Sword Art Online: 10 Strongest Characters, Ranked
Countless gamers were hoping to get their hands on a video game similar to Sword Art Online. Players could enter virtual reality by putting on the Nervegear and control their character. Their only option was to complete all levels and eventually beat the strongest boss on the 100th level. Some players had an advantage as they took part in beta testing, therefore they knew the game much better.
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Still, there were participants, who were born heroes of virtual reality. Players were fighting for their lives and improved their skills so they could reach the next level. Sword Art Online quickly became one of the most dangerous and difficult games the players ever had to play. While the game was brutal it gave fans some of the most exciting and powerful characters.
Quinella, who referred to herself as Administrator was the main antagonist in the Alicization Arc’s first half. The over 350-year old character was a pretty tough ruler in her world.
Quinella was very strong and had everyone in her hand, but probably she was a little too confident. She was often in a dormant state and only woke up to take a quick look at her subordinates. However, after her clash with Alice, Eugeo, and Kirito, she had to retreat and was eventually killed.
In the real world, she was known as Kirigaya Suguha, a middle school student with short black hair. Once she entered the SAO world, everyone knew her as Leafa. She was a very energetic character in the series who was able to defeat a number of opponents.
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Leafa was often quite surprising as her character didn’t suggest as much aggression as she occasionally displayed. When she was annoyed or the situation demanded, Leafa never hesitated and was able to defeat most of her enemies.
8 General Eugene
The Salamander armed forces’ leader proved to be very strong over the series. Without a doubt, he was the strongest in his group and he was always looking for tough challenges.
He didn’t engage in a fight with others, who seemed weaker than him. Besides his physical abilities, he was wearing the ultra-rare Blood armor and fought with the second strongest sword in the game. Thanks to his equipment, he was considered the strongest character in ALfheim Online for a good while.
Asada Shino AKA Sinon was a huge game nerd, who first began playing with Gun Gale Online to overcome her fear of guns. Later, she started playing with Sword Art Online as a Cait Sith archer. She mastered shooting to such a high level, she was able to hit her targets from over two hundred meters.
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Sinon became stronger and stronger as she managed to deal with her childhood trauma. While she usually remained cool in fights, she was often seen as violent and angry.
Alice is a remarkably strong character in Sword Art Online. Quinella kidnapped her and turned her into an Integrity Knight. Later she showed her true powers when she fought against Quinella alongside Kirito and Eugeo. Alice was a strong-willed character, who wouldn’t ever back out from any challenge. She wanted to master the Sacred Arts to become even stronger.
Fans thought Alice was among the most important characters because without her Kirito may have died.
Yui was actually an AI, whom Kirito and Asuna found upon their investigation of a ghost in a forest. The little girl seemed to have lost all her memories and the couple looked after her. As time passed she proved to possess extraordinary powers such as being able to track every player’s real-life location and rewrite codes in the system.
Yui was also able to jump between virtual worlds. Yui became one of the most belovedSAO characters and inspired many fan art and cosplays.
Fairy Dance Arc’s antagonist Fairy King Oberon shocked fans with his incredible greediness and cruelty.
His real name was Sugou Nobuyuki, chief of the RECT Inc research institute and Asuna’s husband. He hacked into the game and managed to reroute 300 players for his research. He thought of himself as a god, which proved to be a fatal mistake, as Kirito managed to finish him. Oberon was among the strongest characters, but his intellect and deviant personality made him extremely dangerous.
Asuna was very difficult to beat by her opponents, thanks to her Sword Skills. In the beginning, she wasn’t worried about dying, because she felt lost and didn’t want to return to the real world. That made her even more dangerous, but when she met Kirito, Asuna found a new meaning in her life. From that on she was invincible and among the most motivated characters in Sword Art Online.
Generally, she was a caring and helpful person, who never left anyone behind.
For many, he was known as Kayaba Akihiko, SAO’s creator, and founder. Without a doubt, he was one of the strongest characters, since he knew the game inside out. Additionally, he possessed the first unique skill called the Holly Sword.
Due to using the Liberator set, he was very quick in combat. He was also famous for being able to engage alone with the 50th floor’s boss for ten minutes. Although he was considered to be the main antagonist, he was very soft-spoken. Still, fans knew he must have been a psychopath for sentencing so many people to death.
Narusaka Kazuto or Kirito was a true hero everyone looked up to. He helped the weak and supported those worthy of his sympathy. He was one of the beta testers therefore he knew the game much better than most.
Throughout the series, Kirito was always great at combat, never wasted time, he was kind to other players, and fans grew very fond of him. Kirito adapted quickly to every change that occurred in the game and remained calm at all times. His relationship with Asuna made him even more motivated to get out alive.
NEXT: 10 Most Confusing Things About Sword Art Online, Finally Explained
Next10 Anime Characters Who Get Scared Way Too EasilyAbout The Author
Jella is a professional wanderluster, a freelance content creator, and she manages Asiana Circus, her geeky culture & travel site. She specializes in entertainment, literature, and has expertise in Japanese culture and travel. Her writing and photos have been featured in various online and print publications such as National Geographic, When in Manila, The Florentine, and more. She's been to over 30 countries and loves to help others explore cultures through literature, entertainment, arts, and travel.
Sword Art Online
Japanese light novel series and its adaptations
Cover of the first light novel featuring Kirito (left) and Asuna (right).
|Written by||Reki Kawahara|
|Original run||2002 – 2008|
|Written by||Reki Kawahara|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||April 10, 2009 – present|
|Volumes||26 (List of volumes)|
|Directed by||Tomohiko Itō|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, GTV, GYT, tvk, TVS, TVA, RKB, HBC, MBS, AT-X, Chiba TV, BS11|
|Original run||July 8, 2012 – December 23, 2012|
|Episodes||25 (List of episodes)|
|Written by||Reki Kawahara|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||October 10, 2012 – present|
|Volumes||8 (List of volumes)|
|Directed by||Tomohiko Itō|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Released||December 31, 2013|
|Directed by||Tomohiko Itō|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, GTV, GYT, tvk, TVS, CTC, TVA, MBS, TVQ, TVh, AT-X, BS11|
|Original run||July 5, 2014 – December 20, 2014|
|Episodes||24 (List of episodes)|
|Written by||Watase Souichirou|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||November 10, 2016 – present|
|Volumes||3 (List of volumes)|
|Directed by||Manabu Ono|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, GYT, GTV, BS11, MBS, AT-X, TV Aichi|
|Original run||October 7, 2018 – September 20, 2020|
|Episodes||47 (List of episodes)|
|Anime and manga portal|
Sword Art Online (Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン, Hepburn: Sōdo Āto Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near future and focuses on protagonist Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual realityMMORPG worlds. Kawahara originally wrote the series as a web novel on his website from 2002 to 2008. The light novels began publication on ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint from April 10, 2009, with a spin-off series launching in October 2012. The series has spawned twelve manga adaptations published by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The novels and the manga adaptations have been licensed for release in North America by Yen Press.
An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures, known simply as Sword Art Online, aired in Japan between July and December 2012, with a television film Sword Art Online: Extra Edition airing on December 31, 2013, and a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, airing between July and December 2014. An animated film titled Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, featuring an original story by Kawahara, premiered in Japan and Southeast Asia on February 18, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 9, 2017. A spin-off anime series titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online premiered in April 2018, while a third season titled Sword Art Online: Alicization aired from October 2018 to September 2020. An anime film adaptation of Sword Art Online: Progressive titled Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night is set to premiere in October 30, 2021. A live-action series will be produced by Netflix. Six video games based on the series have been released for multiple consoles.
Sword Art Online has received widespread commercial success, with the light novels having over 26 million copies sold worldwide. The light novel series had good reviews, mainly on later arcs, while other series like Progressive were praised since the beginning. The anime series has received mixed to positive reviews, with praise for its animation, musical score and exploration of the psychological aspects of virtual reality, but criticisms for its pacing and writing.
See also: List of Sword Art Online characters
The light novel series spans several virtual reality worlds, beginning with the game, Sword Art Online (SAO), which is set in a world known as Aincrad. Each world is built on a game engine called the World Seed, which was initially developed specifically for SAO by Akihiko Kayaba, but was later duplicated for ALfheim Online (ALO), and later willed to Kirito, who had it leaked online with the successful intention of reviving the virtual reality industry. A third world known as Gun Gale Online (GGO) appears in the third arc and is stylized as a FPS game instead of an RPG, and is the main setting of Alternative Gun Gale Online. It was created using the World Seed by an American company. A fourth world appears in the fourth arc known as the Underworld (UW). The world itself was created using the World Seed as a base, but it is as realistic as the real world due to using many powerful government resources to keep it running.
In 2022, a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO) is released. With the NerveGear, a helmet that stimulates the user's five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. Both the game and the NerveGear were created by Akihiko Kayaba.
On November 6, 10,000 players log into SAO's mainframe cyberspace for the first time, only to discover that they are unable to log out. Kayaba appears and tells the players that they must beat all 100 floors of Aincrad, a steel castle which is the setting of SAO if they wish to be free. He also states that those who suffer in-game deaths or forcibly remove the NerveGear out-of-game will suffer real-life deaths.
One of the players named Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya, is one of 1,000 testers in the game's previous closed beta. With the advantage of previous VR gaming experience and a drive to protect other beta testers from discrimination, he isolates himself from the greater groups and plays the game alone, bearing the mantle of "beater", a portmanteau of "beta tester" and "cheater". As the players progress through the game Kirito eventually befriends a young girl named Asuna Yuuki, forming a relationship with and later marrying her in-game. After the duo discover the identity of Kayaba's secret ID, who was playing as the leader of the guild Asuna joined in, they confront and destroy him, freeing themselves and the other players from the game.
In the real world, Kazuto discovers that 300 SAO players, including Asuna, remain trapped in their NerveGear. As he goes to the hospital to see Asuna, he meets Asuna's father Shouzou Yuuki who is asked by an associate of his, Nobuyuki Sugou, to make a decision, which Sugou later reveals to be his marriage with Asuna, angering Kazuto. Several months later, he is informed by Agil, another SAO survivor, that a figure similar to Asuna was spotted on "The World Tree" in another VRMMORPG cyberspace called Alfheim Online (ALO). Assisted in-game by his cousin Suguha "Leafa" Kirigaya and Yui, a navigation pixie (originally an AI from SAO), he quickly learns that the trapped players in ALO are part of a plan conceived by Sugou to perform illegal experiments on their minds. The goal is to create the perfect mind-control for financial gain and to subjugate Asuna, whom he intends to marry in the real world, to assume control of her family's corporation. Kirito eventually stops the experiment and rescues the remaining 300 SAO players, foiling Sugou's plans. Before leaving ALO to see Asuna, Kayaba, who has uploaded his mind to the Internet using an experimental and destructively high-power version of NerveGear at the cost of his life, entrusts Kirito with The Seed – a package program designed to create virtual worlds. Kazuto eventually reunites with Asuna in the real world and The Seed is released onto the Internet, reviving Aincrad as other VRMMORPGs begin to thrive.
One year after the events of SAO, at the prompting of a government official investigating strange occurrences in VR, Kazuto takes on a job to investigate a series of murders involving another VRMMORPG called Gun Gale Online (GGO), the AmuSphere (the successor of the NerveGear), and a player called Death Gun. Aided by a female player named Shino "Sinon" Asada, he participates in a gunfight tournament called the Bullet of Bullets (BoB) and discovers the truth behind the murders, which originated with a player who participated in a player-killing guild in SAO. Through his and Sinon's efforts, two suspects are captured, though the third suspect, Johnny Black, escapes.
Kazuto is later recruited to test an experimental FullDive machine, Soul Translator (STL), which has an interface far more realistic and complex than the previous machine he had played, to help develop artificial intelligence for RATH, research, and development organization under the Ministry of Defense (MOD), named A.L.I.C.E. He tests the STL by entering virtual reality cyberspace created with The Seed package, named Underworld (UW). In the UW, the flow of time proceeds a thousand times faster than in the real world, and Kirito's memories of what happens inside are restricted. However, when Black ambushes and injures Kazuto with suxamethonium chloride, RATH recovers Kazuto and places him back into the STL to preserve his mind while attempts are made to save him. During his time in Underworld, Kirito befriends Eugeo, a carver in a small village of Rulid, and helps him on a journey to save Alice Zuberg, his friend who was taken by a group of highly skilled warriors known as the Integrity Knights for accidentally breaking a rule of the Axiom Church, the leaders of the Human Empire. He and Eugeo soon find themselves uncovering the secrets of the Axiom Church, led by a woman only known as "The Pontifex", and the true purpose of Underworld itself, while unbeknownst to them, a war against the opposing Dark Territory brewing on the horizon. Meanwhile, in the real world, conflict escalates as American forces raid RATH's facility in the Ocean Turtle in an effort to take A.L.I.C.E. for purposes unknown. Two of the attackers - Gabriel Miller and Vassago Cassals - take control of two Dark Territory characters as they unite the Dark Territory's giants, goblins, ogres, orcs, dark knights, dark mages, and pugilists to aid them. With help from all his friends, Kirito manages to stop the attackers as well as foreign players lured by Vassago, and safely extract A.L.I.C.E. from UW, who gains a physical body - with Miller and Vassago being killed in the process.
One month later, Kirito and the others have their accounts forcibly migrated to Unital Ring, a new VRMMORPG which incorporates locations from all the other environments they previously visited, and investigate the cause while meeting some familiar faces.
Reki Kawahara wrote the first volume in 2001 as a competition entry for the 2002 ASCII Media Works Dengeki Game Novel Prize (電撃ゲーム小説大賞, Dengeki Game Shōsetsu Taishō, now Dengeki Novel Prize), but refrained from submitting it as he had exceeded the page limit; he instead published it as a web novel under the pseudonym Fumio Kunori. Over time, he added three further main arcs and several short stories, which like the first arc Aincrad, were later adapted into the light novels. In 2008, he participated in the competition again by writing Accel World, this time winning the Grand Prize. Aside from Accel World, he was requested to get his earlier work, Sword Art Online, published by ASCII Media Works. He agreed and withdrew his web novel versions.
For the protagonist Kirito, Kawahara was asked if Kirito's personality and character were based on his own; he answered that he usually does not put aspects of himself into his characters, and jokingly remarked: "but if I had to say there was a point of similarity between Kirito and myself, it is the fact that neither of us are good at forming parties. We [both] tend to play solo in these games a lot." He also noted that the female characters in the story were not based on anyone he knew in the real world, stating: "I don't usually make a character, setting, or anything before I start writing. As I write the story, the girls become what they are now. So, somehow, I don't know exactly, but somehow, my subliminal idea or some hidden emotion creates the characters to be strong and capable." He added that he wrote the series to demonstrate that he views online gaming not as a social ill or escape from real life, but rather decided to show games in a more positive light in his light novels. Kawahara also noted that the character of Asuna might have been created a little too perfectly.
