Episode six continues to focus on what’s going on in the real world. There was a lot of exposition in this episode, but these explanations help the viewer basically piece together what is going on with Kirito, as well as the motivations for what’s happening in regards to him. As Kikuoka explains his project, we get to see several ethical questions being raised about it.
We also get to see Suguha explaining to Asuna what her role was in the Sword Art Online incident. With this scene, along with Asuna’s questioning of Kikuoka, I have to say that I loved seeing just how much Asuna has matured as a character. In the dialogue, they mention that it’s been five years since the SAO incident. With the depictions we’ve seen for both Kirito and Asuna, I can believe that that much time has elapsed. I don’t think I can quite say the same for the other characters, though.
Even though there was a lot of exposition in this episode, the dramatic tension between Asuna and Kikuoka helped to make the “info dump” a little more interesting to watch.
But after hearing Kikuoka’s explanation, though, I’m wondering if he may have been behind sending the guy to attack Kirito at the end of the first episode. I wouldn’t put it past Kikuoka to pull something like that in order to achieve his goals for his project, which is known as “Project Alicization” (which helps to explain both the title of the episode and the “Alicization” part of the series’ title).
At the end of the episode, when it was revealed what the title for the next episode is, I get the impression that we will be returning to Kirito and Eugeo in the virtual world, and seeing what progress they’re making on their quest.