As we get to know real world Shino, Kirito preps to dive into Gun Gale Online.

Review (with Spoilers)

While in the first season there was character development in the form of people getting stronger by fighting or surviving tragedy in the virtual world, with Shino we get an excellent mix of her developing in both worlds and it shows growth in the talents of the writers. For with the use of showing her triggers and explaining how this led to her to going onto GGO, the episode exhibits what caused her trauma, how she copes and left room for us to see how she could grow. That, amongst other facets of her being, really led to a strong episode gone into more below.

Topic 1: Trauma – Shino

The majority of the episode has us getting to know Shino who is another one of those characters who seemingly are in high school and live by themselves. Something which has always confused me about the animes I watch since not seeing parents in the series has become a slight norm. However, while Shino’s mother may not be seen she does have contact with her grandfather and possible love interest Shinkawa who introduced her to GGO.

Leading to us talk about the meat of her story which deals with why she is so invested in playing GGO to get stronger. Well, it is due to GGO being her exposure therapy. You see, when she was a kid she was put into a position where she ended up killing someone with a gun and ever since then she has been traumatized. So her strengthening her character in GGO is how she vicariously tries to strengthen her actual person, and decrease the amount of panic attacks she gets when it comes to seeing guns. However, as much as she uses guns in GGO, it seems her exposure therapy isn’t working that much since just a kid making a gun with their hand seems to put her into panic attack mode.

Topic 2: I’m Going Under – Kirito

With Kirito telling Asuna he plans to head to GGO, unfortunately, she doesn’t mention plans to join him in that world. From what it seems he will be going solo, as his rehab nurse, Ms. Aki, watches his body. But he seems to not be the only one going under. We see who likely holds the Death Gun investigating his next target and with two down he sees Shino as the next one to dispose of, and with the Bullet of Bullets tournament coming there perhaps has been no better time to not only publicize himself but take out a target.

Things To Note

Shino = Sinon

From what we learn, Shino’s dad died in a car accident when she was 2 so all she has is her mom and grandpa.

Shino’s trauma comes from her shooting a man when she was a kid, who was trying to rob the post office. The full story is, the man came in looking rabid and pushed her mom down who was at the counter and took out his gun. He gets one band of money and then shoots a clerk because he pressed the alarm it seems. Then, because he has become irate, he starts threatening another clerk’s life and then points the gun at Shino’s mom. With this, she bites his hand and he drops the gun and she gets her hands on it. From there, she shoots his one time in the abdomen and he still comes after her; she shoots again in the chest and like a zombie, or man on serious drugs, he still is coming for her; so then she shoots him in the head and it is over. Thing is, now her mom looks terrified at her and with her seeing the man’s blood pool around her she becomes traumatized for life.

Shino and Shinkawa’s relationship seems very friendly, but you can tell he wants to either simply protect her or date her. Because of him, she doesn’t end up robbed by her classmate Endo and her friends, simply by Endo making a handgun symbol, and he even offers to walk her home in a way which implies it maybe for more than her protection. But I think Shino is too embarrassed by any sense of him liking her and really does want to be able to stand up for herself. So, no walking her home but I’m sure they will have little platonic dates in the future. Heck, maybe he may one day save her in GGO and keep her from getting shot by Death Gun?

Shino’s exposure therapy is a mix of playing GGO, in which she seems to have no issue handling a gun, and also handling a model gun in her apartment which she still seems very incapable of handling too long before having a panic attack and vomiting.

Shino mentions that she plans to compete in BoB (Bullet of Bullets).

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