Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – How to Properly Review GGO

A Great Spin-off Series That is Anything BUT Sword Art Online

Image result for sword art online alternative gun gale onlineThe Sword Art Online franchise has always been a divisive one in the anime community. While many people genuinely enjoy the series, there are just as many who love to hate it. Wherever you fall on the spectrum though, its standalone spin-off series Sword Art Online Alternative:  Gun Gale Online or GGO for short, is sure to be a winner. Rather than just review the series, I’ll be doing a step-by-step walkthrough on how to properly review the series.

First you must insert an uncreative comment about how the main character is not Kirito because apparently LLENN can’t just be talked about as a well-written character without this obligatory mention. Further more, who cares about her character nuance as she is not only an interesting character, but used to further flesh out the SAO universe in a cannon way. Who cares though? I mean, she’s not Kirito, right?

This is the most important step. If you don’t do this then people might get confused that you’re actually reviewing GGO and not SAO. We wouldn’t want that now would we? While it would be nearly impossible not to throw back to the original series, it is by far more interesting to spend a majority of your review focusing on Sword Art Online instead of the show we are supposedly talking about.

At this point it may be wise to win over any holdouts who have doubts about how great and wonderful this series is by mentioning all the cute loli girls. Who doesn’t love legal loli girls? Nobody, that’s right. This show even has TWO of them! That is sure to get any reader’s attention and distract them from creating any counter arguments to your position regarding GGO.

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What’s better than one loli? Two of course!

If there’s another thing you don’t want to forget to fail to mention is how much better the writing is in GGO. Naturally this is because this series isn’t written by Reki Kawahara, who we all know is a terrible writer who has never seen improvement throughout his entire career. Instead, this series is written by the far superior Keiichi Sigsawa and definitely didn’t have any involvement from lame ol’ Reki Kawahara.

Characters have great chemistry and banter between each other. They never exposit information in the middle of combat or anything like that. Each moment is tense because characters have absolutely no plot armor or fall victim to common troupes like they do in SAO. It’s simply so incredible I can hardly believe it!

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I really loved this moment

To score a few bonus points while writing your 100% original review of GGO then be sure to point out that even though this series is just as silly, if not more so than SAO, that’s all totally forgivable because poor Keiichi is just following the rules of the SAO universe and in no way has ever written anything silly himself. I mean, sure, there might be a talking P-90 in this series, but at least there aren’t any talking motorcycles, right?

The last step is to give a personal antidote on how much of a gamer you are and, therefore, you know that GGO’s game design is really good. You want to give yourself an air of credibility but you have to be careful because you can’t mention how character generation works in this world, advantages to getting smaller characters, or any of those small details that really aren’t all that important.

Not a lot of SAO fans seemed to give this show a watch so it is your job to go out in the world and evangelize why this series is better. Joey the Anime Man even said, and I’m paraphrasing a bit:

Maybe the reason people who liked SAO aren’t watching this is because the storytelling is more in the realm of a show like Log Horizon.

If you carefully follow these steps you’ll be on your way to writing a grade A review of Sword Art Online…. Alternative:  Gun Gale Online. Before you head off to write your own review, I do want to warn you of some things to avoid doing at all costs:

  • Don’t mention the recap episode and how terrible it was.
  • Be sure to avoid exploring the sexual orientation of several characters and their portrayal within this series, at least in detail, you could mention it if you want.
  • Avoid talking about how creepy M and Pitohui’s relationship is.
  • Omit that the animation is just average, does its job.
  • Fail to discuss how this series is pretty predictable, especially the BIG twist at the end.
  • Under no circumstance should you admit that you like any facet of SAO, or heaven forbid, its entirety.

I really enjoyed Sword Art Online Alternative:  Gun Gale Online and had a really fun time with it. Sure, it wasn’t a ten-out-of-ten masterpiece but anything beats SAO which this is anything but. Hopefully you gleamed some valuable information from this review and howto article while you were here, and as always, thanks for reading.


In case this was unclear, somehow, I like SAO so I don’t want to hear anything about me not liking it in the comments. I watched every major GGO video and read several reviews/articles related to it to come up with this. Wow, people are really creative, let me tell you. I hope you enjoyed my salty meta-commentary on how a lot of people chose to talk about SAO rather than GGO while discussing this series.

Let me know your thoughts on GGO in the comments below. Did you have a pretty good time with it or did you pass because of its attachment to SAO? Let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to support the work I’m doing here please click the button below and donate a few bucks. Thanks again for reading, and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

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44 thoughts on “Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – How to Properly Review GGO

  1. Not seen reviews like this but I believe you. I dropped this after episode 1 because I didn’t think it improved nearly enough and sucked if you looked at it as a stand alone. I think it would be too long to get into it here why but being boring is still the main reason.

