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This page details tropes for Sinon from Sword Art Online.

Note: Unmarked spoilers ahead.note  If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!

Shino Asada / Sinon (GGO, ALO, OS, UW, UR) / Sun Goddess Solus (UW)

Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English), Lupita Leal (Latin American Spanish), Silvia Cabrera (European Spanish)
Click here to see Sinon's ALO avatar 
Click here to see Sinon's Ordinal Scale avatar 
Click here to see Solus 
Click here to see Shino 

"I've taught you so much, but I want to teach you one last thing. The taste of the bullet that means defeat."

The female lead and Deuteragonist of Phantom Bullet (volumes 5–6). An elite sniper in Gun Gale Online who wields the rare anti-material rifle "PGM Hecate II". Due to a Dark and Troubled Past, Shino grew up with no friends and a crippling phobia of guns. She first joined GGO as a form of immersion therapy, but soon found she was ridiculously talented at the game and become one of its top players. She soon becomes involved in the "Death Gun" incident where a mysterious player is seen murdering players in-game and causing their deaths in real life, with Sinon being one of said targets. She first meets Kirito when he had joined GGO to investigate and she mentors him in the game, before discovering his real gender and declares him The Rival. Joining the "Bullet of Bullets" Tournament with Kirito, the two of them end up teaming up to find Death Gun and bring him down before he can kill anyone else.


She later joins ALO to be with Kirito and his friends, where she becomes a Cait Sith archer. In GGO, she is definitely excellent with her in-game range skills and has strategies for in-game battle. Once angered, she does have a violent temper, and that can cause her to not think whether IRL or in-game. Known to be calm and collected, as well as a Badass Bookworm, she is grateful to be accepted among Kirito's friends after being alone for so long.

After Kirito gets trapped in the Underworld, Sinon is called on to assist and logs in with the Super Account Sun Goddess Solus.

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  • The Ace: In GGO, she's one of the best players, which includes both Japanese, and worldwide players, has one of the rarest guns in the game, and tends to be fairly popular amongst the male players as a result. She is a co-winner of the Third Bullet of Bullets competition, but since Kirito only joined to find Death Gun and used a sidearm exactly once, he doesn't count. This means she is the best gunner in Gun Gale Online. It's even stated that Shino's marksmenship is so good that she intends to compete in the Olympics for shooting!
  • Achievement In Ignorance: As revealed in SAOAGGO, not even she knows about the conditions needed to obtain the Hecate II, having got it through unintended Sequence Breaking and when she tried repeating the conditions she didn't end up with a second one for her trouble.
  • Action Girl: She is one of the few female gunners in the predominately male populated GGO.
  • Adaptational Curves: Downplayed. While by no means flat, Sinon tends to be depicted as possessing a rather modest bust compared to the other female leads, save for Silica. The Gameverse, namely her Avatar in Hollow Realization, tends to give her breasts more comparable to Asuna's.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Has two variations in her case:
    • Shino: violet hair in the web novels, and a brunette in other adaptations.
    • Sinon: blue hair in the web novels, and teal hair in other adaptations.
    • Her SAO avatar in Hollow Fragment appears to have black hair.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Her personality in the game adaptation as the Sinon in Hollow Fragment is a combination of her canon personalities for the in-game Sinon of GGO and the real life Shino. The game adaptation Sinon has the stoic and snarky demeanor of in-game Sinon, as well as the vulnerabilities of the real life Shino. It helps that her in-game avatar is also a combination of both her physical appearances.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • The video game continuity averts her Fire-Forged Friendship she had with Kirito in canon, due to the awkward situationnote  that led her to be mad at Kirito never happening. Rather than beginning as rivals and slowly coming to trust Kirito like in canon, she is taken under Kirito's wing as his The Apprentice early on. Although as a Mythology Gag to the anime, Fatal Bullet still did a version of said incident that got Sinon and Kirito off on the wrong foot.
    • The gameverse also has this in regards to her feelings for Kirito. Whereas in canon her feelings were a bit more ambiguous, with them being presented more as Platonic Life-Partners who bond over A Shared Suffering with only occasional Ship Tease, the gameverse makes her more blatantly interested in him romantically, with her kissing him on the cheek in one Hollow Fragment event and her making a few Freudian Slips about her having feelings for him.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Played with in terms of the gameverse. On the one hand, Sinon is introduced with no gaming experience when she first appears in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, whereby Kirito has to mentor her. On the other hand, she still manages to gain her Improbable Aiming Skills even without her prior sniping experience, to the point where the system assessed this and granted her a bow which otherwise didn't exist in the game. Furthermore in Fatal Bullet, as GGO was not her first game in this continuity, she already had extensive experience with handling a bow in SAO and ALO, so she became an instant expert upon migrating to GGO.
    • Has this in Integral Factor compared to Infinite Moment/Hollow Fragment. In the main video game continuity Sinon had no combat experience and had to be trained by Kirito, and she didn't acquire her bow until much later in the game. In Integral Factor she already has her bow at the time of her debut (having acquired it as a default weapon on the day of the launch) and is already a proficient archer on her own. This is attributed to her already having experience in GGO prior to playing SAO.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Integral Factor removes the more convoluted aspects to her backstory on how she ended up in SAO compared to the main gameverse. Rather than her using a Medicuboid and being conveniently glitched into the game, Sinon was merely one of the players on the day of the launch of SAO.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The video game continuity has her appear in SAO during the adaptation of the Aincrad arc, while in canon she doesn't debut until during the Phantom Bullet arc of GGO. In the story this is due to Sinon getting glitched into SAO from another VR she was using to receive counselling. In fact, she ends up playing ALO before she plays GGO.
    • She appears even earlier in Integral Factor, debuting on Floor 9 rather than Floor 76. She also states that she has been in SAO since Floor 1 rather than being glitched into the game unwillingly. Furthermore, her bow appears much earlier having been given it as a default weapon at the start of SAO and is already proficient at using it, rather than acquiring it much later like in Hollow Fragment.
  • Adventure Duo: Becomes this with Kirito after finally accepting him as her partner. She's more of the more fragile and colder The Lancer to his more braver and cheery The Hero.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Sinonon" by Asuna. She remarks in a Q&A session that it's the first nickname she's had.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: She was stigmatized because she killed someone with a gun. Even her own mother abandoned her (albeit more because the incident broke her to the point where she was no longer able to care for Shino than out of malice). It's indicated that since the Phantom Bullet arc, Shino's been making some friends at school.
  • Animal Motifs: Her appearance and mannerisms are often compared to those of a cat. Even her GGO avatar's eyes are slitted like one. Fittingly, she rolls a Cait-Sith in ALO.
  • Arc Hero: The main heroine of the Phantom Bullet arc alongside Kirito.
  • Arc Words: "Phantom Bullet" is very meaningful to her character and story arc. For a start, she had been haunted for many years of her life by a phantom bullet; an incident where she shot a robber in trying to protect her mother, which led her to have PTSD over guns. The main story arc involves the Big Bad being able to create a phantom bullet that can kill GGO players in real life, and she is one of said bullet's targets. In the end, Sinon creates her own "phantom bullet", using her sniper rifle's bullet prediction line, which serves to distract Death Gun and allow Kirito to finish him off. In Fatal Bullet she even has an attack called "Phantom Bullet".
  • Archer Archetype: Her ALO avatar is an archer and she perfectly fits the "cool-headed and logical" aspect. Gun Gale's bullets are faster than any spell so other archers or mages are slow in comparison to her.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • While attempting to take down Behemoth, a body guard armed with a minigun, Sinon gets one of her legs blasted off while she leaps off a building, and still manages to get in a kill shot on Behemoth.
    • During War of the Underworld, Subtilizer blasts off both her legs with his rifle, leaving her helpless in the air. Thankfully, Kirito's electrode saves her from his last bullet, allowing her to charge and fire another shot.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Death Gun. In addition to being one of Death Gun's targets, this Serial Killer stands for all of the pain in Sinon's life that she tried so hard to repress, notably the fact she killed a man at a young age in self-defense. In particular the Kyouji side of Death Gun who created this identity specifically based on Sinon's past, even using the same gun that she used to commit the murder in her Dark and Troubled Past and possesses is dangerously obsessed with her.
    • To Gabriel Miller/Subtilizer. Ever since their first encounter in GGO and seeing how strong Sinon's soul is, Miller develops a deep fascination with Sinon in a similar way as how he feels towards Alice. Likewise, Sinon is determined to bring Miller down in both GGO and later the UW, especially prevalent in the anime where she is constantly haunted by nightmares of the man.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: She asks Alice this question after Alice is rather upset to learn that Gabriel can come back in a different avatar after Bercouli sacrificed his life to defeat Emperor Vecta.
