Previously on Sword Art Online:
Kirito & Asuna successfully solved the Golden Apple murder case, and encountered the spirit of the guild’s deceased leader. Content with their work the two moved on. Spoilers Ahead
June 25th 2024: Kirito ventures to the 48th floor in order to get a sword made for him. Here he encounters Lisbeth, Asuna’s friend (even though he doesn’t know it at the time) and professional sword smith. After breaking her best sword (smoooooth) he is forced to accompany her on a journey to the 55th floor in order to retrieve a rare mineral needed to make Kirito’s new sword stronger than the one he broke. However, they have to face off against a fearsome dragon to obtain the rare item.
“Smiting” is shown in this episode but it’s not given too much thought, which is to be expected. It is nice to see how the mechanics of the world they inhabit work and how weapons in the game are made.
We are introduced to a new character this episode. In the beginning of the episode Lisbeth is shown fixing Asuna’s sword and the two have a sisterly relationship with one another. Lisbeth is spunky and a bit abrasive at first but she has a good heart, and throughout the episode she is trying to find something worth holding on to; which sure enough she finds in Kirito. Her initial meeting with Kirito is pretty funny and the look on her face when he breaks her sword is priceless, however it is sad how she deals with her feelings toward Kirito in the end. She also learns more about herself and starts to come to terms with being trapped in the game and resolves to live as best she can until she gets out.
Kirito gets some more development here as well. Before he faces the dragon he orders Lisbeth to hide so she won’t be in harms way. This calls back to earlier episodes (specifically Sachi’s death) as Kirito obviously doesn’t want anyone else to die around him. There is a scene where he & Lisbeth are trapped at the bottom of the dragon’s nest and they share a moment as they wait for daybreak. He also reveals his thoughts of giving up to Lisbeth at the end of the episode and we see just how tortured & scared Kirito is on the inside.
Another “side story” episode that introduces another character in the series. There is some action, some humor, and as well as some drama wrapped together in a neat little ball for us to marvel over. As always the environments are beautiful and the dragon looks pretty good as it is all computer effects. The fight to survive continues next week in SAO.