10 Reasons Why Sword Art Online Needs a Reboot (2022)

Sword Art Onlineis a strange beast of an anime. It remains one of the most popular anime series’ worldwide and has a dedicated and loyal fanbase. At the same time, it is prone to scorn and derision from the anime critic community. In an interesting twist on modern fandoms, both the fans and critics agree that its first arc -Aincrad – is still the show’s best 3 seasons in.

That said, neither side of the fence are wrong. You see, Aincrad represented the dramatic and thematic potential ofSAO. An anime centering on thousands of players trapped in an MMO – and who die in real life when they die in the game? The very concept lays solid ground for effective and tragic storytelling. Aincrad is the most emotionally-fueled Sword Art Online story arc for this reason and even during it, it doesn’t achieve what it could’ve been.

Given that, here are 10 reasons the whole Sword Art Online anime series (not just the SAO Progressivemovies!) should get a reboot, putting our heroes back in the Aincrad arc once again. Without further ado…Link Start!

10) Everything That Came After Aincrad Sucked

There aren’t many TV shows you can name where the first season is considered its best. Sure, it happens– but often you’ll find that TV shows start flawed before getting better later on. I consider My Hero Academiaa good example of this in practice – its second season tops the first by a mile.

The hilarious thing about Sword Art Online is that even its most ardent fans agree the first arc is its best. What comes after the first 14 episodes ranges from bad to merely decent. Time and again, the show struggles to find the quality it had with its compelling initial premise. If there is ever a good reason to reboot, this is it.

9) Why Did Kayaba Create SAO?

Kayaba’s motivation to trap 10,000 players in a virtual MMO is important. After all, it tells us whyAincrad exists andwhyhe would go to such great lengths. That is, in theory. In reality, however, the anime doesn’t give satisfying answers to these questions. Even when Kirito is questioned by the government about Kayaba’s reasoning in Extra Edition, his conversation partner is dumbfounded (“To create a world of my own design? Is that all he said?”).

(Video) The SAO Progressive Movie Is Surprisingly FANTASTIC

To be fair to the series, the Extra Edition ignores the end of the Aincrad arc where Kayaba admits building a castle in the sky was his childhood dream. Admittedly, thisdoesmake Kayaba a tad more sympathetic, but so much more can be done with this. For starters, why not explore Kayba’s mental state (a sane person wouldnottrap thousands of players in a virtual world, after all). Why not further explore the key moments in his life that led to his decision? Alas, Kayaba just gives this brief explanation and disappears.

8) Make Aincrad the Point of the Series

We can suspend our disbelief re: Aincrad because it’s an unexpected situation caused partly by new technology. However, after the arc finishes, the series encourages us to believe VRMMOs would continue to thrive despite SAO‘s nightmarish scenario. Sorry, but this is ridiculous – Sword Art Online would prove a PR nightmare for VRMMOs in general and they’d be off the market before you could say ‘Link Start!’

However, by making Aincrad the sole focus of the entire series, SAO can avoid this. Instead of making Aincrad an arc, make it thesettingwhere the arcs take place. Don’t just skip two years and sweep it under the rug – follow the trials, tribulations, and tragedy endured during the whole two-year time span. There is so much fertile ground for powerful, emotional, and thought-provoking storytelling.

7) Flesh Out the One-Off Characters

Aincrad is SAO‘s best arc, but it sure had a big problem with one-off characters. The deaths of Diavlo and Sachi were sad, but more time could’ve been spent fleshing them out beforehand. Upon re-examination, these characters feel wooden and cliche, and much more could’ve been done to make them more lovable and, therefore, make their deaths more impactful.

Now, I’m aware that theSAO Progressive novels do this (the information broker Argo being an example), but we need to see this rebooted in anime form. What causes these characters to continue despite the trials ahead? Who exactlyare Thinker and Yulier? Why should we care about them? The Sword Art Onlineanime doesn’t give us a reason why, but maybe a reboot can.

6) Go Deeper Into SAO, the Game

(Video) Is SAO Alicization A REBOOT? A SAO PREQUEL? | Sword Art Online Alicization

The problem with the Aincrad arc (and indeed, all of the arcs that follow) is that it leaves much unexplained. For example, how is Kirito able to return from the dead to kill Kayaba in the final battle? Why didn’t Kirito log everyone out via the GM console while saving Yui?

