Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld Part 2: Episode 3 – “Instigation”

This episode opens with Sinon arriving at the location where Alice is mourning the death of Bercouli. Alice gets the emotional scene here, especially after learning from Sinon that the real-world person who was using the Vecta account isn’t dead and will likely return to Underworld in a new form. But what really makes Alice emotional is when Sinon brings Kirito into the conversation. At that point, poor Alice just starts crying again. This is quite the change from when the audience first met her as an Integrity Knight all those episodes ago. But Sinon manages to convince Alice that she has to continue on to the World’s End Altar rather than going back to help Asuna and the others. Sinon stays at that location, and later in the episode, she learns that she was correct in guessing that the real-world player who was Vecta would return to that spot… and she gets quite a surprise when she sees what form this player has taken.

We also get to see Iskahn, the leader of the Pugilists, as he and his people seem on the verge of being defeated by the American players. But Scheta Synthesis Twelve comes to the rescue, and she comes to realize why she’s wanted to slash and slash with her sword all this time. She finally found something she wanted to protect… Iskahn. We get some cheesy dialogue between these two, with Iskahn wishing he could have a family with her and a hypothetical kid they could have had. But the scene basically ends here, with another wave of players heading in to attack.

In the real world, a message goes out to players in South Korea and China claiming that Japanese players have hacked into a test server for a new game and are trying to take it over. A message with the hashtag “#SaveTheUnderworld” goes out, and all of a sudden, a whole bunch of players from both South Korea and China are entering the game, with the notion that they’re saving a test server. But one of the players that entered the game questions things, especially when Gabriel’s right-hand man (who is leading this falsehood) claims to be an admin for the test server. This player rightfully questions why this supposed admin can’t just shut down the server’s power. This particular player seemed to question the video that was shared with the message to encourage the South Korean and Chinese players to download the game and help to protect the server, so he definitely went in with some doubts. It’ll be interesting to see how this player and his friend end up handling this situation.

We also get a scene at Ocean Turtle of Higa and the guy who’s accompanying him on the mission to get to where he needs to go in order to obtain what he needs for the plan to help Kirito regain consciousness. But there’s a twist right at the end that I wasn’t expecting… and this twist could cause serious problems for Higa’s plan.

And I still have to ask: what about Leafa and Lilpilin? We’ve now gone two episodes without seeing hide nor hair of these two characters. This is starting to feel like a loose end that’s just hanging there.

Next week’s episode is shaping up to potentially be interesting.

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