SAO: Alicization Episode 3

SAO: Alicization Episode 3

Introduction

The Gigas Cedar lives to see another episode, and while some people may think that means the story is going to take longer to get to the real action, I see it as an improvement for the SAO series at large. The fact that Kirito hasn’t one-shot it yet is truly remarkable.

It’s good to see that there are some things which can’t simply be overcome by believing in yourself more. That said, I now think that Eugeo is going to take on the role of the person to defeat the Gigas Cedar, and he may very well do so in one hit, but it looks as though it will involve some character development as well.

That’s right, I said that it looks like there’s going to be character development in SAO.

The End Mountains

The first half of the episode focuses on Kirito and Eugeo as they continue to hang out and work towards cutting down the Gigas Cedar. After watching Eugeo toil away at his calling by using the Dragonbone Ax, Kirito asks him if there’s anything stronger they can use on the tree.

Eugeo then remembers he has the Blue Rose Sword stashed away somewhere nearby (it was probably in the shed in which the Ax is kept). This sword is the same one the knight of legend attempted to steal from the dragon in the End Mountains, and it seems Eugeo went back to get it years after Alice was taken.

His end goal was to be able to one day use the Blue Rose Sword and save Alice, but there are a few problems. The first is that the sword is way too heavy for him to properly wield, and the second is that he can’t leave on an adventure and shirk his Calling.

With the Blue Rose Sword in hand, Kirito attempts to cut into the Gigas Cedar, and misses his mark. However, even though he missed the weak point, the single blow did enough damage to the tree for it to be visible, something the Dragonbone Ax is unable to do.

He then suggests that Eugeo try, because although he isn’t a swordsman, he has more experience with cutting the Gigas Cedar. As expected though, Eugeo fairs even worse than Kirito, and the two decide to go back to using the ax for some ungodly reason.

The sword can do at least 50 damage in 50 swings, while the ax does the same amount of damage in around 1,000 swings. It seems pretty obvious to me which of the two should be used. Plus, by using the sword, they’ll theoretically get better at using it, and then be able to hit the sweet spot, thus dealing even more damage.

But, hey, in the introduction I only said it looks like there’s going to be character development, I didn’t say that the characters were going to specifically develop their common sense capabilities.

Eugeo and the Blue Rose Sword from the anime Sword Art Online: Alicization
Eugeo and the Blue Rose Sword

The second half of the episode focuses on Alice’s younger sister, Selka. After Alice’s disappearance, Selka took her place working at the church, though not in the same capacity which Alice had. While Alice was studying magic, Selka seems to be a regular Sister.

Although I’m pretty sure Kirito knew about Alice before this episode, Eugeo’s reminiscing about her has made Kirito finally take interest. There are three main parts of Eugeo’s story which stick out as far as Kirito is concerned:

  1. Alice exhibited behavior unlike an NPC when she “willingly” broke the rules and passed the End Mountains.
  2. Alice was considered a magical prodigy and knows of a spell which can stop the aging process/death.
  3. Alice wasn’t immediately taken when she broke the rules of the Taboo Index.

Alice’s un-NPC-like behavior is the most important of these three parts. Up to this point, Kirito has been assuming that he’s within some kind of virtual reality, but if that were the case, an NPC wouldn’t “willingly” break the rules of the game.

To him, this probably means either one of two things. The first option is that Alice was supposed to “break the rules” as some sort of plot development. The second, and more interesting idea, is that Alice isn’t an NPC, but rather another player with their memories of the game suppressed, just like Kirito.

It’s unclear exactly why Kirito is so interested in that second part as of right now, but it could simply be that he’s interested in immortality even though he’s pretty sure he’s in a virtual world. Instead, maybe he believes that her magic is the key to him returning to his own world.

Unlike the first two parts, the third doesn’t come into play until the end of the episode, so I’ll discuss that when we get there.

Now that Kirito’s interested in Alice, and has learned that Selka is her younger sister, he decides to see if Selka can give him any more information on her sister. Unfortunately, Selka doesn’t have any more information on Alice than Eugeo had, and in fact, she doesn’t even know why Alice was taken away to begin with.

When asked if he knows why Alice was taken, Kirito, the socially inept person that he is, tells Selka that it was because Alice crossed into the forbidden territory beyond the End Mountains. It was pretty obvious that there was a reason nobody told Selka why her sister was taken, but social queues aren’t Kirito’s strong suit.

So what happens now that Selka knows why Alice was taken by an Integrity Knight? She goes off on her own to cross the End Mountains just like her sister, of course.

Once it’s known that she’s missing the next morning, Kirito and Eugeo go out searching for her. At this point Kirito still doesn’t realize that she’s missing because of what he told her, but luckily Eugeo is a bit more socially adept than he is, and so he figures out where she headed.

On the way there, Kirito reveals his master plan, just in case they don’t make it to Selka before she crosses the mountains. This is where the third part of the information about Alice he’s gathered comes into play.

Since Alice was taken by an Integrity Knight the next morning after crossing into the forbidden territory, that means Selka won’t be taken until the next morning either. Between now and then, Kirito will take Selka and flee the village so the Integrity Knights can’t find her. Genius.

Luckily, they catch up to Selka before she has a chance to completely cross the mountains. Unluckily, she’s been captured by a horde of goblins who appear to be planning to sell her off as a slave. If only there was someone to slay all these goblins; a Goblin Slayer, if you will.

Eugeo then makes the mistake of letting the goblins know their there, and subsequently freezes up when they turn to face him. Kirito, on the other hand, is ready to jump in and beat the goblins with his bare hands, or, more than likely, he forgot he’s unarmed at the moment.

This is where the episode ends, what a cliffhanger.

Next Episode

I’d like to think that the actual adventure will begin in earnest next episode, as I thought was going to happen this episode, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be the case. I’m expecting the fight against the goblins to take a bit since Kirito and Eugeo are unarmed, then they’ll have to deal with Selka.

That doesn’t leave much time left for the start of an adventure to save Alice, so I think if anything, it’ll happen at the very end of the episode. I think Selka won’t go into the forbidden territory after being saved, and in return, Kirito will promise to bring Alice back to her.

Eugeo will also want to go save Alice, but his Calling is preventing him from going on the adventure with Kirito. So how can this be solved?

It’s simple, really, Eugeo will pull the Blue Rose Sword out of his back pocket (as you do), and use it to slay all of the goblins along with Kirito, who will pull his own sword out of his back pocket as well. Then, now that they’re both master swordsmen, they’ll chop the Gigas Cedar down together with their respective swords.

I really hope everything I just predicted doesn’t come to pass, but this is SAO we’re talking about, so I don’t have the highest of hopes when it comes to high-quality plot progression.

Conclusion

Can you believe this season of SAO is actually rated lower than the Slime isekai? This is SAO, so it should be popular, and it’s actually potentially the best season of SAO yet, but somehow it’s still losing to That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.

Anyway, if you enjoyed this post be sure to click the like button down below. You can also let me know what you think is going to happen next in the comments, and we can all enjoy being disappointed together.

Finally, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama if you like SAO, or if you hate it, either way, just follow me.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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