Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, Anime tv series (2018)

It is early sunday morning and raining outside, when I enter my darkened room. An eerie sense of calm enters my body when I switch on my xbox 360 and television, take up my controller and place my headset on my ears. The screen shows the logo of the game, Unreal Tournament 3, and I scroll through the menu to select the gametype: Deathmatch. The word alone causes fear amongst players. Not to me though. I press enter and after a small loading screen I get taken to the arena where the match is about to start. Three, two, one…..play! I move slowly trying to get my bearings and then the first opponent appears. I make a show as if I am trying to raise my weapon: Bammm…I’m dead! Five minutes into the game and I haven’t made a single kill yet. I can hear players laughing and calling out my name: “ Haha…this Raistlin guy is such a noob! He must have just bought the game, what a fool!” With five more minutes left a grin of mischief appears on my face. Like a demon I start playing the game in earnest. My opponents are dropping like flies, and the overhead voice thunders” Massacre……” A thirty plus kill streak without dying…in just a few short minutes I have completely taken over the lead and win the game…….

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You can almost hear Arnold Schwarzenegger screaming: BILLY!!!!

So you are probably wondering what the hell you just read. Or if I am just making up a story. Well….no. During my gaming days there was one game I was good at: and that was Unreal Tournament 3, an online first person shooter where I at one point was number 10 on the worldwide Xbox 360 ranking lists. The scene I just described was something I did a lot in that game. Pretend I was a total klutz, only to turn the tables on every one later. So why bring this up now? Well the anime I am about to review is about a shooting game as well, though much more advanced then the ones we are used to playing right now. You might recall that in the second season of Sword Art Online Kirito entered a new virtual reality game called Gun Gale Online that used guns instead of swords (although that did not stop Kirito from using one anyway). In this spinoff series we again enter that dark gameworld, but instead of focussing on the main cast we get introduced to a new group of characters.

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Peek-a-boo!!

Karen Kohiruimaki is a university student who is abnormally tall for a woman, a fact that she has never really come to terms with. But then she discovers the Gun Gale Online game which allows her to create a character that is the exact opposite of what she is in real life. Her alter ego, or avatar called Llenn is a very small and cute girl, dressed in pink. Yes, not exactly someone you would find in a brutal shooter game. But Llenn is someone who should not be underestimated. After playing for a while Karen gets better at the game, and Llenn gets a reputation and the nickname “Pink Devil” .Soon she meets up with a mysterious woman called Pitohui, who apparently is an ace in the game. The two of them team up, and also make a promise: if Llenn ever manages to defeat Pito they will meet each other in real life. The warriorwoman introduces Llenn to the squad jam game type where groups of players will try to defeat each other. But it soon becomes clear that Pitohui might have a completely different agenda….

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Let me teach you to play with the stick…erm…wait that just sounded weird….

Well let’s get this out of the way first: This show is not as good as Sword Art Online. There, I have said it. Is that a bad thing though? Nope, not in the case of this anime anyway. What we have here is very light show that focusses more on action than on the story itself. Which is not to say that there isn’t a message hidden inside this one if you look hard enough. Karen manages to overcome her complex of being tall by playing the game. And I for one could very much relate to that kind of story. I was never very good at sports, but by playing games such as Unreal Tournament I managed to create a kind of confidence in myself that I was good at other things. We all probably have things in real life that we have a problem with and might even cause us to lose faith in ourselves at times. But sometimes it’s nice to just disappear for a while in a make believe world and in that way discover things inside yourself you might never have thought you possessed.

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If soldiers looked like this in real life I don’t think there would ever be any kind of wars.

