Sword Art Online, Episode 4 Rant

We open this episode on Floor 35 of Aincrad, and the date is February 23, 2024. This puts us two months after the last episode, where Kirito was last seen crying his eyes out over Sachi’s death. Well, we saw that in the novel; the anime dared not show what little human emotion Kirito is capable of lest they fail in their quest to make him the ultimate monster. Speaking of monsters, we meet a character named Silica, who apparently has a pet dragon who can use healing skills on her in combat. As such, the people she’s grouped with are trying to extort her for healing crystals, claiming she doesn’t need them.

Okay, the woman has a point. If you have a pet capable of keeping your health up, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a few of your items. Especially if you’re in a group with them. True, she’s going about it in a really snobbish way, but sharing one crystal isn’t going to kill you. However, Silica claims the woman doesn’t fight on the front line, so there’s no need for her to require the crystals in the first place. Equally fair point, though if she doesn’t fight on the front… what does she do? Throw knives for paltry damage? The anime has established there are no mage classes or ranged damage outside throwing knives which are known to be worthless.

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The woman in question seems to favor a spear. I knew she was an asshole from the start I just wanted to try and play devil’s advocate for the sake of it. I really hate Silica as you’ll come to see so anything to turn the tables on her. The woman claims Silica is a “child idol”, relating to the fact that she’s the ONLY player with a pet? I call bullshit on this like you have NO FUCKING CLUE. How did this girl with all the intelligence of a grade schooler stumble across a quest no one else has to get a pet dragon? And if so, why didn’t she share where she got it? You can bet your ass every person in Aincrad would be toting a pet capable of healing them if it meant easing the difficulty a bit.

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We’ll get back to that point, but Silica becomes fed up with the woman and the others who are just trying to keep the peace and leaves the group. Though the fact that Silica claims “many others want to be in her party” makes her come across as bratty and spoiled. Fuck off, you brat. I hope a monster comes along and rips your throat open.

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HEY for once the anime does something right! So after storming off like a dumb bitch, Silica is cornered by three large ape monsters, one of which looks like he’s getting hammered before raping Silica bloody. Her health is below half, so you know she’s in deep shit. However, rather than HIGH TAIL IT OUT OF THERE, Silica insists on continuing the fight. She’s outnumbered and on the defensive, and still she won’t run? She’s looking to get killed (or raped by the apes) and I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. The pet dragon is doing its part in casting healing breaths, but Silica is looking for more healing items instead of running away. Again, do I need to repeat myself? The logical option here is to RUN AWAY. If not by foot by emergency teleport crystal. This girl is that stupid, and she’s the only one in the game with a pet dragon?

So Silica gets fucked up some more for being stupid, drops her weapon, and then panics as she looks around for it. Instead of… say it with me now, RUNNING AWAY! The apes close in for the kill when that pet dragon of hers does something I’m sure wouldn’t be programmed into a pet AI:

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It takes the killing blow for her. I’m actually torn up about this. I liked that dragon more than I liked Silica. But sadly we’re supposed to feel moved by the dragon’s heroic sacrifice. Which is moot when the dragon died to protect a girl too stupid to wipe her own ass.

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Silica then proceeds to cry over the corpse of her dragon for no less than TWENTY FUCKING SECONDS. Let me remind you that the apes are literally right behind her, less than 3 feet away with clubs thick enough to shame a horse’s erect member. And they’re dead set on shoving it up Silica’s ass.

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And then the apes fuck her bloody and the episode is over.

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THE END! Wow, best episode ever! Not only did it end in 3 minutes it also offed the worst character of the series! Man I take it all back, SAO isn’t that bad a show after all. Catch you all next time!

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But no. Sadly, out of NO WHERE Kirito shows up to save Silica from the rape apes. And he downs all three in a single swipe of his sword, which he’s been using since the start of the anime. I’m pretty sure that’s technically impossible in the context of the game world but it could just be that the budget didn’t stretch far enough to design new weapons for him every time there was a time skip. I want to take a moment to point out that Reki Kawahara apologized to some extent for making Kirito the protagonist of these stories, as it was wildly self-indulgent. Never mind that by now the front is a dozen floors higher, if not more, but such a HUGE coincidence that Kirito was nearby to save her. In a game world that’s miles across on ever floor. Even if Reki hadn’t done it this way, you can be sure the anime staff would have just to keep Kirito in the spotlight.

Without even a word of gratitude, Silica ignores her savior and keeps crying over the remains of her pet dragon, now just a blue feather item. Naturally, we all know where this is going: a leftover item means there’s a way to revive it. After all, unlike people, pets are just a product of the game, so surely there must be a way to do this. A cool nod would be if they visited a church and made a donation for a resurrection spell.