See also: List of Sword Art Online light novels
After Kawahara's request for Sword Art Online to be published was approved, he started working with illustrator abec on the light novel series. The first volume was published in print on April 10, 2009, and 26 volumes have been published as of October 8, 2021. The first eight volumes of the light novel series told the story arcs for Sword Art Online, Alfheim Online, and Gun Gale Online. The Alicization story arc was covered by volumes 9 through 18, while volumes 19 and 20 told a side story called Moon Cradle. Kawahara plans on writing "one more big arc" called Sword Art Online: Unital Ring that will go back to the real world, and it is the first arc not based on the original web novel. The Unital Ring story arc began in volume 21, which was released in Japan on December 7, 2018.
Kawahara also writes the Sword Art Online: Progressive series, which covers Kirito's adventures on the first few floors of Aincrad. The first volume of Progressive was released on October 10, 2012, and eight volumes have been released as of June 10, 2021. The first volume of a light novel series based on Sword Art Online titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, written by Keiichi Sigsawa with illustrations by Kouhaku Kuroboshi, was published by ASCII Media Works on December 10, 2014. An original 100-page prequel novel to Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale written by Kawahara, titled Hopeful Chant, was released to people who watched the film in Japan during March 4–10, 2017.
At their Japan Expo USA panel, Yen Press announced the rights to publish the light novels; the first volume was released on April 22, 2014. Yen Press later announced their license of the Sword Art Online: Progressive series, which is scheduled for release in 2015. The novels are also published in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, with future plans for publications in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and others.
There are a number of dōjinshi (fan works) written by Kawahara under the pseudonym Fumio Kunori, titled Sword Art Online Material Edition (ソードアート・オンライン・マテリアル・エディション). An 80-page assemblage of some of the Material Edition volumes was published on February 13, 2011; another, Material Edition: Remix, was published on September 6, 2019. The latest release is Material Edition volume 29 on May 12, 2019. The author has also created some other dōjinshi including Lisbeth Edition, Silica Edition and Pina Edition under cooperation with Kurusu Tatsuya from ponz.info. It is reported that these dōjinshi gain traction from the involvement of the original author in its creation process, as well as from supplying more details on characters from the original work.
See also: List of Sword Art Online manga volumes
There are ten manga adaptations of the series, all written by Reki Kawahara and published by ASCII Media Works. Sword Art Online: Aincrad (ソードアート・オンライン アインクラッド), illustrated by Tamako Nakamura, was serialized in Dengeki Bunko Magazine between the September 2010 and May 2012 issues. Two tankōbon volumes of Aincrad were released on September 27, 2012. A comedy four-panel manga, titled Sword Art Online. (そーどあーと☆おんらいん。) and illustrated by Jūsei Minami, began serialization in the September 2010 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. The first volume of Sword Art Online. was released on September 27, 2012. A third manga, titled Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance (ソードアート・オンライン フェアリィ・ダンス) and illustrated by Hazuki Tsubasa, began serialization in the May 2012 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. The first volume of Fairy Dance was released on October 27, 2012; the third volume was released on June 27, 2014. The Aincrad and Fairy Dance manga have been acquired for release in North America by Yen Press. The first volume of Aincrad was published on March 25, 2014.
A spin-off manga starring Lisbeth, Silica, and Leafa, titled Sword Art Online: Girls Ops (ソードアート・オンライン ガールズ・オプス) and illustrated by Neko Nekobyō, began serialization in the July 2013 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. Following the discontinuation of Dengeki Bunko Magazine in April 2020, the manga was moved to the DenPlay Comic website.Girls Ops was licensed by Yen Press in November 2014, the first volume of which was released on May 19, 2015. A manga adaption of Sword Art Online: Progressive, illustrated by Kiseki Himura, began serialization in the August 2013 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine. The manga ended serialization in the magazine's May 2014 issue and was transferred to Dengeki G's Comic starting with the June 2014 issue. The Progressive manga adaption has been licensed by Yen Press, with the first two volumes released in January and April 2015, respectively.
A sixth manga, titled Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet and illustrated by Kōtarō Yamada, had its first chapter serialized in the May 2014 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine, with following chapters being digitally serialized on Kadokawa's Comic Walker website. A seventh manga, titled Sword Art Online: Calibur and illustrated by Shii Kiya, was serialized in Dengeki G's Comic between the September 2014 and July 2015 issues. A single compilation volume was released on August 10, 2015. An eighth manga, titled Sword Art Online: Mother's Rosario and also by Tsubasa, is based on the seventh volume of the novel series and began serialization in the July 2014 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. A ninth manga, an adaptation of Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, began serialization in the November 2015 issue of Dengeki Maoh.
A tenth manga, titled Sword Art Online: Project Alicization and illustrated by Kōtarō Yamada, based on the Alicization arc of the light novel series, began serialization in the September 2016 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. It moved to Web DenPlay Comic due to the discontinuation of Dengeki Bunko Magazine.
See also: List of Sword Art Online episodes
An anime adaptation of Sword Art Online was announced at Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival 2011, along with Reki Kawahara's other light novel series, Accel World. The anime is produced by Aniplex and Genco, animated by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Ito with music by Yuki Kajiura. The anime aired on Tokyo MX, tvk, TVS, TV Aichi, RKB, HBC and MBS between July 7 and December 22, 2012, and on AT-X, Chiba TV and BS11 at later dates. The series was also streamed on Crunchyroll and Hulu. The anime is adapted from the first four novels and parts of volume eight.
The anime has been licensed in North America by Aniplex of America and an English-language dub premiered on Adult Swim's Toonami from July 27, 2013 to February 15, 2014. The series was released by Aniplex of America in four DVD and Blu-ray sets, with special extras on the BD sets, between August 13 and November 19, 2013.Manga Entertainment released the first series on BD/DVD in the United Kingdom in December 2013, whilst Madman Entertainment released the series in Australia and the English-language version began airing on ABC Me on June 7, 2014.Sword Art Online has been available on Netflix in North America since March 15, 2014.
A year-end special, titled Sword Art Online Extra Edition, aired on December 31, 2013. The special recapped the previously aired anime series and included some new footage.Extra Edition was streamed worldwide a few hours after its airing in Japan. The two-hour-long special was available on Daisuki worldwide except for French-speaking areas, as well as China and Korea. Daisuki offered subtitles in various languages such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German. English-speaking countries, Mexico, Central and South America could also watch the stream on Crunchyroll.Extra Edition was also simulcast in Korea on Aniplus cable channel and in China on the LeTV streaming website. French-speaking countries could watch on the Wakanim streaming website. The Blu-ray Disc and DVD of Extra Edition was released on April 23, 2014 in Japan. The limited edition included a Yui character song titled "Heart Sweet Heart" by Kanae Itō and an original side story written by Kawahara titled "Sword Art Online Niji no Hashi" (ソードアート・オンライン 虹の橋, Sword Art Online Rainbow Bridge).
At the end of the special, the anime television series was confirmed for a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, which premiered on July 5, 2014. The first 14 episodes of the second season are an adaptation of volumes five and six the light novels that cover the Phantom Bullet arc. Episodes 15 to 17 cover the Calibur arc from volume 8 of the novels, with episodes 18 to 24 covering volume 7 of the novels, the Mother's Rosario arc. Premiere screening events of the second season were held in the United States, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan before the television premiere between June 29 and July 4, 2014. At Katsucon, it was announced that the English dub of the second season would air on Toonami beginning March 28, 2015.
An animated film titled Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, featuring an original story by Kawahara set after the events of Sword Art Online II, premiered in Japan and Southeast Asia on February 18, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 9, 2017.
The third season of Sword Art Online, titled Sword Art Online: Alicization, and a spin-off anime, titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, were announced in 2017.Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, animated by 3Hz, premiered in April 2018.Sword Art Online: Alicization aired from October 6, 2018 to March 30, 2019, with a one-hour world premiere which aired in Japan, the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Russia and South Korea on September 15, 2018. The English dub of the third season premiered on February 9, 2019 on Toonami. The season was originally announced to air for four cours, and adapt from the novel's ninth volume, Alicization Beginning, to the eighteenth volume, Alicization Lasting. However, the season ended at episode 24 on March 30, 2019 (completing the fourteenth volume of the novel, Alicization Uniting), and continued on October 12, 2019 with a second part titled War of Underworld. The second half of the War of Underworld series was originally scheduled to premiere in April 2020, but due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, it was rescheduled to air from July 11 to September 19, 2020.
After the finale of Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld, an anime adaptation of Sword Art Online: Progressive was announced. It was later revealed to be a new film titled Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night, which is set to premiere in October 30, 2021.Inori Minase is joining the cast as the new character Mito. Ayako Kōno is directing the film, with Kento Toya designing the characters, Yuki Kajiura returning to compose the music, and A-1 Pictures returning for production.
Yuki Kajiura composed the soundtrack for the Sword Art Online anime, which was later released in the limited edition of the anime's fourth and seventh Blu-ray and DVD volumes. The first volume of the second season's soundtrack was bundled with the limited edition of the season's third and seventh Blu-ray and DVD volumes.
For the first 14 episodes of season one, the opening theme song is "Crossing Field" by LiSA, and the ending theme song is "Yume Sekai" (ユメセカイ, lit. "Dream World") by Haruka Tomatsu. From episode 15 onward, the opening theme is "Innocence" by Eir Aoi and the ending theme is "Overfly" by Luna Haruna. The main theme for Sword Art Online: Extra Edition is "Niji no Oto" (虹の音, Sound of the Rainbow) by Aoi.
For the second season, the first opening theme is "Ignite" by Aoi, and the first ending theme is "Startear" by Haruna. The second opening theme is "Courage" by Tomatsu, and the second ending theme is "No More Time Machine" by LiSA, with the third ending theme being "Shirushi" (シルシ), also by LiSA. The song "Catch the Moment" by LiSA is used as the theme song to Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale.
For the third season, the first opening theme is "Adamas" by LiSA, and the first ending theme is "Iris" (アイリス) by Aoi. The second opening theme is "Resister" by Asca and the second ending theme is "Forget-me-not" by ReoNa, with episode 19 featuring "Niji no Kanata ni" (虹の彼方に, Beyond the Rainbow), also sung by ReoNa.
For the second part of the third season, the first opening theme is "Resolution" by Tomatsu, and the first ending theme is "Unlasting" by LiSA. The second opening theme is "Anima" by Reona and the second ending theme is "I will" by Aoi.
A number of character songs were included in the Blu-ray and DVD volume releases of the anime. These were collected into two compilation albums: Sword Art Online Song Collection, which included character songs released in the season one volumes, was released on August 27, 2014, while Sword Art Online Song Collection II, which included character songs released in the season two volumes, was released on March 22, 2017.
A stage event at the Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival 2011 revealed that Reki Kawahara's light novels would get video game adaptations. The first Sword Art Online adaptation, titled Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment (ソードアート・オンライン -インフィニティ・モーメント-, Sōdo Āto Onrain: Infiniti Mōmento), was published by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation Portable. The game follows an alternate storyline, in which a glitch causes Kirito and the other players to remain in Sword Art Online despite defeating Heathcliff, and players from other VMMORPGs such as Leafa and Sinon get sucked into the game themselves. The game was released in both regular and limited edition box sets on March 14, 2013.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a PlayStation Vita game released in Japan on April 24, 2014.Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment takes place in the same alternative storyline as Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, and it includes all content of "Floor Clearing" from that previous game with the addition of new unexplored "Hollow Area" of Aincrad. The protagonist Kirito will cross swords with a mysterious player who would become one of the key characters in the game. The game sold 145,029 physical retail copies within the first week of release in Japan, topping the Japanese software sales charts for that particular week. The game had also been released in Taiwan by Namco Bandai Games Taiwan with Chinese and English subtitles. A digital-only North American, European and Australian release was released in August 2014.
A third video game developed by Artdink and titled Sword Art Online: Lost Song was released in Japan on March 26, 2015 on the PlayStation 3 and Vita platforms, with an English version being released in Asia. The game's producer revealed in October 2014 that the game is an open-world action RPG featuring an original storyline, set within Alfheim Online, where characters are able to fly. The game sold 139,298 physical retail copies on the PlayStation Vita in addition to another 55,090 units on the PlayStation 3 within its first week of release in Japan, ranking second and sixth place respectively within the Japanese software sales charts for that particular week, narrowly behind Bloodborne taking the top spot.
A fourth game titled Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization was released in Japan for the PS4, Vita, and Windows on October 27, 2016 and worldwide on November 8, 2016 for the PS4 and Vita.
A social network game called Sword Art Online: End World was released for Japanese feature phones and smartphones on February 28, 2013 with more than 1 million registered users. It was discontinued in September 2017. Another freemium game for Android and iOS titled Sword Art Online: Code Register launched in 2014, and over 3,000,000 users have downloaded the game. Another game called Sword Art Online: Progress Link designed for the Mobagebrowser game platform on smartphones was released on February 10, 2015. The game was terminated on July 29, 2016.
Kirito, Asuna, Leafa, Yuuki and SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online protagonist LLENN appear in Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, a fighting game by Sega featuring various characters from works published under the Dengeki Bunko imprint. A browser game titled Sword Art Quest and its sequel smartphone game, Sword Art Quest II provide challenges to users to upgrade their characters to receive rewards. There is also a paid Android game titled SAO -Log Out- that users can download and play with characters from the series and obtain wallpapers from it.
A virtual reality massive multiplayer online game was in development by Kadokawa and IBM Japan, but was only a demo and will not be released as a full game.
An action role-playing game titled Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight was announced in October 2016. The game is a crossover with Accel World, published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Windows via Steam, and was released to western audiences on July 7, 2017.
The Black Swordsman (黒衣剣士, 黑衣剑士) is a Chinese 3D role-playing game where the player can control 3D characters and experience Sword Art Online, ALfheim Online, and Gun Gale Online. It is developed by Yun Chang Game under Bandai Namco's supervision. The game is being distributed and is operating under Bandai Namco Shanghai, Bandai Namco Entertainment and Qihoo 360 on Chinese platforms. The game was launched on Android on May 26, 2016 and on iOS on June 9, 2016 after a brief period of closed beta, though it is officially still in an "open beta" phase.
Bandai Namco released Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag RPG for Android and iOS in August 2016. It was released outside of Japan on January 24, 2017. Featuring content from the anime series, Ordinal Scale, and some original shorts written for event characters, players are allowed to play solo and progress through the story, or join up with others online to farm special items, equipment, and materials. Common events include ranked challenges against other players, floor clearing, character introductions and seasonal events. Players have the choice of spending real money to speed-up their progress.
Bandai Namco released the Sword Art Online: Integral Factor free-to-play MMORPG for Android and iOS in December 2017. The English version was released in March 2018. It adapts the Aincrad arc starting from Floor 1 and gradually exploring every floor one-by-one. It allows playing as a player-created avatar.
A game based on Gun Gale Online, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows on February 23, 2018.
