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Sword Art Online – Episode 7 Review: Blacksmith Looking For Work

Episode 7 of Sword Art Online begins with Asuna getting her weapon repaired at a local blacksmith shop. Asuna is friends with the blacksmith that works there, a girl by the name of Lisbeth. Asuna appears to be in a hurry to get to a ‘meeting’ with someone, and gets teased by Lisbeth who believes that Asuna is going to meet with a boy. Lisbeth hit the nail on the head with this one, but more on that later.

A day or two later, Kirito wanders into the shop looking for a custom ordered sword. He shows Lisbeth his current sword to give her an idea of the quality that he wants to have for his order. So apparently Kirito has one of the rarest weapons that can drop from a monster. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me, if anyone would fall into that MMO Player archetype of the guy who always gets all the really rare loot it would be Kirito.

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Lisbeth shows the best sword that she has made, and Kirito decides to test how strong it is. How does he do this? He just strikes it against his own sword and ends up destroying Lisbeth’s sword. As you can probably imagine, Lisbeth is not pleased with this and despite the fact that Kirito destroyed her masterpiece she decides to make him a sword anyway. Most people would have kicked Kirito out of the store for pulling a stunt like that, but we are just gonna have to roll with this oddity.

Lisbeth tells Kirito that she can make a powerful sword if she can get a metal ingot from the 55th floor. Kirito plans on going there alone to get it. But, as usual, there are a few catches. The metal comes from a dragon on that floor, and only a master blacksmith can loot the ingot in question. So Kirito has no choice but to allow Lisbeth to accompany him.

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So the two go to the 55th floor which ends up being the obligatory “winter zone” of SAO. Lisbeth doesn’t think ahead and goes up there with no extra equipment to keep her warm, so Kirito gives her a cloak to keep her warm. Apparently the cold temperatures on that floor don’t bother Kirito at all. I can’t even begin to imagine how sophisticated the technology behind SAO is. I mean, how exactly would temperature be translated into code that would then be perceived and experienced by the virtual avatars of players in the game? I doubt we will have that kind of technology in eleven years.

Eventually the pair arrive at a place covered in crystal formations. Although it isn’t long before the dragon comes bursting out of a large pile of crystals. Kirito tells Lisbeth to hide while he deals with the dragon. The fight goes pretty much in Kirito’s favor, but after a brief action packed battle Lisbeth jumps out of cover and draws the dragon’s attention. With a flap of its wings, the dragon sends Lisbeth and Kirito falling into a massive random hole that just happens to be there. Miraculously, Kirito and Lisbeth survive the fall but take a lot of damage from it.

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After using potions to recover from the attack, Kirito and Lisbeth try to find a way out but the teleport crystal doesn’t work there. Running up the icy walls doesn’t work either and Kirito leaves a comical imprint of himself in the snow at the bottom of the bit. Which raises a question, why didn’t that happen when Kirito and Lisbeth fell into the hole in the first place? The snow cushioning their fall might also explain how they survived though, even if it didn’t create loony tunes style imprints in the snow.

Left with no option, Kirito and Lisbeth pull out sleeping bags and decide to call it a night as they talk. After a brief discussion on why Kirito jumped into the hole after Lisbeth, she asks if she can hold Kirito’s hand. The scene ends with Lisbeth contemplating on how warm Kirito’s hand feels. It is one thing to have a virtual reality that can determine temperature, but I can only imagine how much of a programmer’s nightmare it must be to have code that determines the individual body temperature of each player and how other players will perceive that temperature when holding hands or any physical action that may be taken.

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 So the next morning, Lisbeth wakes up to see Kirito digging through the snow. He pulls out a large crystal of some kind, and they identify it as the ingot they are looking for. Earlier it was said that the ingot would be inside the dragon, so why is it in a random pit in the middle of a bunch of snow covered mountains? The ingot is actually a giant piece of dragon poop, no seriously. It is a piece of dragon excrement. Also, given that Kirito could just pick it up and carry it why does he need Lisbeth there in the first place? Because she certainly didn’t dig it out of the snow.

Now back to the earlier question, why is there dragon poop in a hole in the ground? Basically that hole in question is the dragon’s nest and apparently dragons are nocturnal. As if on cue, the dragon comes flying down into the hole to take a long nap. Kirito grabs Lisbeth and does one of the most insane things he has done in the entire series. He jumps into the air, stabs the dragon, and forces it to fly out of the hole as he holds on to the sword handle as tight as he can.

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This is a great plan… in theory. Until the part where the dragon launches them off of its body upon reaching the surface. So the two hitchhikers find themselves really high up in the sky while quickly falling down closer toward a bunch of spiky crystal formations. Facing the almost certain doom of either getting impaled or being turned into red paste on the mountain side, what does Lisbeth do? She declares that she is falling in love with Kirito and hugs him as they continue to fall. Because you know, nothing more romantic than admitting your feelings while falling at terminal velocity toward certain and brutal death.

Fortunately for Kirito and Lisbeth, they are saved by an off screen deus ex machina that magically transports them back to Lisbeth’s store. There Lisbeth makes a new sword for Kirito, preparing to tell Kirito how she feels since he couldn’t hear her the last time she tried that. Kirito is impressed by the dragon poop sword and offers to pay Lisbeth. Instead Lisbeth insists that she wants to be Kirito’s exclusive blacksmith. As she is about to admit her feelings, Asuna shows up to check in on Lisbeth since she wasn’t responding to messages the previous night.

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Lisbeth notices that something is going on between Kirito and Asuna as it is implied that Kirito is the guy that Asuna had a ‘meeting’ with, and is heart broken once she sees it. She runs out of the store to be alone, but Kirito uses that tracking ability to find her and talk to her. He thanks her for getting him out of his nihilistic “I’d rather die than live” mood that he had been in lately. I’m surprised there isn’t more of that in other characters, but it might come up later on. The episode ends with Lisbeth tells Kirito to come visit her so that she can repair his gear, and begs him to put an end to Aincrad by clearing the game.

I liked this episode for several reasons, despite the whole plot hole of Kirito digging out the dragon poop without Lisbeth’s assistance which pretty much invalidated her reason for being there in the first place. I was interested in seeing how the crafting system works, even though we don’t get many details. It looks like the majority of the work involves hitting a bar of metal and it eventually turns into a weapon. Also we finally get to see what kind of stats are on an item, which I had always wondered about.

So my review of Sword Art Online will be taking a small hiatus for a bit while I focus on finishing Madoka Magica and getting further into Pokemon.  Also I will be starting to review another anime series soon, more on that later. But fear not, I will continue as new episodes are released.  Probably once the volume 2 set for SAO comes out.  So stay tuned!



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