The BEST Episodes of Sword Art Online
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jan 2, 2020
Network: Tokyo MX
In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now...
#1 - The End of the World
Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Oct 6, 2012
After the group defeats the Skull Reaper, suffering 14 casualties in the battle, Kirito deduces that Heathcliff is, in fact, Akihiko Kayaba himself. Akihiko paralyses everyone except Kirito, and then offers Kirito the chance to face him in a one-on-one duel where, should Kirito win, Akihiko would log out all the remaining players. After giving his best wishes to the others, Kirito accepts the challenge but is unable to overcome Akihiko's absolute defense and intimate understanding of the game's mechanics. As Akihiko readies the finishing blow, Asuna overcomes her paralysis and takes the hit instead, losing all her HP and disappearing as a result. Distraught by Asuna's death, Kirito loses the will to fight and receives a fatal stab from Akihiko. However, at the point of death, Kirito remembers Asuna's belief in him and manages to regain enough substance to defeat Akihiko using Asuna's sword. They are both killed simultaneously and the game is declared cleared on November 7, 2024. Kirito then awakens high above the game world, where he finds both Asuna and Akihiko. Akihiko informs Kirito and Asuna that he has logged out all the other players as promised, and also explains his motives for creating Sword Art Online before disappearing. Kirito and Asuna then tell one another their true names, Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yūki, and embrace each other as the world falls apart. To his surprise, Kazuto awakens in a hospital in the real world and, despite being physically weak, sets off to search for the real Asuna.
#2 - Crimson Killing Intent
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 8, 2012
The duel between Kirito and Heathcliff is held at an arena where a large crowd has gathered. Asuna warns Kirito to be careful about fighting Heathcliff as he has an unique skill called Divine Blade which gives him maximum strength and defense. Heathcliff at first is able to overpower Kirito but the tides turn when Kirito forces Heathcliff on the defensive. 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 Blood, Kirito is asked by Asuna why he never join guilds and he reveals what happened to his old guild. Asuna comforts Kirito and tells him she will protect him. Later, Kirito is asked by fellow member Godfrey to follow him and a seemingly remorseful Kuradeel to the 55th floor dungeons for a skill assessment. As they take a lunch break, Kirito notices too late that the water he and Godfrey drank contains a paralysis effect. Kuradeel reveals he is a member of the Laughing Coffins and how he plans to kill both Godfrey and Kirito while making it look like they were killed in an ambush. After he finishes off Godfrey, Kuradeel attempts to kill Kirito but is saved from certain death by the arrival of Asuna who tracked them on her map. Asuna quickly decimates Kuradeel's health until critical stages. Kuradeel begs Asuna for forgiveness which is a ruse. When Kuradeel's is about to attack Asuna, Kirito jumps in between them, blocking the attack with his arm before killing him. Asuna feels guilty for what happened but Kirito calms her by kissing her, telling her how much he cares about her and wants to protect her. They agree to a take break from adventuring and stay at her home for the night. Later, as he sits next to Asuna at her bed, Kirito tells of a place they can be alone together and proposes to her, which she happily accepts.
#3 - Taboo Index
Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 9, 2018
Ronie and Tiese are late getting to the dorm. Kirito rushes out in search of them, but no sooner has he gone than Frenica appears. She tells Eugeo about how she's suffered at Humbert's hands, and that Tiese and Ronie went to confront him about it.
#4 - Ray of Light
Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 29, 2019
Due to Gabriel's scheme, U.S. players were given black knight accounts, and are now continuously logging in to the Underworld. They begin mercilessly slaughtering soldiers from both the Human Empire Army and the Dark Territory Army.
