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Sword Art Online tells the story of the world's first Virtual reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Player Game and how the first players become trapped within the virtual world. While billed as a sci-fi series, Sword Art Online transcends the single genre and explores multiple stories as the players attempt to cope with their new lives. The series delves deeply into the psychological ramifications of becoming trapped within a virtual world and dives into the psyche of the players. Beyond the psychological trauma the players suffer, the series also wonders what an economic system might look like as well as how a social hierarchy might be established.

At the open of the series we follow a quiet, mysterious young man known only as Kirito as he attends the opening ceremony for Sword Art Online. All the players are tapped into the virtual world utilizing a head piece known as Nerve Gear that ties all five senses into the virtual world and allowing one to experience the world first hand. At the opening ceremony the creator of the game appears and informs all players that they are now trapped and their only choice to exit is to win the game by battling to the one-hundredth floor of the game's tower. To make matters even worse the players are also informed that if they die in the game, they die in the real world as well. Our focal character, Kirito, soon find company in the brash, bossy, and boorish Asuna as a companion and fellow trapped gamer. Through the series these two function as the main characters through which we see the slice of life aspect of the series.

Originally produced as a Japanese light novel series by Reki Kawahara, the anime adaptation for Sword Art Online was announced at Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival 2011; to be published by Aniplex, produced by A-1 Pictures, and directed by Tomohiko Ito. It began airing in July, 2012 with a simulcast stream on Crunchyroll.

1 Season, 25 Episodes
October 21, 2016
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Sword Art Online Full Episode Guide

  • Kirigaya Kazuto has beaten death twice but there is one more thing he must do.

  • Kirito, Asuna, and Yui are finally together again, but the locks placed on Asuna are unbreakable. Before they have a chance to come up with a plan, the fairy king makes his grand entrance.

  • Even though a wall has been built between Kirito and Sugu, he must save Asuna. The next time he challenges the final dungeon he won't be alone.

  • Kirito's determination to save Asuna borders on the insane. His reckless is stopped when Leafa suddenly logs out.

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