7.9
3,729 votes
Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online

Tochigi TV 2012

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...

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online - S4E16

#1 - Code 871

6.87

Season 4 - Episode 16

The traitor inside Rath turns out to be a researcher named Yanai. When Higa attempts to restore Kirito, Yanai tries to thwart the operation by holding him at gunpoint. Meanwhile, in the Underworld, Sinon confronts Gabriel, who has logged back in.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 69 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E21

#2 - Beyond Time

7.02

Season 4 - Episode 21

The maximum-acceleration phase has begun. Alice successfully logs out of the Underworld, but Kirito doesn’t make it in time. In the real world, Higa and Kikuoka rush to shut down the STL, in order to disable the maximum-acceleration phase, but…

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 50 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E1

#3 - In the Far North

7.33

Season 4 - Episode 1

Six months have passed since the fierce battle against Administrator. Alice has brought Kirito to her childhood home, Rulid Village, where they live peacefully. Gazing out at the world that she saved with Kirito, Alice reflects on all that’s happened.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 139 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E4

#4 - Dark Territory

7.41

Season 4 - Episode 4

Shasta, commander of the Dark Territory’s dark knights, had intended to use Administrator’s death as a chance for peace with the Human Empire. But his plans are thwarted by Emperor Vecta’s return to the land of darkness.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 120 votes.

Sword Art Online - S2E18

#5 - Forest House

7.41

Season 2 - Episode 18

In an upcoming update of ALO, Floors 21-30 of New Aincrad will be unlocked. Asuna, Kirito and Yui revisit their dream of once again living together in their log cabin on Floor 22.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 286 votes.

Sword Art Online - S2E15

#6 - The Queen of the Lake

7.43

Season 2 - Episode 15

One day at the end of the year, Kirigaya Suguha showed her cousin, Kirigaya Kazuto, a news article about the legendary item, the «Holy Sword Excaliber», being discovered in ALfheim Online. Without delay, he called Asuna, Klein, Lisbeth, Silica and Sinon to challenge the dungeon in the sky of Jötunheimr, where Excaliber was . After preparing their items at Lisbeth's arms shop and purchasing potions for the adventure, the group entered Jötunheimr via a secret passageway in Alne. At the end of the tunnel, they reached the top of Jötunheimr and Leafa called Tonkii, a flying evil-god-class monster that they had befriended several months ago. The group climbed on Tonkii's back and asked it to ferry them to the ice dungeon. However, along the way, Tonkii suddenly dived and stopped at an altitude where they could see the ground. There they saw that players were cooperating with the humanoid evil-god-class monsters to massacre Tonkii's kin, the beast evil-god-class monsters. As they were watching the scene, a giant NPC, the «Queen of the Lake» Urðr, appeared behind them. The NPC explained that the massacre was ordered by the king of the giants, Þrym, who once threw the Holy Sword Excaliber into Urðr's Spring and caused the world of Jötunheimr to turn into an icy wasteland. She then explained that if all of Tonkii's kin were slaughtered, she would lose her power and this would allow Þrym to invade the land of the fairies, Alfheim. To prevent this, Urðr requested the fairies to retrieve the Holy Sword Excaliber from the bottom of the ice dungeon, called Þrymheimr.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 319 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E3

#7 - The Final Load Test

7.43

Season 4 - Episode 3

The mysterious group that attacked the Ocean Turtle turns out to be a secret unit under orders from the U.S. National Security Agency. And its leader, Gabriel, has battled Kirito and Sinon before.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 118 votes.

Sword Art Online - S3E3

#8 - The End Mountains

7.46

Season 3 - Episode 3

Kirito makes up his mind to journey to Centoria. Since he'll need Eugeo's help, he also decides to fell the Gigas Cedar. Meanwhile, Alice's little sister, Selka is worried about Eugeo, and opens up to Kirito about her concerns.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 179 votes.

