Previously on Sword Art Online:
Kirito & Leafa made their way to the world tree, but they are unaware that they are secretly being watched by the Salamanders. Spoilers Ahead.
Kirito & Leafa make their way through the Lugru corridor as they continue their journey towards the World Tree. Be fore they reach the titular town, Yui detects 12 players heading straight for them. Making a run for it, the trio is soon cut off and it is revealed that it is an attacking party of Salamanders, after dispatching them, Suguha gets a call from Shin’ichi (Recon) in the real world who tells her that Sigurd has some sinister plans in store along with the Salamanders.
Unfortunately this is where Sword Art Online starts to dip in quality. The episode itself isn’t that bad (will get in depth into the elements of it in a bit) but the things going on in ALO seem so small compared to events in SAO. Nothing feels tense or suspenseful and it gets easier to see how things will play out, but there will be plenty of time for my bitching when i do the series overview. Into the episode itself.
As staple in the ALO arc of Sword Art Online the world is expanded in a natural way. On the way to the town of Lugru, Leafa tells Kirito more about magic and how it is used in the game. Kirito is initially reluctant to use it since he has trouble memorizing the english being used but he gets over it (we’ll get into that later).
The battle between Kirito, Leafa & the Salamanders was pretty well done, especially since it has been a couple of episodes since there was a real battle. The Salamanders had a basic two fold formation consisting of three heavys blocking the front while the rest of the party attacks using long range magic. Leafs stays in back to heal Kirito but can tell it is a losing battle, as the Salamanders prepare their final attack Kirito uses a spell Yui tells him of to transform into the Gleam Eyes demon. He absolutely eviscerates his enemies before bribing one to give information as to who attacked them.
This brings us to Recon’s revelation. Turns out Sigurd is conspiring to to take the reigns of the Slyph race from it’s leader, Sakuya by sabotaging her peach treaty with the Cait Sith race (who as the name suggests are Cat people). He plans to help the Salamanders sabotage the treaty allowing the Salamanders to take advantage of the chaos to invade Cait Sith. In ALO when a race leader is killed by an opposing race that race can invade that territory for 10 days and levy what ever tax they want, giving them enough money and power to make a play at the World Tree.
“The Lugru Corridor” is a decent episode that boasts some decent action but isn’t really anything too spectacular. The animation stays consistent, but this episode would have benefitted if it stayed on track. The search for Asuna continues next week as Kirito & Leafa rally to stop the Salamanders attack.