INTERVIEW: Sword Art Online Alternative: GGO ft. LLENN’s VA, Author & Producer!

Anime Trending was given the gracious opportunity to interview three very important individuals when it comes to the creation of the Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online TV anime series. Hear what the author, Keiichi Sigsawa, voice actress of LLENN, Tomori Kusunoki, and producer of the series, Kenta Suzuki, have to say about the creation of the show:

Anime Trending: It’s good to see you again Sigsawa-sensei! We haven’t seen each other since Crunchyroll Expo. How has it been with all the excitement from Kino’s Journey to Sword Art Online [Alternative: Gun Gale Online]?

Sigsawa-sensei: I’m very happy because last year I was able to come here for Kino’s Journey and I was hoping I could come back to the US with the main character of GGO and I got my wish.

Regarding GGO, you put a lot of detail into the guns, the caliber, and especially creating this world. What was it like being able to see this world come to life in the anime?

There actually is a lot more I would’ve liked to see. However, the top priority for the anime staff and what the audience was expecting to see was LLENN. So in that context, I think the show was done properly and overall a success. Of course, as a gun nut, I would’ve loved to see more of the firearms aspect, but as an anime writer, I think this show was done properly.

Speaking of a gun nut, you made a cameo appearance in episode three. There was a light novel author who sponsored the Squad Jam. How did that come about? Did you write that self-introduction in the novel as well?

When I was writing the novel, the sponsor was in fact my alter ego. During the anime’s production meeting, they asked me “Since we’re putting this character in, would you be interested in performing? Maybe in voicing the character?” and that’s how that happened!

via Aniplex of America

Anime Trending to Kusunoki-san: You played Karen “LLENN” Kohiruimaki which was your first major role in the industry. Was it hard playing the main character that’s a part of a very large franchise?

Kusunoki-san: I did get to play the main character in a different show one cour before, so this would be my second main character role. I always have been an SAO fan, and I also knew that everyone loved the franchise so there was a bit of pressure there. However, I was very happy going through all twelve episodes with Karen.

On the topic of LLENN, was it difficult to voice two seemingly difficult characters? One being Karen Kohiruimaki; the stoic, quiet girl, and the other being LLENN; the hyperactive cute bunny girl.

It was a challenge because LLENN and Karen are practically polar opposites as characters. In addition to that, I also performed P-Chan as well, but it was really fun as a challenge.

We of Anime Trending are aware that you sang the ending theme song “To See the Future” for Sword Art Online [Alternative: Gun Gale Online]. Interestingly enough, your song was ranked first on our charts as well as our website! We wanted to know what it was like singing that song as well as how the opportunity came for you to have this single.

This was actually supposed to be the character song for LLENN, and was also my first time doing a solo character song. I discussed it with the song writer a lot because I really wanted Karen’s personality within LLENN to really show up.

Just to clarify, the character, Karen “LLENN” Kohiruimaki, along with your character song dominated our charts for the duration of the Spring 2018 anime season! Congratulations!

Kusunoki-san: Thank you so much!

Sigsawa-san to Anime Trending: Is it a female character poll?

Yes, it is a “Top 10 Female Character” poll in which her character dominated the charts.

Kusunoki-san: I’m honored to hear it. Thank you very much!

Anime Trending to Suzuki-san: Sword Art Online is such a huge franchise and the studio that spearheaded the project in the beginning was A-1 Pictures. However, this time around the project was animated by Studio 3Hz. What was it like producing this anime? Did you interact with A-1 Pictures?

Suzuki-san: Actually this was a parallel production to Sword Art Online Alicization. It wouldn’t have been practical for one studio to work on both projects at the same time, so Studio 3Hz was tapped in to handle Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. Studio 3Hz is different from A-1 Pictures, in the fact that it’s a smaller studio. They do put in a lot of love into their work and it was actually my first time working with Studio 3Hz. They definitely did not disappoint as they made an adaptation that was very faithful to Mr. Sigsawa’s light novels as well as having a high production value for an anime.

Have any of the past anime projects under Studio 3Hz had any influence on Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online project?

Yes, actually they did have an influence. It was a coincidence of sorts but before Gun Gale Online, Studio 3Hz worked on the animation for Kuroboshi Kouhaku-sensei’s (the illustrator for Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online) character designs for another anime called Princess Principal. It had a positive influence on the execution of the GGO project. I was also impressed by the thorough and high quality work Studio 3Hz did on projects like Sora no Method (Celestial Method) and Dimension W. It was for this reason I thought “if we went with Studio 3Hz for the GGO projects, I trust they could do the same.”

via Aniplex of America

Anime Trending to All: Any final remarks you’d like to say to fans across the world?

Sigsawa-sensei: Thank you very much for enjoying it! Please ask for more because that’s how you will get more.

Kusunoki-san: Thank you for enjoying the show! This was the first time I’d heard that the character song I did was ranked first, and I’m very happy to hear that. The anime is over now, but I hope that you continue to show love for LLENN and I’d very much love to be part of any sequels if they were to happen in the future!

Suzuki-san: Thank you for watching, and thank you for voting for LLENN along with the song and show itself. I’ll see if any sequel will be possible!

That concludes the interview! Big thank you to Aniplex and Aniplex of America for the opportunity to be able to speak to these amazing and talented individuals. Let’s now hope that a potential sequel comes so we can get another opportunity to talk to them again! Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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