Bandai Namco Entertainment released the Sword Art Online VR: Lovely Honey Days mobile game for iOS and Android devices in Japan in October 2018. The game's first episode is free-to-play, while the second episode and so on can be purchased as additional content.
Bandai Namco released Sword Art Online Arcade: Deep Explorer in Japanese arcades on March 19, 2019. It is an exploration action RPG that supports up to three players in online co-op and it is the first arcade game in the Sword Art Online series.
A video game based in the Underworld of Project Alicization, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, was announced by Bandai Namco for release on the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows. The game is also the first game in the franchise to faithfully follow the canon storyline in the initial stage, adapting from Alicization Beginning, volume 9, to Alicization Uniting, volume 14. Following that, the game features a different arc focusing on Medina Orthinanos. Originally, the game was going to be released in May 2020, but it was delayed to July 10, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sword Art Online is a planned American live-action television adaptation of Sword Art Online. Skydance Television announced on August 2, 2016, that they had acquired the global rights to produce a live-action television adaptation of Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online light novel series.Laeta Kalogridis has been attached to write a script for the pilot, and will also serve as executive producer for the series alongside Skydance CEO David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross. Skydance has stated their intent to "fast-track" the launch of the series, along with plans to follow the TV series with the release of a Sword Art Onlinevirtual reality experience. In February 2018, it was reported that the live-action series had been sold to Netflix.
According to Oricon, Sword Art Online was the top selling light novel series of 2012, with eight volumes figuring among the top selling light novels. It was ranked first in the 2012 and 2013 Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! rankings, as well as top five placement in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and top 10 in 2019. It was also the second best selling light novel series in the first half of 2016 in Japan, selling 489,374 copies.Sword Art Online: Progressive sold 321,535 copies in the same time period. As of 2017, the series has an estimated 20 million copies in print worldwide. As of 2021, the series has 26 million copies in print.
Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku hails Sword Art Online as the smartest series in recent years, praising its deep insight on the psychological aspects of virtual reality on the human psyche, its sociological views on creating a realistic economy and society in a massively multiplayer online game setting, and the writing staff's ability to juggle a wide variety of genres within the series. Eisenbeis particularly noted how the romance between Kirito and Asuna is explored bringing "definition to exactly what love is like in a virtual world." However, at the time of this preliminary review, he had only watched the first 12 episodes of the series. He has since gone on to review the second half of the series, lauding its excellent use of plot twists and praising its well-written and believable villain. However, he felt that some of the initial positive aspects of the series were lost in the second half, such as the focus on psychological repercussions and social interactions that could be realistically seen in an online game. Criticism was also levied towards the aspect of turning Asuna into a damsel in distress, stating that a female lead as strong as her was "reduced to nothing but the quest item the male lead is hunting for." Eisenbeis closes his review of the series by stating in regards to the two halves, "Both, however, are enjoyable for what they are."
Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network has criticized the series as having pacing problems, logical gaps and "sloppy writing". Theron Martin of Anime News Network criticized the story as struggling "to achieve and maintain the level of gravitas that life-or-death danger should have", while calling it unwilling to commit to Kirito's "lone wolf" image. DeviceCritique explained that Sword Art Online influences the virtual reality market to grow, and referenced the Oculus Rift as a prime example of the starting point of virtual reality. It also praised Sword Art Online for exploring the psychological and social aspects of virtual reality gaming.
While the anime received criticism in western media, the later light novel arcs, such as Mother's Rosario and Alicization, received praise. Anime News Network reviewer Theron Martin praised many of the volumes of the Alicization arc, saying that the author's writing had improved. Martin also praised the anime adaptation of the Alicization arc, describing the opening episode as "about the best adaptation that could be hoped for of the relevant source material".
Kirito makes a cameo appearance in the eighth episode of the anime series Eromanga Sensei, with Yoshitsugu Matsuoka reprising his role.
Steven Spielberg's 2018 film Ready Player One contains a reference to Sword Art Online.Ernest Cline, the writer of 2011 novel Ready Player One, discussed Sword Art Online in an interview, noting how he met its writer Reki Kawahara at an event in Japan where they discussed how they independently developed similar ideas related to virtual reality. It has also been noted that the Phantom Bullet (Gun Gale Online) arc released in print in 2010 depicts an early fictional battle royale game called Bullet of Bullets.
On June 12, 2015, the now-inactive Chinese Ministry of Culture listed Sword Art Online II among 38 anime and manga titles banned in China. In July 2020, Sword Art Online became one of seven manga titles to be removed from Books Kinokuniya in Australia for claims of promoting child pornography.
In the 2020 edition of Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, Sword Art Online was voted by the public in an online poll and by a jury (critics, influencers, and other people related to the light novel industry) as the best light novel series of the 2010s, being the first in the ranking with 1,728.95 points.
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List of Sword Art Online characters
Wikimedia list article
The following is a list of characters from the light novel, anime and manga series Sword Art Online. Most of the characters are introduced as gamers who play and consequently become trapped in a virtual realitymassively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) Sword Art Online. The series chronicles their interactions in multiple online worlds: Sword Art Online (SAO), Alfheim Online (ALO), Gun Gale Online (GGO), and Underworld (UW).
- Kirito (キリト, Kirito) / Kazuto Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 和人, Kirigaya Kazuto) / Kazuto Narusaka (鳴坂 和人, Narusaka Kazuto) (birth name)
Main article: Kirito (Sword Art Online)
- Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook (English)
As the main protagonist of Sword Art Online, Kirito was chosen to be one of the one thousand beta testers for the closed beta of Sword Art Online, the first ever Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) for the NerveGear, and later joined the official version of the game where he became one of the 10,000 players trapped in Sword Art Online. During the start of SAO, he befriended a girl named Asuna. During the 1st Floor Boss, as Illfang the Kobold Lord's weaponry and attack patterns differed from the beta, while the raid party relied on Argo's published beta test version of information about it, Diavel was killed by the monster while attempting to obtain the Last Attack bonus. Because of this, the hatred for beta testers resurfaced and threatened to go out of control. Kirito decided to end the tension by claiming that a majority of beta testers were inefficient and incapable players, while only a select few of the beta testers like himself resulted the creation of the category Beater and Kirito remained a solo player for majority of the game. For being the first player to defeat the 1st Floor Boss, Kirito received a black leather trench coat that becomes his trademark appearance for the rest of the series.
During the time Kirito spent in SAO, Kirito joined a guild named the Moonlit Black Cats, but he kept his character's level a secret, which resulted in the entire guild being killed by monsters, which led to Kirito wallowing in his despair and self-loathing until he read the time delayed message Sachi left for him on Christmas Eve. This event kept Kirito from joining another guild. Kirito befriended a girl named Silica and helped her revive her pet Pina. Later, Kirito met a blacksmith named Lisbeth, who forged a new sword for Kirito after he unlocked a unique skill: Dual Blades, although he kept it hidden to avoid attention. However, he was forced to reveal it during 74th Floor Boss fight in order to save the people nearby as they couldn't leave by teleport crystal and defeating the boss. Later he was forced to join the Knight of Blood Oath after the revelation of his unique skill and accepted the duel against Heathcliff for allowing Asuna to go with him and lost. He soon begin to develop a relationship with Asuna and later married her in-game. Later, Kirito exposed Heathcliff as Kayaba after the 75th Floor Boss. He faced him in a one on one duel with a condition; to allow every player to logout if Kirito wins, and manages to defeat him ending SAO with a total of 6,147 survivors.
Despite the completion of SAO, Asuna remains unconscious and Kirito learned from Agil that Asuna is trapped in another virtual reality called Alfheim Online. Logging into Alfheim Online to rescue her, where he meets a player name Leafa, who is unknowingly, is his younger sister Suguha; who agrees to guide him to the head toward to the top of the giant World Tree, in order to get to Asuna. Arriving there and tried to get to the top of World Tree, but rescue by Leafa where he soon learns Leafa's identity as Suguha where Suguha reveals her feelings for him in the real world. Not knowing how to respond or comfort her, Kazuto tells her he will be waiting for her in game. When they meet up they engage in a fight which culminates with both of them letting down their guard expecting the other one to kill them, however that only leads to them hugging and apologizing to each other. Leafa lets go of her feelings for Kirito and after pulling herself together Leafa helps him rescue Asuna from the top of the world tree.
Eventually Kirito manages to reach to the top of the World Tree and see Asuna again where he was confronted by Sugou going by Oberon, binding them both with gravity magic. Oberon then stabbed Kirito with his sword, and then critically damaging Kirito by increasing Kirito's pain limit and impaling him. When the consciousness of Akihiko Kayaba reminded Kirito how he was defeated by Kirito's determination and give him his admin ID and password and remove Sugou's GM status, Kirito then blinds and dismembers him after setting Sugou's pain limit to the maximum declaring the pain was much more painful in SAO compared to ALO. After rescuing Asuna, he soon receives a program from Kayaba called the World Seed which revitalizes the VRMMORPG genre, after Kirito has it upload by Agil on the Internet.
Several months later, Kazuto is recruited by Kikuoka to investigate a serial killer known as Death Gun, a "player" in the game Gun Gale Online. GGO players are being killed by him in the game, which has led to their deaths in the real world. Kirito enters GGO and meets Sinon, who believes he's a girl due to his avatar, but she later discovers his true gender. Despite so, she continues to help Kirito prepare for the next Bullet of Bullets, which is where Death Gun is subjected to appear. However when the two first meet, Kirito discovers that Death Gun is a former member of Laughing Coffin. The BoB began, and Kirito learns of Sinon's past. After most of the other players have been taken out, Kirito and Sinon team-up to devise a plan to take down Death Gun. Kirito deduces Death Gun's method of killing and faces him in a battle, winning. He warns Sinon to be careful as he logs out. Once he did so, he rushed over to Shino Asada's (Sinon's real life identity) house and saves her from the Death Gun killer on the reality side, Kyoji Shinkawa. The two reconvene with Kikuoka, who then also discover that there was one last person in the Death Gun group... Atsushi Kanomoto, otherwise known as Johnny Black, and the last known surviving member of Laughing Coffin.
Later, Kazuto agrees to work with the company Rath in testing out their new full-dive system, the Soul Translator. The STL reads the Fluctlights in the human brain and transports them to a highly advanced AI world, the Underworld. In the Underworld, Kirito has no memories of reality while he dives, and cannot take any memories with him when he exits. After explaining the job to Asuna and Shino, he asks Asuna to go to America with him in an effort to witness the true embarking of full-dive technology, which she agreed. However, they are ambushed by Johnny Black, who puts Kirito into a coma. After being diagnosed with brain damage, Kazuto is taken by Kikuoka and the Japanese government to the Ocean Turtle, a base out at sea run by Rath. There, they put him into a dive into the Underworld with his memories of reality intact in order to buy them time for them to treat his brain damage.
In the Underworld, Kirito grew up with his best friends Eugeo and Alice, and both him and Eugeo were tasked with the calling of cutting down the Gigas Cedar. However a trip to the End Mountains, resulted in Alice touching the Dark Territory, breaking the Taboo Index. Alice is subsequently taken away, and Kazuto awakens in reality. When he returns after his attack, he has his memories from reality intact and meets Eugeo. He helps Eugeo cut down the Gigas Cedar and the two depart for the Central Cathedral, where they both enroll in the Swordsman Academy in North Centoria. Several months in, the two prevent a rape on their pages and kill their abductors, which causes them to break the Taboo Index. The two are imprisoned, but escape and are saved by Cardinal, who gives them the skills and knowledge they need to take down the Integrity Knights, defeat Administrator, and fight the impending invasion by the Dark Territory. The two trek their way up the tower. They defeat Deusolbert, the Integrity Knight who took Alice away. They outsmart Linel and Fizel, the two youngest Integrity Knights. After defeating Fanatio, the two finally meet Alice, but Kirito and Alice are separated from Eugeo. After making his way to Quinella, Kirito is forced to fight Eugeo who had been corrupted to becoming an Integrity Knight. Kirito defeats him and returns him to his senses. However after a long battle with Quinella, Eugeo dies in Kirito's arms. Quinella attempts to escape to the real world by summoning a console that can contact Rath, but Chudeklin appeared and took her down with him, and they both perish. Kirito uses the console to contact Rath, but Rath was under attack, and Kirito's fluctlight became damaged.
Alice returned to Rulid Village with Kirito after the battle with Administrator, and took care of him. She notes that it was because of him, she hung up her sword. After the Dark Territory had begun their plans to attack the Human World, Alice is forced to go back to the front lines and took Kirito with her, leaving him in the care of Tiese and Ronye, who are both devastated to hear of Eugeo's death. He is later found and attacked by PoH during the Underworld War, but the memory fragments Eugeo left behind to him caused his fluctlight to be restored. Now awakened, Kirito forcingly logged out the remaining foreign players attacking Underworld and defeated PoH before going out with Asuna to rescue Alice.
- Asuna (アスナ, Asuna) / Asuna Yuuki (結城 明日奈, Yuuki Asuna)
Main article: Asuna (Sword Art Online)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese); Cherami Leigh (English)
The main heroine of Sword Art Online and main protagonist of the seventh volume, Asuna – who is 17 – is a friend and later to be girlfriend and the in-game wife of Kirito in Sword Art Online and Alfheim Online. The sub-leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath, a medium-sized guild acknowledged as the strongest guild in Aincrad. Being one of the few girls that play SAO and extremely attractive, she receives many invitations and proposals. Asuna is a strong-willed, and an accomplished player known in-game as "the Flash" for her extraordinary fast skills with the rapier. Later, she falls in love with Kirito and they marry in-game after saving him from being killed by Kuradeel. Towards the end of the SAO arc, she saves Kirito from a killing blow by Heathcliff at the cost of her life. However, her death was only in-game and she is shortly reunited with Kirito shortly after the death of Heathcliff.
Despite the completion of SAO, Asuna remains unconscious and is instead detained in another virtual reality called Alfheim Online. She is forced to play the role of «Titania the Queen of Fairies», with Nobuyuki Sugou, the man responsible for imprisoning her, playing as Oberon, the Fairy King. This is done so that Sugou could marry Asuna in the real world, while she is unconscious and thus take over RCT Progress Inc. She attempts to escape the World Tree where she is imprisoned and manages to steal a GM card, and is caught, and sent back after two slime guards verify she is the captive. When Yui's voice is heard, she throws the GM card down to her. Upon being released, she creates two avatars for Alfheim, Asuna (the Undine Healer) and Erika (and the Sylph battle character), and went on to continue living together with Kirito. She enrolls at the SAO Survivor School with Kazuto Kirigaya in the real world after everything ended. In the real world, Asuna's parents want her to follow in their footsteps. However, after living in SAO and meeting Kirito, she gains a different perspective and looks back on her past with disgust. She officially becomes Kazuto's real-life girlfriend and dreams of marrying him and having a family with him in the future.