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I like how Kirito just doesn’t appear to care as the girl is crying her eyes out over the dead pet. I wouldn’t care either, Kirito. I’m rarely on your side but this girl has attachment issues and it would be best to leave her alone in her misery. If we’re both lucky, she’ll stick around long enough for more rape apes to show and finish the job!

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So Kirito knows what Silica is. Meaning she’s not the only one with pets. Meaning there’s a quest out there that anyone and everyone can take to become a beast tamer and have their own healing dragon pet. Explain to me again why Kirito isn’t among them? The dude who seeks to be the best at everything and would trade his lover for a chance at glory? Wildly inconsistent, anime.

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YES. YES YOU WERE. AND I’M GLAD YOUR PET DIED TO TEACH YOU A LESSON YOU VAPID WHORE.

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Kirito inquires after the item, and of course points out that the dragon can be revived. Of course it can. And of course he knows this. And of course he knows exactly where to do it. Because he’s Kirito. He knows everything so long as it suits the plot. I just love how easily Kirito can know these things if it allows the plot to keep moving forward. I know it’s almost pointless of me to say it, but a simple scene where Kirito just ASKS around his network of contacts (short a list as it may be) and gets this information instead would be MUCH more believable to the audience. Then again, I am the only one with a brain watching this series so never mind me.

Naturally Silica is hesitant about going up to Floor 47, an area well out of her level range to accomplish this quest. And of course despite Kirito offering to take the quest for her, it can’t be done unless Silica is present anyway. Convenient. But then again, it does free Kirito from the responsibility; if she can’t make the trip, fuck her. Move on. Why the hell were you dicking around Floor 35 anyway? Off looking to find another guild of losers to join and then lead into a trap and watch them all die?

…too soon?

Anyway, Silica points out that she’ll go on her own once she levels up enough to survive the journey. Only for Kirito to tell her that reviving a pet is only viable within three days of the pet’s death.

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One: HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THIS? Are you a beast tamer? NO! Have you done the quest for beast tamers? NO! Have you ever lost a pet and had to take the quest to revive it? NO! Have you ever known anyone else with a pet who lost it and therefore learn about the 3 day time limit? NO! NO! NO!

And no, I won’t accept that this is all some kind of common knowledge spread by Argo the Rat because it is BULLSHIT. You can’t claim that Silica is some kind of celebrity because of her healing dragon and also open up what she’s supposedly famous for to everyone else. If everyone were capable of having pet healing dragons, EVERYONE WOULD HAVE ONE. There would be NO REASON for ANYONE to look at Silica any differently. This is radically inconsistent even for you, Reki.

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Kirito then decides on the spot to help Silica out in her little problem. He gives her a bunch of free gear and then offers to guide her to the point where she can revive her pet. WHY? Kirito has never given a flying fuck about anyone in the year and months he’s been a part of the game. In fact, the only person we have seen him care about at all was Sachi, and HE LET HER DIE SO HE COULD KEEP HIS LEVEL SECRET. Why should we believe right now, out of the blue, Kirito wants to help this stranger he just met? I mean, I would say he’s doing it because his teenage prick is itchin’ for some grade schooler cunt but THIS IS A GAME. I’m pretty damn sure you can’t have SEX in this game! Having Kirito help out goes against his established character (weak though it may be).

What’s more, why does Kirito still have all that gear? Wouldn’t he have sold it soon as he got back from his hunts? Is that his old gear from a few levels back? I don’t think so considering the idiot is still using his black cloak from the first floor boss.

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Because Reki goofed and wrote Kirito into this short story instead of a wholly new character. That’s why.

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First, that’s a filthy lie. Silica looks NOTHING like Suguha, a character we have yet to be introduced to and the sister in question. Second, that’s hardly a good reason to do anything. Even if it were, if Silica had half a brain she’d take it as the red flag it is and start running clear through the forest to get away from this creeper. But of course Silica finds it charming and agrees to it anyway. All Kirito needs to do is tell her to bend over and Silica would gladly do it, she’s already so enamored with Kirito.

Kirito also mentions that all this: saving her and then escorting her through Floor 47, isn’t completely out of his way. YOU MEAN TO TELL ME YOU CAME TO THIS FLOOR LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO SAVE AND THEN TAKE ON A QUEST? THAT IS BULLSHIT. We learn later why Kirito was messing around on a lower floor, but it’s just as much bullshit as everything else. Not to mention his reason for being there had NOTHING to do with saving Silica. The girl wasn’t even anywhere NEAR what he was after in the first place!

We cut back to town on Floor 35, where a couple people run up to Silica and ask her to join up with them. This is what the woman from the beginning of the episode meant when she was a “child idol”. Clearly it has little to do with anything other than creepy men wanting to fondle her underage pussy. Silica uses Kirito to get away, and mentions she got full of herself when they started calling her… they started calling her:

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Excuse me.

