Sword Art Online, Episode 10: You Complete Me

The history of the wedding ring is an interesting one – this piece of jewelry was not always a symbol of romance and devotion.  But it’s certainly taken on a different connotation in our times.

When Jenny and I wed six years ago, our pastor mentioned two particular symbols of the wedding band – ideas that I’d heard during wedding sermons before.  First, the gold represents purity.  And secondly, the loop represents an eternal love.

While no ring has yet been presented, the ideas of purity and a whole love are certainly demonstrated by Sword Art Online‘s protagonists, Kirito and Asuna.

Sword Art Online

Art by 松竜

A Pure Love

Asuna and Kirito share a pure love – and I’m not speaking in terms of a sexual relationship, though they’ve (apparently?) remained chaste (certainly Kirito finds this easier to do than Asuna!).  The purity I’m speaking of has to do with how they love each other.  Our heroine and hero love each other with a selfless love.  I immediately thought of I Corinthians 13:

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

- I Corinthians 13:4-8a

Kirito and Asuna have the purest of motives in their relationship – they want to care for and protect the other person.  And this leads to the next symbol.

A Complete Love

After Kirito loses his hand (at first I thought it was a permanent loss!), Asuna comes to him tearfully, regretting the harm he’s encountered because of her.  Kirito could have said, “You’re dang right!  Because of you, I’ve had to endure suffering.”  He could have decided to keep his distance or push her away, relationship-wise if not physically.  But he doesn’t do that.  Instead, he kisses her.  Here is their ensuing conversation:

Kirito:  My life belongs to  you, Asuna, so I’ll use it for you.  Let’s stay together until the end.

Asuna:  And I…and I’ll protect you, too.  I’ll protect you forever.

For Kirito, it is worth it.  It’s worth the pain he’s going through and it’s worth the pain that might occur in the future.  Remember, he still feels the sting of losing Sachi and he knows that one day he might also lose Asuna – after all, if this episode confirms anything, it’s that SAO is a dangerous game.  But still, he finds that he needs Asuna.  His life belongs to her.  His life it far more valuable when it is her’s than when it is his alone.

This is a picture of Christian marriage.  The Bible declares that the two come together as one.  Adam became complete with Eve; and now, Kirito will become complete with Asuna.

And note Asuna’s words; she will protect Kirito “forever.”  The completeness of marriage is not only in two becoming one; it is also in the contract that is born – one that is meant to last.  Kirito will stay with Asuna “until the end.”  Asuna will stay with Kirito “forever.”  They will create a whole and complete marriage.

Now as they actually wed and become husband and wife, I’m sure they’ll face challenges.  Whole, pure, and complete doesn’t mean perfect, easy, and happily-ever-after.  Hardships will come into the marriage – but as with a gold ring, fire will mold it and make it strong.

And the end result will be something wholly beautiful.

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About TWWK

TWWK, known to outlaws and lawmen alike as Charles, lives deep in the heart of Texas, where he drives cattle and boot scoots (not really - though he does sport a pair of rattlesnake boots). Somehow in this frontier, he also finds time for his wife, children, and church. Oh, and anime, too.

Posted on 09.10.2012, in Anime and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I was pretty surprised at an article about episode 10 in your blog. Probably because they actually had premartial sex in that episode (obviously, they won’t show it on-screen).

    I do agree on some points though that they really do have a complete love for each other. I wish the anime did not cut off some parts, since their love story was a lot more complete in the original material.

    • Did they? I wasn’t real sure – it was a bit choppy, but yeah, it seems like you’re right.

      I think I’ll need to read some of the source material. I’m actually really looking forward to checking out the light novels!

      • Hehe, go check them out. They’re a lot better than the anime. I like how the romance develops, although I still read/watch it for the action, since this genre of anime are my thing. The ending for the first arc was good in my opinion.

        Kirito X Asuna forever :3

        • I shall! I found out recently that my favorite writer in the western anime circles (blogs, networks, etc.) was involved in doing the translations for SAO, so I’m doubly eager to read them!

          • sonicexpert986

            I would definitely recommend reading the Light Novels! I just finished the Aincrad arc, and I was reading through these comments… I would actually say that JR’s claim above is not necessarily accurate. There is no mention of sexual intimacy between Kirito and Asuna. I feel like it would have at least been mentioned in some form that they actually did something, but just like in the anime, the closest thing to that is the scene when Asuna first removes her clothes, and obviously nothing came of that! I’d like to think that they have not yet been sexually intimate, and were only sharing a bed, much like Kirito and Sachi were earlier in the story. Could be wrong… but oh well.

            • That was my first inclination, too. Thanks for the source info!

            • lol you have to read volume 1 chapter 16.5 lol is a writing porn lol remember the story was written by a man lol a pervert one hahaha

              • I’ve stayed away from the light novels, largely because I’ve heard rumors of such writing. Definitely not my thing. -_-’

              • Keep in mind, chapter 16.5 was axed from the “official” release, so can we really call it canon? I mean, yes, it was part of the original story, but when an author decides to cut something for the official (and, I think we can say, final) release, does it still make it part of the ‘official’ story? Maybe this is one of those parts where we can leave it to the reader’s desire.