#5 - The Blue-Eyed Demon
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Sep 1, 2012
Kirito and Asuna flee from the boss and take a break for a snack when they meet Klein and the Furinkazan guild. The army also appears, visibly exausted from exploring the floor. They demand Kirito to give them the map he made of the floor, and despite Asuna and Klein's protests he willingly complains with their request. Kirito, Asuna and Klein keep exploring the floor, clearing the monsters there, just to learn that the army is confronting the boss by themselves despite Kirito's warnings, and to make matters worse, the teleport crystals do not work in the boss room. As the members of the army are killed one by one, they launch themselves against the boss to protect the survivors and Kirito is forced to deploy a special skill of his he used to keep in secret that allows him to fight with two weapons, one in each hand, defeating the boss with a series of quick strikes. After the fight, Kirito collapses with HP almost totally depleted, just to wake up instants later, seeing Asuna in tears, who asks him to form a party with him, to which he agrees. Some time later, Kirito and Asuna are brought before Heathcliff, commander of the Knights of Blood who challenges him to a duel. If Kirito wins, Asuna is allowed to leave the guild and join his side, but he must join the guild instead should he loses. Kirito agrees to the terms and accepts Heathcliff's challenge.
#6 - Edge of Hell's Abyss
Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Sep 29, 2012
While fishing near a lake, Kirito encounters Nishida, an old man and a network security manager who oversaw the game's development. Nishida claims that despite honing his fishing skill, he is unable to create delicious dishes with it. Kirito then invites him to his home for Asuna to cook the fish he just caught for them. During their meal, Nishida mentions a huge fish he tried to catch many times but failed and asks Kirito to help him. Nishida manages to hook the fish and gives the rod to Kirito to pull it away. The fish is revealed to be a huge monster whom Asuna slays. Soon after, Kirito receives a message from Heathcliff and, upon meeting him, they learn that a scouting party was trapped and killed in the 75th level's boss room, thus a team of players from several guilds is being assembled to confront it. As the time for the battle approaches, Kirito asks Asuna to stay behind fearing for her safety, but Asuna refuses, claiming that she'd rather die than live without him. She also mentions that all players' real bodies must be currently being treated in hospitals and their condition cannot be kept indefinetly, thus fleeing to live by themselves inside the game is out of question. As the players enter the boss room, they are confronted with "The Skull Reaper", a powerful monster capable of killing players with one blow. Kirito, Asuna and Heathcliff confront the creature head on while the other players attack it from the sides.
#7 - Phantom Bullet
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Sep 27, 2014
The battle between Death Gun and Kirito begins as the former unleashes a deadly barrage of strikes that greatly weakens Kirito. While they are fighting, Kirito has a flashback to the meeting before the Laughing Coffin raid in Sword Art Online, recalling a strikingly similar player with the same red eyes as Death Gun. Kirito deduces that Death Gun is really the infamous, "Red Eyed," Xaxa, the second in command of Laughing Coffin. As Xaxa goes for the final blow, Sinon creates the illusion of a direction line using her experience in the game alone, causing Xaxa to cloak to avoid it. However, Kirito pulls out his sidearm and fires it at Xaxa, stopping the cloaking process and rendering him vulnerable. Using the willpower and strength he possessed in Sword Art Online, Kirito defeats Xaxa, cutting in clean in half. Before he dies, Xaxa reassures Kirito that their battle is not over. Sinon and Kirito then come to an agreement to end the Bullet of Bullets by committing double in-game suicide using a grenade, crowning them both the winner, but not before they reveal to each other their real names. After logging out, Shino is visited by Shinkawa, who, after making romantic advances on her, pulls out a syringe and reveals himself to be the second person involved in the Death Gun murders, which Kirito and Sinon earlier deduced while in the cave. Shinkawa tries to rape Shino, but she is able to get away, only to have Shinkawa pull her back. As this is happening, Kazuto bursts through Shino's door and attacks Shinkawa, holding him off while telling Shino, who recognizes Kazuto as Kirito, to run.
