Sword Art Online: Alicization: Episode 10 – “Taboo Index”

When the episode opened with a disclaimer about depiction of violence and sexual assault, I knew that shit was going to get real. However, I didn’t realize just how much until I actually saw what happened in the episode.

In the previous episode, it had been hinted at that Humbert had been ordering his page, Frenica, to questionable situations that were skirting toward the sexual side. So the idea that a sexual assault could take place here wasn’t out of the question, but exactly how it happens, as well as the amount of violence that takes place in the episode overall, was more than I had anticipated.

When Kirito and Eugeo’s pages, Tiese and Ronie, are late arriving for their cleaning duties, Kirito goes out in search of them. After he leaves, Frenica arrives and tells Eugeo about a request that Humbert had made of her. She had confided to Tiese and Ronie about it, and they had gone to confront Humbert and his roommate, Raios. Eugeo makes the sudden realization of what Humbert and Raios’ revenge plan really is, and goes off to confront them.

What he discovers is horrifying: the two girls are tied up in their bedroom. And it gets worse, because Humbert and Raios begin to sexually assault the two girls in front of Eugeo. After some hesitation, he finally finds the courage to take on the two snooty noblemen, even though what he does is a violation of the Taboo Index. He manages to chop off one of Humbert’s arms. But, Eugeo’s left eye seems to suddenly destroy itself after flashing an error message, which leaves him weakened. But as it looks like Raios is about to kill Eugeo, Kirito arrives and saves the day. The battle Kirito has with Raios is rather violent and bloody, and ends with Raios’ death. The way his death is depicted, though, throws off Kirito and the others, since they don’t realize that they’re in a game world.

There’s a major surprise right at the end of the episode for Eugeo. And to be honest, I’m surprised that this reveal was made at this point, rather than a couple of episodes from now. All I can figure is that this character is going to play a very important role going forward, and that they need to be introduced now.

The episode as a whole, though, was very intense. So intense, that it was a little uncomfortable to watch. Even though I was uncomfortable, I knew that this was realistically how the story had to be portrayed in regards to the characters of Humbert and Raios. Thank you, Crunchyroll, for putting the disclaimer in, so I could try to prepare myself mentally ahead of time. I guess they learned their lesson after the reaction they got after people watched the first episode of Goblin Slayer and were negatively affected because they didn’t have any kind of warning ahead of time of this type of content being in the episode.

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One comment

  1. Karandi · December 9, 2018

    The warning label was kind of appreciated. I would have watched the episode regardless but I would have been caught very off-guard without it given it isn’t what you would normally expect from SAO and I haven’t read the source here so I’d have been going in blind. Still, it was a bit of a confronting episode even as it creates so many possibilities for the story going forward. I’m interested to see what they do next with this one.

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