Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep. 2: Our heroine discovers her inner loli

Yay, it’s time to watch my favorite MMO-themed anime of the season… woo. Can you just feel the excitement in the air? We’re about to learn all about Karen and how LLENN came to exist. This is crucial lore, you guys. Pay attention.

— People gawk at Karen just because she’s six feet tall. I’ve never been to Japan, so I have no clue if Japanese people really do this. Still, I can understand why this might make the heroine insecure. I’ve often heard that Japanese culture is conformist. Maybe this has been exaggerated, maybe not. But she does not be in Japan to be feel insecure. We’re all insecure about something. My nose? Too big. I wish Karen could lend me her height, too. And man, don’t even get me started on my unstylable hair. I guess I should just thank my lucky stars that I’m not balding.

— What I can’t relate with, however, is that the girl plays a loli avatar just because she’s tall in real life. That’s nothing I’ve ever done.

— Also, she supposedly struggles to make friends… but that can’t be due to her height, can it? When she sees a group of girls walking down the street, she literally turns away from them. You can’t blame your height at that point. She thinks that if she was short like them, everything in her life would be fixed, but that’s the wrong mentality to have.

— Wait, wait, wait… she’s moved to Tokyo for university, but because her parents won’t allow her to get a part-time job, she simply won’t? C’mon, that’s pathetic. You’re an adult.

— What a spacious home.

— Man, who’s this loser?

— The show reminds us that 4,000 people died in the SAO incident. Four thousand. What a mess.

— Basically, the anime is now telling us how Karen got hooked on VRMMOs in the first place. It’s kind of overdoing the height thing a bit, though. I really doubt people would just turn around and make this face whenever they see the girl. She ain’t Shaq. She’s just 6’0″ tall.

— Apparently, Karen tried ALO first. She chose the sylph as her race, and her character ended up being too tall. Her VR unit immediately logged her out, because she freaked out at her own avatar’s height. Yeesh. First, what’s with these MMOs and their lack of a character creator? Who would make games like this? No one. No one. The SAO universe is the only universe I’ve ever seen in which people’s avatars are auto-generated for them. This is not a thing in any other story. It’s such a stupid plot contrivance. Second, if she wanted to be short… maybe she should’ve picked the gnome race. It was an available choice.

— So she keeps trying new games, but none of her randomly generated avatars are to her taste. Look at all these games losing potential customers simply because they lack a character creator.

Hmmm…

— Finally, after going through 37 games, Karen gets to be the loli of her dreams. Yay…

— The sad part about this is that she’s just as cute as a tall girl.

— Oh lord, this animation.

— Why did she pick a name with all caps anyway?

— This game is like the NRA’s dream.

— Anyways, Karen’s going through the game’s tutorial, which basically teaches her how to play the game and how to use a gun. This is all really boring stuff, so don’t expect much commentary from me. I don’t care about guns. I’ve never cared about guns. Guns and weapons in general just aren’t very interesting to me.

— According to the tutorial NPC — who’s doing a poor job of imitating R. Lee Ermey, but whatever — there are monster battles in GGO as well. I don’t recall ever seeing such a thing, though.

— The PvE sure looks exciting. It also seems as though she’s just as friendless here as she is in the real world. Basically, her height has nothing to do with it. Personally, I can’t stand playing MMOs by myself. On their own, they’re shitty games. They’re only fun because you can play with others. When you play them alone, you just feel like a loser. So in a way, MMOs are like alcohol.

— We then see the girl dye her clothes pink, because she’s on a never-ending quest to be cute. Unfortunately, she’s so over-the-top cute that other people think that her avatar is probably controlled by a boy. That reminds me of my experiences in Final Fantasy XIV. Basically, 90% of the people who play female miqotes are likely dudes…

— Whoa, did she dye the entire zone pink too?!

— In the older MMOs, there’s a whole lot of waiting and camping. The games were designed to explicitly waste your life. They still are, but it’s a little easier to come home after a long day and instantly find something engaging to do. God, I wasted so many hours in Final Fantasy XI just waiting for rare monsters to pop. Good thing I was a college student back then. If I had gotten hooked on MMOs as an adult, I probably would’ve lost my job.

— Who is this Elsa Kanzaki that they keep bringing up? I thought she was just some random popular idol in this universe, but the fact that people keep mentioning her makes me think that she’ll eventually show up in GGO as a player.