#8 - The Sword Dance of Black and White
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Aug 25, 2012
After adventuring on the 74th floor, Kirito finds a Ragout Rabbit, a rare animal with top grade meat. Since he can't cook well, Kirito decides to sell it to Egil. When Asuna arrives and tells them she has mastered her cooking skills, Kirito decides to give the meat to Asuna in exchange they both eat it together. But Kuradeel, Asuna's escort sent by the Knights of Blood, is against Asuna inviting Kirito to her home as he is a Beater but Asuna ignores him. As they arrive at her home at Selmburg on the 61st floor, Asuna cooks the rabbit meat for dinner. As they talk, Asuna and Kirito discuss how two years have past since they were trapped in the game and many players seems to accept living in Aincard with less then five hundred players clearing the floors. Both agree to party up and explore the dungeons at the 74th floor. However, Kuradeel was following Asuna to prevent her from meeting up with Kirito. To settle things, Kirito has a duel with Kuradeel where if he wins, Kuradeel will leave Asuna alone. Kirito wins the duel by breaking Kuradeel's sword. Kuradeel refuses to give up but Asuna relieves him of his duties and orders him to return to Knights of the Blood Oath headquarters to await punishment. As Kirito and Asuna explores the 74th floor dungeons, they discover the boss room and its boss, The Gleam Eyes.
#9 - Bonds
Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired Dec 8, 2012
Kazuto recalls when he was ten, he learn he was not related with Suguha, leading him to become detached from his family and become engrossed in online gaming. But due the lessons he learn during his time in SAO, he decides to make amends with his family. Wanting to sort things out, Kazuto asks Suguha to meet him in ALfheim. As Leafa contemplates whether she should stop seeing Kirito in-game anymore, she runs into Recon, whose unsuccessful attempt to confess to her cheers her up. Leafa then challenges Kirito to a one-on-one fight, during which they both end up throwing the duel and apologize to each other. After Kirito explains he won't be able to say what he thinks of Suguha until Asuna is rescued, Leafa agrees to help him in his quest, dragging Recon along with her. Kirito once again takes on the guardians, this time with assistance from Leafa and Recon. As the number of guardians keep increasing, Recon uses a self-destruct spell to create a gap for Kirito to get through, but it is filled up all too soon. Just as things look dire, Sakuya and Alicia arrive with their armies to back them up. Using Leafa's sword, Kirito manages to break through the guardians and reach the top, only to find a moderator-locked door in his way. Using the card Asuna gave them, Yui manages to open the door, teleporting her and Kirito to a new location.
#10 - Guns and Swords
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 2, 2014
Kirito and Sinon arrive at the General Governor's Office and go to the terminals to register. Kirito is surprised that the registration asks for his real-life information, and he leaves the fields blank. He is then registered into the same block as Sinon, and both are able to make it to the finals due to the ladder arrangement. Before they can enter BoB, however, there is a qualifying preliminary. While waiting for the preliminary round to begin, Kirito reveals his gender after an embarrassing incident with Sinon in the changing room, and this creates a rift between them. Sinon demands that he make it to the finals so she can defeat him there, then proclaims her intention of "kill[ing] all the strong ones", which causes Kirito to briefly suspect her of being Death Gun. They then meet up with Kyōji in his GGO avatar, Spiegel. When Kirito is transferred to his first battle, he is initially put off-balance in the gunfight, but is able to defeat his first opponent using his Photon Sword. Upon returning to the preliminary waiting area, he is confronted by Death Gun, who Kirito feels he recognizes. He then catches a glimpse of a tattoo on Death Gun's wrist and recognizes it as the mark of the SAO Red Player guild "Laughing Coffin".
