Comparing GGO: Alternative to SAO’s GGO is like comparing a strawberry swiss roll to a chocolate one. Even if they are both swiss rolls and exist in the same universe with the same kind of warfare and mechanics, the flavour of the story is vastly different.
GGO Alternative, or GGO Alt as I’m going to call it, has a much genuine focus on our character LLENN, and a unique cast of Pito, M, Fuka, and the Gorilla Girls (Gymnasts). Although I find myself enjoying the battles and the action of it as much as I do for SAO’s GGO, I’m further fueled by my interest in the development of LLENN vs Pito and how the battle will turn out. It’s certainly an exciting buildup so far, and hopefully we get to see the final reveal of who Pito is soon even if everyone’s screaming how freaking obvious it is. You know, to see how it’ll unfold.
Compare that to SAO’s GGO, and we see a very heavy tie in to the previous season of SAO, and for good reason – it’s meant to be a SAO season 2. The underlying – death in a virtual reality – is a theme that recurs again. Sure, Sinon’s backstory is touched upon, but the inherent disadvantage of using characters that already have acted in season 1, Asuna and Kirito makes it difficult for the story to be shown in a light on its own. GGO Alt breaks this mold, by very effectively giving us a new protagonist to explore her personal story.
The movie direction for both are also vastly different. GGO Alt seems to offer less drama as you won’t see Sinon breaking down and crying in Kirito’s arms and all that acto bravado in SAO season 2 which serves to push Kirito up the rankings for the best anime boyfriend to have ever. GGO Alt offers a unique pink taste of the story of a female protagonist playing GGO minus the drama and romance.
Nevertheless, Sinon’s character struck a cord on a deeper level with her story of facing her fears. Both stories are of characters trying to be someone they couldn’t be in real life, be it facing fears or roleplaying as a smaller character. I would wonder how SAO season 2 would have played out if the story was told from Sinon’s narration. To me, it would have outshone GGO Alt.
But as much as you can’t argue that chocolate flavour is inherently tastier than strawberry flavour, it’s as impossible to pitch SAO season 2 against GGO Alt. I really love LLENN, I really do. And I love Sinon even more.
If SAO’s GGO was a well-written Shakesperean play, GGO Alt would be the amateur script lacking in everything that most all anime companies worship – ecchi, harem, romance, etc. What it makes up for is it’s ordinaryness and engagement. There is never something more awesome than pitching for characters that you can easily identify with. You’ll be more likely to have a lack of self-esteem due any aspect of your outer appeareance than to have shot and killed someone and gained a phobia of guns. That makes GGO Alt all the more fun to watch.
So Sinon or LLENN? Which would you vote for and why?