While I’m aware some of the series’ WTF moments are explained in the light novels, viewers shouldn’t need to read them (or consult a wiki) to work out what’s going on in an anime. By rebooting the Sword Art Online series back to Aincrad, the writers can expand on these confusing moments (well, in regards to Yui, maybe they can omit her, period).

5) Fix Asuna

Asuna is one of the most likable characters in the series. It’s surely for this reason that she is has a bigger role inSAO Progressive. What makes her a novelty in the Aincrad arc is that she undergoes a huge amount of development – she goes from a non-gamer to a fully-accomplished swordswoman.

The great thing about this is that it’s partly fixed already in the SAO Progressive novels. Indeed, we can see this in the latest movie, Aria of a Starless Night. But come on now – this kind of character expansion is better suited to an episodic format as opposed to the occasional hour-and-30-minute film. Seeing her struggles to adapt to the game as a noobie play out week-to-week would improve upon being glazed over in movies.

4) Fix Kirito

Look, it’s evident that Reki Kawahara isn’t the best when it comes to writing three-dimensional characters. In a 2013 SakuraCon interview, Kawahara claims he doesn’t “tend to put [himself] into [his] characters”. He would later admit in a 2017 Inquisitir interview that he doesn’t “make a character, setting, or anything” before he starts writing.

The above implies that Kawahara doesn’t put much thought into his characters. This is clearly shown with Kirito, who is a perfect swordsman who effortlessly wins the affections of every female character he encounters. If that wasn’t bad enough, he has incredible hacking abilities and masters every game he plays (even outshining those who’ve played it longer than he i.e. Sinon in GGO). A reboot of Aincrad would allow the SAO writers to tweak Kirito to make him more relatable and human as opposed to a power fantasy.

(Video) SAO Progressive Anime CONFIRMED! What is SAO Progressive? | SAO Reboot Coming

3) Make It Longer

SAO‘s Aincrad arc is only 14 episodes long. However, the reason is somewhat understandable. Author Reki Kawahara originally wrote it for a short story competition – but ended up exceeding the page limit. This motivated Kawahara to publish his work as a light novel instead and thus, he expanded the concept to fit the demands of the medium. Alas, SAO still resulted in a rushed Aincrad arc with the original two-year time-skip intact.

Look, two years is a long time. And Aincrad is the series’ most tense and emotional arc. There’s so much more Kawahara could do with the setting. What exactly happened during those two years? An SAOreboot has the potential to take its time and explore that.

2) Revisit its Themes of Mental Health

Aincrad is SAO‘s best arc by far not just because of the death-game concept. Rather, it’s one of the few arcs to explore real-life issues despite its fantastical virtual world setting. This is unfortunately only touched upon in Episode Three when Kirito finds a suicidal Sachi under a bridge in town. Sachi makes it clear she’s depressed and implies she’s not strong enough to survive the game.

By rebooting the series, the writers have the opportunity to flesh out the mental health issues explored inSAO. Getting trapped in a virtual death game is bound to affect you on a psychological level. How does this affect the characters and their relationships with each other? If SAO Progressive can expand this, then so can an anime reboot.

1) The Underlying Tension

Whether you love or hate the Aincrad arc, there is one thing you must admit. The basic premise – if you die in the game, you die for real –didprovide some underlying tension in the series that is noticeably absent from later arcs. Episodes two and three do a good job of driving home the serious stakes of SAOthrough the deaths of Diavel and Sachi.

(Video) Sword Art Online Has Finally Reached Its Peak

By revisiting the Aincrad arc, the writers have an opportunity to recapture these high stakes. The truth is, the tension and danger of Aincrad haven’t been successfully recreated since. By returning to the beginning, the Powers-That-Be can regain the tension that makes a series binge-worthy.

Alas, those are my thoughts. Do you think that Sword ArtOnline needs a reboot back to Aincrad – and are you going to watch SAO Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night? Be sure to let us know!

Tags: SAOAnimeSwordArtOnline


Is Sword Art Online getting a reboot? ›

Sword Art Online already has a reboot, well a soft reboot anyway. It's called Sword Art Online: Progressive. It's intended to fill a lot of the gaps that were present in the light novels and anime by moving the players floor by floor. Why is Sword Art Online so bad?