— Suddenly, a trio of male avatars are approaching Karen’s location, and she starts to freak out. Still, it’s always just men in the field. This game does have other female avatars, but you rarely ever see them unless they’re story-important (i.e. Sinon and LLENN). That’s just… weird.

— Hah, she manages to blend into her environment.

— The jokes practically write themselves.

— God, this animation, man…

— All of a sudden, Karen now has the taste for hunting down other players. Ah, she’s one of those people.

— It’s remarkable that she hasn’t been ganked first by max-level players. That’s why I stopped playing games that mixed PvP and PvE. I don’t mind fighting other players on an even level, but when I’m in the teens and some level 80 starts ganking me, that’s just bullshit.

— Like I said, you’ll only ever see other female avatars in the field if they’re also important characters. Her name is Pitohui, but you can call her Pito for short. It’s better than spelling your name in all caps, at least. Nevertheless, it’d be dumb if it turns out she’s that Elsa person in the real world, but this is SAO so I wouldn’t put it past the author.

— Pito tattooed her face to keep guys from hitting on her. Sadly, I’d believe it. There are some bad tattoos out there, but for the most part, it doesn’t make a difference to me.

— Yay, Karen finally makes a friend.

— So… does this show have a plot? SAO was about escaping the evil game, then saving your waifu from the evil NTR man. SAO II was about hunting down a killer, and… uh… AIDS? On the other hand, I have no clue what SAO Alternative is about at all. Tall girl plays a short girl and… then… what?

Darling?!

— But really, I can’t even fathom how a gun can be considered cute.

— What the fuck am I even watching? First, the gun is cute, then Pito tells Ms. All Caps that “P-Chan” is a good name for a gun. Now, she’s waxing poetic about how you gotta kill lots of people with your gun, because it’ll never betray you!

— The Elsa girl just came up again. Yep, Pito is Elsa. This seals it. This fucking author.

— Pito: “If we ever do meet in real life, I’d reveal my true identity.”

— Pito then tells Karen to beat her one day in a one-on-one match. If Karen wins, she gets to meet Pito in real life. Jesus, is that really going to be the plot? Why can’t Karen also build her own harem and ruthlessly kill a guy who is trying to NTR her husbando? Why does she get stuck with such a crappy quest?

— And because Pito is so tall in game, she’s probably super short in real life, huh?

— Finally, the episode ends with Pito telling Karen all about Squad Jam, the tournament that we saw in last week’s episode. I personally can’t stop squinting my eyes at Pito’s oddly drawn hips. That looks painful.

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16 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep. 2: Our heroine discovers her inner loli

  1. I could understand the story making a big deal about her height if she was like, 7 feet tall, but only 6 feet? To me that just seems like the author wants her to have a complex about it, but still remain waifu-able.

  2. I thought everyone knew that Japan is basically a country of midgets. At 183cm she’s way above the average for Japanese women and taller than most men too. It’s completely understandable she stands out so much.

    1. The point is that she’s not tall enough to be gawked at like a freak. Also, the average men’s height in Japan is 5’7″, and 5’2″ for women. Hardly a country of midgets.

      1. Hardly a country of midgets.

        It is in comparison to most western countries.

        In any case, she’s 6′ so way above the average. Enough to stand out and draw some stares in Japan. That’s no unrealistic. It’s not like she was getting bullied or anything.

        1. Two whole inches shorter than the average American height makes them midgets. Hilarious. Anyways, you only ever comment to be contrarian and I’m tired of it.

          1. Looking at height distributions, if she is 183 cm tall, that puts her in the 99.98 percentile for Japan, only 1 in 4,567 women in Japan are taller than her, she is extremely tall for a Japanese woman. Even in the Netherlands (the tallest country in the world), she would be in the 97.6 percentile, still a very tall women . If she was a Japanese man, she would be in the 93.1 percentile, still pretty tall.

            So she is a very tall woman for Japan and if you’ve ever read any shoujo manga, the tall girl being traumatised/troubled by her height is common, e.g. in Lovely Complex, Risa Koizumi is only 172cm but is regularly called a giraffe by herself and others. Just to give a comparison, the tallest woman in the current women’s national basketball team in Japan is 185cm, so Karen is more than tall enough to be a professional basketballer in Japan. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a shy girl who is very tall will end up obsessing over her height, it’s hardly an unbelievable character flaw.

