Sword Art Online: Alicization-War of Underworld Episode 44 Review/Recap
You know what I hate? When something that we’ve been building up to for a lengthy period of time ends up falling flat on its face. Since the second half of SAO Alicization began, I’ve been waiting for three moments: for Asuna to show up, for Kirito to wake up, and for Kirito to fight Gabriel. Now, we’ve reached the third and final moment on that list. And while it was visually spectacular, I think that it could have gone on another episode.
Oh, well. LINK START!
After saving Alice from being captured by Gabriel (and reverting her dragons into eggs), Kirito turns to face down Gabriel. This way, Alice and Asuna can have enough time to make it to the World’s End Altar and escape to the real world. Thus, the final battle begins.
An epic battle ensues in the skies above Underworld as the two warriors clash. Somehow, the darkness in Gabriel becomes so great, it devolves him into a demonic entity of darkness. Meanwhile, Kirito throws everything he has at Gabriel, but it’s not enough. Determined to win and return to his friends and loved ones, Kirito pushes himself to even further levels of power. Drawing on the thoughts of everyone in Underworld, the true power of the Night-Sky Sword is revealed. And with a mighty charge and help from Eugeo’s spirit, Kirito manages to obliterate Gabriel once and for all. As for the girls, they reach the Altar, and Alice is whisked away to the real world. At that moment, though, the maximum acceleration begins. As a result, all the remaining players are logged out.
Kirito remains trapped in Underworld for the next two centuries, and breaks down in tears, thinking that he’ll never see his friends again. Only, he’s not alone. Asuna appears before him, revealing that she chose to stay behind.
I had mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand, I feel like I should have known that the final battle would be done in a single episode. That’s more or less what’s happened in the anime’s run. And I will admit, while the fight was taking place, it had some of the best visuals the anime’s ever done. On the other, I can’t help but feel a little let down by how Kirito was able to defeat Gabriel so soon. Or maybe I just got myself too hyped for this fight in the end. Lesson learned I guess.
There is one scene, though, that I wish they had included in this episode. After Gabriel’s defeat, his spirit returns to the real world, only for the souls of his victims to drag him off to hell. As dark as that was, I would love to see it happen on the screen. I will say this, though: he looked very scary in his final, demonic form.
As for Kirito, I knew ahead of time that he was going to be trapped inside of Underworld, and that Asuna would choose to stay with him. After being separated for so long, that girl wasn’t going to let anything keep her away from her boyfriend. I won’t spoil anything from the novels, but don’t worry about them. They’ll make it out of Underworld in one piece.
With the climax of the story now over, we have three episodes to wrap the anime up. Odds are, we’ll see the end to the raid on RATH and follow Alice as she adjusts to our world in the process. It’s not exciting, but it has to be done.
I Give “Night-Sky Sword” A 3.5/5. Could Have Been Longer, But It’s Cool to Look At.
Click here to see more animanga stuff.