The Best Episodes of Sword Art Online

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2018

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...

The End of the World

#1 - The End of the World

Season 1 - Episode 14

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.

star 8.72
396 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
The Blue-Eyed Demon

#2 - The Blue-Eyed Demon

Season 1 - Episode 9

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.

star 8.54
399 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Crimson Killing Intent

#3 - Crimson Killing Intent

Season 1 - Episode 10

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.

star 8.42
414 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Edge of Hell's Abyss

#4 - Edge of Hell's Abyss

Season 1 - Episode 13

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.

star 8.40
365 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Mother's Rosario

#5 - Mother's Rosario

Season 2 - Episode 24

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.

star 8.36
250 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers: Reki Kawahara
Phantom Bullet

#6 - Phantom Bullet

Season 2 - Episode 13

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.

star 8.32
277 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
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The Sword Dance of Black and White

#7 - The Sword Dance of Black and White

Season 1 - Episode 8

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.

star 8.31
408 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
The World of Swords

#8 - The World of Swords

Season 1 - Episode 1

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.

star 8.30
549 votes
Writers: Reki Kawahara, Yukito Kizawa, Yukie Sugawara, Alex Von David
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Yui's Heart

#9 - Yui's Heart

Season 1 - Episode 12

Kirito, Asuna and Yui are resting at Sasha's church where she takes care of the younger children until Yulier of the Army arrives. Yulier explains the Army under their leader Thinker had good intentions of helping players but as the Army got bigger, people like Kibaou started abusing power on others. Thinker was going to expel Kibaou over the Gleam Eyes incident but the latter trapped him at a secret dungeon on the 1st floor which is why she has come to Kirito and Asuna for help. With Yui refusing to stay at the church, Kirito, Asuna and Yulier reluctantly bring her alone to rescue Thinker. When they arrive at his location, a boss called "The Fatal Scythe" attacks them. Kirito and Asuna orders Yulier to escape together with Thinker and Yui as they fight the boss but it is too strong. As the boss is about attack Kirito, Yui confronts the boss, who is unable to damage her due to being an "Immortal Object" and defeat the boss. Yui, finally remembering her past, reveals to Kirito and Asuna that she is an AI counselor created by the game's Cardinal system whose purpose was to monitor and counsel the players on their mental state. But on the day of game's launch, Cardinal refuse to allow to her interact with the players which she was forced to watch their mental state deteriorating until she learned about Asuna and Kirito and wanted to meet them. Despite the revelation, Asuna and Kirito still accepts Yui as their daughter but she tells them goodbye as she's going to be deleted for interfering in the game. Refusing to accept it, Kirito uses the GM console Yui left behind to save Yui by turning her into a crystal item. With Yui's data save on his NerveGear local memory, Kirito and Asuna hopes to recreate her in the real world.

star 8.25
384 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Bonds

#10 - Bonds

Season 1 - Episode 23

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.

star 8.25
322 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Death Gun

#11 - Death Gun

Season 2 - Episode 9

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.

star 8.24
304 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
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Showdown in the Wilderness

#12 - Showdown in the Wilderness

Season 2 - Episode 6

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.

star 8.20
316 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
The World Seed

#13 - The World Seed

Season 1 - Episode 25

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.

star 8.20
341 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
Beater

#14 - Beater

Season 1 - Episode 2

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.

star 8.19
478 votes
Writers: Reki Kawahara, Munemasa, Nakamoto, Alex Von David
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Guns and Swords

#15 - Guns and Swords

Season 2 - Episode 5

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".

star 8.17
311 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
Bullet of a Phantom

#16 - Bullet of a Phantom

Season 2 - Episode 12

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.

star 8.17
278 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
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Gilded Hero

#17 - Gilded Hero

Season 1 - Episode 24

Arriving at the top of the World Tree, Kirito and Yui finally manage to reunite with Asuna. However, they are suddenly hit by high gravity magic, which forces Yui to retreat, and are confronted by Sugou. As Sugou reveals his plans to control the human soul, he chains Asuna up and starts to molest her in front of Kirito, who is stabbed and forced to endure incredible pain. As Kirito falls into despair, he hears the voice of Akihiko, who encourages him to stand up and fight, realising the pain is nothing compared to the pain of SAO. Using Akihiko's administrative abilities, Kirito manages to strip Sugou of his high level and challenges him to a fight with no pain absorption, showing him what true pain is before finishing him off. After logging Asuna out, returning her to the real world, Kirito meets with the remnant of Akahiko's memory, who gives him an item called The Seed before leaving. After returning to the real world and giving his thanks to Suguha, Kazuto makes his way to the hospital to finally meet Asuna for real.