    “Then…would you say that Kirito’s suffering is false, too, Alice?”
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Volume 5 describes Sinon's voice as having a high, clear and cute sound and therefore aurally pleasing to GGO's mostly male playerbase. For the anime and games, Miyuki Sawashiro uses a lower but still seductive sounding tone.
  • Attempted Rape: Kyouji attempts this on her, as well as a Murder-Suicide. Who knows if he would've succeeded if Kirito didn't intervene IRL.
  • Awesome by Analysis: As a sniper who lies in wait for her opponents to come to her, Sinon rigorously plans out her position and predict her opponents' movements to get the kill shot in.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Played quite literally in Hollow Fragment where Yui, who is playing house with everyone else, makes her the actual baby of the bunch. Yui even offers Sinon her nipple to feed off of. Sinon is not amused.
  • Badass Adorable: Not only is she cute as a kitten, both in the real and virtual worlds, but is also a force to reckon with in terms of ranged combat, so much so Kirito dreads the day she gets Skekhinah, ALO's ultimate bow — which, by Sinon's own estimates, would allow her to snipe from 200m, well beyond everybody else's melee/spell range. In War of Underworld, she was able to go toe-to-toe against Subtilizer despite being outmatched and, instead of being defeated outright, she instead forces him to retreat, effectively scoring a tie, which is saying a lot.
  • Badass Boast: Sinon delivers a small one in her first appearance: "1500 meters? That's like tossing a wad of paper in a wastebasket." That range is among the longest confirmed sniper killsnote .
  • Badass Bookworm: She states she spent a lot of time in the library reading, which was largely where she spent her time before taking up gaming. Accel World vs. Sword Art Online also has her reading up while in the virtual world, where she dons a pair of reading glasses.
  • Badass Bystander: Even as a child, Shino had a spectacular moment of badass, defending her mother against an armed bankrobber by biting his hand, causing him to drop his gun, picking up said gun and then shooting him dead when he charged. Unfortunately said incident also became a Dark and Troubled Past and led her to gain PTSD as well as being ostracized for most of her life.
  • Badass in Distress: Like the other characters, she suddenly finds herself thrust into Unital Ring, and is forced to make do without her powerful gear, including her trusty Hecate, once the "game's" grace period ends. The main difference is that unlike the others, she's alone, meaning she has no one to watch her back and has to largely figure out the new rules of the game by herself, while making her way to the others or any other safe-haven.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her ALO avatar shows off her belly.
  • Becoming the Mask: As Sinon, she is badass, confident, and tough, which is a huge contrast to her real life fragile, timid Shino Asada. Shino's goal is to become as strong as Sinon is. She gradually edges closer following her Character Development, with the first step she takes being getting over her phobia of guns.
  • BFG: Being an Anti-Material Rifle, the PGM Hecate II is an extremely large gun, it's length going up to Sinon's neck, and having all the destructive power this would suggest.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • What an entrance she makes into the Underworld as Sun God Solus to help turn the tides of the battle of the Underworld, appearing in the sky as a divine light, then unleashing a barrage of arrows to wipe out the foreigner players.
    • In Girls' Ops, she shows up with Kirito, who she contacted, when the girls are fighting the golem Gwen summoned, with the both of them Holding The Line while the girls grab the injured Gwen and get out of there.
  • Birds of a Feather: Ultimately what allows her to click with Kirito is not because she fell in love with him like most of the other girls, but because the two of them are so similar.
  • Blade on a Stick: In the video game continuity, in addition to her skill with the bow and arrow, she prefers using polearms for melee combat.
  • Blood Knight: Shows shades of this during Phantom Bullet, grinning as she kills Behemoth and telling Kirito that she plans to "kill all the strong players" with a Slasher Smile that briefly made him wonder if she was Death Gun.
  • Book Worm: Shino is shown multiple times to have a great love of reading. She spent most of her time in Grade School reading in the library instead of outside playing outside and her loss to Subtilizer in the 4th BoB is because he ended up predicting that she wouldn't try sniping him from the top floor of a building, which just so happened to be a library, since she thought it would distract her.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Her specialty, since she is a sniper.
  • Boring, but Practical: Her first bow in ALO is revealed to be this in Rising Steel. Since Liz made it, the bow itself is very powerful, but she couldn't add any cool gimmicks to it since Sinon just joined and her level was still too low for anything like that. However, it's high power proves to be all she really needs after she kills a monster that should have been out of its range and uses the bow effectively throughout the Calibur Arc.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Solus' Bow, called the Annihilate Ray, replenishes ammo by absorbing the spacial resources around it, and can even use said energy to fire powerful arrows. During her fight with Subtilizer, Sinon is able to take advantage of how her Incarnate Hecate, which she turned the bow into, shares it's energy absorption properties, allowing her to fire a powerful beam of energy that severely damages Subtilizer and forces him to withdraw.
  • Boyish Short Hair: The side tail variant in real life and in-game she sports this hairstyle, as reflective of her tomboyish manner and hobby.
  • Breakout Character: Popularity polls revealed Sinon to be the most popular character out of SAO's main cast, even overshooting the likes of Kirito and Asuna. For this reason, the game continuity brings her in during the events of SAO which was long before her scheduled appearance in canon. She was also used to market Fatal Bullet, the game based on GGO which is her game.
  • Broken Ace: None of her GGO skill helps her with her massive phobia of guns and PTSD. Her interactions with Kirito through the BoB tournament partially make her overcome her fears, though she admits it'll take some time to fully heal.
  • Broken Bird: Her self-defensive killing of a robber haunted her for many years, causing her multiple psychological hang-ups.
  • Broken Tears: At the climax of her breakdown after seeing the Type 54 pistol as Sinon, she's reduced to a sobbing wreck after Kirito dissuades her from chasing Death Gun on her own.
  • Bully Hunter: Having been a bully victim herself, Sinon despises bullies and will be unhesitant to help out when she sees someone being picked on.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Hollow Realization introduces Kyouji Shinkawa as her real life Stalker with a Crush who reveals her Dark and Troubled Past, even though this story line would not be fully explored until Fatal Bullet during the adaptation of the canon Phantom Bullet story line.
    • In Accel World vs. Sword Art Online, it's mentioned a few times that she has started playing a shooter VRMMO, which is of course Gun Gale Online.
  • Casting a Shadow: In contrast to her original Solus avatar which give her a light elemental sacred arts, Lycoris Sinon instead gain a Divine Object that allowed her to use dark elemental Enhance Armament due to being created by the remain of Underworld version of Fatal Scythe. Said Divine Beast will to enact revenge and guilt over the death of his lover was so strong, the Divine Object that created from it's remain is not limited to her weapon, but also a gear that created from the combination of the beast will and the wearer will synchronizing with each other, increasing the weapon already strong Enhance Armament to a whole new level.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cats Are Snarkers: She’s plays as a Cait Sith Archer in ALO and is quite possibly the snarkiest member of Kirito’s party.
  • Challenge Seeker: This was heavy part of Sinon's character in the early days, where she would swear to be the one to kill any strong players she came across. This is all in part due to convincing herself that she was strong and her attempts at overcoming her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Character Development:
    • Her character arc is about overcoming the weakness that is her PTSD and finding the strength to get over her Survivor's Guilt from her Dark and Troubled Past. She played GGO as a form of immersion therapy to get over her phobia of guns, believing being stronger in-game would translate to real life. However, what really helped her through was seeing Kirito, someone Not So Different to herself still finding the strength to stand up and fight, inspiring her to do the same. By the end of the arc, in-game Sinon is far more open and accepting of friends, while in the real world Shino finally gets over her fear of guns and finds the courage to stand up to her bullies.
    • While Shino was still a good person, a number of her actions and dialogue hint that she was somewhat self-serving at the beginning of Phantom Bullet, likely due to her experiences making her feel that she's the only one who can help her through he trauma. This led to her having Blood Knight tendencies in GGO and viewing most of her schoolmates as idiots, with Kyouji appearing to be the sole exception. By the end of the Arc, not only is she more open to making friends, even making some friends at her school despite her previous views of them, she's also willing to try and help Kyouji sort through his issues and help rehabilitate him, despite everything he did to her, because she feels somewhat responsible for putting her own issues first and in turn never noticing his.
  • Character Tic: When wanting to distance from others she pulls up her scarf to cover her mouth, in both real life and GGO.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in GGO, Sinon explained to Kirito that Snipers get a free shot that's undetected by the game's targeting system with every shot after being treated the same as everyone else's. Later during the BoB, Sinon takes a shot at Death Gun but misses him. During Kirito's final battle with Death Gun, Sinon uses this to trick Death Gun into thinking she was going to snipe him, allowing Kirito to score a hit and defeat him.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: She's the only character in the videogame continuity canonically shown using two entirely different weapons (bow and spear) between different games and being skilled with them.