            1. The post does not say that her insecurity is unbelievable. I literally said this at the very top:

              People gawk at Karen just because she’s six feet tall. I’ve never been to Japan, so I have no clue if Japanese people really do this. Still, I can understand why this might make the heroine insecure. I’ve often heard that Japanese culture is conformist. Maybe this has been exaggerated, maybe not. But she does not need to be in Japan to feel insecure.

              The only thing I doubted was this:

              I really doubt people would just turn around and make this face whenever they see the girl.

              You guys are writing up all these defenses for criticisms I never made.

  3. Height complexes are a real thing though, and anxieties are not something you can quantify just because the person in question is only “a couple of inches” outside of the average. Such conditions do exist, and can majorly affect a person’s life.

    And as mentioned, the Japanese average is actually quite short: just a mere two inches of height can change how tall you can perceive a person, let alone someone who’s way taller than the average. At 177 cm, I’m considered the tallest in my family (the next tallest only reaches to my eye level), and even in a place like Australia I’m still taller than a lot of people here. The main character at 183 cm is taller than me, and considering the average would in fact be a head or two taller than your average Japanese: hell, the show itself displays this by having people IRL have to look up just to meet her eyes, which is a rather noticeable act that can make a person self-conscious about their height.

    1. The post does not say that height complexes aren’t real. I literally said this at the very top:

      People gawk at Karen just because she’s six feet tall. I’ve never been to Japan, so I have no clue if Japanese people really do this. Still, I can understand why this might make the heroine insecure. I’ve often heard that Japanese culture is conformist. Maybe this has been exaggerated, maybe not. But she does not need to be in Japan to feel insecure.

      The only thing I doubted was this:

      I really doubt people would just turn around and make this face whenever they see the girl.

      You guys are writing up all these defenses for criticisms I never made. Plus, the average height thing is not about the girl and her complex, but about the other commenter calling Japan a nation of midgets.

      1. Fair enough, though I was reacting more to SVM’s comment than your statement in the post. But having been up close to the Russian basketball team, I can say that yes, even the short ones are all pretty gawkable, and I’m not a short guy.

  4. It kinda reminds me of one of my friend, who developed a bad slouching pose because she’s always trying to make her look shorter during secondary school and high school, when most people got very sensitive about that sort of thing.
    Well, and being 183cm tall would definitely makes Karen stand out like a sore thumb in Japan. don’t know about the average number, but I think people would probably expect a normal girl to be around 155-165cm or something.

    1. I literally said this at the very top:

      People gawk at Karen just because she’s six feet tall. I’ve never been to Japan, so I have no clue if Japanese people really do this. Still, I can understand why this might make the heroine insecure. I’ve often heard that Japanese culture is conformist. Maybe this has been exaggerated, maybe not. But she does not need to be in Japan to feel insecure.

      The only thing I doubted was this:

      I really doubt people would just turn around and make this face whenever they see the girl.

  5. “Nevertheless, it’d be dumb if it turns out she’s that Elsa person in the real world, but this is SAO so I wouldn’t put it past the author.”

    I feel like bringing this up based on that phrase, but this Alternative novel wasn’t made by the author of the main SAO novels (Kawahara), but by the author of the “Kino’s journey”. Take that as you will I guess!

  6. SAO you never changes, is true that they don’t understand MMORPG games mechanics and logic, but the most baffling part about this is that they don’t understand the players either!
    Let’s assume that in the real world autogenerated avatars is a thing, most players in real life would RESTART their accounts, not buy/download/play another game, specially if your stats and abilities are also randomly generated and some skills are soo powerful that can even break the game like our Loli heroine super speed and her Oddjob’s bullet dodging size, Karen’s avatar won’t be rare since there would be thousands or worse.
    This anime is soo boring and dumb that is hard to keep my suspension of disbelief watching it.

  7. GGO doesn’t have an avatar creation system because ALO doesn’t have one.

    GGO and all the games that Karen tried were made from this World Seed thing that Jesus-kun got, therefore they run on the same engine and thus they don’t have an avatar creation system either.

    I know, it’s a stupid plot device. I never in my life played an MMO that didn’t let you create your own character.

  8. That moment you realize you wasted money on a ton of shitty games, with no character customization, when you could have just gotten an indie game that has one for free. Speaking of character customization, you ever think the game devs scrapped that element so they could focus on having your avatar’s height affect it’s hit-box? HUH!? DID YOU?!

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