Toonami to Premiere the Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Anime on January 18, 2020

Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block has announced that Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, the second half of the Sword Art Online: Alicization anime, will premiere on January 18, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. EST (effectively January 19, 2020).

Toonami will have the following schedule on that day:

  • 11:00 p.m. – My Hero Academia
  • 11:30 p.m. – Dr. Stone
  • 12:00 a.m. – Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld
  • 12:30 a.m. – Fire Force
  • 1:00 a.m. – Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  • 1:30 a.m. – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  • 2:00 a.m. – Black Clover
  • 2:30 a.m. – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
  • 3:00 a.m. – Naruto Shippūden
  • 3:30 a.m. – The Promised Neverland
  • 4:00 a.m. – Attack on Titan

Source: ANN

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld: Episode 12 – "Ray of Light"

The episode opens with the American players spawning in and starting to slaughter anyone around there, whether they’re troops from the Human Empire or the Dark Territory. Asuna summons her power to create another chasm, but she gets a headache and it drains her. Alice and Bercouli tell her she’s done enough and to let the Integrity Knights take them on. They point out that these new forces are simply swinging their swords around without any skill, so they should be easy enough for the Integrity Knights to take on.

A lot of the emphasis in the first half of the episode is actually on the pugilists. Their leader gets pissed when he sees these new troops starting to slaughter his people, and he defies the order that binds him to his programming, in exactly the same way that Alice did in Sword Art Online: Alicization. He creates a truce with Asuna, and she uses what strength she has to build a small bridge for the pugilists to cross the other chasm in order to save their comrades.

Gabriel (aka Dark Lord Vecta) is riding his dragon around the battlefield, and when an opportunity arises to capture Alice, he takes it. With this, the pugilists say they’ll hold off the new forces from the real world so the troops from the Human Empire can pursue Vecta. However, Sheyta from the Human Empire decides to stay and fight with the pugilists. She says it’s because she doesn’t want the leader cut down by anyone else.

On Ocean Turtle, we learn that their computer expert has almost finishing gathering enough players to send another wave of forces. Gabriel’s buddy awakens and realizes that he saw Asuna as he was falling down the chasm, and insists on going back in with a “special account” (which I assume is one from when he played against Kirito and Asuna), because he believes that Kirito should also be in Underworld since Asuna is. He wants to be sent at the same time the next wave of real world troops is added to Underworld.

As Asuna and the forces from the Human Empire start pursuing Vecta, the next wave of real world troops is sent in. But as all hope seems lost, a “ray of light” appears in the way of Sinon, who starts taking out some of the real world fighters. After the ending credits, we see Gabriel’s buddy heading to the dive equipment.

I was under the impression that this section of Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld was only going to be 12 episodes, but at the end of this episode, we got a title card saying that next time would be an episode titled, “The Great Underworld War.” If there is indeed a 13th episode next week, then the next section of the series, which will launch in April 2020, will only have 10 episodes (since it’s already been said that there are 23 episodes in total). Because if that’s going to be the first episode when it comes back in April, you’d think there’d be a title card announcing the return in April instead of the “next time” title card. I guess I’ll find out next week when I check to see whether or not “The Great Underworld War” is streaming or not. But it does seem to be shaping up that the remaining episodes are going to focus on trying to get Alice back from Gabriel/Lord Vecta,

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld": Episode 11 – "Heartless Choice"

The episode opens with Bercouli having a flashback of a conversation with Administrator. After this, we see Bercouli recognize that he realizes what she meant during that conversation.

After this, Bercouli, Alice, Asuna, and some of the others gather and see that the pugilists are trying to cross the chasm that Asuna created by using tightropes. This was on orders from Vecta. The leader of the pugilists is quite upset about this, as he sees some of his people falling into the chasm. Before too many of them are able to cross, Bercouli, Alice, Asuna, and a couple of others ride up on their horses and start attacking the pugilists. One of them succeeds in cutting at least one of the ropes.

However, this is where we switch over to what’s happening in the real world, and we don’t see Underworld again right until the end of the episode.