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She isn’t the only one with pets, she isn’t the only one with dragons, and by damn if she’s a tamer of anything. Girl couldn’t even figure to run away from a fight she couldn’t win.

Despite feeling sorry for herself, Kirito continues to be all kind and supportive of Silica. WHICH IS RADICALLY OUT OF CHARACTER. This asshole doesn’t give two shits about anyone but himself. Yet if you saw this episode alone you’d think he was this ray of sunshine come to save the populace from all their misery. Clearly Reki meant to write someone else into that role, but settled on Kirito just to make it easier on himself.

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They happen to run into these clowns again, and the woman goes and baits Silica over the fact that her dragon pet is dead. Not only that, EVEN THIS WOMAN KNOWS ABOUT THE QUEST TO REVIVE PETS! Do you not realize how utterly STUPID all this is? How EVERYONE but the girl with the pet herself seems to know all about them? Regardless, Kirito tells the woman to fuck off and they continue towards the inn.

At the inn, Kirito mentions how online, people’s personalities change. Role playing is what he’s describing, though I find that difficult to buy since this is reality for these people now. This isn’t so much role playing as it is people just being themselves now that they have the chance to get away with it. After all, laws in SAO are lax by comparison. As we’ll find out soon enough. Kirito also explains how criminal players are marked by an orange cursor, and murderers with a red cursor. Kirito does his usual drab “this isn’t a game” speech and we move on to the next scene.

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Should I even bother? We all know this is just for the sake of fanservice. We had to put the prepubescent girl in underwear. Never mind that as a game, equipment itself shouldn’t pose any kind of hindrance or weight on the body. So Silica in her full gear versus Silica in her white bra and panties should not be any different. But-

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Fuck it we just wanted more shots of this. You sick fucks.

Kirito begins to explain the plan for the quest the following day to Silica, when he stops abruptly to chase off an eavesdropper. I won’t bother with the whole game mechanics of listening in nonsense. But I will point out how pointless this scene was given that the persons that ultimately chase the two down already KNEW where Kirito and Silica were off to in the morning. Therefore, THIS SCENE SERVED NO PURPOSE.

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And just as quickly as it happened, we move on to February 24 on Floor 47. Silica immediately notices (and incorrectly assumes) this floor is all about couples! Which suddenly she perceives herself and Kirito to be? Since when? Since you met him less than 12 hours ago? And where did this idea that it was a floor for couples come from? Because it’s covered in flowers? This floor was once the frontier. NO ONE ELSE WAS THINKING THIS THEN. Explain to me how this bimbo has not been killed yet? Explain to me how someone this stupid was even allowed to put on a NerveGear in the first place? Who the hell bought her the game?

Kirito gives Silica a teleport crystal, telling her to use it to escape should anything go wrong. Gee, it’s a good thing you gave one to Silica and not the girl you liked so she could have escaped as soon as the trap room sprung around her friends all those months ago. One would almost think you’re trying to make up for that shit!

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Suddenly, a plant monster shows up and does this. And we get the most painful, pointless fight scene ever. Because you know, Silica cares so much about her precious modesty she panics instead of focusing on how to kill the otherwise easy monster. I don’t even want to spend anymore time on this. It’s not funny in any way here, and it certainly wasn’t funny in the novels, either.

We get a series of of still images of fights as Kirito shares some of his past regarding his sister, who turns out to actually be his cousin. This is done so when the time comes, even Kirito’s sister/cousin can be allowed to fall in love with him. Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about what Kirito is saying because it in no way furthers the plot, develops him as a character and ultimately means nothing when Suguha is introduced later on. We also get another scene with another slimy plant monster rubbing up against Silica.

Silica gets her flower, all appears to be going well, when Kirito and Silica stumble across Rosalia, the woman from before. And get ready, because this is where shit caves in on itself. This whole episode is stupid like you have no idea.

 

Rosalia was trailing the two so she could get Silica to hand over the revival item they just got. Okay, first off: what was Rosalia’s guarantee that Silica wouldn’t have just used it on the spot? I’m actually wondering why she hasn’t revived her pet dragon yet. Regardless, there’s also the issue of them not simply teleporting out of the area once the quest is complete. Other than being cheap, what purpose does it serve to march all the way back out? A huge gamble on her part indeed.

What’s more, Kirito knows who she really is, and that she’s the leader of an “orange guild” known as Titan’s Hand. Basically, they’re they’re criminals. Though why Kirito didn’t just mention this before in town is anyone’s guess. Or why no one knew she was in a guild since we established in the previous episode that a person’s guild is featured PROMINENTLY over their HP bar.

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Oh look, no HP bar. I’m guessing now there’s a way to hide that, too. The consistency in this anime is so fucking bad it’s hardly worth bitching about anymore. Nevertheless, Kirito points out that Rosalia’s job is just to lead the prey into an ambush and others do the killing. Rosalia then spouts her nonsense about wanting to target Silica.