Why were Kirito's stats reset? ›

Kirito said to Leafa, on their way to New Aincrad, that he had reset all of his stats to clear all of New Aincrad. I think he did that so it would actually be a challenge, because with those stats, he could probably solo the first few bosses; or so he wouldn't be a "beater" anymore.

Is SAO set in 2022? ›

Plot. In 2022, a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO) will be 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.

Can they feel pain in SAO? ›

They do not feel pain in any of the SEED games in the main series. The only time pain is mentioned in a SEED game is in Alternative, which is contrary to how being hit is described in the main series in GGO. In addition to Grimnas' post, the anime also greatly embellishes their reaction to getting hit.

How many SAO movies will there be? ›

2013's Sword Art Online: Extra Edition, 2017's Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, and 2021's Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night. There's also a sequel to the Progressive movie slated to be released later in 2022, called Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk.

Will there be another SAO game? ›

Sword Art Online: Last Recollection announced for PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Due out in 2023. Bandai Namco has announced action RPG Sword Art Online: Last Recollection for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam). It will launch in 2023.

Why did Kirito erase 200 years? ›

The 200 years they spent in Underworld were attributed to Fluctlight's technology effect; time acceleration. After Kirito and Asuna leave the Underworld after 200 years, they decide to remove their memories of the VR world.

Who cut off Kirito's arm? ›

Kirito infamously lost his hand in the battle against Kuradeel. So how did he manage to get it back? Sword Art Online's first season found Kuradeel attacking Asuna. In defending her, leading man Kirito's hand gets sliced off by Kuradeel's blade during the confrontation.

What is Kirito's level? ›

In the article for Kirito it states his level at the end of SAO is 96.

How old is Kirito? ›

10/10 Kazuto Kirigaya / Kirito (14 - 17)

In the virtual reality of Sword Art Online, he'd develop many names, from the Black Swordsman to the Star King. Kazuto is 14 at the start of the Aincrad Arc, 16 towards its end, and 17 throughout the Phantom Bullet Arc and Alicization Arc.

Is SAO going to be a real game? ›

Sword Art Online: The Beginning is a 20 minute VR marketing demo. It is a neat marketing stunt for both IBM Watson and the Sword Art Online anime/manga/movie. It is not a game or an MMO, or anything that has legs beyond being a promotional vehicle.

Will SAO get a 5th season? ›

Recently, Netflix issued a decree that the 5th season will be released on November 6, 2022 after it acquires all of the film's copyrights. The official Twitter handle of Sword Art Season 5 also announced the release date on Twitter. The much-anticipated season 5 will thus premiere on 6th November in Asia/Tokyo time.

Who is the strongest SAO? ›

1) Kazuto Kirigaya: Star King Kirito

Kazuto Kirigaya is the main character of Sword Art Online and one of the most well-known anime protagonists. Ever since the beginning of Sword Art Online's Aincrad Arc, he has been touted as one of the strongest swordsmen in the series.

Does asuna get assaulted? ›

After Kirito voiced his protest he used his own sword to stab him and turned the pain absorber down so Kirito and Asuna experienced real pain. Oberon then sexually assaulted Asuna in front of Kirito by removing her robes, licking her tears and nearly raping her.

How many survive in SAO? ›

The players below are one of the 6,147 survivors of the deadly VRMMORPG «Sword Art Online». All of them were logged out from the game on November 7th 2024, after the game was cleared by Kirito defeating Heathcliff on the 75th Floor.

Will SAO continue after War of the underworld? ›

Since the main light novel series is still ongoing, the logical continuation for the next SAO anime series is certainly the next arc after the War of Underworld, called Unital Ring. Reki Kawahara said that Unital Ring will be the last arc for SAO.

Is SAO will continue? ›

SWORD ART ONLINE LAST RECOLLECTION: the famous game series will be back in 2023 | Bandai Namco Europe.

What happened to Mito Sword Art Online? ›

On November 6, 2022, Misumi became one of the 10,000 players trapped in the public release version «Sword Art Online» and temporarily formed a party with Asuna, until an accident in the field led her to believe that the latter had been killed by monsters.

Did SAO win any awards? ›

Aside from winning the AOTS title, SAO also won Favorite Action or Adventure, and the Favorite Ending Theme Song Award for LiSA's song, “unlasting”.

