Sword Art Online: Alicization - 1.21 The 32nd Knight

One of the few positives I can say about The 32nd Knight is that it definitely keeps you guessing for almost the entire episode. It starts well with the fight between Kirito and Eugeo, but it ends far too quickly with Eugeo subduing Kirito and Alice before returning to the 100th floor to receive his "reward."



The revelation that Eugeo broke free of his synthesis was also good, but confusing at the same time, since it's still not entirely clear why Eugeo was able to break free. According to everything we've been told about synthesis, when the Piety module is inserted, that person forgets everything about themselves because it seals memories away. However, Quinella openly stated that she first placed the module in a "gap" in Eugeo's memories. If this is true, how was anything sealed away since nothing was removed? This could have been better explained, because watching this scene I felt nothing but confusion.

Another disappointment in this episode is how Kirito and Alice reach the 100th floor. The last we saw of them, they were frozen in ice before Chudelkin went down to finish them off. The next thing we know, Chudelkin is scrambling to get back inside with Kirito and Alice on their heels. How the pair were able to unfreeze themselves is neither explained, nor shown. While the show doesn't have to show every last detail, in this case it feels like they skipped over a few scenes that would have improved the episode's storytelling.


One detail in this episode that I found extremely off-putting came towards the end when Chudelkin begged for a reward to once he defeated our heroes in the upcoming fight. This "reward" was...being able to touch Quinella's body and the entire request (including Chudelkin's reaction when Quinella grants it) comes off as disgusting. Frankly I don't see why it was included. It's already been made quite clear that Chudelkin is no good. All of this was just unnecessary.

The one story development that was truly impressive came at the very end of the episode when Chudelkin summons a "genie" to battle Kirito, Eugeo, and Alice. I'd suspected for several episodes that there was more to the Prime Senator than meets the eye and this scene proved it. However, even with this stronger ending The 32nd Knight was little more than a mediocre episode in Sword Art Online: Alicization.

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