Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Start writing a post

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

A Spinoff Better Than the Original?

106
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Crunchyroll.com

Sword Art Online or SAO for short is by no means a perfect anime. It has many faults and trips into many pitfalls that a lot of shows also fall in. The second series (or season depending on whom you ask): SAO 2 left much to be desired. But the fact that it's well-known cannot be disputed. Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is a spinoff series within the realm of SAO. (as its title would suggest)
As with any spinoff, the series follows a new protagonist: Karen Kohiruimaki known better as her online handle LLEN. Even if you're unfamiliar with SAO or SAO 2 you can watch this series without being lost. It touches upon the events in SAO without knowing everything about it being necessary. This allows the show to stand on its own two feet; the fact that it follows a new hero addresses a problem that the original show had, being that it focused entirely too much on the main character and had him being overpowered throughout the series.
A few warnings about the show. It contains scenes of somewhat graphic violence throughout, but it's pixelated so you don't see guts flying about but there is something akin to blood. It has mentions of suicide and there are guns being fired throughout.
In this series, Karen Kohiruimaki has gained fame as "the Pink Devil" being a player killer in Gun Gale Online (GGO); a "full dive" VR based game in which the gear allows the player to control their avatar as if it were really them. One day while playing she comes across Pitohui (named after a poisonous bird), a particularly strong female player. The two become friends, as there aren't many female players in GGO, and as they spend more time together LLEN starts to notice some red flags about Pitohui.
But it becomes much more clear during a team tournament called Squad Jam when she's paired up with another player who knows Pitohui in real life, the player simply known as M lets LLEN know that Pitohui is obsessed with the idea of a game you can really die in. Had M been killed in Squad Jam, she would kill him in real life. Though they win the tournament, Pitohui isn't satisfied since she couldn't participate. Our hero learns that at the second Squad Jam, Pitohui will kill herself should she be killed by anybody but LLEN. Not knowing who Pitohui is in real life, in order to save her life, LLEN has no other choice but to enter Squad Jam and kill her.
The show is a far stretch from perfect, but it certainly makes quite a few strides where the original series couldn't. The first being that it has interesting female characters. The original series had female characters but they were two-dimensional (personality-wise) and most of them were just props for the main character. (who was bland himself) Sword Art Online Alternative (SAOA) has female characters (a lot actually now that I think about it) with actual personalities and lives of their own outside of what the main character does. For that alone, I would say it's better than the original.
There's also the villain: Pitohui. She's far more interesting than the past villains the series has had. She's far more active than her predecessors and a lot less creepy. One can argue that she's not actually a villain and but just the antagonist of the show. Though villain and antagonist are often associated with each other, they aren't the same. In the case of this show, Pitohui may have the looks and demeanor of a villain, but she is more a victim of her mental state than anything else.
Wanting to feel alive is the reason why she threatens to take her life over a game, that doesn't excuse her behavior but one can question if that makes her a villain. In order to be a villain, a character must actively plot and take measures to stop the hero from ruining the said plot. Had Pitohui truly wanted to die, she'd just do it instead she gambles it on the outcome of the tournament.
Whether this show makes a positive or negative message regarding mental health is for someone more qualified than I. But it definitely brings a positive one about friendship and helping others. The lengths Karen goes to help save a friend she's never actually met are impressive (though she did have to kill her to save her).
The show also touches upon the healthy escapism that video games can provide. The main character Karen Kohiruimaki is a very tall woman, she towers over men and women and she's very self-conscious about it. The avatars that the games give are randomized and GGO gave her a short, cute one which is why she loves it so much. It gives her the chance to be someone other than herself for a while, which is something I think everyone can relate to. There's also the stress release that video games have but expressing it via shooting people is a little less relatable.
All in all, the show has improved my view of SAO as a whole and the "video-game anime" trope which to me has a lot of potential but is so often wasted on boring main characters without the slightest hint of personality. Sure, it being a spinoff of SAO it could've gone anywhere (game genre-wise) and it choosing an FPS is a little disappointing, but the plot and characters make up for it. It has 12 episodes, for now, and can be found on Crunchyroll. (or whatever site you use) I hope you enjoy it!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

1514
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Pride Doesn't End With June

Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.

4961
Pride Doesn't End With June
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My 4th Of July Look

MISS SWISS - Glamour On The Go

4664
My 4th Of July Look

Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me

When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk

3619
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me
Hailey Hastings via Canva

First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Your Guide to Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well.

3951
Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well. Common issues like UTI’s, yeast infections and medications can cause vaginal dryness but one of the big culprits for both cause and prevention is diet. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins to encourage your body to produce the hormones it needs are one of the many home remedies for dryness. There are many factors that can cause dryness and the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it, and diet is one of the big culprits on the list. Keep reading to learn about adopting nutrition habits that both alleviate and prevent dryness!

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments