Karen Kohiruimaki always felt out of place in the real world. Due to her extreme height, she found it hard to make friends with other girls her age. Everything changes when she's introduced to VR and Gun Gale Online. In GGO, Karen is free to play the cute, chibi avatar of her dreams! Can Karen find friendship in this bullet-ridden MMO...?
As an aspiring video game designer, I find Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online incredibly fascinating. Unlike most virtual reality stories, GGO actually explores video games in interesting ways beyond just a flashy action spectacle. And yes, it has the spectacle as well.
GGO is far different, and better than the rest of the Sword Art Online franchise; for starters, you don’t even need to watch the originals to watch this spinoff. There are no related characters, no Kirito. The only similarity they share is the world they take place in. The original SAO is mentioned a few times and surprisingly the new series
writer frequently criticises the old one. GGO focuses on the in-depth details of its game world and the friendships between the cast, rather than the melodrama and cheesy romance of the original.
Taking place in 2026, GGO follows Karen a college student with a height complex, namely she’s way taller than she’d like to be. Walking into signs, gawked at by passersby, low self-confidence, and constantly comparing herself to the group of cute short girls she sees every day. When she discovers VR games like SAO, she’s hesitant because of the controversy over people being trapped in the game is still discussed on the news. But she is willing to try them if it means she’d get the chance to be shorter. The character creator system being randomized is the only outright bad game design decision in GGO, but that’s just how the original series wrote it. This minor issue can be excused because it eventually leads Karen to Gun Gale Online, a gritty first-person shooter where she’s able to be her ideal short height. The lead character has a pretty good motivation to play the game makes the show all the more compelling, it’s perhaps a simple reason but much more than we were ever given for Kirito.
Simplistic characterization is all GGO really needs because it’s main focus is on the intense firefights. The first episode serves to thoroughly explain the mechanics of the game so that the rest of the series can play with the established rules. For what is essentially an exposition episode, the information is presented by showing rather than just telling in the Battle Royale style game mode called Squad Jam. While the visuals are simply above average, the action is surprisingly engaging with the strategizing and tactics explained through banter between the protagonist, plucky pink camouflaged Karen, but with the in-game name LLENN and her partner M. Their group’s dynamic is clear from the start, LLENN is the one who has to run into the fight as a decoy and draw away the attention of enemies while M takes a vantage point to snipe them while they’re distracted. Their personalities perfectly fitted to their roles in the fight; LLENN is anxious with plenty of funny reaction faces, sporadically running into the battlefield. While M is patient and unwavering, coldly issuing orders with the goal of winning regardless of the danger it puts his partner in.
Played out like a game of chess, careful planning and positioning are invaluable. Seeing the strategies LLENN and others use to lead them to success is incredibly satisfying; they're not professionals so there's always a chance they will run into mistakes now and then, and their flaws are part of each character. For LLENN and M, we're given enough details to know their relationship is based in needing one another to execute their strategy, the bait and switch, but beyond that, they’re two incompatible pieces. Through seeing them fight and their banter we learn the mechanics of the game; an intermittent scan reveals every challenger’s location, the red lasers indicating bullet trajectory, dead players can be used as human shields, health and bullet count are detailed and are at consistent values throughout the show.
The writer’s knowledge of the inner workings of a complex video game is what makes GGO so believable. Look no further than the tense action scenes, despite being acknowledged as just a game they still have stakes. The original SAO had poorly explained rules to its game, so instead it chose to contrive tension by trapping the players in the game world and punishing anyone who died in-game with death in reality. But there is no such lazy writing here. In the original SAO no one of importance ever died because they’d be gone for good, but in GGO there is no such plot armor. They’re in a fight to the death after all so it's inevitable most characters will die or be gravely wounded.
GGO is tense to watch in the same way watching a professional streamer is, you’re rooting for them not just because they're an enjoyable host but because you want to see them overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds they face.
