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Shinkawa Shouichi (新川 昌一(しんかわしょういち), Shinkawa Shōichi?), known as XaXa (ザザ, Zaza?) in «Sword Art Online» and as Sterben (ステルベン, Suteruben?, German for "to die") in «Gun Gale Online», is the main antagonist of the Phantom Bullet Arc and a minor antagonist in the Aincrad Arc. He is one of the 10,000 players who were trapped in Sword Art Online, where he was a member of the infamous red guild «Laughing Coffin», nicknamed as Red-Eyed XaXa (赤眼のザザ(アカメのXaXa), Akame no ZaZa?) because of the red eyes of his skull mask. After being released from the game, Shouichi began playing Gun Gale Online due to the recommendation of his brother, Shinkawa Kyouji. In October 2025, the two brothers created and began executing the «Death Gun» plot, which involved giving the impression that they could kill people in real life from within a game.


Sword Art Online AvatarEdit

XaXa's overall design revolved around the color red. He customized his hair and eyes to be crimson,[5] and wore a skeletal mask with glowing red eyepieces alongside a ragged, black[6] hooded cloak marked with a red reverse cross, seemingly mocking the crest and colors of the Knights of the Blood.[5] In combat, XaXa utilized an estoc so powerful that the metal gleamed in what appeared to be the colour of blood.[6] He bore the Laughing Coffin guild tattoo on his right forearm.[citation needed]

Gun Gale Online AvatarEdit

Vol 06 - 103

Shinkawa Shouichi's avatar in GGO.

Shouichi's avatar in Gun Gale Online, Sterben, is similar to XaXa in Sword Art Online. Like his SAO avatar, Sterben wears a skeletal mask[5] with black goggles containing red lenses, along with a dark gray, tattered[7] optical camouflage mantle[8] and grungy, faded boots.[7] On his right forearm, he re-tattooed the emblem of «Laughing Coffin»: a half-opened coffin with a eerie, leering smile on the lid and a white skeletal arm extending from the darkness within, beckoning the viewer.[7]


Shouichi is a cold and sadistic person who believed in PoH's principles, thus he enjoys killing other players, even with full knowledge that they would be killed in real life as well. It was later revealed that Shouichi enjoyed killing other players because he enjoyed the feeling of being feared by others.[1]

As Shouichi's father did not have any expectations for him due to him being frail and sick, Shouichi eventually dropped out of high school and turned to the Internet as his haven and started playing MMORPGs until he was trapped in SAO, where he committed various crimes, became a Player Killer one year after the game started, and joined Laughing Coffin. Shouichi's sense of reality had been wearing thin since then, feeling that only things beneficial to him were real.

After the death game had ended, Shouichi took his brother's Kyouji's advice and started playing Gun Gale Online. Shouichi spent time on the streets observing other players and imagining ways of killing them. While playing Gun Gale Online under the advice of his brother Kyouji, Shouichi did not battle monsters, but instead observed other players while thinking of ways to kill them. After obtaining his camouflage mantle, he practiced ways of obscuring himself from others, feeling that it was interesting to tail someone from behind. After he managed to find out the real life addresses of several players by tailing them when they inputted their personal information in the presidential estate of SBC Glocken, he and his brother came up with a plot to continue killing people in the real world, supposedly via the use of a «Death Gun» in-game.

Shouichi has an amazing memory, as he was able to remember players' addresses and then write them down when he logged off.[1]


When Shouichi was young, he was rather frail and sick, and thus moved between his home and the hospital after graduating middle school. He entered high school a year late but by then his father had already given up on him taking over the family business, thus he pushed the burden onto his younger brother, Kyouji. Shouichi eventually dropped out of high school and turned to the internet and started playing MMORPGs until he got trapped in Sword Art Online.[1]


Aincrad ArcEdit

A Murder Case in the AreaEdit

In April 2024, 2024, XaXa, along with PoH and Johnny Black, was hired by Grimlock to kill Schmitt, Yolko, and Caynz to prevent anyone from discovering the truth behind the death of Griselda, the leader of the Golden Apple guild. After Johnny Black paralysed Schmitt while he was being confronted by Yolko and Caynz at the Hill of the Cross, XaXa seized the estoc Yolko and Caynz had requested to intimidate Schmitt, complementing on its design and deciding to add it to his collection. However, before the red players could accomplish their mission, they were forced to withdraw when Kirito arrived on a horse and warned them that he had arranged for reinforcements to arrive and had enough healing items to stall for time. As the Laughing Coffin members departed, XaXa promised Kirito that he would hunt him down on a horse like the Black Swordsman had done to them.

