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Kazuto Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 和人)Birthday: October 7, 2008
Age: 14 (Beginning of Aincrad arc), 16 (End of Aincrad arc, Fairy Dance arc), 17 (Phantom Bullet arc)
Height: 172 cm
Weight: 59 kg
Weapon(s) of choice: Anneal Blade (1st Level), Queen's Knightblade (9th Level), Elucidator (50th level), Dark Repulser (forged by Lisbeth), and Holy Sword Excalibur (obtained from the "Calibur Quest").
Kirito is the protagonist of Sword Art Online. He is a "solo" player, a player who hasn't joined a guild and usually works alone. He is also one of the very few people to have had the privilege to play in the beta testing period of Sword Art Online. His game alias, Kirito, is created by taking the syllables of the first and last Kanji of his real last and first names respectively: (Kirigaya Kazuto). In the real world, he lives with his aunt and younger cousin in a family of 3.
When Kayaba announced the start of the death game, he is surprised, but unlike everyone else he quickly gets over it and accepts it to an extent. He invited his friend Klein to go with him but Klein had to find his friends in the game. He was invited to join them but he declined as he couldn't take the pressure of protecting them even with his beta testing knowledge of the game.
Kirito tends to use a single handed straight sword. The blade that he uses most often is the Elucidator. Later on he acquires a second blade called Dark Repulser that was made by his blacksmith friend, Lisbeth.
These past few years have seen a new, rising trend in anime - series set in the virtual reality of an online game. These MMORPG anime like Sword Art Online have had a great reception among fans. But what exactly about this premise is so appealing to its targeted audience?