Sword Art Online: Alicization - 1.07 Swordcraft Academy
Like last week's Project Alicization, this week's episode is full of quite a bit of exposition, but thankfully there's plenty of action to go along with it. Swordcraft Academy is a good reminder of the fact that time passes much more quickly in the Underworld as, the last time we saw Kirito and Eugeo they were just setting out from the village. Now after a two episode break, we find out two years have passed and not only have the pair made it to Centoria City, they're already a year into training to be Integrity Knights (like the warrior who took Alice away in the first episode). Given that time moves 5,000 times more quickly in the Underworld, I wonder how much time will pass as the series continues. It would be curious to see what would happen if Kirito did in fact experience a lifetime in the Underworld, only to return to reality the same age (more or less) he was at the beginning.
This episode does give a good look at how Kirito and Eugeo have been training and living in the city (Kirito's even taken up gardening). Kirito's been busy in the past two years. It turns out he was gifted a portion of the Gigas Cedar and had it turned into a beautiful and powerful sword, one that can actually be used to (apparently) perform multi-hit combinations like he used to be able to do in the first season of Sword Art Online.
There's a really funny moment when the craftsman who makes the sword talks about payment and Kirito belatedly realizes he has no money on him. Of course, with Kirito being who he is, he finds a way to get into trouble by inadvertently insulting a senior student and finding himself thrust into a duel as a result.
I'm glad the story has returned to the Underworld, where it will likely stay for the time being. While it was nice to catch up with Asuna and the real world, the fact is the "real" story is what's happening with Kirito and Eugeo's journey to find Alice. Hopefully the next episode will continue to drive the story forward (and perhaps not be so heavy with exposition).