…Shoulda brought a bigger sword
|Wooooooo! More Sword Art Online! I think mystery time is over for now right and judging from the last set of wonderful comments, this episode is about another new character!? Hopefully she proves to be just as fun as the other girls from Kirito’s awesome harem! Well, time to join Overcooled for our usual epic tag reviews.|
|Epic, indeed! I feel like no blog post is complete without at least one CG dragon floating around. I can check that off the list now. Really though, if a cute girl every week isn’t your thing, at least be grateful for giant dragons. There’s something for everyone.|
The Sacred HNNNGG Blacksmith
Foshizzel // Watching any brand new episode of Sword Art Online usually means one of two things: Kirito being a badass beater and the addition of a new female character that usually end up falling in love with him while they go on some random adventure together. True to the formula, Kirito meets up with the pink haired girl from the opening named Lizbeth (but everyone just calls her Liz for short)! So what makes this girl so special? In the game world she is a well-known blacksmith who specializes in making weapons and repairing gear, and of course she does sell all of that to the players. So being a blacksmith sounds like a fairly easy job right? I know in just about any MMORPG out there you can usually find a job or a possible trade skill where you craft weapons, items or armor to sale on auction houses or to other players through some type of trade channel; however most of these trade skills require you to farm raw materials found in the game world and honestly it can really suck the fun out of any game if you choose a really hard trade skill that requires expensive materials! But from what I gather, Liz has set up a fine place to sell weapons and I guess if you are not the adventuring type you might as well provide a service to the other players that are actually fighting on the frontline.
Lizbeth is intently pondering the stats on Kirito’s “sword”
Overcooled // Here I am – balanced precariously between seeing Lizbeth as cookie-cutter harem fodder and really sympathizing with the poor girl. What a dilemma! But there is no escape from limbo so you’ll have to deal with hearing both side of the coin as I flip-flop all over the place. Lizbeth has some unfortunate character traits. First of all, she is weak and needs constant protecting. Secondly, she’s got a bit of a flat personality that seems to only show when she’s either scolding the main character or fawning over him. Most importantly, she falls into the category of yet another girl under the spell of Kirito’s dashing looks. Girls will fall for any guy as long as they save them from something, so I guess I can’t really blame her. That still doesn’t make me roll my eyes any less when every women this guy meets falls head over heels for him in the short span of a day or two. My brain labels her immediately as “harem fodder” and then it is all I can see her as. We all know Asuna is going to be Kirito’s choice, so it makes Lizbeth seem like she has no point to be there.
However, I like Lizbeth as a character. Parts of her, that is. Despite all that moaning and bellyaching in the paragraph above, she has some great moments, and I really do sympathize with her situation. Her unrequited love for Kirito is incredibly unfortunate since he’s basically crawling in bitches all the time, and therefore nigh unobtainable. Lucky for her, she got to spend a night alone with him in that dragon toilet (a romantic situation, I know) and didn’t have to compete because no one else was there. She thought she had a chance and boldly confessed. Heck, she was ready to confess a second time in the shop for him to hear! What a brave soul! I like a girl who isn’t afraid to just say what they’re feeling, and Lizbeth is that kind of girl.
Although Liz may be totally infatuated with our infamous beater, I like that she doesn’t blush madly all the time when she’s around him, She acts normal, and even calls him out on trying to act so badass all the time. She seems to genuinely just enjoy his company. It’s less of a silly crush like Silica, so it feels more sincere. She really cares about Kirito, but I’m more tempted to say it’s a longing for companionship as opposed to her being in love.
There’s a photo in her shop of her with a bunch of people who I assume are fellow smiths…but we never see them. My best guess is they kicked the bucket, leaving our pink-haired smith all alone, and kind of desperate for human contact. She really deserves someone to console her, but I think it could be any guy who’s nice, really. Kirito just happened to be the first one. It’s a shame she had to get her heart broken in the end, but she handled it like a champ. It’s not easy to let your best friend have the guy you like when they’re not even together yet. She could try and swoop in to claim Kirito for herself, but she doesn’t want to harm their friendship. Good on you, Lizbeth! Next time, try and not scream the entire time you’re carried over Kirito’s shoulder like last week’s laundry so the whole “likeable character” effect isn’t ruined, eh?
Foshizzel // I bet everyone saw the whole “I love you Kirito” thing coming a mile away from Liz and I think most anime fans out there already have a good idea on who ends up together. I blame the damn openings that tend to spoil us on possible pairings! So do you think Liz has a chance in hell with the main character? Sadly, I do not think so because this series pushes the idea if Kirito and Asuna together forever and ever. So why do anime creators continue to follow that set up? Does it only appear for the purpose of building lame character drama for a series? For myself it just makes me feel so bad for Liz because you can tell she really likes him, but I suppose it does make things more interesting. I bet most of us have been in similar situations like Liz where we really like someone a lot, but of course they are usually involved with someone else at the time and yeah it really does suck. So what do you think about this subject? Does that type of character storyline keep you wanting more or are you growing tired of seeing it pop up? Hopefully Liz finds someone else to fall in love with other than Kirito!
