Have you already read the episode 9 review? You can read it Thu.

Note: this episode has received heavy complaints due to the explicit content within it, therefore it is possible that there are discrepancies in its discussion.

After highlighting the obvious flaws of Underworld's legal system, Sword Art Online decides to put them into practice to their extreme limit, demonstrating how simulation, after all, is perhaps not as utopian as Kikuoka wants to paint it.

Synopsis of Alicization Ep 10

In their dorm rooms, Eugeo and Kirito note Tiese and Ronye's delay in their daily duties. For this reason Kiritodespite the bad weather, he decides to look for them while EUGEO looks forward to the girls.

È phrenic to interrupt the wait a few moments later, reporting to Eugeo their concerns regarding the two friends who, following a particularly humiliating order against Humbert, took the initiative by seeking a direct confrontation with Humbert and Raios except then not to return for a long time. Eugeo rushes to the rooms of the two nobles, looking for explanations for what is happening.

A shocking "punishment"

In a sick vision of punishment towards an equally distorted conception of disrespect, Humbert and Raios show Eugeo the two girls, tied and gagged in the bedroom of the dormitory. Once this is done, they are going to undress the two girls with all too clear intentions, carrying out their acts in front of Eugeo who, due to the Taboo Index, all he can do is watch.

In fact, the rules of the academy are very precise regarding the conduct of their students, but in its system of rules the highest hierarchically legal codes take priority, leading the Taboo Index to have absolute value on any other rule that could prevent the two nobles from raping Tiese and Ronye and, above all, actively preventing Eugeo, once received from the two orders to remain motionless, to intervene in any way, as a common citizen subject to the orders of important hierarchs.

A rebellion at a high price

However, it is impossible for Eugeo to remain impassive before the acts of Humbert and Raios, trying to oppose their order with all their strength to the point where it is the system itself, as had already happened to him as a child before Alice's kidnapping, to block it completely.

Despite this, Kirito's words echo in the young man's mind, forcing his willpower to react more and more until, although sacrificing one's eye, manages to break the block by regaining control of his actions and crippling Humbert with his sword.

Panicked for losing his arm, the nobleman immediately tries to stop the bleeding that would otherwise lead him to death while Raios, enthusiastic that Eugeo has just become a criminal, claims the right to execute him immediately.

In his rescue Kirito arrives, who proceeds to duel against the noble easily overhanging him and cutting off both his hands, causing a deadly blood loss for Raios who asks for help to Humbert who, however, denies him the help as this would violate, ironically , the Taboo Index leading Humbert to die. Raios, initially panicked, begins to act unexpectedly to the point of seeming crazy until, suddenly, he goes off leaving a terrified Humbert and Kirito and Eugeo two criminals.

Unexpected consequences

After rescuing their pages, the two boys prepare for the inevitable consequences of their actions, consequences that will take place the next day when Azurika, supervisor of the dormitory, informs them of the arrival of their escort. Before leaving them, however, she is about to regenerate Eugeo's eye and expresses her confidence in the student, as she is capable of breaking the Index, an undertaking in which she herself has failed and the good omen towards the future of Kirito.

After that, he accompanies Kirito and Eugeo to their escort, the Integral Knight who turns out to be nothing but Alice, now called Alice Synthesis Thirty.

Considerations for Alicization Ep 10

Reading the original material of Sword Art Online Alicization inevitably leads to wonder how this part would have been adapted: the original web novel, moreover, had already been in turn censored for its publication as Light Novel as it contains the explicit rape of Tiese and Ronye, ​​requiring the moderation of the contents for the press.

The central use of sexual abuse as an element of history has therefore made the presence of strong and explicit content inevitable for animated adaptation, leading the production to launch a warning to the public after viewing: the result is an intense but equally powerful Alicization Ep 10.

The question of the Taboo Index

Quantitatively Alicization Ep 10 does not contain a large number of events: the attention is completely turned to the aggression of Tiese and Ronye already announced by the events and the premises made in the last episode. In the latter, Kirito's speech on how was relevant some actions are legal although completely unacceptable from a moral point of view, establishing the scenario of this week together with the detail on how the high-ranking nobles have authority over those of lower rank, combined with the legitimation by the code of laws of abuse towards Frenica and the evident intent of the two nobles to organize a trap.

