Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online
|Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online|
The cover of the first light novel.
|ソードアート・オンライン オルタナティブ ガンゲイル・オンライン|
|Written by||Keiichi Sigsawa|
|Illustrated by||Kouhaku Kuroboshi|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||December 10, 2014 – present|
|Illustrated by||Tadadi Tamori|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||December 27, 2015 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masayuki Sakoi|
|Written by||Yōsuke Kuroda|
|Music by||Starving Trancer|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, BS11, GYT, GTV, MBS, TVA, CS NTV Plus|
|Original run||April 8, 2018 – June 30, 2018|
Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online (Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン オルタナティブ ガンゲイル・オンライン Hepburn: Sōdo Āto Onrain Orutanatibu Gangeiru Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Keiichi Sigsawa and illustrated by Kouhaku Kuroboshi. The series is a spinoff of Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online series. A manga adaptation by Tadadi Tamori launched in 2015, and an anime television series adaptation by studio 3Hz aired between April and June 2018. Both the light novels and the manga adaptation are published in North America by Yen Press, while the anime is licensed by Aniplex of America.
Due to the incident that occurred in VR MMORPG Sword Art Online — where 10,000 players were trapped in the game on launch day — the popularity of VR games has plummeted due to fear of similar incidents. The NerveGear, SAO's VR device, was recalled and destroyed, but with the launch of its successor, the AmuSphere, combined with release of the license-free development support package the "Seed," the popularity of VR games saw a sudden resurgence.
The story follows Karen Kohiruimaki, a university student with a complex about her abnormal height. She begins playing a VR game called Gun Gale Online after it gives her the short, cute avatar that she has always wanted.
- Llenn (レン Ren) / Karen Kohiruimaki (小比類巻 香蓮 Kohiruimaki Karen)
- Voiced by: Tomori Kusunoki (Japanese); Reba Buhr (English)
- Karen is a shy girl from Obihiro, Hokkaido who has a complex about her tall height in the real world. As a result, she begins playing Gun Gale Online thanks to the small-statured avatar it gives her. As her avatar Llenn, she wears a pink outfit, which provides camouflage in certain environments, is equipped with a pink FN P90 submachine-gun named "P-chan", and can use super-speed.
- Pitohui (ピトフーイ Pitofūi) / Elsa Kanzaki (神崎 エルザ Kanzaki Eruza)
- Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa, Reona (singing)[a] (Japanese); Allegra Clark (English)
- Elsa is a popular singer and songwriter. She is a former beta-tester for Sword Art Online, but did not log in on the day of the game's official release due to certain circumstances, thus sparing her from the tragic fate from over 10,000 players for the next two years. Angry that she was not able to participate in the "death game", she would gain a psychotic personality that would later develop very prominently in her Gun Gale Online avatar, Pitohui.
- M (エム Emu) / Gōshi Asōgi (阿僧祇 豪志 Asōgi Gōshi)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese); Ray Chase (English)
- Goshi is Elsa Kanzaki's manager and longtime best friend. Formally an obese man who stalked Elsa during her restaurant waiting days, he came to her rescue when she was attacked by a salaryman, but eventually fell under Elsa's sexual abuse and became somewhat of a secretary to her. Goshi, however enjoyed doing so and lost weight, eventually joining Gun Gale Online alongside her as M, an avatar of a husky male dressed in a green combat battledress. His avatar name was chosen because of his masochistic nature. He is a medium-ranged sniper using the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, and has extensive knowledge of military and special operations techniques and tactics. He also has a HK45 as a side arm.
- Fukaziroh (フカ次郎 Fukajirō) / Miyu Shinohara (篠原 美優 Shinohara Miyu)
- Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki (Japanese); Faye Mata (English)
- Miyu is Karen's best friend from her hometown in Hokkaido and a huge VR game freak whom Karen receives advice on for. She normally plays Alfheim Online as a Sylph, but will occasionally convert to Gun Gale Online to participate in Squad Jam events under the name Fukaziroh, named after her deceased dog. In GGO, she uses a pair of grenade launchers as her main set of weapons.
Dengeki Bunko announced on September 18, 2014 that Keiichi Sigsawa would be writing a light novel based on Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online light novel series. The series is supervised by Kawahara and illustrated by Kouhaku Kuroboshi, and ASCII Media Works published the first novel under the Dengeki imprint on December 10, 2014. During their panel at Anime NYC on November 18, 2017, Yen Press announced that they had licensed the series.
Tadadi Tamori launched a manga adaptation in ASCII Media Works seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh on October 27, 2015. Yen Press announced their license to the series at Sakura-Con on April 15, 2017.