Asuna Has Many Special Friends
Foshizzel // While Liz is the newest character in the anime to meet Kirito we still had a guest appearance by Asuna who apparently knows Liz! Then again her guild is probably so popular that everyone knows her by name. I can only imagine there are newspapers floating around in Sword Art Online that mention how the blood knights are fighting to win the game. This episode kind of jumps around from Asuna chatting to Liz for a bit as she noticed Asuna wearing a fancy earring and after the OP we go back a few days with Kirito commissioning Liz to make a rare weapon for a friend like his current sword, but of course this only happened AFTER he smashed one of her rare weapons in the shop! Oh damn I seriously died laughing after that scene because the look on Liz’s face was like DUDE! WHY DID YOU DO THAT!? I have to give Kirito a high five for that even though he can be a complete idiot at times he always makes me laugh. So the quest is on to find some rare stuff to craft the perfect weapon resulting in the two of them getting trapped in a giant hole after a short fight with a frost dragon! So when did Kirito learn how to fly in a fantasy MMORPG where no magic is used? Just kidding he just has the power to jump high and run along walls like some overpowered ninja, but why didn’t he jump from wall to wall like Laura Croft?!
Enjoying Life’s Little Gifts (Like Dragon Feces)
R.I.P. Slashy. You were the best sword a girl could have.
Overcooled // The end goal for everyone in SAO is with 99.9% certainty to get out of this crazy world alive, and finally wake up. There are plenty of ways to die in the real world too, but none of them involve getting shredded to ribbons by dragons, and that’s a major plus. The list of benefits goes on. So why isn’t everyone would be using every fiber of their being to get to the top and out of this deathpit as soon as possible? Despite being a deathpit, Aincrad is actually pretty nice, and you get to KILL THINGS without going to jail! So while there are plenty of reasons to try and get out as soon as possible, there’s really no rush to escape either since towns are safe and wearing bitching armour all the time is pretty rad. I could see myself getting quite comfy playing SAO, couldn’t you? I had expected SAO to be all about progressing from floor-to-floor obsessively, but I kind of prefer it this way, because it shows how everyone is just getting used to living in the game.
Another interesting side effect of Aincrad being a rather alluring place to stay are specialists like Lizbeth. By specialists, I mean people who don’t primarily concern themselves with advancing up the floors and instead take on certain jobs. Lizbeth, for example, is a master blacksmith. She can still fight, but she seems more concerned with providing other players with good weapons. Egil has his own shop too! I imagine that dedicating skill points towards crafting skills and such means that you’re losing out on possibly important battle abilities, depending on how the game works. Sometimes professional skills and battle skills are separate, but not always. I’m impressed that people have actually specialized in order to help other players instead of fighting to get out, despite how rough the situation is. I guess by now everyone is used to the prospect of being trapped in a game, and if they’re stuck there for a long time, they might as well do something they really want to do. Even in a “fake” world, Liz could find something warm to grasp onto, and was able to fall in love. More and more, I’m seeing that it might not be such a bad idea to enjoy the time spent in the world of SAO, no matter how fake it may seem. It still has beautiful skylines, warm hands, and swords made with the pure heart of a pink-haired girl in a bastardized maid outfit. I recently finished playing Eternal Sonata, and it really described this feeling best as “reality is wherever you wake up.”
Lizbeth’s story seemed to be the perfect length for a 20(ish) minute anime episode. After that Reindeer episode, I’m always going to be irrationally worried about pacing. It was also pretty interesting! Lizbeth’s one-sided crush on Kirito was a pretty cool topic because we saw the entire process of her meeting Kirito, falling in love, and then getting her heart stomped on. It wasn’t really about dragon poop or forging a sweet new blade, but about relationships. While Lizbeth has some annoying traits, I ultimately liked her episode because of how open she was in her love for this complete stranger who walked into her life. She’s a real go-getter who knows she has to ask to get what she wants, and I like that. Kirito’s moral lesson-of-the-week is that while protecting others is important, there’s no need to be so obsessive about it that he sacrifices his own life to do it. When he jumped in to grab Lizbeth, he should have thought “I’m going to save us” instead of “LOL DOUBLE KILL.” Because that is exactly what he thought. Anyways, pretty good! What colour of hair will you choose for your next female companion, SAO? I wait with bated breath.
Well this was a great episode even though it was another random one shot story complete with another new character appearance. I was really happy to see Liz pop up because she was a bit different than some of the previous girls, but honestly I was not really happy with the whole “I LOVEEEE YOUUUU KIRITO” thing from Liz! I mean Asuna is an awesome character to watch, but why do the creators of this series continue doing this to us? They continue to introduce new girls and they develop these hard crushes on him only to have their heart crushed! I really hope Liz gets over him somehow, but judging from most posts on this series I assume Liz doesn’t appear again? Or does she play a much bigger role later on? I can only assume that all of these side characters that Kirito and Asuna meet eventually join her guild later on? I should read the first few chapters of the light novels huh? Anyway thanks for reading! I hope you are having a blast with this series so far.
By the time they hit the ground, we’ll be ready for next week’s episode. See ya then!