The action spectacle itself is well done too, it’s clear that Studio 3Hz was having a lot of fun making this. There’s no shortage of slow-mo climactic moments in firefights with bullets flying past players like The Matrix. A few thrilling vehicle fights happen as well. There’s even a lightsaber later on in the series used to devastating effect unlike anything else seen in the show. Considering combat is the main focus of the series, it’s great that GGO is always able to keep it refreshing. Guns are rendered with excellent detail, CGI is frequently used quite well to allow the camera to move freely and to ensure action scenes are fast-paced and flow well. Character animation is fluid when it counts with close-ups and slow-motion used to raise the tension in close encounters.
Plenty of long shots of the battlefield are shown so you can keep track of the proximity of players and can follow the action as well as the protagonist does. What creates the most thrills is the visceral audiovisual feedback of the gunshots. Environments that are shot are visibly blasted, with loud shots suited to the wide variety of gun types used, and the effects on players who are shot. Violence is styled to the video game with red pixels that spurt out from wounds like blood. One might think a video game would limit the possibilities of the violence, but GGO has its fair share of decapitations and limbs being lopped off in combat. Battles gradually escalate in intensity throughout the show, the game mechanics established from the start remain consistent and they're experimented with to exciting effect. Eri Aoi’s opening song “Ryusei” is well suited to the battle-oriented series along with a striking showcase of the cast. The soundtrack is equally stellar. Whether it be the hard rock or the frantic techno pieces, all of the background music serves to electrify action scenes.
Aside from the action, there is enough intrigue in GGO’s characters writing for it to provide a thoughtful discussion on video games. With the writer of Kino’s Journey, Keiichi Sigsawa, there’s depth to the characters in spite of the series’ focus on gunplay. Escapism is a theme intrinsic to any video game story, thankfully Sigsawa understands this and weaves it into every character. Karen enters the game to become a shorter, more ideal version of herself, her skill in game grants her confidence in real life to overcome her complex. The first friend she meets, Pitohui plays the game to escape stress and relieve her anger, a portrayal leaning more on the negative end of escapism which leads her to become the antagonist of the second half. The show tries to sell her as a crazed SAO fanatic, but at first it doesn’t seem believable enough because we merely hear about her insanity from M. Once we see the brutal ways she kills her foes in her Squad Jam against LLENN, it becomes much easier to believe she’s out of touch with reality.
Pitohui’s rather serious subject matter unexpectedly fits with the show’s more wryly comedic tone because of her outlandish personality and character design. From the cross tattoos on her face to scare off creeps online, to the absurd levels of frivolity she treats her enemies in combat, she’s one of the most entertaining rivals of the season. In the latter half of the show when Karen’s friend Fuka joins her for the Squad Jam, much of the in-depth tactics are thrown out the window by her lack of care for the game which brings about the campiest and wild action sequences the show provides. Perhaps they’re not as intelligently planned out, but they make up for it with entertainment value and homages to classic action movies and moment to moment humor in the midst of chaos. All of their seiyuu do a great job of selling their overdone personalities in the game world while toning it down to a believable level in reality.
Shown in a more positive light is the gymnastics team, fans of LLENN, that play Squad Jams to communicate better with one another. In between the Squad Jams, the show revisits the real world to catch up with the cast and mainly to discuss the next game and future Squad Jams. These scenes are a good reprieve from Gun Gale’s battlefields. Serving to even out the pacing and introduce characters. The gymnastics team is just a bunch of kids who walk by Karen in real life and wish to be as tall as her (a sort of role reversal) and after fighting one another in the first Squad Jam they enter the second as allies. They’re admittedly a bit one note, but I wouldn't call them cliched or stereotypical. They all have an attribute in their game avatar and how they behave in-game which is reflected in their real-world counterpart.
By the end of the series, there’s a noticeable change in all of the characters that is directly connected to the ways the game affected them. The ending provided a satisfying final stance on the bigger themes of positive versus negative escapism, as well as a completion to LLENN's arc that's as monumental and satisfying as the show had foreshadowed it to be. The final episode is one of the funniest, most shockingly great endings of the season that rewards you for following along with the minor story details and provides the best tongue-in-cheek comedy of the series.
