What’s the show? Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Episode 5.
We left the last episode on something of a cliffhanger! What happens here? Well it’s more or less resolved in a few brief minutes, namely that the reason M pulled a gun and tried to kill LLENN was because he was left a note by Pito saying that if he died in the game she would “murder” him in real life. So his plan was to kill LLENN making him the leader, at which point he would resign, having made it past an hour in-game as per request but not died as per her stipulation.
Right… Yeah, it’s kinda dumb, which I think is the best way to describe this episode on the whole ‘kinda dumb’. Which is annoying for me to even say because there’s so much about this episode that’s really good, like really really good!
Oh? Like what exactly? Well, at this point in the Squad Jam there’s only two teams left: LLENN & M and a six member team with some impressive skills. And you know what’s the best thing about this other team, they’re an all-female team!
But there’s some things about this episode you’re not too keen on, yeah? Well, I fully accept that the “rules” of this VR game are still somewhat malleable, but there’s some things in this episode that truly stretch the credibility of the narrative. Namely, how lucky LLENN gets in her various encounters with the enemy team. I know they set up that her “passive” is the fact that she’s very lucky. But seriously, she gets shot point blank upward of 10 times during this episode and avoids taking as much as a scrape from any of these shots because the plot says so.
Oh, so she’s got that ‘plot armor’? More or less, and it’s annoying because a smarter writer could have written around these zero point confrontations without resulting to nearly jumping the shark as so many of these encounters ended up being!
So what was good about the episode? Well it was great to see the disillusionment of their pairing and seeing LLENN working on her own and formulate plans without the ever-present additions from the crazy-tactical M. Also—and this should come as no surprise to those who’ve read the previous reviews—but I really enjoyed the quiet but significant scenes outside the game. It was exactly what I wanted!
What happened? Well, in the real world Karen, after having narrowly secured victory in the Squad Jam, is confronted by a group of six middle-schoolers whom she’s passed by on numerous occasions in her daily life. They stop her and confess the fact that they’ve often commented on her height and how envious they of her ‘model-esque physique’ which prompts their leader to reveal their true identity. Namely these petite middle-school girls are the 6 strong team that almost took LLENN and M down in the ‘Squad Jam’!
Cool, I guess? It is cool, I’m glad there’s so many female gamers being represented in this anime.
And that they’re all cute girls in real life? Well, yeah, I mean it’s an anime what do you expect?
True enough, so still happy with the anime even with the aforementioned issues? Yeah, I mean the issues are annoying but they don’t spoil the experience, it’s just for a show that prizes how tactical it is having such sudden implausibilities in the action feels a bit cheap. It’s still a fun show and the characters are great, here’s hoping for more scenes in the real world in future episodes!
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