Sword Art Online Watch Order: Despite Sword Art Online’s recent surge in popularity among fans of the genre, it was once universally reviled. The isekai genre as a whole, however, owes a great deal to the series’ pioneering status. The fact that SAO was the first of its sort meant that it had problems with the story and the characters, but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
It can be difficult to keep track of everything that has come out in addition to the three seasons of Sword Art Online, but we’ve laid down the definitive viewing sequence for the series. Watch Sword Art Online in this order.
How Many Episodes and Seasons Does Sword Art Online Have?
Sword Art Online Watch Order: The anime version of the light novel series Sword Art Online premiered on July 8, 2012. As of this writing in November of 2021, there have been 96 episodes of the Sword Art Online anime spanning all three seasons.
Sword Art Online’s first season it was aired from July 8, 2012, to December 23, 2012, across 25 episodes. The Aincard and Fairy Dance storylines were adapted for this film.
Sword Art Online Watch Order This second season ran from July 5, 2014, to December 20, 2014, and had a total of 24 episodes. The Phantom Bullet storyline was adapted, along with the Calibur and Mother’s Rosario spinoff stories.
There are a total of 47 episodes in the most recent season, which was broken up into three parts. It reworked the Alicization storyline into seven acts. There were a total of 24 episodes in the first season, which aired from October 7, 2018, to March 31, 2019. The following batch aired from October 13, 2019, to December 29, 2019, and featured a total of 12 episodes; the last arc featured 11 episodes and ran from July 12, 2020, to September 20, 2020.
Sword Art Online Chronological Watch Order
1. Season 1: Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is undeniably one of the most aesthetically pleasing anime series out there. A compelling premise and plenty of exciting scenes give the impression that it will be a smashing success.
However, the first 14 episodes display tremendous character despite the show’s time-jumping structure and several questionable choices made by the writers. When the show enters its second half, though, its dynamics change. And the tension and excitement that had been building up in the first half simply evaporate.
Sword Art Online Watch Order: This anime should have been great, but it’s let down by questionable writing and cliched characters. The episodes shift between boring filler and high drama and action, and a singular time jump advances the plot and characters by two years.
The first half of this season fully reverses the positive direction set by the preceding half. In addition, the second half of this season buries the wonderful work of the first, making an unexpected turn following the beautiful midseason conclusion.
Sword Art Online Watch Order: When it comes to visuals, Sword Art Online doesn’t disappoint. The production values are high, and the showy effects and vivid hues are all professionally made. Consequently, they complement the more common RPG features, such as the health bars and the inventory.
When an enemy is vanquished, they break apart into crystalline fragments. Nonetheless, an orchestral theme plays throughout most of the series, making it seem like the characters are in a massively multiplayer online game. As a result, the colour scheme works wonderfully, and the anime-inspired hand-drawn art style makes every scene feel special.
2. Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of A Starless Night
The VRMMORPG Sword Art Online (“SAO”) was developed by Akihiko Kayaba in 2022. Akihiko Kayaba, an astute scientist who founded the company Argus, designed the NerveGear, a second-generation FullDive machine or helmet.
The player’s entire head and face serve as a single interface. It redirected the player’s brain’s impulses to the body and stimulated the five senses with its own waves so that they could experience and control the game characters in the game with their brains alone, without using their bodies.
Sword Art Online Watch Order: It has a high-frequency electromagnetic microwave transmitter and its own battery. It was the first commercially available VR headset. On November 6, 2022, ten thousand players eagerly enter SAO’s cyberspace mainframe to experience the next generation of games, only to discover that they are locked inside the creator’s lethal game and cannot log out.
On the other hand, Akihiko Kayaba only makes a brief appearance to warn the players that they must conquer the 100 floors of Aincrad, the fortress of steel that serves as SAO’s backdrop, in order to be set free. This was the only method for players to log out and escape Akihiko’s scheme.
3. Sword Art Online: Extra Edition
Sword Art Online Watch Order You should watch this if you intend to watch the first season and then wait for the second. To sum up, you should watch the first season, wait two months, and then watch the special episode. Don’t bother unless you want to refresh your memory and gain a minor advantage from the additional scenes.
Would you like to rewatch Sword Art Online because you enjoyed it so much the first time? If so, you’ll enjoy this special edition of the presentation, which is otherwise identical to the original. Everything from the packaging to the music to the artwork to the video to even the opening song is the same.
Because it isn’t relevant to the coming seasons’ episodes, you can skip it if you’re planning on binge-watching the whole thing in one sitting.
