Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld anime series cover art
Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld


Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld (ソードアート・オンライン アリシゼーション War of Underworld), or as it would be referred to if it was Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online Season 3 Part 2, is the latest installment in the SAO series. And for those of you who don’t already know: No, I don’t like SAO.

War of Underworld, as I’ll be referring to it from now on, is probably both the most visually appealing SAO installment, while simultaneously being the worst written one. This series honestly looks great at times, but good luck understanding what’s going on or why things are the way they are.

There will be spoilers from here on out. You have been warned.

This season, or part of the season, picks up a short time after the end of the previous part of the season, Alicization. However, something has happened between the end of that part and the beginning of this one. Kirito is now wheelchair-bound and basically in a vegetative state.

And from my perspective, that’s actually one of the best parts of this season. Kirito is a terrible character, so having him out of commission for the entire 12 episode run of War of Underworld was great.

Unfortunately, Kirito isn’t exactly replaced by any better characters. There are a few seemingly interesting characters, but for some unknown reason they’re killed off almost immediately after being introduced just so the “final boss” of the season can be built up.

I understand that one way to illustrate how powerful a character is is to have them defeat a character who was already established to be powerful. But you shouldn’t sacrifice the only good characters for that reason.

New Characters

The Dark God Vecta is the main villain of War of Underworld, as well as the next part of the season which I believe is coming this Spring. He’s the leader of the military force which stormed the Ocean Turtle base (I think that’s what it was called) at the end of Alicization.

I don’t remember what this guy’s real name is, but the character he logs into the Underworld with is Dark God Vecta, the leader of the Dark Territory. And in order to show the viewers how powerful he is, he kills the number one and two knights of the Dark Territory, Vixur Ul Shasta and Lipia Zancale respectively.

These two were plotting to have peace talks with the Integrity Knights, namely Bercouli Synthesis One, who Vixur Ul Shasta has apparently fought against in the past. But, rather than exploring the idea of there being “traitors” within the high ranks of the Dark Territory, they’re killed off rather quickly.

Asuna as the goddess Stacia from the anime series Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld
Asuna as the goddess Stacia

On the other side of the battlefield we get some new(?) integrity knights — or at least ones who I don’t remember from Alicization. The two most prominent ones are Sheyta Synthesis Twelve and Renly Synthesis Twenty-Seven.

Sheyta is a decent character who uses a whip-like sword which can slice through anything. She’s one of those people who just wants to fight stronger and stronger opponents to see just how far she can get. And while that’s not necessarily a unique character type, it can be done well.

Renly isn’t a good character. He’s the wimpy character, you know the one I mean, like how Armin was at the start of Attack on Titan. Except, Renly really doesn’t have any beneficial traits. He then suddenly gains a spine by seeing Kirito.

What’s Even Going On Anymore?

Let’s just walk through some of the developments of War of Underworld. And, of course, I need to start with the big one: The fact that Kirito is basically brain dead. Apparently after defeating the Pontifex, he accessed a control module and contacted the outside world. However, the Ocean Turtle was attacked at this time and temporarily lost power, thus frying his brain.

I can’t wait to see how Kirito gets out of this one. I’m guessing the power of love now that Asuna has descended into the Underworld is going to save him. Or, perhaps he’ll just decide it’s time to stop being brain dead — that’s a valid option as far as SAO is concerned as well.

Brain dead Kirito from the anime series Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld
Brain dead Kirito

There’s also the whole thing with this entire war being because one guy, Vecta, wants to get his hands on Alice. None of the Dark Territory inhabitants really want to fight against the Integrity Knights, and that just becomes more and more true the longer the war goes on.

And let’s not forget, this entire war in the Underworld is going on in place of a war in the real world. Rather than continuing to fight over Alice and the technology she’s a part of in the real world, the bad guys hop into the online world.

What’s going to happen when they’re inevitably defeated there? Are they just going to abandon their mission in the real world too? Do they, like Kirito, not understand the difference between a simulated world and the real one?


I’d like to conclude this review with my favorite scene from War of Underworld, which comes in like the last episode or two. The members of Kirito’s harem are trying to convince the only community at large (I guess basically Reddit?) to help them fight in Underworld. And one of the leaders says something along the lines of, “Kirito hasn’t been online in six days so it must be important.”

Yeah, that one sentence basically sums up this anime. It’s about a war between a bunch of people for whom the online world is everything.

Overall, as bad as the writing was, I still think Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld is a 4/10, which is better than I thought it would be. Still bad, but better than I thought. Also, the ED is honestly the best part of War of Underworld. Unlasting by LiSA is a good song and the ED has some nice visuals.

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My review of the next season is available here.

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