List of Sword Art Online episodes

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Sword Art Online
Cover of the first DVD volume released by Aniplex of America on August 13, 2013.
Country of origin Japan
No. of episodes 25
Broadcast
Original channel Tokyo MX
Original run July 7, 2012 (2012-07-07) – December 22, 2012 (2012-12-22)
Season chronology

Sword Art Online is a science fantasy anime series adapted from the light novel series of the same title written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec. It was produced by A-1 Pictures and the SAO Project, and directed by Tomohiko Itō.[1] The story of the first season follows the adventures of Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya, a beta tester for the titular Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (VRMMORPG) where it takes place on the game's first day out of the beta testing period. The players discover that they cannot log out where the creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba issues them an ultimatum: if they die in the game, so will their bodies in the real world, and if they wish to be freed from the game, they must reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss. As the players try to face their new deadly predicament, two skilled swordsmen, Kirito and Asuna Yuuki, are determined to win.[2][3] Three months after the death game, Kazuto discovers that Asuna is being held captive in "ALfheim Online (ALO)", a spiritual successor to SAO, where the players assume the roles of fairies. Kazuto enters the game with the help of some new allies to rescue her.[4]

The series premiered from July 7 to December 22, 2012, on Tokyo Metropolitan Television, spanning 25 episodes. It was later broadcast by 12 other stations.[5][6] Eventually, Aniplex of America announced that the English version will be airing on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting from July 27, 2013.[7][8] The first DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes were released on October 24, 2012, in Japan,[9] with all nine volumes containing a bonus Sword Art Offline (ソードアート・オフライン Sōdo Āto Ofurain?) episode, and concluded on June 26, 2013.[10][11] An English dubbed version was released in North America on August 13, 2013, with the series licensed by Aniplex of America.[12] In Australasia, Madman Entertainment distributed the four volumes in DVD and Blu-ray format.[13] In Europe, Manga Entertainment first released volume one on December 16, 2013.[14][15] A special episode of the anime titled Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (ソードアート・オンライン Extra Edition Sōdo Āto Onrain Ekisutora Edikushon?) was globally released on December 31, 2013.[16] A second season, Sword Art Online II, was later confirmed, to begin in July 2014.[17]

Five pieces of theme music were used for the series: two opening themes and three ending themes. For the first 14 episodes, the opening theme song is "Crossing Field" performed by LiSA,[18] and the ending theme is "Yume Sekai" (ユメセカイ?, lit. "Dream World") performed by Haruka Tomatsu.[19] The second opening theme, used from episode 15 onwards, is "Innocence" performed by Eir Aoi.[20] While its second ending theme, used from episodes 15 through 24, is "Overfly" sang by Luna Haruna.[21] The third ending theme used for the final episode, is "Crossing Field". The extra edition's main theme is "Niji no Oto" (虹の音 Sound of the Rainbow?) by Eir Aoi.[22]

Episode list[edit]

