Sword Art Online has grown from a light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec to nine mangas, an animated TV series, and ,made-for-TV movies, a live-action series underway at Netflix, and six video games. The light novels alone have been sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
Summer 2020 will see even more SAO for fans. Alicization – War of Underworld Part 2 will be released on July 11, and a video game adaption with new gameplay options is set to drop a day earlier on the tenth of July. Beloved by many, even the biggest fan will admit there are some aspects of SAO that are fully understood only by few, and, for new fans, it can get downright confusing. Here’s a little help.
10. Don’t Expect Continuity In The Beginning – The Timeline Jumps Around
Fans typically love the series from the beginning, but one of the aspects that tends to throw people off the animated aeries is that lack of continuity. The episodes jump around the timeline, just as the novels do. In addition, the anime is based on portions of the light novel, but not the whole thing, so the first several episodes of the animated series are somewhat disconnected. Essentially, patience will reward viewers who are willing to keep watching until the story settles into a groove.
9. The Kids Are Alright… More Or Less
It’s not really a spoiler, it’s more of a fan public service, to mention that it’s not until episode 13 or so that viewers will learn what happened to the kids’ real bodies while they were trapped in the game. As Kirito explains to Asuna after they wake up in the hospital, the gamers were disconnected for a couple of hours so they could be transported to hospitals. There, their bodies were drip-fed and kept alive for two years until Kiroto freed them. It’s explained in the novel in the Tutorial section.
8. Why Don’t The Police Just Arrest The Game Developer??
You’d think there would be a simple solution: arrest Akihiko Kayaba, the game developer, and get him to stop the whole thing. As it turns out, the police do search for him on an ongoing basis, but he disappears.
Later in the story, it is revealed that Akihiko is actually in the game himself as a player, and is as trapped in it as anyone else. There’s nothing the police can do to stop him, as killing him would only mean they’d lost the only person who understands how it works.
7. The Manga Does Not Follow The Anime Exactly Or Vice Versa
Anyone trying to follow both the manga and the anime at the same time or to correlate the two is bound to get mixed up. The first season of SAO covers the Aincrad and Fairy Dance mangas pretty closely. Sword Art Online Progressive goes back to fill in some of the details of the first story arc and was written because of fan demand. Elements of Progressive also appear in the first season. Sword Art Online II follows the story of the Phantom Bullet and Mother’s Rosario mangas.
6. Why Didn’t They Know Who Heathcliff Was?
At one point, Kikuoka Seijirou tells Kirito that they keep constant track of all the game players. So, why didn’t they realize that one of them—Heathcliff, aka Akihiko in the game—was logging in and out to eat and use the washroom and things like that? It’s not explained in the story, but the reason is pretty self-evident. Kayaba controls the Cardinal System, and would easily be able to figure out a way to manipulate his player data to look like everyone else’s.
5. How Did Kirito And Asuna Survive November 7, 2024?
Kirito discovers Heathcliff is really Kayaba, and everyone else is frozen while the two duel. Kayaba eventually kills both Kirito and Asuna, who reappear for the rest of the series. How? The Cardinal system actually allows for a slight delay between avatar death and death in the real world.
In SAO Chapter 24, he notices the time lag and clears out the game so that he’s logged out before the Final Phase has completed. Another fan theory is that he used the 10 Second Revival Item he got after defeating Nicholas the Renegade during the Christmas Event to resurrect them both.
4. How Could Kirito Keep Fighting After His HP Reached 0?
Your health score, or HP, in SAO determines how much punishment you can take from the game. Once it hits zero, you’re done. But, somehow, in the seminal battle with Heathcliff/Kayaba, Kirito is able to keep fighting, just as Asuna can move despite her paralysis status. It seems that the game itself evolves beyond Kayaba’s set limitations, which is due to the fact it is based on A.I. or artificial intelligence. Cardinal reacted to support both Asuna and Kirito because of their determination.
3. How Does Kayaba Come Back Into The Story After His Own Death?
At the end of the Aincrad Arc (November 2024), Akihiko dies along with the SAO virtual game. He has repurposed a FullDive unit that transfers his consciousness into the virtual world permanently. The scan fries out his brain cells and kills his physical body. But…he reappears in ALfheim Online when his virtual ghost is reawakened by hearing Kirito’s voice. He disappears again at the end of Fairy Dance Arc after helping Kirito defeat Oberon. The character also appears in some of the video games, including Hollow Fragment and Infinity Moment, which retcons his death.
2. Why Does Kayaba Akihiko Create A Death Game…And Then Enter It To Help Players?
Kayaba Akihiko is the game developer, but, at the same time, he enters the game as Heathcliff, leader of Asuna’s guild, and he helps players along the way. He even battles some of the end bosses himself. Why?? It has to do with a sense of honor and fairness, albeit an extreme case. Yes, he did trap people in the game, but he believes the best will be able to get through and puts himself to the same challenges he puts to others. It’s weird and twisted, sure, but it’s anime.
1. What’s The Difference Between Augma And FullDive VR?
Augma shows up in the movie Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale. The augmented reality device developed by Professor Shigemura Tetsuhiro soon became a hit because players remain conscious, and it augments their own abilities rather than creating new ones (which is why Kirito has problems, with his lack of natural athletic ability). But, it turns out it was only developed so Tesuhiro could steal memories of Yuuna, his dead daughter, from other players to attempt to recreate her. When it doesn’t work, and Kirito and friends defeat the end boss, Augma is disabled.
Source of: ComicBookResources