Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep. 5: Who needs therapy when you have video games?

Guess who these shorties are. C’mon, guess. If you have no clue, that’s fine. You’ll find out soon enough. 

— Back in GGO, the all-female squad is ready and prepared to take Karen down. They don’t even seem to care about M.

— Speaking of M, he finally confesses to Karen that he’ll die for “real reals” if he dies in game. In response, our heroine has the perfect retort. But y’know, I’m honestly not sure if I’d rather watch SAO or SAO Alternative. They’re both bad in their own way. SAO is cringey, but SAO Alternative is just so boring. Even if Kirito is a Gary Stu, at least his story actually has stakes that matter. Who gives a shit whether or not Karen wins this tournament?

— Karen reads Pito’s letter to M, and it doesn’t sound serious at all. Rather, it just sounds like typical friendly banter, i.e. “Dude, I’ll totally kill you if you screw up, lulz.” Nevertheless, M continues to insist otherwise. Either he’s nuts or Pito’s nuts. Maybe both.

— So why did he want to kill Karen? Because if she dies, leadership will transfer to him, which he will then use to surrender. Maybe this is why Karen was made leader. But uh, aren’t there replays for this tournament? Wouldn’t Pito be able to see afterwards that M had killed his own teammate? I don’t think he really thought this through.

— Tired of M’s nonsense, our heroine resolves to finish the rest of the tournament on her own. After all, it doesn’t really matter if she loses, but it’d totally be awesome if she wins.

— The girl takes out one of her enemies quickly enough, but she eventually has to retreat once the rest of them converge on her. In a safe place, Karen checks up on her current status. She remarks that she might need her knife to commit suicide. Um, why? If you lose, you lose. If you want to surrender, then surrender. When is in-game suicide ever truly necessary? Hell, most games don’t even allow you to kill yourself directly. You often have to indirectly kill yourself like, say, holding onto a grenade too long.

— Karen hears a bunch of gunfire in the distance and automatically assumes that the enemy is getting desperate. As a result, she comes out of hiding and walks right into an ambush.

— With her health slowly dwindling, our heroine finds herself short on breath as she slowly trudges her way through the wasteland. She even looks and sounds like she’s in pain. The problem is that the anime is never consistent about this. Later in the episode, the girl will have nothing but a sliver of health left, but she will look and sound perfectly fine. So which is it? Does your character model actually slow down when it has low health or not?

— Eventually, the girl is cornered behind a rock. Luckily, she still has her grenades, so she creates a large enough explosion that allows her to escape once more. Even if she doesn’t win, her ingenuity has impressed her opponents. I don’t understand why they didn’t throw a grenade, though. It’s not like they don’t have any.

— Halfway through the episode, Karen realizes that she can only win by getting in close and dirty with her opponents. After all, this is how she’s always won, but I guess she just needed to conveniently forget this fact until we’re ready to wrap this arc up.

— Her gun is talking to her. The girl has gone nuts.

— Karen decides to sit around a corner and just wait for her opponents to walk by. When they immediately take aim and shoot at her, the girl nonchalantly ducks her head beneath the bullet. Like really? GGO wants to be a gritty, realistic shooter, but you can also jack your AGI up so high that you can literally dodge bullets like Neo?

— After taking two enemies out, Karen gets nicked by a bullet and falls down a small hill. She’s about to die when the most obvious development occurs: M has finally decided to redeem himself by providing long-range support. I mean, we all knew it was coming…

— Even so, the enemy leader manages to pin Karen down and go for the kill. For some reason, however, she goes for the girl’s heart instead of her head. Luckily, Karen has her scanner in just the right place to keep herself alive. But if you’re me, you gotta be like, “So what? Just shoot her in the head and be done with it.”

— But the enemy leader misses! In fact, she misses twice because Karen’s head is that fast! But I mean, if you have her pinned down, why don’t you just hold the gun to her head then pull the trigger?

— Of course, the woman runs out of bullets.

— And now it’s Karen’s turn to miss at practically point blank range! She frees herself, grabs her P-chan, and fires away to no avail. What is this?! What am I watching?!

— The two combatants then get into the scuffle, and Karen asks, “D-doesn’t that hurt?” Doesn’t what hurt? The enemy leader’s bullet wounds? Do you actually feel pain in this game? If so, why would anyone play it?

— After some ridiculously long-range ammo reloading action, the enemy leader now has the distinct advantage against Karen. After all, our heroine is out of ammo! Oh no! What will she do!

— She can just block bullets with her own gun! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!

— Oh no, it’s SSJ Karen time!

— So with her trusty knife, Karen takes out the enemy leader.

— There is still a sniper left, but after some delicious bullet-on-bullet action, M takes out the final enemy combatant. And just like that, Karen’s team is victorious. Woo. I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it.

— Nice Engrish.

— Back in the real world, Karen has decided to cut her hair short. I like it. But then again, I like short hair on girls.

— These high schoolers also give Karen some love for her height. As they often say, one man’s insecurities is another man’s fetish… yeah, I think that’s how that goes.

— Karen reveals, however, that she’s no longer hung up about her height. After all, Squad Jam taught her that. No, really. By fighting to survive in a video game, Karen shed years and years of a deeply-ingrained complex. This is why video gamers are the least insecure people in the world!

— Wait, did that girl just call her friend “Boss?” Are you fucking kidding me?

— That’s right! These girls are all GGO players! In fact, they are the exact goddamn people that Karen had just competed against. Amazing, isn’t it? In SAO, guys are always guys, and girls are always cute girls. People may lie about their heights online, but never about the gender.

2 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep. 5: Who needs therapy when you have video games?

  1. Pia

    Bullet on bullet action? I’m getting some deja vu feels about this:

    SAO never changes… on second thought, I think this one is lamer than the original.

    I never understood the need to include “pain” in SAO, other than be a cheap way to create tension and to make the characters less boring during action sequences, in reality is really unncesesary and dangerous, this doesn’t look like a feature that could be implemented in a world that have already suffered the dangers of virtual reality recently.
    Also, I hate pain, most people do, my back is really killing me right now, why should anyone play a game with such feature? is just stupid.


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