#11 - The Temperature of the Heart
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 18, 2012
On June 24, 2024 at Lindas on 48th floor, Asuna visits her friend the blacksmith Lisbeth or "Liz" at her smith shop before going adventuring, and Liz suspects she's going with a boy she likes. Later, Kirito arrives at Liz's shop as he's looking for a custom-made sword to buy. Much to Liz's shock, Kirito's sword Elucidator easily breaks her strongest sword. Angry and her pride hurt, Liz convinces Kirirto to let her join him to the Western Mountain on the 55th floor to get a rare mineral from a dragon that eats crystals so she can use the mineral to make a stronger sword. As they arrive at the Western Mountain, Kirito advises Liz to hide as he fights the dragon. However, she ignores his advice when she comes out when she thinks the dragon is almost defeated. The dragon blows her into a deep pit and Kirito jumps in to save her. While they both survive, they can't get out of the pit and are forced to sleep there for the night. Liz asks Kirito to hold her hand while they sleep, which brings her to realize that she can feel another person's warmth even though they are just data. She also realizes that she has feelings for him. 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 of the hole before jumping out. Now safe with the mineral, Liz manages to create a new sword for Kirito, Dark Repulsor. As she asks Kirito to use her as his exclusive smith and is about to confess to him, a worried Asuna arrives. Realizing Kirito is the boy Asuna likes, Liz excuses herself from them. As Liz cries over her heartbreak, Kirito finds her and tries to comfort her. Accepting her predicament, Liz promises to help Kirito as his smith if he promises to win the game and free them all.
#12 - Showdown in the Wilderness
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Aug 9, 2014
Kirito pretends to not understand Death Gun's answer, and Death Gun states that he will kill him, whether or not he is the real Kirito, before leaving. Kirito then has a flashback to his time in SAO, when he and several others battled Laughing Coffin, and notes that he killed two members during that battle. He then realizes that the player who confronted him was actually Death Gun. Sinon later meets up with him and senses that something is wrong, but before Kirito can confide in her, he is teleported to his next duel, which he wins. Eventually, both Kirito and Sinon have made it into the finals. While waiting for Kirito, Sinon begins to feel he is just like her. She becomes frustrated when Kirito calmly walks straight toward her position, not showing any signs of wanting to dodge her bullet. Sinon fires at him repeatedly, but misses, and she personally confronts him about it. Remembering the promise he made to Sinon, Kirito apologizes and sets the rules for a rematch: he would move away by ten meters, and they would start fighting once he throws a bullet to the ground. Despite Sinon's Hecate's one-hundred percent hit rate at such a range, Kirito shows his confidence in his abilities. When the rematch begins, Kirito is able to slice Sinon's bullet in half and hold her at the tip of his Photon Sword. Realizing that Kirito predicted the bullet path by watching her eyes, Sinon realizes that his strength goes beyond a virtual game and asks him what he is afraid of. He implies to her his experiences in SAO are not strength, but skill. He then asks her to surrender, since he doesn't want to defeat a girl. In anger, she does so, stating that next time would be different.
#13 - Death Gun
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 30, 2014
Sinon shoots at Death Gun, but he dodges the bullet and then kills Pale Rider with his pistol. Death Gun then introduces himself and his gun to the spectators, finishing his monologue with a catchphrase used by PoH, the founder of Laughing Coffin. Meanwhile, Sinon attempts to find out Death Gun's name, but he was not shown on the satellite scan, thus Sinon assumes that he traveled through the battlefield underwater. She and Kirito then decide to follow Death Gun, eventually going to the Lost City. However, since they could not find him along the way, they look for him during the next scan. Seeing that two players, Sterben and Juushi X (銃士Ｘ, Jūshi X?), were present in the city, they decide to go after Juushi X, as his name sounded like Death Gun (死銃, Shijū?) backwards. During the scan, they find Juushi X at a stadium, while Sterben abruptly vanishes from the city. The two rush to the stadium and, after confirming that there was a sniper, decide to split up. However, as Sinon takes a sniping position, she is suddenly shot with a stun bullet. Death Gun, who is actually Sterben, appears and proclaims that he is going to kill her. Sinon tries to defend herself, but then sees that Sterben is carrying the Type 54 Black Star, the same weapon she used to kill the robber at the post office.
