Sword Art Online: Alicization: Episode 16 – “The Osmanthus Knight”

This episode picks up right where the previous episode ended. Not surprisingly, Kirito ends up overwhelming Fanatio, but Kirito has sustained some major injuries. At least Eugeo has enough healing ability to get Kirito to a point that he can continue on their way. But before doing that, Kirito insists on trying to save Fanatio. When it seems helpless, he decides to use the dagger Cardinal gave him to use on Administrator. As we’ve seen before in the franchise, Kirito wants to help, and he passionately explains that if they don’t save Fanatio, her entire life and existence will simply be erased… and that it’s not right to let all those years she lived be extinguished. Even though Kirito used the item that was supposed to be used on Administrator, Cardinal says there’s still another way to defeat her. But what that way is… who knows?

Kirito and Eugeo find an elevator (which is known as a “floating platform” in this game world), which is operated by a girl who is simply known as The Operator. While this is primarily an exposition scene, it doesn’t drag on for nearly as long as some of the exposition scenes in recent episodes have. But after hearing her story, it really gives Eugeo some perspective on his previous Calling and how he was fortunate in comparison with The Operator.

When Kirito and Eugeo leave the floating platform, they find themselves at a garden. And sitting in the garden is the Osmanthus Knight that is referenced in the title of the episode. I don’t want to spoil who this is, but what I will say is that there’s a lot of action after Kirito and Eugeo encounter this knight, and that this particular battle is very important for progressing the story. And the episode ends on such a cliffhanger… yikes! I can’t for the next episode to find out what happens next.

This episode here feels a lot more like classic Sword Art Online than most of the episodes of this series have. It had just about the right mix of exposition and action to keep the viewer interested in what’s going on. But at this point, I still find myself wondering how the writers will manage to make this series work in the long run, since it’s scheduled to go for four cours and we’ve only made it through one full cour and the series is just starting into the second one. From what we’re hearing in the dialogue, it sounds like they don’t have much farther to go until they reach Administrator. But with this week’s cliffhanger, it may now end up taking longer to reach the goal…

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