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The Great VR War Begins

Sword Art Online: Alicization- War of Underworld Episode 35 Review/Recap

Since the war for Underworld started, it’s been influenced by the actions of people from the real world. On one side is Gabriel and his flunky, and as of last episode, Asuna’s on the other side. However, the real world’s influence has been limited to these few people. Until this episode, that is. The villains take this conflict and turn it into the First Great VR War.

LINK START! And there’s a new intro!

Recap

As dawn breaks on the second day of the war, the Knights learn that the Dark Territory’s trying to cross the canyon Asuna made. Vecta ordered Iskahn to send his forces on ropes across the canyon, something the young man’s against. Yet he can’t do a thing to disobey the order; not even when the Integrity Knights and Asuna begin to cut the ropes.

What no one knows, though, is that Gabriel’s minion, Critter, upped the ante. He set the Underworld’s time-acceleration thing to match the real world. Then, he leaked Underworld as a bogus VRMMO beta to every gamer in the US, who proceed to log in, ignorant to the fact they’re about to wreck a world home to sentient AI’s. Fortunately, Yui figures out what’s going on, so she does the one thing she can do: send out a call to arms.

First, she alerts RATH of Critter’s meddling, and sends Sinon and Leafa to RATH so they can log in to Underworld. Next, she alerts the rest of Kirito’s allies and has them ask the players in ALO to help them. They can convert their accounts over into Underworld so they can fight the Americans. There’s just two problems: first, there’s pain limiter, so they’ll feel injury. Secondly, if they die in Underworld, they’ll lose their characters.

Review

As a gamer and an American, I just want to say this: I am so dissappointed that my fellow gamers are being used as pawns in a Great VR War. We look like such boneheads right now.

That said, I think there are some pros and cons to this episode. On the con side, I think that this whole idea of bringing in thousands of ignorant VR players seems like an unnecessary attempt to escalate things. It’s really cool, but it also seems like overkill on Kawahara’s part. Also, I didn’t need to hear another speech about how important the VR world is to the heroes and how they’ve made so many friends and memories in it. They made that clear a long time ago.

On the other hand, I think that this is a clever way for the anime to tie the whole series together. All of the friends, allies and secondary characters in SAO are getting the chance to show off their skills in a VR War. I loved seeing that in Avengers: Endgame, and I think I’ll love it in SAO.

Overall, I think that the anime’s about to enter a whole new level of absurdity, even for SAO. If they do it right, though, it can be the fun kind of absurd. Thus, next week, GAMERS GO TO WAR! THE GREAT VR WAR HAS BEGUN!

I Give “Heartless Choice” a 3.5/5

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