Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 4


Looks can be deceiving

It may have taken SAO II's story a bit to get this far, but it’s finally time for A-1 to animate Kirito’s Gun Gale Online debut. Seeing that Kazuto’s current character is different from his usual avatars, his new look can either be a great blessing or a burden that’ll turn his GGO experience into a nightmare.

Now that Sword Art Online II's main pieces are set into motion, it's time for the show to begin the Death Gun case.

At first, I was expecting Kazuto’s character to be a female avatar, since his design for the new season was hinting at that. Lo and behold, the guy ended up with an appearance that’s on par with one of Yun Kouga’s (Earthian’s creator, Gundam 00’s character designer) feminine-looking male characters. In fact, one good look at Kazuto’s face and you’ll swear that you’re staring at a cute girl. Silly enough, GGO’s players ended up feeling the same way when they saw the guy. That being said, I found Kirito’s situation to be hilarious, as his M-9000 character'll place him in many comedic and awkward moments later on.

While this episode was mostly focused on Kazuto getting settled into GGO, I liked that A-1 took their time to get us better acquainted with the game’s mechanics. As I predicted earlier, Sinon ended up being the person who ends up teaching Kazuto how to survive in Gun Gale Online. Thanks to the girl’s guidance, we reminded about the red lines that allow for players to predict their opponent’s gunshots. All in all, I found the segment to be quite informative, since it gave us a good idea on how GGO's combat system works.

Kirita...er, I mean Kirito's a bad shot

Even though it felt too convenient for Kirito to earn a ton of money from the Untouchable gambling game, it’s obvious that the guy’s skills came from his experience when he was in SAO. Since the guy’s life was on the line back then, it’s no surprise that his reflexes would help him in GGO. As for Kirito choosing to use Photon Sword instead of a gun, I liked the idea behind the guy using an item that's overlooked in a game where firearms reign supreme. Seeing that I’m a fan of characters who can take down their adversaries with weapons that many considered being useless or hard to master, it wasn’t too hard for me to accept Kirito’s decision to bring a sword to a gunfight.

When Kirito fired his first gun in GGO, I was actually happy that his accuracy was terrible. Seeing that the guy has never used a firearm in his life, it made sense for him mess up. Hell, I remember having a bit of trouble when my dad was teaching me how to use a rifle, so it was nice to see that Kazuto faced the same issue as well. Come to think of it, SAO II might’ve been better if the Photon Sword didn't exist in Gun Gale Online, as it would’ve given Kazuto the opportunity to adjust to a new fighting style. Then again, Kirito’s still going to have to learn how to use his FN Five-seven properly, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’ll improve as a gunner when Sinon trains him again.

Sinon's secretly into Riders

For another slow episode, I was still content with the way how things progressed this time around. As Sword Art Online II begins to transition towards Bullet of Bullets challenge, there’s a good chance that Death Gun’ll start making its move soon. But first, we’re probably going to have a training regimen where Sinon helps Kirito become a better handgun user. Since I’ve enjoyed Miyuki Sawashiro’s character so far, I hope that we get to see the mystery through her perspective, as I’d like to see how she’ll overcome her trauma later on. Also, I can’t wait to experience the inevitable moment where Sinon finds out that Kirito’s a guy, as it'll make up for Kazuto's decision to not be honest with her.

[You can stare at Sword Art Online II's cute face at Crunchyroll and Daisuki]

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Salvador G Rodiles
Salvador G RodilesSenior Editor   gamer profile

Salvador's an average bystander who took his first steps towards a life-changing goal. During his journey, he's devising a way to balance his time with anime, manga, video games, and tokusatsu in... more + disclosures


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