Asuna becomes a major character in Alicization. After Kirito disappears off the grid after Johnny Black's attack, Asuna discovers the existence of the Ocean Turtle and requested the help of Rinko Koujiro, who helped her get on board and convinced Kikuoka to let her stay. When the Dark Territory began their attack, Asuna logged into the Underworld under the super account, the Goddess of Creation, Stacia. Date of birth September 30, 2007
- Yui (ユイ, Yui)
- Voiced by: Kanae Itō (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh (English)
Originally a side-story character in SAO, Yui later becomes an accompanying/support character in ALO. At first thought to be a lost child in SAO, she is an artificial intelligence. Her full designation is «Mental Health – Counselling Program», MHCP version 1, codename, «Yui». Yui is shown to have a human form and a Navigation Pixie form where she is always barefoot in both forms. She was designed to monitor the emotions of players and appear at their sides to hear and help them out. However, since the moment everyone was imprisoned in Sword Art Online, she was forbidden to come in contact with the players and complete her prime directive. Unable to do anything but suffer as she monitored the emotions of the trapped players, she came upon Kirito and Asuna whose emotions stood out as a beacon of joy and peace in a sea of fear and despair. She sought them out, appearing to them as an amnesiac child whom they adopted. In the end she was nearly deleted by Cardinal, the management system of SAO, but is saved by Kirito by converting and storing her data into his own NerveGear. Yui later shows up in ALO as a Private Navigation Pixie and helps Kirito along with Leafa to find Asuna. She refers to Kirito as "Daddy" and Asuna as "Mommy" and gets very annoyed if any other girls try to flirt with Kirito, she also asserts Kirito not to keep any secrets from Asuna. Kirito uses his skills and resources in the real world to construct a device for Yui to view the real world even while she is in virtual reality and gives her the ability to communicate with them.
- Klein (クライン, Kurain) / Ryōtarō Tsuboi (壷井 遼太郎, Tsuboi Ryōtarō)
- Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese); Kirk Thornton (English)
A friendly player that meets Kirito at the start of the game, who quickly befriends and learns the basics from Kirito where he became one of the 10,000 players who were trapped in Sword Art Online. Kirito and Klein go their separate ways shortly after when Kirito leaves for another town to power level, while Klein remains behind to help out his less experienced friends, although he is concerned for Kirito due to his solitude and recklessness. Klein uses a katana to fight and later becomes a leader of his own guild, Fuurinkazan. He regularly meets with Kirito and his friends and occasionally joins them in quests in ALO, especially after the release of the World Seed.
In an interview with Sword Art Online author Reki Kawahara, he noted that Agil and Klein are both "very popular", and he wanted to write short stories centred around their characters.
- Agil (エギル, Egiru) / Andrew Gilbert Mills (アンドリュー・ギルバート・ミルズ, Andoryū Girubāto Miruzu)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese); Patrick Seitz (English)
A bald, black axe wielder who owns a general shop in SAO, along with having a hand in Blacksmithing. Despite his intimidating appearance, he is kind-hearted and spent most of his earnings to help players in the middle floors. Kirito is a regular in his shop and they are friends. Agil runs a bar named "Dicey Café" in the real world, which was run by his wife during his two-year coma. The café later becomes Kazuto and company's meeting place in the real world.
In an interview with Sword Art Online author Reki Kawahara, he noted that Agil and Klein are both "very popular", and he wanted to write short stories centred around their characters.
- Silica (シリカ, Shirika) / Keiko Ayano (綾野 珪子, Ayano Keiko)
- Voiced by: Rina Hidaka (Japanese); Christine Marie Cabanos (English)
A side-story character in SAO. One of the rare beast tamers in the game. Very early in the game, she was able to tame a small dragon named Pina (ピナ), who is named after her real-life cat: this feat gave her immense fame, but she was just a mid-level player. Due to her fame, many tried to get on her good side, causing her to get a bit of an inflated head. She usually stays away from the males, who try to marry her (despite the fact that she's only 13) or make her their "mascot." After getting lost in a forest, Pina is killed trying to save Silica from a monster attack. Kirito rescued and helped Silica get the "Pneuma Flower", an item that can revive tamed beasts, as she resembled his sister. She gained feelings for him, but once she discovers his skills, she realized that they cannot be together in the game but promise to meet again. Keiko befriends Rika at SAO Survivor School. She joins Kirito and his friends in ALO right after they meet in the real world: they often go together in quests.
Sword Art Online girls (including Silica) feature in a merchandise lottery by Bandai, where they are depicted in french maid clothing with cooking utensils, with Anime News Network (ANN) humorously noting that they have "brought in a pretty penny for the franchise's creators." In an interview with Haruka Tomatsu, Asuna's voice actress, she nominated Silica as her favourite character as she is "the kind of character I would want to have as a little sister."
Silica was awarded 18th in a Dengeki Bunko character poll for their light novels.
- Lisbeth (リズベット, Rizubetto) / Rika Shinozaki (篠崎 里香, Shinozaki Rika)
- Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki (Japanese); Sarah Anne Williams (English)
A side-story character in SAO, who is a blacksmith with her own shop and takes great pride in her abilities. Lisbeth or "Liz" is a close friend of Asuna who recommended her to Kirito. Kirito commissioned Liz to forge a custom-made sword for him and accompanies her in a quest for the special ore required for the job. During the quest, she also develops feelings for Kirito. She is devastated when she finds out that Kirito is Asuna's crush. However, she finds some solace after Kirito thanks her for giving him a renewed determination to fight on and clear the game. She requests to be Kirito's exclusive blacksmith. Rika is almost very well teasing Asuna about her relationship with Kirito afterwards. At SAO Survivor School, she and Keiko get irritated when seeing Kazuto and Asuna together. Liz later becomes a regular player in ALO and frequently joins Kirito and his friends in quests and takes up the task of upgrading their equipment.
Sword Art Online girls (including Lisbeth) feature in a merchandise lottery by Bandai, where they are depicted in french maid clothing with cooking utensils, with Anime News Network humorously noting that they have "brought in a pretty penny for the franchise's creators."Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, the Japanese voice talent for Kirito, mentioned Lisbeth as his favourite character, since "Liz is really straight-forward and focused inside of the world of Sword Art Online, but then there was that scene when she learned that her best friend Asuna was in love with Kirito... Maybe it was [Ayahi] Takagaki's acting, but when I heard that her lines during that scene, I was like, wow."
- Leafa (リーファ, Leafa) / Suguha Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 直葉, Kirigaya Suguha)
Main article: Leafa
- Voiced by: Ayana Taketatsu (Japanese); Cassandra Lee Morris (English)
Suguha, also known as Sugu; she is in actuality Kazuto's cousin, as her mother had been raising her sister's child from a young age after his parents died from an accident, though neither Suguha nor Kazuto knew about this until later. She is a diligent worker and has been practicing kendo for 8 years, partially to escape the loneliness and isolation in her life. After Kazuto Kirigaya (the name of Kirito in real life) gets trapped in Sword Art Online, she begins playing Alfheim Online as a Sylph in an attempt to try to understand him better, and it is at this time that she finds out they are cousins rather than siblings; with her mother revealing to her that he is not her biological brother, but is actually her cousin and was adopted into their family when he was young. This causes Sugu to develop feelings for him that she doesn't really understand; however, because he is trapped inside SAO, she never acts on them. That being said, when Kazuto awakens after his two-year ordeal, those feelings come back, but she realizes that he is already in love with someone else, namely Asuna.
Coincidentally, she meets Kazuto's avatar, Kirito, in Alfheim Online after he saves her from an attack by pk'ers player killers. Unaware of his true identity, she decides to help him on his quest to find somebody which eventually leads them to the world tree. After understanding the depth of Kazuto's love for Asuna, she resolves to give up on him and instead becomes attached to Kirito in ALO. However, when Kirito's true identity is revealed, she is heartbroken and the two of them have an awkward exchange in the real world where Sugu reveals her feelings for him. Not knowing how to respond or comfort her, Kazuto tells her he will be waiting for her in game. When they meet up they engage in a fight which culminates with both of them letting down their guard expecting the other one to kill them, however that only leads to them hugging and apologizing to each other. Leafa lets go of her feelings for Kirito and after pulling herself together she helps him rescue Asuna from the top of the world tree. She regularly plays ALO together with Kirito, Asuna, Silica, Klein and the rest of their group. Leafa, Lisbeth and Silica also feature as protagonists in the spin-off manga series Sword Art Online: Girls' Ops, where they form a team with Kirito away on a study program and Asuna tied up in family affairs.
- Sinon (シノン, Shinon) / Shino Asada (朝田 詩乃, Asada Shino)
Main article: Sinon (Sword Art Online)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese); Michelle Ruff (English)
Sinon is the main character of the Phantom Bullet Arc. When she was two years old, her father died in a car accident. Nine years later, while at a post office, an armed robber attempted to shoot a pregnant woman, but lost control of the gun after Shino bit his hand. Afterwards, she shot him three times, killing him. Since, she developed a fear of guns, entering panic attacks whenever one is visible. As a result, she is bullied at school by her peers, with a finger gun being enough to trigger her phobia. To help ease her trauma, her friend Kyōji Shinkawa convinced her to play Gun Gale Online. Known as Sinon in-game, her main weapon is the «PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II» sniper rifle, which she earned after defeating a monster in a dungeon.
Shortly before the Bullet of Bullets (BoB) tournament, Sinon encounters Kirito, deciding to help him after believing he is female due to his avatar. After Kirito's true gender was revealed, an angered Sinon attempts to leave him, but they meet again during the BoB. The two are confronted by Death Gun, who causes Sinon's PTSD to relapse when his weapon was revealed to be a Type 54 pistol, the same weapon she had used in the post office shooting. She is rescued by Kirito and the two escape, though she is afraid to attack Death Gun. With his help, Sinon overcomes her fear and the two defeat Death Gun. Afterwards, the two end the tournament as co-winners after Sinon kills them both with a «Gift Grenade». Upon exiting GGO, Shino is visited by Kyōji, who congratulates her on winning the BoB. However, angry at Kirito, he attacks her with intentions of raping and eventually killing her, revealing himself to be Death Gun's creator. Shino manages to resist his attack and escape, but is stopped by Kyōji before she could exit the house; Kirito arrives and fights Kyōji, the latter eventually being knocked out by Shino throwing her stereo at him.
After the Death Gun incident, Sinon seems to have gotten over her fear and is moving on from the incident, no longer vulnerable to her classmates' threats of using a gun on her. In Agil's café, Shino meets Asuna, Rika, and Sachie Osawa, a woman who had survived the post office incident, who convinces her that she had saved her and her daughter's life. Sinon eventually decides to play ALfheim Online with Kirito and his friends. During her time with Kirito, Sinon develops romantic feelings for him, but decides not to pursue them due to her close friendship with his girlfriend, Asuna. However, she does on occasion, show Kirito her true feelings for him.
- Yuuki (ユウキ, Yūki) / Yuuki Konno (紺野 木綿季, Konno Yūki)
- Voiced by: Aoi Yūki (Japanese); Erica Mendez (English)
One of the main characters from Volume 7. She was an Imp in ALO, she started dueling anyone promising an 11-hit Original Sword Skill (OSS) if she's defeated: due to her undefeated status she's given the title "Absolute Sword". Eventually Asuna fights her but loses. After the fight Yuuki asks her to help defeating the 27th Floor boss with her guild the "Sleeping Knights" in desire to etch all their names on the Monument of Swordsmen to make a memory. After certain events, which include the defeat of the boss it is revealed that Yuuki has HIV/AIDS and the guild members are patients in terminal state: to test the Medicuboid device, designed supposedly by Rinko Koujiro, in care for future patients. Yuuki forms a strong bond with Asuna, in reminder of her late elder twin sister Aiko Konno. With the time passing Yuuki's condition deteriorates and after she entrusts her OSS «Mother's Rosario» to Asuna before she dies peacefully in ALO, surrounded by over 1000 players from every tribe in the game, including her guild members, Asuna and her friends.
Sword Art Online girls (including Yuuki) feature in a merchandise lottery by Bandai, where they are depicted in french maid clothing with cooking utensils, with Anime News Network humorously noting that they have "brought in a pretty penny for the franchise's creators." She also features in promotional advertisements for a series of Umaibo puffed corn snacks by Namco. Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku complimented Yuuki as a "powerfully human" character, writing "Like with the classic Beowulf, Yuuki finds her meaning and immortality in the written word. For her, having her name (and those of her soon-to-pass-away friends) on a virtual wall for all eternity is proof that she existed. To her, even that is enough."
Yuuki was awarded fifth in a Dengeki Bunko character poll for their light novels.
- Eugeo (ユージオ, Yūjio)
- Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese); Brandon Winckler (English)
A young lad who was also Kirito's "childhood friend" along with Alice in Underworld. He has his memories of Kirito purged, along with the rest of the villagers, but recovers them later on, to a certain degree. He has a strong desire to find Alice and in order to do so, Kirito teaches him his "Aincrad-style" sword skills. Eugeo became one of Kirito's loyal companions. He breaks the taboo index to save his disciples from rapists. After coming to a stalemate duel with Bercouli, Eugeo is captured by Quinella and turned into an Integrity Knight, becoming Eugeo Synthesis Thirty-Two (ユージオ・シンセシス・サーティツー, Yūjio Shinseshisu Sātitsū). Eugeo became freed from Quinella, but he was bisected by her and dies in front of a devastated Kirito. Eugeo tags alongside a young Alice in the afterlife. Amid the struggle with PoH in the Alicization – War of Underworld-arc, Eugeo's spirit restores a comatose Kirito to full health.
Eugeo was awarded sixth in a Dengeki Bunko character poll for their light novels.
- Alice Zuberg (アリス・ツーベルク, Arisu Tsūberuku)
- Voiced by: Ai Kayano (Japanese); Kayli Mills (English)
The mysterious girl who was Kirito's "childhood friend", along with Eugeo, in Underworld. She is captured and supposedly taken away to be executed by the Integrity Knights for breaking the rule by "entering" the Dark Territory. She contacted Kirito, in spirit form, as well as aided in Eugeo's healing, showing that she is still alive and remembered both of them. She also implored them to come to find her. It is later revealed that she had become an Integrity Knight in Volume 11 of the light novels. Her name as an Integrity Knight is Alice Synthesis Thirty (アリス・シンセシス・サーティ, Arisu Shinseshisu Sāti). Alice regained her memories and joined Kirito and Eugeo to defeat the Administrator, but she was unconscious and Eugeo was killed by the Administrator. Alice cares for the unconscious Kirito after the Administrator's death, she is reunited with her sister Selka and protect Kirito in a small house. Inspired by Kirito trying to save her village’s people despite his comatose state, Alice later participates in the war against Dark Territory. She got kidnapped by Gabriel Miller but rescued by Kirito and Asuna. She is brought to the real world in an android body and officially revealed to the world in a press conference organized by Rath.
Alice was awarded fourth in a Dengeki Bunko character poll for their light novels.
