Sword Art Online Episode 8: One-Hit KO
On the 74th floor, Kirito manages to somehow obtain an S-class ingredient, the meat of a Ragout Rabbit but has no way to cook it. Enlisting the help of Asuna, who maxed out her cooking skill, the pair go to her house to have it in the form of stew, despite the protests of Asuna’s KoB bodyguard, Kuradeel. The next day, after extracting a promise from Kirito to party with her, Asuna is being pursued by Kuradeel once again, who challenges Kirito to a duel and quickly loses. When Kirito and Asuna find the 74th floor boss room, they decide to go in and are met by a huge blue demon, the Gleameyes.
=__= I feel so cockblocked now. Evidently I have the order of events slightly messed up in my head, because the epic thing I was referring to last week actually applies to something NEXT week, which I’m sure of especially now that we’ve seen the floor 74 boss, The Gleameyes. It’s also a “dance of black and white” in a sense, which makes it even more of a troll from studio A-1 Pictures and their terrible naming sense.
In this case it probably refers to the one and a half minute match between Kuradeel and Kirito, though to be fair it wasn’t so much a dance as it was a well-timed strike by our overpowered, yet still extremely cool protagonist. Kirito continues to prove himself as a very badass individual, both in dungeons all by himself and out in the field – he makes throwing needles at frightened rabbits look epic. Just for future reference and if anyone wants to know, that one-handed sword skill with the square after-image is named <Vertical Square> by the way xD I love it when all these swords glow different colours; everything becomes so much more flashier and surreal.
Allow me to be all butthurt at the title just once more – while “black” and “white” referred to Kirito and Kuradeel respectively, it’s kinda ironic that really, it should be vice versa. Kuradeel has the makings of our first proper antagonist in the show, and while he’s not as bad as Accel World’s Nomi, you can tell that he’s the kind of guy that has a really hateful attitude and would easily hold a grudge from the look on his face after he was rejected. Just by the rash action he took to challenge Kirito for no proper reason, it’s obvious that he believes himself superior just because he’s a Knights of the Blood member – well, superior to a trash Beater, anyway. I don’t know how that kind of guy got into KoB, or why he was picked as Asuna’s bodyguard, but as someone who’s clearly obsessed over her, I’m sure he felt more cockblocked than I did, after spending an entire night stalking her outside her house.
I was sure they’d skip out the Ragout Rabbit scene, but after the episode I’m glad they didn’t for two main reasons. Firstly, as we’re now starting a linear storyline and there aren’t going to be any more awkward time skips, having a scene as mild as cooking stew kinda affirms the slower pacing and is an unofficial promise to not have any more Zetman-style bullet train pacing speeds. Hopefully. The second reason is that we get more romance to-be between Kirito and Asuna, even if it was disappointing for a major event like visiting Asuna’s fancy house to not have anything happen. Knowing Kirito’s nature and status as a solo player, they can’t be meeting that often, and it wouldn’t be like Kirito to make the first move, let alone propose to her. Remember though, at this point Asuna’s already crushing on him (since this is after Lizbeth’s side story) so it’s only a matter of time~
After two years in SAO, people are starting to forget their lives in the real world, which is easy to talk about, but scarier to imagine when you actually think about it. You know how you commonly get these background people in anime, that have standard faces, hair and designs? They were there in Kirito vs Kuradeel too, and when you think about it, each one of these guys is actually a real person that got stuck in this virtual MMO. Seeing them being all excited at a solo beater fighting a KoB member, or talking about how cute Asuna is
even though it’s true is really different to their faces back in the Starting City, when everyone was screaming after Kayaba Akihiko’s announcement. It’s as simple as moving to a different country, where you slowly become more comfortable and adapt, forgetting things and learning to live with a new life. The concept of dying that was so scary is now more of a “oh, it’s not so bad after all” mentality. But hey, there’s a big bad boss just over there. There’s no better time than now to spice things up with a little screaming and crying, right?