Sword Art Online - S2E7

#9 - Crimson Memories

7.49

Season 2 - Episode 7

In the Kirigaya residence, Suguha shows Kazuto a news article about the participants of the BoB tournament, among which was Kirito's name. Although Kazuto tries to hide the fact that he converted his avatar to GGO, Suguha told him that she already found out from Asuna. After a flashback of Kazuto's talk with Asuna the previous day, Suguha tells him that she is worried due to Kazuto having a frightening expression when he returned home last night. Kazuto then calmed Suguha down by promising that he would be back. Meanwhile, Shino vents her anger about Kirito to Kyōji, who then tells her that she isn't acting like her normal self and, after a short conversation, tries to hug her, but is rejected by her. At the hospital, after seeing that Kazuto was troubled by something, Aki offers a free counselling session. When Kazuto tells her about how he killed the Laughing Coffin members in SAO, she tells him that she cannot help him with that burden, but reminds him that he killed them in order to protect others. After calming down, Kazuto logs into GGO. Meanwhile, in Alfheim Online, after completing a boss fight, Asuna and the others get ready to watch the broadcast of the BoB tournament. In GGO, Sinon meets Kirito at the General Governor's Office, and they tell each other that they will not lose.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 343 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E17

#10 - Prince of Hell

7.50

Season 4 - Episode 17

Asuna and the others succumb to Vassago and the Chinese/Korean players. Discovering the catatonic Kirito, Vassago kicks his wheelchair over. Enraged, Klein lunges at Vassago, only to be pinned down by enemy players. Just then, someone unexpected appears.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 70 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E22
#11 - Alice
7.50
Season 4 - Episode 22

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 8 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E11
#12 - Heartless Choice
7.51
Season 4 - Episode 11

Asuna has created a bottomless chasm. The dark knights and the pugilists attempt to cross over to the other side, where the Human Empire Army waits. Meanwhile, Critter releases an announcement about a limited-time beta test for a bizarre new VRMMO.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 114 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E15
#13 - Instigation
7.52
Season 4 - Episode 15

Bercouli pursues Vecta, who’s abducted Alice. After a long, vicious battle, Bercouli unleashes his secret sword skill, Uragiri, and finally defeats Vecta, despite having sustained severe injuries himself.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 75 votes.

Sword Art Online - S3E6
#14 - Project Alicization
7.52
Season 3 - Episode 6

Asuna infiltrates Rath, the research lab in the Ocean Turtle, where she relentlessly grills Kikuoka about Kazuto’s whereabouts. Kikuoka reveals that behind the development of the Soul Translator is a mind-blowing objective of epic scale.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 159 votes.

Sword Art Online - S2E3
#15 - Memories of Blood
7.53
Season 2 - Episode 3

While walking home, Asada Shino, Sinon's real-life counterpart, is bullied by three schoolmates, but they are warded away by her friend Kyōji Shinkawa, who introduced her to GGO in the first place, as a form of immersion therapy for her fear of guns. After talking about their personal lives, Shino leaves for home. There, she tries holding a gun replica, but this induces a flashback to when she was eleven years old; while she was at a postal office with her mother, a man carrying a gun tried to rob the office, shooting an employee and threatening to kill other people. When the robber aimed his gun at her mother, Shino attacked him, wrestled the gun out of his hand, and shot him repeatedly, killing him. The flashback triggers a panic attack from Shino. Meanwhile, Kirito informs Asuna that he will be converting his ALO avatar to GGO, which surprises her, but she approves. As Kazuto, he goes to the hospital to log into GGO, while his real-life body will be watched by Aki Natsuki, a nurse who oversaw his condition while he was trapped in SAO. Shino logs into GGO as well. Meanwhile, an unknown figure overhears an online voice-chat discussing Death Gun before looking at a photo of Sinon, grinning hungrily.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 342 votes.

Sword Art Online - S3E14
#16 - The Crimson Knight
7.54
Season 3 - Episode 14

After being entrusted with the fate of the world by Cardinal, Kirito and Eugeo head to the top floor of the Central Cathedral. They find their confiscated swords, only to be attacked by the bow-wielding Integrity Knight Deusolbert Synthesis Seven.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 149 votes.

Sword Art Online - S4E2
#17 - Raids
7.54
Season 4 - Episode 2

A force from the Dark Territory is attacking Rulid Village. Though she’d lost her purpose in battle, in order to fight for her family, and for the people that Kirito and Eugeo tried to protect, Alice takes up the Osmanthus Blade once again!

