Fire Meets Ice Before The Tower Climb

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode Review Title Image

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 14 Review

A new opening, new outfits, same old story. Kirito and Eugeo recover their swords ridiculously easily but immediately find themselves locked in combat. It’s an improvement from the exposition dumps but still not sure this hit the mark.

The ease with which Kirito and Eugeo get to the armoury and recover their unguarded swords is absurd particularly when they are confronted by a solitary knight immediately on trying to leave the armoury. Seriously, he couldn’t have attacked them before they were armed? And why send just one knight? We learn later there’s a whole bunch of knights waiting on the 50th floor so why not send a couple of them down to take care of the problem before it becomes a problem? And just because Kirito and Eugeo are told there are knights waiting on the 50th floor, why aren’t they at least looking at the other floors to see if there’s anything useful. If we’re not going to even pause on these floors why do they exist?

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 14
Two things: One, if you are right outside the door why didn’t you stop them getting their swords in the first place? Two, have you never heard of overkill? What is with all those arrows?

This whole set up is so frustrating!

And taking a breath.

Outside of incredibly brainless plot developments resulting in characters acting in idiotic ways, this episode was actually better than the last two (not hard mind you). Still, the fight between Kirito, Eugeo and the Knight was actually pretty well handled and injected some much needed excitement back into the show, and the following conversation didn’t feel too much like yet another exposition dump.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 14 Kirito and Eugeo
I’m glad you two are impressed, now do you plan to actually fight that thing?

We also had a fairly solid character moment from Eugeo. Since he’s been freed from the Taboo Index he hasn’t really been faced with too many moral choices and now he’s confronted by the knight who took Alice away all those years before. While it wasn’t the most nuanced scene ever, seeing Eugeo weighing up his options and make a decision was a fairly interesting moment (though probably would have been more interesting if Eugeo hadn’t chosen the goody-goody route that Kirito follows). So much potential exploration if Eugeo unleashed decided to take the knights out.

Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 14 Eugeo strikes
I think literally everyone will have this screen cap, but so what. It was a great Eugeo moment.

One final nit-pick though before I let this episode rest; how is it that every time Eugeo and Kirito change outfits they managed to find a pair of perfectly colour coordinated outfits? Here they just raided the armoury and changed clothes and yet Eugeo still has his bright blue and Kirito his standard charcoal. It would be nice, just once, if they through Kirito into red and Eugeo into green or something just to shake things up.

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10 thoughts on “Fire Meets Ice Before The Tower Climb

    1. I’m just not sure how long they expect viewers to just keep hoping it ‘gets better’. Fans of the franchise or not, there’s only so much people will take before they walk away.

      1. They probably thought about that when announcing that there’ll be a full year of SAO and not something like what My Hero Academia does. Otherwise the viewer count would probably decrease dramatically. And as far as the franchise goes, I don’t think it has a long future after Alicization ends. There’ll always be some who’ll stick till the very end, but the general audience will inevitable get fed up.

  1. Yes, I’ve read the books and the battles work much better there in my head, as we don’t have this static turn-based combat that seems to infest the battles in the anime. Bad guy does something, while the good guys stand around and do nothing, comment on the quality of the bad guy’s weapon, have a little reverie about their back story. Oh, better do something now, the arrows are arriving. Now it’s my turn, maybe I’ll hang around for a minute or two while the bad guy powers up his weapon, maybe I should attack him before he does that, ahhh I can’t do that, it’s not my turn yet.

    The Alicization arc has some really quite interesting ideas on AI and how we should treat AIs if we actually could create them, but the anime really doesn’t seem to know how to bring these ideas in.

    I just wish that more anime/manga/light novel writers would understand that if you have a great couple with a good dynamic, it’s much better to have them together. As an example, Kirito and Asuna together are much more interesting together than apart. Another example being Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory, the first three episodes where Sousuke and Kaname are together are great, but as soon as Kaname is kidnapped and we have 6-7 episodes before we even see her again, Sousuke’s a good character and the episodes are not bad, but they don’t come close to the first three. It’s one of the reasons I’m really enjoying the Sword Art Online Progressive light novels, lots of interaction between Kirito and Asuna in the original Aincrad environment where the stakes were deadly serious.

    The anime is doing a very literal as opposed to stellar adaptation of the light novels and often that’s not the best thing to do and I think that’s the case here.

    1. I’m with you on Kaname and Sousuke. Separating those two for the majority of Invisible Victory was a definite error in judgement. I like the characters, I do, but those opening episodes were the best the series had and that was seeing the two together.
      And yeah, I’d love to see some Kirito and Asuna moments in this anime but doesn’t seem like we’re getting that anytime soon. I don’t mind the Kirito/Eugeo dynamic but the plot is not helping them along at all.

      1. Not that keen on him, he’s such a follower, this episode was the first where he even has a skerrick of conflict with Kirito and of course in the end, he gives way to Kirito. I think Eugeo, given his life experiences and what he’s discovered about how his world work’s should be far, far more angry than he is.

  2. It really looks like this adaptation is doing a stellar job of adapting the source material so far.

    There’s been some issues with the Anime adapting it literally word for word in most places, but it’s getting to the more exciting stuff now.

    There’s plenty more great battles to come!

    1. Having not read the source, I’d honestly prefer if they focused on making a good anime and realistically so far with the slow exposition and long set up this one really hasn’t been. I’ve enjoyed it because of the SAO fangirl in me happy enough just having Kirito back, but the last two episodes before this in particular were just kind of painful. What might work in a book doesn’t always work on screen and that really needs to be taken into account when adapting something.

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