Another busy episode for Sword Art Online with the introduction of Lizbeth. This time get to meet the smith friend that Asuna mentioned during that mini-arc. A pretty fiery character that really wore her heart on her sleeve in this one. There was just no doubt what she was thinking and had a lot of pure reactions. In that sense kind of similar to Silica in that you just knew what the character was feeling and thinking about most of the time. Liz really goes through quite the roller-coaster both physically and emotionally in this episode.

While there was only technically one fight this episode it was pretty intense. A lot of fun watching Kirito face off against the dragon. Kirito really can be a badass sometimes, such as when he just stood there and slashed into the dragon’s breath attack. Just pretty much saying “I don’t need to move.” Would have been nice for a bit more motion in the battle and hope they don’t constantly fall back to the still images for fights. Overall though it was fun though pretty short.

Kirito is still one heck of a crazy guy. How many people are going to test their new weapon by smashing it into their old one? Certainly you’ll find out how it stacks, but it’s still a pretty crazy way to go about things. At least it makes clear just how loaded Kirito is that he can go around breaking things like that. After all that literally qualifies for the old “you break it you bought it” store policy. He just continues though with that craziness considering how he jumped into that pit after Liz and tried to run up the wall of the pit to escape. I suppose when you are just that high leveled and used to doing everything yourself it leads to becoming the kind of person that will do some pretty intense things.

Did get to view another side of Kirito in this episode. Seeing his development as a person through the episodes to this point. Before he would much rather die with someone than just watch them die like he did with Sachi. He takes these serious precautions and pretty much demands that his companions stay out of danger and let him take care of it. Doubt he’s really fought beside someone except during those massive boss battles ever since Sachi died. It remained the same here, but really he just launched himself into danger rather than seeing Liz possibly die from the fall. I’d assume he absorbed some damage from Liz by pulling that stunt, just so if she did die he probably would as well. Not that he’s seeking death, but clearly he’s done watching people die in front of him.

At least it seems like he took a few steps forward here. Much better to have both of them survive than dying together. Reaffirming that he also wants to live and doesn’t have a death wish. It might be a narrow distinction since in the end how much are his actions going to change? He’ll still throw himself into the fray to make sure that person doesn’t face death alone. But at least his mindset might change, the goal will not be to die together, but survive together.

I did feel bad for Liz as the episode went on. She really fell hard for Kirito and I just had a bad feeling with how open she was being about it. After all with all the focus on Asuna I found it hard to believe Liz would end up with Kirito in her first episode there. Liz being that open really would be a disadvantage to Asuna who wouldn’t be able to fight back quickly or easily. So in the end Liz takes the painful route of stepping back. Suppose she felt that Asuna was ‘there first’ and that she couldn’t just go after the guy that her friend is interested in. Clearly not believing that all is fair in love and war. I think Liz would have had a pretty good chance all things considered with how Kirito softened up towards her as the episode went along.

So in the end Asuna is saved thanks to her friend being a self-sacrificing type. I mean Liz was right in the middle of almost a proposal there. Even Kirito couldn’t miss the implication of coming there for maintenance every day and forever. You could literally see the dense main character gears actually moving after she said that. Then she was ready for the finishing blow which really might have worked if Asuna didn’t bust in there. Suppose Asuna did help herself out by arriving when she did. I can’t blame Liz for her decision since it was her call to make about whether to go for Kirito or not. To be fair it’d be really hard to say anything after Asuna burst in there really worried about Liz. Tough to say “thanks for your concern, but I’m now going to confess to the guy you like.” I’m sure some could actually do it, just not Liz.

Can read into Kirito’s reactions a little bit. It’s not like he forced the issue with Liz after clearly knowing where she was going with that confession. I’m actually not sure where he stands to be honest. Maybe just preferring a status quo anyways while he focuses on staying alive in that world. All I know for sure was that he was blushing when she was about to fully confess to him. Plus that awkward way he explained his connection to Asuna.

Regarding Liz I wonder a bit about her past. That picture in her shop has some meaning for her. Wonder both what happened to those guys (clearly this is her shop alone) and whether it plays into her search for something ‘real’ in this world. Really too many possibilities between them dying or her moving out on her own after becoming skilled enough. Regardless I mostly liked her character. Did get careless against the dragon, but also very forward when acting on her feelings.

So in the end not a bad episode. Get a look at the blacksmithing side of the game and get a reminder of how careful players have to be. Could end up falling into a pit without anyway out or the ability to teleport. Not that people can starve to death in the game, but it’d be a very miserable way to spend however long it takes for the front liners to clear the game. With blacksmiths get to see how players can refine minerals and create pretty impressive weaponry. Clearly the smiths need to be at a decent level themselves in order to acquire some materials. So another solid episode and it seems like we’ve cleared most of the girls from the OP at this point. Curious to see just where next week takes us.
Score: A-

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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