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Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – 02 »« Sword Art Online II – 24 (END)

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「流星」 (Ryuusei) by 藍井エイル (Aoi Eir)

「スクワッド・ジャム」 (Sukuwaddo • Jyamu)
“Squad Jam”

I’m not afraid or ashamed to say it — I LOVE EVERYTHING SWORD ART ONLINE.

General Impressions

Boy oh boy this was a fantastically fun first episode for a show that’s using Sword Art Online’s world to fantastic effect. From the characters to the scenario all the way to those in-game UI shots reminding us that this is all happening in a virtual world, I was absolutely in love with everything about Sword Art Online Alternative ~Gun Gale Online~.

First things first — the new characters. Seeing how there isn’t nary a mention of anyone from the main show, you may be asking how well these new characters hold up and boy do I have some great news for you. Main character Llenn and supporting strategist M do a surprisingly good job at keeping things fun and engaging as the story trots along. Through a mix of adorable pouting and (what feels like) realistic combat strategizing, it creates a similar atmosphere to what one would experience if they were playing a game like PUBG or maybe even CS:GO. A feeling that is well received when you remember that everyone participating in Squad Jam are playing for a competitive prize and not for the lives of others. Also, I must say that I love how M is extremely knowledgeable about everything in-game since it still amazes me when friends can tell me what type of gun is shooting from where from the sound of literally a single shell dropping.

Actually, let’s take a detour and talk about the story as a whole for a second. If there’s one thing complaint I hear about Sword Art Online besides Kirito being Magical Jesus, it’s the fact that the characters always end up in some sort of conflict that will inevitably have some sort of pull on the real world. A plot point that for some reason tends to divide viewers into two camps who can’t ever see eye-to-eye. Luckily, the “Alternative” in the show’s title is taking the word quite seriously and focusing on totally different ideas to (in my opinion) great success. Pulling back from having the game have real world implications, I’m loving how we’re instead focusing on the ideas and gaming fantasies that would make a game like GGO insanely fun — like bringing real world skills to improve your game play or using in-game skills to take down enemies who may have an advantage against you. Situations that I’m sure we’ve all dreamt of, but have only experienced a handful of times at most. And while we haven’t seen the other side of things yet since we’ve only seen a glimpse of Llenn’s real world counterpart, I’m excited to see Karen (Llenn’s real name) deal with some of her real life struggles through being a tiny badass GGO player.

Jumping back to the characters, I love how Llenn feels like a personification of myself in-game. As someone who isn’t the best at shooters but enjoys playing them, it was great to see someone on-screen share the same struggles. Be it wanting to go in guns blazing (but in return blowing your cover) or freaking out behind cover while getting sprayed by an entire squad, the amount of charm they packed into Llenn as a gamer was literally over 9000.

When it comes to the story, it looks like we only got a tiny taste of what’s to come. Based on what I remember from researching the show, it looks like the heavier topics are on their way and if this episode is any indication of what things are like in-game, the real life aspect should be the perfect foil to help keep things from feeling too repetitive. And while I’d like to comment more on what’s to come, I think I’ll take a wait and see approach.

Overall, a really good episode that I think embodied everything we could have asked for. So, if you’re a Sword Art Online fan or just a fan of the world of Sword Art Online, I don’t think you can go wrong picking this one up.

See you guys later!


ED Sequence

ED: 「To See The Future」 by LLENN CV: 楠木ともり (LLENN CV: Kusunoki Tomori)


April 9, 2018 at 1:57 am
  • April 9, 2018 at 2:31 amMagnus Tancred

    • April 9, 2018 at 10:57 pmTakaii

      Gotta love their determination to rock their look.

  • April 9, 2018 at 2:46 amsouma


    well at the very least there are no f*kin player that bring a lightsaber to gunfight. uhuk uhuk *blacky *beater

    • April 11, 2018 at 9:12 amHenrietta Brix

      Kirito is no Jedi… Neither is he a Sith.

