Sword Art Online: Alicization – 1.11 Central Cathedral

After the conflict in last week’s episode, I was left with a number of questions, the most important being: does Alice remember Eugeo? Well, this week’s episode didn’t waste any time in providing answer: apparently Alice does not remember Eugeo as she strikes him when he tries to touch her (though it’s also possible she’s only pretending not to remember for reasons yet to be explained).

With this turn of events, Eugeo’s quest has now become figuring out what happened to her and seeing if there is a way to return her to the way she was before. But first he and Kirito will have to survive the Central Cathedral, as Alice is taking them there to be interrogated and then executed, for breaking the Taboo Index.

To my surprise, after Alice takes them to the Cathedral, the scene suddenly shifts to Asuna and the real world. This brief interlude in reality seemed very random, but I think it’s meant to provide clues as to where the story will be heading in the future. For one, we are introduced to ‘Ichiemon,’ a prototype robot body that could in theory house one of the A.I.s that currently live in the Underworld (something that could easily come into play later in the story). And second, there was a brief moment on the Ocean Turtle that I know was meant to be a hint at something: when Asuna is headed to breakfast, she passes by two scientists and when one comes close, she freezes, as if she senses something unpleasant.

Nothing comes of this encounter right now but I already have a theory: given that we haven’t seen Johnny Black since he attempted to kill Kirito, my theory is that somehow he’s gotten onto the facility to finish the job. That would explain Asuna’s subconscious reaction, and it could also be wrong, but either way that person bears watching in future episodes.

As for Kirito and Eugeo themselves, they don’t do too much this episode apart from breaking out of the Cathedral jail to search for answers regarding what happened to Alice. At this point the pair have nothing to lose since they’re already scheduled for execution (but given this is still early in the series it’s all but certain that sentence will be commuted).

And somehow knowing that Kirito and Eugeo will get out of this somehow made it difficult to buy into the pair being in any danger when they broke out of their cell. It’s one of the few weaknesses this story has, that being whenever Kirito gets into trouble you know he’ll be okay because he’s the main character.

The plot didn’t move that far forward this time, but I think that’s because they’re setting things up for the next story arc. The story will continue with The Sage of the Library and hopefully we’ll learn more about what’s going on with Alice and the Central Cathedral.


Updated: Dec 17, 2018

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