon decided to challenge the Grand Quest again without calling for help. The operation began smoothly with Kirito attacking and Leafa and Recon staying behind for healing support, but everything changed when the Guardian Knights instantly re-spawned into massive swarms and began targeting Recon and Leafa when they started using healing spells, to which Leafa noted that the Guardian Knights had a different targeting algorithm from regular monsters. Recon immediately took the offensive for Leafa, attacking with magic and attracting the Guardian Knights' attention. He then used Sacrifice to self-destruct himself while taking the lives of all the Guardian Knights around him, thus creating a large gap in the mass of the Guardian Knights. Due to using the spell, Recon turned into a «Remain Light» in the process and incurred a huge death penalty.

SAO 23 Sakuya Alicia

Sakuya and Alicia arrive.

With Recon's sacrifice, Kirito rushed up to the gap, but more Guardian Knights blocked his way and attacked while the gap was immediately sealed up. Leafa despaired that the grand quest was impossible as she healed Kirito, but was immediately surrounded by more Guardian Knights. But, before they could attack her, a squad of Sylph warriors appeared, followed by a squadron of Cait Sith dragoons as SakuyaAlicia and their forces had arrived in the nick of time. After they destroyed most of the nearby Guardian Knights, they explained that they owed Kirito their help because not only did he help bring their alliance together, but also gave them the money needed for the raid preparations.

Kirito piercing through the army of Guardians

Kirito piercing through the army of Guardians.

Leafa decided to take action and fought back-to-back with Kirito, eventually, reopening the gap. Kirito flew towards the highest part of the dome, but another group of Guardian Knights appeared in front of him. Leafa threw him her sword and with both swords, he broke through the mobs and arrived to the summit. Sakuya and Alicia then retreated as their mission was completed. 

Kirito opening the Door

Yui opens the door.

At the top, however, the doors remained closed. Kirito asked Yui why the doors would not open, and Yui told him that the door lacked a quest flag and, instead, was locked by system administrators, thus players were never intended to open the door. As more Guardian Knights re-spawned and surrounded them, Kirito remembered the card Asuna had given him earlier, and gave it to Yui. Yui transferred the data from the card to the door and was successful in opening it. She then told him to hold her hand as it was about to teleport them.

LocationEdit

SpellsEdit

Adaptation NotesEdit

Adapted from Volume 4

ErrorsEdit

  • The Words of Power for Recon's wind gust spell (ޏú fylla heill austr) was actually the incantation for a basic water healing spell, not an offensive wind spell. The voiced version of the spell does not make this mistake.

TriviaEdit

  • The episode's Japanese title 絆 is identical to the episode title of the identically numbered episode of the Accel World anime, adapted from works of the author of Sword Art Online.

NavigationEdit

Sword Art Online Publicization Navigation Bar
Aincrad Arc Progress- ive Arc Fairy Dance Arc Extra Edition Phantom Bullet Arc Caliber Mother's Rosario Alicization Arc
Light Novel Volume 01 - Volume 02 - Volume 03 - Volume 04 - Volume 05 - Volume 06 - Volume 07 - Volume 08 - Volume 09 - Volume 10 - Volume 11 - Volume 12 - Volume 13 - Volume 14 - Volume 15
Progressive Series Progressive 01 - Progressive 02
Material Edition Volume 01 - Volume 02 - Volume 03 - Volume 04 - Volume 05 - Volume 06 - Volume 07 - Volume 08 - Volume 09 - Volume 10 - Volume 11 - Volume 12 - Volume 13
Character Edition Lisbeth Edition - Silica Edition - Pina Edition
BD/DVD Specials The Day Before - The Day After - Rainbow Bridge
Magazine Publications The Celeste Fairy - Caliber SS - Story Pencil Board
Crossover Versus - Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei × Sword Art Online: Dream Game -Crossover-
Dengeki Fair Breaking Damage's Limit - 16.8.5
Web Stories Cradle of the Moon - There is But One Ultimate Way - VRMMO Development Tragedy
Manga Aincrad Volume 01 - Volume 02
Fairy Dance Volume 01 - Volume 02 - Volume 03
Phantom Bullet Volume 01
Mother's Rosario Volume 01
Caliber Volume 01
Progressive Volume 01 - Volume 02
Girls Ops Volume 01
4koma Manga Volume 01 - Volume 02
Comic Anthology Volume 01 - Volume 02
4koma Anthology Volume 01 - Volume 02 - Volume 03
Season I Anime - Aincrad Arc Episode 01 - Episode 02 - Episode 03 - Episode 04 - Episode 05 - Episode 06 - Episode 07 - Episode 08 - Episode 09 - Episode 10 - Episode 11 - Episode 12 - Episode 13 - Episode 14
Season I Anime - Fairy Dance Arc Episode 15 - Episode 16 - Episode 17 - Episode 18 - Episode 19 - Episode 20 - Episode 21 - Episode 22 - Episode 23 - Episode 24 - Episode 25
Season I Anime - Special Episodes Sword Art Online Extra Edition
Season II Anime - Phantom Bullet Arc Episode 01 - Episode 02 - Episode 03 - Episode 04 - Episode 05 - Episode 06 - Episode 07 - Episode 08 - Episode 09 - Episode 10 - Episode 11 - Episode 12 - Episode 13
Sword Art Offline Episode 01 - Episode 02 - Episode 03 - Episode 04 - Episode 05 - Episode 06 - Episode 07 - Episode 08 - Episode 09 - Extra Edition

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