  • Cold Sniper: While she does warm up to Kirito and the others, she's generally comes off as this due to her calm and cool attitude. This is Justified in GGO since where the bullets hit are dependent on the Bullet Circle, which grows and shrinks according to your heartbeat, meaning that Snipers are encouraged to stay extremely calm and keep their heartrate low in order to get the best possible shot.
  • Color Motif: Has two. Firstly she's associated with cyan-blue, being the color of her avatar's hair and eyes. She's also typically given a light blue Color Wash in promotional material, as well as having blue for her Solus outfit in War of the Underworld. She's also associated with green with almost all of her in-game outfits having green to some extent.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A given seeing as she's a Cold Sniper and is more vulnerable in close-ranged combat.
    • When discussing how to deal with Death Gun, he's quick to suggest using Yamikaze to bait him out so she can shoot him. The only reason she and Kirito don't do this in favor of her taking out Yamikaze and Death Gun's Sniper Rifle before Kirito confronts him himself is because of the possibility of Yamikaze is one of the Death Gun's targets.
    • In the "Sinon's Determination" Event in Rising Steel, she and Kirito decide to have a rematch in an abandoned city before he transfers back to ALO. When they begin, she manages to shoot his Photon Sword out of his hand, before quickly shooting at it to keep him from getting it back, forcing him to engage her in a gunfight where she would have the natural advantage.
  • Composite Character: The Sinon of Integral Factor is a combination of canon Sinon and the video game continuity Sinon. Like canon she was already a GGO player who possessed Improbable Aiming Skills, but like the video game continuity she is pulled into SAO where she ends up as the only known archer in the game.
  • Companion Cube: From the moment she got Hecate and first wielded it in combat, she decided that "she" would be her first and last partner. She's extremely attached to the Anti-Material rifle, to the point that Kirito offering to fire it to to get rid of a pursuing Death Gun is briefly able to spur her into action, since she feels that she's the only one who can fire "her." When she fights Subtlizer in the Underworld, she even turns Solus' bow into Hecate.
  • Contralto of Danger: As usual for Miyuki Sawashiro, her voice is relatively deep for a girl, playing perfectly into her Ice Queen character.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: She diverges from Asuna and Leafa in that she is not a love interest for Kirito and is instead defined by her own Dark and Troubled Past. She also started off on bad terms with him due to discovering he was actually a guy and slowly came to trust him over time. She's also the only one to date who wasn't introduced in a fantasy setting video game.
  • Cool Guns: In the anime, a Glock 18 takes the place of the MP7 as her sidearm.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: While her skills in long-range combat, both in-game and IRL, are borderline ridiculous, her sheer focus on this have made her more vulnerable in close-quarters combat, making her easy prey for Close Range Combatants like Kirito or Subtilizer. It also led to her coming 22nd in 2nd BoB, as she opted to use an Assault Rifle in spite of her Sniper build due to feeling that it would put her at a disadvantage, only to be eliminated by a sniper.
  • Crisis Catch-and-Carry: When Sinon gets ambushed and paralysed by Death Gun who is about to shoot her dead. Kirito then pulls a Big Damn Heroes, throwing a smoke screen grenade to get rid of Death Gun, before he swoops in and carries Sinon away and escaping on a quadbike.
  • Cross Player: Sinon attempted this at first, when she got into GGO. She chose male, and her randomly generated avatar was a "bland, crude male body". However, GGO prevents such actions, and she was forced to play as her actual gender; the random generator produced the Sinon we know today.
  • Cry Cute: Lets down her cold facade down and broke down sobbing a few times, such as after Kirito dissuades her from chasing after Death Gun by herself, and after Mizue hands her a thank you letter for saving her and her mother during that robbery four years ago.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Her in-game Sinon avatar has teal hair and teal eyes to match, although her eyes are a lighter shade of blue.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As an eleven-year-old, she accidentally killed a post office robber with his own gun following a Gun Struggle. The experience traumatized her so much that she developed PTSD and a strong hoplophobia. Afterwards, she's shunned as a murderer by not only her schoolmates but her own mother as well.note  She started playing GGO to try and get over her phobia, but it's only partially successful. She also has a replica gun in her room, but she's not able to overcome her fear.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In GGO, Sinon wields the PGM Hecate II, which shares its name with the Greek Goddess of Witchcraft, ghosts and the moon, and she herself has gained the same moniker along with "Goddess of the Underworld" due to her frequent use of the rifle. Despite this she's a genuinely kind person, if a bit prickly due to her Dark and Troubled Past and the usual behavior of GGO's playerbase.
  • Dark Secret: In the video game continuity, she never reveals her past with the bank robber until Hollow Realization out of fear that Kirito and the gang will reject her, despite having survived SAO with them. And even then she only does so after Kirito learns her secret from Richter (Kyouji) blabbing about it and he himself tells her about how he killed several members of Laughing Coffin and let Sachi die. When she finally does tell them, she fully expects they'll abandon her... only for them all to tell her she is not alone.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • In Rising Steel, she's gotten two events that revolve entirely around her, the first being about her and Kirito having a duel in GGO some time before they invited the others to help deal with Subtilizer's PK Squadronnote  and the second being about when she first start ALO and how she chose the bow as her Weapon of Choice.
    • In the second volume of Unital Ring, she serves as the PoV character alongside Kirito, with us being given details on her own adventures after the merge, having been forcibly converted through her GGO character and is in a seperate area entirely from the others.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's easily the snarkiest girl of the main cast, with her remarks riddled with sarcasm and often serves as the Only Sane Woman. Most of her wisecracks are directed at Kirito with the two of them endlessly teasing one another.
  • Death by Irony: When she participated in the 2nd BoB, she wielded an assault rifle instead of Hecate since she felt a sniping based build would her make her disadvantaged in the Battle Royale, where one was more likely to end up in a short-ranged gun fight than a Sniper Duel. However, this bit her in the ass when she was taken out by, of all people, a sniper while engaged in combat with another player, placing lowly at 22nd as a result. This prompted her to refine her sniping style as well as get a SMG for short-ranged combat in preparation for the 3rd BoB.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • In the real world, Shino is a Shrinking Violet burdened by the guilt of having killed a person. Playing GGO, she grafted another online persona as Sinon, who was confident and tough. However, encountering Kirito and her anger towards him allowed her real life self to become emotional as well. Her experience with Kirito, and seeing him being strong despite being faced with a similar past as herself, only allowed her to become increasingly tougher until finally she Grew a Spine and stands up to her bullies.
    • This also holds true in-game for Sinon, who is typically ice cold and emotionally distant, but grows out of this once again with Kirito. After getting over initial distrust, Sinon finally accepts Kirito as her partner and is happy to work with him and is even grateful for everything he did for her. Though she retains holds a stoic demeanor and a snarky personality.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Everyone in the series, even Shino herself, considers her a "murderer"; her friends simply consider her a Sympathetic Murderer. When she was still waist-high to an adult, she and her mother visited a post office just as it was robbed by a gunman. When the gunman threatened to shoot her mother, she jumped on him and started wrestling for the gun. She survived - the robber didn't. In most of the world, she'd be called a hero, but in Japan, where both Children Are Innocent and Does Not Like Guns are taken Up to Eleven, that makes her a murderer.
  • Demoted to Extra: During the Calibur arc, her character is still featured but with much less significance and she's largely a background character. She disappears altogether in Mother's Rosario aside from a few cameos, before returning to a major focus in the second half of the Alicization arc.
  • Determinator: When she gets ambushed by Subtilizer in BoB, she notably resists his attempts to kill her even when she ends up in his chokehold. This is actually what sparks his interest in her, believing that it's a sign that she has a strong soul. This trait pops up again when they fight in the Underworld, where, after turning her Bow into Hecate, she wills it to fire one last beam of energy despite running out of ammo with the use of it's base ability to absorb energy from around it, allowing her to injure him and destroy his rifle, prompting him to make a retreat.
  • Deuteragonist: She is the female lead in the Phantom Bullet arc with the story told from her perspective alongside Kirito's.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • A sniper rifle has one of the highest single-shot damage outputs in GGO, but more importantly, the first shot taken by a sniper from stealth does not give the target any warning or window to dodge. However, it is also one of the hardest weapons to actually hit with: the distance creates a low base accuracy, and the shooter must keep their pulse as low as possible to maximize their chance to hit. Furthermore, a sniper loses their primary advantage (surprise) after the first shot, making it ill-suited in 1v1 battles or when outnumbered.