star 8.15
334 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
The Temperature of the Heart

#18 - The Temperature of the Heart

Season 1 - Episode 7

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.

star 8.15
386 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
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The Black Swordsman

#19 - The Black Swordsman

Season 1 - Episode 4

On February 23, 2024, a beast tamer named Silica, quits a party after arguing with their leader, Rosalia. Silicia is ambushed by monsters whilst making her way alone through the forest and her dragon familiar, Pina, is killed trying to protect her. As Kirito saves her, he tells Silica of an item at the Hill of Memories on the 47th floor that can revive her familiar within three days after it's death, offering to accompany her there. As they spend time together, Kirito warns Silicia of "orange players", players who attack other players and "red players", players who kill other players and someone is eavesdropping on their plans. As they make their way towards the Hill of Memories the next day, Kirito tells Silica about his younger sister who is actually his cousin, who she reminds him of. As they finally retrieve the item, the Pneuma Flower, they are confronted by Rosalia and her men, who are actually part of the Titan's Hand, a notorious orange player guild and are after Silica's flower. However, Kirito reveals part of his reason for escorting Silica was to draw Rosalia out to arrest her. The guild realizes Kirito is the infamous Beater "The Black Swordsman", and due to his higher levels and advanced skills, he outmatches Rosalia and her men, forcing them to surrender and send them to prison. As Kirito prepares to return to the front lines, he makes a promise to Silica that they'll meet again in the real world as she revives Pina.

star 8.14
427 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
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The Grand Quest

#20 - The Grand Quest

Season 1 - Episode 22

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.

star 8.11
328 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
The Red-Nosed Reindeer

#21 - The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Season 1 - Episode 3

Four months have past with more powerful players and guilds clearing the game's floors. After saving a guild called the "Moonlit Black Cats", a group of friends from the same school club, their leader Keita thanks Kirito and ask him to join their guild and teach the only female in their guild, Sachi, to fight better. Kirito agrees while hiding the fact he is at least Level 40, twice higher than the others as they slowly and safely level up at low-level floors that have been cleared. Kirito bonds with his new friends, especially Sachi, who admits to Kirito she's afraid to die which he assures her he will protect her and they will be free one day. But on June 12, 2023, as Keita goes to buy a house for the guild, against their usual methods and Kirito's advice, the Black Cats decide to earn some money by going to the upper floors where they set off a trap, locking them in a room with higher level Mobs. Kirito desperately tries to save his friends but they are killed one by one until Sachi is the last to fall. Blaming himself over his friends death, including Keita, who committed suicide upon learning what happen, Kirito goes on a suicidal quest upon learning a rumor there is a way to revive the dead. On December 24, 2023, Argo the informant reveals to Kirito the location of a special boss named Nicholas the Renegade who has an item that can revive the dead. As Kirito heads there, he is followed by Klein and his guild, who fears for his safety. They are soon surrounded by the Holy Dragon Alliance guild who are also after the item. As Klein and his guild hold off the Holy Dragons, Kirito faces against Nicholas alone. But much to his distraught, Kirito discovers the item can only revive the dead within ten seconds after their deaths. To Kirito's surprise, he receives a recorded message from Sachi. Sent to him on Christmas Eve in the event of her death, Sachi tells Kirito not to blame himself over her death and that he should continue living to be free from the game. As she ends the message by humming "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" before saying goodbye, Kirito sadly cries.

star 8.07
446 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
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Murder in the Safe Zone

#22 - Murder in the Safe Zone

Season 1 - Episode 5

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.

star 8.06
421 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
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Illusionary Avenger