#14 - Beater
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 14, 2012
One month since the start of the fun-turned-deadly 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 of the first floor. Parties are formed, and Kirito teams up with a young 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 attempts to warn him, but Illfang attacks down first and mortally wounds Diabel. As he dies, Diabel begs Kirito to defeat the boss and save the players. Though they destroy the boss, Kirito is accused of being a "beater"—a combination of a "beta-tester" and "cheater"—for Diabel's death.
#15 - The World Seed
Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired Dec 22, 2012
Rushing to the hospital Kazuto is attacked by an injured Sugou with a knife at the parking area. Kazuto manages to disarm him, and after considering everything Sugou has done, Kazuto spares his life. Kazuto finally meets with Asuna where they have a tearful reunion. On May 16, 2025, Kazuto and Asuna have returned to school, attending a special school for students who were trapped in SAO. As they have lunch, Kazuto reveals Sugou was arrested by the police after their fight and the crimes he committed were exposed by one of his employees. The 300 players that were trapped by Sugou were freed but his experiments shocked the public. Due to the scandal, Asuna's father and his higher ups resigned and shut down Alfheim Online with other VRMMORPG following suit. Later, Asuna, Kazuto and Suguha heads to Agil's bar along with Liz, Silica, Yoruko, Kains, Sasha, Yulier, Thinker, Klein and his guild where they have a party to celebrate Kazuto for freeing them from SAO. Kazuto gives Agil "The Seed" to be analyzed which is revealed to be a program that allows anyone with a server to create their own VRMMORPG and transfer players to other VRMMORPG easily. "The Seed" is uploaded to the internet which revives the VRMMORPG genre. Later that night in Alfheim Online, now run by a new company, Kirito meets up with Leafa where they share a dance in the sky. Leafa decides to leave since she feels she cannot keep up with her brother but Kirito reveals his character stats have been reset. As a surprise, the floating castle Aincrad from SAO has been brought into Alfheim Online which Kirito then declares he intends to finish clearing all 100 floors. With their friends from SAO and Alfheim Online flying towards the castle, Leafa, Kirito, Asuna and Yui join them.
#16 - Bullet of a Phantom
Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Sep 20, 2014
After checking the map, Kirito finds that twenty-four players had already been killed, while only Yamikaze and himself are shown on the map. Seeing as, even accounting for Sinon, Death Gun, and Pale Rider, the numbers of those killed and those who are still alive did not match the total, he speculates that Death Gun had more than one accomplice in charge of the killings in the real world. Fearing that Yamikaze might also be a target, Kirito and Sinon decide to set up the former as bait, while Sinon snipes Yamikaze and Death Gun from a distance when they arrive. Sometime later, while Yamikaze is closing in on Kirito, Death Gun attempts to kill Kirito himself. Sensing his intent to kill, Kirito manages to sense where he would be shot from and barely manages to dodge the bullet. Noticing a sniper shot, Yamikaze immediately hides behind an obstacle for cover, but he is then shot by Sinon and killed. Sinon then turns her attention to Death Gun, but, as she had already fired her first shot, which wouldn't be detected, Death Gun is able to see her targeting him. The two of them fire at each other at the same time and, while Death Gun manages to destroy Sinon's scope, she manages to destroy Death Gun's weapon. However, as Kirito is about to strike Death Gun, the latter pulls out an estoc and counters the attack. After having a conversation with Kirito, Death Gun begins assaulting him with overwhelming speed.
