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SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Episode 5.5: Refrain – (Review)

By: V.O.lynn

Episode 5.5 is optional.

A completionist can watch it. I saw that it was a recap episode, popped popcorn, and sat down completely ready for absolutely no new content.

I wasn’t disappointed.

I could have been. If I had set my expectations higher than the floor, for example, I would have been very disappointed. But I gave it a low bar to meet.

It’s a clip show, pure and simple, with Pito fangirling over Llenn during the Squad Jam. The episode condenses the major parts of 1, 4, and 5 into one 20 minute episode with M and Llenn reacting to the footage.

What caught my attention wasn’t so much what was in it, as what was left out. Pito asked for only scenes of Llenn fighting during the Squad Jam, but we don’t get to see Pito react to M’s breakdown and near-betrayal, other than to call M a chicken near the beginning of the episode (related more to his tactic of letting Llenn be the bait at the beginning than anything else.)

As a fun bonus, the normally clean intro is interrupted with gunfire and falling shells, and you’ll want to stay for “gag reel” at the end with new dialogue and sounds.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of insight into Pito and M, other than that Pito appears to have an interest in Llenn, knows Llenn’s favorite singer, and that M is a fan of Llenn’s favorite singer now too. It also gives us just a little info about the “Author” who set up the Squad Jam, but it felt more like a segue into the outtakes reel, so it may be just a bit inaccurate.

Gun Gale Online (Episode 5.5)

Gun Gale Online (Episode 5.5)
3.7

Characters

3.0 /10

Animation

4.0 /10

Story

4.0 /10

What Works

  • Pito Fangirling
  • Outtakes

What Hurts

  • Clip Show
  • Minimal actual content

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