PERFECTION. This word is the only thing that can describe this episode. The greatest battle of Sword Art Online has arrived with excellent visuals and choreography, and though some details were removed or altered—which I will cover at the end of this review—everything else blended well to adapt the best moment of the series.
The episode itself is one big fight scene from the get-go, and it makes for an epic battle, especially when two versions of Swordland are played. Once again, the battle is portrayed well in the anime, particularly when Kirito unleashed the full power of his Starburst Stream.
However, I do have some minor gripes in this episode. First is the portrayal of Kirito’s and Gabriel’s wings. In the novel, their wings are embodiments of their Incarnation skills: Kirito with his dragon wings, and Gabriel with his dark angel wings. But for me, they failed to properly portray that detail in this episode. In here, Kirito got fairy wings instead, while Gabriel’s wings looked like shadows.
The second would be a violent scene that was never shown here. In the novel, Gabriel took out Kirito’s heart and tried to eat it after slicing him in half, but he got injured when Kirito filled his heart with metals. Personally, I would have wanted to see this scene if only to add more flavor to their fight and show just how much pain Kirito can endure. But since it doesn’t add much to the story, removing it altogether is not bad either way.
Minor altered scenes: in the novel, Sinon remembered her time in GGO with Kirito, and reminisced about the night they spent hiding from Death Gun. Also, the anime removed the part when Leafa promised Ruripirin that she will return someday.
Overall, despite these minor flaws, this is still by far the best episode to date. Definitely a 10/10.