No. Official English title[5]
Original Japanese title
Director Writer Original airdate[5] English airdate Refs.
1 "The World of Swords"
"Ken no Sekai" (剣の世界) 
Tomohiko Itō Yukie Sugawara
& Yukito Kizawa
July 7, 2012 July 27, 2013[23] [24]
A virtual reality gaming system known as the "Nerve Gear" is finally released to the public alongside the world's first virtual reality game called "Sword Art Online" (SAO). Kirito, one of the game's beta-testers, logs-in to Aincrad, the world of SAO and quickly befriends novice player Klein, to whom he teaches the basics of the game. After a few hours, Kirito and Klein discover that they cannot log-out. Akihiko Kayaba, the game's creator, announces to the players that he intentionally removed the log-out option. He also added that the only way to escape is to beat and clear all 100 floors of Aincrad. If they die in the game, their real bodies will perish, as well. 
2 "Beater"
"Bītā" (ビーター) 
Yoshiyuki Fujiwara Munemasa Nakamoto July 14, 2012 August 3, 2013[23] [25]
One month since the start of the death game, 2,000 players have already died, and the first floor has yet to be cleared. Kirito attends a meeting organized by fellow beta-tester Diabel, who announces to the attendants that his party, a group of characters adventuring together in a role-playing game, has found Illfang the Kobold Lord, the boss or computer-controlled opponent of the first floor. Parties are formed, and Kirito teams up with a girl named Asuna. The next day, Diabel's raid group arrives at the boss' room and battles Illfang and his minions. When Illfang's health becomes low, Diabel goes for the finishing attack. Kirito tries to warn him, but Illfang strikes down first. As he dies, Diabel begs Kirito to defeat the boss and save the players. Though they do manage to slay the boss, Kirito is accused of being a "beater"—a combination of a "beta-tester" and "cheater"—for Diabel's death. 
3 "The Red-Nosed Reindeer"
"Akahana no Tonakai" (赤鼻のトナカイ) 
Yuuki Itoh Yukie Sugawara July 21, 2012 August 10, 2013[23] [26]
After saving the Moonlit Black Cats guild from a monster attack, their leader, Keita, thanks Kirito and asks him to join their guild, an organized group of players that regularly play together. Kirito accepts the invitation, but hides the fact that his level is twice the average level of the guild. Kirito bonds with his new friends, especially Sachi, who confides in Kirito that she is afraid to die. Kirito assures her that he will protect her, and they will be free one day. On June 12, 2023, while Keita goes to buy a house for the guild, the other Black Cats members decide to earn some money by going to the upper floor dungeons. However, they become trapped in a room with higher-level monsters. Unable to save them, Kirito watches as the Black Cats are killed, including Sachi. When Keita learns of his guild's demise, and Kirito's player level, he jumps to his death. Eventually, Kirito receives a final message from Sachi. 
4 "The Black Swordsman"
"Kuro no Kenshi" (黒の剣士) 
Shinya Watada Yoshikazu Mukai July 28, 2012 August 17, 2013[23] [27]
A beast tamer named Silica quits a party after arguing with their leader, Rosalia. Later, Silica is ambushed by a group of monsters while making her way alone through the forest, and her dragon familiar, Pina, is killed while trying to protect her. Kirito arrives and saves Silica. He tells her of an item at the Hill of Memories on the 47th floor, which she can revive her familiar within three days of its death, and offers to accompany her there. As they spend time together, Kirito warns Silica of "orange players", players who commit crimes, and "red players", players who kill other players. When they finally retrieve the item, the Pneuma Flower, they are confronted by Rosalia and her men, who are members of Titan's Hand, an orange-player guild, and are after the flower. Kirito then reveals that his true motivations for escorting Silica was to draw Rosalia out and arrest her. The guild realizes Kirito is the infamous Beater, "The Black Swordsman", and are effortlessly outmatched and detained. After they retrieve the flower, Silica revives Pina. 
5 "A Crime Within the Walls"
"Kennai Jiken" (圏内事件) 
Yasuyuki Fuse Yukito Kizawa August 4, 2012 August 24, 2013[23] [28]
During a meeting between guilds on the 56th floor, Asuna, who has become Vice Commander of Knights of the Blood Oath, the most powerful guild in SAO, proposes a plan to lure a boss they are fighting into a village. However, Kirito opposes the plan, as the non-player character villagers will be killed. A month later, on the 59th floor, Asuna finds Kirito taking a nap, and chastises him for being lazy. Kirito persuades her to relax. To repay him for guarding her while she was asleep, Asuna offers to buy dinner for him. However, their meal is interrupted by a scream. They rush out of the restaurant to find a player, Kains, hanging outside a church, impaled with a spear. He dies immediately after. Fearing there is an unknown player versus player skill, they began to investigate the murder. Later, Yolko, Kains' girlfriend mentions someone may have been spotted behind Kains as he was impaled. After informing Yolko of their discovery, she explains to them how she and Kains are related to Grimrock. But during her explanation, Yolko is abruptly killed by a dagger thrown from the window. 