#17 - The Grand Quest
Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Dec 1, 2012
Leafa tries to stop kirito as he dashes for the lower branches of the world tree only to be stopped by the new barrier that had been "patched" into the game earlier. Kirito then finds a card that is dropped down by Asuna due to hearing Yui calling to her "Momma!". Kirito then has Yui identify the card as a Sys-Admin pass code card for use on a GM console, and makes a mad dash for the opening gate to the world tree quest. Kirito makes a heroic fight to reach the portal at the top of the chamber, but is diced to bits before reaching it. Kirito dies from the hundreds of spawned "Guardians", but is saved by Leafa. Upon being revived by Leafa, Kirito states he can not stop fighting until Asuna is safe, which at that time Leafa learns that Kirito-Kun is actually her brother in real life. Or so it seems, as in the real world after they both logoff that they are not actually blood related brother and sister.
#18 - Mother's Rosario
Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired Dec 20, 2014
After a guild gathering which lead into a won boss fight and a timeline with background music Asuna comes home and sees that she recieved a message from Yuuki's doctor saying her condition got worse. Asuna immediately runs to her hospital. Arriving there she get's told that Yuuki's heart already stopped once. Yuuki wakes up and Asuna meets her using the Amu Sphere the next room in Alfheim Online at the tree they first met. Yuuki binds her original sword skill which is called "Mother's Rosario" to a scroll and gives it to Asuna as she knows she does not have much time left. Other members of the Sleeping Knights arrive and gather around her. After they spoke their last words hundreds of other players gather around the tree praying for Yuuki. She says to her friends that she may found her meaning in life and is in spite of all the pain in her life now at least happy in her last moments. At Yuuki's death watch Asuna and Siune meet up. Siune tells her she recovered from her disease the day after Yuuki died and got released from hospital. Kirito and Yuuki's doctor arrive and they figure out that the Medicuboid was designed by Kayaba Akihiko. After the outro Kirito and Asuna are sitting in a park meeting their friends in real life.
#19 - Bullet of Bullets
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Aug 23, 2014
While waiting for BoB to begin, Kirito assumes that Death Gun will sign into the tournament under a different name, given the perfect stage for him, and vows to find him and face him again. After much persistence, Kirito is able to convince Sinon to explain to him the details of the BoB royale. After she explains the rules and regulations, Kirito stops Sinon from leaving and asks her whether there were BoB participants that she did not know about. He then finds out that, aside from him, there are three other players who had not participated in the previous tournaments. He then explains her his motivation behind that question, and she theorizes from his explanation that he is an SAO survivor. Later on, during the tournament, Sinon decides to target Dyne and Pale Rider. Having found a sniping position on the west side of the bridge that Dyne had crossed, she prepares to take action, but is stopped by Kirito, who instructs her to not shoot and just watch Dyne and Pale Rider's battle. After Pale Rider defeats Dyne, he is suddenly shot with a silenced stun bullet and, after several moments, the shooter, Death Gun, reveals himself from the bridge. As Death Gun prepares to finish off Pale Rider, Kirito yells at a confused Sinon to shoot him before he does.
#20 - What It Means To Be Strong
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Sep 13, 2014
After hearing that Kirito had killed people in SAO, Sinon asks him how he was able to overcome the memories of the people he killed, but Kirito reveals that he didn't overcome them, instead accepting the weight of them, since it was all he could do to atone for his actions. Then, while thinking about how Death Gun was able to stop the heart of players by shooting them in the game, Kirito realizes that Death Gun did not shoot him with the pistol, but with the sniper instead. Based on this, Kirito deduces that Death Gun had to make preparations in real life to be able to kill the players with his pistol, and that he could've seen players putting their real-life details in the General Governor's Office since it was an open space and the terminals did not offer much privacy. Kirito then brings up the idea that Death Gun could have used his mantle to spy on other players without being noticed. After some thinking, Kirito realizes that Death Gun was actually two people: one shoots the player in-game, the other kills the player in real life by injecting them with a lethal drug. Meanwhile, Kikuoka Seijiro logs onto ALO as Chrysheight under Asuna's request and, after Yui reveals all the information on the incident that she had gathered, Chrysheight explains the situation to Asuna and the others. Asuna then requests Kazuto's whereabouts and decides to go to him in real life. Back in GGO, Kirito and Sinon decide on a course of action and are surprised to find out that they were being filmed by one of the cameras.
