In The Absence of Action, We Get An Attack of the Talking Heads

Sword Art Online Alicization – Episode 6

There was a lot of talking this episode. Like massive amounts of talking. And a lot of it is that weird kind of technobabbly talk that happens when a concept really doesn’t make a lot of sense but the writers are earnestly trying to convince the audience that it does. Seriously, the more they mention fluctlights, the less believable I am finding the central concept. They really should just stop trying to explain and justify, just leave it at the ‘it is reading the soul, man’ kind of explanation, and get on with the story because all this talk just left me wanting to sit down and come up with a list of all the reasons why their idea is really unworkable.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 6

However, unrealistic narrative conceits aren’t new for SAO so I’m not exactly going to let that get in the way of what has so far been a pretty interesting set up. The problem is, everything kind of felt like it screeched to a halt this week. Or more accurately, like they felt the need to consolidate all the kind of ideas we’d been given and just kind of lay out what has happened and a motive and objective and the best way they felt they could do that was by standing around and talking followed by some sitting around and talking. Basically, lots of talking heads.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 6 Asuna
Millions wouldn’t.

Now does that mean the episode isn’t interesting? Not so much. Because in amongst all the babble, we get to see a copied soul/mind essentially self-destruct when being unable to come to terms with being a copy. We find out what the deal is with Eugeo and the others not being able to even consider breaking the taboos. We also realise why the company/government/whoever has gone to so much trouble with the project in the first place and the application they want for it and we get some nice foreshadowing that when Kirito finds out what they actually intend to do he’s probably not going to be happy about it.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 6

But, I’ll be frank, it wasn’t enough. Twenty minutes of chatter and dodgy tech and medical terms being bandied about as well as questionable moral stances by characters just wasn’t compelling viewing. It is more something I’d expect from Index, and why I like Index, I don’t have anywhere near the love of it that I have for SAO. All things considered, I’m really hoping next week picks up again because I’ve now had just about as much set-up as I can handle.

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Karandi James

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7 thoughts on “In The Absence of Action, We Get An Attack of the Talking Heads

  1. I genuinely liked this episode, since the entire episode was spent on explaining things and not geared towards anywhere else. I hope that’s a good thing… though I’ve read the novels before, I wasn’t too surprised by the twist of the fluctlights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more a matter of time management. For all the talking the information the audience is given is either a rehash or can be boiled down to a very few dot points. As I said in the review, it isn’t enough.

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      1. “It is more a matter of time management.”

        Yes! This is my main complaint! The SAO movie (Ordinal Scale) was around 120 minutes. By comparison, Alicization has already aired for about 150 minutes. It’s longer than a movie, but it’s still doing exposition!

        If you take the 11 minute cafe scene in the first episode with all of the scientist-man technobabble in this episode, something like 20% of the aired show has been straight exposition dialogue (before even considering all of the shorter explainers and refreshers shotgunned through the rest of the series, which I don’t want to bother timing).

        I understand that it’s a long series still working through it’s opening act, but I am losing patience and interest. Drop the premise and move on… “fluctlight = soul,” “Rath = evil,” We get it already!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well…you know I love SAO as much as you, but I am also going to be honest when I think an episode was just well…boring. So I definitely agree with what you wrote here. This was an episode that really did feel as if it just brought the show to a stand still. I don’t care about a little explanation about things, but this just went on way too long and took me out of the overall story. Even as a die hard sword art online fan, I can’t really say much good about this episode. Let’s just hope this was a fluke (light…see what I did there 😂) and hope that next week the story moves forward again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, this is the first episode that I just didn’t really enjoy, but with a 50 episode count I know there are going to be episodes that will not all be as good (pretty much any show has that at some point). So, fingers crossed that next week it’s going to be better 😊

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