Most, if not all, of the film is a big rehash of season 1, with Kirito providing occasional narration. However, there are some brand new present-day sequences that feature characters chatting and having a good time outside of the gaming context.
I don’t hate or dislike it, even though it seems pointless and frustrating to some people. It achieves its goal of simply reiterating the play’s plot and adding a lighthearted adventure at the conclusion.
A lot of the unnecessary drama in the programme is removed, which is a big plus. Furthermore, the animation is top-notch; it’s one of the series’ consistent strong points. If you don’t want to put in the effort to watch the show, I think you’ll get the gist of it here.
I get that some people don’t like anime that has the same undertone as the previous season, but this is an exceptional case. Even if it’s been seen before, you shouldn’t miss it.
4. Season 2: Sword Art Online II
As much as I hate the SAO series, I have to admit that it has great production values. As expected, they put on a visually stunning performance. A person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will nonetheless be captivated by the game’s vibrant visuals. The cinematography is also excellent, and the action sequence will make you pee your pants.
The character designs, though, don’t hold up as well for me. If you stop the action, you’ll see that every single character is using the same stock face. Still, I guess we’re all made in God’s likeness.
The show’s plodding pace is its worst problem. Not exaggerating when I say that the plot of each episode is summarised in two phrases at most.
The lack of excitement this time around is surprising for a programme with such a reputation for action. It also wouldn’t be too much to condense the first four episodes into one; then we could speak.
5. Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Gun Gale Online, a Sword Art Online spinoff, is utterly fascinating. Unlike most virtual reality articles, GGO examines video games from a more nuanced perspective than a simple action extravaganza. The spectacle factor is also present.
When compared to the other entries in the Sword Art Online series, GGO stands out as a unique experience. However, Kirito does not have any family members in the show.
A few references are made to the original SAO, but the creator of the new series is relentless in his criticism of the original. GGO ditches the original’s cliched romance and melodrama in favour of a more in-depth look into the game’s mechanics. The actors’ close bond is also highlighted.
Due to GGO’s emphasis on intense combat, a minimalist approach to characterisation is sufficient. The rules of the game are laid out in the pilot episode so that the remainder of the shows can play by the same set of guidelines.
6. Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
In recent memory, I can’t think of a more entertaining anime film than this one. So, it’s fitting that the picture is getting so much praise.
If you like SAO’s Aincrad arc but found the fairy arc and ego episodes dulled the series, you would love this. But don’t let SAOs of the past sway your vote; ordinal scale brings back (and even improves) the Aincrad arc’s epicness.
Not only is this picture not a spinoff, but it also does not deal with plot but rather character growth. It explains how Rath got his start, which in turn sets up the laicization plot, one of the best in the series. Therefore, I highly recommend this timepiece.
Even if you despise Sword Art Online, you can’t deny that several of the character arcs were strengthened in Ordinal Scale.
Simply put, this is an excellent film. You should watch the first SAO and SAO II before this film if you want to get the whole context of the SAO journey. Here’s the word of a true SAO enthusiast:
7. Season 3, Part 1: Sword Art Online: Alicization
You may have found the time-jumping story and enormous battles in Sword Art Online to be a compelling combination. You could be hoping, too, that the plot lives up to its promise of being faster-paced and less formulaic.
The premise of Sword Art Online: Alicization, the third season, is essentially a hybrid of the two.
Like previous seasons, this one of Sword Art Online is split between in-game and real-world events.
This time around, though, SAO actively aims to merge the two worlds of Gun Gale Online (the game) and Alfheim. Because of this, we hope to create a more unified plot that spans all of the seasons.
Sword Art Online Watch Order Furthermore, the show does a great job at sprinkling in unexpected turns and twists. There is a twist about Alice’s whereabouts, although it all seems a bit too familiar, for example.
Among the many anime I’ve seen, Sword Art Online: Alicization is among the most aesthetically pleasing. In comparison to similar works, this one is truly breathtaking.
The backgrounds are vivid and full of moving little nuances. Simultaneously, a visual fiesta of amazement and delight is created by the superb use of colour and the incorporation of graphic elements such as sunshine streaming through leaves of trees.
Sword Art Online games In order At A Glance
Sword Art Online Watch Order: Code Register (2014), Sword Art Online: Integral Factor (2017), and Sword Art Online Alicization: Rising Steel (2017), the three mobile games in the series, will not be discussed further as they are not part of the major console games we will be discussing (2020). Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight, a console game, is also not included because it is not canon. The recommended playthrough order for the remaining Sword Art Online titles is as follows:
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