Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Manga: SAO Phantom Bullet

Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet Vol 3 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

With the prelims over, it's time to head into the main event-the Bullet of Bullets tournament! But this fun free-for-all has turned into an IRL death match when a member of SAO's Laughing Coffin raises the stakes. Can Sinon and Kirito figure out who Death Gun is before it's too late?!

*announcer voice* Laaaddieeess aaaaand Gentlemeeeeeeennn let the Bullet of Bullets begiiiiiiinnnnn! 

Kirito, being Kirito, will be using his lightsaber....I mean....sword. As you can see from the GIF ;) 

So, the prelims are over and the Bullet of Bullets is about to kick off. We open the volume with some more information about Laughing Coffin and what went down with them in SAO, it's actually quite chilling. So we know who Death Gun is....or at least partially as we still don't have an actual name. I've been eagerly awaiting this volume, as unlike the anime, it provides more insight and thoughts from the characters and is giving this story arc a new dimension. 

We're introduced to the arena with quite a lot of detail, which was nice, and then it's all action and tactics and it's like that for the entirety of the volume, with some little breaks as we check in with Asuna and the others. While Kirito is teaming up with Sinon to take down Death Gun so that they can have the rematch she wants so much, Asuna wants answers after she and Klein realise who Death Gun is. 

The checkpoints provide lots of interesting information both on the settings and the guns the characters use which is some interesting background information to have as you're reading and helps to bring the setting and game alive! The art, I have to say, is very close to the art from the anime, so the characters are very familiar and it's very well drawn. Although there's a fair bit of fan service and I'm still getting used to the bullet prediction lines! 

Phantom Bullet's third volume is fast paced and we get left wanting more as the volume comes to an end with one final, chilling visual. Hopefully we won't have to wait long for volume four, which I *think* is the last volume in this story arc if I remember the anime correctly! 

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