    • April 11, 2018 at 12:14 pmSoulCaster

      Is it wrong of me to instantly think of GE Multiplayer and the Oddjob ban I had to enforce with my friends due to this picture…?

  • April 9, 2018 at 3:44 amJeffers

    for an alternative SAO, that has no or doesnt focus on kirito and friends, this is pretty good and in this anime, cuteness LITERALLY KILLS (in game though).

    • April 9, 2018 at 9:35 amJames

      not only cuteness, the size she picked for her avatar is veteran strategy, it’s how those hardcore pvp people in action mmorpg games do, you pick smallest character for smallest hitbox

    • April 9, 2018 at 10:57 pmTakaii

      I love LLENN so much.

  • April 9, 2018 at 3:48 amLin

    Well, the reason I can’t stand SAO is Mr. Magical Jesus himself. I feel like killing myself just watching 5 minutes of his Gary Stu exploits. So the moment I heard he wasn’t in this show it piqued my interest right away, and I’ve gotta say I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t perfect but it was fun and I want to know more about Llenn / Karen. Wanting to know more about a character is always a good sign.

    • April 9, 2018 at 3:51 amzztop

      GGO’s author is Sigsawa Keiichi, creator of Kino’s Journey.
      I expect he’ll have a different take on the franchise from Kawahara Reki.

      • April 9, 2018 at 8:13 amSMinstrel

        Well seeing that the author is a huge gun nerd (his pen name literally spells SIG Sauer), I have high hopes for this series.

      • April 9, 2018 at 11:06 amWanderer

        @SMinstrel: Huge gun nerd indeed. I’ve looked up a bit of the LN for Gun Gale Online, and any time a new character appears in the game, or a current character pulls out a new gun, the author spends a good three paragraphs describing each gun, its strengths and weaknesses, where it came from in the real world, how much it costs, and why that player chose it over other guns.

  • April 9, 2018 at 4:00 amzztop

    GGO may have 12 episodes; Japanese Amazon lists 6 Bluray releases.

    In SAO news, they’ll be airing SAO’s Alicization arc this Fall 2018.
    It’s slated to adapt the entire arc, from Vols 9-18.

    • April 9, 2018 at 12:59 pmLyfe

      Too bad the Sword Art Online web & light novel ends after Alicization. There’s no arc or anything afterward. Just a few short stories and that’s it. It should be bittersweet for some as this will likely be the last time we’ll see a proper SAO series in anime form for a very long time.

      • April 9, 2018 at 1:14 pmLyfe

        Though I kinda want to see the author go beyond Alicization in LN format, something he never did with the web novel. Just the rate the novels come out, it seems very unlikely we’ll see a Season 4 for a very very long time.

      • April 9, 2018 at 9:06 pmkiryuu

        Don’t have a source but thought I’d recently heard that he plans to carry on past Alicization (end of web novels).

  • April 9, 2018 at 4:46 amqwert

    “If there’s one thing complaint I hear about Sword Art Online besides Kirito being Magical Jesus”

    Whoa there… Magical Jesus is Onii-sama from Irregular at Magic High School, Kirito is just Video Game Jesus.

    • April 9, 2018 at 5:36 amWasu

      I believe you don’t see SAO Movie yet.
      Kirito may not has “magical” part, but he still Gary stu, either in or outside game.

    • April 9, 2018 at 7:37 amJeffers

      agree qwert… i cant believe how this heretics give kami-oniisama’s title to some puny human that can be defeated by just his snap. and hell, i think people forget the reason SAO is easier to finish is not because of kirito but because of the mercy of our lord, oniisama. he was in the game to make the SAO death game easier for humans to survive.

    • April 9, 2018 at 10:01 amseancorr

      I concur with qwert on who is the real Jesus. That onii-sama is on a whole different level.