In the real world, the U.S. force that has invaded Rath have successfully synced the time of the real world with Underworld, and have launched a message about a Beta for Underworld. It plays up how you can actually dismember characters in battles and other violent things. At the time of day this is posted, though, it’s primarily reaching Americans (it’s said later in the episode that the message went out on noon on the West Coast and 3 p.m. on the East Coast). We later learn the goal is to recruit these players and turn them into troops for the Dark Territory.

Yui starts reaching out to Shino and the others about the situation. She directs Shino and Suguha to a subsidiary of Rath to try to get word to the members of Rath at Ocean Turtle about what’s going on. Since they were asleep on Ocean Turtle, they had no idea about the time sync.

Kirito and Asuna’s remaining friends talk with Yui, with Yui spelling out the situation. She lets them know that they can help by converting their current accounts to Underworld, but that there are risks involved. They decide they want to take the risk, because they want to save Kirito, Asuna, as well as Underworld itself. As Yui explains, the virtual words they had been in before had basically been the seed to help bring about Underworld.

However, when they try to convince other players to join them, they receive a lot of resistance, especially after they lay out the risks. If that wasn’t bad enough, a lot of the players believe that the SAO survivors look down on other players, and believe this is a trick to take down other players. There’s a riveting speech that takes place right near the end of the episode, but it’s going to be interesting to see how many people may or may not have been moved by it. We should get an answer to that with the next episode. But I have to say that, when it comes to the risks, at least, these players do have a right to be concerned. The risks are quite major for the players.

The final scene returns to the battle with the pugilists, but we see the new beta players starting to spawn in for the Dark Territory.

The preview shows that the next episode is titled, “Ray Of Light.” Obviously, not all hope is lost here, but it will be interesting to see what exactly this ray of light ends up being. Players converting current accounts to Underworld ones? Kirito snapping out of his coma? Something else I haven’t even thought of?

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld: Episode 10 – "Stacia, the Goddess of Creation"

The episode opens with Asuna making her dive into Underworld, and some important information is imparted right before she does. She is going in under the superuser account of Stacia, the Goddess of Creation. While this account has the ability to transform the landscape, it’s something that can be dangerous to the user. She is told that if she starts feeling a headache, she needs to stop using the ability. I figured this would be important, and sure enough, after he dives and uses the ability to create a large crack to cause Dark Lord Vecta’s henchman to plunge down into the earth below, Asuna starts getting a headache.

After this is done, Asuna runs into Kirito and Eugeo’s pages. After saying she isn’t a god and is a human and came here to see Kirito, the girls are more than happy to take Asuna to him since she saved their lives. The reunion between Asuna and Kirito is touching and also a little sad. You can see that Kirito wants to say something, and has tears in his eyes, but he just can’t quite get the words out. But this is the most emotion we’ve seen Kirito show up to this point in this season.

When Asuna leaves the carriage where Kirito is, she is attacked by Alice, and the two have a swordfight. The action here is pretty exciting, but it’s broken up by Bercouli. Alice accuses Asuna of being a spy, but he shares what he saw Asuna do when she first arrived. Asuna says she has a lot of information to share, and the knights gather.

Most of the rest of the episode is Asuna and the Integrity Knights sharing information. Through these exchanges, Asuna learns that others from the outside world have come into Underworld with superuser accounts, and she also learns about the seal of the right eye. Asuna reasons that there must be a mole in Rath, because the idea of keeping the people of Underworld in submission goes against the whole point of Rath’s experiments. But since Asuna is nowhere near a communications area, she has no way of informing Rath of what she knows. Also, after Asuna explains about Alice and needing to take her to our world, Alice is resistant. But Asuna makes a compelling argument, but Alice says she will only go after the enemies in front of them are defeated. And now that Asuna knows that there are others from her world in the Dark Realm, she and Alice aren’t going to be able to leave on their own. Asuna pledges to help the Integrity Knights.

At the end of the episode, we end up seeing Asuna, Alice, Ronie, and the knight that Kirito served as a page under at the academy “bragging” about how much time they spent with him. This was actually pretty amusing. But, it’s clear early on in this episode that there’s going to be a rivalry between Asuna and Alice over Kirito. Of course, the stage was set not too long ago when Alice realized she has feelings for Kirito. It could be interesting to see how this potential rivalry and jealousy could affect Asuna’s mission of getting Alice to our world.