[Story: 7/10] In-depth game world, sparse plot.
[Art: 7/10] Modest budget, dynamic action scenes.
[Sound: 8/10] Great music and enjoyable seiyuus.
[Character: 7/10] Simplistic, but they each offer intrigue.
[Enjoyment: 9/10] Thrilling fights, plenty of variation, fun and likable cast.
[Final Score: 7.6/10]
Sword Art Online Alternative is the most entertaining entry in the franchise, it doesn’t take itself too seriously while also providing enough depth to be compelling. What it lacks in narrative high points it more than makes up for with a well-written game world that remains consistent with its logic throughout the show. Upon first glance, the cast seems paper thin, but with time it becomes clear how much care went into interweaving their arcs with interesting video game related themes.
6 years ago when Sword Art Online first aired, that piece of work caused controversy that still generates discussion to this very day. Then Summer 2014 came and we got the sequel known as Sword Art Online II. While being an improvement of the original series, it didn’t really amplify itself as a big improvement. Four years later, here we are again. Except this time, it’s not an actual continuation of the main series. Instead, we got this spinoff known as Sword Art Online: Alternative Online.
To be clear, you don’t need to watch any of the previous series in the franchise. In fact, it doesn’t
even matter if it’s the first time you found out this show exists. SAO: Alternative Online is the title as it suggests, an alternative story that takes place based on the SAO franchise. The original light novel is written by Keiichi Sigsawa rather than Reki Kawhara although he does provide supervision for the series. It takes place in a shared universe in the virtual world known as Gun Gale Online. The story deals with a university student named Karen Kohiruimaki who decided to join GGO under the alias “LLENN”.
Now I’ll be frank. I’m actually a bit of a fan of the Sword Art Online video games. I’ve played Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization and more recently, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. The games actually contains a fair amount of enticing gameplay. After clocking a decent amount of hours in Fatal Bullet, I came to realize that Alternative Gun Gale Online isn’t so much different than the game itself. My impression of the first few episodes felt like the anime dropped me inside a video game. We have the main character LLEEN as she enters the Gun Gale Online world. She’s rather petite with a short height. In the real world, Karen is actually tall and has a height complex. As such, she takes on her chibi form in the virtual world to build her own self-esteem. There’s quite a bit difference in their personalities between her real life and virtual character that they almost seem like two different people. However, the anime spends a majority of the time on her in-game avatar.
The show set some red flags at first because of this premise. First of all, how are we supposed to take a character like LLEEN seriously when she looks like a kid dressed in pink and a rabbit-looking hat? The first few episodes chronicles her life in the GGO world as we learn about her role. It also drops a fair amount of exposition about the mechanics of the game she participates in. Similar ro the SAO II, this series mainly involves firearms. This is also similar in comparison to the Fatal Bullet game as we see a variety of weaponry. LLEEN’s choice of weapon is a pink P90 submachine-gun she nicknamed “P-chan”. It matches her style because of her speed and agility. In the meantime, the episode also introduces both allies and rivals as LLEEN spends more time in the GGO world. These include characters such a Pitohui, M, and Fuzarioh. Along the way, it’s easy to see LLEEN’s confidence develop as a player compared to her real life persona.
Unfortunately, I can’t really say the main cast of the series are memorable characters. LLENN is probably the only character that’s worth investing time into despite being having a childish personality. This is a bit contrast to Pito, who seems to have some psychological issues especially when she’s on the battlefield. M is a character that may feel like a comic relief after you realize his real personality. Finally, Fuka is LLEEN’s partner and best friend with a big obsession with VR games. While there’s definitely character chemistry between the main cast members, there’s not much development at all involving them. It’s a shame since the show could have really took the opportunity to make them into larger than life characters. Instead, they are just participants in the game for their roles. In real life, their characters are too average to be marketable and doesn’t really sell their personalities in any appealing way. All other characters in the series are easily forgettable and in fact a disgrace to the game itself, especially the perverted men. I think at one point, LLENN even asked “Do only lechers play this game?”