6 "Illusionary Avenger"
"Maboroshi no Fukushū-sha" (幻の復讐者) 
Kazuma Satō Yukito Kizawa August 11, 2012 September 7, 2013[23] [29]
Kirito and Asuna continue to investigate the murder of Kains and Yolko, who were members of a disbanded guild called Golden Apple. Kirito wonders how it is possible to kill someone in a safe zone. Schmit, another former member of Golden Apple, declares that the killer is the ghost of Griselda, their deceased leader. After watching a dropped sandwich vanish, Kirito deduces how Yolko and Kains "died", and who murdered Griselda. He explains to Asuna that Yolko and Kains have faked their deaths by using a teleport crystal when their armor broke from losing durability, which made them appear to have died. Yolko and Kains confront Schmit at Griselda's grave to investigate the identity of Griselda's killer. After Schmit explains that he had only followed instructions given to him and had not expected Griselda's death, the three are surrounded by members of a notorious crime guild, Laughing Coffin, who have come to kill them. Yolko, Kains and Schmit are rescued by the timely arrival of Kirito, who intimidates the Laughing Coffin into retreating. 
7 "The Temperature of the Heart"
"Kokoro no Ondo" (心の温度) 
Makoto Hoshino Yoshikazu Mukai August 18, 2012 September 14, 2013[23] [30]
At the 48th floor, Asuna visits her friend, Lisbeth in her blacksmith shop before going off adventuring. The next day, Kirito arrives at Liz's shop in search of a custom-made sword to buy. Much to Liz's shock, Kirito's sword, Elucidator, irreparably breaks her strongest sword. Angry and with her pride hurt, Liz persuades Kirito to let her accompany him to the Western Mountain on the 55th floor to get a rare mineral from a dragon that eats crystals, so that she can use the mineral to make a stronger sword. When they arrive at the Western Mountain, Kirito tells Liz to hide when he fights the dragon. However, she ignores his advice and emerges from hiding halfway through the battle. The dragon blasts Liz into a deep pit with Kirito jumping in to save her. The next morning, Kirito discovers that the mineral they are seeking, a Crystallite Ingot, is under the snow as the hole is the dragon's nest. The dragon returns and Kirito grabs Liz with him as he stabs the dragon's back, forcing it to carry them out. Now safe with the mineral, Liz creates a new sword, Dark Repulsor, for Kirito and denies the payment. She instead asks Kirito to make her Kirito's exclusive blacksmith and is about to confess her feelings to him, when a worried Asuna suddenly arrives. 
8 "The Sword Dance of White and Black"
"Kuro to Shiro no Kenbu" (黒と白の剣舞) 
Tatsumi Fujii Shuji Iriyama August 25, 2012 September 21, 2013[23] [31]
After adventuring on the 74th floor, Kirito finds a rare S-class animal with top grade meat. Since he cannot cook well, Kirito decides to sell it to Agil, but he changes his mind when Asuna arrives and tells them that she has mastered her cooking skills. Kirito asks her to cook the meat in exchange for a share of the meal. However, Kuradeel, Asuna's escort sent by the Knights of the Blood Oath, is against Asuna inviting Kirito to her home, as he is a "Beater", but Asuna ignores him. Over the meal, Asuna and Kirito agree to team up to explore the dungeons in the 74th floor, and meet the following day. Eventually, Kuradeel appears and challenges Kirito to a duel, promising to leave them alone if Kirito wins. Kirito defeats Kuradeel by breaking his sword but Kuradeel refuses to give up, until Asuna relieves him of his duties and orders him to return to the Knights of the Blood Oath headquarters. 
9 "The Blue-Eyed Demon"
"Seigan no Akuma" (青眼の悪魔) 
Koichi Kikuta Munemasa Nakamoto
& Naoki Shōji
September 1, 2012 September 28, 2013[23] [32]
Kirito teams with Asuna as they clear the dungeon and discover the boss' room on the 74th floor. They flee from the room to another part of the dungeon, where they encounter Klein and his guild. The Aincrad Liberation Force appear, visibly exhausted from exploring the floor. As the soldiers rest, their leader Corbatz demands Kirito give them the map he made of the floor. Despite Asuna and Klein's protests, Kirito complies with his request. Not wanting to see more people die, they start to charge at the boss to protect the survivors. Kirito is forced to use his unique Dual Blades skill to slay the boss. Shortly after the battle, Kirito's unique skill becomes the talk of Aincrad, which attracts the attention of Heathcliff, the Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. He then challenges Kirito to a duel. If Kirito wins, Asuna is allowed to leave the guild and join his side, but if he loses, Kirito must join the Knights of the Blood Oath. Kirito agrees to the terms and accepts Heathcliff's challenge. 
10 "Crimson Killing Intent"
"Kurenai no Satsui" (紅の殺意) 
Hideya Takahashi Yukito Kizawa September 8, 2012 October 5, 2013[23] [33]
