Ranked #490

Sword Art Online

Alternative Titles

English: Sword Art Online
Synonyms: S.A.O, SAO
Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン


Type: TV
Episodes: 25
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 8, 2012 to Dec 23, 2012
Premiered: Summer 2012
Broadcast: Unknown
Source: Light novel
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.021 (scored by 450,436 users)
Ranked: #4902
Popularity: #2
Members: 626,372
Favorites: 33,634
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


In the year 2022, virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds, and a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) is launched. With the aid of "NerveGear" technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.

Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed "Kirito," is among the lucky few enthusiasts who get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself, with ten-thousand others, in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad, one full of fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, in a cruel turn of events, the players soon realize they cannot log out; the game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.

In order to escape Aincrad, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes, like Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse, Sword Art Online is not all fun and games: if they die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual hell.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


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Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Kirigaya, Kazuto
Kirigaya, Kazuto
Matsuoka, Yoshitsugu
Matsuoka, Yoshitsugu
Yuuki, Asuna
Yuuki, Asuna
Tomatsu, Haruka
Tomatsu, Haruka
Kirigaya, Suguha
Kirigaya, Suguha
Taketatsu, Ayana
Taketatsu, Ayana
Itou, Kanae
Itou, Kanae


Iwakami, Atsuhiro
Iwakami, Atsuhiro
Mori, Yasunori
Mori, Yasunori
Itou, Tomohiko
Itou, Tomohiko
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard
Iwanami, Yoshikazu
Iwanami, Yoshikazu
Sound Director

More episodes Episodes(25/25)

# Episode Title Aired
1 The World of Swords
Ken no Sekai (剣の世界)
Jul 8, 2012
2 Beater
Beater (ビーター)
Jul 15, 2012
3 The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Akahana no Tonakai (赤鼻のトナカイ)
Jul 22, 2012
4 The Black Swordsman
Kuro no Kenshi (黒の剣士)
Jul 29, 2012
5 A Crime Within the Walls
Kennai Jiken (圏内事件)
Aug 5, 2012

Opening Theme

#1: "crossing field" by LiSA (eps 2-14)
#2: "INNOCENCE" by Aoi Eir (eps 15-24)

Ending Theme

#1: "crossing field" by LiSA (eps 1, 25)
#2: "Yume Sekai (ユメセカイ)" by Haruka Tomatsu (eps 2-14)
#3: "Overfly" by Luna Haruna (eps 15-24)

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Oct 12, 2014
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a brave young boy. He was the best swordsman in the land and the manliest man of all. He overcame countless trials with little effort and won the hearts of many fair maidens.

Yes, it's time for Sword Art Online, the origin of many angry rants.

The premise doesn't sound too bad. Ten thousand players of a virtual MMO are trapped in the game and forced to complete it to escape, except that death in the game leads to death in real life. Just think about it: this could be a tragic story of struggle read more
I found this review Helpful
Apr 6, 2014
Since I've seen a plethora of scores of 10 for this show, I thought I'd write what I feel is a more realistic review for this show. Sword Art Online is more or less the equivalent of a fanfiction in it's writing and quality. Whether people want to overlook it or not is up to the individual, but I believe it fails at the fundamentals for writing a good story. This review will go into details as to my opinions on why I feel this way.

1) Story - This is first major problem is the show. Let's start from the beginning shall read more
I found this review Helpful
Nov 22, 2015
** Probably small spoilers abound! **

Oh boy, where to begin with this show? I'm not a quitter when it comes to anime, I tend to follow through with things. Sword Art was no exception. I'm pretty tolerant, but this anime was an absolute trainwreck. I feel like I've been somewhat generous with this review.
I watched this anime knowing of some of the controversy circling around it. Knowing me I though ahh well, it can't be that bad right?

I was so wrong.

Story: 3/10

Enter the VRMMORPG Sword Art Online, a virtual reality game with a nasty twist. The first two episodes of this show are pretty read more
I found this review Helpful
Feb 26, 2013
I don't really want to go into too much depth, but I'd like to give an overview of the series and give my opinions it. If you haven't noticed yet there are many negative reviews out there for this anime, and while many of them bring up some pretty fair points, I think some people are being a bit too harsh on it. Let me explain.

Yes it's a popular anime, yes it has flaws, no it's not perfect, but at the very least in my opinion it is enjoyable. The pacing is off, the beginning particularly feels rushed, there were moments where I thought read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Log Horizon
Main similarity is that both anime features living within the game and in real life. There is the idea of being a member of a community and adventure and exploring the world that the protagonists live in. Both anime are special in their own way such as the contrasting protagonists. Both have good art quality as well and if you like action and fantasy anime, these two are definitely recommendable.  
reportRecommended by cherichelly
Anime: Accel World
The story line involves the idea that you enter a world that is a virtual reality. They have similar art styles and the game play for the characters is different, but the real world repercussions are more drastic in one series then in the other, but they are still there. 
reportRecommended by Yemi_Hikari
Anime: Btooom!
Both are about a guy that is forced to play a game risking his live together with other people. In order to leave this situation, they have to beat the game following the rules they were given.  
reportRecommended by Liinah
Anime: Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
It comes as no surprise that the environment and concept of these two series are analogous to one and another. Having the same protagonist voice actor in these two series undoubtedly strengthens the momentum going forward.

'Sword Art Online' and 'Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Similar' focus heavily on game systems, leveling and battle strategies. Through layers of boss flooring that increased in difficulty as you progress further which is accompanied by rewards, it is something that is welcomed by fans who has a certain connection with gaming. By all means, the comedy and romance are there to provide  read more 
reportRecommended by ShanaFlame
Anime: No Game No Life
Yes, both main characters are being transported into a gaming world where there are lots of mysterious wonders to explore. 'No Game No Life' is fresh in terms of its fanservice comedies and vibrant colours, whereas 'Sword Art Online' is focused more on the hardship of the main character and everyone else around him while developing strong romantic relationships along the way.

Comparing the storylines, 'Sword Art Online' easily takes the cake but the crazy and fun games of 'No Game No Life' is something to smile about.  
reportRecommended by ShanaFlame
Anime: .hack//Sign
As the king of the faux-MMORPG arena (.hack started development in 2000, then released in 2002; SAO was first wrote in 2001/2002), .hack can claim a lot of the responsibility for SAO. In the anime universe, the idea of being trapped in a fantasy virtual reality setting, via playing a MMORPG, is already 10+ years old. Even Yuki Kajiura's wonderful (though underwhelming, in SAO) music became famous as a result of her best-soundtrack-ever work on .hack//SIGN. 
reportRecommended by AironicallyHuman

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