An anime television series adaptation was announced at the Dengeki Bunko Fall Festival 2017 event on October 1, 2017. The series is directed by Masayuki Sakoi, written by Yōsuke Kuroda, and animated by studio 3Hz, with character designs by Yoshio Kosakai. The opening theme song is "Ryūsei" (流星 Meteor) by Eir Aoi and the ending theme song is "To see the future" by Tomori Kusunoki.
The series aired in Japan between April 8 and June 30, 2018,[b] and is airing on Tokyo MX, BS11, Tochigi TV, Gunma TV, MBS, and TV Aichi. The series will be released on 6 home video sets with 2 episodes each, for a total of 12 episodes. Aniplex of America has licensed the series and simulcast the series on Crunchyroll and Hulu. Anime Limited announced that they had acquired the series for release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
"Sukuwaddo Jamu" (スクワッド・ジャム)
|April 8, 2018|
|In the online virtual reality game, Gun Gale Online, a girl with the username Llenn participates in a team-based Squad Jam event alongside her teammate M. Taking cover, the two observe as one skilled team takes out another, deducing that they must be combat pros using GGO to gain battle experience. While the other teams eliminate each other, Llenn and M retreat to the residential area to come up with a plan against the pros. Using her small stature and quick speed to her advantage, Llenn launches a surprise attack on the pro team, leading the survivors to resign. In the real world, Llenn's user, Karen Kohiruimaki receives praise for her efforts.|
|2||"GGO"||April 15, 2018|
|Karen Kohiruimaki, who has a complex about her tall height, takes up an interest in VR gaming, but ends up constantly panicking and logging out whenever her Llenn avatar turns out to be too tall or otherwise outrageous. After going through several games, Karen eventually tries Gun Gale Online and becomes delighted with the diminutive avatar that's generated for her, only to discover that the game she picked is one of gunfire and survival. Deciding to stick with the game anyway, Karen gradually improves her skill and updates her outfit to a pink color to suit her taste. Upon finding herself surrounded by other players, Llenn manages to defeat them using pink camouflage and high speed, quickly gaining a reputation as "The Pink Devil". Later, Llenn is befriended by another female player named Pitohui, who helps her pick out a new gun which she nicknames P-chan. Forming a squadron together, Pitohui makes a promise with Llenn that if she can manage to defeat her one day, they will meet each other in real life.|
"Fan Retā" (ファンレター)
|April 22, 2018|
|Pitohui tells Llenn about the upcoming Squad Jam team battle royale tournament, inspired by the events of the previous Ballet of Bullets tournament. Unable to participate due to real life obligations, Pitohui suggests that Llenn should enter the tournament in a team with another male player. After her friend fails to get her tickets to a concert taking place on the same day, Llenn agrees to enter the tournament, meeting up with her arranged partner, M, while also learning she has been appointed as the team leader as part of a strategy. Later, Karen writes a fan letter to singer Elsa Kanzaki, whose concert she couldn't attend, detailing how her songs had helped her through hard times. On the day of the Squad Jam, M gives Llenn a combat knife to use as a backup weapon before the tournament gets underway.|
"Desu Gēmu" (デスゲーム)
|April 29, 2018|
|With three teams remaining in Squad Jam, Llenn and M find themselves up against another team using hovercrafts. Using a shield for cover, M uses his skills as a sniper to take out the opposing team without relying on the game's assist systems. Just as the two are suddenly ambushed by the remaining team, SHINC, and retreat to a mountain area, where M reads a letter and attempts to kill Llenn.|
|5||"Leave the Last Battle to Me"|
"Rasuto Batoru wa Watashi ni" (ラストバトルは私に)
|May 6, 2018|
|Managing to reverse the situation by activating the safety on M's gun, Llenn is surprised to find M caving under pressure when questioned about his actions. M, who reveals his true nature, explains that he was frightened over what Pitohui would do to him in real life if he dies in the game, so he attempted to kill Llenn in order to become leader and surrender. Leaving M alone, Llenn tries to take on SHINC herself, only to get caught up in their trap. Realizing she cannot run away, Llenn faces SHINC head on, soon receiving backup from M. Coming down to a final battle against the remaining member, Llenn is protected by P-chan and wins using the knife she received from M. Later in the real world, Karen gets a haircut to symbolize overcoming her complex while also meeting a group of high school girls, who are revealed to be the team she faced in GGO.|
|May 13, 2018|
|Recap of the first five episodes.|
"SAO Rūzā" (SAO失敗者)
|May 20, 2018|
