Fans were elated to hear that the popular Sword Art Online spin-off, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, would be adapted into an anime series. And while most fans were aware that the series would take place in the same game depicted in Sword Art Online II, there was no explicit connection between the two series.
But in the latest episode of the series, Gun Gale Online revealed its direct tie-in to the mainline series, in which Kirito and Sinon's actions in the Bullet of Bullets directly leads to LLENN's participation in the Squad Jam.
In the last episode, Pitohui tries to convince LLENN to join the Squad Jam, a competition where pairs of players try to eliminate each other in a large competition. In the latest episode, Pitohui explains where the Squad Jam came from as it was never a thing in the original depiction of Gun Gale Online in Sword Art Online II.
After Kirito and Sinon worked together to win the third Bullet of Bullets, a tactic no one has used before, one man was so impressed by the pair's teamwork winning the BoB that he went ahead and sponsored the creation of the Squad Jam.
This rich investor loved the idea of two people working together (instead of the Battle Royale style found in the Bullet of Bullets) that the Squad Jam was centered around this idea. To connect spin-off and main series even further, Pitohui confesses that she was actually in the same competition Kirito and Sinon were a part of.
Although she was taken out by a sniper and never met the two Sword Art Online II favorites in battle, it is an interesting sly connection between the two series.
For those unfamiliar with the spin-off, the synopsis for Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online is as follows:
"In the world of guns and steel that is Gun Gale Online, LLENN has been a devoted, female solo player. She is obsessed with two things: donning herself entirely in pink and honing her skills with consistent game play. She soon discovers her love for hunting other players (a.k.a. PK), soon to be known as the “Pink Devil.”
Meanwhile, LLENN meets a beautiful yet mysterious player, Pitohui, and the two click right away. Doing as she is told by Pitohui, she enters the Squad Jam group battle."
For those unfamiliar with Sword Art Online, the series was originally created by Reki Kawahara with illustrations provided by abec. The series follows a boy named Kirito after he and thousands of gamers get trapped in a virtual reality video game known as Sword Art Online.The gamers must band together to defeat the game’s final level to escape, but Kirito and his guild learn there is more behind their prison than they were originally told.
The series began as a line of light novels published through Dengeki Bunko in 2009, and has been adapted into eight different manga series by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The series has been licensed for an English language release by Yen Press, and has been adapted into an anime series by A-1 Pictures.
Its first season aired in 2012 and ran for 25 episodes, while its second season, Sword Art Online II, aired in 2014 and ran for 24 episodes. The series currently gearing up for its next big arc in the light novel series, "Unitial Ring," and the next season of the anime is set to adapt "Alicization."