    • They do not. Though it is slightly unclear. Unless you’re assuming that Asuna raped Kirito (he did just request to remain chaste right before the scene where he is fully clothed and next to Asuna) then you don’t really have a case. The Manga and Anime are different. Just because something happened in one doesn’t mean it happened in the other

  2. I find your description of love here to be more secular than religious. I’d always been under the impression that Christians are to put god above all other things, including their spouse. But here you’ve lauded how Kirito and Asuna belong to each other. Maybe I’m reading too much (or too little) into it, but when I think of pure love and marriage, I think of exactly what you’ve described here with no other connotations. Two becoming one by sharing a mutual trust to exchange control of their lives to the care of their most beloved. Even if I was still religious, I don’t think that I could possibly put anything–not even god–higher than the person I love.

    • Well, first of all, one doesn’t think of loving God over one’s spouse on a daily basis. It’s not something that comes up typically – I mean, how many of us have a Sophie’s Choice moment where it really matters? We hopefully love our spouses passionately, and it’s pretty rare for most like-minded Christians to have some sort of conflict involving love for God v. love for spouse.

      Loving God above all is often treated as a rule or commandment and, well, it is. But it really needn’t be. Love for God should be a response – it’s an outpouring based on the idea of grace. God looks at His redeemed without any judgement at all. It’s very much like how we would love a spouse who loves us wholly and completely, without the imperfections that are bound to occur. That acceptance by God, combined with His promises, produces a love that shouldn’t be matched.

      In practice, though, I would say that most Christians do love their spouses, practically, more than they love God, despite proclamations contrary.

  3. I know that in the Orthodox Church the wedding ceremony actually has both the bride and the groom wearing crowns of martyrdom as they are considered to be martyred to one another.

    To reply to Marlin, for Christians this love is always in the context of Christ and the Church, as the love the couple has is an icon of Christ’s love for the Church (Ephesians 5). The couples belong to one another because God has joined them together, and it is God who wants them to selflessly love one another in order to then extend that love out to others. In this view, if one puts their spouse above Christ then it is ultimately a disservice because this mutual selfless love was founded upon Christ’s selfless love for the Church.

    I don’t doubt secular people can selflessly love one another; I am the only Christian in my immediate family and yet I know that my parents love one another very much. But for Christians their love must be rooted in Christ since it is God that ultimately makes our relations healing and salvific (an interesting note, the word in Greek for salvation, soteria, can also mean healing).

  4. I really liked your article, funny i just wanted to look for the quote Kirito said after losing his hand and tada! ended up here which i was surprise how you cite a verse from the bible. Whether they did it or not ( I’m pretty sure they did) for me at least it doesn’t matter as much as how they love developed in the anime which is the only thing i had watched so far about the series. Hopefully i’ll get to read the manga and the light novels. Also when reading the comments I read this when you say ” one doesn’t think of loving God over one’s spouse on a daily basis” that is true, tho when i dated my ex that was the first thing i said to her that over all, even her was my love to God, she took it fine tho in the end well we broke up. I love your quoting on Corinthians, i think people should really know that all this can be found in the bible, even love. Anyways i think you did a really good job, keep it up :)

    • Ironically, if both partners in a relationship love each God first, their love for each other should increase. There’s a triangle model where God is the top corner, and as the other two corners love God more, they get both closer to God and to each other. I think its an accurate model.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

  5. Oh, wow ! ! I love weddings in anime and mangas ! ! This event is rare, actually, right ?

    • I think so – from my history, I can’t remember ever seeing the two main characters in a series marry (though I’m sure there are a few series out there that have this plot development). It’s a lot more common in manga, I think (you would know better than I) – I can think of a couple off the top of my head.

  6. they use a life of

    • Thanks for sharing. :)

    • That’s the light novel. Totally different than the Anime. The Anime pretty blatantly shows that they don’t (though it does suggest they sleep together)

      An anime and it’s source material are not the same. Anime often change the story, sometimes for the worse and sometimes (as in this case) for the better

  7. Awesome post ^^ dashie

  8. baludolopez

    wow wonderful love story<3

  9. Anggunmuthia

    I felt what asuna n kirito feel so badly,they give each other, though “the specification” is not showed on tv its anime or manga cause for mature only :)

  10. This is it!! This is the answer that I was looking for!!! Hey TWWK, thank you so much for presenting such a thoughful article about their love. I fell in love with Sword Art Online one week ago. I watched all 25 episode twice in four days. I was so deeply moved by the love of Kirito and Asuna yet I didn’t know why. I thought it was because they actually married after they fell in love with each other which rarely happened in any morden love stories. This is part of the reason. But I completely know why I love Sword Art Online now. You answered me, TWWK. I love SAO because their love is a Godly love. This love is blessed by God. And its also the love that I’m searching for. Thank you, TWWK.

    When I read this part:
    ….Kirito could have said, “You’re dang right! Because of you, I’ve had to endure suffering.”….
    I thought the author must be from Texas. Later I found out that you are really from Texas by reading the “about TWWK” at the end of this article. Texas do have the coolest Christians in this world! I’m from Texas, too. I’ll keep an eye on your blog, buddy. Your article really inspired me.

    • Thanks for all the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed SAO and that you’re liking this blog as well. And yes, I have to agree about Texas. ;)

  11. Sword Art Online is the best portrayal of what marriage is supposed to look like in any work of fiction. Glad to see there are others who noticed the excellent Christian messages in this wonderful show

    • It really is a surprisingly strong portrayal of marriage – something I never expected to see in this show, and a relationship that made SAO all the richer.

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