The duel, which is a battle of two players between Kirito and Heathcliff is held at an arena where a large crowd is gathered. Asuna warns Kirito to be careful about fighting Heathcliff, as he has also a unique skill called Divine Blade, which grants him maximum strength and defense. Just as Kirito is about to deal the winning strike, Heathcliff mysteriously manages to dodge it and defeats Kirito. Now a member of the Knights of the Blood Oath, Kirito is questioned by Asuna about the reason for his strong aversion to joining guilds. After he confides in her about what happened to his old guild, Asuna comforts Kirito and says she will protect him. Later, Kirito is asked by a fellow member, Godfree to follow him and a seemingly remorseful Kuradeel to the 55th floor dungeons for a skill assessment. As they stop for a break, Kirito notices too late that the water he and Godfrey drank causes a paralyzing effect. Kuradeel reveals that he is a member of the Laughing Coffin and he intends to kill both Godfree and Kirito. However, the latter is saved by the arrival of Asuna, who has tracked them on her map. 
11 "The Girl of Morning Dew"
"Asatsuyu no Shōjo" (朝露の少女) 
Pyeon-Gang Ho Yukie Sugawara September 15, 2012 October 12, 2013[23] [34]
After an incident caused by Kuradeel, Kirito and Asuna's friendship has grown stronger and they marry in-game. Asuna is granted a temporary leave from her guild. They go on a vacation and stay at their new home in a village on the 22nd floor. The couple later find a lost girl in the forest and see her suddenly collapse. As they approach the unconscious girl, they discover that she does not have a cursor above her, suggesting a glitch meaning a software error. They take the girl to their home and she wakes up the following day. However, upon questioning from Asuna and Kirito, the girl is able to remember her name, Yui. Believing that she became separated from her family, Kirito and Asuna decide to head to the Town of Beginnings on the first floor to find Yui's relatives. Instead, they find a young woman named Sasha and the children she's taking care of being extorted by the Army for taxes. Asuna attacks their leader, scaring him and the rest of the Army soldiers away. 
12 "Yui's Heart"
"Yui no Kokoro" (ユイの心) 
Tamaki Nakatsu Yukie Sugawara September 22, 2012 October 19, 2013[23] [35]
Kirito, Asuna, and Yui are resting at the church, where Sasha takes care of the younger children, until Yulier, second-in-command from the Army, suddenly arrives. Yulier explains that the Army under their leader, Thinker, had good intentions of helping players but as the Army grew bigger, they began abusing their powers. Thinker was going to expel Kibaou over the Gleam Eyes incident, but the latter trapped him in a secret dungeon on the first floor. Yulier asks Kirito and Asuna for help in the rescue. They arrive at Thinker's location in the dungeon, and are attacked by a boss called the "Fatal Scythe". As the boss is about to strike down Kirito, Yui jumps in between them. The boss attacks, but is unable to damage her because she is an "Immortal Object" or artificial intelligence, a simulation of human-like intelligence and behaviors. Despite the revelation, Asuna and Kirito still accept Yui as their "daughter", but Yui bids them farewell when she realizes that she is going to be deleted for her interference in the game. Refusing to accept her deletion, Kirito uses the Gamemaster console Yui left behind to save Yui's data by turning her into a game item
13 "Edge of Hell's Abyss"
"Naraku no Fuchi" (奈落の淵) 
Takahiro Shikama Yoshikazu Mukai September 29, 2012 October 26, 2013[23] [36]
While fishing near a lake, Kirito encounters Nishida, an avid fisherman. He remarks that, despite honing his fisherman skills, he is unable to cook delicious dishes with what he catches. Kirito invites him to his home for Asuna to cook the fish he caught for them. During their meal, Nishida mentions a huge fish he tried to catch many times before but failed, and he asks Kirito to help him. Later, Nishida manages to hook the fish and passes the rod to Kirito to pull it in. The fish is revealed to be a huge monster, which Asuna slays. Soon after, Kirito receives a message from Heathcliff. Kirito and Asuna leave the fishing place to meet up at the Knights of the Blood Oath headquarters, where they learn that a party had been trapped and killed in the 75th leveled boss' room. A team of players from several guilds, including Kirito and Asuna, is being assembled to fight the boss. 
14 "The End of the World"
"Sekai no Shūen" (世界の終焉) 
Tomohiko Itō Yukito Kizawa October 6, 2012 November 2, 2013[23] [37]
After a hard fought battle, the Knights of Blood Oath and other allies defeat the Skull Reaper, boss of the 75th floor. Kirito deduces that Heathcliff is, in fact, Akihiko Kayaba himself, when exposing him as an "Immortal Object". Akihiko paralyzes everyone except Kirito, and he offers Kirito the chance to face him in a one-on-one duel. If Kirito wins, Akihiko will log-out all the remaining players. After giving his best wishes to the others, Kirito accepts the challenge. They are both killed simultaneously and the game is declared cleared. Kirito and Asuna tell one another their real names, Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki, and embrace as the world falls apart. To his surprise, Kazuto awakens in a hospital in the real world. Despite being physically weak, he sets off in search of the real Asuna. 