Is there a SAO mobile game? ›

In celebration of the iconic anime series Sword Art Online's 10th anniversary, Bandai Namco has announced their next upcoming mobile game to be Sword Art Online Variant Showdown! This game is set to have a simultaneous worldwide release in 2022 on all mobile devices.

Who is Kirito dating? ›

Asuna is Kirito's partner and love interest. They first met after being trapped in SAO for a month and formed a party to defeat the 1st Floor Boss.

Are there 2 Kirito's? ›

To put it simply, the Kirito we saw wake up from the STL is the real Kirito (its physically impossible for him to be the copy they can't clone his real body....) and the Kirito that we saw speaking on the monitor to Higa in his bedroom was the copy.

Who is Star King Kirito? ›

It's the final form of Kirito and the STRONGEST... Its name "star king" starts from Kirito absorbs all of the stars in the sky to his body and with human empire's people help. He beats vector and become the strongest person in UW.

Who was Kirito's best friend? ›

Eugeo became Kirito's best friend and most loyal companion throughout his time in Underworld.

Is Kirito's sister his cousin? ›

Suguha Kirigaya, also known as Sugu, is Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya's "sister" in the real world; she is in actuality his cousin, as her mother had been raising her sister's child from a young age, though neither Suguha nor Kirito knew about this until later.

What is Kirito's main sword? ›

The Elucidator is Kirito's Primary Sword throughout the game. He was awarded the sword as a boss-drop, after he defeated one of the bosses in the game.

What is Kirito weakness? ›

whats his weakness? Answer: bugs. in chapter 13 after Kirito and Eugeo have recently defeated either Deusolbert or Fanatio they come across some bugs.

Who is the level 100 boss in SAO? ›

Anime. An Incarnation of the Radius (アン・インカーネイション・オブ・ザ・ラディウス, An Inkāneishon Obu za Radiusu?) was a monster developed by Argus to be the boss of the 100th Floor of Aincrad in the official version of Sword Art Online (SAO).

What is Kirito's armor called? ›

The Blackwyrm Coat (ブラックウィルム・コート, Burakku Uirumu Kōto?) is a player-made black leather coat, tailored from black dragon leather, a high grade raw material, by Aincrad's best player seamstress, Ashley, that Kirito wore in the final months of Sword Art Online.

Is SAO a 12 year old? ›

Its a great show I recommend it for ages 11+.

How old is Kirito 2024? ›

The game is clreared on 7th of November 2024, so Kirito is 16 years old at the end of Aincrad arc.

Is Kirito female? ›

Sinon eventually discovered Kirito was in fact not a girl while in a changing room, and was appalled and frustrated that he took advantage of the mistake. Despite the initial upset, Sinon still entered a tournament with Kirito.

Is ALfheim online a real game? ›

ALfheim Online (アルヴヘイム・オンライン aruvuheimu onrain) is a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (VRMMORPG) in the Sword Art Online series released a year after SAO had been beaten. Compatible with all FullDive systems, and allowed transferring player characters from SAO.

What does Vrmmo stand for? ›

A VRMMO (short for Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online) game is a virtual reality multiplayer video game capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played mostly on the Internet, and usually feature at least one persistent world.

Is NerveGear real? ›

No, the Nerve Gear cannot be possible at the moment. However, in Japan, they are creating the Nerve Gear and is to be released in May 2022 told by the creator, Kayaba Akihiko.

Will there be a season 7 of SAO? ›

The seventh and final season of the American television drama series Sons of Anarchy premiered on September 9, 2014, and concluded on December 9, 2014, after 13 episodes aired on cable network FX.
Sons of Anarchy (season 7)
Sons of Anarchy
Original networkFX
Original releaseSeptember 9 – December 9, 2014
Season chronology
List of episodes
7 more rows

Is there a SAO movie? ›

Sword Art Online

What is SAO season 4 called? ›

Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld (2019 - 2020)

Who defeated Kirito? ›

So Kirito Loses to Yuuki TWICE without using his dual sword skill, or excaliber.

Who is stronger Kirito or? ›

4/10 Stronger: Kyaba Akihiko

He and Kirito are both unique skill wielders, but the latter being the game master has the undeniable edge when it comes to battle. Even after turning off his AI assist, he still proved to be way too strong and Kirito towards the end needed a massive plot armor to save his own life.

Who is better Kirito or Yuuki? ›

Kirirto is the strongest character in SAO hands down, THEN Yuuki, then Akihiko Kayaba.