- Heathcliff (ヒースクリフ, Hīsukurifu) / Akihiko Kayaba (茅場 晶彦, Kayaba Akihiko)
- Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (Heathcliff), Kōichi Yamadera (Kayaba) (Japanese); Kevin M. Connolly (Heathcliff), Marc Diraison (Kayaba), David W. Collins (Kayaba; Alicization) (English)
Akihiko Kayaba is the director and creator of the NerveGear and Sword Art Online, as well as the main antagonist of the SAO arc. He traps all the players within SAO by using the NerveGear to obstruct signals from the user's brain. Any in-game death or attempt at removal of the NerveGear would result in the real-life death of the user. Later, it is discovered that he has been posing as Heathcliff, the leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Although he has the admin authority to make his avatar immortal, he is shown to be a powerful player even without his in-game immortality due to his intimate understanding of the SAO game mechanics which he himself had designed. His only goal in life was to make Aincrad a reality.
When his identity is exposed by Kirito, he challenges Kirito to a one-on-one duel where all of the remaining players will be logged out if Kirito is victorious. Following his defeat, he commits suicide by running a high output scan on his brain, but downloads his own consciousness into the server and leaves behind a program that gives Kirito the World Seed, which revitalizes the VRMMORPG industry.
Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku compared Heathcliff poorly to the series' second villain, Oberon, writing "How do you make a better villain than a man who trapped 10,000 people in a death game for no adequately explained reason? Easy. You just show how good that guy was by comparison to the new villain."
- PoH (プー, Pū) / Vassago Casals (ヴァサゴ カザルス, Vasago Kazarusu)
- Voiced by: Tsuyoshi Koyama, Nobuhiko Okamoto (young) (Japanese); Xander Mobus (English)
PoH is the leader of the SAO "Red player" guild, Laughing Coffin. He created the guild for the sole purpose of killing other players. PoH stands for Prince of Hell and he worked as an assassin for a Korean mafia during this arc. He is an illegitimate child of a Mexican woman and a Japanese man under unknown circumstances and was forced to donate one of his kidneys to his father's legitimate son. This led to his hatred against Japanese people. PoH is the secondary antagonist of the War of the Underworld sub-arc and Alicization Arc who is under employment of Glowgen Defense Systems and loyal to Subtilizer. After PoH entered the Underworld, he captured Kirito and attempted to kill him with the broken Blue Rose Sword, but ultimately was defeated by Kirito after he regained his consciousness. And to ensure that PoH will never log out from the Underworld and come after him in the real world, Kirito turned PoH into a giant tree resembling Gigas Cedar (the tree Kirito and Eugeo managed to chop down in the past). As a result, Vassago's body in the real world aged rapidly. But when Critter and the rest of Subtilizier's minions collected bodies of their dead comrades before their escape, Vassago's body had mysteriously disappeared, leaving his full fate unrevealed.
PoH is most likely the real main antagonist of Sword Art Online in general, as well as being Kirito's archenemy.
- Kuradeel (クラディール, Kuradīru)
- Voiced by: Kōji Yusa (Japanese); Doug Erholtz (English)
A Two-Handed Sword user. Publicly a member of "Knights of the Blood Oath" and secretly a member of the red guild "Laughing Coffin". He was officially assigned as Asuna's bodyguard and despite his grudge, he develops an obsession with Asuna and begins to secretly following her everywhere. When he sees that Kirito and Asuna are developing a relationship, he challenges Kirito to a duel over who can protect her. Kirito wins and Kuradeel is forced to leave. He later tries to murder Kirito and then Asuna, but is instead killed by Kirito at the last second.
- Oberon the Fairy King (妖精王オベイロン, Yōsei-ō Obeiron) / Nobuyuki Sugō (須郷 伸之, Sugō Nobuyuki)
- Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese); Todd Haberkorn (English)
Nobuyuki Sugō is the main antagonist of the Alfheim Online arc. He is the one responsible for keeping 300 NerveGear victims, including Asuna, prisoner even after SAO had ended. He did this by transferring them all into ALO for experiments on human subjugation via fulldive technology. He also attempts to take over RECT Progress Inc. by marrying Asuna while she is unconscious. He displays a perverse interest in consummating this marriage while Asuna is still comatose. In ALO, he takes on the identity of Oberon the Fairy King and makes Asuna his queen, Titania. When he and Kirito finally meet, he flaunts his GM status as well as the results of his research by critically damaging Kirito by increasing Kirito's pain limit and impaling him. However unlike Kayaba, he is a poor fighter and he is defeated by Kirito when the consciousness of Akihiko Kayaba reminded Kirito how he was defeated by Kirito's determination, before aiding him in overcoming Sugō's GM status by using his Kayaba ID Heathcliff and removing Oberon GM Status. Kirito then blinds and dismembers him after setting Sugō's pain limit to the maximum. All 300 victims are released from ALO, but Sugō makes another attempt to attack Kazuto while he is making his way to Asuna in the real world, now blind in one eye and insane after his defeat. However, he is once again subdued by Kazuto, who puts the unarmed combat skills he had learned in SAO to useful effect and ends up cutting his neck. Sugō later survives the cut and is then interrogated for his crimes.
The character was lauded as an "excellent villain" by Kotaku's Richard Eisenbeis, describing him as "cowardly, fancies himself a god, and is torturing people just to make money. More than that, he is also constantly threatening to rape Asuna—both in the game and in the real world. Simply put, he has the greatest hallmark of a good villain: He is a guy you love to hate." Responding to criticism of Oberon being an "over-the-top" villain that is "comically evil", Karen Mead of Japanator.com found to be partially true, writing "would the show be better overall if Sugou was a more subtle villain who didn't take every opportunity to be an absolute douche? Maybe, but keep in mind, as a show about online interactions, demonstrating The Greater Internet Dickwad Theory is definitely in SAO's purview. He may not be a great character who's going to make anyone's "Top Villains We Hate to Love and Love to Hate" list, but he's a villain that makes perfect sense within the context of SAO's world."
Theron Martin of Anime News Network found Sugō's character to an "over the top villain" and "the second arc's biggest stumbling block". However, Rebecca Silverman (also of Anime News Network) disagreed, writing "Sugou actually feels the least over-the-top as he plots how to use the VR technology for his own ends [when compared to the other characters]", and praised him as "nicely evil".
- Sterben (ステルベン, Suteruben) / Death Gun (死銃, Desu Gan)
Death Gun is the main antagonist of the GGO arc, a player killer whose victims somehow die in the real world after being shot by his signature gun, a Type 54 "Black Star" he named «Death Gun». In reality, Death Gun's actual user name is Sterben and is an alternate account created by Kyōji Shinkawa in the image of his brother's SAO avatar. He and his brother, a former member of the red SAO guild Laughing Coffin, used the Death Gun account to commit murder: Kyōji normally posing as Sterben and using a «Metamaterial Optical Camouflage Mantle» to spy on other players inputting their real life details so his brother can make his way to the house of a potential victim to inject the person with succinylcholine, a drug capable of stopping the heart, at the exact moment the victim's player is shot. During the Bullet of Bullets Tournament, the brothers switched roles while enlisting another Laughing Coffin member to assist them due to the multiple victims they selected.
- Red-Eyed XaXa (赤眼のザザ, Akame no Zaza) / Shōichi Shinkawa (新川 昌一, Shinkawa Shōichi)
- Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka (SAO), Sōichirō Hoshi (GGO) (Japanese); Ben Diskin (English)
- One of Laughing Coffin's elite members, Red-Eyed XaXa is a sadist who believed in PoH's principles as he became the red guild's second-in-command. In real life, Shoichi's father did not have any expectations for him due to him being frail and sick. After SAO ended, having met Kirito during the Inner-Area incident to neutralize Laughing Coffin, Shoichi aided in Kyōji's Death Gun scheme before he eventually starts playing GGO under the Sterben account. Shoichi entered the Bullet of Bullets tournament to prove his "true" killing ability to the rest of the world, only to be defeated by Kirito before he and his brother are arrested after the GGO arc.
- Spiegel (シュピーゲル, Shupīgeru) / Kyōji Shinkawa (新川 恭二, Shinkawa Kyōji)
- Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae (Japanese); Johnny Yong Bosch (English)
- Shino's friend both in the real world and GGO, in fact he was the one who introduced Shino to GGO in the first place as a form of immersion therapy for her fear of guns. Having been forced to bear the pressure of taking over his family's hospital while bullied at school, Kyōji was more fascinated with Shoichi's murderous exploits in SAO while becoming disillusioned with the real world. Kyōji finally snaps after a famous GGO player tricked him and multiple other newer players into creating weak, agility focused avatars knowing that there was going to be a patch that would give his strength focused character an edge in the upcoming Bullet of Bullets tournament. This resulted with Kyōji creating the Sterben account in XaXa's image and committing murders as Death Gun with the help of XaXa and Johnny Black. Kyōji is also revealed to be romantically obsessed with Shino, having Shoichi be Death Gun during the BoB so he can personally kill her in a murder-suicide and be "reborn" with her in a new world where their modern worries won't exist. But Kirito manages to save Shino and Kyōji is placed in police custody.
- Johnny Black (ジョニー・ブラック, Jonī Burakku) / Atsushi Kanemoto (金本 敦, Kanamoto Atsushi)
- Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka (Japanese); Alejandro Saab (English)
- One of Laughing Coffin's elite members, Johnny Black is a cold-blooded killer who likes to play with his victims as he once suggested to XaXa and PoH to have a fight-to-the-death with their captives Schmitt, Caynz, and Yolko for fun. Sometime after SAO, Atsushi helped Shoichi and his brother in their Death Gun scheme and was the only member of their gang to escape arrest. Six months later, Atsushi returns and attempts to kill Kazuto and Asuna in the real world but failed and was subdue and arrested by the police. Atsushi came close to killing Kazuto with a succinylcholine syringe, but is himself severely wounded, as being stabbed through his leg with an umbrella by Kazuto.
- Thrym (スリュム, Suryumu)
- Voiced by: Iizuka Shōzō (Japanese); John Snyder (English)
The King of the Frost Giants and final boss of the Calibur sidestory, Thrym is an artificial intelligence that ALO's Cardinal System created from the actual Norse myth. But in a departure from usual NPCs, Thrym is one of few whose core programming is connected to ALO's language engine to be a more realistic character. In the game storyline, Thyrm emerged from Aflheim and used the stolen Excalibur to conquer the Hill Giants' realm of Jötunheim. With Jötunheim turned to a frozen wasteland after losing the World Tree's blessing, Thrym created his fortress Thrymheim from the frozen spring of the Hill Giant leader Urðr, after its waters were lodged in the tree's receding roots. Thrym then uses his forces, and players he recruits on a false quest, to slaughter the native beasts to cripple the power of Urðr and her sisters so he can reach the surface of Alfheim and obtain the golden apple growing on top of the World Tree. But as Kirito and his party realize upon taking Urðr's quest to stop him, Thrym's actions would cause a chain of events that would result in the Ragnarok scenario and ultimately reset ALO. The group find Thrym and manage to defeat him with the help of a NPC named Freyja, who was revealed to be Thor in disguise.
- Quinella (クィネラ, Kwinera) / Administrator (アドミニストレータ, Adominisutorēta)
- Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese); Maureen Price (English)
The true ruler of Underworld, the highest minister of the Axiom Church, and the main antagonist of the Underworld arc. 350 years before Kirito would enter the Underworld, Quinella was born. As a descendant of a wicked founder, she inherited unethical knowledge by studying the Sacred Arts intensely. Soon, she learned that by killing others, ones' stats could be heavily raised, so every night she would sneak out and kill animals, which would respawn everyday anyway. She raised her stats to a ridiculously high level and decided to take control over the Underworld. Fooling people into believing she was a goddess, she created the Axiom Church and made laws to maintain the people to a certain degree. In the process, she tried to find a way to transcend the limit of that world, the «Life» of that world. She unlocks the forbidden System Control Authority command on the brink of death and immediately uses it to recuperate herself, restoring her beauty and «Life» to her former appearance as a youth. After being critically wounded in a battle against Kirito, she attempted to preserve herself by leaving to the real world but was intervened by the gruesome senate Chudelkin, who set his body ablaze to reach her. With Quinella latched by Chudelkin, the two were soon engulfed by the flame and perished.
- Chudelkin (チュデルキン, Chuderukin)
- Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese); Frank Torado (English)
Chudelkin served as the Chief Elder (元老長, Genrōchō) of the Axiom Church in Underworld, working directly under Supreme Priest Quinella. He has a twisted and sinister infatuation with Quinella. Chudelkin burned to death alongside Quinella at the end of the battle at the top of the Central Cathedral.
- Voiced by: Yusuke Numata (Japanese); Chris Cason (English)
Yanai was one of the Ocean Turtle technicians who is formerly one of Nobuyuki Sugou's scientists and secretly a spy for the Americans. It turns out that he is responsible for the Code: 871 (written by his name in kanji) right eye seal, which forces the Underworld residents into obedience, assisting Quinella (whom he is in love with) in his domain on Underworld. (Not confirmed!); he is probably responsible for Quinella's personality due to the fact that since he was the person without morals of the first four people entered the Underworld, his tactics may have been memorized by his students until he dominated the personality of Quinella. During the raid in Rath, Yanai worked informant for the attackers, held Higa at gunpoint and reveals responsible for sabotaging UW that prevent the Fluctlight from breaking the Law, and when both Kikuoka and Rinko realize his betrayal. Rinko rescued Higa by dropping a heavy wrench that startled Yanai causing him to lose his balance and fell down a shaft to his death.
- Critter (クリッター, Kurittā)
- Voiced by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese); Jon Allen (English)
Critter is a hacker consultant who works in the Glowgen Defense Systems' cyber operations department where he works under Gabriel Miller and Vassago Cassals. He was the one who found the accounts of Emperor Vector and the Dark Knight which weren't password-locked for Gabriel and Vassago to use. When Miller and Vassago end up dying, Critter and the rest of Subtilizier's minions collect their dead comrades before leaving and setting up the Ocean Turtle to explode. However, Akihiko Kayaba defuses the explosive and Critter also finds out that his comrades never found Vassago's body.
Subtilizer / Emperor Vector
- Subtilizer (魂を盗む者, Satoraizā) / Gabriel Miller (ガブリエル・ミラー, Gaburieru Mirā)
- Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Ted Stroka, Greg Chun (in "War of Underworld"), Amanda C. Miller (child) (English)
Subtilizer is the primary antagonist of the War of the Underworld sub-arc of the Alicization Arc. He is the chief tactical officer of «Glowgen Defense Systems» and the child of the former president and founder of the company. At a young age, he pierced his childhood friend Alicia Klingerman just to see if he could see her soul, giving him an obsession with death. He played Gun Gale Online (GGO) and won the 1st and 4th Bullet of Bullets tournaments on the Japanese GGO servers. He later directly commanded the assault on the Ocean Turtle and used the Soul Translator to enter Underworld, first as Emperor Vector, then as Subtilizer. In these avatars, Gabriel planned to target the Alice's light cube, because she reminded him of Alicia as he thought she was "revived" as Alice. When operating as Emperor Vector, Subtilizer united the Dark Territory's giants, goblins, ogres, orcs, dark knights, dark mages, and pugilists to aid him. Despite his best efforts, Asuna manages to send Alice's light cube out of the Underworld and Kirito defeats him by overloading Subtilizer's fluctlight. This causes Gabriel to die in the real world, after which his own soul experiences being forcibly dragged to Hell by Alicia and multiple other souls.