    • This carries over to archery in ALO. The game has no automated systems to aid the accuracy of an archer (unlike GGO), and arrows are affected by gravity and wind, and they also generally have less range than magic and are difficult to use in Flight. But unlike magic, archery is a ranged weapon with no casting time; a master archer could defeat any melee opponent before they even managed to get within attack range. Since Sinon has already mastered long-distance shooting in GGO and all of the games created from The Seed use the same physics engine, she masters the bow very quickly.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: In canon, it is stated that Shino does not actually have impaired vision and that her glasses actually serve as a Security Blanket. In the gameverse, it's implied that she is legitimately near-sighted as she makes a remark that she wears glasses in real life and does not need them in VR, while also donning a pair of glasses when she's reading in ALO.
  • Disappeared Dad: Shino's father died in a car accident when she was young, an incident that traumatized her mother.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Kirito. Being The Ace of their respective games, but underneath their cool and serious demeanors is the fragility of Survivor's Guilt stemming from a Dark and Troubled Past. It's in part due to their similarities that allows Sinon to accept Kirito as a friend and partner.
  • Does Not Like Men: Downplayed. She is far from androphobic, but whenever the male demographic of GGO is brought up, it's always about them being perverted. The Light Novel does reveal that she fears she'll become androphobic if she doesn't get over her gun trauma, since the robber she killed was a male.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After enduring enough of Endou and her Girl Posse's abuse, Shino decides to disarm her and take a shot at a can with her gun.
  • Dude Magnet: By virtue of being one of the rare few female players in the male-dominated GGO, she catches the eyes of them easily, much to her annoyance. Helps that she's wearing an outfit that shows just the right amount of skin.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In the anime, Shino's eyes are a muted brown. However, as Sinon they are a vibrant turquoise. She's happier in the game world before joining Kirito's group of friendsnote .
    • She also temporarily gain this in Lycoris DLC The Death God, where she start to talk in Creepy Monotone without realizing and when she realize it, she tried to ensure Kirito that she's fine. Giving us the first hint she's forced to synchronize with the dead maiden memories in order for her to stimulate her and end the life of Fatal Scythe, her beloved.
  • Dull Surprise: Especially prominent in Girls Ops', where most of her scenes have her making completely blank expressions in conversation.
  • Earn Your Title: She's dubbed "Ice Sniper", for her cold distant personality and being the best sniper in GGO.
  • Emergency Weapon:
    • In the light novel she has a H&K MP7 submachine gun, while in the anime and manga it gets replaced with a Glock 18C. Given that her PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II is only effective over long range, her secondary firearm serves as a backup if she’s caught in short range combat. It mostly ends up as an Ornamental Weapon though with her only using it in the opening of the anime and attempting to use it when Kirito sneaks up on her.
    • In Rising Steel, one event has a flashback of her dueling Kirito in GGO post-BoB. After she snipes away his photon sword and tries to find Kirito on the ground, Kirito and Sinon are both forced to use their backup weapons, handguns, to fight it out in close range. The duel ends in another tie as Kirito can’t fight back while Sinon runs out of ammo.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Her second episode has Dyne revealing she's the greatest sniper in GGO and she proves it by getting a kill-shot over 1500 meters (which she dismisses as tossing a paper wad into a waste basket), before taking on Behemoth by diving off a building, getting her leg blown off, and landing a headshot on him while falling through the air.
    • In Integral Factor, she makes her presence known on Floor 9 by pulling a Big Damn Heroes and sniping a Fallen Elf with an arrow kill shot before she was even seen in person. This is shortly followed by her saving the lives of Miyurin and Ulrik from a mob of monsters before the Player and Koharu join her in fighting them off.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: During her air battle with Subtilizer in War of the Underworld, she mentions that her Hecate has seven rounds per magazine, just before firing her seventh shot. She then observes that Subtilizer's Barrett has ten rounds, which means that he has two bullets he can use to shoot her while she's unable to retaliate.
  • Eye Colour Change: As Sinon, her turquoise eyes gain a teal glow whenever she activates "Hawk Eye", a skill that lets her see long distances ever without a scope.

  • Famed in Story:
  • Fanservice Pack: While her initial GGO outfit is rather Stripperific, Sinon generally dressed rather conservatively in other games, at most just wearing short shorts and showing off her legs a bit. In Unital Ring however, she's forced to un-equip her normal GGO gear and wear a player drop called "The Weasel Suit", which is basically her original GGO outfit without her jacket, traditional skin-tight leggings instead of her normal baggy ones to put more emphasis on her legs, and shorts with triangular slits on the front to show off more of the skin on her thighs. Even she Lampshades how much more revealing it is than her normal outfits, only wearing it since it's better than running around in her underwear. Ironically enough, this is Inverted with the other female leads, with Leafa covering up her Boobs of Steel with a heavy looking chestplate whereas previous appearances constantly gave her a Cleavage Window.
  • The Fashionista: Her outfits in-game are pretty stylish like the other female characters. IRL, she wears casual clothes and sometimes a brown jacket and a scarf. Whether IRL or in-game, she can wear gloves with her outfits.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted. As she lives alone, Shino is proficient at cooking her own meals. It's stated that her food can rival Asuna's, her only weakness being that she specializes mainly in Japanese dishes. However, she is much more tomboyish compared to Asuna, who plays this trope more straight.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Compared to the rest of the main cast, Sinon lacks a lot of the stats or the extensive VT experience of the SAO survivors, yet she is still a force to be reckoned with due to her Improbable Aiming Skills and status as a Long Ranged Fighter. In spite of this, she does demonstrate occasional use of magic skills even if she preferes a good old-fashioned bow and arrow.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Kirito after he helped her become more self-confident and when he saved her from Shinkawa.
  • Flat Joy: Sinon has a tendency to join in excitement with positive comments spoken in an unenthusiastic tones.
  • Flight: While all ALO players have this ability, she’s the only user of the Underworld’s God accounts to gain this ability as the Sun Goddess Solus. Conveniently, it’s similar to ALO flight.
  • Freak Out: Whenever she suffers a breakdown caused by her trigger.
  • Friendless Background: Prior to meeting Kirito and his social circle, Sinon did not have any friends growing up due to getting ostracised for her Dark and Troubled Past, with the exception of Endou and her friends, who were really just using her because of the fact that she was a Minor Living Alone since they could use her apartment as a hangout spot, and later Kyouji Shinkawa, who turned out to be a Big Bad Friend.
  • Friendly Sniper: While she typically carries a calm and collected disposition, she is also a genuinely kind-hearted person.
  • The Gadfly: Only really applies between Kirito and herself. Kirito teases Sinon, and Sinon finds a way to get him back.
    • In Rising Steel, during the "Sniper Guided By Light" Event, which details when she first joined ALO, she expresses surprise when Leafa introduces herself as Kirito's sister, prompting to the other girl to clarify they're siblings IRL. Sinon then says that she thought she was calling him that as part of weird kink Kirito has, likely to just embarrass him. Then when she meets Yui, she's quick to say that Kirito and Asuna "sure got busy."
    • This continues in Girls Ops. In the epilogue of Volume 4, she accuses him of womanizing when Gwen joins his party to fight the golem and gets all cuddly with him, and gets him to hurry up as everyone leaves with a playful smack to the ass, embarrassing him.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In Episode 2 of the 2nd season, she is discussing with Dyne she is getting bad vibes from an unknown player in the back of a party they were about to ambush but is ordered to not shoot him first. Turns out her intuition was right when the unknown member was Behemoth.
    • This is zigzagged in terms of her guessing Death Gun's actual username. She guessed the wrong player, but was correct in thinking that he was invoking a Meaningful Name.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When her team ends up in a counterattack by top player Behemoth, her leader Dyne is quick to give up and even suggest logging out since they'd die either way, Sinon snaps back at him and encourages the entire team to fight to the last man. Which they do.
  • The Ghost: She is this in Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, being mentioned a fair bit by other characters, but never making a physical appearance.
  • Glass Cannon: Her character build in GGO focuses on STR so she can carry her PGM Hecate Anti-Material Rifle, DEX to increase her accuracy, and AGI so she can quickly change positions after firing, at the expense of VIT which will make her a goner if a close range fighter gets the drop on her. This translates to ALO as well, where she's a Master Archer capable of doing heavy damage with arrows, which she can augment with spells and Sword Skills, and proves to be quite the acrobat, but has little in the way of close range melee attacks or defense.
  • The Glasses Come Off: In Episode 14 of Season 2, as Shino she finally stands up to her bullies and demonstrates her change of self by taking off her glasses when confronting them.
  • A God, I Am Not: Much like Asuna, Sinon corrects others when she gets mistaken for Solus and verifies that she is a human just like them.
