Sunday, October 28, 2018

10 Second Anime - Sword Art Online - Alicization - Episode 4

Kirito and Eugeo face goblins as they rescue Selka. A completed task allows Eugeo and Kirito to journey to the central city.

Episode 4 - "Departure"


I'm starting to agree with Kirito that Underworld is more about researching artificial fluctlight souls instead of providing a rich virtual world for gaming, because, this first chapter quest of an RPG is so formulaic and running on rails that the only replayability would be for exploring the open world and experiencing the full sensations beyond the nerfed dive gear in ALO and GGO.

I'm also starting to wonder at how similar Eugeo looks like a negative film version of Kirito. That may be just from how hard it is to differentiate characters' faces in this anime, but keeping Kirito's unresolved life-and-death situation from the first episode in mind, that mind is racing toward a backup soul. That's a good implication to worry about since the game of Underworld itself is kind of boring.

Can we confirm that the SEED is inside this virtual world too? Kirito's sword skills, lifted from Aincrad in the original SAO and transferred to ALO appear to work here, but it's difficult to know if those skill mechanics only work because they're such a part of Kirito that he even reaches for a sword on his back in the real world.

The big deal for the episode is how it tied actual memories to the prologue. Both Eugeo and Kirito remembered their time together from 6 years ago in game time. Kirito can easily juggle memories that aren't supposed to be real because of all his time spent in virtual worlds, but how is Eugeo so blase about it? In a high stress situation, he avoided "code 871" as those memories of that time still came back, but he dismissed it easily. There's some strange fugue state being programmed into the artificial souls perhaps, which reminds me very much of the current cable TV show Westworld.

I'm digging the charm of this mysterious Underworld because there are so many issues and implications swirling around in the background, but it also makes me impatient. Hello! Kirito is dying from poison, probably, in the real world, and time in Underworld only seems slow but we know mere moments are passing by. This season of SAO has time to explore this world, but so far the only people we know and like are Kirito and Eugeo. Kirito's new harem needs to get assembled really quick in the next episode!


Kirito feels normal now that there's a whole bunch of bad guys he has to kill. Chopping a tree for 900 years and eating hard bread is no fun.

Interesting. The goblins hate that magic light.

Chapter Boss. You can tell, because he has a name - Ugachi the Lizard Killer. The Dark Territories must have some big lizards...

That's the Kirito Gary Stu we've come to expect. He's not challenging this huge goblin with a lvl 1 sword he picked up off the ground. He's going to beat him!

Okay, okay. Maybe that sword is lvl 10 or something.

Well, Kirito is just using sword skills like he in Alfheim or Aincrad. I guess it doesn't even matter what obj lvl that sword has.

No limiters in this Underworld game. Pain hurts. People even probably die if they're killed!

I don't think Kirito has felt that afraid of dying since Aincrad. Well, there was that one time in ALO when he was rescuing Asuna, but that opponent was a game exec. Big creepy cheater.

Eugeo took one for the team. Ouch! No red eyes here.

Whoa. Eugeo remembers Kirito as his childhood friend with Alice. And now Kirito remembers too! These game developers have some 'splainin' to do. And some bug fixing, if it's a bug instead of an incorrect proof of concept. Those are the worst!

So, why Sonic Leap for the finishing move? I suppose things in Underworld are much more intuitive than SAO, but that part of the story let you know about resistances, cool down timers, etc.

Yeah, run away goblins! This little scrawny kid somehow could block and take the full weight of your big boss and now he's parading his head around like a jack o'lantern. Happy Halloween!

That was actually satisfying. Kirito had no magic armor or anything. Just pure OP sword skills... I guess that helped, but he did get hurt and got scared of dying.  NPC's actually die in this world, so if he died, that meant Eugeo and Selka would have died and been stolen away for even worse humiliations.

Magic mechanics are the same all over, but this is a cool one where party HP can get shared with a member for healing.

So, is that actually Alice's ghost in the system or is it that blue-haired goddess paying attention to her lost child? Wonders and mysteries! That's a good plot device. I'm assuming that sexy girl's bed chamber is at the top of the Central Cathedral. That scene was totally Chekhov's Gun.

And so, it's time to kill this tree. This really was a first chapter quest on rails. Rescuing Selka probably gave the requisite XP to handle the Blue Rose Sword to use sword skills and do some actual dmg to the quest item. Of course, it has to be Eugeo to deal the final bit of dmg to fulfill his Calling. All classic RPG stuff.

Kirito calls his sword techniques Aincrad Style. Good for you, Kirito. Never give up.

This village knows how to throw a party. I like these plates made out of the demon tree. I'm sure they're unbreakable.

Alice's dad knows exactly why Eugeo wants to go to Central City. Alice was supposed to have been tried and executed, but we'll see what we see when we get there.

Yay! Quest Chapter One completed. Go to Quest Chapter Two? Yes/No - Yes!

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