#21 - Blood and Life
Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 1, 2019
The powerful formal art unleashed by the Integrity Knight Alice inflicts severe casualties on the forces of darkness. Alice encounters an enemy survivor and learns that Emperor Vecta's objective is to find the “Priestess of Light.”
#22 - The World of Swords
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 7, 2012
On November 6, 2022, the VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online (SAO), is officially released, with 10,000 copies released and sold immediately. Kirito, who beta-tested the game, logs-in to the world of Aincrad and meets Klein, a new player, who asks him to teach him the basics of the game including the Sword Skill battle system. Later, after several hours in the game, Kirito and Klein discover that they cannot log out. Shortly after, the pair are teleported to the town square, where they see that all other players have also been transported to the location. A red-hooded Game Master then appears in the sky and reveals himself to the crowd as Akihiko Kayaba, the game's creator. He tells them that he intentionally removed the log-out option. He cautions that they cannot log-out by simply removing the NerveGear, the VR helmet they use to log-in the game, as it will kill them instantly. The only way to log out is for the players to beat and clear all 100 floors of the game. Should they die in the game, their real bodies will perish as well. As a parting gift, Akihiko gives them a mirror that alters their in-game avatars to resemble their real appearance. Kirito asks Klein to follow him to the next town to level up before resources are depleted, but Klein politely declines as he wishes to remain with his friends. Kirito then heads out, vowing to be free from the game. By the end of the first month, 2,000 players have died and the 1st floor has yet to be cleared.
#23 - Sword and Fist
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 8, 2019
Upon seeing Alice, Gabriel orders his entire army to capture her. The pugilists guild races ahead of the main force. As Alice and Bercouli try to come up with a strategy to counter them, the silent Integrity Knight Sheyta Synthesis Twelve steps forward.
#24 - Murder in the Safe Zone
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 4, 2012
During a meeting between guilds and players on March 6, 2024 on the 56th floor, Asuna, who has now become Vice Commander of the Knights of Blood Oath guild, propose a plan to lure a boss they are fighting into a village but is opposed by Kirito, as the NPC villagers will be killed. A month later on the 59th floor, Kirito is taking a nap until Asuna arrives, criticizing him for being lazy but he convinces her to relax as well. To thank him for guarding her while she was asleep, Asuna decided to buy lunch for him at a town on the 57th floor. However, they discovered a player killed, hanging outside the church, impaled with a spear. As they both investigate, Kirito wonders how the player was killed in a safezone unless he was dueled by another player or someone has found an exploit to kill players. Yoruko, a girl who was a friend of the victim, Kains, saw someone behind Kains before he was hanged. Asuna and Kirito heads towards Egil's shop to help them find clues on the murder weapon, which Egil learns it's a custom made weapon by a player named Grimrock. Explaining what they discovered to Yoruko, she reveals how she and Kains are related to Grimrock. Six months ago, she, Kains and Grimrock were part of a eight-man guild called the Golden Apple lead by Griselda, Grimrock's ingame wife. One day the guild acquired a rare ring and voted whether to use it or sell it, with three members, Yoruko, Kains and Schmit, now a member of the Holy Dragon Alliance, voting to use it. Griselda went out to sell the ring but was killed. Yoruko believes the killer is targeting the three of them as he suspect they were involved in Griselda's death. After getting Schmit and explaining to him everything, Yoruko becomes paranoid, believing Griselda's ghost wants revenge against them. But Yoruko is killed after someone throws a dagger from outside.
#25 - My Hero
Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 31, 2019
Carrying the hopes of Cardinal, Eugeo, and Alice in his heart, Kirito stands yet again and visualizes the Black Swordsman, the top player who cleared SAO. For the sake of everyone he’s encountered in this world, Kirito, faces off with Administrator.