Dark Territory Army
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2020)
The following are members of the Dark Territory's army that was used by Subtilizer in his Emperor Vector avatar:
Vixur Ul Shasta
- Vixur Ul Shasta (ビクスル・ウル・シャスター, Bikusuru Uru Shasutā)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Tōchi (Japanese); Steve Blum (English)
Vixur Ul Shasta is the commander of the Order of the Dark Knights. Unlike the rest of the Dark Territory's leaders, Vixur wanted peace and was against the plans of Emperor Vector when he arrived. When Vixur attempted to attack Emperor Vecta, he was stabbed with a poisoned needle used by Fu Za. As he died, Vixur unleashed the recollection ability of his sword which created a tornado that ravaged the fluclights of anything it came in contact with.
- Lipia Zancale (リピア・ザンケール, Ripia Zankēru)
- Voiced by: Sayaka Senbongi (Japanese); Abby Trott (English)
Lipia Zancale is an 11th-ranked dark knight in the Dark Territory and Vixur Ul Shasta's subordinate who she loved. As a supporter of his peace campaign, Lipia found Vixur threatened upon the arrival of Emperor Vector sometime after Administrator's death. In an attempt to assassinate him, Lipia was strangled to death by Emperor Vector.
- Voiced by: Jon Allen
Fu Zha is the leader of the Assassin's Guild who became loyal to Emperor Vector. When Vixur Ul Shasta tried to attack Emperor Vecta, Fu Zha was the one who used a poisoned needle to kill him.
- Voiced by: Joe Hernandez
Hagashi is the chief of the Mountain Goblins.
- Voiced by: Kellen Goff
Kiburi is the chief of the Plains Goblins.
- Furgu (フルグル, Furuguru)
- Voiced by: Armen Taylor
Furgr is the chief of his tribe of Ogres (depicted in the UnderWorld as a race of towering humanoid wolves). He and his Ogre tribe took part in the Battle at the Eastern Gate in Emperor Vecta's campaign to obtain Alice. While suffering injuries from the battle with Alice, Furgr was killed by Alice.
- Voiced by: Brook Chalmers
Sigurosig is the chief of his tribe of Giants. He and his Giant tribe took part in the Battle at the Eastern Gate in Emperor Vecta's campaign to obtain Alice.
- Voiced by: Aleks Le
Lipilin is the chief of his tribe of Orcs (depicted in the UnderWorld as a race of humanoid pigs). During the fight against the Red Knights, he and his remaining Orcs side with Kirito's friends.
- Iskahn (イスカーン, Isukān)
- Voiced by: Taku Yashiro (Japanese); Khoi Dao (English)
Iskahn is the Tenth Champion (第十代チャンピオン, Dai Jū-dai Champion) and leader of the Pugilists Guild, as well as a member of the Ten Lords Assembly that controlled the Dark Territory. Iskahn was one of the leaders of the Dark Territory who participated in the battle at the Great Eastern Gate against the Human Guardian Army, commanding the unit of Pugilists. During the battle, Iskahn and his Pugilists were ordered to pursue the decoy unit of the Human Guardian Army when they escaped southwards into the Dark Territory, where Iskahn dueled against Sheyta Synthesis Twelve and became interested in her.
- Voiced by: Mick Lauer
Dampa is a member of the Pugulist Guild that works for Iskahn.
- Voiced by: Jessica DiCicco
Yotte is a member of the Pugulist Guild that works for Iskahn.
- Sachi (サチ, Sachi)
- Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese); Xanthe Huynh (English)
A side story character in SAO. She was a member of "Moonlit Black Cats" which was the first guild Kirito joined. Kirito was especially attached to her. Sachi, along with the other members were in a computer club at their school. However, she died along with the majority of her guild members in a trapped upper-floor with high-level mobs which led to Kirito wallowing in despair and self-loathing until he read the time delayed message she left for Kirito on Christmas Eve. Even after the message gave him the strength to live, he never joined another guild until he is forced to join the Knights of the Blood Oath.
- Argo (アルゴ, Arugo) / Hosaka Tomo (帆坂朋, Tomo Hosaka)
- Voiced by: Shiori Izawa (Japanese); Cassandra Lee Morris (English)
Argo is an information broker in SAO who worked alongside Kirito. During her time in SAO, she worked as a middle man for certain trades and exchanged information with Kirito; where eventually she earned the nickname "The Rat" after the whiskers she wore on her face and the sly tactics she would use to earn Col.
- Sasha (サーシャ, Sāsha)
- Voiced by: Kyouko Fujii (Japanese); Erika Harlacher (English)
Sasha is a caretaker of the younger SAO players in Town of Beginnings on the 1st Floor.
- Thinker (シンカー, Shinkā)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese); Victor Sgroi (English)
Thinker is the leader of the Liberation Force Army. He later marries his second-in-command Yulier in real life.
- Yolko (ヨルコ, Yoruko)
- Voiced by: Nozomi Yamamoto (Japanese); Natalie Hoover (English)
Yolko is a member of the Golden Apple guild. Her boyfriend is Caynz.
- Yulier (ユリエール, Yuriēru)
- Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi (Japanese); Amanda C. Miller (English)
Yulier is second-in-command of the Liberation Force Army. She is devoted to aiding Thinker with his duties as leader. Thinker married her in real life.
- Sakuya (サクヤ, Sakuya)
- Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi (Japanese); Lauren Landa (English)
She is the leader of the Sylph. During a meeting with the Cait Sith, she is attacked by Salamanders led by General Eugene. At the same moment, Kirito flies in to challenge the general to a duel. After Kirito wins the battle, she attempts to seduce him to join the Slyphs, but Leafa smothers their attempt, saying that she is accompanying him to the World Tree. At the end of the arc, Lady Sakuya leads a combined force of Cait Sith and Sylph against the World Tree's Guardians in an attempt to aid Kirito with the battle. After Kirito reached the top of the World Tree, she ordered her forces to pull back. Sakuya is later seen with Alicia and Sylph warriors and a few Cait Sith flying towards New Aincrad.
- Alicia Rue (アリシャ・ルー, Arisha Rū)
- Voiced by: Chiwa Saito (Japanese); Cristina Vee (English)
She is the leader of the Cait Sith. She was elected for the position of leader by popular vote. She is capable of using the high-level magic «Moonlight Mirror». She forms an alliance with the Sylphs to finish the «Conquer the World Tree Quest».
During the Cait Sith meeting with the Sylph at the Butterfly Valley, the groups were attacked by Salamanders led by General Eugene. Kirito dived in to save the day and fought off Eugene, even though Kirito had inferior equipment. After the Salamanders left the area and Kirito revealed that he was not working for anyone, Alicia tried to seduce Kirito into coming to the Cait Sith territory and working for them, but he declined her offer by saying that he had to go to the World Tree. The next day, along with Sylph reinforcements, she and her squadron of Cait Sith riders, on tamed dragons, aided Kirito's ascension of the World Tree after using the collected funds to purchase armor of at least Ancient grade for all of her warriors. After Kirito managed to get through to the top of the tree, she withdrew her forces from the area. Alicia is later seen with Sakuya and a few Cait Sith and Sylph warriors flying towards New Aincrad.
- Recon (レコン, Rekon) / Shin'ichi Nagata (長田 慎一, Nagata Shin'ichi)
- Voiced by: Ayumu Murase (Japanese); Marianne Miller (English)
Suguha's classmate in the real world. He introduced ALO to Suguha who asked him about VRMMO. In ALO, he is a Sylph dagger wielder and dark mage. He also displays an obvious romantic interest in Suguha, although the feelings are not mutual.
- Eugene (ユージン, Yūjin)
- Voiced by: Kenta Miyake (Japanese); Joshua Tomar (English)
General Eugene intended to disrupt the Cait Sith and Sylph alliance conference. Earlier, Recon manages to learn of the attack and warns Leafa. She and Kirito rush to stop the confrontation, but Eugene challenges the Spriggan to a one-on-one duel. At first, Kirito was forced to defend himself against the onslaught of the Earth-style weapon of Eugene, but Kirito takes Leafa's katana to prepare for his notable «Dual Blades». With this extra blade, Eugene could not breach Kirito's defenses and was quickly defeated. After the duel, he was revived by Sakuya and leaves the scene with his forces on good terms. Before the duel, Eugene was considered the strongest player in the game.
- Chrysheight (クリスハイト, Kurisuhaito) / Seijirō Kikuoka (菊岡征二郎, Kikuoka Seijirō)
- Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese); Matthew Mercer (English)
Kikuoka Seijirō is a member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After the SAO incident, he interviewed Kazuto for information regarding the events that transpired during the game, in exchange for information on Asuna's whereabouts. After the events of the Fairy Dance arc he has another meeting with Kazuto, to recap the events of SAO again, as well as the events of ALO. He began playing ALO under the name Chrysheight and later contacts Kirito to investigate the Death Gun deaths in GGO.
After Kazuto is attacked in the real world by Johnny Black, Kikouka abducts Kazuto from the hospital and transports him to the Ocean Turtle in order to give him medical treatment for the brain damage he received. It is revealed that Kikouka is actually a Liuetenant Colonel of JSDF and also the head of Rath, a company under the Ministry of Defense, that is trying to develop AI suitable for replacing humans on a battle-field.
After the raid in Rath, Kikuoka faked his death in order to avoid being blamed by the government for the incident and come up with a plan to prevent the government from seizing Alice by getting people to continuely interact with artificial fluctlight
- Llenn (レン, Ren) / Karen Kohiruimaki (小比類巻 香蓮, Kohiruimaki Karen)
- Voiced by: Tomori Kusunoki (Japanese); Reba Buhr (English)
As the main protagonist of the spin-off series Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, Karen is a shy girl from Obihiro, Hokkaido who has a complex about her tall height in the real world. As a result, she begins playing Gun Gale Online thanks to the small-statured avatar it gives her. As her avatar Llenn, she wears a pink outfit, which provides camouflage in certain environments, is equipped with a pink FN P90 submachine-gun named "P-chan", and can use super-speed.
- Pitohui (ピトフーイ, Pitofūi) / Elsa Kanzaki (神崎 エルザ, Kanzaki Eruza)
- Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa, Reona (singing) (Japanese); Allegra Clark (English)
Elsa is a popular singer and songwriter. She is a former beta-tester for Sword Art Online, but did not log in on the day of the game's official release due to certain circumstances, thus sparing her from the tragic fate from over 10,000 players for the next two years. Angry that she was not able to participate in the "death game", she would gain a psychotic personality that would later develop very prominently in her Gun Gale Online avatar, Pitohui.
- M (エム, Emu) / Gōshi Asōgi (阿僧祇 豪志, Asōgi Gōshi)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese); Ray Chase (English)
Goshi is Elsa Kanzaki's manager and longtime best friend. Formerly an obese man who stalked Elsa during her restaurant waiting days, he came to her rescue when she was attacked by a salaryman, but eventually fell under Elsa's sexual abuse and became somewhat of a secretary to her. Goshi, however enjoyed doing so and lost weight, eventually joining Gun Gale Online alongside her as M, an avatar of a husky male dressed in a green combat battledress. His avatar name was chosen because of his masochistic nature. He is a medium-ranged sniper using the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, and has extensive knowledge of military and special operations techniques and tactics. He also has a HK45 as a side arm.
- Fukaziroh (フカ次郎, Fukajirō) / Miyu Shinohara (篠原 美優, Shinohara Miyu)
- Voiced by: Chinatsu Akasaki (Japanese); Faye Mata (English)
Miyu is Karen's best friend from her hometown in Hokkaido and a huge VR game freak whom Karen receives advice on for. She normally plays Alfheim Online as a Sylph, but will occasionally convert to Gun Gale Online to participate in Squad Jam events under the name Fukaziroh, named after her deceased dog. In GGO, she uses a pair of grenade launchers as her main set of weapons.
- Drill Sergeant (練兵, Renpei)
- Voiced by: Yūko Kaida (Japanese); Tamara Ryan (English)
An instructor who guides the new members.
- Selka Zuberg (セルカ・ツーベルク, Seruka Tsūberuku)
- Voiced by: Kaori Maeda (Japanese); Jackie Lastra (English)
Selka is the younger sister of Alice and an apprentice of Sister Azariya. She is capable of wielding the Sacred Arts but dislikes being compared to her sister. She does not remember Kirito, but is put in charge of him upon his "return".
- Cardinal (カーディナル, Kādinaru)
- Voiced by: Sakura Tange (Japanese); Lizzie Freeman (English)
The Cardinal System, the one with complete control and authority in SAO, it controls everything. In ALO, the only other VRMMORPG to have it, it has partial control. During the Alicization Arc, in the Underworld, it takes the form of a scrawny 10-year-old girl, who lives in the Great Library Room. Cardinal does not have any control of the Underworld and only has powers in the Library because Quinella used the System Control Authority to revoke Cardinal's rights. The story is, Cardinal is a sub-process regulator that opposes Quinella of her misguided perception. 200 years prior, Cardinal and the latter had their system merged allowing Cardinal to error-checking Underworld. Cardinal was forced to take refuge in the library, waiting for another opportunity. An outsider, Kirito, gave her the chance to confront the Administrator. She died in battle begging Quinella to spare innocent souls from converting them into mindless weapons. In her last breath, she granted Eugeo the power to withstand Quinella.
- Ronye Arabel (ロニエ・アラベル, Ronye Araberu)
- Voiced by: Reina Kondō (Japanese); Deneen Melody (English)
Kirito's valet in the Sword Mastery Academy. She ranked in the top 12 of her year, thus qualifying her to be a valet of an elite swordsman. Since she was of the lowest Noble Class, along with Tiese, she was not chosen by any of the elite swordsmen except for Kirito who opted to take the last remaining valet. She later develops feeling for Kirito.
- Tiese Schtrinen (ティーゼ・シュトリーネン, Tīze Shutorīnen)
- Voiced by: Kaori Ishihara (Japanese); Kimberly Woods (English)
Eugeo's valet in the Sword Mastery Academy. She ranked in the top 12 of her year, thus qualifying her to be a valet of an elite swordsman. Since she was of the lowest Noble Class, along with Ronye, she was not chosen by any of the elite swordsmen except for Eugeo who opted to take the last remaining valet. She entered the Academy in order to raise her family's social status. She later develops feeling for Eugeo.