|The rhythm athletics club who Llenn faced in the Squad Jam as SHINC come over to Karen's place to learn her secrets. Later, as Karen receives news about the next Squad Jam event while heading home to Hokkaido to see her parents, she is approached by M's real life persona, Gōshi Asōgi. He explains how Pitohui became obsessed with Sword Art Online during its beta test, becoming enraged when she was unable to take part in the death game that was the SAO Incident. Believing that Pitohui intends to commit suicide if she dies during the next Squad Jam, Gōshi asks Karen to defeat Pitohui in order to fulfil their promise to meet up in real-life. Agreeing to help, Karen calls upon her best friend Miyu Shinohara, aka Fukaziroh, to form a team with her.|
|7||"Second Squad Jam"|
"Sekando Sukuwaddo Jamu" (セカンド・スクワッド・ジャム)
|May 27, 2018|
|Receiving some funds from Gōshi upon her arrival in GGO, Fukaziroh decides to buy a pair of grenade launchers as her main weapons. On the day of Squad Jam 2, Llenn has a brief confrontation with Pitohui before the tournament gets underway.|
"Būbī Torappu" (ブービートラップ)
|June 3, 2018|
|Squad Jam 2 begins with Llenn's team and Pitohui's team starting on opposite ends of the playing field. Fukaziroh quickly runs into trouble when her legs are temporarily blown off by a booby trap, but Llenn manages to take out the first opposing team without too much trouble. The pair then head to a train station, where Llenn gives Fukaziroh directions to launch grenades at the enemy. After discovering that seven teams haven't moved, Llenn deduces they are all working with each other to take down Pitohui.|
|9||"Ten Minute Massacre"|
"Juppunkan no Ōsatsu" (十分間の鏖殺)
|June 9, 2018|
|Undeterred by the number of opposing teams, Pitohui and her team launch an ambush on them, taking them all out within ten minutes. Meanwhile, Llenn and Fukaziroh make their way through a dome, having to resort to using a smokescreen tactic when they are discovered. After taking out the other players in the dome, the girls end up having to deal with the remaining player, Clarence, for her remaining magazines, before coming up against the skilled MMTM team.|
|10||"The Devil's Comeback"|
"Maō Fukkatsu" (魔王復活)
|June 16, 2018|
|Helped out by SHINC's Eva, who forces MMTM to retreat, Llenn explains the situation concerning Pitohui to her. Following this, Eva leads SHINC in an assault against PM4, using one of their dead teammate's body as a pedestal an anti-tank rifle to destroy M's shield. This provides Llenn with the opportunity to make a beeline towards Pitohui, only for another team's sniper to hit her first, bringing her down to a sliver of health. With Pitohui passed out and MMTM closing in on their location, the rest of PM4 sacrifice themselves to protect Pitohui before she regains consciousness.|
"Ikareta Ren" (イカれたレン)
|June 23, 2018|
|After Pitohui finishes off MMTM all by herself, Fukaziroh pins an uncertain Llenn in place while she and the rest of SHINC launch an attack on Pitohui and M. Although SHINC gets wiped out, Llenn is motivated into action, luring out Pitohui and M as they pursue her in a vehicle. Just as Llenn is cornered, Fukaziroh comes to her rescue in her own vehicle, resulting in a car chase between hot geysers that culminates in a one-on-one confrontation between Llenn and Pitohui.|
|June 30, 2018|
|Pitohui's attempt at killing Llenn with her own weapon backfires when P-chan self-destructs, but she still manages to put a stop to Llenn's counterattacks before killing M for his betrayal. However, Fukaziroh manages to give Llenn the opportunity to deal Pitohui a fatal blow, reminding her of their promise before finishing her off. After Squad Jam 2 ends with Llenn's team ending up in second place due to a sneak attack by the remaining team, Goushi invites Karen and Miyu to meet with the real-life Pitohui, explaining how he formed a masochistic relationship with her. Goushi brings the two to Elsa Kanzaki's, where it is revealed Elsa is Pitohui herself. Although Karen had already figured out Pitohui's identity due to Elsa and Goushi knowing details that they would only know from reading her fan letter, she is taken aback when Elsa kisses her. A post-credits scene shows LLENN and Pitohui back in Gun Gale Online as they enjoy the game again together.|
To promote the anime, Tokyo Marui made a limited edition FN P90 submachine gun with a pink finish as part of a collaboration with Keiichi Sigsawa and Kōji Akimoto, the latter who worked on the air gun's color. The pink P90 was raffled to the public through a raffle in a collaboration with Pizza Hut Japan, in which two of them were awarded to contestants.
During the first half of 2015, the series was 11th best-selling light novel series, with its first and second volumes ranking at 8th and 17th place, respectively. The 4th volume also managed to be the 25th best-selling novel during the first half of 2016. As of May 2018, the series had 1 million copies in print.
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