「拍手」 (Hakushu)

It all makes sense now – M stands for Masochist!

Before diving into the Final Impressions, let me take a second to say just how perfect this episode was as a closing to this fun SAO side story. Full of everything that made the past 11 episodes worth watching, I really appreciated how most of the time was spent in the real world. Not only did it give Karen and Miyu a chance to remind us just how great they are in the real world, but boy I’d probably flip a table if we didn’t get to see just who Pito was in real life. And sure, in hindsight it makes a lot of sense that she’d be Kanzaki Elza, but the way that Karen revealed just how she knew felt so damn satisfying that I couldn’t care less.

That and Miyu provides such amazing timing as comedic relief that it’s a damn shame we didn’t get to see more of her interacting with Karen and her friends. Anyways, let’s dive into the (what I expect will be short) Final Impressions!

Final Impressions

As a spinoff of a very popular and successful series, I think Sword Art Online Alternative – Gun Gale Online did a great job at carving out a space just for itself. Without relying on source material (except for the world it built), we were given a story that managed to pack not one but two big plot points into a mere 12 episodes. With what began as a journey of a tall girl named Karen finding the strength in an avatar named LLENN to overcome her insecurities, turned into a slightly larger epic where that very same person needed to harness that strength in order to save a friend that she cared deeply about. Along the way we met a larger cast of characters who all played a significant role and through a pretty believable set of circumstances, were truly necessary in allowing the story to give us such a satisfying ending that this final episode brought with it.

However, even with a strong plot that had well crafted characters to support it, the one other thing that Alternative had going for it was the way it handled its world building; or more specifically, how it handled recreating the thrill of actually playing an intense online game. Because if there’s something that the original series is beginning to lack, it’s the basic sense of fun you experience through the characters as they play whatever game they’re playing. Not to say that the main series isn’t fun (I like SAO), but when the stakes become too high, having fun and enjoying the game is one of the first things to take a backseat since the story needs to keep things “serious”. Something that I once again think Alternative did a great job capitalizing on.

Besides that, I don’t think there’s all that much me to touch on. Throughout the posts we’ve had ample time to talk on the specifics on an episode-to-episode basis, but suffice to say, I really enjoyed this show and would definitely recommend to everyone.

As always, thanks again for keeping up with the posts and I’ll see you guys around the bend once the Summer Season kicks into full gear. See you later!


    1. I surrender my heart, body, mind and soul to Hitagi Senjougahara. Does that make me a masochist?

      How about one that surrenders his heart, mind, body and soul to Hitagi Senjougahara and Haruno Yukinoshita? Does that make him a super masochist?

      Henrietta Brix
    1. Fuckin hell they already have a bad habit of rushing and cutting things out of SAO, and that was 4 books for the first SAO. 10? Get some distance and get the popcorn because I sense a trainwreck.

      1. SAO season 1 was Novels 1, 2, 3, 4, & most of 8. They did cut Kiritos inner monologues from the first season and covered the important bits of laughing coffin in season 2 so its not that bad. Alicization is certainly possible in 24 or 26 episodes including side stories if they up the pace. There’s enough they could cut without impacting the story in any meaningful way. Like any story there’s a good amount of redundant exposition stuff in Alicization that doesn’t serve much purpose.

      1. There are hopes Alicization could run for 3-5 cours, similar to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’s 64 episodes. Considering how well-received the arc is within the franchise, surely the producers would be aware of the importance of making the adaptation shine brightly by giving it enough episodes.

      2. I had a quick look at the forum from the link you posted and I’m fairly certain most of those posters are basing their ‘It has to be 50 episodes’ thoughts on the amount of novels available rather than the content of these novels. And some of those people are likely just wanting as many episodes as possible regardless of the fact the author does go exposition heavy in a lot of them and you could abreviate them without losing anything of value.

      3. I doubt it. I read the Alicization Novels and most of them were filler moments that could be reduced into mere seconds in Anime format.

        FYI: If you’re a fan of the original SAO, then read the Alicization Novels. It will turn you into a SAO Hater…. or at least that’s what happened to me.

        Especially that ending. I dont know how the writer can make a supposedly interesting ending so boring!

      4. I mean, I wasn’t wholly agreeing with your criticism, but this arc really isn’t one that’s so plot heavy that it requires more than your usual 24-26 episodes.

  1. I’ve watched all seasons of SAO right to the point we’re Konno Yuuki passes in “Mothers Rosario” which really hurt. The season put a lot of emphasis on realality in creeping into the virtual world.

    – Intent to Murder in (SAO 1)
    – Intent to Rape (SAO 2)
    – plotting to get other guilds or groups killed to further own agenda or survival (SAO 1)

    But what the side story gave us is a genuine players experience in the virtual world with out the Locked in scenario like SAO and Log Horizon. Which made this series successful.


    1. This story surpasses because the director did things differently with existing rules to the title and it’s macanics. The producer moved on from Kirito and Asuna and the only real connectoin to SAO is GGO including Fuka who came from Aphlem Online. Now, had the producers said all players can actually die in real life if you get killed in the game there will be a lot of complaints such as “LLENN reminds me of Kirito, Pitohui talks like Kayaba.” Blah, blah blah…

  2. SAO Alter is by far miles better than SAO IMO.

    That aside, I do like that Princess Leia-Han Solo moment in the episode and seriously LLENN, you’re a disciple of Alucard?

    Henrietta Brix
  3. A fun watch, thoroughly enjoyed it.
    All the tactical and tense moments.
    The skill of some of the female seiyuu each doing a cutesy voice and a second voice.

    That final battle really went all out, surprised me.

    It ended with “END”.
    So no second season in the foreseeable future I suppose.

  4. Nothing surprising with Pito’s identity, but the rest of the episode was sure filled with them. Don’t think anyone foresaw how M lost weight, and obviously this scene here:

    The show really does different itself from the original SAO. The emphasis on the fun of gaming is almost the exact opposite of the original. When someone takes it too seriously this show really says: “It’s just a game”. The last few episodes really drums that message across.

    Lastly, really need more screen shots like this:
    I’m sure a lot of viewers had the same expression as the girls while M was telling his story. XD

  5. I just saw that Tokyo Marui are selling a replica of Llenns pink P-90 gun but its an airsoft one. I’d imagine if it sells well that will help towards getting the series another season as they’ll probably sponsor production maybe. I’m not familiar with airsoft guns but it says its an electric one.


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