Ranked #145
Sword Art Online (Novel)

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: Novel
Volumes: Unknown
Chapters: Unknown
Status: Publishing
Published: Apr 10, 2009 to ?
Authors: Kawahara, Reki (Story), abec (Art)
Serialization: None


Score: 8.501 (scored by 8431 users)
Ranked: #1452
Popularity: #126
Members: 20,349
Favorites: 1,689
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.

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In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online-a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other-opens its virtual doors, allowing players to take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the game world by manipulating their brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience. But when the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG-a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one hundred floors of Aincrad to regain your freedom. But in the warped world of SAO, "game over" means certain death-both virtual and real...

(Source: Yen Press)

Related Manga

Alternative version: Sword Art Online: Aincrad, Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance, Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet, Sword Art Online: Mother's Rosario, Sword Art Online: Calibur
Side story: Sword Art Online Side Stories, Sword Art Online: Progressive, Sword Art Online: Girls Ops, Sword Art Online: Celeste no Yousei, Sword Art Online SS: Caliber SS (Failure Side), Sword Art Online dj - Material Edition, Sword Art Online dj - Lisbeth Edition, Sword Art Online dj - Silica Edition, Sword Art Online dj - Pina Edition
Spin-off: Sword Art☆Online., Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Adaptation: Sword Art Online, Sword Art Online II


Asada, Shino
Kirigaya, Suguha
Kirigaya, Kazuto
Schuberg, Alice
Yuuki, Asuna

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Apr 25, 2012
Note: The hate towards the anime adaptation has begun converting directly to the novel. However, the general consensus is that the novel is superior to the anime, and I would like to just say that the novel isn't necessarily going to be as 'bad' as the anime. I won't tell you to give the novel a go if you hated the anime however, as it is likely that you will start reading the novel with a biased and negative opinion, which never ends well. Or this could just not be for you. Either way, onto the review:

Sword Art Online. Also known as SAO, this series read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Aug 14, 2013
I've read the baka-tsuki version of every main story up to Alicization, which I won't start until the translation is finished. This review is for every non-side up till then, not just the first volume.

The series is very good. Poorly written, but very enjoyable. You can tell the author was younger when he wrote it and each arc is vastly different from the others as he progresses as an author.

Story 7/10
Every arc is different here. Vastly.

First arc Sword Art Online
the story basically serves as a medium with which to explain the world to you. The romance factors are a bit exaggerated since the read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Oct 7, 2014
-This is a SpoilerFree review-

First of all I want to tell you that I'm not an english native so sorry for my poor english and for the eventual errors.

Sword Art Online, the novel behind one of the most discussed anime ever. Someone says "it's the best, omg nothing can be compared to that", someone else says "it's just the worst story ever with the worst character ever".
So that point of view gave me a lot of curiosity, I just wanted to start reading the novels, and after reading all the 14 that are out up until now I feel ready to explain my vision over read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Jun 23, 2012
Volume one probably the best so far that I've read in the series known as Sword Art Online, the characters are deep, and you end up developing an equal sentimental attachment of virtual world it all takes place. The romance may come about a little fast pace but you quickly forget about it as you find yourself quickly rapped up in how intimate and deep it is. By the end you definitely will get emotional, I won't say any spoilers but its a proper end to the whole story.

But wait theres more, I skipped over the side stories and went right to the essential read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful

User Recommendations

-they have the same author
-both have virtual reality games
-both have a system where they can dive into the online network

-they have different kinds of characters, kirito and haruyuki are two sides of the same coin, complete opposites but have similar roles, kirito is the cool black hero, while haruyuki is the shining silver knight but the one thing they have in common is that they both of them are good with VR games and are both are the ones who save the day

-SAO is more of fighting to stay alive and for freedom while accel  read more 
reportRecommended by ZeroKamikaze
Both MC were trapped in a VRMMORPG World (In Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari case its similar) where they have to fight to survive/protect something. Both MC is trying to find a way to escape from the world In the case of SAO Kiritoh start off being OP early while the MC in Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari get stronger bit by bit. There will be sword fight scenes within both series, medieval-ish setting. However SAO does not have any magic settings in it.  
reportRecommended by Alexlung
Both MC were trapped in a VRMMORPG World (In Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari case its similar) where they have to fight to survive/protect something. Both MC is trying to find a way to escape from the world. In the case of SAO Kirito start off being OP early while the MC in Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari get stronger bit by bit. There will be sword fight scenes within both series, medieval-ish setting. However SAO does not have any magic settings in it. 
reportRecommended by Alexlung
Teens are trapped in a death game where real life death is a consequence  
reportRecommended by Havoctheend
If you die in the game you die in real life as well. Virtual Reality MMORPG (VRMMORPG), sword fight scenes, levelling system, battle monsters to earn exp. Both the MC has to experience the pain of losing someone they just met for awhile. The MC in both series tired to protect some girl but failed and get her killed. Continued living in the game while having to endure the pain and live on. Zero no Shiniki is considerably more gruesome than SAO. Both have similar names, Zero no Shiniki is called 零の神域 while Sword Art Online is called 刀剑神域 
reportRecommended by Alexlung
Reading Online:The Comic reminds me of Sword Art Online alot.

- Leveling system
- Variety of classes but Online: The comic has hundred of jobs to choose from
- killing monsters/ grinding for exp
- if you die in the game you will end up dead in the real world
- goal is to find out who created this mess / meet the creator
- bosses/ HP system
- both are online games


sword art online uses a head device to get into the game, where Online: The Comic uses a PSP-like device to start the game. and can play  read more 
reportRecommended by Alexlung

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