Okay, why? What the hell does Silica have that makes her such a valuable target? Assuming it was the pet dragon, it’s dead. If she wanted the revival item, why bother? She has no pet of her own. It can’t be worth all that much when these pet users are so rare people treat Silica as if she’s the only one. And assuming she’s still dumb enough to go through all this trouble, what’s to stop both Kirito and Silica from warping out of the area as soon as they show their faces? This plan of hers has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese.

Kirito then reveals that he was actually hunting Rosalia down, since her guild killed four people. So Kirito is a vigilante now? How about you turn yourself in for letting the Moonlit Black Cats die? If Kirito honestly thinks himself fit to dispense any kind of justice, he’s really as twisted and deluded as any criminal player in the game. Hell, he’s arguably worse.

But regardless of that fact, Kirito was on Floor 35 tracking down Rosalia. So he was in the forest tailing her, not Silica. How then did he decide to STOP tailing Rosalia to chase Silica on the off-chance she would be in trouble and he could save her? THIS MAKES NO SENSE! And if he already knew Rosalia was the target, why not just swoop in on Floor 35 for that reason? She stands no chance (as we’ll soon find out) and Kirito outright states the guild that she targeted before only wanted HER imprisoned. So again, Kirito had NO WAY OF KNOWING that he’d be able to save Silica and then use her as bait to draw out the rest of her guild to imprison them, too. IT DOESN’T ADD UP.

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IF THIS ISN’T THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK?! YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM HER! YOU KILLED AN ENTIRE GUILD THROUGH YOUR OWN RECKLESS ABANDON AND FOR SELFISH REASONS TO BOOT! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO JUDGE HER?

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Best part is? YOU CANNOT REFUTE THAT CLAIM. I’m sorry, but at this point in time not Kirito and not anyone else in the game can beyond the shadow of a doubt prove that death in the game means death in the real world. They have all taken it for truth when there is no proof. If you think about it, believing what Rosalia says would actually make someone like Kirito more willing to forget what he did with Moonlit Black Cats. Who’s to say he doesn’t live by the same code in secret?

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So finally her ambush group comes out of hiding. Silica immediately thinks they should run (better late than never… oh wait, the rape apes are long since dead), but Kirito just tells her to chill for a moment as he deals with them. The dudes around Rosalia know about Kirito, and immediately start pissing themselves from fear. Yeah, I don’t buy this reaction one bit. All the same, Rosalia orders her men to attack, and they do. And Kirito does nothing to stop them.

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They are cutting into him relentlessly, but he doesn’t fight back. And his HP doesn’t drop, either. When the mob tires out, Kirito drops the bombshell on them: they can’t beat him because their damage output cannot overtake the rate at which his HP regenerates.

Okay. Wow. Let’s take this from the top.

This is the ONLY instance of this claim in the entire anime. In the entire history of SAO. It is true that HP regenerates over time, but this is only seen OUT OF BATTLE. In fact, in both the novels and anime (outside this ONE EPISODE), the only way to heal in battle is through crystals or potions, the former being the better option. If this supposed regeneration also happened midfight, there wouldn’t be such fear on the front lines. A simple distancing from foes would allow a player’s HP to return shortly.

So what Kirito claims in this episode is absolute HORSE SHIT written to make him appear more badass than he actually is. Let’s go one step further:

The skill he claims? It makes an appearance in the video game as well. And guess what? It’s a skill that activates and then requires a long period of cooldown. Because if such a thing were consistent even in that game it would remove all sense of challenge from the player (us, not Kirito). So again, this whole scene is not only incorrect by the series’ own standards, it’s a blatant insult to everyone at the same time. The plot is literally pissing in your face that it can do whatever it wants and get away with it!

But just because I’m an asshole, I will bring this skill up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Every single time that Kirito is in a battle from now on. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Just to show the inconsistency on top of the blatant lies he spouted in this episode. I’m sorry, Reki. This episode should NEVER have happened. This chapter should NEVER have been written.

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Technically it isn’t, but the plot demands Kirito win. I know, it sucks.

Kirito then pulls out a teleport crystal, claiming it will send them all to the prison on the first floor. And they all just… accept it? Why? I mean, knowing Kirito he’s liable to murder them all to have his way, but they don’t know that. And Kirito is one guy, he can’t possibly stop them all from escaping. But no, they all just appear to give up. And presumably they all go to prison. We don’t see if they actually do, because we cut to the next scene at the inn right away.

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Say that to the six people he’s let die already.

The episode ends with Silica using the flower that revives her pet dragon Pina. And honestly, anything to end that atrocious example of writing.

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Sword Art Online, Episode 4 Rant

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