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld: Episode 9 – "Sword and Fist"

The episode begins with a quick recap of Alice announcing her presence, and we see that Gabriel (aka Dark Knight Vecta) is obsessed with getting her fluctlight. He’s so obsessed that he’s ordered all his remaining forces to advance and capture her.

After this, we get a scene of Alice and Bercouli discussing strategy. While this is important, it is a little on the dry side. But at the end of it, we see an Integrity Knight named Sheyta Synthesis Twelve come forward and say that she will take on the oncoming pugilists guild. The thing about the pugilists guild is that they have developed such willpower that swords don’t cut them. They only respond to blows from fists.

Sheyta Synthesis Twelve comes across as quiet and not very strong, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Through a flashback that shows an interaction she had with Administrator, we learn a brief bit about her as well as the weapon that she wields. It turns out that her sword is not a normal sword, and it can slash the pugilists. At first, she’s slashing pugilists left and right, but is not killing them. Around the middle of the episode, we get an epic battle between Sheyta and the leader of the pugilists.

Meanwhile, Gabriel’s buddy who was a Player Killer in other games he’s played, goes out and starts killing people in the area where the Survey Corps is. He makes it to the Survey Corps camp, and it looks like he’s about to kill Ronie (Kirito’s page), when someone makes a grand entrance and stops the PK-er. From the silhouette and from what I’ve seen in the opening, I knew that it was Asuna FINALLY showing up. Not only did she finally show up, she showed up in such an epic way and in the form of someone major in the world of the game. While it was frustrating to have to wait this long for Asuna to finally appear, and least she made her presence known at just the right time. I’m not giving away the identity of who Asuna appears as, in case anyone reading this hasn’t actually watched the episode yet or isn’t already familiar with the light novels that the series is based on.

Since we’re getting closer to the end of the cour, I imagine that we’re leading up to something major happening. From the images that appear in the opening for this cour that I finally caught on to when watching it today, I think I have an idea of what’s coming. And if I’m right, it could be incredibly epic. Just as long as it isn’t a rushed affair like the final battle with Administrator in Sword Art Online: Alicization.

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld: Episode 8 – "Blood and Life"

This episode opens up with showing us what happened right at the end of the previous episode: Alice releasing a big ball of energy and wiping out quite a few of the Dark Forces that are in the area.

After this, there is a break in the battle. Alice and Eldrie (her disciple) start talking. He berates himself for not being able to protect the camp, and laments that it was Renly that defeated the leader of the ogres and not him. In his thoughts, the audience gets to hear that Eldrie is in love with Alice and feels that his performance on the battlefield is not worthy of her love. Alice tells him that he did well and that she still needs his strength for the battle. They are interrupted by the chief of the ogres, who is still kind of hanging in there after Alice’s attack. They find out that the Dark Forces believe that Alice is the Priestess of Light, and that Emperor Vecta wants her. The leader of the ogres believes that if he brings her back, the war will be over and his people can return to their homeland. Alice dashes his hopes, though, by slicing him in half. Alice takes this information to the commanders of their forces, and they come up with a strategy. Alice believes she can use this strategy to achieve the goal of getting herself to the World’s End Altar, which she overheard Kirito being instructed to do at the end of the previous season.

Meanwhile, with the Dark Forces, the head of the Dark Mages is confronting Lord Vecta to explain how her forces had been defeated. After she gives an explanation how how her magic works to cast the major spell she wants to cast, Vecta orders that 3,000 of the orcs be sacrificed. The leader of the orcs doesn’t want to do it, but a female leader (who appears to be a love interest of the main leader) volunteers herself and her troops. I felt so bad for the leader of the orcs as he watched his people be sacrificed. It’s a rather bloody affair, so warning for any readers who may be sensitive to that sort of thing. But we can see at the end of this scene that the leader of the orcs is very angry with humans. I’m pretty sure this event is going to have an affect on him going forward, but how exactly that affect will be manifested remains to be seen.