August, 2024Edit

During the anti-Player Killer raid led by the Clearers, XaXa fought Kirito at the start of the counterattack, but was forced to retreat after his hit points were reduced to less than half, swearing to kill Kirito. Before being sent to the Black Iron Palace prison, XaXa offered to reveal his name to the Black Swordsman, but the latter refused to hear it, declaring that he never wanted to meet him again. While in prison, XaXa spent an indefinite amount of time practicing Sword Skills repeatedly, despite the lack of gain in cor and experience points, burning the motions into his muscle memory.[5]

November, 2024Edit

XaXa was one of the 6,147 surviving players to log out after Kirito defeated Heathcliff on the 75th Floor.

Phantom Bullet ArcEdit

Due to being an orange player in SAO, Shouichi underwent a time of observation and counseling after his release from the death game. He began to play Gun Gale Online under the advice of his brother Kyouji. After obtaining his camouflage mantle, the two brothers looked to Johnny Black, another former Laughing Coffin member, and began to plot an ingenious plan to kill players in the real world from within the virtual world.

Shouichi entered the Bullet of Bullets tournament under the name «Sterben» to prove his "true" killing ability to the rest of the world. He would stun people with special shells from his L115A3 Silent Assassin sniper rifle and then get up close to shoot them with his «Death Gun», the Type 54 "Black Star". While he committed the kill in-game, his brother and the other Laughing Coffin member would inject the players in the real world with succinylcholine, a drug capable of stopping the heart. They had obtained the address by hiding under a «Metamaterial Optical Camouflage Mantle» while they watched the other players type their real addresses during the BoB registration process. His plans were foiled by Kirito and Sinon, and he eventually went to prison after the incident had passed.

Known EquipmentEdit

Gun Gale OnlineEdit

Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Accuracy International L115A3» Sniper Bought from the Real Money Trade system. Primary weapon
Unnamed cloaking mantle Armour Bought from the Real Money Trade system
«Type 54 "Black Star"» Pistol Used for the Death Gun plot to allegedly kill players in the real world.
Unnamed estoc Knife Secondary weapon for close quarter battles.


Sword Art OnlineEdit

One-Handed Rapier

Gun Gale OnlineEdit

  • Knife Creation
  • Weapon Creation


See Shinkawa Shouichi/Image Gallery


  • Shouichi's GGO avatar was named as Mortale fucile (モルターレ・フチーレ, Morutāre fuchīre?)[9] while Shouichi's real name was Ryouichi (亮一?)[10] in the web version.
  • Shouichi makes a brief cameo game appearance in Hollow Realization by using Kyouji's in-game avatar to speak to Kirito while his younger brother was spending time with Shino in the real world.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Volume 6, Chapter 16
  2. SII Episode 14
  3. SII Episode 05 credits
  4. Dubbed SII Episode 05 credits.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Volume 6, Chapter 14
  6. 6.0 6.1 Volume 8, A Murder Case in the Area, Part 11
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Volume 5, Chapter 6
  8. Volume 6, Chapter 12
  9. Web version Death Gun story, chapter 5.
  10. Web version Death Gun story epilogue.


