Y’know, I watch Goblin Slayer, Slime and SAO: Alicization weekly. I have not acknowledged any of their episodes to be “good” so far. Which, in hindsight, is a pretty huge disappointment. I was expecting to at least somewhat like one of these shows. Or downplay their lack of quality by saying one of them is a little bit better than the rest. But they’ve all been… Not equally terrible but within the same margin. They all do nothing but Alicization quite literally didn’t do anything for the past 5 episodes. I say “5” because the first episode was the length of 2 episodes. Granted, I did like the 2nd half of it and thought it had… Asuna. I think it was pretty much just Asuna actually.
Anyways, the point is I think this episode… Was “okay”. Which is huge, honestly! Like, it wasn’t simply “hey something sort of; not really happened”. It was more like “this was, at least, worth my time”. I feel fulfilled and less alien for saying I enjoyed an episode of SAO!
I’ll start with the battle between the Goblin leader and Kirito. I thoroughly enjoyed it almost from beginning to end. I had 3 main issues with it: Firstly, it started off looking like a bunch of nonsense was happening but I couldn’t really tell till Kirito sliced off his arm. That’s when it started getting good! Secondly, Kirito’s arm gets slashed and it looks broken and bloodied but he uses it in the ensuing battle like nothing’s wrong with it. Next, when Eugeo leaps into the fray he gets gutted by the goblin leader. But they had this slow-down effect the moment he got hit it made it look like he was gently moved aside by the blade rather than taking it in full-force by a goblin brute. It was pretty disappointing but seeing the huge gash right after put me in a tense mood for the first time in Sword Art Online history. I was legitimately worried and, after awhile, was thinking Eugeo might fucking die! Of course, they cheaply have Selka use “durability” transfer magic or whatever and it was all good. Yeah, it ruined the moment but I can’t complain we finally got something resembling tension.
After Kirito witnesses Eugeo’s consciousness fade away from the pain we have this decent back-and-forth between Kirito and the goblin leader. It ends with a brutal decapitation that would even have Jack Black smiling! So, that was awesome. Next, Kirito is training Eugeo to use the sword. The sword they’ve been planning to use to cut down the demon tree. It was good of them to do a montage of them training from different points of the day. They were training during the evening then during rain and then just plain daylight. The insinuation, at the very least, suggests that they’ve trained for a couple days if not more. Wish it was a tad clearer on how long they’ve been training. But 3 days or so is believable for Eugeo to learn how to use a sword. Although, it does cheapen the fall of the demon tree since I did not believe it could be cut down so soon. Albeit i’m not complaining. Fuck that tree! It was SO satisfying to see that bitch fall like the piece of wood that it is! Was it worth building to this moment for 5 freakin’ episodes!?!? God no! I’m happy in spite of all that.
But that tree falling means that this is, like, finally it! The show’s starting soon. For real now. For all intents and purposes, this is the first episode and I just hope that Eugeo can calm his boner for woodcutting for the rest of the duration of this season. Because i’m not sitting through that ever again. I will say, this’ll probably be a long travel. Going from Rulid to the Central City. And i’m fine with that. Like, it wasn’t the slow-paced nature that I had a problem with. It’s what it does with that time that I have a problem with. They can explore all kinds of different towns on the way with different cultures. Trying new things, new meals, new people; i’m not saying they should go sight-seeing. But on their way to the capital city they’re gonna have to take breaks in a neighboring inn which they might as well indulge themselves in the culture surrounding them and talk to the people to figure out where they need to go next.
If there was something else I felt was slightly underwhelming it has to be the festival they had, I assume, in honor of Eugeo cutting down the demon tree. It just didn’t feel like a festival FOR Eugeo in the sense that they didn’t seem to celebrate him as much as I thought they should’ve. Lastly, we didn’t know much of the town itself. Yeah, Rulid was intended to be a shitty little town because it can’t expand its wheat farm and cannot prosper because of that. But we didn’t get to know much about the people! Which is probably where most of SAO’s time should’ve went into instead of cutting down a tree. I hope next episode is as good… Well, preferably better than this one. Get a little more value out of these episodes and we might see something of a surge in interest. I’m excited! I… Want this to be good. Really, really bad start but if we’re here now the rest might as well try to be good. Cheers!