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EP. REVIEW: Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld


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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:10 am Reply with quote
Kisuke525 wrote:
Whoops didn't catch that my bad. I was also trying to respond to the guy who was wondering how it was in the novel, but I guess I could have done it better.

Nah, you're good, I was just explaining. I'm glad you posted, to let me know whether my hunch/caution might be warranted or not.
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Dr. Wily



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:33 am Reply with quote
I know "subtle" has never been a thing in SAO, particularly when it comes to villains (it's telling that mass-murderer Kayaba is the closest one to being morally complex) but my god, Gabriel is some next level over-the-top evil. Like, he might be the most dangerous villain to date but at the same time I don't think I'm ever gonna be able to take him seriously after seeing him get off to eating a soul.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:57 am Reply with quote
Troop warfare is not exactly in my wheelhouse, so I don't really get how this is supposed to be working. They showed us a narrow canyon with six units of soldiers, lined up 3 units front and 3 about 50-100 yds back (with the 2nd Left flank mislabeled) and Alice overhead. But when the battle started, it was like there were 3-4 separate battlefields going on simultaneously, out of sight of each other and the 2nd tier, even though there appeared to be no reason they couldn't see what was going on with the other units (except for the smoke screen around the left flank). But I don't see where in that single narrow canyon all that can be happening. It was very disorienting.

I also totally didn't get what happened with the giant that kept glitching. Why was Fanatio frozen? Did he zap her cube somehow or was she immobilized with fear herself? Also not sure what Alice is doing, but I think I'm not supposed to yet?

I enjoyed the spectacle I guess, but I didn't see much in the way of strategy on either side. Btw, why is Alice the only dragon rider/haver? I thought Eldrie at least also had a dragon. In that narrow space it would seem like dragon-fire raining down would pretty much be enough to stop them in their tracks.
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Key
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:45 pm Reply with quote
^
Concerning the dragons, I don't think it's explicitly stated anywhere, but there's an implication that dragon breath uses up "spatial resources" much like magic does. Hence if enough resources were left for dragon breath then the dark mages could use that as well. As stated in episode 5, the strategy of the human forces is to have Alice monopolize those resources in the ravine; you can see the beginning of that in the Spirit Bomb-like effect that she's creating. (Also notice that, at the very end of the episode, she seems to be sucking up the dissipating life energy of the dead; that's important.) Where that's ultimately going might come up before the end of next episode depending on where they put the next episode's break point.

Beyond that, the human strategy is to create a sort of bottleneck so that the Integrity Knights can have maximum impact. Vecta, OTOH, has no real strategy beyond overwhelming with sheer numbers. If we were seeing the thoughts of the various Dark Realm commanders (as shown in the novel), you'd be seeing that this is a major point of concern for some of them, as they feel like they're just being put out for sacrifice. (They are, because Gabriel doesn't give a damn about them.)

As for the spread of the battle, things are less spread out than what it may appear.

The giant glitching is meant to show that he's in conflict with the giant's defining characteristic: their indomitable strength. When a person's image of themselves can have a physical impact on the person, that's a big problem. His enraged efforts to overcome that manifested as an Incarnation of subconsciously projecting paralyzing fear at a targeted opponent. (IOW, believe hard enough and stuff happens.)
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:41 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
As for the spread of the battle, things are less spread out than what it may appear.

That discrepancy was what was bothering me. I had thought the strategy was the bottleneck, as you said, but it didn't appear to be much of a bottleneck the way it was depicted on the ground as opposed to the overview.

Thanks for the other clarifications.
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Kisuke525



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:55 pm Reply with quote
It was a pretty good episode overall, but im kinda annoyed by the removal of some of the scenes. I mean some of them would have only been a few seconds long, but they made a big difference to me. The goblin chief for instance came off as much more skilled and intelligent in the novel.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:38 am Reply with quote
Alice wonders why they're fighting if they're all human souls. Well, that's what happens when one side gets to live in abundance and light while the other is relegated to an apparently barren landscape, depending only on which side you were born on.

Maybe she should've fired that shot a little deeper into enemy territory (but I'm not clear on how far back from the fighting all the majors are hanging about). But I guess she should be able to collect all the souls she just wiped out, right?
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:03 pm Reply with quote
^ I have been staying away from Alice for reasons I have already mentioned but due to the long weekend and only a few shows I watch, I checked in and was a little surprised at the silly way the potential moral dilemma they set up was dismissed with. Not sure if they will come back to that but like others mentioned, seems like a "missed opportunity" to be charitable or "abridged edition" fodder on the flipside. Possibly the only pseudo-realistic twist to the fighting is having "Brave Sir Renly" run away...