Who is the guy who wants to marry Asuna? ›

Asuna is Sugou's fiancé, but only against her will. While the SAO players were getting logged out, Sugou prevented some from waking up, instead redirecting them to ALO, Asuna included. He then bought her from her father and planned to marry her, holding her hostage in ALO until she agreed to do so.

Does Asuna get jealous? ›

As for why Asuna doesn't get jealous, it's because she knows that he is loyal only to her and their mutual female friends respect hers and Kirito's feelings, which is why they don't interfere in their relationship.

Who is the husband of Asuna? ›

Asuna and Kirito quickly began their leave of absence from the Knights of the Blood Oath and once buying their new home, they get married and begin to enjoy their honeymoon.

Is there blood in SAO? ›

Sword Art Online takes place in the future within a virtual reality video game. There is no blood shown when people are stabbed or slashed at, the only thing that shows up is some red pixels that represent where a player was cut, or fatally injured.

Is there a max level in SAO? ›

Level 999 is the absolute maximum in this game.

Did SAO have a level cap? ›

Level System

SAO did not have a level cap at the time it was cleared, though had the game continued and a cap was needed, the Cardinal System would have generated one. As for the near-unlimited number of Skills within SAO, the skills have to be utilized in order to be leveled up.

Is Sao coming back in 2022? ›

The fans have been expecting a release date for a long time. Recently, Netflix issued a decree that the 5th season will be released on November 6, 2022 after it acquires all of the film's copyrights. The official Twitter handle of Sword Art Season 5 also announced the release date on Twitter.

Is Sao officially over? ›

There is literally no form of SAO finished. Every single series that has been created by Reki Kawahara is not finished. Nor is the anime.

Is Sword Art Online officially over? ›

Is Sword Art Online finished? Nope. It isn't. After Alicization there is going to be another arc called the Unital Ring.

Is Sword Art Online coming to an end? ›

The main storyline of Sword Art Online is indeed coming to an end soon. Originally, the author, Reki Kawahara planned for Alicization to mark the ending of the main storyline, however he was convinced to continue for one last arc, Unital Ring.

How old is kirito? ›

10/10 Kazuto Kirigaya / Kirito (14 - 17)

In the virtual reality of Sword Art Online, he'd develop many names, from the Black Swordsman to the Star King. Kazuto is 14 at the start of the Aincrad Arc, 16 towards its end, and 17 throughout the Phantom Bullet Arc and Alicization Arc.

What year did SAO take place? ›

The story begins in year 2022, a new video game called Sword Art Online (SAO for short) has just been released. The latest technology (the NerveGear) allows a player to be "literally in the game". Beta tester and solo player Kirito, re-enters this game.

What arc is after Alicization? ›

After the initial Alicization arc, there is the War of the Underworld arc, which takes up season 4. If you're talking about the books, after Alicization, there is the Moon Cradle arc and finally the current Unital Ring arc, which is said to be the last arc of the main series.

Will there be another season of Sword Art Online after Alicization war of underworld? ›

Following the conclusion of 'Alicization' author Reki Kawahara then revealed that he would be writing “one more big arc” called 'Sword Art Online: Unital Ring'. This new story arc, Unital Ring, is a direct sequel to the Alicization narrative and will most likely be the focus for the fourth season.

Is SAO 2022 finished? ›

The ending of SAO: Alicization – WoU teased the “Inter-Intelligence War”. However, there is still no information about this in the available light novel volumes. What we know so far is that the story is still ongoing, with volume 26 as the latest.

How does SAO end? ›

After defeating Gabriel, Kirito and Asuna had made the ultimate decision to spend 200 years of their virtual lives together before being reunited in the real world. As we learn, the two of them eventually became the King and Queen of it.

Will SAO Unital Ring be animated? ›

2024, sadly, is a realistic release date for the Unital Ring anime. With a split-cour anime schedule, however, this release could be pushed forwards. If Unital Ring is released in parts, it could start before that tentative 2024 date above.

Will there be Sword Art Online 3? ›

Sword Art Online: Alicization is the third season of the anime series adapted from the light novel series Sword Art Online, written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. It is animated by A-1 Pictures and directed by Manabu Ono.

Is Unital Ring the last arc? ›

So for all intents and purposes, that means as things stand, Unital Ring is indeed the final arc.


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