Episode eight marks the return to the original content of volume one of Sword Art Online (the light novel). In case you did not know, episodes two through seven were biased off of the side stories of SAO featured in volume two of the light novel series. This episode if traced back to the light novel takes place directly after Kirito leaves Klein in the beginning. This is a welcoming grace for me because even though the previous episodes were enjoying to watch, I really wanted the show to get back on track with the first volume of the light novel series.
So the episode starts and ends very faithful to the source material. Kirito finds a rare ingredient and has Asuna cook it for him in exchange for sharing half of the meal. We also get to meet Kuradeel (Asuna's personal bodyguard appointed by her guild leader) who plays a big role very soon in the story. During the episode, Asuna brings up why Kirito chooses not to join a guild and how it defines him as a person. To him, a solo player, he does not deserve to take part in such activities because he views himself as self-centered. He also brings up that everyone would hold him back which he eventually takes back when Asuna almost gets a surprise attack off. One thing leads to another and Asuna and Kirito start partying up for future events. This pisses Kuradeel off because he views Kirito as an unworthy person to look after Asuna. They have a duel and Kirito obliterates Kuradeel. He wines and runs away while Kirito and Asuna find the floor's boss room.
This episode really got me excited because like I have stated before, is the return to the main story line. Whether or not you have picked up on this yet, this is an action adventure story with ROMANCE being the catalyst for any future problems to root from. From this point on you will see Kirito and Asuna become closer and closer to the point where awesomeness occurs. The animation of this show is still quite amazing as well as the voice actors both for new and returning characters. The only nitpicking issue I had with the episode was at the end when Kirito breaks Kuradeel's sword, he does not explain how and why he knew it would break (in the light novel he explains how more decorative weapons are more prone to breaking). Other than that however, an amazing episode. I cannot wait for the new episode to air because we will get to see Kirito and Asuna get even more close to each other and maybe see an epic battle.