Anyway, you are not alone in being struck by the continuity fail on the fighting, I had the same reaction. Also chuckled at the "strategy" of sending all your elite forces into a narrow canyon, like the terrain alone isn't enough to scream "don't go in there". Bwahahah, how many do I send in? ALL OF THEM hahahahaha... Confused
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Kisuke525



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:31 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
^ I have been staying away from Alice for reasons I have already mentioned but due to the long weekend and only a few shows I watch, I checked in and was a little surprised at the silly way the potential moral dilemma they set up was dismissed with. Not sure if they will come back to that but like others mentioned, seems like a "missed opportunity" to be charitable or "abridged edition" fodder on the flipside. Possibly the only pseudo-realistic twist to the fighting is having "Brave Sir Renly" run away...

Anyway, you are not alone in being struck by the continuity fail on the fighting, I had the same reaction. Also chuckled at the "strategy" of sending all your elite forces into a narrow canyon, like the terrain alone isn't enough to scream "don't go in there". Bwahahah, how many do I send in? ALL OF THEM hahahahaha... Confused


What do you mean by elite forces? The only ones that have gone into fight are the demi humans, which are pretty much the fodder of the dark territory army. The canyon is also the only way into the human empire, so they have to go through it.
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:23 am Reply with quote
I think a mage corps would be considered elite (1000's were there) and there are many tactics they could have used to lure the human army into an ambush without putting large fractions of their fighters into the canyon. Also, weren't they supposed to have dragon-riding Dark Knights or did I miss something? What about the human side Integrity Knights, aren't they all supposed to have dragons too? I'm fairly sure there are at least three minimum regardless, so why are all but one on the ground?

Having >300 years to prepare an assault (?), couldn't they have gotten onto the top of the canyon and dropped boulders or put the mages there? They could have dug into the canyon walls, they could have laid traps in the path, etc. Also, no one ever commits 100% of their force at one place unless they are complete morons and want to fail. I just wanted to point out that there seem to be a lot of plot holes in this setup, but I don't really aim to slam the current cour in general. I thought the idea of "spatial magic resources" was a novel concept that was used effectively in the fight.
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Kisuke525



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:47 am Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
I think a mage corps would be considered elite (1000's were there) and there are many tactics they could have used to lure the human army into an ambush without putting large fractions of their fighters into the canyon. Also, weren't they supposed to have dragon-riding Dark Knights or did I miss something? What about the human side Integrity Knights, aren't they all supposed to have dragons too? I'm fairly sure there are at least three minimum regardless, so why are all but one on the ground?

Having >300 years to prepare an assault (?), couldn't they have gotten onto the top of the canyon and dropped boulders or put the mages there? They could have dug into the canyon walls, they could have laid traps in the path, etc. Also, no one ever commits 100% of their force at one place unless they are complete morons and want to fail. I just wanted to point out that there seem to be a lot of plot holes in this setup, but I don't really aim to slam the current cour in general. I thought the idea of "spatial magic resources" was a novel concept that was used effectively in the fight.


The mages were not on the front line they were pretty far back same goes for the ogres that were in front of them. The art that Alice cast was extremely powerful and had an insane amount of range which was why they were hit. Plus they were almost 100% certain that the only person who could cast an art that powerful was Quinella which they knew was dead. And they did not use all of their mages the art only killed 30% of them. The human army is on the defensive and has no reason to go on the offensive because doing so would put them at a disadvantage. They can easily supply their forces if they stay were they are while the dark territory forces are days away from their homebase so the human forces would rather drag this out.

As for why neither side has used their dragons its because of spatial resources. When dragons use their fire breath they first absorb the spatial resources from the surrounding area. Both sides wanted to use ALL of the spatial resources at once to cast an extremely powerful art and using dragons would mess up that plan.

The dark territory has not been trying to invade the human empire for 300 years. There are a few reasons why. The first reason is because for an extremely long period of time their leader emperor vecta has been absent. The second is because the human realm had Quinella who was so powerful they pretty much considered her a god. And the final reason is because of the massive wall separating the human empire and the dark territory. The only other way into the human empire are 3 or 4 very small caves which are even farther away from their homebase making it harder to keep themselves supplied. The caves have also been completely sealed already so getting through them would be pretty difficult. They could fly into the human empire using dragons but then the integrity knights would just kill them and they don't have that many dragons in the first place.