15 "Return"
"Kikan" (帰還) 
Shigetaka Ikeda Munemasa Nakamoto October 13, 2012 November 9, 2013[23] [38]
Two months after the original SAO incident, Kazuto's sister, Suguha, continues to worry about him. Kazuto goes to the hospital to visit Asuna who, along with 300 other players, has yet to wake up after the SAO incident. It is there that he meets an associate of Asuna's father, Shouzou; and Nobuyuki Sugou, who works for him. Much to Kazuto's fury, Sugou tells him that he intends to be adopted into Asuna's family, while she is still in a coma, as a precursor to marriage. Later at home, Kazuto breaks down before Suguha, who tells him not to give up, despite knowing Kazuto is actually her cousin and harboring her own feelings for him. The next morning, Kazuto receives an e-mail from Andrew Gilbert Mills, Agil's real-life persona, with a screenshot of an avatar, a graphical representation resembling Asuna from another game. 
16 "Land of the Fairies"
"Yōsei-tachi no Kuni" (妖精たちの国) 
Yasuyuki Fuse Yukie Sugawara October 20, 2012 November 16, 2013[23] [39]
Kazuto visits Andrew, who explains that the screenshot he sent originated from "Alfheim Online" (ALO), a VRMMORPG where players take the role of fairies capable of flight. He explains that the figure resembling Asuna was spotted somewhere on the game's World Tree. Discovering that RECTO (where Sugou works) created the game, Kazuto is convinced that Asuna is trapped in the game. Wasting no time, Kazuto logs-in to ALO as "Kirito". He discovers that he still has the SAO in-game item containing Yui's data, which he activates to bring Yui into ALfheim as a Navigation Pixie and they reunite. Yui deduces that the game is made using a copy of SAO's servers, explaining why Kirito's statistics, a piece of data from SAO had been carried over to Kirito's ALO avatar. 
17 "Captive Queen"
"Toraware no Joō" (囚われの女王) 
Yoshiyuki Fujiwara Yoshikazu Mukai October 27, 2012 November 23, 2013[23] [40]
Leafa, a Sylph player, thanks Kirito for saving her from the attack of player-hunting Salamanders and teaches him how to fly properly. They travel to the Sylph Territory (Sylvein), where they meet one of Leafa's party members, Recon. Leafa and Kirito went to an inn and have a conversation about how he can get to the top of the World Tree. Seeing Kirito's determination to reach the top of the tree, Leafa decides to help and asks him to meet her at the inn the next day. When Leafa logs-out, it is revealed that she is actually Suguha. Meanwhile, Asuna is seen in a gigantic bird cage at the World Tree, held by the Gamemaster, Oberon the Fairy King. 
18 "To the World Tree"
"Sekaiju e" (世界樹へ) 
Takayoshi Morimiya Yukito Kizawa November 3, 2012 November 30, 2013[23] [41]
Suguha reminisces about how she started virtual reality gaming, and meets up with Recon's real-life persona, Shin'ichi Nagata. She informs him that she will be leaving their party to join Kirito. Later, she logs-in as Leafa and leads Kirito to the World Tree, which stands in the center of Alfheim. However, before their departure, a member of Leafa's party, Sigurd, is disappointed that she "betrayed" her other members. Annoyed about how they treat Kirito, Leafa announces that Kirito is her new partner. Later during their travels, Kirito and Leafa arrive at a landing point, where they take turns logging out to refresh themselves. Meanwhile, Asuna learns from Oberon that Kirito is still alive, and secretly obtains the key code for her cage's lock. 
19 "The Lugru Corridor"
"Rugurū Kairō" (ルグルー回廊) 
Pyeon-Gang Ho Shuji Iriyama November 10, 2012[42] January 4, 2014[A] [44]
While en route to the World Tree, the pair first pass through a large cave. Leafa receives a message from Recon cautioning her to take care. She and Kirito realize that they are being followed, only to be cornered by a large group of Salamander players. Kirito asks Leafa to support him with her magic while he fights the group by himself. However, he is unable to break their formation until Yui comes up with a plan to have Leafa cast some protective magic on Kirito, while he conjures a spell that temporarily transforms him into Gleam Eyes. In his new form, Kirito obliterates his enemies, but spares one whom Kirito bribes in exchange for information. The Salamander player reveals that his party was ordered to attack Kirito and Leafa by the same group which attacked them during their first encounter. 
20 "General of the Blazing Flame"
"Mōen no Shō" (猛炎の将) 
Makoto Hoshino
& Takahiro Shikama
Naoki Shōji November 17, 2012 January 11, 2014[45] [46]