As I said, the story does take a backseat in this anime, but the action more than makes up for that. There are some really cool gunfights in this show, and one battle in particual where Pitohui takes on a enormous group of enemies pretty much by herself is truly memorable. As far as the characters go they just aren’t as interesting as the ones in the original series. Llenn is a very cute character, and a good fighter and you do grow to love her over the course of the series. But..she really hasn’t got much depth to her. Then there is M, a sidekick of Pitohui that reminded me of Billy in the movie Predator. He had an interesting kind of background but they could really have done much more with him. It was Pitohui however, that definitely was the driving force of the show. I just loved her (except when she started laughing hysterically, that just grated on my nerves). In a way her character arc was pretty tragic especially when the series progresses and you find out more about her motivations.

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This is an outtake..somehow they forgot to draw her eyes.

All in all this 12 part spinoff series was a pretty pleasant surprise. The animation itself, while not groundbreaking was good enough, and the numerous action sequences offer some truly edge of your seat moments. If you are a fan of Sword Art Online, it’s hard to say if you are going to like this. There are a few very small references made to the second season arc of the show, which are also kind of fun to discover, but otherwise this series stands on it’s own. As I am a fan myself and enjoyed the entire SAO series I would say that if you did not have a problem with it’s second season, you might want to give this one a try. Don’t expect this to be a third season of the main show though but keep your expectations low. And if you are not a fan, it all depends on whether you like action heavy animes. For me this show worked, but I can also understand people that gave this one a pass or stopped wathing it.

I give Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online a 7 out of 10 score.

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67 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, Anime tv series (2018)”

  1. Nice review, even better hot take lol. Too bad you wrote this before my article on Wednesday titled, “Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – How to Properly Review GGO” because you actually reviewed the show and barely review-I mean mentioned SAO at all. I mean, that’s just ridiculous. Seriously though, enjoyed 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ooh: that sounds nice: already looking forward to that post😀 That sounds really intriguing. Well lol, as this show is pretty much removed from Sword Art Online (despite it being part of the same universe) I decided not to compare it or mention SAO much. For me this pretty much is a series that stands on it’s own, but was still a lot of fun. What is even more ridiculous though: I realise that I have never reviewed the original series. Might have to do something about that 😂😂
      Thanks for the kind words and the great comment 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think you did right by evaluating this as its own work. Trust me, not a lot of people did and that will be apparent Wednesday lol XD

        Same actually… I should probably review it sometime too. Thanks for putting that in my head.

        Anytime, always excited to see your stuff 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well: as I said am really looking forward to that post: you have made me quite curious about it now😀
        Haha: well maybe we can do that review together some time? Next month I am of course busy being the host of the showcase but after that I will have some spare time in all likelyhood 😀
        And thank you again for the kind words 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much: that’s always nice to hear 😀 It’s quite different from the original Sword Art Online which is why I think it will appeal to people who don’t like the original show as well 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This might be a good one for me. I sighed with session one of SAO after about six episodes and never finished it. I just couldn’t get into the jumping around characters and Kirito being so powerful. If this figured on the action though, it may at least provide some entertainment.
    Loved the story at the start. I used to play Unreal Tournament online back in the day. I want a top ten player, but I was decent. Once our new PC arrives, I’ll be diving into Overwatch, so I’ll get to see how quickly I can get back to the skill level I was at.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, even though it’s based on one of the worlds of SAO it feels like a really different show. Which is why I think a fair number of fans of the original might not like this one.
      I have very fond memories of Unreal Tournament. I loved the competitive elements and it really was a great and fun game (not to mention that the weapons were awesome).
      I’m not really into computergames anymore, but I do keep up with the news of them, and I have been hearing some good things about Overwatch. Hope you will enjoy it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was an absolute blast back when it was released.
        I’m expecting to. The cast of selectable characters looks phenomenal.
        I must admit, when I saw the trailer, I didn’t realise it was a SAO spin-off.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can understand that. The second season of SAO featured this world as well, and a lot of fans did not like the setting as it felt totally different from the first season. Still I liked it 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough, and you are definitely not the only one that did not enjoy this. The story definitely was weak and if you don’t like gunbattles there is pretty much nothing left to like in this one. Oh well: hopefully the new season of SAO will be better 😀😀