By this point, you may be asking yourself if this show is worth watching. Honestly, it’s not a hard question to answer but be prepared for a typical sci-fi/shounen story. The series feels like it’s mainly aimed for gamers and fans of the franchise. If you’re not a fan of this type of genre, then you may not get the best experience from this. Even after I played the games, I felt like show could of done more to develop the plot. Every episode that takes place in the GGO world feels the same with the battle royale-esque vibe and exposition. I do admit that the battles themselves can be quite exciting at times but once you’ve seen a lot of it, the hype dies quickly. The cheesy words used in dialogues borders to creep factor at times while the comedy remains generally lighthearted throughout the show. On the other hand, the real life portrayal of characters in later episodes steps it up to the plate. Some segments are genuinely heartwarming to watch and a few are rather important to establish character roles. It blurs the line between fiction and reality like the way it should be.
This is 3Hz’s first attempt at adapting a light novel series. Previously, they worked on original projects and a manga adaptation back in 2016. To me, they did a fair job although not an overly impressive one. I should say that praise should be given for the battle choreography as it feels like how a video game is portrayed. It has a similar style of the Fatal Bullet game including the death scenes. Camera angles, body movements, and character expressions are also well decorated to bring out memorable moments. Even the comedic factors sells well with the clever timings. There’s also a variety of weapons that are accurately portrayed from the light novel and games such as the P90, M107A1 (anti-material rifle), KTR-09 (Assault Rifle), photon energy sword, and among others. It does fell flat in the monster gallery though as the show focuses much more on conflict between the players. Unfortunately, I have to admit the overall world setting really doesn’t set the bar high for a virtual game. Every battleground environment looks the same that after you’ve seen it once, it feels like you’ve seen it all. The barren landscapes may looks suitable for the show but it’s extremely tedious and lacks creativity. There’s not even any diverse maps this season.
On the contrary, I will say the anime’s soundtrack lived up expectations and perhaps gone a bit beyond. The battle OST creates an exciting mood as we see players fight for their lives. Character voices may sound a bit generic but I confess that they work wonderfully for their personalities. The theme songs brings back the familiar mood of the previous SAO series if you’re a fan of those. In essence, it really works.
Sword Art Online: Alternative Online felt more like playing a video game than a watching an anime. After finishing this series, it felt like the creator wanted us to experience what’s like being part of the GGO world. As I mentioned before, this anime seems to adhere to fans of the franchise and video game players. The sensation of battle royale games has been a phenomenon in the most recent years. It took the world by storm and may remain that way for awhile. For a show like this though, there’s still room for improvement.
Video games have been part of our everday life. Either from anime and to our real world, this type of entertainment have grown massive for years and it is still growing until now. Back in Summer 2012, the whole anime community was stunned as the first season of Sword Art Online came.
With its mixed reviews saying it was either the worst or the best series, the whole community is divided until now even a season 2 came, along with the movie Ordinal Scale. Looking back to the past recent season which was Spring 2018, we were given a ton of new shows and sequels. Along
came a spin-off that will judge anime fans, who have watched Sword Art Online. That is the spin-off 'Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online', which I am going to review on now.
The setting of the story is alternative to Sword Art Online 2, where we are first introduced to a virtual shooter game named GGO (Gun Gale Online). Alternative, meaning the characters will be different as well and the story, giving us a relief from the main problem of the original series, which are the characters.
The plot revolves around Karen Kohiruimaki (Llenn), who has a problem about her tall height. Her complexity have been her problems. From being jealous to cute, little girls and always knocking her head into a high platform, this has become a nuisance on her real life basis. But this complexity of hers is a good character quality. We, audience, have given a bit of a background of her issue which leads us speculating possible outcomes of her overcoming it and we audience are anticipating that. Unlike, the main character from the original Sword Art Online series, which is Kirito, we really don't know his past or characteristics in real life. We just know that he is a beta tester, concluding that he is good with the game SAO and with this we can speculate the outcomes that our main protagonist can get out of the game.
