Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep 1 – A Redemption for SAO?

After completely hating sword art online I thought it would be good to see if SAO had finally been fixed. Maybe an alternative version would help to bring quality back to a show that’s got a following who would really appreciate an increase in quality.

So was the alternative able to save SAO? Absolutely not. Though it’s still a minor improvement overall.

The two main characters are more interesting to me than kirito. The fact that they have apparent flaws right at the start (something I’ll get into later) already makes them more interesting to me. The dude isn’t the most interesting but he seems average, which is preferable to overpowered.

For the record I thought gungale was the least boring setting for all of the series. I never watched the OP, so I didn’t get spoiled and the terrible mystery sort of kept me going. So this was the best possible place that the show could have rebooted in for me to like it.

The show is a 6 team match and I’m glad the series didn’t fall into the mistake of introducing 6 characters all at once. It would have been way too much!

Now here is the main problem with the episode: The fight scenes are abysmal. There is no getting around that fact.

The whole show looks like it’s on a set.  The show uses incredibly tight camera angles to give it a claustrophobic feeling. Not only does it reduce the worlds scale, it genuinely feels filmed! It’s like there are no villains around and they are just pretending people are there for fun.

When they stare off past through the trees it genuinely feels like a blank wall and there is no tension at all. They transition between locations without any logic at all. The map feels so strange and disorganized because all the transitions between locations feel so jarring.

It’s episode one and it already looks like they’re on a terrible budget! It’s episode one, don’t spend the first 6 minutes in an extremely tight forest where the characters feel separated from everything! There is no better way of showing terrible world building than having the transition between two locations be a 20 second loop of a repeating bush while a character fake runs across a screen!

I probably don’t need to say this but the very character designs of the enemy show that the main characters can never possibly lose. They are so generic! Also how can I take any villain seriously who explains what they do as they are doing it: “WE LOVE FIRING MACHINE GUNS”, “WE LOVE CAMPING PEOPLE” It’s just terrible writing. Am I supposed to believe that these guys have played this game for hundreds of hours when they explain what they’re about every time they do something.

So they set up a trap for the last team by hiding in a suit case. This was actually an interesting idea and I praise the show for it.

What I thought was funny though was why they never thought to check inside the house before the suitcase. It was shown that characters can hide in a house but they can’t even fathom the possibility!

Then the girl pops out and kills them all even though the situation for her victory is completely ridiculous. So basically the show has established that the girls’ only character flaw is that she’s not as good as Kiriro and she will never be challenged or lose a fight ever. So basically the only thing going for this character is that she is better designed and doesn’t have too much faith in herself? Great!

To be fair these criticisms are harsh and I would overlook them in a show I could have more faith in. It’s just that I’m tired of SAO and am prepared to jump at every opportunity to justify it’s lack of quality!

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