To clear the Grand Quest, a task which is used to enter the World Tree, the Sylphs and the Cat Siths hold a secret meeting, only to get ambushed by a group of Salamanders. Kirito and Leafa reach the meeting place just as the Salamanders prepare to attack them. Seeing that they have no chance against them in a direct confrontation, Kirito rushes forward and addresses the Salamander General, Eugene. Kirito bluffs that he is an ambassador for the Spriggans-Undines alliance, and cautions him that to attack them would be tantamount to declaring war. Eugene does not believe him and challenges him to a duel. After learning that the now allied Sylphs and Cait Siths are going to plan an expedition to the World Tree in a couple of days, Kirito donates a large sum of money to Alicia, leader of the Cait Siths. 
21 "The Truth of Alfheim"
"Aruvuheimu no Shinjitsu" (アルヴヘイムの真実) 
Pyeon-Gang Ho Munemasa Nakamoto November 24, 2012 January 18, 2014[47] [48]
Kirito and Leafa finally reach Central Arun, the capital of Alfheim, located directly beneath the World Tree. However, a sudden announcement of an emergency shutdown for server maintenance prompts the two to find a nearby inn and log out. The next day, Suguha accompanies Kazuto to visit Asuna at the hospital. Meanwhile, in the World Tree, Asuna stumbles upon a room where experiments are being conducted with the brains of the 300 SAO players trapped in ALO. She attempts to log out of the game by using the GM console inside the room, but is captured by two of Sugou's assistants. However, she manages to snatch a key card before being thrown back into her cell. 
22 "Grand Quest"
"Gurando Kuesuto" (グランド・クエスト) 
Kazuhisa Ouno Yukito Kizawa December 1, 2012 January 25, 2014[49] [50]
Upon hearing from Yui that Asuna is at the top of the World Tree, Kirito rushes up but finds it blocked by a barrier. Desperate, Yui calls out to Asuna, who hears her cry and throws down the administrator's key card, which Kirito catches. Resolving to get to Asuna's location, Kirito bids farewell to Leafa and embarks on the Grand Quest himself. Despite his best efforts, Kirito is overwhelmed and runs out of health. Shortly afterwards, Leafa enters the dome and grabs Kirito's flame, which contains his soul, before successfully escaping to revive him. Leafa attempts to talk Kirito out of re-entering the dome alone, but he remains determined. Upon discovering one another's identities, they log out. In the real world, Kazuto approaches Suguha, who reveals in great anguish that she has fallen in love with both of his identities and she knew they were not true siblings. 
23 "Bonds"
"Kizuna" (絆) 
Shigetaka Ikeda Yoshikazu Mukai December 8, 2012 February 1, 2014[51] [52]
Kazuto thinks back to the time when he was 10 years old and learned that he was not related to Suguha, which resulted in him becoming detached from his family and increasingly engrossed with online gaming. Wanting to sort things out, Kazuto asks Suguha to meet him in ALO. As Leafa contemplates whether she should stop seeing her brother in-game, she challenges Kirito to a one-on-one duel. They both end up throwing it their swords and apologize to each other. After Kazuto explains that he is unable to say what he thinks of Suguha until Asuna is rescued, Leafa agrees to help him in his quest, dragging Recon along with her. Just as things begin to look dire, Sakuya and Alicia arrive with their armies to back them up. 
24 "Gilded Hero"
"Mekki no Yūsha" (鍍金の勇者) 
Tomohiko Itō Yukie Sugawara December 15, 2012 February 8, 2014[53] [54]
Arriving at the top of the World Tree, Kirito and Yui finally reunite with Asuna. However, they are suddenly hit by high gravity magic, which forces Yui to retreat, and they are confronted by Oberon. As Oberon reveals that his plans to control the human mind are almost complete, he chains Asuna and attempts to molest her in front of Kirito. Falling into despair, Kirito hears the voice of Akihiko, who encourages him to stand up and fight. Using Akihiko's administrative functions, Kirito removes Oberon's powers and challenges him to a fight with no pain absorption, showing him what true pain is, before destroying Oberon. After logging Asuna out to ensure her safety in the real world, Kirito meets with the remnant of Akihiko's memory, who gives him an item called "The Seed" before leaving. 
25 "The World Seed"
"Sekai no Shushi" (世界の種子) 
Tomohiko Itō Munemasa Nakamoto December 22, 2012 February 15, 2014[55] [56]
Rushing to the hospital, Kazuto is attacked by an injured Sugou with a knife in the parking area. Kazuto disarms him and, considering Sugou's actions, ultimately spares his life. Kazuto finally meets with Asuna, and they have a tearful reunion. On May 16, 2025, Kazuto and Asuna attend a special school for students who were trapped in SAO. As they have lunch, Kazuto reveals Sugou was captured by the police after their fight and his crimes were exposed by one of his employees. The 300 players that were trapped by Sugou are released, but his experiments shock the public. Later, Asuna, Kazuto, and Suguha head to Andrew's bar, along with Liz/Rika Shinozaki, Silica/Keiko Ayano, Yolko, Kains, Sasha, Yulier, Thinker, Klein/Ryōtarō Tsuboi, and his guild, where they finally have a proper celebration for clearing SAO and ALO. The World Seed is uploaded to the Internet, which revives the virtual reality gaming genre. 