  • Godlike Gamer: Sinon is this when it comes to shooters, quickly ascending the ranks of GGO to become the greatest sniper in the game. She has Improbable Aiming Skills no matter what game she tries, be that GGO, ALO, or Ordinal Scale, despite being Weak, but Skilled in the setting.
  • Good Luck Charm:
  • Gratuitous English: She often spouts short phrases in English, many of them are Pre-Mortem One-Liners.
  • Guile Heroine: Along with her Improbable Aiming Skills and in line with her Badass Bookworm status, Sinon is extraordinarily clever and can come up with strategies and tricks to help her beat her opponents:
    • During the 3rd BoB she comes across Shishigane, a heavily armoured player that not even her Hecate can guarantee a One-Hit Kill against. Her solution? Shoot one of his plasma grenades and let the explosion do the work for her.
    • When discussing how to take down Death Gun, Sinon suggests using Yamikaze as bait for Death Gun so he’ll be distracted while she shoots him. She quickly retracts this idea however when Kirito suggests that there’s more than one accomplice and that Yamikaze might also be a target, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad one.
    • When her Hecate’s scope was destroyed by Death Gun there was no way for her to guarantee an accurate shot at him, so instead she uses her sniper rifle’s now exposed bullet line to distract him and grant Kirito an opening to attack and finish him off.
    • When she’s attacked by Kyouji, she takes advantage of his now unstable mental state and convinces him that the model gun she uses to test her phobia is real that she’ll shoot him if he comes closer.
  • Gun Nut: Ironically enough, Sinon's time in GGO has made her this in spite of her phobia. Despite primarily being a Cold Sniper, she's generally well-versed in most firearms and can recognize most of them from a look, such as Behemoth's M134 Minigun.
    • When helping Kirito shop in Phantom Bullet, his question about why some SMGs have higher calibers than assault rifles nearly causes her to explain the entire history of the M16 and it's variations before she stops herself.
    • Her profile description as [Caught in the Waves] Sinon in Rising Steel has her referring her surfboard as a "bullet" as she rides it, much to her embarrassment when she realizes it.
  • Gun Twirling: Shino gives a little flourish when she takes the pellet gun away from the school bully... who'd tried to shoot her with it. Then she demonstrates that she's no longer phobic about guns IRL. Semi-justified by the weapon (a) being an airsoft model and (b) still having the safety on.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Her avatars from GGO and ALO have greenish-blue hair. It fits with the science fiction/fantasy setting.
  • Hartman Hips: Her hips are often depicted as being a bit wider than her torso, something that her in-game outfits usually emphasize.
  • Hates Being Called Cute: Or rather hates being thought of as cute. She avoids girly things and hates it when others try to get her to pretty up. This pops up a bit in the games such as in Hollow Realization where Kirito coaxes her into trying on a ribbon bow and she ends up being disgusted by how cute it makes her look.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: She invokes this after Kirito (wisely) asks her to clear up any potential misunderstandings. Whether or not she actually does develop a romantic interest in him is left ambiguous, but there is some back-and-forth teasing between them. She also trolls him (in a glorious fashion) by asking him to "always think of me" when using Excalibur... in front of all his other love interests. Only the twitching of her Cait-Sith tail gives away her laughter.
  • Heroic Willpower: She manages to score something of a tie against Subtilizer despite her Incarnate Hecate running out of bullets, by instead willing it to fire a giant energy blast that destroys both his arm and the XM500 it held, and scars his face just to add insult to inury. This prompts him to just give up the fight and take advantage of how he removed her ability of Flight along with her legs to just keep pursuing Alice.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Compared to other characters such as Asuna, Shino doesn't have the best financial situation due to being a Minor Living Alone, meaning she's usually frugal with her money.
  • Hero of Another Story: Although she created an ALO character to play with Kirito and her new friends, she still mainly plays GGO, where she is one of the top players and goes on her own adventures in that game world. Team SHINC say they got their anti-material rifle thanks to her help.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Suffers a massive one when she realizes that the pistol that Death Gun uses to kill his targets is the same model of pistol she used to kill the bank robber years ago.
    • When she learns that Vecta was actually Subtilizer, she's naturally shocked and horrified considering their encounter during the BoB. This isn't at all helped when he uses his Incarnation to restrain and tries to... claim her soul as his, which leads to the light leaving her eyes. Thankfully, she manages to snap out of it thanks to her necklace, which was made from the electrode that saved Kirito's life, suddenly appearing on her person, giving her the will to fight back.
    • Suffers a slightly smaller one in Hollow Realization when Kyouji, under his "Richter" avatar, starts talking about how she killed the bank robber right in front of Kirito and calling her amazing. It's so bad that she nearly cuts off her friendship with Kirito and the others out of fear of what they'll think of her and even stays out of VR for several days.
  • Hellish Pupils: If you look closely with her Sinon avatar, she's got slitted pupils, which further add in with her catlike mannerisms.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: A heroic example. In her duel with Kirito during the preliminaries, it's her own hellbent determination to beat Kirito that caused her to lose. Seeing Kirito waltz towards her without even intending to fight made her so frustrated she lose her calm, causing the Bullet Circle to lose its precision and missing her first shot.
  • Hold the Line: Her battle with Gabriel consists of this, with Sinon stalling him for as long as she can so that Alice can escape. She actually fairs really well, managing to destroy one of his arms before being overwhelmed.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • While she could ease her financial worries by taking advantage of GGO's Cash Conversion system, she opts out of it since she feel it would undermine it's use for her self-imposed therapy.
    • This can also apply to her idea of a rematch with Kirito, with her rejecting Kyouji's suggestions that she ambush him in favor of having a proper one-on-one with him, despite the fact that, as a Sniper, her greatest advantage is the element of surprise. That being said, the "Sinon's Determination" Event in Rising Steel shows her faring remarkably well against him despite doing it this way, and she would have won if her pistol didn't run out of ammo.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: It is implied she is this to Dyne in their squad. In the Bullet of Bullets tournament, she casually notes he forgot to check his back when taking aim at him and has a much better performance of the two. In addition, she has also shown better judgment if the fight with Behemoth is anything.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: While she often denies this, at heart, she's lonely and wants friends who accept her for who she is. As a result, she's fairly quick to trust Endou, even though it ends up being misplaced, and is touched that Asuna and Liz want to become friends with her, although she worries how they'll react when they learn of her past (not yet aware that they already know).
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Her extensive sniping experience in GGO transfers over to both ALO and the real life Ordinal Scale where she retains her Improbable Aiming Skills. This is especially prominent in Ordinal Scale where guns are disadvantaged, but in her hands a weak energy rifle becomes a lethal weapon.
  • An Ice Person: In Rising Steel as [Sharp Marksman] Sinon, she appears as a Water Element Unit, and it's Implied that it's because when she's in Enhance Mode, she's using a spell that augments her arrows with the ice element, causing them to explode into shards when they hit their target to deal additional damage.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Doesn't appear until the third arc, but becomes one of the most well known characters in the series.
  • Identical Stranger: Downplayed gender-flipped example and uncommented upon, but her real life appearance (if she didn't have side tails, removed her glasses, and dyed her hair) is uncannily similar to Kirito's own.
  • Identity Amnesia: In Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, the glitching that sent her into SAO was so bad for a time she couldn't even remember her real name, and only knew her in-game name of "Sinon" because it was in her menu. Her memories slowly return afterwards.
  • Image Song: She has a total of three. "Solitary Bullet" (as Sinon), "Relief Bullet" (as Shino Asada), and "Blazing Bullet" (Sinon and Kirito).
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: No matter which game or virtual world she's in, Sinon consistently proves herself to be a masterful markswoman.
    • This is in part due to her IRL visual acuity, 2.0, which is twice as good as the average person. This means that every accuracy increasing skill she picks up, such as the Cait Sith's enhanced eyesight, is improving upon her already impressive IRL sight.
    • Her Establishing Character Moment, as mentioned above, has her perform a headshot from 1,500 meters, a range among the longest ever sniper kills, while shrugging the feat off as tossing a wad of paper into a wastebasket.
    • Shortly after the above, she's able to score another on Behemoth, while falling off a building, spinning in the air, and after losing a leg.
    • The manga adaptation of Caliber presents arguably her most ridiculous feat, firing twelve arrows in total, three at a time at that, and scoring all headshots against Thrym's ice minions. She then proceeds to continue doing that while the others deal with Thrym.
    • Manages to hit a falling sword at 200m with a bow whose maximum effective range was 100m, while falling herself, while surrounded by falling ice shards, while using a spell that distorts the arc of her arrow. It's assisted by her knowledge of shooting moving targets and how this requires a deflection shot or leading the target.