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoyed the introduction as much as the review! 😉
    Your story certainly points out something about GGO supplementing your review – There’s more to the show than it being SAO and so both shouldn’t be judged based on how they each performed.
    *
    I’m still not going to watch SAO (no reason), but reading your review GGO definitely has its credits and flaws where it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much😊 I quite honestly had a lot of fun writing that introduction, and it brought back some great memories too 😀
      Well people in general just seem to compare shows a lot (which ofcourse makes sense when it’s a spin off), but sometimes that just isn’t fair. This series really did feel totally different from the original anime, and as such it pretty much stands on it’s own.
      Haha, fair enough. SAO is certainly not a series that is for everyone. Either you love it, or you hate it…there is pretty much no middle road.
      Thanks again for your great comment, and the kind words 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea it definitely isn’t fair to compare shows when the comparison link is weak. I run into that fallacy quite a lot linking completely different shows even if they are under the same genre. I guess it is an expectation kind of thing. Welps I’m biased XD.
        *
        Hmm… I won’t have to choose to love or hate it if I don’t watch it… … rrrright? XD
        *
        Raistlin your comments are really awesome! Can we do a MakeRaistlinBlushDay again? :3

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Please…no more MakeRaistlinBlushDays, I get way to shy because of those 🙈🙈😊😊
        Haha..you raise a good point, I guess you don’t have to choose lol 😂😂
        True…I make that same mistake as well from time to time, so I guess I am biased as well lol 😂😂 But it’s also something that at times can’t be avoided as comparison is pretty much human nature I guess (and it works great to get a point across. Erm..sometimes that is 😂).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 10th on the worldwide Xbox 360 ranking lists, that’s so cool 😀
    That first paragraph pretty much describes me playing Call of Duty, except for the part where you were just pretending to suck and massacred everyone. I really do suck at first person shooters and most my kills come down to pure jammy-ness lol 😀

    This anime seems like a lot of fun and kind of cute. I’ve not seen Sword Art Online, but this spin-off sounds like it would still be very enjoyable, despite that 🙂
    Great Review as always 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was something I was very good at, and I was pretty proud of it too (had some really fun times back in those days). Call of Duty though? I totally sucked at that game, and in the end it was the cause of me quitting gaming altogether. It was only frustrating every time…ughh….
      It really is a fun show. It’s not the greatest anime ever made, but it’s still very cool. Thank you for your great comment! 😊😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Unreal Tournament 3….what is this 2007?? 😉💖 You should get back into gaming! Although, going for shooters, that was probably one of the last good ones! 😂😂
    This show sounds good (even besides your never failing love of sword art!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…I know, I know…but hey it was the only game I can claim that I was really, really good at. And I loved it…don’t know how many matches I played with that game, but it would not surprise if it would be over a hundred thousand. And…it’s one of the few games that I still have in my collection 😊😊
      It really is good…and the best thing is: you don’t even need any prior knowledge of Sword Art, it stands on it’s own. And you can pretty much bingewatch it on 3-4 hours 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review as always 🙂 Considering I’m still struggling through season 2 of SAO, this one didn’t really catch my interest. And your review kind of confirms that I probably wouldn’t love it. Glad you enjoyed it though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😊 yeah, I don’t think this one will be much to your liking. Hang in there with season 2 though…some of the later episodes of that season (after the Gun Gale Online arc) become really beautiful, and some even very heartbreaking 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Kim, you are truly the best. That is so very kind of you to say, and it really makes me smile so much. I love writing these reviews, and it is so rewarding to get comments such as these. I really appreciate it, and it totally makes my day.
      But…you do know that your own reviews are incredibly entertaining too right? (Not to mention the fact that they absolutely make my to read list so much bigger every time which, even though I joke about it, is really awesome). As I said: you are the best 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, it’s one thing to write reviews on things that people are already familiar with and fans of, but you take it to the next level when you pullin newbies like me.☺️

        And thank you (as always) for your very kind and supportive words. As you know, books are my passion, and nothing brings me greater pleasure than to corrupt my friends!😈

