Sword Art Online Episode 10 Review: Stay on Target, Stay on Target
There are times when a story can lose focus and it seems like the characters really need to sort out their priorities. This is starting to be the case with SAO after this episode. What happens? Read on and find out, let’s get started. So last time, Kirito agreed to duel with Heathcliff. While Kirito may be strong, Heathcliff also has a skill that is unique to him alone. His Divine Shield skill allows Heathcliff to remain on both the offense and defensive at all times, so in other words a completely broken and unbalanced skill that would get nerfed in most MMORPGs faster than you can say “Overpowered”.
The duel quickly draws a massive crowd, enough for Knights of the Blood Oath to fill an entire stadium and make a massive profit from selling tickets. Makes me wonder how much time passed between Kirito agreeing to the duel and the duel actually happening, because that is a large crowd in the stadium. Kirito’s quip about getting a cut of the profit from tickets was rather amusing. So the duel actually starts, and despite Kirito’s impossible attack speed, he is defeated by Heathcliff.
The next scene, Kirito puts on his Knights of Blood. Honestly, I’m not an expert in fashion, but white with red doesn’t seem like a good color for Kirito. Kirito also explains why he hasn’t been in a guild before, you know… that whole incident from the third episode where his concealing of information got an entire guild of players killed. Asuna comforts Kirito, assuring him that she won’t die. The two of them certainly seem to be getting closer and closer.
The next day, Kirito gets his first assignment as a guild member of Knights of the Blood Oath. He teams is teamed up with Godfree to clear a dungeon so that his skills can be evaluated. The third member of the party is Kuradeel, as a way of trying to get Kirito and Kuradeel to put the past behind them and get along. At first, it seems like they will actually be able to do that. Before they leave, Godfree has Kirito and Kuradeel hand over their teleport crystals. That’ll end well.
So later that day in the dungeon, the three of them take a lunch break. Godfree hands over lunches to his two party members. As Kirito starts to drink from the water bottle that came with his lunch, he notices something suspicious about Kuradeel. He hasn’t touched any of his food yet. Without warning, Kirito falls over and is paralyzed by a poison that was in the water. Godfree is also poisoned, questioning why the water that Kuradeel packed was poisoned. Without warning, Kuradeel loses it and starts attacking Godfree. Godfree is unable to do anything, and dies shortly afterward.
As Kuradeel approaches a helpless Kirito, Kuradeel reveals the truth to him. He is part of the guild Laughing Coffin, the group of freaks that prove just how low humanity can sink in a crisis. He learned how to make poisoned drinks from Laughing Coffin. He starts attacking Kirito, slowly draining his health. Kirito is dangerously close to death, and tries to pull the sword out. It is a good attempt, but it doesn’t help him much. Just as Kuradeel is about to land the killing blow, he is knocked back by an attack. The attacker was none other than Asuna, whom then uses a healing crystal on Kirito. She reveals that she has been watching their progress on her map, and noticed that Godfree disappeared.
With Kirito’s life out of danger, Asuna turns on Kuradeel. Her attacks take Kuradeel’s health down sharply, prompting him to beg for his life. Asuna decides to spare Kuradeel, and unfortunately for her that was the wrong move. Kuradeel was faking it and lunges at her with his sword. Kirito lends a hand in the nick of time… and gets his hand cut off. He then activates a skill and stabs Kuradeel in the gut, killing him.
Kirito and Asuna have a moment together, which escalates as Kirito pulls her in and kisses her. Kirito admits his feelings to Asuna, and Asuna does the same. Kirito then asks if he could spend the night with Asuna, which she agrees to with a smile. Later that night at Asuna’s house they eat dinner, drink some tea, and then… Asuna starts taking her clothes off. No seriously, that happens. The look on Kirito’s face in this scene is priceless though. As Asuna stands there she tells Kirito to undress as well, to which he admits that he just wanted to stay the night and wasn’t thinking of doing… well, you know. Needless to say, Asuna is not too pleased about the awkward situation and punches Kirito’s lights out.
So later that night, Asuna is sleeping as Kirito sits on the other half the bed looking at her. He wakes her up and they talk for a little while. The episode ends with Kirito proposing to Asuna, to which she says yes as she smiles and cries tears of joy.
If there is one movie quote that fits the current situation it would be this from Star Wars: A New Hope: “Stay on target, stay on target!” Why does this fit? Because now we have this romance going on that seems a little out of place and the characters seem to be losing focus of what really matters. Sure, it is fine that Kirito and Asuna start a relationship and all but is now really the time to go get married and get a house while you are trapped in the death game that is SAO? They should do that after they get out, not before. I mean it was clear that something was going to happen between these two, and has been clear for the past few episodes.
I get the feeling we are probably not going to stay on track with the main story for a few more episodes, so enjoy the ride as we watch the train wreck that is Kirito and Asuna’s priorities. Stay tuned.