Sword Art Online: Extra Edition[edit]

Sword Art Online: Extra Edition is a special anime episode which was simulcasted worldwide on December 31, 2013.[16] In Japan, it was aired on two broadcast channels: Tokyo MX and BS 11. While in other countries, the special was streamed via the Internet on Daisuki and Crunchyroll.[57] The extra edition was directed by Tomohiko Itō and screenplayed by the creator, Reki Kawahara.[58] It recounts the events of the original Sword Art Online anime, told in retrospect by the series characters and features new footage.[59][60]

The main theme song is "Niji no Oto" (虹の音 Sound of the Rainbow?) by Eir Aoi.[22] "Crossing Field" by LiSA, "Overfly" by Luna Haruna, and "Innocence" by Eir Aoi are all insert songs.

Official English title
Original Japanese title
Director Writer Original airdate English airdate
"Sword Art Online: Extra Edition"
"Sōdo Āto Onrain Ekisutora Edikushon" (ソードアート・オンライン Extra Edition) 
Tomohiko Itō Reki Kawahara December 31, 2013 TBA
Kazuto and Suguha meet Asuna, Rika, and Keiko at their high school, where the trio have agreed to teach Suguha how to swim, in preparation for a quest in ALO so that Yui can see a whale for the first time. Meanwhile, Kazuto makes his way to the counseling office, where he meets Kikuoka Seijiro—a member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. While investigating the SAO incident, Kazuto relates his experiences and previous actions in the game to Kikouka, so he can grasp Akihiko Kayaba's motives while also forcing Kazuto to reflect on his actions throughout the death game. After Kirito defeats Kayaba and gains no insight into his goal, Kazuto's story enters the ALFheim stage, rescuing Asuna and freeing all captive players with the help of his new-found friends. As Suguha eventually learns how to swim, Kazuto concludes his story by explaining the cost of power and leaves Kikouka. Later, Kirito, Asuna, Leafa, Silica, Lizbeth with Klein and Agil went to Turtle Island. They dive into the ocean and arrive at an undersea temple where they met Nerakk, a non-player character. The group begins the quest where they will retrieve a stolen pearl from the temple and return it to Nerakk. The group then found the pearl after exploring, but Asuna notices that it is an egg all along. Nerakk starts to reveal his true form that he is originally Krakken—The Abyss Lord, a very powerful monster which attacks and gives them severe damage. Just when all begins to be lost, Leviathan, the Sea King stops the Krakken and after a brief talk, the Krakken retreats. Leviathan then retrieves the egg, clearing the quest and returns the group to the surface on the back of a giant whale—their reward. 

