And a kidnapped young maiden? Boy, I know where this is going.
— So what exciting things are we doing in SAO this week? Futilely whacking away at a tree again? Great. Just like the first two episodes then. Nothing boring about that.
— God, I feel like I’m just watching the same scenes over and over.
— And now Kirito is learning about Alice again.
— We finally get to hear about something new: goblins have been attacking and abducting peo–… oh goddammit, that’s not new!
— More pointless babble about this fake universe that’s probably nothing more than a military experiment to breed soldiers powered by artificially produced souls. I get the thought process. I get it: we’ll do all the boring world-building now, so we can save the exciting stuff for later. But you run the risk of losing casual viewers completely. If someone’s not already invested in SAO and everything SAO-related, why would they waste their time sitting through these back-to-back-to-back slow-moving episodes. The first episode was mostly exposition! The second episode was all exposition! And right now, the third episode looks to be guilty of the exact same storytelling sin!
— The sad thing is that you can see the money being thrown at this show. Every scene screams money. Even when the characters are doing nothing but talking about boring nonsense, A-1 Pictures is doing its damndest to make this show look cash money. Too bad the foundation is just so bad that it won’t even matter. What a waste of effort.
— When Kirito wonders if they have anything better to use — YO FELLAS, YOU GOT ANYTHING BETTER THAN AN AXE FOR CUTTING DOWN TREES?! — Eugeo leaves and returns with an immensely heavy package. It’s probably that dumb sword that Kirito couldn’t lift in the first episode.
— We’re still bringing up Alice’s abduction and Eugeo’s feelings. Sigh.
— That’s right! Nearly ten minutes into the third episode of the series, we’re still trying to cut down a tree. Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?!
— And now I get to watch Kirito give Eugeo tips on how to swing a sword. Haha, this must be a competition between Goblin Slayer and SAO to see which show could bore me more. This is unbelievable. The episode is halfway over, and I’m just watching a pair of fun boys swinging away at a tree — the same tree they were beating at in the first two episodes.
— Later that day, Kirito thinks about how Eugeo would never shirk his Calling, but man, it would be really helpful! He’s such a bad influence. Six years ago, he made Alice break the rules, and now, he’s trying to corrupt Eugeo. Kirito is nothing more than a malicious virus.
— Yay, more exposition. This time, Kirito asks Selka about Alice, her big sister. We get to learn how Eugeo has been depressed ever since his friend was taken away by an Integrity Knight! Y’know, something that the anime could’ve shown us instead! But it’s cool, because we all love boring conversations while the “camera” pans across furniture!
— Welp, while they talk about crying, I’m going to check on some college football scores.
— Selka has never been told why her sister was taken away, so she asks Kirito to tell her the truth. The guy doesn’t pause to consider whether this might be a good idea or not. He just answers the question like it’s no big deal. Man, I bet Selka will now decide to head for the End Mountains. Way to go Kirito! Corrupting yet another young maiden! Not only that, Selka is supposed to be a sister in training!
— What’s that? Selka has gone missing?!
— Kirito quickly realizes the error of his ways, so he and Eugeo hurry to the End Mountains. Welp, we may as well retrace our steps from the first episode but with a different sister this time!
— Our hero then boldly claims that even if Selka commits the same sin as her big sister, they can protect her! Dude, you can’t even cut down a tree. Get outta here. This ain’t Aincrad! You ain’t that strong no more!
— All of a sudden, a certain “Kyaaaah~” rings out. All anime girls scream the same way.
— The two boys quickly stumble upon a room full of goblins. More importantly, Selka is all tied up. Eugeo stupidly yells out her name and thus alerts the goblins to their presence. Smart kid. No wonder they assigned him to cutting down a tree.
— Then as the goblins slowly advance upon Kirito and Eugeo, the latter can’t do anything but shake in his boots. Way to go, man. You’re about to let down two sisters in one lifetime.
— But yeah, this is where the episode comes to an end. It took us all episode just to get to this point, because we spent all episode jerking off to a tree.