#23 - Illusionary Avenger

Season 1 - Episode 6

Kirito chases after the assassin but he manages to teleport away. Kirito is still unsure how it was possible to kill someone in a safezone which a paranoid Schmit thinks Griselda's ghost is really after him. After accidentally seeing a dropped sandwich vanishing and talking with Asuna about the game's marriage system which allows both couples to share each others inventory, Kirito finally figures out how Yoruko and Kains "died" and who is Griselda's killer. It turns out Yoruko and Kains are still alive and tricked people into thinking they were dead by using damaged armor that will eventually disappear along with teleport crystals at the same time to make it look like they died. Yoruko and Kains confront Schmit at Griselda's grave as they are investigating who Griselda's killer is. After Schmit explains he had no part in Griselda's death, the three of them are surrounded by the notorious player-killing guild, the Laughing Coffins, who have come to kill them. They are soon rescued by the timely arrival of Kirito, which the Laughing Coffins retreat and Asuna arrives with the man who hired them and Griselda's killer, Grimrock. Grimrock reveals he killed Griselda, who was also his wife in the real world, because he couldn't accept his kind, dutiful wife he loved now became a fearless, independent leader. Asuna shoots back on Grimrock for killing Griselda, telling him he didn't love his wife but was just obsessed with her. After Yoruko, Kains and Schmit take Grimrock into custody, Kirito and Asuna talks about marriage and how he would still love his partner after seeing a different side of her, they see Griselda's ghost, who thanks them.

star 8.06
397 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Ito
Writers:
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The Monument of Swordsmen

#24 - The Monument of Swordsmen

Season 2 - Episode 21

After Kirito blocked the raiding guild's reinforcements, three mages of guild fired multiple magical projectiles at him. However, he used «Deadly Sins» to break all seven projectiles. As the reinforcements got into formation for battle, Kirito told Asuna that he would hold them off for three minutes with the help of Klein. In the meantime, the Sleeping Knights engaged the guild's forces blocking the path to the boss room. But, seeing that their assault was rendered useless by the intervention of the guild's healers, Asuna asked Siune to manage the healing herself and used «Flashing Penetrator» to break through to the healers, while killing the group's leader. After the healers were disposed of, the remained of the players were easily defeated, allowing Asuna and the others to enter the boss room. During the boss battle, Talken's spear was thrown into the air by the boss and it accidentally hit a crystal where the boss's two heads connected. Seeing that this caused the boss to assume a guard stance, Asuna deduced that it might be its weak point and tested it out by firing several ice pillars at the same spot. Confirming her deduction, Asuna left the healing to Siune to tell Yuuki to use a Sword Skill at the weak spot. Following Asuna's suggestion to use Tecchi as a stepping stone, Yuuki defeated the boss with her signature Original Sword Skill. After the battle, the group agreed to celebrate at Asuna's player home. While conversing about various things, Asuna asked whether she could join the Sleeping Knights, but, seeing that it resulted in an unpleasant reaction, she decided to change the topic and reminded everyone about the Monument of Swordsmen. At the monument, everyone took a picture and Yuuki accidentally called Asuna as her elder sister. Since she had also done the same in the boss room, Asuna pointed this out to Yuuki. Unexpectedly, Yuuki started crying and abruptly logged off.

star 8.03
238 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
One Little Step

#25 - One Little Step

Season 2 - Episode 14

While Kirigaya Kazuto tried to defend himself against Shinkawa Kyouji, he leaves an opening for Kyouji to attempt to inject him with succinylcholine. Instead of running away, Asada Shino returns inside and knocks Kyouji out with a stereo. Shino then checks on Kazuto's condition, but found out that there is an electrode stuck at the part of his chest where Kyouji had attempted to inject him with the drug which protects him against the needless syringe. Several days later, Endou calls out to Shino, who again tried to demand money from her. As Shino refuses the demand, Endou took out a model gun and threatens Shino. However, after Endou unsuccessfully attempts to fire with it, Shino took the gun from Endou, shows her that the safeties needed to be disabled to fire and then shoots a can with it before returning it back to Endou. As Shino was about to leave the school grounds, she saw that Kazuto was waiting for her near the entrance and drawing unwanted attention. Kazuto first drives Shino to a cafe to meet with Kikuoka Seijirou about the Death Gun incident. After that, Kazuto takes Shino to the Dicey Cafe, where he introduces her to Yuuki Asuna and Shinozaki Rika (Lisbeth). Kazuto then reveals that he had told the two girls about Shino's past and explains that he had them help him find a certain person that she should meet. The person is revealed to have been a woman, named Oosawa Sachie, who was the post office worker, threatened by the robber that Shino killed. The woman thanks Shino for saving her life and tells her that she was pregnant at the time, so Shino had also saved the life of her daughter, Mizue. Kazuto then explains that he wants Shino to think about the people that she had saved by killing the robber and thus be able to forgive herself for it.

star 8.00
288 votes
Directors: Tomohiko Itō
Writers: Tomohiko Itō
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