Media release[edit]

Japanese release[edit]

Aniplex, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment Japan, distributed the episodes in nine volumes in DVD and Blu-ray format across Japan.[11][61] Eventually, the Sword Art Online: Extra Edition was released on April 23, 2014, in DVD and Blu-ray limited editions, including a bonus Sword Art Offline: Extra Edition episode.[62]

Aniplex (Japan, Region 3)[11]
Volume Episodes DVD release date Blu-ray release date
Volume 1[9] 1–2 October 24, 2012 October 24, 2012
Volume 2[63] 3–5 November 21, 2012 November 21, 2012
Volume 3[64] 6–8 December 26, 2012 December 26, 2012
Volume 4[65] 9–11 January 23, 2013 January 23, 2013
Volume 5[66] 12–14 February 27, 2013 February 27, 2013
Volume 6[67] 15–16 March 27, 2013 March 27, 2013
Volume 7[68] 17–19 April 24, 2013 April 24, 2013
Volume 8[69] 20–22 May 22, 2013 May 22, 2013
Volume 9[10] 23–25 June 26, 2013 June 26, 2013

English release[edit]

In North America, Aniplex of America released the series in four DVD and Blu-ray volumes beginning on August 13, 2013. In Australasia, Madman Entertainment released volume one in DVD and Blu-ray on December 18, 2013, and concluded with volume four on March 19, 2014. In Europe, Manga Entertainment began to release the anime on December 16, 2013.[70]

Aniplex of America (North America, Region 1)
Volume Episodes DVD Release date Blu-ray release date
Part 1 1–7 August 13, 2013[12] August 13, 2013[71]
Part 2 8–14 September 17, 2013[72] September 17, 2013[73]
Part 3 15–19 October 15, 2013[74] October 15, 2013[75]
Part 4 20–25 November 19, 2013[76] November 19, 2013[77]
Manga Entertainment (Europe, Region 2)
Volume Episodes DVD Release date Blu-ray release date
Part 1 1–7 December 16, 2013[14] December 16, 2013[15]
Part 2 8–14 January 27, 2014[78] January 27, 2014[79]
Part 3 15–19 February 24, 2014[80] February 24, 2014[81]
Part 4 20–25 March 31, 2014[82] March 31, 2014[83]
Madman Entertainment (Australasia, Region 4)[13]
Volume Episodes DVD Release date Blu-ray release date
Part 1 1–7 December 18, 2013[84] December 18, 2013[85]
Part 2 8–14 January 15, 2014[86] January 15, 2014[87]
Part 3 15–19 February 19, 2014[88] February 19, 2014[89]
Part 4 20–25 March 19, 2014[90] March 19, 2014[91]

Sword Art Offline[edit]

Sword Art Offline is a series of bonus episodes released in their own DVD and Blu-ray volumes in Japan. The show has 10 episodes, including the extra edition.[11] Aniplex of America announced that they will include this episodes except the extra edition in the English version of the volumes with English subtitles.[92]

Sword Art Offline episode list[11]
Title Packaged in Japan with
"Sword Art Offline 1"   Volume 1
Features some highlights of Episodes 1 and 2, with Klein as a special guest, life counsel section held by Kirito, and trivia sections led by Yui. 
"Sword Art Offline 2"   Volume 2
Features some highlights of Episodes 3, 4, and 5, with Klein replacing Kirito as life counsel host, and Silica as the special guest. 
"Sword Art Offline 3"   Volume 3
Features some highlights of Episodes 6, 7, and 8, with Lisbeth as the special guest. 
"Sword Art Offline 4"   Volume 4
Features some highlights of Episodes 9, 10, and 11, with Yui as the special guest. Heathcliff substitutes for Yui as trivia guide. 
"Sword Art Offline 5"   Volume 5
Features some highlights of Episodes 12, 13, and 14, with Heathcliff as the special guest. 
"Sword Art Offline 6"   Volume 6
The show received a major overhaul due to the Fairy Dance arc, with Leafa replaced Asuna as main anchor, and a new section titled "Slot Talk" replacing Klein's Life Counsel. There was no special guest and it highlighted Episodes 15 and 16. 
"Sword Art Offline 7"   Volume 7
Features some highlights of Episodes 17, 18, and 19, with Yui once again the special guest. Oberon substitutes for Yui as trivia guide. 
"Sword Art Offline 8"   Volume 8
Features some highlights of Episodes 20, 21, and 22. 
"Sword Art Offline 9"   Volume 9
Features some highlights of Episodes 23, 24, and 25. 
"Sword Art Offline: Extra Edition"   Sword Art Online: Extra Edition DVD/Blu-ray
Features some highlights of the special episode, with Leafa and Asuna as hosts, Kirito as the commentator, and Yui as the special guest. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ TV Guide said that the English version of "The Lugru Corridor" was originally aired on December 28, 2013.[23] But Toonami did not air this episode during their block on Adult Swim.[43]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]