    You’re free to like what you like though, it’s all opinions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I looked at MAL reviews, YouTube, etc… it’s not like they were all like this but it was pretty funny to see how many were XD

      Fair enough, I’ve heard this complaint quite a bit actually. A lot of people seemed to find this boring. Maybe because, like The Anime Man implied, it is just too high concept like Log Horizon XD

      Kidding of course. Yeah, you not watching this is no big deal really. This is a take it or leave it kind of show.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah SAO/GGO and “High Concept” don’t belong in the same sentence. It’s sad because Log Horizon has pretty high concepts about society as well.

        I wrote that first paragraph without reading your third and I genuinely couldn’t tell if you were being serious, mainly because I really wanted to see you write a post talking about what was high concept about this show, that would really interest me (if the post could exist). It’s also because I’ve never really been sure what XD means…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree haha.

          Man, that would be really interesting. I have no idea how I would spin that post though. I was joking when about that bit lol. The Anime Man on YouTube really did imply this in his video about GGO and it just blew my mind. He said this after 3 episodes…

          As for XD that is just an emoji face. It’s eyes shut tight, big smile, so usually attached to something silly or sarcastic.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Alright that’s crazy! Did he justify his opinion at all? Maybe I’ll have to see why he said that!

            Aha I thought it might be like. It’s like one of those words that people use a lot but are never sure of the exact definition. Now I know!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. A bit yeah. I link to the video in the review so feel free to check it out. He kind of makes it as an off-handed comment but I don’t really get why he said that at all. That’s why I included it in the review! It was funny XD

              Yup, there are a lot of emoji faces and I don’t even know half of ’em so…

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Alright I’ll check it out!

                So I watched it and there was nothing about high concepts, but in the original post you said there wasn’t anyway so I was just confused. I would disagree with the statement but thank goodness he put “but that is a bit of a stretch” at the end, it sort of makes me think that he thinks the writers were going for log horizon and executing it badly.

                I didn’t watch all of the video so I may not know for sure.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. No he doesn’t state that, just the way he made the comment comes off like he is implying something like that. Really, I just thought it was funny that anyone would even remotely compare the two.

                  You didn’t miss much. He basically says SAO sucks for most of the video and makes some remarks that I poke fun of in my review that others made.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. No, I don’t really watch him. Sometimes YouTube recommends his videos to me or I’ll check one out if I search a show and he pops up like for this. I follow most the AniYouTuber’s but primarily the ones that do series reviews or analytical content. Even then, I don’t watch all their stuff.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Sounds good, I used to watch him a lot but I found him a bit repetitive and lost interest. Still like him but he’s just not for me.

                      I’m about the same as to other YouTubers, though I unreasonably dislike glass reflections, probably unfairly.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I like GR, when I was first getting into anime his videos were casual enough but informative enough for me to find some stuff to watch. We also have similar tastes most of the time. He’s not my fave but I definitely like his content most of the time.

                      Then again, I’m somebody who still does the taboo of keeping up with Digibro XD

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Yeah just watched the Tommy C thing which was painful to watch. If you’re going to put your microphone up to double the volume of the other guy and shout whenever he says something that makes sense it can’t even be called a debate.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. His debate show is interesting concept but very boing generally. I skim through the vids at best. I do like the lolicon debates though. I like loli stuff but not like /that/ loli stuff so I can relate to the discussion.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Yeah sure, obviously there are exceptions. Like if you traced over real CP I’m not ok with that or anything that isn’t in loli/shota. I think that’s a problem a lot of these guys have, they’re imagining just drawings of realistic children instead of lolis.

                      Also this is the Digi’s call in to Toms show that I’m complaining about. Digi vs everyone is generally ok.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. I HATE SAO with a burning passion, and yet I agree with you on all points that a lot of people unfairly laud this as a better anime for not being SAO instead of judging it on its own merit.

    Now, I’m not gonna lie, I loved this series specifically for being a trashy popcorn anime and not taking itself seriously. I am wholeheartedly behind the LLENN is better than Kirito train, and that’s one of the reasons I joined in the first place.

    That’s because LLENN, imo, IS a better character than Kirito in a lot of respects. You can argue she is just as OP and coated in plot armor, but it helps that she isn’t a cardboard cutout generic MC, and actually has a fun personality that doesn’t have to be carried by the side characters.

