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Down the Rabbit Hole

Sword Art Online: Alicization, Episode 6 Review/Recap

This post would have been up sooner, but there were technical difficulties. In the midst of the dubbed premiere of episode 6 of Sword Art Online: Alicization, it. froze up.

Fortunately, I can be very resourceful. I went online to a website I know I can trust to get me the latest episodes of animated shows, and I watched it from there. So here it is, my review/recap of Sword Art Online: Alicization, episode 6



The episode picks up where the last one left off, with a very pissed off Asuna demanding one thing from Kikouka: Take me. To Kirito. RIGHT. NOW.

Kikouka then explains the reason why they basically kidnapped Kirito from the hospital: because a hospital wouldn’t be enough. Johnny Black’s attack damaged Kirito’s brain too much for normal tech to heal him. But with the STL, they can create a new neural network, saving his brain. Asuna is happy with this, but Rinko wants her own answers: what is RATH really doing.

Kikouka drops a bombshell: the whole purpose of Underworld is to create a bottom-up AI. Unlike a top-down AI, which is programmed with knowledge to respond to situations. But they can’t respond to situations they don’t know the answer to. Yui may be an exception due to her bond with Kirito and Asuna, but that’s about it.

A bottom-up AI, though, is recreating the human brain through technology. They use the STL to scan people’s mind and souls, then put them into a virtual environement where they can grow and learn like normal humans.

Key thing to note: they can’t just copy an adult’s fluctlight or soul. The copy can’t stand the fact that they’re a copy, go crazy, and kill themselves. So, they have to raise them from infancy. Hence, why Underworld exists. Combine that with accelerating the time in Underworld, and they have an entire civilization.

The only problem is, they refuse, or can’t, go against the Taboo Index. They have no real free will, to choose what to do. Or who to kill. RATH wants to create bottom-up AI to fight in wars so human beings wouldn’t.

Asuna is obviously pissed at this, and so would Kirito if he weren’t in Underworld. But the reason he was in Underworld in the first place was part of an experiment: to see if a human could break the Taboo Index. That led to Alice breaking the Index, and then the Axiom Church took her away, and RATH was too slow to react.

After explaining this to her friends in Alfheim Online, Asuna gets to see Kirito. Afterwards, Rinko tells Asuna that she had helped Kayaba create SAO. She then looked after Kayaba, and she begs Asuna for forgiveness.

In spite of all that happened, though, Asuna’s grateful for being in SAO. It’s how she met her friends, Yui, and Kirito, and she’s grateful for it.


I get why some people don’t like exposition in a story: they want to get on to the fun stuff, like the fights and the plot. But I appreciate it when they do this stuff anyway. It’s necessary in order to explain the backstory behind the characters and their motivations.

This was the episode that was meant to explain everything that was going on: Underworld, Kirito’s involvement, Kikouka’s motivations, and how important Alice really is. It’s necessary to move the plot forward. And honestly, I liked it. Especially considering how next episode, it’s back to the Underworld for the forseeable future.

The only thing I didn’t like was how the whole “reading the soul” thing seems like bullcrap that’s delving into rabbit holes I don’t want to get into. A lot of philosophical, moral, and scientific issues are being brought up here. Right now, I just want to see cool sword fights. Still, I appreciated how Reki Kawahara thought everything out and gave explanations.

Overall, this episode gave me back hope for this season of SAO. And if it doesn’t pan out like Karandi says, then I got the second half of the season to look forward to. Or I can just switch to Rising of the Shield Hero. That’s a good anime.

I Give “Project Alicization” a 4/5

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