Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 11
Recovering from the shock of last episode, today’s release is rather calm in comparison. Alice Synthesis 31 is confirmed to have either lost or had her memories manipulated, adding another hurdle in the way of Eugeo and Kirito. Not only will they have to discover the truth behind the Integrity Knights, they’ll have to restore her memories somehow. This quest is no longer as simple as “rescue Alice from the tower,” even though that sounds abysmally difficult as well. The quest is now a multi-step operation that begins with the two avoiding their execution somehow.
However, this forces them into quite the interesting position, that of directly going against the Axiom Church. We’ve spent so much time seeing Kirito in the light of “savior” or “hero,” that it’s quite refreshing to see him willfully turn against the world’s law. Had Kirito done something similar in a former season, it was likely he’d be praised as a liberator from noble oppression. But the world of Alicization is not as simple as the former games Kirito has played, and besides the few people back at the academy, everyone else sees Kirito and Eugeo as criminals.
The episode begins with Alice smacking the heck out of Eugeo for approaching her. It was pretty clear what would happen from a mile away, but Eugeo was definitely blinded by the shock of seeing Alice. This is sorta good because it hundred percent confirms that Alice’s memories have been altered. Kirito and Eugeo deduce this quite immediately, and decide on a game plan to approach the situation. They come to the conclusion that escape is the only option and proceed to do so because Kirito exploits the system durability on their chains. It’s amusing to watch, but I have no idea how the prison guard didn’t hear that. How tired must someone be to stay asleep through a pair of chain shackles breaking, and a massive iron door crashing onto the ground? I’m also surprised it was so easy. I expect since most folk don’t commit crime whatsoever, the ones actually in the prison are either some serious lunatics or misunderstood people. Either way, I expected far more security for the prison, and half expected the floating report head to chime in.
The two escape into a rose labyrinth, where they share a cute moment of Kirito assuring Eugeo that he’ll be with him until the end. It’s nice to see their genuine friendship, and raises the question of humans befriending artificial intelligence on equal terms. Unfortunately, their positivity is cut short by the 31st Integrity Knight, Eldrie. He reveals quite a decent bit of information, including that fact that Alice is his mentor. Since Alice is Integrity Knight 30, it’s probably safe to assume there have been 29 integrity knights before Alice, or that there are 29 other Integrity Knights, or a mix of both. Eldrie himself is quite the character, having the cool and wow of an Integrity Knight, but lacking the calm and cold of Alice herself. A flash of anger passes his face when Kirito and Eugeo choose to fight against him rather than give in, but his words praise their bravado. Will Eldrie be a pompous jerk or a respectful antagonist, let’s see! I’m a bit doubtful as to how much these two boys can do against the might of Integrity Knights and the Axiom Church, so I’m expecting some form of power up in the near future as well. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they totally get wrecked by the Integrity Knight. I can see them possibly winning if Kirito plays really dirty, but no way in hell are they winning a straight fight.