    • ALO players consider Shino's normal attacks to be this; she plays as a Cait Sith specced for long range vision, and regularly takes down enemies 100 meters away by arching her arrows. Shino doesn't consider it anything special, since she came from GGO and regularly engages from beyond 1000 meters with her Hecate II.
    • It still isn't enough for her. She's hoping to obtain the legendary bow Shekhinah because she estimates with that bow she should be able to consistently snipe from 200 meters away.
    • During the fight against the Dire Tusk in Ordinal Scale, she's able to assist Kirito by precisely shooting and breaking it's fast-moving chain and by shooting it in the eye to make it's axe attack miss, giving Kirito an opening to finish it off.
  • Improbable Weapon User: According to Rising Steel, when she first joined ALO, everyone was a bit bewildered by her choice to use a bow as her primary weapon, as they're typically used as sub-weapons due to the difficulties in using them with Flight as well their range compared to magic. She still makes very effective use of it though, which she proves immediately after Liz makes her one by shooting and killing an enemy monster that should have been out of it's effective range.
  • Instant Expert: In ALO, it took her all of one day to fully master the bow. It's justified in that ALO and GGO use similar mechanics for ranged weapons. It took a little longer in the video game continuity, but justified there in that she was dropped into SAO with no prior training whatsoever and needed specific guidance from Kirito in order to figure out a weapon that she could use quickly.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In the Japanese airing, Sinon's name is pronounced "Shee-no", while the dub pronounces it phonetically as "See-non". Western fans seem to have combined the two and pronounce her name as "Shee-non".
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: Try as she might, Shino just cannot take her mind off her accidental homicide by playing in GGO. When playing she tends to treat her Sinon avatar as a placebo effect instead, which means that when she attempts to pick up a gun in the real world using the same logic, she tends to suffer as a result.
  • It's All My Fault: The Light Novel Implies that Shino blames herself for Kyouji Jumping The Slippery Slope, feeling that she was too concerned with her own issues to ever pick up on his.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When we first meet Shino, she generally saw her school mates as idiots, was a ruthless Blood Knight in GGO and, even after she Took a Level in Kindness and largely dropped the previous two traits, she's a Deadpan Snarker who enjoys Trolling Kirito and sometimes the others. Despite this, she's ultimately a Nice Girl who dreams of becoming a police officer so she can prevent incidents like that ones that happened to her, and she's even willing to help Kyouji with his rehabilitation despite him trying to kill her, still seeing him as a friend.
  • The Lancer: In Dyne's squadron, while Dyne is The Leader, it's clear Sinon has just as much influence and she is able to take charge when Dyne becomes too overwhelmed with emotion.
  • Leitmotif: She Has to Overcome Her Fear is most consistently used as Sinon's personal theme music, typically as her battle music.
  • Leotard of Power: Her main GGO outfit consists of a strapless leotard with a jacket, shorts, and trouser-like legging over the top.
  • Light 'em Up: As Solus, she harnesses light based attacks.
  • Light Is Good: As the Sun Goddess Solus in the Underworld, having logged in to save Kirito along with Asuna and Leafa and to help protect the Artificial Fluctlights residing there.
  • Logical Weakness: During her fight against Subtilizer in the Underworld, she uses her Incarnation to turn Solus' bow into her PGM Hecate, to which he responds by turning his crossbow into a Barrett XM500. While she's able to put up a good fight and even force him to surrender so he can keep pursuing Alice, the odds are ultimately against her since her Hecate is a Bolt-Action Riflenote , while the XM500 is a Semi-Auto Rifle, meaning Subtilizer is able to fire a lot more frequently than she can, a mistake that costs her a leg and hinders Solus' Flight ability.

  • Mage Marksman: Her ALO character uses magic to supplement her archery skills with enchanted Trick Arrows.
  • Male Gaze: Plenty of shots are dedicated to admiring her tight in-game outfit, notably her rear end. This even includes a first person view from one of her party members gazing at her legs and breasts.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon:
    • Hecate is this to Sinon, with her being familiar with it to the point where she views it as an extension of herself and that she's the only one who can use it.
    • She also shows this in Ordinal Scale, where despite guns being considered weak, disadvantaged weapons in the AR game, Sinon is still able to be lethally powerful with her energy sniper rifle. It is explained that the Augma takes into account a player's skill in gauging the damage they can inflict, and since Sinon is the top sniper of GGO with Improbable Aiming Skills, her proficiency there got transferred over to OS and she's still a force to be reckoned with.
  • Manga Effects: It may sound redundant as this is nothing new to the series or any form of Japanese media, but Shino/Sinon expresses facial iconography IRL and in-game throughout the series.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Inadvertently ends up receiving this from Leafa in Hollow Realization. They're trapped in a room with a Descending Ceiling and Sinon, in order to keep Leafa from getting crushed, tackles her to the ground and ends up in a very favorable position.
  • Master Archer: Sinon stands out in ALO as one of the few known bow users, and is quite possibly the best among them. While the weapon itself is cited as Awesome, but Impractical due to having less range than spells and being difficult to use while in flight, at best ending up as sub-weapons, Sinon's able to use them as a primary weapon to deadly effect due to her Improbable Aiming Skills allowing her to strike from even further than what their effective range should allow and, if her time is Solus is anything to go by, she's more than capable of using them in flight.
  • Meganekko: She wears glasses in the real world not to correct her eyesight, but because they were made of ballistic-resistant NXT polymer and wearing them gives her a small sense of protection.
  • Might Makes Right: Sinon is a rigorous believer in this, believing that getting stronger was the answer to overcoming her traumatic past. She believed that by asserting herself as the top player in GGO would translate to her becoming stronger in real life. She later finds out that real strength doesn't come from skill or ability, but from courage and trust. Having met Kirito and someone who she can put her faith in is what gives her the strength to move on.
  • Minor Living Alone: She lives in an apartment by herself. It's deconstructed as she has difficulties paying for her own expenses, Endou ends up "befriending" her to take advantage of her apartment, and she becomes yet another target for Death Gun because she lives alone in a place that they can sneak into easily.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Kirito, who is mistaken for a woman, points this out when a feed cam catches the two together in a cave. She replies that she doesn't mind if it means guys will stop hitting on her:
    Sinon: I don't care, they can think what they want! The guys in this game are dorks. If they think I'm gay, at least they'll stop hitting on me every five seconds.
  • More Dakka: In contrast to her main weapon, her sidearm is a Glock 18C machine pistol with a fire rate of at least 1,100 rounds a minutenote , likely to make up for her lack of skills, personal and in-game, to help in close range combat.
  • Morph Weapon: Invoked in Underworld. For her sniper duel against Gabriel, she transforms her bow into her GGO Hecate.
  • Ms. Exposition: She explains much of how GGO works for Kirito (and the audience).
  • Mythology Gag: Fatal Bullet gives her a different outfit for GGO, but she still dons her canon outfit for the BoB during the Death Gun event.
  • Named Weapon:
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A commonly disregarded factor in her murder of the robber, including in her eyes for a bit, was that she managed to prevent the robber from murdering any more people in the post office that day. Despite this, few people seem to acknowledge that fact, even some of the people she saved and her mother, and she was a victim of bullying and ostracisation regardless of the good she did. One of the only people who were actually grateful was a pregnant worker and it took years before she properly thanked her, meaning she had to put up with both the bullying and the guilt of killing a man.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Outside of the occasional Ship Tease, she's the only one of Kirito's companions who never overtly showed any attraction to him. In fact, Sinon even has a tendency to intentionally be The Gadfly to get a rise out of the other females.
  • Not So Different: One of the reasons Sinon finally opens up to Kirito, is when she realizes they are very similar. The two of them both having killed someone in the past and carrying the burden of Survivor Guilt.
    • Lisbeth actually lampshades this in Rising Steel during an event detailing when Sinon joined ALO. Sinon responds by denying it and calling Kirito a "Weirdo".
  • Not So Stoic: Despite her usual icy cold demeanor, Sinon can get emotional in certain situations. Seeing Death Gun triggered a panic attack in her, and of course there's Kirito who gets on her nerves several times.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: While Shino is ranting her frustration about Kirito, she makes a pistol gesture with her hand. In the past, this would have set off a panic attack for her. Kyouji notices and points it out, to which a surprised Shino guesses it must be because she was angry. This OOC moment would later grow into Character Development as Shino becomes more confident.
  • Online Alias: Sinon.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: She becomes obsessed with defeating Kirito in a fair fight, thinking that doing so will make her strong like he is, and commands him to not lose until she can beat him. This later evolves into Worthy Opponent and Sinon decides against fighting Kirito unless it's a fair fight, as he had just been heavily damaged after battling Death Gun, so she resorts to ending the tournament in a draw.