    • April 9, 2018 at 11:09 pmStilts

      Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – The Ballad of Magic Jesus

      I somewhat agree : )

      (That’s still my fav RC post title of all time. I’m so proud of it ^D^)

  • April 9, 2018 at 4:55 amAex

    Her facial reactions had me interested from the start, and the tears in her eyes when she jumped out of the suitcase made me smitten. The she walked in IRL and I fell, hard. Damnit, Llenn, why are you only getting 12 episodes?! I don’t have time to read the LNs right now!!

  • April 9, 2018 at 5:06 amAngelus

    The only doubts I had about this show were down to the absence of Kirito and Asuna. I needn’t have worried, this looks like a solid watch.

    P-chan reminds me of the pink Hello Kitty chainsaw that someone made. And apparently you can get a P-chan keychain now, so that’s definitely on my wish list.

  • April 9, 2018 at 5:39 amPokeNirvash

    I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t care about Kirito’s Gary Stu powers, and I’m ashamed many of you lack that same tolerance. That said, this was a pretty good first episode, will definitely be watching.

    • April 9, 2018 at 7:31 amSDFGS

      Oh wow, who would have thought people actually don’t like generic looking mofo’s being overpowered for no reason and getting a harem of girls~ This type of character is steaming with originality. I’m ashamed that you even have tolerance for that type of stuff.

    • April 9, 2018 at 9:49 amTakaii

      I also really like watching Kirito just be Kirito.

    • April 9, 2018 at 12:08 pmArin

      If he’s gonna be Gary Stu-Jesus then make it a true shounen complete with typical power-ups. It’s the combination romance-Gary Stu-harem-not-harem bullshittery that gets me. Be one or the other.

    • April 9, 2018 at 12:11 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      The problem for me isn’t so much Kirito’s Gary Stu status, but rather that there’s nothing really balancing it out.

      If the character is going to be a Gary Stu who virtually never loses unless the plot demands it, is able to solve almost any problem, both in the long run and on the fly, and so on, then you need to make sure that the character is at least made interesting in other aspects. Kirito just isn’t really an interesting character as opposed to a checklist of “cool” factors or something, so rather than me waiting in anticipation to see what he’ll do next, I just want his time on screen to be over with and get to other characters.

      Like, ironically, the GGO arc could have been a more interesting arc if Kirito weren’t in it and, instead, it focused entirely on Sinon. Instead, Kirito’s Gary Stu presence (yet tried to make him seem hesitant to enter GGO because of “pro gamers”, pfft) and the attempt to force some sudden PTSD crap in an obvious attempt to force an “understanding” between him and Sinon only ended up destroying Sinon’s initial character by turning her from someone determined to push herself to try to overcome her fear of guns into a clingy “damsel” who “needs” Kirito to be “strong”. It’s the same big mistake that killed Asuna’s established character in the ALO arc.

      • April 12, 2018 at 3:43 amGuile

        SAO works much better as Asuna’s story, where Kirito is her reward for being a badass lady fencer. Check SAO: Progressive.

  • April 9, 2018 at 8:19 amdewgong

    Eww, please do not taint the Belgium’s masterpiece with some girly, pink camo.

    • April 9, 2018 at 9:50 amTakaii

      I think the story will dive into why LLENN is wearing all pink and is a tiny chibi very soon.

      • April 9, 2018 at 9:09 pmkiryuu

        “Are you lucky” .. not really a spoiler but playing nice Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 13, 2018 at 10:27 amPanda-kun

      That’s legit desert camo. It was used by the S.A.S jeeps (called Pink Panthers), as they noticed the pink hue the the desert gets during sunset and sunrise makes then practically invisible.
      LLENN mainly fights on deserts, so in a game that is mainly a giant, post-apocalyptic desert, the color makes perfect sense.

      Also, is very, very cute.

  • April 9, 2018 at 10:16 amGreed

    So we have an Onee-san, or just simply a tall girl, looking character as our heroine. Nice. Hope to see more “Onee-san” heroines in the future, don’t know much anime with that sort of setting.

