I fairly enjoyed this episode of Sword Art Online because I’m a sucker for romance. Even if a particular character cannot be with another, I’m pulled in because of the cute interactions between them. The difference this time is the relationship takes place in an online world where you are only a configuration of data, yet somehow you can still feel emotion, hunger, death, etc.
Kirito is interested in having a new sword crafted for him, so he visits the blacksmith Lisbeth to see if she has the skills he’s looking for. She seems to be insecure in that Kirito is looking for a weapon stronger than anything she has ever made before, yet she agrees to help him out. They need a particular gem from a dragon in order to forge the weapon and Lisbeth goes along for the ride.
Long story short Kirito and Lisbeth are stranded overnight in a cold and snowy location with nothing but some sleeping bags. When Lisbeth and Kirito hold hands it’s clear that she is looking for a bit of warmth in Sword Art Online. By literally holding his hand, Lisbeth feels more alive and worth something inside her heart. Later her feelings escape herself and she tells Kirito that she likes him, but of course he doesn’t quite hear her and she’s stuck with the confession.
With the crystal in hand Lisbeth crafts the Dark Repulsor, otherwise known as Kirito’s second sword. I believe Kirito can wield two swords at once so that’s pretty cool that he can now do so. It seems that Lisbeth was able to forge the weapon with her own in-game talent and her emotional strength towards him. This is all nice and dandy until Asuna arrives to reveal that she recommended Kirito to Lisbeth, and that he didn’t quite discover her blacksmithing abilities on his own.
Lisbeth immediately understands the relationship, or potential for a relationship, between Asuna and Kirito. With her heart broken Lisbeth offers Kirito a fake smile and the opportunity for her to be his unique blacksmith. She offers that every day he return to her so she can repair his weapons, armor, etc. It gives Lisbeth the only chance of seeing the one she has feelings for even if she can’t quite keep his attention. She will only get hurt in this process but at least she gets to see Kirito.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a sucker for romance, but I am a bit annoyed with Kirito’s general reaction to Lisbeth’s obvious feelings. He could have acknowledged the situation in a more appropriate way, but then again there’s always someone who’s blind in romance. At least he states that if he were to have died earlier in the fight with the dragon, he would have much preferred it be with Lisbeth so he wouldn’t have been alone. That’s one of the things he is looking for in Sword Art Online, to not die alone. And Lisbeth is looking for a bit of warmth, of which Kirito was able to provide for her. At least some exchange of understanding was given to one another in an episode that created and dissolved an essence of romance.