「扇動」 (Sendou)

Sinon meets Alice

While he died on his own terms, it was pretty painful to be reminded that Bercouli has passed on. But I have to say, the somber mood was quickly swept away by Sinon’s wholehearted confession to Alice that she loves Kirito. Kissing Kirito directly on the cheek in front of Asuna was suspect. But this just outright confirmed it. She better watch out. Anyhow, with Sinon saying it’s what Bercouli and Kirito would have wanted, I’m not sure what will happen once Alice reaches the World’s End Altar. Nevertheless, I’m expecting it to be an incredible moment that will be worth the wait.

If Sinon wanted to buy time for Alice to fulfill that mission, setting up traps and nuking Subtilizer from long range as he spawned in would have been the most optimal play. Of course, she doesn’t do this and ends up buying virtually no time at all – since Subtilizer instantly crushes her willpower. Considering this guy is absolutely monstrous and insanely powerful – and we don’t know for sure but I’m willing to speculate he’s as powerful or even more powerful than Vecta – Subtilizer will have no issues catching up with Alice in no time.

Sheyta and Iskahn: Last Stand

We also pivot back to Sheyta and Iskahn – one of my favourite romantic pairings in recent memory. Unfortunately, they’re pretty fucking doomed – especially since Sheyta’s incarnation of wanting to slice everything faded away due to how she found the person she did not want to slash in Iskahn – which causes her heaven piercing blade to shatter. I don’t see any way their injured, exhausted and insanely outnumbered entourage can even hold up against the Chinese/Korean reinforcements that have flooded into the Underworld. It was gut wrenching to see how they realised their love for one another just before they die. But hey, better late than never. And I suppose they will be getting that measure of comfort from the closure – unless Reki comes up with a Deus Ex Machinana to bail them out – most likely Leafa in this scenario. Which I wouldn’t be complaining about for once.

Japan vs China + Korea

On the other side of the battle, despite successfully repelling the Americans, Asuna and Co are also being pelted with a crushing wave of Chinese/Korean reinforcements. Having been radicalised by nationalistic sentiments by PoH – ‘Those evil Nihonjins couldn’t stay in their own exclusive VRMMOs and had to ruin the one you guys have been waiting to try out all this time’ – these indignant players surge into the Underworld to crush the poor Japanese players that are trying to hold out for Kirito’s sake. Again, it isn’t looking good – seeing how they’ve had to play multiple hours straight without rest while the enemy forces rotated. Even if Kirito returns, for all his plot armour, OPness and Gary Stu power levels, there’s no flipping way he can singlehandedly save everyone. In other words, I can’t wait for SAO to prove me wrong and make me eat my own hat.

Yanai Betrays Higa

Finally, turns out Yanai was every bit as villainous as he looked – pulling a gun onto Higa to prevent him from saving Kirito. And I reckon he was the Rath scientists that tampered with the Underworld – implementing the restrictive code and instituting his descendants as rulers. While anyone paying attention could have seen this coming from a mile away, his motives are still unclear. So I’m excited to find out the deeper specifics of Yanai’s situation – and hope he doesn’t just get written off as a mentally unhinged person who’s an unexplained asshole just because that’s what the story required.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you next week to find out whether Higa can successfully rescue despite having a gun pointed at his head, and what this forbidden code 871 is all about!


  1. I do hope for a proper explanation of how Subtilizer suddenly gained some Darth Vader choking-ish power, but I also do not expect it to happen, since he’s the villain and he’s just gotta have an intimidating power even if it’s out of nowhere -_-
    I hope this doesn’t mean Sinon will be kicked out of her super account too early since she didn’t have much time to show off her powers with it.

    Honestly, this episode didn’t leave me feeling good overall unfortunately. Hope the next one’s better.

  2. “…Here he comes,” Sinon muttered to herself.
    She had spotted what looked like a black dotted line extending down from the red sky like a thread.
    She wanted to charge her Annihilation Ray to maximum power and destroy the enemy as soon as he physically materialized. That way, he wouldn’t be able to defend or evade.
    But the actual thing for her to do right now was buy time. If the enemy could simply generate high-ranking accounts infinitely, for example, killing him was meaningless.
    First, she would get him into a patient battle of attrition to see how he reacted. If he seemed to treasure his life, to play cautious, that would suggest that this was a precious account that could be used only once. Then she would attack with full power and destroy him so that he couldn’t log in with the account again.
    If this was a mass-production account, however, she couldn’t go ahead and kill him. She needed to draw out the battle as long as possible, to give Alice enough time to travel to the World’s End Altar.
    So Sinon did not draw her bowstring. She hovered in the air and waited for the enemy to materialize. The black line of data descended upon the spot where Commander Bercouli’s body had lain until a few minutes ago.
    So Sinon did not draw her bowstring. She hovered in the air and waited for the enemy to materialize. The black line of data descended upon the spot where Commander Bercouli’s body had lain until a few minutes ago.
    Alice had put his (Bercouli’s) corpse over the saddle of one of the dragons. She said that she would have it taken back to another Integrity Knight waiting for him in the human realm—a woman.
    “A love rival?” Sinon asked.
    Alice just smiled and said, “You’re my rival.”
    Good grief.

    Wol-Saeng (Moonphase) didn’t have a particularly positive image of Japan. Beyond the history and territorial arguments between the countries, there was an insular nature to the island nation, a derisive kind of arrogance, as if to say that they were the only East Asian country worth caring about. The fact that The Seed Nexus was open to Europe and North America but closed off to Korea and China was an excellent example of that attitude.
    Japan as a whole did not represent every single individual from Japan. Going back to pre-VRMMO PC-gaming days, there were a few titles with international servers where you could play with people around the world. He’d had bad experiences with Japanese players, but also many good ones

    1. The fact that The Seed Nexus was open to Europe and North America but closed off to Korea and China was an excellent example of that attitude.

      Is that information from the novels? If true, wow, no wonder those players are salty.

  3. As I said in another place, it’s good to have some sympathetic faces on the enemy side. Like, literal faces instead of continuing the “foreign invaders are faceless mooks” trend. And it’s good to see that some of them are starting to question the situation.

    Nevertheless, kudos to the bad guys for continuously taking advantage of Project Alicization’s main weakness: its secrecy. Japan wants to keep it secret. The mercenaries only want Alice and couldn’t care less about inviting thousands upon thousands of naive players to wage the war for them. They made the first public claim that the game belongs to them, which shifts the burden of proof on whover wants to refute them. And Japanese authorities can’t do it without exposing their dirty little secret to the world.

    Not that I mind the karma. Project Alicization is full of morally dubious decisions. For all the focus on Quinella’s tyranny, the mercenaries’ plan to turn Alice into a combat resource and their complete disregard for virtual lives, it was the Japanese who started this project and experimented with those lives to create military AI to begin with.

    1. I agree with you. I always view this whole ard as “you create your own problem” kind of story. It was the Japanese gov who thought up Project Alicization first with all of its fucked up morality. Can they honestly say they’re the victim when the USA play a dirty trick on them?
      In the end, it was innocent civillians who got robbed into this mess who was suffered the most.

  4. Well, it was fun while the Fantasy Game World and Real World was two things, but i began to ruin it for me when SAO need to go Ghost in the Shell and kill their Users in Real World, too

    For what? For the Drama?

    1. They’ve always used technology as a cause of death and nothing really out of the ordinary.

      First arc = Death by the headgear they wear.
      GGO arc = Death by invisible dude doxxing players and using that info to give to a buddy in the real world to inject and cause a heart attack.

      Would argue there has been no mysterious real world deaths in SAO ever.


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