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 133 votes.

Sword Art Online - S1E18
#18 - To the World Tree
7.56
Season 1 - Episode 18

After recalling how she got into VR gaming, Suguha meets up with Recon's real life persona, Shin'ichi Nagata, informing him that she will be quitting their party to join Kirito. Logging in once more as Lyfa, she accompanies Kirito in shopping for new equipment, having a run in with her old party, led by Sigurd who doesn't take kindly to Lyfa's departure. Before Kirito and Lyfa set off, Recon approaches them, saying he will continue to observe Sigurd's party due to some suspicions he has about them. Meanwhile, as Asuna learns from Sugou that Kirito is still alive, she takes keen observation of the keycode for her cage's lock. As Kirito and Lyfa reach a safe landing point, where they will have to continue on foot through some caves to reach the World Tree, they take turns logging out to refresh themselves, with Lyfa getting a brief chat with Yui. After Kirito returns, they both set off again, unaware that they are being followed by a mysterious group.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 384 votes.

Sword Art Online - S3E13
#19 - Ruler and Mediator
7.56
Season 3 - Episode 13

Kirito and Eugeo have been rescued by the young girl, Cardinal, who has secluded herself inside the Central Cathedral’s Great Library. Cardinal explains to Kirito how the Axiom Church and the Taboo Index came to be, starting with Administrator’s past.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 148 votes.

Sword Art Online - S3E11
#20 - Central Cathedral
7.57
Season 3 - Episode 11

Kirito and Eugeo are now considered criminals for having violated the Taboo Index and are thrown into the underground prison in the Central Cathedral. Meanwhile, on the Ocean Turtle in the real world, Asuna is watching over Kazuto as he's being treated.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Sword Art Online from 152 votes.

Last updated: mar 01, 2021

Comments

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It's really nice but it should have ended after episode 14 it would be a really nice ending

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Absolutely awesome anime !! It has everything, a well told story, action, emotion and beautiful animations. Sounds and pictures are fitting well together. Every fan of MMOs and anime has to watch this. I'm very excited about the 2nd season.

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9.5/10 As a child, I've always found the concept of living in a game that revolves around sword and sorcery fascinating, so the main idea of this show has been appealing to me since the beginning. However, after watching the first few episodes, I was kind of disappointed: All I got to see was a person with an enigmatic character, who was completely over-leveled and wanted to rush through the game all by himself. Instead of showing captivating and engaging boss fights, all I got to see was the main character virtually one-hitting all the enemies because of his high level. Instead of gaining an insight into the main character's personality and background, I was merely left with a very vague impression of him. At that point, I was doubtful about whether it really is worth it continuing watching the show. Fortunately, I did continue watching the show, and I was glad to see that most of the aforementioned negative aspects didn't prevail throughout the show. Finally, we were introduced with a second main character and therefore also learned more about the sentimental side of Kirito. In the second part of the first season, we also got to understand his family life and relation to his sister better. And furthermore, boss fights no longer were finished in a matter of seconds; instead, we saw how many players work together to defeat the final enemy in bitter and long-running battles. This is when I started to really fall in love with this show. In conclusion, while the beginning of this show is rather poor, it gets better and better with each episode.

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Great Show, can't wait for GunGale-Online ^_~

