Sword Art Online: Alicization– War of Underworld Episode 46 Review/Recap
So, it turns out that I was wrong about episode count for Aliczation. There are only 47 episodes, not 48. In other words, next week’s episode is going to be the finale for the season. And unless they adapt that Unital Ring Arc, the end of Sword Art Online. Thus, these last two episodes are an epilogue to welcome Alice to the real world. And, we see the Black Swordman come home at last.
Honestly, I feel like they could have released this and the final episode as one, but it’s the people in Japan’s call.
With Alice safe protected from those who would use her (*cough*America*cough*), RATH stuns the world by revealing her existence. As expected, people are skeptical and have a lot of questions about Alice: is she really human? Should AI’s have human rights? And the classic: what’s to stop them from trying to wipe out humanity. At a public press conference, Rinko and Alice handle these questions very well. In particular, Alice seems to win over a lot of people with her sincerity and personality. However, she prematurely leaves the conference. The reason? Kirito and Asuna have awoken. Their first action is to have RATH erase their memories of their two centuries in Underworld.
The two were very busy in Underworld. After the defeat of Gabriel, they reunited with everyone and returned to the Human Empire. Firstly, though, they brought peace between the Human Empire and Dark Territory. After that, they wound up getting crowned King and Queen of Underworld and ruled it until they awoke.
The real question now, though, is what will happen to Underworld? Kirito and the others realize that if nothing’s done, RATH will be dissolved, Alice seized, and the Underworld shut down. However, plans are already in place by two people. The first is Mr. Kiku, who faked his death so RATH’s enemies in the government can’t hide the incident. The second is an AI copy of Kirito made by Higu before the memory wipe.
Thus, Kirito can return home at last, reflect on his adventures, and mourn the loss of Eugeo once more.
Well, it looks like the Light Novel did a much better job with the epilogue than the anime did. It’s not that the anime isn’t bad here; it’s just the Light Novel version was able to convey more emotion; that, and details. There are a lot of details we learn about in the Light Novel that’s only touched upon in the anime. Here’s the basics.
- Kirito and Asuna returned to their friends and made peace with the Dark Territory, bringing the war to an end.
- The people of the Dark Territory went home to rebuild, with the Human Empire agreeing to let them come and go as they please.
- Kirito and Asuna returned to the capital and got rid of the Axiom Church and Nobility, so that there wouldn’t be another Quinella.
- They opened the Integrity Knights to volunteers. No more brainwashing.
- They ruled as King and Queen of Underworld.
That’s a lot of important details that got glossed over by the anime. I understand the need to save time, but it’s still frustrating. Especially since it involves fixing the issues that led to the conflict in the first half of the arc, courtesy of Quinella.
Speaking of that hag, one of the reporters was right to worry about AI trying to destroy humanity. We saw them turn out good, like Alice, or evil, like Quinella. If Quinella was the one who made it to the real world, she’d want to conquer it. The lesson here is that if we ever create an AI on the level of Alice in the real world, we need to make sure they have a moral compass.
Philosophy aside, I think that people will grow to accept Alice and the residents of Underworld, as Kiku, Rinko, and Kirito hope.
Heck of An Interesting Future
Considering that Alicization is the final chapter to Kawahara’s original story, It’s almost sad to see the anime potentially end here. I think that there are more stories to tell about Alice and the Artificial Fluctlights. But at the same time, it feels like Sword Art Online has grown far past its original concept. Remember: players trapped in a VR game where if they die, they die in real life? That seems so long ago!
Overall, I think that while this penultimate episode helped to wrap things up, I don’t think that it was as good as it could have been. So many details wound up getting glossed over, it hurts to see. Still, at least the show’s trying to stick the landing.
I Give “Alice” a 2.5/5. Not enough emotional weight.
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