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha…corrupt my friends lol.😂😂 Well this is the good kind of corruption that is for sure 😂😂
        Well I guess that I am doing that kind of corruption as well 😈 Thank you again Kim 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

  7. SAO is definitely up high on my priority list, but I’m glad to hear this spin-off is pretty decent though. Love the idea behind it, and as a gamer myself, it’ll probably be quite fun! By the way, I’m currently reading Attack on Titan, before I try the anime and jump onto the bandwagon, but…….. Is it just me or the first volume isn’t impressive as all? I’m not sure if you’ve read or watched AoT yet, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it though. Great review for SAO: AGGO though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SOA is incredible. It is the only anime that I am really actively collecting stuff from (and I have quite a number of things in that collection right now), but yes it’s well worth the watch that is for sure.
      Attack on Titan the anime: It’s amazing, truly one of the best animes out there right now. The manga though? I can’t really judge as I haven’t read that, but I do hear that it’s not as good as the anime from quite a number of people. The art especially (and I have seen a few frames of that) doesn’t look very good to me (and the anime is the exact opposite of that). Thanks again for another great comment, always nice to hear from you 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. The artwork so far is pretty bad… And even the dialogue and the way the story is told is way too rough and lame… I’ll look forward to the anime then. Especially if its a lot more impressive visually! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough. Although this one is different from the original series as it’s focus is mainly on action, I think this might definitely not be the one for you though. Well…luckily there are a lot of other great animes out there that you can enjoy 😀Thanks for your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am impressed by your FPS skills. From what I hear Unreal is a hardcore shooter. I prefer to play the more casual Overwatch and even then I stick to healer characters.

    So far I have watched half of this series. I agree that the Gun Gale is okay, but not as good as the other SAO shows. There isn’t much story (it’s just a battle royale competition) and I was more invested in the relationships of the original SAO cast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well…as much as I loved playing Unreal Tournament, you should have seen me playing Call of Duty: I was the worst player ever on that one lol. Seriously though, Unreal was a lot of fun, and I honestly did not find it a hard shooter. Quake on the other hand, that was way more difficult, and one that I could never get the hang of.
      Totally agree about Gun Gale. I look at it as a nice outing and a really light show, simply set in the same universe…but that’s about it. Still some cool things to come though, trust me on that 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice job at making a review of an ok show totally interesting! It’s nice to hear more of the reviewer’s own experience rather than a generic summary followed by a technical score. Maybe one of these days we’ll return to the gaming scene and uncover more of that hidden past of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this very kind commen 😀 I always try to put something personal in a post whenever I can, and for this one it seemed like the perfect fit 😀😀Glad you enjoyed it, and who knows, maybe one day I will write a post about that 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This meeting a person in the virtual world, and meeting them later in the real world reminds me of this Chinese TV series that I saw a long time back, called Love O2O. Although the story, settings and everything are extremely different. And you were number 10 in the world list for this game? OMG Michel I knew you played a lot but I didn’t realise to this extent! Really cool! And as usual great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…well that’s the only game that I really played a lot, because I was good at it, and really had fun playing it. But..that’s a thing of the past now as I have pretty much stopped playing videogames 😊
      Love O2O huh? Haven’t heard of that one, but I’m not as familair with Chinese television series. SO I will have to look that up as it sounds interesting. This series was pretty okay. It wasn’t anything special, but still it was fun! Thank YOU for another great comment! 😊

      Like

      1. Even if I am slowly broaching into chinese movies and TV series in my attempt to understand other languages and culture! Love o2o wasn’t all that amazing but it was just a rom-com watch. But I have heard of other more amazing chinese dramas as well! You’re welcome Michel!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have to date seen only one Chinese drama and that was Tiger Cubs. I really had a lot of fun with that one and it’s a show I would definitely recommend (It’s a show about a special unit of cops and focusses on both their personal lives as well as the job itself).

        Like

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