Here on SAO Alternative, we have a clumsy main character, who found her dream into the game of Gun Gale Online, which is to be a cute little girl (a loli). Though it sounds ridiculous, it was by chance that she got the avatar she wanted all along. We have seen her going through other games and still having that enormous height of hers. We've seen her struggle because of it making her log-out automatically. She was lucky she got the character she wanted. Another thing I want to point out to the main character of Alternative is that inspiration from the character is there. And that is her favorite singer 'Elsa Kanzaki'. This gives us another information that this MC is not really strong or confident in life (due to her complexity), that is except if she has any inspiration, which is the music of her favorite singer. This applies on real life as well. Each and every one of us have inspiration either to someone, dream or things that can support our works.
Then comes her game mechanics. On the first few episodes, I can already tell that she is easy to spot on or killed if she is not taking 'M's advices or go with him. The fact that she is so clueless to the game let us see what she can do. Is she going to be like the main character of SAO, who is so overpowered? Or is she going to be just a nuisance to the team? The answer is right through the middle. Although we see her with her sonic-like abilities, we have to agree that without strategizing, if she goes on to a team fight, she will just get shot to death.
That is why 'M' as the character supporting her in the few episodes have an impact to the situation of "overpowered characters" on anime. Unlike other characters from other series that have over the top powers, Llenn... is just a "The Flash" of GGO. A pro team can single handedly deflect her speed advantage and strategizing it to lure her and get the kill. Without M's guidance or knowledge on the first Squad Jam, Llenn would have been butchered by those "kids". Then we have 'Pitohui', the one who give Llenn more guidance to the game and her first friend. Pitohui's role on the story as a villain is quite good as for some reason her antagonistic traits comes part only at the final episodes. Her avatar does look like an assassin or a mercenary, which is have antagonistic traits, but on their first meetings, the two were friends. Though this friendship is tested by upcoming revelations throughout the episodes. Gun Gale Online's Squad Jam showed the viewers other characters but most notable supporting ones are the SHINC, which comprises of tall and strong women on the first squad jam. Earlier I talked about Llenn being useless or can easily be killed if she is not strategizing against a pro team. The SHINC made an accurate example of it on the final battle on the first Squad Jam. Then after their defeat, revelations of their real life self stunned Karen and actually made her more confident about her complexity which backsup to the 'character development' that a protagonist should have.
Along with her development and confidence on herselve in real life, we are shown by her strategic development in game on the second Squad Jam. This tells that experience is far more superior than power and along with Shinohara, Miyu (Fukaziroh), the second Squad Jam highlighted the 'Pink Devil' development. It is as if on the second Squad Jam, comparing it to the first one, Fukaziroh was like Llenn (the clueless one in the first squad jam) and Llenn was M (the one who knows what to do). This characters are very notable and unique which gives the anime itself on my opinion a better version of the original series. With its opening having the same singer from the season 2's GGO arc, to the pleasant and heart-warming ending of the anime, this show is really spot-on. Not to mention the art of this anime being simple but watcheable. Who doesn't like a pink loli going up against players and beating the heck out of them? And I am not even done yet. Like in the past, Sword Art Online was a massive, hit not only to the anime community but around the world, as its timing of its genre was very on point. With the launch of Virtual Reality and it being popular to the masses, Sword Art Online was like an intake to the VR world. Giving us questions like what are the possibilities of this technology be?..
Alternative does the same thing but not Virtual Reality but 'Battle Royale' games in a whole. For the past months, this type of games have been popular even if you only have PC, PS4, or XBOX, this type of game hits the masses. From H1Z1, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds then to Fortnite, this games have been trending for months on ever single websites on the internet. Even anime fans plays this type of games and coincidentally, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online came out April 2018 this year which was a month where Battle Royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds are on the top list of online games. This anime deliver the 'Battle Royale' genre into the screen perfectly from tactics, weapons, equipments, team fights, and a whole lot more. Of course there are still some differences of the Squad Jam on GGO being different to the 'Battle Royale' games on our generation for example, the scan and it being virtual reality. Although, I could say it is very close to it and that is why Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is a very entertaining show. With its great protagonist and antagonist which have character developments and backgrounds along with the other characters supporting each other from the action scenes to inspiration, Sword Art Online Alternative is a great show to give a try on if you dislike the original series' intake of characters and plot.
