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The Struggle of a Failed Knight

Sword Art Online: Alicization- War of Underworld Episode 31 Review/Recap

In my last post, I expressed my hopes that Asuna would finally show up in Underworld and start kicking ass. However, it looks like I’ll have to wait a bit longer. In the meantime, we’re stuck with the Integrity Knights, whom I’m on the fence about. This episode in particular focuses on a certain failed knight and the impact Kirito has on his life.

Is Asuna here yet?

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Recap

In the last episode, the Integrity Knight Renly lost his nerve and ran back to the supply camp. It’s revealed that his cowardice stems from two events in his life. Firstly, he accidentally killed his friend in a sparring match. Secondly, Quinella had him put in stasis when he couldn’t unlock release recollection. As he continues to wallow in self-pity, Tiese and Ronye arrive with Kirito, just as a goblin raiding party attacks the camp. However, Renly sees Kirito trying to protect the girls, and this gives him the courage to overcome his insecurities. He the proceeds to kill the goblins, including one of the Dark Territory’s chieftains in the process.

Meanwhile, the Dark Territory’s mage guild attempts to overwhelm the Human Army with the gargoyle-like Minions. When they’re wiped out by Bercouli, the mage leader resorts to having the mages drain the life from the ravine to punch through the enemy. Unknown to them, Alice already drained the energy of every dying warrior on the battlefield to create a massive bomb. The young knight then proceeds to use it to decimate the Dark Territory’s mages, though it brings no comfort to Alice.

Review

I am still waiting for the moment when Asuna shows up and starts kicking ass, so I didn’t expect much from this episode. However, I ended up enjoying it for some reason, especially Renly. Even though his character’s a little two-dimensional, the anime does its best to justify why he considers himself a failed knight. To be honest, I think a lot of people would have his mindset after what he went through, and fighting in a war didn’t help. Yet the sight of Kirito, a young man whose very soul’s been damaged, try to protect his friends lit a fire in Renly. Thanks to that, Renly went from a failed knight to a total badass. It speaks volumes of the affect that Kirito has on people.

After seeing Renly let loose, we got to see the full power of Alice on display. In a way, one could call Alice a failed knight like Renly, but for different reasons. Alice turned on the Axiom Church, lost her childhood friend, her memory, and then her reason to fight. Yet Kirito helped reignite her fire. In other words, Kirito’s changed this pair of failed knights for the better. Plus, seeing Alice’s magic spirit bomb go off was amazing.

Awesome fights aside, the fact remains that the Integrity Knight’s are fighting an uphill battle. If there were ever a time for Asuna to come charging in, it would be in the next episode or so. We all know we want to see her. #Asunasavestheday

I Give ” Stigma of the Disqualified” a 3.5/5. Not bad, but they can do better.

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