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Sword Art Online (Season 1) - 7/10 Despite what many users and critics would have you believe, I advise anyone interested by the prospect of the series give it a chance before writing it off entirely. In fact, I was planning on doing just that after reading a few of the reviews posted by members on here. I started watching anime on a fan level at the very start of this past Fall 2013 season, and like many was dragged in by the momentum of Attack on Titan. A coworker tried to get me to watch SAO and I kinda feigned interest and said I'd get around to it. I had already made up my mind not to watch the series because of the criticism it's received. A few months later (or last week for me) a few friends attempted to get me to watch the show, and so I started. And watched some more. I downed the entire first season in a week, and I can honestly admit happily that I enjoyed it much more than I hated it. It seems as though there are two types of people who review here: the guys who think everything is awesome, and the guys that'll nitpick each episode for inconsistencies. It seems the more popular a show gets the more it needs to be scrutinized. If this were merely some underground fan favorite I doubt people would take it as seriously. I'm going to try and be the in-between guy who chooses to stay unbiased, and will review the series for all it's merits and all it's downfalls, and I'll stay away from determining whether it's worth the praise it receives or not. That being said this first season was FAR from perfect, but I've yet to watch a perfect television series. And seriously, at the end of the day, this is a cartoon. If you've yet to see the season, spoilers follow. Part 1: Aincrad Saga The year is 2022. Ten thousand individuals login to the just released VRMMORPG (virtual reality massively multiplayer online role playing game) Sword Art Online, and then the worst possible scenario for anyone with a fear of virtual reality becomes their new reality: they can no longer logout. Nor can they remove their Nervegear helmets, or else the system will kill them. And worse yet, if they die in the game, they die in reality. Their goal is to reach the 100th floor and after defeating the endgame boss, they can all be set free. 2 years later and 40% of the players have lost their virtual and literal lives. I will admit that I am an avid fan of MMO's and love the idea of just leveling up your character, getting him stronger and stronger ad infinitum. There was a time where I was more than addicted to World of Warcraft. Had a character that had a play time of over two months! But SAO is a very different beast. The approach of having 100 floors was interesting and new. It felt like a classic game with 100 stages, but stuffed into a futuristic MMO. But I had two problems with this setup. 1) The show never explained how big each floor was. You just assumed each floor had special stuff only located there, like towns and forests, and lakes... And 2) they skipped so much of the game within the first few episodes of the show. This was particularly upsetting to me, because I'm all about the linear storytelling going on from battle to battle. I eat up all that filler stuff. Instead they skipped from the boss of the first floor to two years later when they're on floor 74... What?! I understand the purpose of this however, and that's because the story they wanted to tell took place primarily at that last month that SAO was still active. I feel they really could've delved deeper into the lore of the world instead of focusing so much on character woes. This saga should have lasted the entire 25 episode run so as to iron out certain potential plot holes and encourage character development with some of the tertiary characters. Another strange case about this MMO is the lack of character class. An RPG without magic?!? I'm surprised that so many were upset by the love story that blossomed between Kirito and Asuna. It felt extremely natural and I felt they spent an appropriate amount of time on their tale. It didn't fall short for me. Much of what they as characters were experiencing by the second year was surprisingly relatable. Although the primary objective was to free themselves from Aincrad, they had become so accustomed to living in this world that they considered it more real than reality itself. It's only natural then to find yourself in love with another that you party with on a daily basis. I found their relationship occasionally very touching to be honest, and was fully invested. I wasn't a huge fan however of their "daughter" Yui. That was a plot point I just could not stand. I was constantly amazed at Kirito's blatantly overpowered stats. I was sure that it would become old soon, but the more it was showcased the more I digged it. The mysterious way in which he was given the special ability to dual wield... Excellent. Knowing in retrospect that it was actually just the GM granting him special rights simply to spice things up a bit and have a bit of fun is amusing, and a satisfying reason in my opinion. From the beginning I didn't consider the GM a villain, because it didn't seem as if he had much of a motive other than the fact that he could just do it. It struck me more so as the work of an eccentric visionary, who's bored and lonely. When Kirito lost that duel, due to what appeared to be a glitch or hack in the system, I thought for sure it must be the GM or someone in cahoots with him. I'm surprised it took so long to realize it. That last battle was interesting to say the very least. I can understand why many didn't care for it. The way I see it is that these guys are stuck in this virtual world for two years, getting brain-fed data constantly. After that long you'd expect there to begin to be strange anomalies when the game interferes with heightened levels of emotions. Yes, "the power of love" strikes