Sword Art Online – Alicization Ep. 8: Kirito in tears

Being separated from all his waifus have finally gotten to him. Don’t you feel sorry for Kirito? 

Everyone is here to watch some dude beat up on a trainee. I guess there’s not much in terms of entertainment in Underworld.

— It somehow feels like the animation quality has taken a small hit. Nothing major, but the characters don’t look as polished as they used to? Oh well.

The characters here have such small frames, so their heads end up looking too big for their bodies.

— So again, belief and imagination is everything in this dumb game. Why is Volo strong? He’s strong because he wholeheartedly believes in his family’s motto. And why will Kirito be strong? Because he’s the harem lord. But seriously, all it takes to be strong is believing that you’re the main character.

— Liena tells Kirito that she believes in him… and yet, she doesn’t believe in herself to defeat Volo. Odd, huh?

— I still feel like this is a waste of time. Kirito has his old life to get back to. He has his waifu waiting for him by his bedside. Hell, he still has the sub-objective of rescuing Alice. So what are we doing right now? We’re watching him spar against a nobody as if this is the start of some new anime series about cadets at a military academy. Sure, we’re told that Volo is strong, but that’s not what I’m referring to. In the grand scheme of things to come, Volo is a nobody. Liena is a nobody. This is all waste of time.

— It just feels like the author had the itch to do this kind of story, but at the same time, he wanted to take advantage of SAO‘s popularity. As a result, he contrived some stupid scenario in which Kirito would end up becoming enrolling in a school. What’s next? A tournament arc?

— Will the story let Kirito win? Probably not. But will it let him lose? Probably not as well. I bet you someone’s going to interrupt this fight, but not before the harem lord earns everyone’s respect for his swordsmanship. Barf.

— The audience even gasps when Volo unsheathes his sword. C’mon. Are you people that bored?

— Kirito’s sword is black because black is cool!

What a mouthful.

— I’m now watching these characters assume their stances in painful slow-motion. Even the sweat drops are in slow-motion.

Looks cool, bro.

— I love that Kirito has time to twirl in the middle of his attack.

— Wow, such amazing animation for your flagship series, A-1 Pictures!

This is the power of imagination, yo!

— Every time the animation zooms out, it just looks so lame and small. Kirito and Volo are supposed to be engaged in this epic duel, but it just looks so pathetic on the outside. Like, look at his tiny and short left arm!

— Insert lame joke here.

— And because the harem lord’s confidence is so strong, his phallu–… I mean, his sword not only starts bulging with golden power, it even grows in length! I mean… we all know that size matters.

— More juvenile jokes. I can’t help it. This duel is just ridiculous.

— Eventually, it looks like both combatants are about to really hurt each other, so right on cue, someone stops the fight. Too predictable.

— These character designs are so plain.

The action lines show that the crowd is excited!

One last joke for the road.

— What’s truly annoying is that the author so obviously wants Kirito to seem god-like, but at the same time, the characterization calls for him to be annoyingly humble. Like he can’t even be brash and cool. He’s just another boring anime protagonist who goes “Aw shucks!” at the fact that he dueled the first-ranked swordsman to a draw.

— Whoa now! I’ve got an actual waifu in real life, lady! Well, maybe nobody’s watching me right now…

Oh nevermind…

Aw, the bullies are so mad!

— We still haven’t moved onto any important plot matters. Instead, these characters are now talking about the backstory regarding their sword skills or whatever. Who the hell cares?

— And now she’s just praising Kirito some more. Wake me up when something interesting happens.

— Later that night, the bullies try to teach Kirito a lesson. So what did they do? They cut up his flowers. Oh no, not my flowers!

— So, uh, this feels like the first time Kirito has gotten emotional over the fact that he’s stuck in this world. And as a result, he identifies with these flowers, because like him, they don’t belong here. I dunno, man. This just doesn’t feel authentic. Like he’s been here for what feels like two whole years, and yet he only starts sobbing because of some flowers. The show is trying too hard to be dramatically poignant.

— Well, out of nowhere, a disembodied voice tells Kirito to believe. Not only that, the other flowers in this garden wants to help save his flowers. As a result, they start to glow, and when Kirito borrows their “power,” he manages to save his own. Now this is just pure mumbo-jumbo.

— These flowers have thoughts? The person who created this MMO programmed flowers that have thoughts and feelings? Is that what you want me to believe? You want to tell me that the humans in this game have actual souls? Sure. But everything else is just data. Everything else is just inorganic data that has to be coded by somebody. As a result, I can only infer that Underworld’s programmers gave flowers the ability to feel bad when its own kind has been murdered. What?

— The next day (or whatever day it is), we see Liena and Volo engaged in a duel for all the marbles, but this time, she emerges victorious. Aw, her trainee gave the wonderful power of belief.

— And as a result of last night’s shenanigans, Kirito is able to give Liena a bouquet of flowers from her own homeland or whatever. Great. Truly riveting story development.

— Afterwards, he and Eugeo become Elite Disciples, which means they get to boss around trainees of their own. Needless to say, Eugeo wants to hog Kirito to himself. Typical waifu behavior.

— Then finally, after all that boring nonsense, the two boys remind themselves that they still have a certain somebody to rescue from her ivory tower. Ugh.

— In previous series, I could at least draw some enjoyment from the fact that I used to be huge into MMOs, so I understood some of the overpowered silliness that the story was throwing at me. Remember when Kirito’s passive healing-over-time was so high that gankers couldn’t even hope to kill him?

As silly as this scene was, at least its heart was rooted in actual MMO mechanics. With Underworld, we’re just making things up as we go along. Believe in yourself! The power of imagination! Yeah, okay.

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