The last bit of the episode sees Alice and some of the others executing their plan. At the same time, the leader of the Dark Mages is casting her major spell, which should destroy everyone in its path. Eldrie, however, violates his orders to stay behind and unleashes the power of his weapon. Even though the spell that was cast should have eliminated him, he defies the odds in a major way and ends up making a major sacrifice. In his dying words, we hear that he has realized some things that hadn’t been apparent to him earlier in the episode. I like the sentiment here, but I wish we hadn’t gone from him beating himself up and being selfish at the beginning of the episode to this epiphany within 20 minutes of screen time. I wish there could have been a little more of a buildup to this.

After this, Alice becomes so angry that she unleashes the power of herself, her dragon, and Eldrie’s dragon. The leader of the Dark Mages, who is obviously going insane with delusions of grandeur, is starting to do something right at the end of the episode. I’m guessing this is going to be some kind of power up, and that she and Alice will be battling head-to-head. It will be interesting to see whether I’m right or not.

And, alas, still no indication of Asuna’s whereabouts or what she’s doing. I wonder how much longer this mystery is going to be drawn out. Sigh. Hopefully, we’ll have an answer to this burning question by the end of this cour.

Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld: Episode 7 – “Stigma of the Disqualified”

Roughly the first half of the episodes focuses on Renly, the Integrity Knight who ran away from the battle in the previous episode. As he cowers in a supply tent, we get to see a couple of flashbacks that help explain why he’s so cowardly. Not surprisingly, Administrator is one of the reasons. She referred to him as a failure, and that he was missing something that an Integrity Knight needs. The second is a tragic flashback having to do with a friend of his.

But the situation changes when the two pages bring Kirito to this particular tent to try and hide him. They encounter Renly, but the goblins break through, and one of them enters the tent. The pages talk tough, but are obviously too shaken up to do anything. Renly, who is initially frozen with fear, sees Kirito gripping at Eugeo’s sword, as if he wants to protect the pages even though he can’t stand or speak. But seeing this gives Renly the courage he needs to act. After saving Kirito and the pages, Renly goes out to take on the goblins. He easily defeats them, but finds himself up against the goblins’ leader. When the goblin leader treats him like Administrator did, it almost looks as if he’s going to retreat… but another flashback gives him the strength he needs to take on the enemy. So now he have yet another character in the Sword Art Online franchise who has become a better person thanks to Kirito’s influence. Although, this time, is wasn’t through words, since Kirito can’t speak.

After this, we see the leader of the dark mages being informed that all of the first wave of fighters have been destroyed by the enemy. She decides to launch all 800 of her “minions” (creatures with the body of a dragon and a face that kind of resembles the Sarlacc Pit from Star Wars). The leader of the Integrity Knights, however, has an impressive power that allows him to obliterate all 800 at once. The leader of the dark mages looks like she’s about to go insane upon hearing that all of her “minions” have been destroyed. She decides to send out the next wave of fighters, which includes an army of her dark mages.

And in this episode, we finally learn what Alice is doing… absorbing the life force of all those who perish on the battlefield, both good and evil. She makes a startling realization that the life forces on both sides of the fight are the same… that they are both warm and light. And this realization makes Alice wonder: if their life forces are the same, why are they fighting? But she doesn’t have time to dwell on this idea, since she has a job to do. It turns out that part of what she’s doing makes it impossible for the army of dark mages to perform their magic. The episode ends with Alice pulling off something rather spectacular, but we have no idea what results from this. I’m sure we’ll see a recap of this final scene in the next episode, followed by the aftermath from what Alice has done.

Once again, at the end of this episode, I found myself asking where Asuna is. And I’m going to keep asking this question until we finally see her. How many episodes has it been now since we saw Asuna begin her dive into Underworld? This is getting a little ridiculous. Having this stray loose end out here is distracting.

And since this series is supposed to run for two cours, what’s going to keep this plot moving? Will this cour focus on the battle at the Eastern Gate, and the next season focus on trying to get Alice to where she needs to be so the scientists at Ocean Turtle can keep the invaders from taking over Underworld? With the way this has been going, I can’t see the battle at the Eastern Gate to last beyond this cour. Not unless later battles are drawn out and stretched out more. The only way I’m going to get any answers to these questions is to keep watching to see what happens.