「支配者と調停者」 (Shihaisha to Chouteisha)
“Ruler and Mediator”

While this week’s episode may have been another gigantic exposition dump, I must admit that it wasn’t all that bad after a weeklong break. That and I appreciate the story taking the time to explain just how Cardinal was created.

Boy, there’s so many inconsequential things I want to say about this week’s episode that I’m not even sure where to start. Ignoring the whole fact that Cardinal has pieced together that Rath has some real dark reasons behind allowing Quinella to do whatever she wants, it’s actually somewhat interesting when you think about things from a different perspective. From outside the perspective of anyone inside of the Underworld, it must be rather amazing to see their creation evolve into something they probably never saw coming — especially when you consider that their end goal is to create artificial intelligence that can be weaponized. That said, it’s tough for me (as a viewer) to not see things going completely awry. As with most stories that revolve around the creation of AI, it’s tough not to assume the creation will at some point outdo its creator and end up doing something that’s irreversible.

Talks about rouge AI aside, let me change gears for a moment to bring up the plot point that came up two episodes ago that hasn’t been touched on since we saw it. For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, I’m specifically bringing up that awkward moment when we were back in the real world and a real sleezy looking scientist walked past Asuna. With the camera obscuring his face but making it painfully obvious that he’s someone we should all be wary of, you could say I’m a wee bit angry that there hasn’t been any development on that front in a while. And before people start jumping in saying that they don’t enjoy it when the story shifts back to the real world, it feels like jumping between the two during a giant info dump would have been the perfect time to do it.

Minor gripes aside, I can’t wait for the pacing to pick back up next week. With Kirito and Eugeo deep in enemy territory, I can’t wait to see what kind of fun they’ll have as soon as they retrieve their weapons. In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where we hopefully won’t be bombarded with an entire episode of exposition. See you then!




  1. Don’t be too worried about the fact we haven’t seen anything about Asuna outside too much. The main reason for that is because of the fact that Kirito’s is living in a world where time is accelerated. This means that not much HAS happened yet outside unless you want them to show what happens outside out of chronological order.

    As for this episode, and the half of last episode with Cardinal, I was disappointed as a light novel reader with how much stuff they cut out. The scenes with Cardinal take up the last 10% or so of novel 11 and the first 40% of novel 12 and they covered it all in an episode and a half. Since I don’t want to give too many spoilers for those who haven’t read the novels I’lll list a few in a spoiler tag. All of this stuff is revealed in the novels during the scenes with Cardinal in the library before they leave. There is a chance a few of them may be told via flashbacks but I think personally that would break the flow later.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. 9) Cardinal explains to Kirito how fluxlights aren’t able to go against the rules ingrained into them and this also explains how when they try to do so their eye has that error displayed. This is a rather important scene in my opinion that should NOT have been left out.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Wow, just reading that scene makes me really sad they cut it out. That would’ve been nice to see.

        And I was so hyped that they were actually going all out with the adaption of Alicization.
        Ignorance is bliss, huh?

      1. Point 1:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Over time, Quinella revised the Taboo Index, adding new clauses that helped people with everyday life by restricting access to swamps that were the source of endemic diseases, listing plants that negatively affect livestock etc., in other words, anyone who followed the Taboo Index would not experience any problems and thus removing the need for people to think for themselves and to question the rule of the Axiom Church.

        Known Clauses
        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. @l.kostas
        Thanks for the info! And now I have even more questions XD

        Like, what’s the point of the 6th Known Clause? I mean, it falls into the “Japanese think kissing is either lewd or super special” trope, but what’s supposed to be its usefulness? Especially when we’ve seen that it does nothing to prevent the far more serious problems of rape and sexual abuse.

      3. There is this scene from episode 3 where Kirito kissed Selka on the forehead. The reason isn’t explained exactly. Who knows what Administrator was thinking, maybe she thinks outside marriage it could lead to trouble somehow?
        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. In the novel actually Cardinal tried to eliminate/kill Administrator while she was in Administrator’s body. Before Administrator copied herself to that girl’s fluctlight, which means she would commit suicide.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  3. As someone best put it:

    ‘The librarian is a mental copy of the queen with equal powers. The dark realm is going to attack the human queendom and the librarian doesnt think the queen is prepared enough. she asks Kirito to help her take down the queen, giving her full control. after taking control she plans to destroy the entire world to prevent suffering. Kirito agrees with the caveat that hes gonna save the world some how.’

    But make it a 20 minute episode.

  4. This is probably pretty obvious, but two daggers feels like foreshadowing that they’re going to run into at least one other person they know that’s been turned into an Integrity Knight. Easy money it’ll be the Upperclassmen from Knight School.

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20Alicization%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    Strange, I can’t read some of this chicken scratch despite my fluent English. I must be blind.

    I wonder if at least one girl will be pregnant with Kirito’s child, he is doing a good job attracting a lot of waifus. If that will happen then Asuna will go Yandere mode.

  6. I would like Quinella to live, because she is an important character and although she is a bit crazy, she also has her kawaii side and she is also the smartest girl that has appeared in SAO, not to mention Cardinal, since Cardinal is an AI System of generation of content of the VRMMO. I do not like that he has “died” in that traumatic (burned) way. Although I think it may have merged with Chudelkin and Kirito, I have to save her to resurrect Eugeo and Cardinal.


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