Sortiliena “Lina” Serlut
- Sortiliena Serlut (ソルティリーナ・セルルト, Sorutirīna Seruruto)
- Voiced by: Megumi Han (Japanese); Jeannie Tirado (English)
Sortiliena Serlut is a supporting character in the Alicization. She was the mentor of Kirito during his first year in the North Centoria Imperial Sword Mastery Academy, and the second-seat elite swordswoman at the academy, where she was known as the Walking Tactics Manual (歩く戦術総覧, Aruku Senjutsu Sōran). She graduated as the first-ranked swordsman from the academy after defeating the first-seat swordsman Volo Levantein during the graduation tournament and participated in the Norlangarth North Empire Swordsmanship Tournament, where she was defeated by Eldrie Woolsburg. She appears to be quite fond of Kirito, possibly having feelings for him like Ronye, but their relationship is mainly platonic.
- Volo Levantein (ウォロ・リーバンテイン, Uoro Rībantein)
- Voiced by: Taishi Murata (Japanese); Chris Niosi (English)
Volo Levantein is a supporting character in the Alicization. He was the head elite swordsman-in-training at the North Centoria Imperial Master Sword Academy during Eugeo and Kirito's first year at the academy. He graduated as the second-ranked swordsman from the academy after being defeated by Sortiliena Serlut during the graduation tournament and then participated in the Norlangarth North Empire Swordsmanship Tournament, where he was defeated by Eldrie Woolsburg.
- Golgorosso Balto (ゴルゴロッソ・バルトー, Gorugorosso Barutō)
- Voiced by: Ryō Sugisaki (Japanese); Mick Lauer (English)
Golgorosso Balto is a minor character in the Alicization. During Kirito and Eugeo's first year in the North Centoria Imperial Master Sword Academy, he was the 3rd ranked elite swordsman at the academy, in each placing tournament losing against Sortiliena Serlut. Golgorosso is Eugeo's mentor during Eugeo's first year in the academy and is known for making Eugeo take off his clothes so that he can look at Eugeo's muscle development.
- Bercouli Synthesis One (ベルクーリ・シンセシス・ワン, Berukūri Shinseshisu Wan)
- Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese); Imari Williams (English)
Bercouli is the founder of Rulid Village and the very first Integrity Knight. In Rulid Village legend, he founded the village but left for some time. After he returned, he slew a dragon at the End Mountains with the Blue Rose Sword. When Eugeo first encounters him, Bercouli had sensed some familiarity with both Eugeo and his weapon, which ultimately led to his defeat. Sometime after Quinella's demise, Bercouli took up the responsibility to rebuild order after the Axiom Church fell. When Alice was captured by Vector/Gabriel, Bercouli fought Vector on one-on-one battle. However, Bercouli was wounded by Vector and died in the end but not before he killed Vector soon his spirit move on to the afterlife.
- Fanatio Synthesis Two (ファナティオ・シンセシス・ツー, Fanatio Shinseshisu Tsū)
- Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese); Laila Berzins (English)
Fanatio is the Deputy Leader of the Integrity Knights who uses a long-ranged light piercing sword. In battle, Fanatio hides her true gender away from her opponents, as she believes they will not take her seriously because she's a woman, thus her attacks are designed to drive her opponent away from her. After Kirito discovers her identity, Fanatio is led to believe that Kirito is the only one who has taken her seriously since, leading to her defeat.
- Deusolbert Synthesis Seven (デュソルバート・シンセシス・セブン, Dyusorubāto Shinseshisu Sebun)
- Voiced by: Hikaru Hanada (Japanese); Armen Taylor (English)
Deusolbert is the Integrity Knight who personally apprehended Alice for crossing the Dark Territory. Several years later, he fought and was defeated by both Kirito and Eugeo.
Linel and Fizel
- Linel (リネル, Rineru) / Fizel (フィゼル, Fizeru)
- Linel Voiced by: Hina Kino (Japanese); Brianna Knickerbocker (English)
- Fizel Voiced by: Konomi Kohara (Japanese); Michelle Marie (English)
Linel Synthesis Twenty-Eight (リネル・シンセシス・トゥエニエイト, Rineru Shinseshisu Tuenieito) and Fizel Synthesis Twenty-Nine (フィゼル・シンセシス・トゥエニナイン, Fizeru Shinseshisu Tueninain) are the two youngest Integrity Knights who as young children were subjected to an experiment run by Quinella, which was to have 30 children kill each other. Quinella would resurrect any child who died just to continue the experiments. The side-effects as according to Linel was a massive personality shift and the discovery of cleaner kills. Being the last ones to come out of the experiment, Quinella allowed them to become Integrity Knights. The two then encountered Kirito and Eugeo, poisoned them, and brought them to Fanatio. Kirito managed to outsmart and paralyze them in return. Linel and Fizel are later shown participating in the war against Dark Territory.
- Eldrie Woolsburg (エルドリエ・ウールスブルーグ, Erudorie Ūrusuburūgu)
- Voiced by: Takeaki Masuyama (Japanese); Ethan Murray (English)
Eldrie Woolsburg is a champion of the Four Empires Unity Tournament who defeated both Sortilliena Serlut and Volo Levantein, thus earning him an invite to the Central Cathedral. Once arriving, Administrator turned him into an Integrity Knight, and became known as Eldrie Synthesis Thirty-one (エルドリエ・シンセシス・サーティワン, Erudorie Shinseshisu Sātiwan). His first mission was to stop Kirito and Eugeo after they both had escaped from their prison cells, but he was soon defeated. After Alice returned to Rulid Village, Eldrie went to the village to execute Kirito and replead her in joining the resistance against the Dark Territory. Eldrie pushed his limits to subdues the dark army squadrons and died in Alice's arms.
- Renly Synthesis Twenty-Seven (レンリ ・シンセシス・トゥエニセブン, Renri Shinseshisu Tueni-sebun)
- Voiced by: Mutsumi Tamura (Japanese); Morgan Berry (English)
Renly is one of the youngest Integrity Knights, having achieved the title at the age 15. Once a prodigious swordsman, he accidentally killed his best friend at the Unification Tournament and developed a fear of killing. This stigma would stick with him even after his memory wipe, as he would cower from battle. During the final stress test, he was put in charge of a unit, but ran off right before. However, he witnessed Kirito attempt to save Ronie and Tiese despite being unable to do so, and overcame his cowardliness by saving them and defeating a goblin chief.
- Sheyta Synthesis Twelve (シェータ・シンセシス・トゥエルブ, Shēta Shinseshisu Tuerubu)
- Voiced by: Lynn (Japanese); Justine Huxley (English)
Sheyta is a member of the Integrity Knights who doesn't speak much. The Black Lily Sword she wields was made from a fatal black lily by Administrator which can cut through anything. Sheyta was briefly placed in hibernation after accidentally killing an Integrity Knight during a duel. During the fight with the Dark Territory Army, Sheyta managed to wound a lot of pugilist guild members before retreating. She became interested in Iskahn and after the war the two get engaged becoming the bridge between the two lands.
- Eydis Synthesis Ten (Eydisシンセシステン, Eydis Shinseshisu Ten)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
Eydis is the Tenth Member of the Integrity Knights whose also known as the "Knight of the Abyss" due to her skill of using dark element/magic. Although she's an original character from the game Rising Steel and did not feature in both the Anime and Light Novels, she is still listed and play a part as one of the key participants during the entire Underworld saga (Although it might not be canon for her part) especially with her own story arc in the game where she breaks and face the Taboo Index alone for the sake of her little sister Mary. She is also the one of the only members of the Knights who deeply cares about Alice. She presumably to be later appear in the Moon Cradle arc.
- Kizmel (キズメル, Kizumeru)
- Voiced by: Shizuka Itou
She is a Dark Elven Royal Guard, a member of the Dark Elven Pagoda Knight, and an elite quest Non-Player Character (NPC) for the Elf War campaign, who partied with Kirito and Asuna throughout the campaign.
- Yuna (ユナ) / Yuuna Shigemura (重村 悠那, Shigemura Yūna)
- Voiced by: Sayaka Kanda (Japanese); Ryan Bartley (English)
She was the daughter of Professor Tetsuhiro Shigemura, the childhood friend of Eiji Nochizawa (Nautilus, Eiji), and was one of the 10,000 players who were trapped in Sword Art Online, where she became known as the Song Enchanter (歌エンチャンター) or Utachan (歌チャン or ウタちゃん, Uta chan) due to singing in the Teleport Gate plazas of Aincrad's main towns, as well as having the Chant Extra Skill. She was killed in battle in a field dungeon on the 40th Floor of Aincrad by a group of tormentor-class minions of the Feral Warder Chief that she had drawn to herself to protect her party from being annihilated.
- Eiji (エイジ, (OS)) / Eiji Nochizawa (後沢 鋭二, Nochizawa Eiji) / Nautilus (ノーチラス, Nōchirasu, (SAO))
- Voiced by: Yoshio Inoue (Japanese); Chris Patton (English)
He is one of the antagonists of Ordinal Scale and one of the main characters of the Ordinal Scale side stories, including Hopeful Chant and Cordial Chords. He was the childhood friend of Yuuna Shigemura, and was one of the 10,000 players who were trapped in Sword Art Online, where he suffered from a FullDive Non-Conformity condition that impeded his movement whenever he feared for his life. After Sword Art Online was cleared, Eiji continued his life in seclusion in his apartment, until Yuuna's father, Tetsuhiro Shigemura recruited him to help with his plan to restore Yuuna as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) by reconstructing her personality from memories of her retrieved from Sword Art Online survivors through brains scans conducted with the Augma when their memories of Sword Art Online were stimulated via fighting SAO bosses in Ordinal Scale. He was betrayed by the professor and eventually surrendered to the police due to having injured the members of Fuurinkazan in real life in the process of gathering memories to revive Yuna. However, he was eventually released as the Furikazan members did not press charges against him. Eiji later appear in Swort Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld.
- Tetsuhiro Shigemura (重村 徹大, Shigemura Tetsuhiro)
- Voiced by: Takeshi Kaga (Japanese); Jamieson Price (English)
The main developer of the Augma Reality game Ordinal Scale, Yuna's father, and previously a mentor to Akihiko Kayaba. Tormented by his daughter's death during the SAO Incident, he conspired with Eiji to restore Yuna as an AI by gathering memories of her from brain scans of the SAO survivors playing Ordinal Scale, knowing that the device running the game can kill them in the process. He was arrested but later released by Kikuoka to join the company Rath.
- Midori Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 翠, Kirigaya Midori)
- Voiced by: Aya Endō (Japanese); Caitlin Glass (English)
Midori is Suguha's mother as well as Kazuto's aunt and foster mother in the real world. She cares deeply for both her children. In volume 10, she is assured by the authorities of Kazuto's safety. In reality, Kazuto's comatose body was kidnapped by Kikuoka Seijirou. When Asuna and Suguha tried to tell her their suspicions, she did not believe them.
- Shōzō Yuuki (結城 彰三, Yūki Shōzō)
- Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese); Keith Silverstein (English)
Shōzō is Asuna's father and the former CEO of RECT Progress Inc, which goes bankrupt after the company is partly held responsible for Sugō's crimes.
- Silver Crow (シルバー・クロウ, Shirubā Kurō) / Haruyuki Arita (有田 春雪, Arita Haruyuki)
- Voiced by: Yuki Kaji (Japanese); Erik Scott Kimerer (English)
Silver Crow is the main character of Accel World, another of Reki Kawahara's light novels who appears to confront Kirito in a crossover side story. As he is the sub combiner of Takumu, he forms into a two combined gestalt Gene-Linker Silver Crow.
- Endou (遠藤, Endō)
- Voiced by: Yoko Hikasa (Japanese); Olivia Charles (English)
Endou is a manipulative person who approached Shino and pretended to be her friend just to be able to use Shino's home for personal use and as a place to stay overnight after getting drunk. She uses Shino's phobia to make her scared of her. After the Death Gun incident, she is surprised to see Shino overcome her phobia.
- Natsuki Aki (安岐 ナツキ, Aki Natsuki)
- Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese); Julie Ann Taylor (English)
Natsuki is the nurse who oversaw Kazuto during his rehabilitation after the SAO incident. She watched over him during his investigation over Death Gun in GGO. She was appointed to nurse him at Ocean Turtle after he was poisoned by the last member of Laughing Coffin.
- Kyouko Yuuki (結城 京子, Yūki Kyōko) / Erika (エリカ)
- Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Johanna Luis (English)
Kyouko is a professor who is Asuna's mother. She attempts to take Asuna under her wing to become a woman with a rich husband, denying her wishes to stay with Kazuto. Though she initially does not understand the fascination of the virtual world, Asuna has her mother visit ALO. There, Kyouko discovers that Asuna's home in ALO looks like her childhood home, a forest-house. The experience inspires Kyouko to tell her daughter to work hard to get the husband she wants.
- Rinko Koujiro (神代凛子, Kōjiro Rinko)
- Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese); Jennifer Losi (English)
Rinko is a professor, co-worker and also a former love-interest of Akihiko Kayaba. In the SAO arc, she initially helped in the development of SAO and when the incident occurred, she was the only person who guessed where Akihiko was. Without telling anyone and avoiding the police, she decided to confront Akihiko in his hidden mountain cottage with the intent to kill him, but she was not able to do so and instead helped maintain Akihiko's physical condition, when he dived into the game for long periods of time. After the incident, the police found the cottage where both of them stayed. While Akihiko had already died after digitizing his brain to the network permanently, Rinko was arrested by the police and awaited her trial. Apparently, she was released on bail from her trial. In the Alicization arc, she has been invited by Seijirou Kikuoka to do a top secret research on the «Soul Translator» technology, but has been reluctant to accept the offer. Until, one day, upon learning Asuna's situation, she agreed to help the girl find Kazuto, so she contacted Kikuoka about accepting the invitation. Rinko and Asuna traveled to the hidden base of Rath, the «Ocean Turtle». After the raid in Rath, Rinko replaces Kikuoka as the head of Rath after he faked his own death and introduces Alice as the first autonomous Artificial Intelligence to the public.
- Takeru Higa (比嘉タケル, Higa Takeru)
- Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese); Brian Beacock (English)
Takeru is the Chief Developer of the «Soul Translator», working under Seijirou Kikuoka in Rath. He helped create «Underworld» as a means to produce «Bottom-Up-Artificial Intelligence» via nurturing a mass number of Artificial Fluctlights, in order to further advance Japan's military force. Before working in Rath, Takeru went to university with Akihiko Kayaba and Rinko Koujiro. He was the last student of the Shigemura lab in the «Touto University of Electrical and Electronic Engineering» which had two prodigious figures: Akihiko Kayaba and Nobuyuki Sugou. He was inspired to join Rath due to a death of his friend who was a soldier. After the War of the Underworld, Higa secretly made a digital copy of Kazuto Kirigaya's Fluctlight without telling Kikuoka or Koujiro. He then agreed to help Kazuto's copy and Kabaya's digital consciousness to establish a way to keep Underworld safe from Japan's military.
