"Take the most horrific awful thing you can think of, and multiply it by Cancer." -- Abridged Keita.
Abridged series is usually known for packing as many nods & references in the shortest time possible. The best Abridged series find ways to keep their characters consistent. SAO does this very well.
This article is META & Spoiler-heavy.
While watching some YouTubers reacting to SAO Abridged episodes. A thought occurred to me when I heard that quote in episode 3 when Kirito's guild had to look for a rare item on the 27th floor.
THE TWENTY-SEVENTH FLOOR?!
The Midnight Black Cats led by Keita were a lonely guild. In the original, they were formed by members of the Computer Club at some school. In the abridged version, they were the cheating player Keita, his quest NPCs, and Sachi. Abridged-Kirito was tricked into joining using Keita's special hat that increases Charisma.
One day Keita promised some "unsavory individuals," that he'll duplicate their rare item. (They later turned out to be Don Fluffles mafia,) He couldn't as Kayaba patched the item replicating bug. To be forgiven, Midnight Black Cats have to look for a replacement. This exchange happens:
Keita: "Here's the thing: It only drops on the 27th floor."
Sachi: "Is that bad?"
Keita: "Let me put it this way, take the most horrific awful thing you can think of, and multiply it by Cancer."
This joke is perfect! Not only it works so well on its own. It gets additional meaning when you consider the reason writers choose that floor, and why they choose the word Cancer to describe it.
The 27th floor is the main setting of Mother Rosario Arc. It's the floor that Yuuki and her companions joined up with Asuna to record their names forever. It's so iconic that the opening of Mother Rosario arc lingers on the floor's number for a few seconds.
What makes it more plausible is that the dungeon architecture we see in Episode 3 looks similar to the architecture of the boss dungeon on the 27th floor. (See SAO II Ep22.)
EDIT: Of course it looked similar. It was the 27th floor in the original version of Ep-3 as well. I didn't know that until after I fact-checked this article before publishing it.
Konno Yuuki, the girl who led the conquest of that floor had a terminal illness!"
So, when you think of Floor 27th:
=> you think of Yuuki
=> you think of terminal illness
=> you think of Cancer.
Her terminal illness is AIDS, by the way, it can realistically be multiplied by Cancer. (Let that sink in.)
When I went through this thought process, I was blown away by SAO Abridged brilliance even more! Their dedication to make a joke like this.
Dialogue like this is what makes me keep returning to Abridged series. They always do references like these. The subtle they are, the bigger your satisfaction becomes when you finally connect the dots.
As I said at the start of the article, this is pretty Meta thinking. The ending of that story is one of the most heart-breaking events in a story full of them. For a fan, the death of a favorite character truly is "the most horrific thing you can think of."
I believe if it was intentional by the writers though. Maybe they thought it was a fun idea to put in. While it doesn't make sense in the context of the story. (Mother Rosario Arc events won't be until 2/3 years later in the timeline.) It still works considering Abridged-Keita's character. In a way, his con-man abilities might be the most OP thing in SAO Abridged.
What do you think?
I hope you learned something from this or at least had fun. I enjoyed writing this article so much. I look forward to seeing you again!
All images taken are screenshots from SAO anime or the Abridged version.
This article is crossposted here on ReadCash and Hive's PeakD with different screenshots.