Sword Art Online: Alicization-War of Underworld Episode 45 Review/Recap
Well, everyone, we are in the endgame for Sword Art Online: Alicization. And possibly Sword Art Online itself, if they decide not to adapt the new arc from the Light Novels. Gabriel’s been defeated and Alice is safe in the hands of RATH, but the danger’s still not over. After all, Gabriel’s flunkies are still aboard the Ocean Turtle and need to be taken care of. As a result, this episode is basically about tying up the loose ends before we get to the epilogue.
I may not like it, guys, but a surprise appearance by an old character helped make things slightly better.
Thanks to the efforts of everyone, Alice’s fluctlight cube is now safe in RATH’s hands. However, Asuna tells Dr. Rinko that she will be staying behind with Kirito, and begs her not to let Alice be used as a weapon.
Meanwhile, the raiders are aware that the jig’s up and go to inform Gabriel and Vassago that they’ve failed to retrieve Alice. However, thanks to the actions of Kirito, Vassago/PoH is already dead. As for Gabriel, his defeat in Underworld led to him suffering a karmic fate. The soul of his childhood friend Alicia, along with all the lives he ended, appear and drag his soul down to hell. A fitting punishment for such a monster.
Now out of options, the Americans have no choice but to retreat. However, to keep the Japanese from having Alice, they rig explosives on the Ocean Turtle’s reactor and prime them to explode. Before they can go off, though, an unexpected ally appears Akihiko Kayaba. After his death in SAO, he converted himself into an AI and uploaded himself onto the Internet. Now, though, he hijacks a robot and uses it to take out the explosives. In one fell swoop, he saves the Ocean Turtle, RATH, Alice, the Underworld, and Asuna and Kirito. However, his robot body then just disappears, along with the body of Vassago.
Now, all that’s left is to wait for the maximum acceleration to end and wake Kirito and Asuna to wake up.
I’ve said it several times by now: I don’t really like the real world moments in Alicization. All that they’ve really done is provide exposition for the story. It worked in the light novel series since we lacked visuals, but it doesn’t work as well in the anime.
That being said, all of the action for Alicization is over, and from here, all that’s left is the aftermath and epilogue. So, this episode was needed to tie up the loose ends present. And man, did it manage to do it in style. I especially enjoyed Gabriel’s punishment. As a psychopath responsible for the deaths of countless people, being dragged to hell by his own victims was both scary and cathartic to watch. I’d feel bad for him if he weren’t so evil. And PoH! I knew that Kirito was trapping him in Underworld forever, but hearing about it is one thing. Kirito straight-up ended the guy! I’d justify it, though, considering how he wouldn’t stop until Kirito and Asuna were dead.
Speaking of our two lovebirds, after the credits, we get an extra scene where both accept that they’re now stuck in Underworld. But they have each other, and the people of Underworld to help out, so they’re fine. If anyone can survive for two hundred years in a VR world, it’s them.
Overall, this episode was alright. My one complaint was the return of Kayaba. It felt like Kawahara was coming up with a deus ex machina and used the villain that had long since left. Still, it could be seen as a nice way to tie everything together.
The next episode is going to take us into the epilogue, and we will no doubt see how Alice reacts to the real world, and how they react to her. I, for one, am honestly looking forward to seeing how that plays out.
I Give “Beyond Time” a 3/5
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