It’s been nearly six months since the last episode of the first half of Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld aired, but this episode just jumps right back where the end of that episode ended. So I had to try to piece things together as I watched the episode.
The episode opens with Sinon logging into the world under the super-account of Solus, the Sun Goddess, and rescues Asuna and the others at the last minute. The scene where Sinon sees Kirito in his catatonic state for the first time was the highlight of the early part of the episode. We can see that Kirito tries to react when he sees her, like he did when he saw Asuna for the first time when she appeared in this world. It seemed to hit Sinon hard, but we can hear in her thoughts that she believes that the Kirito they all know is still deep inside him somewhere. The animation of the opening credits seems to be hinting that Kirito will finally come out of his catatonic state at some point during this season. It’ll be interesting to see what the catalyst for this change will ultimately end up being.
The next major part of the story is the appearance of Leafa, who has also logged in with a super-account. She encounters Lilpilin, the orc chieftain that was introduced in the previous season. He’s mourning the death of his mate. Through this encounter, we see Lilpilin’s distrust of humans because of how humans have treated his race, as well as through Emperor Vecta’s callous sacrifice of his troops. However, Leafa surprises him by not treating him as different, and in fact, keeps referring to him as a human. The mage Dee Eye Ell appears and tries to take Leafa for herself after Leafa already turned herself over to Lilpilin as his prisoner in order to get to Vecta. Dee Eye Ell keeps mocking Lilpilin while she’s torturing Leafa, and we see something happen that we hadn’t seen in a while. Lilpilin ends up defying the program, just like Alice had earlier in the series, and he attacks Dee Eye Ell. However, it’s Leafa who ultimately unleashes the blow that kills the mage. But this is where this portion of the story ends for now, so we don’t know what the repercussions of Lilpilin’s actions are. Will Lilpilin still take Leafa as a prisoner to Vecta, or will the two form some kind of alliance? It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these two characters.
The final story arc in this episode is the fight between Bercouli Synthesis One and Vecta. Bercouli is trying to rescue Alice, who Vecta kidnapped at the end of the final episode of the previous season. It looks like Vecta is going to take down Bercouli, but I can’t see Bercouli going down that easily. And with Sinon on her way to help out, I can’t believe that Bercouli will die before she can get there.
The final scene of the episode sees Asuna fighting off all the American players that were recruited by Gabriel’s group to join in the battle. Overall, Asuna is holding her own, but it seems like she’s starting to wear down. There’s a new arrival right at the end, and at first, Asuna is afraid it’s more enemy reinforcements. But imagine her surprise with it’s Klein, who helps take down the remaining forces right in their general vicinity. Hopefully we’ll get more information on the account that Klein has logged in on and to be able to see him in action. Klein’s been serving as a background character for so long that you almost forget that he exists.
Hopefully next week’s episode will be a little easier to follow, since I’ve seen this recently. It was definitely awkward trying to unpack everything and to remember where everything left off six months ago. Even with those issues, I still felt that this episode showed a lot of promise, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the second part of Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld will progress.