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Sword Art Online Episode 4 Review: The Girl with the Dragon Pet
Taking place a few months after episode three, episode four starts off with a girl named Silica fighting with another female in the group, Rosalia. Rosalia claims that Silica doesn’t need any healing crystals because she has a pet dragon named Pina that heals her for small amounts of her max health. Frustrated with Rosalia, Silica leaves the group and storms off into the woods by herself.
Silica ends up regretting this decision later when she finds herself surrounded by giant gorillas that she can barely do any damage to. Pina tries to keep Silica’s health up, but is not able to keep up with the damage output coming from the gorillas. As one of the gorillas is about to deliver the killing blow to Silica, Pina jumps in the way and takes the hit. Unfortunately Pina does not have enough health to survive the strike and dies in Silica’s arms.
Just as it seems that Silica is about to die as well, the three over sized gorillas are suddenly killed. The one who killed the gorillas was none other than Kirito. Kirito apologizes for not being able to make it in time to save Pina, but Silica insists that she is grateful that he saved her life. As she mourns the loss of her best friend and companion, Kirito brings up some good news. If Silica can obtain the flower that grows in the Hill of Memories on the 47th floor, then she will be able to use it to revive Pina. However there is a couple of flies in the ointment. The flower has to be used within three days of the creature’s death and Silica is not a high enough level to get there alive on her own.
Kirito gives Silica a set of equipment and offers to escort her up to where the flower grows. Silica offers money to Kirito but he turns it down, insisting that helping Silica will help him accomplish a side job he’s working on. When asked why he’s doing this for her, Kirito says that she reminds him of his little sister. The two of them head back into town shortly afterward to grab a bite to eat and find somewhere to stay for the night.
They are confronted by Rosalia who asks where Silica’s pet is. Silica explains that Pina died and that she is going to the Hill of Memories to get the flower that will revive her pet. Rosalia mocks the two of them, stating that Kirito isn’t strong enough to help Silica two-man the Hill of Memories. They ignore her and head to a local restaurant to get some food. While they are there, Kirito explains what certain Sim Icons over a player’s head means. In a nutshell: green is good, orange means the player has done something bad to another player, and red means that they’ve killed another player.
Later that night, Kirito and Silica have a meeting to discuss the 47th floor. Using an awesome looking holo-map item, Kirito begins showing Silica the basic layout of the floor. The two of them are interrupted when Kirito senses that someone is eavesdropping on them. Kirito barely makes it outside in time to see someone running down the stairs. After Kirito explains how players can develop a strong listening skill to hear through doors, the scene then jumps forward to the next day when they arrive at the 47th floor.
As they arrive at the entrance to the Hill of Memories dungeon, Kirito hands Silica a teleportation crystal. He tells her that if he says to use it, then she must do so without hesitation. Silica agrees and they enter the dungeon. It isn’t long before Silica is grabbed by a giant plant that looks like a distant cousin of the piranha plant from Super Mario. However the monster is fairly weak, and Silica is able to cut herself free and kill the monster. Shortly afterward, Silica asks Kirito about his little sister. During this scene we learn more about Kirito’s little sister and we get some character development for both her and Kirito.
After walking for awhile they finally arrive at the flower’s spawn point. As Silica approaches, the flower blooms and she takes it. They decide to head back to town where it will be safer to revive Pina. But as they head back, Kirito senses that someone is waiting to ambush them. He calls out for them to come out of hiding, and Rosalina appears from behind a tree. She knows that Silica has the flower, and demands that she hand it over. Kirito identifies who Rosalina really is. She is the leader of Titan’s Hand, a guild of orange and red players.
Silica asks why Rosalina’s Sims Icon is green. Kirito explains that some members of the guild stay green to help lure players to where orange members are. Kirito then reveals the purpose of why he is there, he’s been searching for Rosalina. A week and a half ago, she and her guild killed the majority of another guild, with only the leader barely surviving the attack. According to Kirito the guild leader went to the front lines, begging for someone to avenge his guild mates and friends. So, Kirito took the job and vowed to put Rosalina and the rest of her guild under arrest.
Rosalina states that there is no proof that killing a player in SAO meant that they died in real life. She then gives the signal and the rest of her guild shows up, and the majority of them are orange players. Kirito moves forward to fight Rosalina and her guild, and they realize who Kirito is once they hear his name. Apparently Kirito has a reputation on the front lines as being the black swordsman that goes solo. Rosalina scoffs at the idea of a front liner being on floor 47, and tells them to attack.
The entire guild charges in and starts attacking Kirito… only to do little to no damage to him. Kirito explains how he has 14,500 health points and that he has a battle recovery skill that allows him to recover 600 health every ten seconds. So in short the skill makes it so that any damage they do to Kirito is completely healed, making it impossible for them to kill him. Kirito claims how a higher level player in an MMO has an unfair advantage over lower level players. He pulls out a large warp crystal, explaining how the guild leader paid all the col he had to get it. The crystal is programmed with the coordinates for the prison.
Rosalina tells Kirito that he can’t touch her since she is a green player and that if he does he’ll go orange. In a burst of speed, Kirito tells her that since he’s a solo player being orange for a few days won’t really matter to him. Realizing that there is no way out of this, Rosalina and the rest of her guild surrender. They are they taken to the prison off screen and the scene jumps back to the inn where Silica uses the flower to revive her pet and the episode ends as she thinks to herself about how Kirito is like a big brother to her.
You’d think when death is on the line, players would put aside their differences and work together in an MMO. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case, given that there are guilds that will actually go around and hurt or kill other players. I’d like to say that if something like this were to happen in real life that people wouldn’t do that, but sadly that would likely not be the case.
I also found it odd how despite the fact that there are no classes in SAO, there can be such a thing as a beast tamer like Silica. I hope that they go into more detail about that in later episodes, as it would be interesting to learn more about what would go into taming and working with a pet along with the advantages it provides. Maybe they’ll get a chance to cover that at some point, but who knows?
I’m still on the fence about Kirito’s voice in terms of the dubbing, as sometimes it is good while other times it isn’t. Perhaps the voice actor for Kirito is still getting adjusted to the role? The rest of the characters so far, including the ones we meet in this episode, have been really good.
Overall this was a pretty good episode. It was believable and the character motivations made sense. Well, save for any logic behind a guild that commits crime. But in a life or death MMO that you get trapped in, I suppose some people may go a little stir-fry crazy sooner or later.