Kirito is once again trapped in a virtual world, this time confused and confused: Underworld is not a game and the rules are very different from his previous experiences.
The only certainty is that his swordsman skills will be essential to proceed in his adventures.
Before you start, you saw the first one episode?
In the face of the previous episode, left open at the end of the confrontation between Kazuto and Johnny Black, this sequel does not allow us to understand what happened to the boy, who awakens after an indefinite time in a forest of the virtual world of Underworld with few and confused memories about what happened in the final stages of the last episode.
Aided by the apparently fantasy clothing, Kirito realizes almost immediately that he is in a simulation, and at the same time manages to conclude that he is in Underworld, of which, as previously explained, he has no memory.
In a short time we are made to understand how this simulation, differently from the others, is not a game, as Kirito cannot distinguish what he sees from reality. This comment could confuse those who have not read the Light Novels as the animated presentation does not convey the idea particularly well: the general narration explains how within the FullDive sessions of a VRMMORPG, despite the sensations are really transmitted to the player, the observed objects are very convincing but clearly generated in computerized 3D graphics, something in which Underworld, which we know how to transmit the simulation through a completely different system, stands out making the experience much more "alien".
It is in fact only when Kirito sees a system interface open that he is able to fully convince himself that he is in a virtual environment, where his inability to open menus through the conventional method to which he is accustomed and to log out of the session they initially left the doubt about his being in a real parallel world.
After a brief exploration of the surrounding area, Kirito has his first contact, this time with an old acquaintance: Eugeo.
Unfortunately, Kirito's previous memoirs on his experience in Underworld have been erased and it is impossible for him to recognize the friend with whom he shared his simulated childhood but, surprisingly, this does not become a problem because, for some reason, Eugeo too ( and, we will discover later, all the villagers), now grown up, does not seem to have memory of Kirito.
The episode takes its time by establishing the characters, the setting and some details of this new world: we know that Underworld has its own history, mythology and religion that are exposed to the public through Eugeo, which seems to fill the role a guide for a Kirito who, after making sure that his new acquaintance was not a player or that he did not remember his being in a simulation, pretends an amnesia to give us the opportunity to discover new details and information with him.
Eugeo decides to help Kirito after finishing his "Call", a task that is entrusted to every inhabitant of the village and that, in his case, we know to be the felling of the gigantic cedar, an operation in progress for at least 300 years.
However, we discover that evading the Call is a violation of the Taboo Index and that the felling of the gargantuan tree is essential for the expansion of the village's crops as, given the size, the amount of nourishment it absorbs from the earth limits the area to disposition of the local inhabitants, which is why it has been nicknamed the Demonic Tree.
Kirito decides to lend a hand to his friend, showing himself clumsy and not accustomed to the activity in question, a welcome novelty in showing that Kirito is not always immediately competent in everything he does when external to the game context.
On the way to the village the two meet a third inhabitant who, making fun of Eugeo for his Call, provokes Kirito pushing him to call himself a swordsman, pretending to remember only that aspect of his Call and invited to demonstrate the truthfulness of this statement .
Thanks to this, together with Kirito we discover that although Underworld is not a game nor does it have the systems, its construction on the Seed at the base of all the virtual simulations shown so far allows the existence of the Sword Skills that characterized the game system in Aincrad .
At the end of this short parenthesis, Eugeo leaves Kirito at the local church, where he will be temporarily hosted.
Here Kirito thinks about the nature of the villagers, excluding a priori that they are NPC as they do not act in a pre-programmed way but believing it is impossible to be real people as they are too numerous compared to the available Soul Translators, concluding as the only possibility that Eugeo and the others villagers may be artificial Fluctlights, digitized copies of the souls of babies inserted into the simulation for an indefinite time.
Unable to contact the outside world and without money, Kirito believes that reaching the capital of the Empire can give him more chances of making contact and establishes that he needs someone to guide him in that new world in order to succeed.
Of this episode 2 there is not much to say that has not already been said regarding his predecessor, taking the necessary time to allow the viewer to familiarize himself with the world rather than suck it immediately as done previously, something possible thanks the amount of episodes planned.
Some questions are left open: is Kirito dying? Is dead? Why was it included in the simulation? What is the true nature of the inhabitants of Underworld? And that of the whole simulation and the experiment it is part of?
These questions, however, have ample space to get an answer, and the introduction of new characters outside the classic Kirito group, people like Eugeo and, possibly, other inhabitants of Underworld who stand out for their personality and characterization in a certainly more interesting way compared to the previous iterations of the series they promise to develop this narrative arc in a captivating way.
From a technical point of view Sword Art Online: Alicization remains consistent with its first episode, with a calm and peaceful soundtrack to act as background and to immerse the viewer in the new fantasy world.
The calm but not excessively slow pace gives the viewer enough time to develop an interest and more attention on the details of the series without boring him and there are fun moments like Kirito woodcutter.
For the moment the series does not present serious structural flaws and gives the impression of being looking at a version Isekai of Sword Art Online, giving the series a refreshed and a sense of novelty while dealing, in essence, with the same virtual reality themes on which the entire project is based.
Below you will find the summary of the third episode.