  • Only Sane Woman:
    • Despite being the second youngest out of Kirito's party, with only Silica being younger, she is easily one of the maturest present. She's less excitable than the rest and more likely of being sensible.
    • This is even more prominent in the video game continuity, which isn't canon, and in that continuity, out of the whole Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that make up your party, she definitely comes across as the most rational, despite keeping her personality traits from other SAO media intact. It helps that most of her humor comes directly from snark.
  • Ornamental Weapon: It's a downplayed case here. She carries a machine pistol as a sidearm, but outside of the opening for the Phantom Bullet arc, she's only seen using it once, providing covering fire for her fellow squadmates during their attack on a Mob Hunter group. She tries to use it in three more instances; during the preliminaries, she draws it but is thrown off balance by Kirito rushing at her; during the tournament, when Kirito sneaks up on her, she draws it again but gets pinned before she can use it, and when she tries to pull it on Death Gun, she goes into shock on seeing his Black Star.
    • In the anime, she tries pulling it on Subtilizer when he ambushes her, only to get a knife to the arm.
  • Out of Focus: She disappears almost entirely during Mother's Rosario aside from a few cameos, and declines to fight Yuuki in the manga adaptation.
  • Parents as People: Her mother cares for her, but is a fairly fragile individual who ended up being broken by the trauma she suffered during the robbery, and is thus no longer able to care for Shino.
  • Perpetual Frowner: She rarely smiles, with her default expression keeping a straight face as part of her stoic attire.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: It's clear from the moment she logs in that the Solus Avatar is this, as she's able to take out an entire battalion of foreign players with one arrow.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Out of all the girls Kirito has accidentally perved Sinon is the most unforgiving, being quick to hurt him or give him death threats. The most well-known example would be when they first met and Kirito revealed to her that, despite his Avatar, he was really a guy... while she was in her underwear. Cue the Armor-Piercing Slapnote 
  • Physical God: As Sun Goddess Solus in the Alicization arc.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Short in stature, but she's the greatest sniper in Gun Gale Online and not to be messed with.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Out of all of Kirito's Unwanted Harem, Sinon displays the least signs of attraction towards him and for the most they are just friends without the romance. Although there are hints dropped here and there she might feel a bit more, but it never amounts to anything more than the occasional Ship Tease due to Kirito already being in a relationship.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Gives these every now and then, but her most famous one would be a line she gives to Kirito before their BoB duel.
    "I've taught you so much, but I want to teach you one last thing. The taste of the bullet that means defeat."
  • Pyrrhic Victory: She says her victory over the monster hunting squad at the start of the arc is essentially this, as while her team won, they should have been able to achieve a crushing victory given their advantages.
  • Race Lift: In the original Web Novels, Sinon actually became a Sylph. In the Light Novel and subsequent adaptations, she instead became a Cait Sith.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Bases her character name on her given name of Shino, removing the "h", and adding an "n" at the end.
  • Red Baron: In GGO, she is known as "Hecate", and sometimes "Goddess of the Underworld", from both her anti-material sniper rifle and the goddess.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: She has short hair, fair skin, a Dark and Troubled Past, and an emotionally-distant demeanor that defrosts thanks to the main character. Her MMORPG counterpart Sinon even has the blue hair.
  • Rescue Romance: Averted. While Kirito does save her from Death Gun during the BoB, and later from an unstable Kyouji IRL, and she is hinted to grown some feelings for him as result, it ultimately doesn't go anywhere since she opts to be Platonic Life-Partners with him instead, likely due to Asuna.
  • The Rival: To Kirito. While at first it was due to a grudge due to the misunderstanding over Kirito's gender, but after witnessing Kirito's true strength she began to see him as a Worthy Opponent and became determined to defeat him in battle believing it would make herself stronger. Eventually the two transition into a Fire-Forged Friendship and see each other as partners on the battlefield, but the Friendly Rivalry them remains.

  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • Averted. Sinon wanted to play using a male avatar, but the game didn't allow her to and she was instead forced to play as her real gender.
    • In the light novels, Kirito initially mistook her for a guy, due to his own avatar's shorter height. He quickly realizes his mistake when she turns around.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: She wears a muffler as part of her GGO Cold Sniper avatar.
  • Security Blanket:
    • Her glasses, which were advertised as being made of bulletproof material. In the anime, they turn shiny when she is putting up an emotional barrier. She finally discards them when confronting Endo for the last time.
    • She is attached to the Hecate II. Sinon sometimes talks to it when she needs to calm herself and prides herself on being one of the few players capable of wielding it.
    • As both Shino and Sinon, she pulls a scarf over her mouth when she wishes to keep to herself.
  • Sequence Breaking: How she obtained the Hecate II. Sinon somehow fell into a dungeon much higher level than her, but discovered she could snipe the enemies and boss out of their attack range, so she did just that. Doing so ended up netting her the rare weapon.
  • Serious Business: She really takes all of her moves in gaming highly, to the point where she tells Dyne off when he suggests logging out of a losing game:
    Dyne: Are you nuts? This is a game, for Christ's sakes! Think about it, even if we charged 'em, we'd just die!
    Sinon: THEN DIE! It IS a game, so you can at least have the balls to face death here instead of whinin'!
  • A Shared Suffering: This is the true nature of her relationship with Kirito, as reading anything deeper into it is a misunderstanding.
  • She-Fu: In ALO, she sometimes incorporates acrobatics into her bow-based fighting style. When she isn't sniping from a distance, she'll take shots at enemies while jumping and flipping about, and she may even throw a physical strike in there, like when she kicked Thrym in the nose in the anime.
    • She also shows shades of this in GGO, being able to use Combat Parkour to climb buildings despite the weight of her BFG, and shoot Behemoth while falling to the ground after losing a leg.
  • She's Got Legs: With the exception of her GGO Avatar, which has has a pair of leggings resembling trouser legs, a lot of Sinon's outfits tend to show off her legs to an extent, with her ALO Avatar and many of her Gameverse original designs having her in her normal short shorts with either more traditional, skin-tight leggings or none at all, while Solus' long skirt has two slits in the front that both legs can peek out of.
  • Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Being a sniper, she is the long-ranger to Kirito's short-ranger because he uses a laser sword.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Played with. She has blue hair in-game, but it's actually her real life (black haired) self who is a shy Shrinking Violet, while her in-game self is a stoic Ice Queen.
  • Slasher Smile: Sinon lets one loose when she mentions to Kirito that she plains to kill all of the strong players she can find in the BoB. It's so jarring that Kirito momentarily wonders if Sinon might actually be Death Gun.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Sinon is small in size, so much so that her avatar is described as "doll-like". The Hecate II is longer than she is tall.
  • The Smart Gal: Occasionally falls into this, being the resident Badass Bookworm. Her knowledge that she accumulated through extensive reading is sometimes brought up and comes to use in solving quests.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Played with. She wears glasses in real life and is a Badass Bookworm. However it should be noted that she doesn't actually need glasses and wears them as a Security Blanket. However in the non-canon games she actually dons glasses in-game as Sinon when she needs to read something and also implies she has poor eyesight in real life.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She is one of the rare female players girl in GGO and the sole female member of Dyne's squad. For this reason, she constantly has to deal with guys hitting on her and becomes interested in Kirito when at first she mistakes his avatar for that of a female. Throughout the entirety of the "Phantom Bullet" Arc, only one other female player is seen, Musketeer X, who was a minor character without a single line of dialogue. This became subverted over time in the expanded materials where we see many named female GGO players, most notably in Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online. But on the other hand, despite the larger number of female characters shown, one can notice that as a percentage of GGO's player base, females still make up only a tiny portion of it.
  • The Snark Knight: The resident Deadpan Snarker of the main cast, but she does not have high opinions of herself either and wants to push herself to be stronger.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Her relationship with Kirito, after she finds out he's a boy and after GGO. Kirito keeps riling her up by acting friendly and cutesy, while she takes every opportunity to make jabs at Kirito and her complete dislike of him. While the two become genuine friends eventually, this dynamic between them still pops up from time-to-time.
  • Sniper Rifle: In GGO, an FR-F2 .308 sniper rifle, before upgrading to the FR-12,7 (otherwise known as the PGM Hécate II) .50 BMG anti-material rifle that she managed to get as an extremely rare drop.
  • Split Personality: Shino views herself and Sinon as this, believing that if Sinon becomes powerful enough, the strength of Sinon will supersede the weakness of Shino. They're not, as proven when Sinon becomes paralyzed by the sight of the Type 54 pistol. If anything, Sinon is akin to a placebo effect. Though this comes into play again and is left ambiguous, where a scene within Shino's mind has a representation of Sinon approaching Shino and encouraging her to be strong and keep fighting, and from that point onwards Shino shows more confidence than she ever had.