As for committing 100% of their forces what do you mean by that? Neither side has committed 100% of their forces in the battle so far. Unless you're referring to the 800 minions being sent in by D.I.L, which was kinda justified in the novels but it cant remember how exactly since its been awhile. But I can say that she wasn't expecting Bercouli to do what he did because what he did was actually pretty insane. Hours before the battle began he used his weapon's ability to delay the impact of 200 or so sword slashes in a grid like shape which he planned to trigger when the enemy used their air forces. During this time he has to remain completely focused on the grid or it will come undone, so he has been standing almost completely still and focused for hours.

Sorry my post is so long I just wanted to explain things as best I could, hopefully it was helpful. And I really hope I don't come off like a jackass in my post because thats not my intention. I also don't blame you or anyone else for being confused on some things or saying things are plot holes, because the anime adaptation has been pretty bad at explaining a lot of the strategy being used and the reasons why a lot of the characters think the way they do and do what they do.

If anyone here has any questions about anything I'll try to answer them as best I can.
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:23 pm Reply with quote
^Thanks very much for this, I sincerely appreciate it! You are right that I was thinking of the 800 minions as the mages got miss-associated with them in my thinking. After re-watching I see what you are talking about, I thought when (lady??) said "all hands advance" I thought she meant the 1000 were all the mages, which confused me when they pulled out another group of mages afterward. I guess it was a mistaken impression that the Dark Forces where set to invade since the beginning of the "human world".

I too hope I didn't come off as too much of a jerk by commenting in short-form which lead to a more derogatory tone than I was thinking of. This season I think is a distinct improvement from last and while I see what look like plot holes, it is still somewhat entertaining. I might actually watch more. Smile
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Kisuke525



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:06 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
^Thanks very much for this, I sincerely appreciate it! You are right that I was thinking of the 800 minions as the mages got miss-associated with them in my thinking. After re-watching I see what you are talking about, I thought when (lady??) said "all hands advance" I thought she meant the 1000 were all the mages, which confused me when they pulled out another group of mages afterward. I guess it was a mistaken impression that the Dark Forces where set to invade since the beginning of the "human world".

I too hope I didn't come off as too much of a jerk by commenting in short-form which lead to a more derogatory tone than I was thinking of. This season I think is a distinct improvement from last and while I see what look like plot holes, it is still somewhat entertaining. I might actually watch more. Smile


I'm glad that I was able to help a bit and I hope that you will be able to enjoy the rest of the season. I am a bit curious about the things you think might be plot holes though.
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:33 pm Reply with quote
^Well, after talking to an aspiring writer, it seems most of what I have been considering plot holes may be symptoms of writing problems. I also got caught up on the season, which explained a few things.

Why they use amateur tactics or exhibit little in-depth planning I think a plot hole but it can be attributed as a writing problem. Also, since the "caves" through the mountains are seeming very far away from Human settlements, you would think the Dark Forces would/could have been quietly sneaking in and setting up in the forest. Lady Fanatio seems not to have problems being known as a woman now but as always "because:Kirito!". Again, writing (seriously, all women love Kirito ,must be Kawahara's self-insert). Maybe there aren't true plot holes?


Last edited by Hiroki not Takuya on Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:22 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Why they use almost no tactics or exhibit any in-depth planning I think a plot hole but it can be attributed as a writing problem. Also, since the "caves" through the mountains are seeming very far away from Human settlements, you would think the Dark Forces would/could have been quietly sneaking in and setting up in the forest. Another was how Lady Fanatio seems not to have problems being known as a woman now. But again, writing. Maybe there aren't true plot holes?

Actually, none of these are plot holes at all. They Dark Realm forces are using almost no tactics because their boss, Vecta, isn't bothering to; remember, he doesn't give a damn if the invasion succeeds or not, as long at it provides an avenue for him to find Alice. They can't disobey him, either, because of the "might makes right" principle that's as intractable on the Dark Realm sides as the Axiom Church's rules were on the human realm side. (I'm not sure how clear the anime is making that to people who haven't read the novels, but that is clearly spelled out in the novels.)

Concerning the tunnels, the Dark Realm forces have tried to infiltrate that way; remember the attack on Rulid earlier this season, or the goblins way back in episode 1 of the first half? They don't succeed because of regular Integrity Knight patrols. (This has been alluded to a few times in the anime.) Going over the mountains is too difficult, and tunneling through the mountains probably hasn't happened for the same reason that the East Gate stood inviolable for so long: it wasn't allowed to be broken through.

Concerning Fanatio, she already explained that: Kirito convinced her during their fight back in the first half.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't plot holes here; the one that is IMO the biggest one will come up a few episodes down the road, unless the anime version comes up with a more plausible explanation for how it's supposed to happen. But these aren't among them.
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