The March issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine has offered a look ahead at Sword Art Online II, the anime adaptation of the light novel series' "Phantom Bullet" story.
The next stretch of Reki Kawahara's original novels features fictional massively multiplayer online game Gun Gale Online, which focuses on firearms, but also features knifes and lightsaber-like weapons.
Gun Gale Online character Sinon, voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro in the PSP and Vita games, along with a drama CD, also made a cameo at the end of extra edition. Director Tomohiko Ito notes that Sawashiro was cast based on series author Reki Kawahara's comments about the character's intense emotions. Ito explains the that the anime aims to the capture the trauma of the character's past without making it gratuitous.
For Kirito's part, they wanted to get some sense of the effect that the 4,000 deaths in Sword Art Online had on the character, as well as paying attention to adapting novel illustrator abec's take on his GGO avatar's particular figure.
A lot of thought was also given to how to handle the gunplay mechanics. This even entailed a staff research trip to Guam.
In other SAO doings, the first volume of Kiseki Himura's Sword Art Online: Progressive manga, retelling the Aincrad Arc, is out in Japan today with a bonus swimsuit Asuna.
CORRECTION: Scheduling for Sword Art Online II has not been announced beyond a 2014 timeframe.