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Shangri-La Frontier, The Better Sword Art Online

Shangri-La Frontier, The Better Sword Art Online

This time, I would like to discuss an anime about a game that is similar to Sword Art Online but, in my opinion, has a better story. It's called "Shangri-La Frontier," and this anime is one of my most anticipated for 2023.

This anime tells the story of a boy named Rakurou Hizutome, known as Sunraku in the gaming world, who has a preference for playing overlooked games, particularly those with poor development and numerous bugs.

One day, while browsing a game store for one of these "trash" games, the shop owner suggested a popular game called Shangri-La Frontier, known for its stunning visuals, similar to the Sword Art Online game in the anime "Sword Art Online" and the YGGDRASIL game from the anime "Overlord," where players can immerse themselves in a virtual reality game world.

Sunraku, feeling the need for a change of pace due to boredom with his current gaming selection, decides to try the game, thus beginning the story of Shangri-La Frontier.

When I first encountered Shangri-La Frontier, I was introduced to it through the anime PV. I found the CG visual animation impressive, and I decided to read the manga, which turned out to be quite good.

Initially, I had some reservations about the appearance of the MC, whose game avatar had a bird's head, but this became more acceptable as I delved deeper into the manga.

Unlike Sword Art Online, where players are trapped in the game and face life-threatening challenges to escape, Shangri-La Frontier allows players to enjoy the game freely without the fear of dire consequences, akin to the experience in "Bofuri," where players have the freedom to play as they wish.

The story of this anime provides an exciting glimpse into the world of VR gaming and the freedom it offers.

Sunraku, the MC of this anime, starts the game from scratch, allowing viewers to witness his character development gradually unfold. This sets him apart from Kirito, who is portrayed as a seasoned player and a beta tester of the Sword Art Online game, possessing advanced knowledge of the game mechanics compared to other players.

Moreover, the anime's storyline demonstrates strong world-building, providing a detailed backstory on the formation of the Shangri-La Frontier game world. The expansive map of the game allows players to venture and explore various uncharted territories and dungeons.

Another distinctive feature is the absence of permanent character deaths in Shangri-La Frontier, as players are able to respawn in the game.

Shangri-La Frontier, The Better Sword Art Online

While Sword Art Online follows a format where players must defeat each floor's boss to progress further, Shangri-La Frontier incorporates bosses in unexplored areas and dungeons that players must navigate and conquer.

For those not fond of harem elements in gaming anime, Shangri-La Frontier offers a refreshing departure from romance-focused narratives. In my view, this anime provides an authentic gaming experience, unlike Sword Art Online, which, in my opinion, leans more towards a harem genre disguised as a gaming anime.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Shangri-La Frontier, particularly for enthusiasts of gaming anime. I believe it deserves a place on your watchlist for 2023.

Yopparai Weeb Expert

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