Sword Art Online – Episode 4 – “The Black Swordsman” – Policing the Game

SOA Episode 4

   “The Black Swordsman” is a fun episode, though I think a lot more could have been done with giving Silica and Rosalia better motivations…we didn’t really see their process of becoming who they were and that took away more power from the story as in the end they felt like tools for Kirito and not much else. Still a good episode though.

     The story involves Silica seeking to resurrect her pet dragon after she leaves her guild where she is being bullied by Rosalia. Kirito helps her level up and get to the location that will resurrect her dragon but they find they are watched and the truth of what is going is soon revealed.

The Pros: Kirito’s Gambit – The episode is really one giant Kirito’s Gambit in order to capture player killer Rosalia. It is really cool how he does it too as he lures her out by joining the only surviving member of the Guild she was exploiting.  It doesn’t end there though.

Policing the Game – When Rosalia is revealed Kirito kills her, saying he is willing to go red (bad) for a few days since he is a solo player and protecting others is worth it. To this end he is the closest thing the game has we have seen to a police force.

Kirito and Silica – There relationship is strange but entertaining. They are friends but Silica has a crush on him. Kirito talks about how helping Silica is like helping his sister who protected him from his abusive guardian. There are some great character moments between these two.

Okay: Rosalia – She’s a red lady with a cool voice actress but not motivation beyond selfishness. I wanted to know why she had become a player killer and not knowing cheapened her as an antagonist.

Silica – Silica has the cute thing going on but needs to be rescued most of the time and there are some weird moments that try and objectify her which I didn’t like at all. She felt like a character trying not be fan service but being made fan service anyway. Really disliked that.

This was a good episode that shows how the world of Aincrad is developing further. We see that there are players who have gone bad and also how much power Kirito has as being a much higher level player going back to lower levels in the game. It was fun, but the issues in regards to Silica and Rosalia are hard to ignore.

Final Score: 7.5 / 10

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