  • The Squadette: The sole female member on Dyne's PKer squad.
  • The Stoic:
    • She tries being this as Sinon. It's partially justified by GGO's game mechanics, in which a player's accuracy increases the slower their heartbeat, so she deliberately keeps herself icy calm during combat to maximize effectiveness. However, she takes herself a tad too seriously and cracks pretty easily whenever she gets inconvenienced, and suffers a massive breakdown after seeing Death Gun's Type 54 pistol, culminating in her breaking down sobbing when Kirito dissuades her from chasing Death Gun on her own.
    • It becomes more apparent after joining Kirito's close circle of friends, where she's typically the calmest when it comes to any situation and is the least likely of joining in the antiques of the others.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Upon joining ALO, her long-range skills translated into her becoming the archer of Kirito's party. The difference in setting justifies this; guns don't exist in ALO.
  • Stress Vomit: Whenever she gets triggered, she tends to throw up.
  • Stripperiffic: She actually wears quite a bit, but her GGO outfit shows off enough skin in just the right places, especially around her hips and backside.
  • Strong and Skilled: She holds the status of being the greatest sniper in GGO and has extensive knowledge about the game to match. Her sniper rifle, Hecate II is one of the most powerful weapons in the game and capable of inflicting incredible damage. Although she crosses a bit over into Weak, but Skilled due to her stats making her a Glass Cannon with little in the way of close quarters melee combat. Fully averted once she starts playing ALO where's she's undoubtedly Weak, but Skilled, as her character has the lowest stats in the party, but she retains her Improbable Aiming Skills from her time in GGO.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She seems to keep her distance from most players, but, as seen with Kyouji and Kirito, she can be friendly and even lighthearted.
  • Super Senses: Cait-Sith have the best vision out of all the fairy families, which is perfect for her as a Cold Sniper with Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Super Strength: Downplayed. While it’s not as absurd as someone like Behemoth, the fact that Sinon's stat-build in GGO is STR focused shows. She’s capable of running, dodging and performing amazing feats of acrobatics while carrying an Anti-Material Rifle, with it’s scope and ammo, weighing somewhere over 14kg and a Glock 18C with an extended magazine weighing a little over 0.64 kg. And it becomes more impressive when you realize that in GGO, you’re also weighed down by whatever’s in your inventory, which in her case would include dozens of heavy magazines for said rifle, her sidearm and other tools and items.
    • In the anime, she’s shown to be running up the staircase of a tower and, at a point where the stairs are destroyed, performs two consecutive Wall Jumping front-flips in order to keep advancing, all while carrying Hecate.
  • Survival Mantra: "One Shot, One Kill" which is the actual Sniper's Creed.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: As explained in her Dark and Troubled Past, she may be a killer but she's not a monster because of it.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: This was the initial dynamic she had with Kirito after learning of the latter's true gender, but she eventually warms up to him. She also has this dynamic with Dyne's team, whom she doesn't think much of, but tolerates in order to get intel on the competition for BoB.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. She's been in therapy ever since the botched robbery, but it didn't really do her any good as they were all Japanese therapists who fully embraced their culturally-enforced disgust for guns — and those who use them, even accidental killers such as herself. Thanks to all of that, she has a case of PTSD so intense a schoolyard bully can set off a panic attack simply by pointing a finger at her and saying "bang". What straightens her out after four years is meeting Sachie Oosawa, the then-pregnant teller the gunman threatened, and though she still can't get over her trauma over witnessing a shooting, let alone meeting the shooter, she feels indebted to Shino for saving her and her then-unborn baby — now four-year-old Mizue, who gives her a doodle of herself and her parents with the words "Shino onee-san, thank you for saving mama and Mizue".
    • In the video game continuity, this is partially why she ended up in SAO to begin with. She volunteered to use the Medicuboid because it was being tested as a potential therapy aid for those with traumatic pasts. When SAO started glitching up due to Strea, it registered several NerveGear-derived ports as SAO players, and thus she was forcibly dragged in.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Asuna's girly girl. She hangs out with her a lot more in the game adaptations where it's apparent that she tends to avoid the more girlier, feminine things that Asuna indulges in.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Accompanying her Defrosting the Ice Queen, Sinon finds feeling happy for the first time in years after meeting Kirito and being accepted into his circle of friends. She's still quite stoic and calm, but is seen smiling a lot more.
  • Trauma Button: Guns in general, pistols in particular, bring back the memory of her past trauma and cause her to Freak Out and throw up. By the end of the Phantom Bullet arc, she's made some progress overcoming it, managing to hold it together long enough to turn the tables on Endou and her Girl Posse when they threaten her with an air gun. As of volume 9, she's fully recovered from her trauma thanks to her friends' support.
  • Trick Arrow: Arrows with special magical properties exist in ALO. She, being a sniper in a gun-oriented game, exploits this ability to be able to perform to her full potential in a more fantasy-oriented game.
  • True Companions: After getting over her initial dislike of Kirito, she finally accepts him as her partner when they work together to take down Death Gun. Later, she is officially inaugurated into Kirito's ALO party and becomes friends with everyone there.
  • Tsundere: Initially the "tsuntsun" type. After having her stoic demeanor broken by finding out Kirito was really a male, she starts a habit of breaking out into anger at the mere sight of him. This carries on even after accepting Kirito as a friend, where out of all the girls, she's the most likely of snapping at him.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Sure, there is forgiving your attempted rapist, and then there is still caring enough for him as a friend to visit him in prison to try and help and save him as a person. Shino may be a little cold and rough around the edges, but she really is a good kid. And by Alicization, she is actually starting to succeed in restoring Shinkawa Kyouji's sanity and humanity. The light novel delves into her reasons why. Despite what he did, and acknowledging that she won't soon forget the fear and despair his actions caused her, she just simply can't bring herself to hate Kyouji due to their friendship, and she feels that she shares a degree of the blame for being too hung up on her own problems to notice and address his.
    • In the alternate game continuity of Hollow Realization where despite Kyouji attacking her and gaining an orange cursor, she still wants him to understand who she really is and be her friend.
  • Unknown Rival: She views Kirito as her rival ever since he defeated her though the latter doesn't know about it.
  • Vapor Wear: Her GGO outfit is a strapless leotard which is covered by a jacket, short shorts and leggings, meaning she likely isn’t wearing any underwear for the sake of comfort.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Her fear of guns is so bad that it can cause her to puke, though the audience is not shown it.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In ALO, she has the lowest stats in Kirito's party, since her avatar there is only two weeks old. She compensates with her Improbable Aiming Skills, and does very well. She was also this in Hollow Fragment, as she was forcibly dragged into the game alongside Leafa by the time everyone else had already reached Floor 76, but unlike Leafa didn't even have any prior outside experience in fighting to draw upon, which was partially why she took up the bow for long-range combat. Once again, she does very well despite these limits.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • For GGO, "PGM Hecate II" which was a difficult boss drop. Particularly notable as she views it as an extension of herself and is the only one who can use it.
    • For ALO, she uses a bow made by Lisbeth.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: She's the second youngest out of Kirito's party (only Silica is younger, while Leafa is the same age but is a few months older), but she is by far the maturest and calmest, rarely joining in the other's antics.
  • With Friends Like These...: It's revealed in the light novel version of Volume 5 that she used to be "friends" with Endou and her group, but it turns out that they really wanted to take advantage of her apartment so that they could party there. When Shino found out and put her foot down, they retaliated by using her traumas against her.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Really the only reason why Sinon is featured in Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment, the adaptation of the Aincrad arc, which is long before her canonical appearance.
  • World's Best Warrior: She is the greatest current gunner in Gun Gale Online, bar none.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sees Kirito as one, and wants to face him in a future Bullet of Bullets tournament so they can finally have a proper battle. Though she'll never admit it, she greatly admires his skill, and even secretly bought her own lightsaber to practice deflecting bullets, with limited success.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Knowing Gabriel will log back in with another avatar after Bercouli kills Vecta, and that he'd likely spawn at the same spot Vecta died, Sinon tells Alice to keep heading to the World End Alter while she stays behind to hold him off.
  • Younger Than They Look: Sinon is often mistaken for being older than she is due to being mature and serious, however she's actually the second youngest among Kirito's friends, being the same age as Leafa.
    • Dyne's Squadron suspect that she's a student IRL, but they're under the impression that she's in college as opposed to high school.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When she learns that Kyouji, who was the closest thing she had to a friend in real life for a long time, became interested in her because she killed someone, she doesn't take it well at all.


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