Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 7 Review
Quite a bit has happened to Kirito and Eugeo in Alicization since we last saw them to spend some time with Asuna in reality. In fact, two whole years have passed since we’ve seen them. But don’t worry, Eugeo will awkwardly reminisce for us so we can see what happened to get to this point. I don’t actually mind the time jump so much as the fact that they then had to backtrack to fill in the details anyway. If they were that important they should have just shown us in order given doing it this way just meant instead of seeing Kirito and Eugeo’s journey we just get told about it which provides almost zero emotional attachment for the audience.
We’ll get back to Kirito, the hero of Sword Art Online, in a little bit, because I really do want to look at Eugeo in this episode. They’ve worked hard to kind of set him up as a deuteragonist but he keeps falling back into the role of side-kick or support. This isn’t aided by his own characterisation being so incredibly timid. Still, we’ve certainly seen sparks in Eugeo that he wants to overcome responses that are essentially programmed into him and hopefully he will eventually learn to do it without holding Kirito’s hand.
However, Sword Art Online has quite the history of raising promising supporting characters or potential secondary protagonists and then either killing them off or just side-lining them so Kirito can continue to be the ultimate hero. Not that I mind, because I like Kirito, but it means that I remain fairly on the fence about Eugeo. I want to like him and I want him to step up, but I don’t want to emotionally invest in a character who may end up standing with the rest of Kirito’s fan-club when push comes to shove.
Looking at Kirito this week, he gets himself a shiny new sword (given he kind of gave the last shiny one to Eugeo it makes sense), and then in the process of trying it out he gets someone’s uniform dirty which is apparently a big issue. Or at least it is going to be because now he’s going to spar against the number one fighter in the sword school Kirito and Eugeo are enrolled in. It’s a fairly lame plot development but it does give Kirito a chance to actually fight someone strong with a real sword, which is always exciting, and I’m kind of hoping it also manages to teach him something new about the world that will become important later. What can I say, I’m an optimist. Still, this seems to be kind of mirroring his fight against Heathcliff in Aincrad so maybe he will learn something new.
I can see where some viewers would find this tedious, but for me, this is the kind of thing I think Sword Art Online has always done well. Kirito inside the game just living his life as if it were real while trying to figure out how he can use the rules to his advantage. It is very reminiscent of the Aincrad arc and to be honest that was always my favourite so I’m enjoying these episodes with Kirito. Now if we could just get an overall plot moving along I’d be ecstatic.
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