Sword Art Online: Alicization (Fall 2018) – Underworld

In a mortal world where people push each other, attack each other, insult each other, literally, no one asked. “Sword Art Online” emerged from underground in the afterlife trying to unite this fragile humanity. Everybody got their nuts and everybody love this piece. In a world literally no one care, it becomes one of the most popular series in each season. It’s not a case when discussing all of these series. It spawns a lot of video games, series, spin-offs, movie, pop culture, and so on. Until then, this series didn’t stop spilling.

“Watch Alicization, it’s so much better” is probably a weak statement when you say this in front of SAO haters. It’s time to talk about “Sword Art Online: Alicization”. It’s a full 2-cour season of 24 episodes still not enough with the cliffhanger ending. It started with a 40 minutes episode like TV series in general. There is nothing wrong if this show will go where else it brought. But, what we have here is that “Alicization” manages to bring its core into a fantasy anime in general. Just don’t think anything about SAO. Besides our savior, Kirito, a new character introduction named Eugeo. In this series, Kirito and Eugeo were childhood friends in a fantasy world whether real or simulated. Unlike Kirito, Eugeo wasn’t a strong character at the beginning of the episode. He is a coward and feel guilty after his childhood friend, Alice, made a mistake.

After a few years, Kirito and Eugou met again but they didn’t know each other. From this adventure, Kirito tried to escape from this black-mirror simulation. He tried to be strong along with Eugou as his student. The show makes strong ties and good character recognition. In fact, I prefer this anime as a normal fantasy anime. Having to put the SAO name in the title was just a mistake. This show focuses mostly on the relationship between Eugeo and Kirito. Kirito also has no motives except to find a way out of the simulation world. This time, their relationship was memorable like the teacher and student. Kirito tried to train Eugeo to develop, practice, and finally become strong even on par with Kirito. Kirito and Eugeo are like bromance who put great respect into each other.

In the real world, Asuna tried to work and explore how the latest full-dive technology works because of Kirito’s accident. The only way is to do a treatment in the simulation world. Initially, I thought that this would be something like “Black Mirror” or something. This technology is almost similar in one episode of the TV series. The user can copy human consciousness into a cookie and stored in a simulated world. Just like the series, the cookie has self-awareness so they often consider themselves as real human when it isn’t. The unique thing is that you can modify them at will by manipulating their memory and creating a fantasy world.

In addition, I kind of like that “Alicization” almost made me forget the majority of the main characters of this series. Another unique part, there is no Harem or Ecchi at all. What a match made in heaven. SAO isn’t a harem anymore. Although the scene between Alice and Kirito in several episodes seems through like an awkward romance at first glance. In this fantasy world, Administrator controlled this world by assembles a Taboo Index or something like that. When one cookie is against the rule, they will be removed from such a world which is they aren’t aware of something like a glitch, RPG, or VR term. It’s more philosophical when it comes to it. A world created by God and the world has full control of God as well. Not really that bad I guess.

“Alicization” is also not a family-friendly anime in some episodes. In fact, one episode tells the audience that this episode contains a lot of disturbing scene and gore. This is the first time, if not mistaken, “Sword Art Online” self-aware with its own series. Kind of like the first episode of “Goblin Slayer“. But, what’s up with the antagonist? Quinella and the Integrity Knights were the main enemies and also became important characters especially Quinella. From each episode, Quinella doesn’t appear too much but becomes the only key to everything. It’s Quinella who acts as a God-like complex in her only cruel motive. Manipulate people, manipulate someone’s memory, use rules, and many other conspiracies. Regardless of which, she is one of the likable and memorable characters just because she is so freaking scumbag.

Even though A-1 Pictures is still in control in the animation, it seems like they made a lot of changes. This series stuck with the Ordinal Scale effect. Not only trying to improve but it can manage such a broad virtual world. There is so much scenery on its looks, especially in its characters such as the look and golden armor of Alice and the design in the Integrity Knights. Actually, I think Eugeo is the main character in this “Alicization” instead of Kirito who acts as a supporting character. But, indeed, this is what I even almost all fans want, even though there aren’t many. Yeah, there is like a certain plot armor for Kirito.

“Sword Art Online” becomes the greatest, I bet, and one of the popular franchise that’s still alive and will even continue in the future. It builds an expensive world on its own universe, especially in this series too. “Alicization” turns SAO’s trademark into the most anticipated story with things new to talk about. Definitely, one of the best of its own franchise when compared to the previous series except for its spin-off.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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