    Anyway, will this girl meet Kirito?

    notably, based on the way she moves, I guess she is the “speed type” which is considered a bad choice in Gun Gale Online.

    If gun-based virtual reality games exist, it would make sense of the JSDF would use them as a training tool. It seems cost efficient, I think.

    • April 9, 2018 at 10:39 amJeffers

      Imagine US marines with 10 years of deployment experience or some SEALS playing PUBG or ARMA 2 or 3 in virtual… Wew I can easily see those who play now will look like newbs. those tricks of theirs will not work on experienced vets..

      • April 9, 2018 at 7:57 pmSMinstrel

        Apparently some special force or army guys did play paintball or airsoft battle IRL against enthusiasts. Some did well, while others did not, because of unexpected tactics/circumstances that won’t happen in a real, life-or-death firefight.

  • April 9, 2018 at 11:02 amThinkpad_T420

    Imagine if the pro team LLEN/Karen was playing against (and owned) were actually the lolis in her room having a LAN party/ XD

  • April 9, 2018 at 11:03 amCharkan

    The Japanese public does not complain of mary sue characters if they have a high load of moe.

    • April 9, 2018 at 10:59 pmTakaii

      I wanna believe that there has to be a trade off for being so physically small and fast.

      Like, I’m sure LLENN can’t carry much stuff (including ammo) and if she does get hit, I would assume it’s game over for her.

      Not a bad trade off to move suuuuuuuuper fast.

      • April 10, 2018 at 11:13 amAex

        With how far she seems to have boosted her AGI for her crazy-speed I imagine that unless she’s already a really high-level she doesn’t have much left for other stats, which you would think would limit the weapons, gear, and maybe even skills she can use. No assault rifles or grenade launchers for this chibi, so I feel like we’re going to see LLENN need to work at becoming the master of a very specific skill-set.

        Plus she doesn’t come off as the most strategic thinker…

  • April 9, 2018 at 11:47 amMick

    Minus Kirito and harem
    And you got a world that have high expanding potential
    sad that Kawahara Reki is just too much focus on Kirito
    I like it ! I loss interest in SAO a long time ago but this one interest me

  • April 9, 2018 at 12:07 pmArin

    Damn, this might actually be good. I liked the original SAO but Kirito and his one-true-love-but-imma-harem antics is really annoying. Because it’s not a true harem, but it’s also not a true romance, and when you fail at both and your main character is a Gary Stu combination of Jesus and Neo, it gets old fast.


    This is okay. This has potential. The first episode wasn’t amazing, but it was miles better than anything the series put out recently.

  • April 9, 2018 at 1:54 pmTassadar

    So basically Llenn is the Oddjob of GGO!

  • April 9, 2018 at 6:34 pmKoby

    my comments keeps getting caught as spam or in moderation I think.
    Can someone check?

    • April 9, 2018 at 11:00 pmTakaii


      • April 9, 2018 at 11:00 pmTakaii

        Nope, I don’t see anything stuck in pending. Try again, you should be okay.

  • April 9, 2018 at 9:52 pmRictek

    how to destroy your credibility in 6 sentences

  • April 9, 2018 at 11:27 pmArin

    This reminds me, I play a game called Paladins and I main Evie. She has the lowest HP but she’s fast, fast, fast and if you’re good with her, you can 1v5 a team by jumping around and it is kinda infuriating. So I appreciate watching this type of gameplay, this is the type of character I play and it’s interesting to see it on the screen.

  • April 10, 2018 at 12:21 aminfo600

    *watches episode*
    Wait, they skipped a lot of things already?
    *watches last scene*
    Welp, they actually turned the first volume into a flashback. Got me there.

    BTW, everyone in that series are shown to be GGO players…

  • April 10, 2018 at 6:00 amGinobi47

    At the posting of this comment, I have never watched GGO simply because it has SAO on it… but after hearing that Jesus-kun is nowhere near this series has sparked my interested.

