TV Series Anime Sword Art Online (Alternative Gun Gale Online): Episode 1 "Squad Jam" ...
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Sword Art Online (Alternative Gun Gale Online): Episode 1 “Squad Jam” [Season Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Sword Art Online returns! However, it is without our beloved Kirito and Asuna… so is it still worth seeing?

Community Rating

0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)

Network
Crunchyroll
CreatorKeiichi Sigsawa
Director(s)Masayuki Smkoi
Writer(s)Keiichi Sigsawa, Dengeki Bunko
Air Date4/7/2018
Noted Actors
Karen/LlennTomori Kusunoki
MKazuyuki Okitsu

The Introduction

A woman named Karen, who seemingly is a babysitter, mom with a whole lot of kids, maybe even a teacher, is also Llenn. An avatar in the game world we saw of Sword Art Online’s second season, Gun Gale Online. In the season premiere, her focus is participating in the Squad Jam team battle royal with partner M. Someone who is the strategist of their little group. And together we don’t see them win the battle royal, but they do survive even professionals coming after them.

Highlights

The Action Was Interesting

Llenn as she aims at an opponent.

Though gun battles aren’t as cool, sometimes, as hand to hand or sword battles, considering how much strategy was involved in surviving, M made it a bit cooler. Especially as Llenn was used as a lure and we saw what it took to survive, maybe even win, a competition. The whole suitcase thing especially brought about Metal Gear Solid vibes and made for an excellent end.

On The Fence

It Seems More About Established Fans Than Getting New Ones

As of now, the show is purely living on the Sword Art Online name recognition than pushing why, as a spin-off, it holds its own. For while Ms. Karen seems cool, and the action was interesting, it felt like we got dropped in the middle of the season vs. are at the beginning. Making it where, if someone didn’t know what Sword Art Online was, or didn’t like it, you aren’t given much ammunition, no pun intended, to talk this show up without having to explain the backstory.

To put it another way, this seems like a show that perhaps should have bridged the gap between season 1 and season 2.

First Impression: Mixed (Stick Around)

Karen, who Llenn is in real life.

Being someone who watched the show since the beginning, I may not know what is going on or where this is going, but I’m a loyal fan to the franchise. The issue at hand is, if you aren’t or never got the hype, this show doesn’t push to change that really. At least in its premiere episode. It simply seems like an episode in season 2 made to introduce new characters before Kirito and Asuna pop-up and introduce themselves. Which, again, if you love the series, is fine, but it doesn’t present a hook for all others.

Hence the first impression of this being mixed. It’s good enough but is heavily reliant on the name being the hook vs. the characters. And while the gunfight was interesting, it wasn’t something epic which, even as a fan, I would say is one of the best fights we’ve ever seen in the series. It barely even is a blip on the radar.


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Review Summary

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