Anime Monday: Sword Art Online – “The Black Swordsman” Review

2 months have passed since Kirito tried (unsuccessfully) to revive a girl he met named Sachi. He continues wandering alone, but there is something dangerous lurking ahead of him. Spoilers ahead.

Kirito meets Silica

After trying to revive Sachi, Kirito once again finds himself wandering the world of Aincrad as he searches for a way out of the deadly game. Along his travels he meets a young girl named Silica, a beast tamer who he saved from a couple of monsters who almost kill her. Kirito then offers to help her on a quest to revive her pet dragon, Pina. The two make their way to the Hill of Memories to retrieve the illusive revival item, but they soon learn that they aren’t the only ones searching for this rare treasure.

This is another episode that focuses on a side character from Kirito’s travels, but unlike the previous one, this episode is way less depressing. Silica is a young girl who strikes out on her own when she becomes fed up with the teasing from her former guild leader Rosalia. The monsters that Kirito saves her from unfortunately kill her dragon Pina; which sparks the two’s quest to revive her. Silica is a sweet, albeit a bit stubborn and naive; and she serves as a good foil to Kirito’s hardened nature. The two interact with one another very well and we also get some development for Kirito; as he compares Silica to his “little sister” (shes actually his cousin), as we get a small look into Kirito’s home life and why he began playing games in 1st place.

We also get an introduction into “player killers” and how they fit into the gaming world; it turns out that Rosalia is actually a PKer, and we learn the REAL reason why Kirito joined Silica.

Kirito it seems has become a legend in the world of SAO and has gained the moniker of the “Black Swordsman” due to his use of black blades & dark clothing choices. He is also revealed to be part of the “lead group” which are the strongest players in the entire game, and he has a bad ass moment where he defeats Rosalia and her group without even drawing his sword.

This was definitely a departure from last weeks episode as it had a much more lighter tone to it. The show is starting to depart from the main plot in the form of these “side stories” that appeared in the original light novel. But this isn’t a bad thing, as we get to see a different, nurturing side to Kirito as he helps Silica train before they reach the Hill of Memories, we get a small peek into his life in the real world,and we see how strong he has become in the game. Finally, we are introduced to another element in the game in the form of Player Killers.

The animation once again stand out as the Hill of Memories and the garden surrounding it are both stunning to look at, both having lush beautiful colors and excellent lighting.

The story continues next week as Asuna returns to help Kirito solve a murder case.