Ranked #208

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

Information

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

Statistics

Score: 8.421 (scored by 9848 users)
Ranked: #2082
Popularity: #122
Members: 23,770
Favorites: 2,012
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.

Synopsis

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)

Background

Author Reki Kawahara wrote the first volume of Sword Art Online in 2002 and intended to submit it for the Dengeki Game Novel Prize, but refrained as he exceeded the page limit. He instead published the series as a web novel. Shortly after his other series Accel World won the Dengeki Novel Grand Prize in 2008, Sword Art Online was published in print.

The series got 1st place on the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! ranking under Best Light Novel category in 2012 and 2013.

Yen Press has been publishing the series in English under the Yen On imprint since April 22, 2014. It has also been published in Italian by J-POP since October 11, 2014.

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Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Complexity
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
traps
Mar 29, 2014
A major function built into each fantasy story is an outcome that fulfills a dualistic and conventional promise. Thus, the meek did in fact inherit the earth, good did triumph over evil, early birds caught worms, what went around in fact came around, and they, whoever they were, all lived happily ever after.

This is in a broader sense, a good summary of the light novel known as Sword Art Online.

Before I start, let me point out that no literature is ever free of criticism. Modern classics such as Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird have been reread, reanalysed and criticised by read more
I found this review Helpful
xNihalx
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
arseface
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

Recommendations

Manga: Accel World
similarities
-they have the same author
-both have virtual reality games
-both have a system where they can dive into the online network

differences
-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
Manga: Zero no Shiniki
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
Manga: Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
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
Manga: Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
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
Manga: RealPG
Teens are trapped in a death game where real life death is a consequence  
reportRecommended by Havoctheend
Manga: Online: The Comic
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

difference

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

Recent News

Dengeki Announces New 'Tenkyou no Alderamin,' 'Accel World,' 'Sword Art Online' Anime

Light novel publisher Dengeki Bunko announced at its Aki no Saiten 2015 event that three of its titles will receive new anime adaptations. Nejimaki Seirei Senki: ...read more

'Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!' 2016 Rankings Revealed

'Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!' 2016 Rankings Revealed

Publishing company Takarajimasha announced its annual light novel rankings for 2016 in the "Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!" (This Light Novel is Amazing!) guid...read more


Recent Forum Discussion

Sword Art Online Chapter 16.5 ( 1 2 )
Daisuken - Dec 2, 2010
53 replies by Tyestor »»
Jan 25, 10:14 PM
Poll: (S.A.O) Sword Art Online Favorite Characters Poll ( 1 2 )
ZeroKamikaze - Jul 26, 2012
52 replies by lunawolfsparkle »»
Jan 11, 8:58 PM

Recent Featured Articles

15 of the Funniest Sword Art Online Memes

15 of the Funniest Sword Art Online Memes

Sword Art Online (SAO) is an action, adventure and Sci-Fi series which is popular among anime fans due to its exploration of the virtual reality. Below is a list of 15 of the funniest Sword Art Online memes that we have collected for you to enjoy!
Sword Art Online: What's a Beater?

Sword Art Online: What's a Beater?

The world of Sword Art Online is beautifully crafted and immerses its players with the thrills of its Virtual Reality. But this place isn't only fun and games, as something incredibly dangerous seems to lay in store for all the players... even the Beaters! Wait, what's a Beater?

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