Shonen anime is full of protagonists that make bad decisions, but Kirito from Sword Art Online seems especially prone to being a dumb-dumb. This isn't to say Kirito is a bad hero or anything. Far from it. That said, one can't help but wonder what was going through his head when he made these 10 major blunders throughout Sword Art Online.
And, no: We won't be discussing the Gun Gale arc. Sorry.
10 Putting On The Headset In The First Place
Look: Hindsight is 20/20. There's no way Kirito could have known the absolute shambles his life would fall into by placing the Nervegear headset on in the first place. He's just one of many who became a victim of a cruel game that crushed lives, destroyed dreams, and ruined an entire generation of people.
That said... C'mon, Kirito. The warning signs were there and you weren't exactly in the healthiest place when you decided that running away to a completely immersive virtual world was the best thing to do with your life.
9 "I'm A Beater"
Alright, so hypothetical for you here, dear reader. You're trapped in a virtual world. If you die in the said world you die in the real world. There's no hope for escape except for teamwork and finding a way out of said mess via cooperation and community.
Would your first move be to declare something that would make all of those people mad and immediately mark you as an outcast? Because, of course, that's what Kirito did. With one single announcement that he was a Beater -- the beta testers in Sword Art Online who knew all the tips and tricks -- Kirito managed to turn up the difficulty for himself. Good job, kid.
8 All The Moonlit Black Cats Die
Okay, so maybe Kirito had a good reason for making a declarative statement that instantly made him the biggest heel in SAO. After all, he did get an entire guild killed.
Kirito's adventures with the low-level guild the Moonlit Black Cats ends in tragedy, one of which was completely preventable if Kirito had used his experience and knowledge as an actual leader, instead of what he did: Lie about his level and lead a bunch of lowbies to their actual, literal deaths.
You're doing great, sweetie.
7 That Christmas Time Suicide Mission
So, to recap: You're trapped in a digital hellscape. You got a bunch of potential friends killed. Oh, and you made everyone around you hate your guts and your cool, black coat. What's an anime teen to do. Um... Go on a Christmas-themed suicide mission for an item? No? Well, that's what Kirito did.
The search for a mythical item meant to revive the dead ends up being nothing but a sweet and sentimental dead end. So, Kirito has that going for him. Which is nice.
6 Getting Tricked Into A No-Win Fight...
Kirito's further stupidity happens all because of his feelings for Asuna, which definitely isn't her fault. In fairness, he thought he was doing the right thing by challenging the undefeated and all-powerful leader of the biggest guild on the server to a one-on-one fight for Asuna's freedom, which she didn't ask for. And he did, regardless.
Cool. You deserved to lose that duel, buddy. It wouldn't be the last time Kirito's pride would get him in trouble, but it did lead to him almost dying. Um... Again.
5 ...And Almost Dying Because Of Said Fight
No, sure. Go on a totally normal guild mission with the guy that looks like a cross between a constipated snake and that face anime characters make when they shout "NANI?!?"
I'm sure he won't try and kill you. Oh, he tried to kill you, didn't he? That sucks.
Kirito is lucky that the real main character and Best Girl Asuna was there to save him from being poisoned, paralyzed, and stabbed over and over like a sociopathic kid lighting ants on fire. Honestly, he was smart to marry her on the spot. It might be the first good decision he makes in the series.
4 Hey, Man, That's Your Sister
The ole' "sister/brother teased romance" thing has become a trope in recent years. After all, who didn't enjoy Eromanga Sensei? That said, it seems like Kirito should have seen the signs when it came to his sister Suguha, her Alfheim Online avatar Leafa, and their very almost-real romance within the confines of the game. There are few scenes in anime that have as much awkward, "no, no, no, no, no" energy as the moment when everything comes together for Kirito and he realizes what's going on.
C'mon, buddy. Sword Art Online ain't that kind of anime. Uh. Maybe?
3 Almost Letting Asuna Be Attacked And/Or Mind-Wiped
Or, perhaps Sword Art IS that kind of anime because things really "go there" like Degrassi in Season 2. Kirito's whole reason for jumping into Alfheim Online is to save the still-comatose Asuna, after a run-in with her real-world, forced marriage fiance.
Once again, Kirito picks up zero creeper signals from the guy and doesn't think that there's anything going on. Until Asuna is threatened with tentacle invasion and having her memories erased in one of the most uncomfortable scenes of the anime. Maybe you're bad at this, after all, Kirito.
2 Kirito Gets Stabbed IRL, Part One
Dude, you aren't really a swordsman. Sure, being trapped in an anime VR nightmare for as long as you were probably doing some really bad things to your sense of reality and self. But... For reals, you aren't a swordsman and that led to you getting stabbed by the mind-wiping rapist. Good job. As usual.
"On the plus side, this is surely the last time you'll ever be stabbed in the real world," said the writer in a sarcastic way as to allude to said thing happening again, because of course.
1 Kirito Gets Stabbed IRL, Part Two
Jump ahead some years. Or months. How fast does time pass in this show anyways? Regardless, Kirito is older. Wiser. Presumably. Maybe not, because friend Kirito gets stabbed, yet again. I wonder if this is going to become a pattern.
Shortly into Sword Art Online: Alicization, the possible worst name for an anime series ever, Kirito once again thinks that MMORPG skills translate to the real world and tries to stop a would-be IRL attacker with his body. In fairness, it was a life-or-death situation against a former Laughing Coffin member. But, also in fairness: Kirito gets stabbed with a needle, drugged, and sent spiraling down into yet another VR world.
Good job, Kirito. Maybe you deserve to just stay in virtual reality. You clearly aren't any good in the real world.