Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 18
Bercouli Synthesis One is introduced as an extremely confident warrior, without any devious tricks, but rather a desire to win a fair match. His personality reminds me of an uncle of sorts that’s always encouraging you to do crazy things. However, past his warrior like demeanor, he does seem to care for Fanatio a decent bit. This confirms that the man in Fanatio’s backstory was indeed Bercouli, and hopefully their arcs intertwine and come to a close by the end of the season. Of all the Integrity Knights we’ve seen, no one had quite the level of dignity and confidence that Bercouli has, with Alice being the only exception. He speaks to Eugeo as if he’s speaking to a misguided boy rather than an enemy from the dark territory, and this fatherly attitude makes him fit into his role as Integrity Knight Commander quite well.
I doubted Eugeo in the previous week because I thought he stood no chance against the Integrity Knight Commander, but he proved himself quite the warrior, even without Kirito. Using the adaptive, quick thinking that Kirito has drilled into his head over the past few months, Eugeo goes all in for a victory. This unpredictable, almost barbaric fighting style throws Bercouli off guard (the throwing the sword move in particular being the best part), and gives Eugeo the chance to body slam Bercouli into the hot springs. Now I’m not going to complain about how a boy Eugeo’s size should be unable to push a seasoned warrior who seems to be thrice his weight, but it was a tiny bit fishy. But this is Sword Art Online, so who really cares.
Eugeo’s growth has been superb. Looking past the fact that he bested Bercouli in a duel, Eugeo’s conversation with Bercouli is both moving and incredibly tragic. Similar to the past Integrity Knights we’ve seen, Eugeo is beyond disgusted and disappointed that Bercouli has forgotten his entire past, especially since he was a folk hero across the world. To make things even worse, it’s revealed that Bercouli was the one sent to slay the Guardian Dragon of the Northern Border. To slay a benevolent being that appears in one’s own fairy tale, to be manipulated to the point of murdering something that he may have once considered his friend, Eugeo is right in feeling so angry at the Church.
We’re then introduced to an extremely annoying character in Prime Senator Chudelkin. I was half hoping Eugeo to stop his armament and instead cut the head off of Chudelkin as he was speaking, but the story can’t resolve that easily. Instead Chudelkin accuses Bercouli of treason for not using the other aspect of his weapon. From what we saw, the aspect that was used is the future cutting technique, and from context clues, Bercouli can probably kill someone using some form of past cutting technique. Sounds absolutely broken, and I understand why a warrior like Bercouli was be reluctant to use such an underhanded technique. Chudelkin freezes Bercouli using a system command, preserving him to be reprocessed in in the near future.
Unfortunately, we’re going to have a bit of confusion in the upcoming episodes. Eugeo is almost guaranteed to have his memories manipulated, and will likely be forced to duke it out with Kirito. I’m not sure how Alice will react to this, since she’s seen their friendship herself. Perhaps that will be the final straw that convinces her of the truth? Either way, Kirito has quite the huge mountain to climb, but I am beyond excited for it!