What’s the show? Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Episode 5.5.
“5.5”? What’s that mean, is it a typo? Nope, it’s a recap episode!
A recap? Of what? The previous 5 episodes? Did they think people would forget already? Generally speaking, unless it’s a very long running show, or a specifically complicated show, the only reason for a recap episode this early in a season is because the next episode looked like it wouldn’t be finished by the airing date so rather than air an unsatisfactory/unfinished product or throw on a repeat of a previous episode, studios will quickly throw together a ‘recap’ episode, which generally involve no extra animation work and just the voice actors and some editing.
Oh, so trouble behind the scenes? Maybe, though I’ve read from various “sources” online that this ‘recap’ episode was planned from a few weeks back because they knew they would need the extra animation time. So it’s not like it’s going completely ~disastrous~ behind the scenes (as far as I know), I think it’s just they realised they’d need more time in the future and allocated for it accordingly.
Anime is done to that tight of a schedule, huh? Yup, it’s a pretty crazy industry.
So what’s the recap actually like? Honestly… it’s pretty damn good.
Huh? Really? Yeah, I mean obviously my expectations were super low going in, but rather than be a dry recap we have Pito and M watching over the “replay” of the Squad Jam since Pito couldn’t be there due to ‘other engagements’, and their commentary and Pito’s relentless jabs at M are pretty damn funny and very endearing.
Oh, well that’s good. Also there’s a very odd (but still amusing) joke about anilingus that I have to assume was ad-libbed by the voice actors.
…Okay. Anything else noteworthy about the recap? Yes. The penultimate confrontation between LLENN and the “Amazon” looking woman, the one that had me questioning how over-powered LLENN was as a protagonist in the previous episode, is actually edited much better here in this shorter format and actually plays out like a believable confrontation.
Interesting. Any extras? You ask like you knew I wanted you too! Yes, there’s a couple of funny re-edits of scenes after the credits, the one with LLENN’s voice actor doing sound effects in place of the real one’s was super cute and funny.
Great, so not a complete waste of time like it could have been. How do we wrap up a review of a recap episode then? I’d say, if you’re watching this show and are enjoying this show and avoided episode 5.5 because you think it won’t be worthwhile I’d say it’s at least better than doing nothing. Obviously if you lead a busy life and have to ration out your anime into whatever meagre free time you have there’s no need to watch it, you won’t be missing much aside from funny commentary and silly jokes. But, if you want more character interactions between Pito and M and have the time to spare, then why not!
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