Sword Art Online or SAO for short is the most polarising anime series of all time. It is the definition a series that you will either love or hate. Like with many people on net I have a very low option of Sword Art Online because it was a terrible series. While I don’t completely despise the series anymore mainly because I have seen anime that are in my opinion worse than Sword Art Online it is still a series that I really dislike with a passion
When I first heard about this series being announced a couple moths back after I watched the painfully subpar Sword
Art Online movie I was really excited to check it out. The main reason why I really excited for this is because that they are completely removing three of the nasty SAO elements that made the franchise such a piece of shit.
The first nasty element of SAO which the spinoff removed was the Gary Sue preaching idiot Kirito who is by far one of the worst anime protagonists to ever exist from this medium.
The second nasty element of SAO which the spinoff removed is that it was going to be done by A1 Picture aka the EA of Anime. There’s honestly not much to say on this part because if you have seen any almost anime from A1 Pictures you would know incompetent the studio and the staff are.
The final nasty element of SAO which the spinoff removed is that it was going to be written by one of the worst writers ever Rei Kawahara which was honestly the best part about that anncoument because the spinoff is actually going be done a more talented writer Keiichi Sigawa who also did the Kino’s franchise.
With all of these nasty elements of SAO killed off in the spinoff I thought the spinoff could how a different and more appealing light to a series where many other such as myself hate. Now watching all 12 episodes of this spinoff as well the hilarious recap episode I have to say this
This show is a terrible SAO spinoff however on its own Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online is a pretty good anime its own right that barely functions as typical SAO product. Now with that all said hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and welcome to my review of Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online and with that out of the way let’s begin.
The story follows a Tokyo university student named Karen Kohiruimaki, who's insecure about her height and an introvert. One day, she decides to join GGO on the advice of a friend in order to improve her self-esteem, using the name LLENN. Along the way, she makes friends as she plays the game with other GGO players and fight against hostile players aka PKers and monsters.
Not gonna a lie I thought the story was pretty good for the most part.
Right out the gate this anime makes a great first impression by introducing our main character Karen or LLENN who is trying to adapt to her new surroundings in the Gun Gale Online where instead of being this overpowered Mary Sue she actually takes her time to understand the game as trying to find escapism from the real world thanks to her height complex.
The one thing that really loved about this anime is how it was able to present all of it’s game machermise to the audience to a point where anyone can understand the game machemes as well what it has to offer to the player.
Unlike the original SAO series were all the games that were featured in that series were fundamentally broken thanks to poor world-building and poorly explained game mechanics Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online actually takes it’s time to build its world in the game of Gun Gale Online where it actually propley explains the games mechanics from battle locations, weapon types, weapon attachments, battle tactics, etc. This alone really makes the world of Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online feel alive. It’s not just worldbuiding though. The dialogue too is great as it prefects captures the tone of the battle royal setting where character are seen actually communicating with other and working together instead of being edgy solo players in a battle royal game.
Also the way the characters in the show interact while playing the battle royal game is great as they all feel like actually gamers who would like to work together to accomplish they goal from talking about stragicly, saving teammates from death, actually honouring squad mates deaths with respect etc. These are the type of stuff that I want to see more in a anime that has a MMORPG/ Battle Royal Setting.
Another thing that I liked about SAO Alternative Gun Gale Online it how self-aware it is. VR Gaming being overall better it still has that issue where the game uses RNG to create an avatar that’s she want by failing with hilarious results thanks to her height.
As much I want to continue praising the show with its solid writing and theme exploration I have now address some of the show issues. While the problems in Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online not series breaking issue still had a couple of issues that I couldn’t ignore at all.