Major Characters
Alice Zuberg - Asada Shino (Sinon) - Ayano Keiko (Silica) - Eugeo - Kayaba Akihiko - Kikuoka Seijirou - Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) - Kirigaya Suguha (Leafa) - Shinozaki Rika (Lisbeth) - Tsuboi Ryoutarou (Klein) - Yui - Yuuki Asuna (Asuna)
SAO Players
Aincrad Liberation Force/ALS Hokkaiikura - Joe - Kibaou - Kobatz - Liten - Melonmask - Okotan - Schinkenspeck - Thinker - Yulier - Yakumo
Divine Dragon Alliance/DKB Hafner - Lind - Morte - Schmitt - Shivata - Yamata
Fuumaningun Isuke - Kotaru
Fuurinkazan Dale - Dynamm - Harry One - Issin - Klein - Kunimttz
Golden Apple Caynz - Grimlock - Griselda - Schmitt - Yolko
Knights of the Blood Asuna - Daizen - Godfree - Heathcliff - Kirito - Kuradeel - Nautilus
Laughing Coffin Johnny Black - Kuradeel - PoH - XaXa
Legend Braves Beowulf - Cu Chulainn - Enkidu - Gilgamesh - Nezha - Orlando
Moonlit Black Cats Ducker - Keita - Kirito - Sachi - Sasamaru - Tetsuo
Titan's Hand Rosalia
Agil's guild Agil - Wolfgang
Others Argo - Ashley - Ceba - Coper - Diavel - Gin - Gwen - Kein - Lisbeth - Lux - Mina - Nishida - Rossa - Ryufior - Sasha - Silica - Yuna
Beta-Tester Argo - Coper - Diavel - Isuke - Kotaru - Morte - Kirito
NPC Angel - Kizmel - Lion - NPC Orchestra - Pina - Ruru - Scarecrow - Tilnel - Tin - Toto - Yui
Non-Canon Aaaa - Alberich - Leafa - Philia - Rain - Sinon - Strea - Yuuki
ALO Players
Cait Sith Alicia Rue - Silica - Sinon
Gnome Agil - Tecchi
Imp Yuuki
Leprechaun Lisbeth - Ceba - Talken
Pooka Sasha
Salamander Eugene - fastuosa - Gtacs - Jun - Kagemune - Klein - Mortimer - UxperXJ
Spriggan Kirito - Kuro - Nori
Sylph Erika - Fukaziroh - Leafa - Lux - Recon - Sakuya - Sigurd
Undine Asuna - Chrysheight - Siune - Thinker - Yulier
NPC/Navigation Pixie Angel - Emely - Hraesvelg - Leviathan - Nerakk - NPC Orchestra - Pina - Skuld - Thiazi - Thor - Thrym - Tonky - Urðr - Verðandi - Yui
Others/Unknown Ashley - Fairy King Oberon - Gwen - Marinca - Saitou Shouichi - Slug Researchers
Non-Canon Alice Zuberg - Argo - Black Lotus - Eugeo - Heathcliff - Philia - Rain - Sachi - Seven - Strea - Sumeragi - Yuna
GGO Players
Dyne's Squadron Arashi - Dyne - Ginrou - Jin - Miso - Sinon
BoB Participants Blackwood - Colonel Liberty - DA*LU - David - Dyne - E.J. - Fernil - Garrett - huuka - Jack Reacher - JIGEN - Kakouton - kaeeeede - Kakameposu the II - Keith - Kirito - Lion King Richie - Masaya - Musketeer X - No-No - Pale Rider - Pancho - Raiden - Licoco - Setsugekka - Shishigane - Sinon - Sterben - Stinger - Subtilizer - Ten-Q - Uemaru - Usujio Tarako - Yamikaze - XeXeeD - XYZ
Death Gun Victims Garrett - Pale Rider - Usujio Tarako - XeXeeD
Squad Jam Participants LPFM Fukaziroh - LLENN - M - Pitohui
SH-NC Anna - Eva - Rosa - Sophie - Tanya - Tohma
MMTM Bolt - David - Jake - Lax
KKHC Shirley
ZAT Benjamin - Casa - Frost - Koenig - Yamada - Let's Play Host
Others Clarence
Others Behemoth - Spiegel
Underworld Resident
Human Empire Rulid Village Algu - Alice Zuberg - Bercouli - Donetti - Doyke - Eugeo - Garitta - Gasupht Zuberg - Ivenda - Jaina - Jink - Kirito - Nigel Balbossa - Orick - Ridack - Sadina Zuberg - Selka Zuberg - Sister Azariya - Sulinea
Zakkaria Banou Wolde - Egome Zakkalight - Kelgam Zakkalight - Telin Wolde - Telulu Wolde - Toriza Wolde
Centoria Azurika - Cardinal - Quinella - Sadore
Sword Mastery Academy Azurika - Eugeo - Frenica Szeski - Gorgolosso Baltoh - Humbert Zizek - Kirito - Raios Antinous - Ronye Arabel - Sortiliena Serlut - Tiese Shtolienen - Uolo Levanteinn - Zobun
Central Cathedral Cardinal - Charlotte - Chudelkin - Elevating Operator - Fizel - Linel - Quinella
Integrity Knight Alice Zuberg - Bercouli - Dakira - Deusolbert - Eldrie Woolsburg - Eugeo - Fanatio - Fizel - Giro - Hobren - Jeis - Linel - Renri - Scheta
Dragons Himawari - Hinageshi - Hoshigami - Kazenui - Shimosaki - Takiguri - Tsukigake - Yoiyobi
Others Almera Woolsburg - Eschdol Woolsburg
Dark Territory Black Iums D.I.L - Dampe - Fu Za - Iskahn - Lengil Gira Scobo - Lipia Zankale - Viksul Ur Shasta - Yotte
Orcs Fulgrr - Renju - Rilpirin
Giants Sigrosig
Goblins Aburi - Hagashi - Kubiri - Oroi - Shibori - Ugachi
Underworld Visitors
Agil - Alicia Rue - Asuna - Eugene - Gabriel Miller - Hirono Takashi - Jun - Kirito - Klein - Leafa - Lisbeth - Moonphase - Nori - Sakuya - Silica - Sinon - Siune - Tecchi - Vassago
Asuka Empire Players
Players Clevel - Koyomi - Merida - Nayuta - Ran - Yanagi - Yuuki
NPC Kitsune-masked child
Reality/Other Games
Rath Aki Natsuki - Higa Takeru - Hiraki - Ichiemom - Kikuoka Seijirou - Koujiro Rinko - Nakanishi - Niemom - Yanai
Others Alicia Klingerman - Cel - Clovis - Critter - Doctor Kurahashi - Eiji - Endou - Fujita Shin - Kirigaya Midori - Okano Kouji - Sada Akiyo - Satou Rei - Shigemura Tetsuhiro - Yuna - Yuuki Kouichirou - Yuuki Kyouko - Yuuki Shouzou
Non-Canon Genesis - Premiere - Richter - Tia