    I’m going to watch it now

  • April 10, 2018 at 7:13 amSeeStriker

    Many comments are mostly for Broken Kirito, but TBH, LENN is just as broken as him. Leaving aside the fact that there’s no lightsaber issue here, seeing LENN taking out a whole squad from the JSDF (with MGS’s Snake box trick) is borderline ridiculous. We had her screaming like a little girl against a volley of heavy machinegun fire, and later, she’s Kirito’s long lost sister! WTF?!
    Kirito at least has the excuse of the character porting stats thanks to The Seed, but LENN is way too cheap

    • April 10, 2018 at 7:28 amAex

      We don’t know how long she’s been playing, or her stats, or anything. The girls at the end imply that she’s kinda famous, so this could just be a veteran player in a new situation.

      Plus she’s got a full-auto P90 that she seems to know how to handle, and damage-to-death seems much more realistic in GGO then SAO or ALO, so with just a little luck and some cheap game mechanics (dead bodies are immortal, huh?) it isn’t so crazy that she took out four guys with a surprise attack at close range. The pros even say that she wasn’t what they were expecting because her stats have put her speed outside the human norm.

      Don’t hate on a series we Anime-only viewers don’t know anything about yet just because you’re looking for a reason to compare an “SAO main character” to Kirito so you can hate her.

      • April 10, 2018 at 10:42 amSeeStriker

        That’s my main issue here. LENN is already maxed out, so there’s this feeling that I don’t wanna cheer her until her whole story is explained. I didn’t like this approach for a first episode. I’m not “hating” her, but I don’t particulary like her either. The preview also doesn’t make things easier, since she’s have this “trauma” of her RL persona being tall in comparison to her avatar (kinda dumb TBH) I’m not comparing her to Kirito, but since we have Sinon as a relative normal comparison being in the same game…

        Still, SAO-A have 2 more eps to fix this little issues.

    • April 10, 2018 at 6:01 pmSMinstrel

      There’s a surprise factor at work here. No sane trained combat personnel will suspect that an enemy will be hiding inside a freaking suitcase.

      An IED, maybe, that’s why no one goes anywhere near that case, but not an entire human with P90.

    • April 14, 2018 at 6:41 pmOminae

      Got news for ya. It’s not that common, but there are people who get bullied because of their height. You can google it for yourself.

  • April 10, 2018 at 12:47 pmKoby

    I enjoyed the episode up until the point Pink Girl suddenly became The Flash, then it felt like I was watching Kirito all over again. :/

  • April 10, 2018 at 6:34 pmRenaSayers

    LOL! Call of Duty meets Anime. This so doesn’t feel like SAO I enjoyed that series too, I don’t know If I can get into this side story.

  • April 11, 2018 at 9:23 amHenrietta Brix

    I hate SAO and when it came out years ago… I literally question why I still continued to watch it. GGO seemed promising at start but Master Jedi Kirito killed it

    Here’s hoping that SAO Alter isn’t as soul crushing as SAO and GGO

    I actually came here with low expectations and 1st episode seems quite palatable for me.

    Here we see Team Pink Usagi in their pink M3 Lee Pinky and Pinky 90 taking cover from the totsugeki of Chihatan Academy

    At least with Kaichou Miho around, they can beat any opponent… Unless other team drinks tea, travels around in a pink SAS land rover and wields L85 assault rifles

  • April 11, 2018 at 10:15 pmMichael Parkinson

    This show is trash. Its shouldnt even be called sword art online. The MC is annoying as hell and for the most part all they did was talk and strategize a scenario when the objective was simple already with her speed. The combat is boring and the characters are lame This show made me go watch the original which is miles beyond this garbage. Anyone who likes this is a sheep

    • April 16, 2018 at 2:51 amJHN

      Ladies and gentlemen.
      I present to you, textbook irony.