- Voiced by: Shunsuke Sakuya (Japanese); John DeMita (English)
Kazuto's uncle and foster father in the real world. He was first seen after Kazuto logged out of the Underworld. He is strict and hopes Kazuto would focus more on school. And while he expects Kazuto to always apologize when endangering his life in VRMMO games, he is proud of Kazuto's heroism and encourages him to live with no regrets.
Video game characters
See also: Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
- Philia (フィリア, Firia) / Kotone Takemiya (琴音)
- Voiced by: Yui Ishikawa
An "Orange player" and treasure hunter. Kirito met Philia immediately after being suddenly teleported to the Hollow Area region of Aincrad then fight a weakened version of the Skull Reaper. Philia's orange player status was actually a system glitch. She has grown a romantic interest in Kirito when saving her from the clutches of PoH.
- Strea (ストレア, Sutorea)
- Voiced by: Sachika Misawa
An unknown player who started tailing Kirito after the events of the 75th Floor's boss fight. Throughout the story, Strea would be seen in the Labyrinth searching for «something». Strea was later revealed to actually be a mental-health program, similar to Yui, who was somehow able to appear using an unused avatar that was still registered in Aincrad. However, the near-death experience had slowly altered her data and resulted in her fusion with the «Hollow Avatar». Yui absorbed Strea's program and assured the rest of the group that she was still alive.
See also: Sword Art Online: Lost Song
- Seven (セブン, Sebun) / Nanairo Arshavin (七色 アルシャービン, Nanairo Arushābin)
- Voiced by: Hisako Kanemoto
Nanairo Arshavin, nicknamed Seven, is a Russian scientist who is playing ALO to research VR. She graduated from MIT at the age of 12 and is a pop idol, performing concerts in-game as a Pooka. Considered "the light" to Akihiko Kayaba's "darkness", she is the leader of the guild Shamrock in the game. Unlike her guild members, she is of a lower level, and lets them fight for her.
- Rain (レイン, Rein) / Nijika Karatachi (枳殻 虹架, Karatachi Nijika)
- Voiced by: Miyu Takagi
A Leprechaun girl who follows Kirito during the events of the game. She is Seven's older sister, and works at a maid cafe when not playing ALO. Like Kirito, she is an SAO survivor and can dual wield. After the events of the game, she meets Kirito in real life, where she reveals the rift between her and Seven; after SAO was cleared, she talked with Kikuoka Seijirō about it, and decided to join ALO.
- Sumeragi (スメラギ, Sumeragi) / Yota Sumeragi (住良木 良太, Sumeragi Yōta)
- Voiced by: Ryota Takeuchi
An Undine and Shamrock leader who is in charge of protecting Seven. A strong swordsman, he defeated General Eugene in combat prior to the events of the game. Outside of ALO, he is Seven's research partner in America.
During the story, Kirito and Sumeragi encounter each other at various times, and the two challenge each other to a duel, which is interrupted. At the final dungeon, Sumeragi and Kirito resume their duel, where the former reveals his Original Sword Skill, which is inspired by the Norse god of war Týr and has the power of a two-handed sword compressed into a one-handed sword.
Sumeragi works as a quantum neurology researcher, and his affiliation with Seven prompted Kikouka to request him to perform surveillance on her while experimenting.
See also: Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization
- Puremia (プレミア)
- Voiced by: Yuiko Tatsumi
She is a 14-year old Non-Player Character (NPC), born from the creation of Sword Art: Origin. She was a quest giving NPC. Originally, Premiere had no pre-programmed settings to determine her behavior or interactions with players. However, after meeting Kirito's group, she began to develop an inquisitive and childlike nature, often learning and utilizing words and phrases she heard from other players.
- Tia (ティア)
- Voiced by: Yuiko Tatsumi
Premiere twin sister who is also an NPC, born from the creation of Sword Art: Origin. Like her sister, Tia was originally a null NPC, having no pre-programmed responses or behavior. However, after encountering and spending time around Genesis, she began adopting many traits of his attitude, including his belief in survival of the fittest and his disregard for other NPCs. She also developed an intense hatred for other people, due to their openly hostile attitude and contempt towards Genesis.
- Jeneshisu (ジェネシス)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu
A wild frenzied look when he is fixated on combat with a berserker fighting style to match. He has no regard for Non-Player Characters (NPCs), considering them unworthy of his attention. He is known as the «Black Swordsman» (黒の剣士, Kuro no Kenshi?) by the players of Sword Art: Origin. It was later revealed that he is a famous hacker known as the «God of Cheats» (ゴッド オブ チート, Goddo Obu Chīto?, abbreviated as «GOC»).
See also: Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet
Protagonist (Fatal Bullet)
The Protagonist is the main character of Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. The Protagonist began playing Gun Gale Online (GGO) due to the request of their childhood friend Kureha.
- Kureha (クレハ, Kureha) / Momiji Takamine (高峰 紅葉, Takamine Momiji)
- Voiced by: Ayane Sakura
GGO's protagonist's childhood friend, who invites them to log in to Gun Gale Online. She is a veteran player, who has been playing since its early days. Kureha is bright and cheerful, with a meddlesome personality, and considers it her job to personally protect the protagonist. She plays Gun Gale Online to realise her own strength, and spares no effort to discover that strength.
Arfasys / Rei
- Voiced by: Natsumi Takamori (Female); Kazutomi Yamamoto (Male)
The ArFA-Sys is a rare Type-X AfFA-Sys that appeared as part of the new update to Gun Gale Online. The protagonist encounters it following the tutorial mission. Throughout the game, the others have nicknamed the AfFA-Sys, Rei. She is the key to the new SBC Flugel dungeon.
- Zeliska (クレハ, Zeliska) / Midoriko Hoshiyama (高峰 紅葉, Hoshiyama Midoriko)
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
Zeliska is a skilled yet mysterious player in GGO who also owns a Type-X AfFA-sys, affectionally named Daisy. In real life, she is a programmer for the Gun Gale Online Japanese servers. While she is highly regarded for her unmatched skill, she is not on any of the Ranking Leaderboards, thus earning her the nickname "The Uncrowned Queen."
- Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki
Itsuki is the leader of the most powerful Squadron in Gun Gale Online, Alphard. While he is seemingly a calm and carefree player, Itsuki is secretly on a constant search for something to excite him. This obsession leads to him becoming the main antagonist of Fatal Bullet.
Protagonist (Integral Factor)
The Protagonist is the main character of Sword Art Online: Integral Factor. The protagonist is a former SAO beta tester. One of the players that were trapped in the game after it launched.
- Koharu Honda (本多 小春, Honda Koharu)
- Voiced by: Ari Ozawa
A former SAO beta tester, but she hasn't played a serious VR game before SAO. She met and learned combat from the protagonist during beta testing, and they became friends. They swore to meet again after the official game was released.
Mysterious player who likes to come and go in dungeon like ghost and even gets mistaken for an NPC by other players. She is actually related to Lueur by blood. Though, they don't look alike but they are siblings with Mater as little sister. She is a calm and cold person. Her way of thinking is a mystery for other players and unique so they call it as Mater's logic or Mater's way of thinking. She is actually a kind person
- Voiced by: Aoi Koga
Student from Russia studying in Japan. Best friend of Rain
- Medina Orthinanos (メディナ・オルティナノス, Medina Orutinanosu)
- Voiced by: Miho Okasaki
Medina is the ninth-generation head of the Orthinanos Family, a family of second-rank nobles. She became the head of the Orthinanos family after her father was killed in a tragic accident. Her and her family are labeled as "defects", and as such, she aims to become an Integrity Knight so that she can clear the tarnished legacy of the Orthinanos name.
- ^"Twitter / CheramiLeigh: @Zornst3in it is! I voice Asuna". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- ^Reki 2009, Chapter 2
- ^ abLoveridge, Lynzee. "Interview: Sword Art Online's Reki Kawahara". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- ^ abcLoveridge, Lynzee. "Sword Art Online Girls Explore 'Maid World' in New Lottery Campaign". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- ^Nelkin, Sarah (September 4, 2013). "Interview: Haruka Tomatsu, Sword Art Online's Asuna". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- ^ abcdLoveridge, Lynzee (October 20, 2015). "Staff Call Mulligan on Sword Art Online Character Poll After Kibao Ranks #1". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
- ^Nelkin, Sarah. "Interview: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Sword Art Online's Kirito". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
The 10 Most Powerful Sword Art Online Characters, Ranked
Sword Art Online is packed with powerful characters - heroes and villains - but who is the strongest of them all?
Sword Art Online started as a series of light novels, and from there, became a massive phenomenon; the series now includes multiple seasons of the anime, as well as a feature film. The original story of Kirito and Asuna, players trapped in a full-dive video game where death has become real, has evolved - the days of being stuck in Aincrad are gone, but the world of VRMMOs in this universe has simply expanded. From the Nine Realms of New ALfheim Online to the Augma and real-life augmented reality, this universe is packed with complex and powerful characters - and these are the strongest of all!
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From the latest season of Sword Art Online, the Administrator seems at first to be an all-powerful being within the world of Project Alicization. However, Quinella has more weaknesses than you might expect. At the start of her season, Quinella rules the virtual world with an iron fist - and so effectively that she is actually able to sleep most of the time, waking only to check on things. She understands the code of the virtual world perfectly, and is functionally immortal as a result. However, her attempts to expand her powers by transferring memory into the Cardinal becomes her downfall (plus, of course, annoying Kirito, which is a guaranteed way to end up killed).
9 Death Gun
One of many villains who have found a way to kill within the virtual world, Death Gun is the main villain of Gun Gale Online. As an incredibly powerful player and accomplished killer (who manages to take out several players over the course of this arc), Death Gun is another character who you might think would be deserving of a higher spot on this list. However, Death Gun was not a single player - but was revealed to be a group of killers operating under a single name. While still incredibly capable, this takes Death Gun from a seemingly impossible killer to simply a trio of murderers with a particularly well-laid-out plan.
Kirigaya Suguha didn’t have a huge part to play in the original Sword Art Online, but since then, she has become an incredibly capable player. In ALfheim Online, she was the one who was able to teach Kirito the ropes, and was evidently extremely good at the game (let’s be honest, being able to teach Kirito anything is something of a feat in itself!). She is also one of the five fastest Sylphs in the game, as well as one of their best fighters, having won fighting tournaments in-game. In addition, when in the real world, she is also trained in Kendo, meaning that her strengths aren’t just online.
Another character who has been able to teach Kirito a thing or two, Sinon is one of the main characters introduced in the Gun Gale Online series. She starts out as an incredibly capable player in this game, and has managed to get herself a rare weapon: a PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II. With it, she is an incredibly accurate sniper, something that carries over to when she starts to play ALfheim Online, where she is an archer - and able to shoot arrows further than should be possible.
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However, she ranks so high on this list because of her inner strength - especially in the real world. After a childhood of trauma, she started to play GGO to deal with her trauma around guns, and facing her fears makes her stronger than any online ability could.
Another one from the newest season of Sword Art Online, Alice easily becomes one of the most powerful characters in this series. The original Alice is just a young girl with a talent for the sacred arts, but after she is turned into an Integrity Knight, she becomes epically powerful - and is able to take on Eugeo and Kirito together, after they have defeated the other Integrity Knights in their path. Alice also gets extra points for strength because of her ability to overcome the loyalty of the Integrity Knights, blow out her own eye, and take on Quinella - and for the strength taken to make her final sacrifice.
Oberon, aka Sugou Nobuyuki, is the King of the Fairies, and one of the more diabolical villains of the Sword Art Online world (and there’s some stiff competition for that title!). Not only is he incredibly powerful within the original ALfheim Online (and is potentially one of the strongest players in-game), but he is one of the most powerful people outside the game, too. He is rich, greedy, and extremely smart, able to ‘kidnap’ the minds of three hundred people to use for his own experimentation. Oberon is the perfect example of someone who is powerful both in the virtual world, and in the real one.
Yui may be an AI, rather than a human, but any fan of this world will tell you that that doesn’t mean she isn’t a hugely important character in the world of Sword Art Online. Originally created as a mental health AI for Aincrad, Yui became the adoptive child of Kirito and Asuna, and has proved to be incredibly powerful - and useful - over the years.
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Her status as an AI means that she has the ability to go into any of the virtual worlds and manipulate things no others could. She is also able to go into the guts of the game to find out the real-world locations of people that others couldn’t. Her lack of a body may slow her down, but that doesn’t mean that Yui isn’t one of the most powerful characters in this universe.
Now we’re into the big three - and of course, Asuna has to be up here. One of the two main characters of this universe, Asuna is a particularly powerful player in her own right. In Aincrad, she rose through the ranks to become one of the highest ranking members of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Known as the Flash due to her incredible speed, she is one of the best fighters in the entire game. Later seasons don’t always do her justice, unfortunately, as she is kidnapped and held prisoner for most of ALfheim Online, and a lesser part of both GGO and Project Alicization. However, her abilities in the augmented real world in Ordinal Scale are incredible, and her sheer grit when it comes to finding Kirito in Project Alicization are phenomenal.
The last villain on the list is also the original big bad of Sword Art Online: Heathcliff. Real name Kayaba Akihiko, he played as Heathcliff, the leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath, and was unbeatable in-game. Of course, this wasn’t because he was such a skilled player, but because he was secretly the creator of the entire thing. He designed NerveGear, the Cardinal System, and the Seed, and was the orchestrator of the entire death-game that was Aincrad. Not only is he incredibly intelligent in the real world, he is ruthless, capable, and one of the most unbeatable in-game players.
Who else could get the number one slot? From the start, Kirito has always had the advantage over everyone else in the virtual world. Originally one of the beta testers for Sword Art Online, he has moved through this universe gaining almost unlimited power, and the kind of weaponry that would make any player jealous. No matter what game he plays, he becomes ridiculously capable almost immediately… with the exception of his appearance in Ordinal Scale, where he learned that real world fighting takes a little more than virtual battles do! However, overall, there can be no denying it - Kirito has the anime-protagonist power of being essentially unbeatable… but we love him for it anyway.
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NextOnce Upon A Time: Each Main Character's Most Iconic SceneAbout The Author
Rose Graceling-Moore has been writing about film, TV and comics since 2013, when she began writing for a local print magazine in Vancouver, BC. Since then, Rose has written for Horror Honeys, Moviepilot and Quirkbooks as well as Screenrant, increasingly focusing on comic books and live-action comic adaptations, as well as diversity and representation on screen. Rose also co-hosted the DC Movies Podcast, and has guested on other nerd and entertainment podcasts over the past five years. Rose’s love of comics began all the way back in the early ‘90s, when she discovered the X-Men while living in Africa (where there wasn’t a whole lot to do but read!), and since then has had an on-again, off-again love affair with not just Marvel, but DC and indie comics as well. You can follow her on Twitter: RoseMooreWrites for tweets about comics, movies, and more.
.--SAO react to the future--plus a new guest--
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