The event therefore, however horrible, not only has the intent to cause the so-called "shock value" and to disgust the viewer, although it clearly has that impact, but to viscerally and explicitly show one of the most extreme and malevolent ways of manipulating laws for personal ends: the laws of the Taboo Index give nobles the right to punish Tiese and Ronye, ​​and the system is flawed enough to admit, for those who have the authority, a form of punishment that ends in the deepest illegality.

Break the mold

But the purpose of the scene is not only thematic, since it provides a turning point in the continuation of history: the Taboo Index is so rooted in Underworld and its inhabitants that only an extraordinary willpower, which we know can rewrite the laws of the world itself, is able to dominate it.

Eugeo was unable to do so nine years earlier when Alice was taken captive before her eyes, but Kirito's then insufficient subversive and autonomous nature has now clearly influenced Eugeo enough to bring him to break an almost inviolable barrier, from which follows a fundamental point for the next stages of the plot.

First Kikuoka demonstrates, as already mentioned last week, that he made the right choice in using Kirito to experiment with the AI ​​of the Soul Translator: his presence really led the Taboo Index to be broken, and in this sense his experiment is perfectly successful, with all the consequences of the case.

It is likely that the same end could have been achieved with a different approach, of course, but the impact and horror of the situation largely justify Eugeo's ability to break the system block, a rupture physically shown through the explosion of his eye. , a strong visual metaphor although in the episode performed perhaps too hastily.

Too bad stereotypes?

As a second turning point we obviously have the guilt of Kirito and Eugeo their actions and the consequences that derive from them, consequences that we know because we have already seen them in action with Alice in the first episode.

The scene itself, although very strong and effective, is not without some serious flaws: the conduct completely over the top of Humbert and Raios was perpetrated even during the act of abuse, leading the two to perform actions at the limit of comic stereotype of the wicked. This sometimes recalls Oberon's very noteworthy scene towards Asuna, causing discomfort outside the context of the scene itself due to their being perhaps too caricatural in their actions.

The basic message that the two want to express, after all, is that they are capable of committing evil acts within the boundaries of the rules, and that those rules are unable to stop them from doing so. This aspect alone should be sufficient to strike the viewer without the need for diving into the bed and snake tongues.

Note that sexual violence is not the only part of the episode that required a disclaimer for the content: mutilations and large blood losses, this time both aimed at human beings and not at fantasy monsters, make this episode the best part of the franchise, even without considering the complaints.

Contradictory coexistences

Between sexual abuse, abuse of power and unexpected returns it is easy to overlook Raios' reaction to his severed hands and Humbert's refusal to provide him with help. What in the eyes of Eugeo, Tiese, Ronye and Humbert certainly seemed madness to a dying man is clearly, in the eyes of Kirito and the public, an event of a purely technical nature due to the virtual nature of Raios, which more than died from bleeding seems to have simply collapsed as a program.

It is probable that this was caused by the two different priorities that the Taboo Index forced on the noble in a joint way: the absolute order of self-preservation and the absolute order not to kill, with their contradictory coexistence in the context of the moment, they limited his ability to assess the situation leading to the inevitable death.

In light of this it would be curious to investigate and find out how many and what types of conflict could arise due to the absolute priority of the Index on the inhabitants of Underworld.

Alice's return

At the end of Alicization Ep 10 we see return, predictably given the opening theme of the anime, Alice, now with a new name, which certainly has a significant role in its development and promotion as an Integral Knight, an unusually prestigious position considering that his kidnapping occurred following the most serious crime of Underworld.

There is also one subtle irony seeing Eugeo lose Alice when he was paralyzed by the system error and then rejoin her after breaking it, but this could be premature and insignificant speculation.

We will have to wait for the next episode to find out if Alice Synthesis Thirty is still the same person, if she remembers Eugeo and Kirito or if the Integral Knight is someone who has only Alice's face, but waiting to find out more about this meeting, Alicization Ep 10 marks the end of the first act of this story.