Sword Art Online #3 – #5: No Rest for the Wicked

I think you’d better save her immediately, Kirito. I’m not liking where those vines are about to go.

Sorry about the lateness. Lots of stuff occupied my time recently: family, other personal stuff, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Great game BTW. Must-buy if you own a DS). So to make up for lost time, I’m gonna talk about the past two episodes quickly.

Episode 3: Whuh? I heard some stuff about how the anime is omitting some stuff, but now this episode clearly shows it. For example, it goes from Kirito’s new guild falling into a trap and subsequentially getting killed only for the next scene to jump to Christmas Eve. Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to cut to commercial there. Good episode, except for the lousy pacing.

Episode 4: Solid episode; the pacing in this episode was alot better. Hopefully it continues at this stride. Also, it’d be a real shame if someone like Silica didn’t show up in the future. I like her.

Ok, now onto episode 5.

So the episode starts on Floor 56. The show’s been jumping up a good amount of floors in few episodes. Obviously they had to since there’s no way they could cover everything that happens for 100 floors, so some offscreen stuff must be occuring. Kirito has met back up with Asuna, who is the Number Two of a guild called Knights of the Blood Oath. They’re working on a strategy to lure the field boss into the village using NPCs as bait. Despite the fact that NPCs are expendable, Kirito refuses to go along with the plan.

This was me during the past few weeks.

So now we’re at Floor 59: Kirito’s taking a snooze while all the other members are out clearing the dungeons. He doesn’t feel like doing anything while the weather’s so nice. Lucky you, I can’t have weather like that unless it’s finished raining. Despite her previous dissatisfaction with Kirito’s unmotivation, Asuna decides to take a snooze as well.

Anyway, to pay him back for the break, she decides to pay for a meal for him. So we jump down to Floor 56; As Asuna puts it, towns are safe zones so no one can attack or player-kill anyone unless they’re in a Duel. However, some players will try to play dirty on a sleeping player by forcing the person into a Duel and then attacking away. These “Sleep-PKs” have happened before, which is why she know about them. I’ll say it again, folks: Hitting people while they’re asleep isn’t right!

OK so they hear a scream outside, which leads the two to a player impaled by a spear while being hung from a window.

No, Kirito, that’s not how it works! You’re supposed to keep the weapon inside the wound to prevent further blood loss.

The guy dies right there. Kirito suspects that he was challenged to a Duel and looks for a player with a Duel Winner notification. However he/she’s not even in the area. They can’t afford to ignore this because no one will be safe even in towns if someone found a way to PK in towns.

They start asking around for anyone who might’ve seen what happened, which brings them to Yoruko, the one responsible for the scream earlier. She and the victim, named Kains, were in the same guild together and were about to meet for dinner. She also saw someone behind him when Kains was killed, the possible perpetrator.

So to track down the perp, they take the spear to the item store on Floor 50, where Egil runs. Upon closer examination, the weapon is known as Guilty Thorn, and it’s made by a player named Grimrock. The next day, Kirito and Asuna meet back up with Yoruko and ask her if the name Grimrock rings any bells. As she states, Grimrock was also a member of her former guild, which brings her to the story of how her guild fell apart.

Six months ago, Yoruko’s guild, Golden Apple, had defeated a rare monster which dropped a ring which grants the wearer +20 Agility. Afterwards, they discussed on whether they should keep it, or sell it and split the cash between the eight of them. They agreed to vote on it, leading to the decision to sell it 5 to 3. The guild leader, Griselda, went into the town to sell it, but never came back because she was killed. Kirito suspects a sleep-PK, however very few people were aware of that during that time. He then suspects that someone in the guild might’ve done it, particularly the three members who voted against selling the ring. Once again asking about Grimrock: He was married to Griselda in-game. Chances are, Grimrock would be after the three who voted against selling it: Yoruko, Kains, and a player named Schmidt, who joined another guild named Holy Dragon Alliance, and someone whom Kirito was acquainted to few times before.

“…except for the rule that’s preventing anyone from logging out until the game is beaten. Other than that, the rules are pretty much legit.”

They bring Schmidt to meet Yoruko and he suspects that Kains killed Griselda and that Grimrock may be seeking revenge against them.

Yoruko starts freaking out, saying that the entire guild is more or less responsibe for Griselda’s death for picking up the ring in the first place. All of a sudden, Yoruko is killed by a knife in the back, closing the episode…

This and last episode I found to be more enjoyable. As long as the show can keep at this stride, it’ll be worth it in the end. Unfortuately, this murder mystery won’t see a conclusion for another two weeks… Damn, all the shows I’m watching have a break for a week or two. Well, I guess I’ll have to clear out my Hulu queue for the time being.

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