We meet Karen’s real-life friend as well as one of Llenn’s first virtual friends, alongside seeing Kohi’s first days in a VR environment. Yeah, it’s kind of boring.
|Writer(s)||Keiichi Sigsawa, Dengeki Bunko|
It’s A Lonely Life: Karen, Miyu
It’s July 2025 and Karen, a young woman who goes to an all-female university, doesn’t have friends, besides Miyu, doesn’t join school clubs, and her family forbids her from working. Thus making her life going to school and back and quite lonely. For with Miyu, seemingly, being a childhood friend, she is nowhere near Karen’s current location in Tokyo.
Honestly, the most exciting bit about Karen’s proper introduction was probably seeing Kirito, or what I assume was Kirito, on the news. For Karen is truly written as the most basic of characters. Not even basic in terms of generic underdog or anything like that. I mean basic as in she seems way too boring right now and sadly her alter ego Llenn doesn’t change that.
Welcome To The Virtual World: Karen
Upon Miyu’s advisement, to help cure her feelings of loneliness, Karen joins the Alfheim online, alongside 37 other VR games. Why so many? Well, Karen has a serious complex about her height and it makes it so every time she gets a tall character, she freaks out to the point the AmuSphere kicks her out. That’s how abnormal her heart rate becomes.
Luckily, in GGO, she is spawned with a short character and with that, she feels like she might have found home.
Yeah, let’s all agree that if Sword Art Online wasn’t associated with this, no one would probably say a damn thing about this show. Most of the episode is about pitying this tall, slightly awkward young woman and her height complex. REALLY?
The Perfect Place: Pito, Karen
With an avatar that makes her comfortable, but seemingly no idea what game she is in, so begins the tutorial which was a bit brutal. However, after about three or so months, she becomes quite good. She even gets a GGO nickname – The Pink Devil. Leading to a woman named Pitohui, or just plain Pito, befriending her. Heck, she even helps her find her gun P-chan.
Now, as for where is M and all that? Well, he doesn’t appear this episode. However, we do learn part of the reason Karen entered into Squad Jam was because she and Pito made a deal that, if Karen can beat her, they’ll meet in real life.
This is definitely the kind of show that can’t be used to convince someone to get into the SAO franchise. For fans, it seems like just something to watch and for newbies, I can’t imagine them watching this episode and thinking, “Oh, this is really cool” or something similar. But with Pito’s introduction, there is hope. She is sort of generically cool and mysterious, but her little history buff moment made her slightly interesting?
I don’t know, something about this show just gives off the vibe that we would have been better off meeting one of the characters in the Kirito and Asuna arc before they met them or after. If only because Karen really isn’t claiming this show as her own and putting her stank on it. This feels like fan fiction that got stolen and animated.
- Karen is such a boring protagonist that you’d think this was a romance show and three boys will show up anytime now to court her. Despite her having nothing to offer besides a smile and her time.
On The Fence
- Pito could liven the show-up. Though with us having to next cover Karen meeting M, it may be a while before this show gets interesting.