Sword Art Online: Episode 4

Recap: Kirito helps a young Beast Tamer revive her fallen partner.

Iro’s Thoughts:

I mentioned last week that I wasn’t going to be thrilled about this episode, and I definitely wasn’t.

A twelve year old girl named Silica is our haremette of the week – her extremely rare Feathery Dragon pet gets killed by monsters, and she nearly dies as well, but Kirito pops up out of nowhere and saves her sorry ass. Being the Nice Guy he is, he offers to take her with him and visit a dungeon on a much higher floor, where a rare item can be found which revives a player’s familiar . They visit an inn in town to rest, and meet a clearly sinister female player named Rosalia before turning in for the night. After a gratuitous shot of Silica in her lingerie, Kirito discovers that someone was eavesdropping on their nighttime planning. You don’t get any points for guessing who.

At any rate, the dungeon happens to be on the floor known as Flower Garden, where all the couples hang out and be all lovey-dovey and shit. Typical groan-worthy harem antics ensue as Silica and Kirito venture to the Hill of Memories, enduring attacks by disturbingly tentacle-y plant monsters. Kirito narrates about his past in the real world on the way – when pressed by Silica for a reason as to why he’s helping her, Kirito replies that she reminds him of his little sister back home. But don’t worry, his sister isn’t his sister by blood, of course – she’s only his cousin. You are perfectly justified in rolling your eyes over that entire paragraph, by the way. I certainly did.

Anyway, they manage to grab the revival item, but on the way back the couple is ambushed by a PK guild run by Rosalia, intent on stealing the rare loot. Again proving himself to be an impossibly flat protagonist and an escapist-character adolescent-male-fantasy wish-fulfillment Mary Sue , Kirito simply stands there and takes their blows – he’s at such a higher level, and therefore so much more powerful than them, that it is numerically impossible for the villainous players to harm him.  He tosses them all into the jail on the first floor by using a teleport crystal, and then escorts Silica back to town where she goes about reviving her pet.

In the novel, Silica visited Kirito’s room at night instead of the other way around, and ends up sleeping in his bed. Presumably this was changed to make her seem less desperate. Other than that, there were no major edits for this episode. Next week’s side story was a long, multi-chapter mystery plot in the novels, and it remains to be seen whether it will be cut down into one episode or not. We’ll be seeing Asuna again, as well as some of her plot-important colleagues – but on the bright side, we should also see the return of Egil, who is clearly the best character in this show.

ItsaTimmy’s Thoughts: Tentacles and a loli. Also random and completely unexpected fanservice. this was clearly the best episode of this show yet. Also him just standing there taking hits was snoretastic. This episode wasn’t bad by any means but was her running around in her panties really necessary? And you had to change the whole scene from the novel so you could do just that? For a show that hasn’t showed a peek of anyone’s undergarments thus far it was a very surprising and a bit off putting.

Aqua’s thoughts: Kill me now. Kirito was already showing some signs of being an insufferable, personality-less generic blank slate, but he went above and beyond that this episode. Kirito knows everything, sees everything, always has the right item at his disposal, curb stomps everyone and is loved by all the ladies and feared by all the villains. It has been a while since I have seen a protagonist this offensively perfect. Please, Sword Art Online, don’t go here. I want to like you. You look so cool.

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