Issue 1. Plot armour. I will admit the plot armour is not as a big problem here when compare to the original Sword Art Online series by Reki Kawahara there were some plot armour moments in the show that kinda upset me. For example in episode 5 after Eva shooting down P chan she literally gets angry and fight backs hand to hand combat Kirito style killing Eva in the progress. I understand that the show want’s to showcase the aggressive hand to hand combat in the series but this was just a cheap and lazy to do it.
Issue 2. Weapon damage constantly. Like with Issue 1 it wasn’t really a big problem however they was a certain battle that bother me and that is one of Fukaziroh Grenade Launcher bullet’s did not explode the target’s face on impact. Grenade Launcher bullet’s don’t work like this. Unless she has some special type of grenade launcher that would not explode on impact where the show never tells us that she has bullets like that her shooting out the bland grenade launcher was an asspull and never explained.
While issues 1 and 2 were minor problems that the issue 3 one really made me upset quite a bit of how the show even kept one of it’s SAO elements from the Aincrad arc and that is if you die in the game you die in real life bullshit.
The moment when M said that in episode 5 the show kinda lost me because as a person who dislikes main original series of SAO I went into to this series expecting a fun battle royal spinoff that doesn’t feature any of the shitty SAO elements. Luckly that shitty SAO element only affects one to two characters and while everyone is safe from dying in real life by a video game. Speaking of episode 5 the whole episode was out of context and contrived. This was defiantly a low point from this spinoff but least it’s not as bad as any arc in the original SAO series.
Overall I thought the story was pretty above average. It may have some issues but I don’t think they were series breaking like in the original series.
When it comes to the characters of Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online I thought they were pretty good. They may not be well written but they were all fun, interesting and entertaining characters that I liked.
Karen is a pretty solid protagonist overall. Unlike Kirito her reasoning to escape into video games is more justice as she doesn’t like her own height in the real world so to counteract this she goes to GGO and upon surprise the game let’s her be that cute small girl that she’s always wanted to be. This doesn’t stop there she also discovers that she is genuinely enjoys being in that game and because of that GGO becomes her escapism from the real world. This is how you write a character who wants’ escapism in the real world through video games. Also unlike Kirito she actually a interesting character who develops quite a bit in the show by meeting new friends, and rivals that are in GGO.
The rest of characters were pretty solid overall and while they are not excually well written characters because come on this is SAO after all but least the other characters in this show are fun, entertaining and at time interesting compare to any character in the original series.
Visually Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online is pretty good overall. Yes it may have it’s art failures every now and then but least this show for the most remained consistent.
The characters designs are good for what they are as they look like avatars that you will see in a MMORPG games that features heavy use of guns. The background scenery for both in the game and real world is very polish and well detailed.
The animation is on the other hand is well animated and unlike the original SAO series there was no instance of messy animation.
The may come off as unpopular opinion here but really like the soundtrack in SAO Alternative Gun Gale Online more than the original series mainly because apart from swordland, confront battle and some others tracks the soundtrack for original series were not that memorable but that just me.
The soundtrack for Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online is great that is filed with techno, Sci-Fi and gaming tracks that blends well with the overall setting and scenes of the show.
The opening theme Ryuusei by Aoi Eir is a fantastic and catchy opening theme that was a joy to watch.
The ending theme To see the future by the Seiyuu of Karen Tomori Kusunoki is a great ending theme despite being different in tone.
The voice acting in this show is top notice as you expect as every Seiyuu in the show did a great job with the roles that they were given.
Hopefully this show will get an English Dub sometime in the future.
I was honestly shocked of how good Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online. Yes it had quite a bit of issues alone the way but they were not constant problems that plagued the original anime to the bottom. The story while having some issues was still fun and entertaining. The characters ranged from good, entertaining to decent, the visuals were great and the soundtrack was awesome. As a person who doesn’t like Sword Art Online this was a good and fun experience that showcased a bit of light from this rabbit hole of a series that people like to make fun off.
If you haven’t seen anything Sword Art Online releated or if you hate the Reki Kawahara side of SAO then I recommend Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online. It may not be one of the better animes of the year but it was still a fairly good show that I liked for the most part.
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.