Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 11 Review
There are so many anime that cram a million ideas into eleven or twelve episodes and fans end up saying, ‘that was good but I wish it had more time’. When Alicization was announced we also got the announcement that it was going to run for four cours which is a massive length of time in seasonal viewing. That was kind of exciting. Having that much time meant the story didn’t need to rush through things and the story could be planned out and paced well.
Unfortunately, eleven episodes in and I have to concede that it isn’t what we are getting. While I have no idea what happens in the source material or what needs to get covered (nor do I really want to), as an anime viewer, Sword Art Online Alicization is missing the mark over and over again. There are exciting moments but they are scattered far and wide and the narrative in-between is anything but exciting. Not even the nostalgia of being reunited with Kirito (a character I actually quite like) is enough to keep me from starting to wonder if maybe they could have given this story a much tighter edit and produced something far more engaging to watch.
Episode 11 is a great example of what this series has consistently done wrong. It starts with Eugeo getting knocked down by Alice which is a fine enough transition for us given he was all stunned that he was seeing Alice, so no problems there. Then we see Eugeo and Kirito chained to the dragon mount about to be flown to the citadel. No issue. However, let’s delay the journey we started so many episodes ago yet further by having a tearful farewell from the pages who also hand their swords over to Alice.
You know, they could have just had the swords already strapped to the mount, handed over by the school, if they really needed viewers to know that Eugeo and Kirito would in fact get their swords back. This whole sequence was more amusing than emotional and to be honest I’m not sure how invested we’re supposed to be in the pages given they’ve been used strictly as plot devices up until now and with the scene change it is hard to know whether we’ll ever see these characters again.
The sequence in the cell works well enough though just when they are about to escape, Kirito decides to question whether Eugeo is ready to go against the church. Again? Really? Hasn’t this issue already been clearly established and put to rest? It really feels like a rehash at best and bloat at worst and it adds nothing.
Jump a few minutes later to the boys pausing in the rose garden for a heart to heart. Again, it adds nothing to either character. It adds nothing overall to the plot. Every part of this conversation feels like we’ve heard it before and it is neither interesting at this point or particularly relevant to the current situation.
Finally, we get to the end of the episode where they encounter a knight who has apparently been waiting for them in the garden and they all get ready to fight.
So all those overly long pauses and conversations were just trying to time it so the episode could end on this cliff-hanger rather than getting to this fight this episode. Seriously? And while it wouldn’t be a problem if they had kept the conversations fun and interesting, instead we just feel like we’ve heard it all before.
The cut to Asuna was also pretty bland and while we did gain some new information from that, again it was given in the least interesting way possible outside of text scrolling across the screen so no excitement to be found there either.
There isn’t a lot more to say. Sword Art Online Alicization has a potentially very interesting premise that it has so far managed to drag out the execution of to the point where it is almost actually distracting and even as a fan I’m finding myself losing focus mid-episode because not enough is happening. While early on this could be forgiven as setting its scene, we’re now nearly one cour through the show. There’s no excuse at this point for still feeling like we haven’t even finished setting up.
Or, use one of my product affiliate links.
SWORD ART ONLINE: LOST SONG
- Sword Art Online Season 1 Series Review
- Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale Movie Review
- Sword Art Online Abridge Review
- Alicization Episode 1: SAO is Back, But Does it Work?
- Alicization Episode 2: He’s Back in the Game
- Alicization Episode 3: Oh Look, A Shiny New Sword
- Alicization Episode 4: Kirito is Back
- Alicization Episode 5: Asuna’s Turn
- Alicization Episode 6: In The Absence of Action, We Get Attack of the Talking Heads
- Alicization Episode 7: Can Eugeo Find the Confidence to Be Independent?
- Alicization Episode 8: How Does Kirito’s Belief in Himself Cause Success?
- Alicization Episode 9: Discover the Noble Spirit Hidden Within A Would Be Swordsman
- Alicization Episode 10: Warning Labels and Defeating Taboos in SAO
- Alicization Episode 11: Why More Time Isn’t Helping This Story
- Alicization Episode 12: Short Battle Followed By Attack of the Exposition
- Alicization Episode 13: SAO Now Presents the Information Dump To Defeat All Information Dumps
- Alicization Episode 14: Fire Meets Ice Before the Tower Climb