Sword Art Online: Alicization – 15 – Books and Covers

This is an episode of jumping to conclusions with regard to one’s opponents…or is it? Eugeo and Kirito are seemingly caught off guard when the two young Axiom nuns plunge their paralyzing poison daggers into their chest and back, respectively. Linel and Fizel are not merely nuns, but Integrity Knights in their own right. And they both revel in having been seen as nuns just long enough to draw in close enough to attack their prey.

The girls drag the paralyzed guys up to the fiftieth floor Hall of Ghostly Light, where the Four Whirling Blades and Vice Commander Fanatio Synthesis Two are waiting. The nun knights, the last two sheltered survivors of one of the Ponfex’s resurrection experiments, don’t want the other knights stealing their thunder, but still need witnesses when they behead the criminals.

Unfortunately for them, Kirito only mistook them for harmless kids for an instant; far less time than they thought. When he noticed apprentices were disobeying orders (an impossibility in the cathedral) and wearing ruby oak sheaths (for poison daggers), he quietly recited a poison-dissolving art, which completed in time for him to stop them and give them a taste of their own medicine.

He cures Eugeo, then tells him to quietly recite a perfect weapon control art when he can and wait for his signal. Then he drives past the Four Whirling Blades and crosses swords with Fanatio one-on-one. Perhaps impressed by his cheek, Fanatio orders the subordinates to stand back as they duel.

Fanatio learns that despite a sword that contains the reflective power of the sun itself, Kirito and his black sword are no slouch. He chips off a piece of Fanatio’s helmet, endures the heavenly sword’s beam-like strikes (to non-vital areas) and eventually knocks her helmet off. That’s right: Fanatio is a woman. The look of momentary shock in Kirito and Eugeo’s faces pisses her off to no end; they’re faces she’s seen all her life.

But the one who seems most upset that Fanatio is a woman is…Fanatio herself. It is Fanatio reading her own book by its cover, and reading Kirito’s cover as Just Another Guy who won’t fight her with everything he has. As with Zel and Nel, Kirito quickly moves beyond his instinctive surprise and fights her on equal terms; as he says and we know, he’s no stranger to being beaten by swordswomen.

A splendid duel ensues; one that Fanatio almost seems grateful for, as for once she isn’t being underestimated or not taken seriously, despite her “detestable” face. Kirito asks her if she thinks she’s so detestable, why does she doll herself up so; it’s strongly implied she loved/loves Commander Bercouli Synthesis One.

But there’s no room for love, or anything else, for Integrity Knights. Only “glory” through obedience to the Pontifex. And so even when Eugeo unleashes his Blue Rose Sword upon her, he can’t quite finish the job. Part of that is that he trying to beat her with his hatred, and as Kirito calls for his own weapon enhancement, he corrects Eugeo’s thinking.

They’re not there to kill the enemies they hate, but to save the people they love—as well as those enemies themselves—and end the tyranny of Axiom so humans can live normal lives. And he’s going to do it or die trying.

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “Sword Art Online: Alicization – 15 – Books and Covers”

  1. The episode was good but the little twist they had were kind of obvious. You could tell Fizel & Linel were probably knights or something of a threat right off the bat considering they had daggers. With Fanatio her build kind of gave a way the surprise, tbh it was more shocking that one of the fodder knights was a female. They could’ve done a much better job with both.

    1. The twists were indeed plain to see (those daggers were hard to miss, and even a non-LN reader such as myself assumed the purple knight was a woman) but I wasn’t bothered by either.

      What made this episode must-watch for me was the fact that Kirito and Eugeo simply aren’t messing around anymore–by necessity, considering the power of the I-Knights.

      1. They weren’t too bothersome, I just wish they actually tried to hide it. The fact that Kirito and Eugeo are actually having to ho all out is interesting and entertaining but something that’s a little more fun to see is the difference in how Kirito and Eugeo observe things. Like with the two girls Eugeo was way too trusting (despite the visible weapons on them and being in enemy territory) while Kirito knew off the bat thet they were a threat and even prepped an anti poison spell.

    1. Rushing, slashing, parrying, dodging, and blasting opponents to hell…it’s SAO combat at its best.

      My only concern is that the battles are already so intense, and SAO doesn’t usually stray into TTGL/Kill la Kill-style chaos…so I’m eagerly awaiting if and how they’re going to stylistically “up the ante” in the many tougher fights to come.

      1. SAO already has a higher bar than most shows when it comes to fight choreography. I also thought story wise this was a more purposeful episode than many earlier episodes with Kirito showing more motivation and direction than he has of late. I’m hoping they keep this intensity as the show has lagged somewhat of late.

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