    I acknowledged all the flaws you mention too, and dislike the M/Pito relationship immensely. It’s plain weird.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment! Love seeing a new face 🙂

      I never liked the way people frame, “trashy popcorn anime” because you are allowed to enjoy something and not have it get you thinking immensely deep thoughts or anything like that. The show was fun, and that should be enough really.

      Yeah, she’s a better written character, so pretty easy to agree with you there. I still like Kirito though, but I also like SAO XD He’s also not a great character so…

      Thanks again for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As someone who enjoyed SAO and GGO, while acknowledging the flaws in both, I think there’s a lot of truth in what you say. Good points of GGO besides those you mention: strong female protagonists and no harem; and a female Darth Vader near the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Passive aggressive to the extreme… I like it! (wait, the rules say that I have to mention my presumed hatred of SAO before everything else)
    I don’t know why everyone took this show so seriously… I coulda sworn it was just a funny rule of cool anime. It was nice and fun and all that, but it wasn’t the savior of anime. It’s better than some parts of SAO, but weaker than others. Having an opinion that isn’t on an extreme isn’t cool though…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, yeah I just couldn’t believe how silly most reviews were. I’m with you though, sometimes you just enjoyed something and that’s all there is to it. GGO was fun and I took it as its own thing. It really didn’t need the SAO comparison and isn’t even that different at the end of the day.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I dropped GGO because of its painful lack of story or character development in the first four episodes. I get it, LLENN has a hang up about her height, which we’ll see once in four episodes, and otherwise I’m watching the pink bunny girl zip around a battlefield. It just wasn’t exactly compelling.
    For all the negative things people say about SAO, at least I knew from episode one what the first arc was about and the purpose. For me, I will take any and all of the flaws SAO has and enjoy that story any day.
    Alternative might have some fun elements for some, but I remember a review I read of it around episode 3 or 4 that described it as a slice of life inside a game and that actually felt very true at the time (I hear later there’s some kind of plot but if by episode 4 that hasn’t kicked in I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed). What that means is that it is going to appeal to a totally different audience to the original SAO and that doesn’t make any sense really. It’s like Soul Eater and Soul Eater NOT all over again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well this was better than the train wreck of NOT if you ask me… That said, I get what you mean. The show did kick in but it took a lot longer than it probably should have. Either way, people really talked up this show and mentioned just, “how much better” it was than SAO but really…

      I think this is a standalone experience with some fanservice for SAO fans but it is something you can totally pass on and not feel too bad about either. I liked it though so I’d generally recommend giving it a shot but in your case, walking away isn’t a big deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh man, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by how 90% of the internet is talking about Alternative.

    For my own opinions, I am not a fan of SAO and what turned me from the original series such turned me away from Alternative. It felt the same to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No kidding. That’s why this went from being a mini review to a full-fledged article. Just so goofy.

      SAO isn’t for everybody, though it does get better with time. You’re right though, and also a small point in this article, GGO is just as much, SAO as SAO is. Obviously this can stand on its own and feels somewhat different but all the goofy of SAO is still there.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Haha…I am not kidding here, but I was looking forward to this post all day, ever since you mentioned it yesterday. And sure enough, it did not disappoint. (It almost make me want to rewrite me own review for just a bit lol, but am not going to do that). Well as you know I avoided the original series almost in it’s entirety in my post, because really this show stands pretty much alone. Yes its SAO..but it also isn’t. I really enjoyed it as well, and thought it was fun.
    That said…another thing that was fun was this post. I love sarcastic humor (that is truly one of my favorite kinds of humor) and this post had plenty of that!
    Job well done, and I am glad I wasn’t the only one who loved the show.
    As for SAO itself…..It’s awesome and I love it to death (and yes I am proud to say that, and not being sarcastic either 😂😂).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you were so excited for this post, and even more so that you enjoyed it! 😀

      I mean, with clear guidelines such as these and step-by-step instructions on how to review GGO I think you just simply /have/ to rewrite your review. I mean, you barely did any of the steps at all! XD

      Glad the humor came through strong on this one and that you can tell I like this and SAO 🙂 I’m with ya, I like these both!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol…don’t tempt me, I might even do it lol😂😂
        But yes this really was a fun post indeed, and I pretty much know a lot of people are going to enjoy reading this one 😀😀
        As for SAO? Bring on season 3..that’s all that I can say 😊😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well if you do, “rewrite” it then be sure to let me know. I think it might be fun to read a response to this type of thing. I mean, half the narrative of this article is how uncreatively people talked about this show in general.

          Glad ya think so! 🙂

          YES! I am hype!!!

          Liked by 1 person

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