again, but I think it's more than that. I think it's the will to beat the system, and nobody had more will than Kirito. I'm surprised this was one of the first moments where glitches were realized on screen. You'd expect them to be just slightly more commonplace. And as to why they weren't dead at the end... Well the GM congratulated them on jointly beating the game. Enough said really. Part 2: Fairy Dance Saga An RPG with magic!!! Finally. But now it's full of fairies... Interesting. The premise of the second half of the season begins with Kirito waking up, but somehow Asuna didn't. We find out that somewhere near 300 players from SAO didn't make it out for whatever reason. And worse yet, some creepy dude wants to marry Asuna while she's in a coma! Kirito soon finds out there is a new VRMMORPG called Alfheim out and he gets a tip that Asuna is trapped inside this world. He goes in, gets the unknowing help of his busty step-sister, and attempts a rescue mission. As an MMO, Alfheim feels far more organic than Sword Art Online did. Perhaps it was the ability to log off. Perhaps it was the racial choices and magic capabilities. I'm not sure. But because it felt more organic didn't necessarily mean the show benefitted from it. Where my issue with the first half of the season was that they sped through over a year and a half of story, this second half of the season takes place in, what, 3 days? The tone becomes drastically different, and in many ways it feels like a completely different show. This threw me off balance quite a bit. I liked the idea, but not the execution and I'm sure others felt the same. If this is the true source of people hating the series then I can't argue with you there. It angered me too. But I didn't let it affect my view of the overall arc too much. The stakes are far different in this half of the series. In the first half the big issues were not being able to log out, and if you die you die. But in this half you CAN log out AND you get to respawn. You just lose all your gear (or something?). This wasn't fully explained, or maybe I missed it. Instead the real stake only existed for Kirito and Asuna. She was trapped by some horny maniac, and he was determined to save her before she got married off. Because the story didn't have enough breathing room it all felt more unrealistic despite the more realistic game. Again, this could have been fleshed out far better over a full season. One thing I really did like was that Kirito's stats carried over into this game from SAO. Basically he was the best before he even began. Makes sense he'd be far stronger than the strongest player in this game due to the fact that Alfheim had only been going strong for about a year. And you know what, despite not liking Yui's character in the first half of the season, she was ridiculously cute throughout the second half. Seriously. She slept in his pocket. The second half of the series, although inherently not as violent, had far more fan service, and weird sexual stuff all around. I don't consider Sugu's strange love for her adoptive brother to be incestual, but it's definitely... strange. Regardless, although the subject matter was out there, it felt organic and natural, and the resolution with the real world confrontation was probably the most emotional scene the anime offered. You couldn't help but feel bad for her. And yet she still aided him in his flight to victory. (See what I did there?) The rape scene was particularly unsettling, and I didn't care for a second of it. I hope that's what the creators of the series intended because that's how it came across for me personally, and hopefully for other viewers. It was disgusting. But that's when the original GM intervened, becoming the god in the machine, allowing Kirito admin access, and the ability to beat the system. Perhaps I'm a sap, but I'm not used to watching stuff with happy endings. The season was given a nice ending. Part 3: Sword Art Online Extra Edition & beyond I won't get too caught up in the Extra Edition synopsis, because there's not all that much to it seeing as how it's mostly a synopsis of the entire first season with swimsuits in-between clips. But if it tells me anything, it's that the first and second half of the season were two very different storiess, with many differing strengths and weaknesses. It may not be a popular opinion, but I do believe it would be a far stronger series if the two arcs were each given a full 25 episode season. I'm sure that would lead to criticism of filler episodes, but if it would make the series a stronger one in the long run, I'm all for it. And it wouldn't feel like such a weird switch right there in the middle of the story. I was very confused with the resolution of the world seed. Essentially everyone has access to this world seed, so everyone can make their own world with their own rules? I don't see how that's a good thing, seeing as how the first two worlds were run by madmen. And there was an interesting tease to the future of the series. But hopefully they explain better in season 2, which was snazzily introduced earlier yesterday. The Phantom Bullet saga eh? I hope this one gets a full run of episodes as well. Space out the story a little bit. In conclusion. It's a flawed series, but it's by no means unwatchable or bad.

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Don't get fooled by the first episode. This show is pretty bad (at least if you expect quality writing out of it). The main problem for me was the lack of story. They setup a life or death siutation but instead of showing the players coping with it we get a timeskip and a chronological adaptation of the source material (light novels) which means lots of irrelevant side stories. The stakes are mainly ignored and hardly anyone works toward the goal of completing the game (clearing all 100 floors). When the SOA story arc comes to an end it is abrupt and makes no sense at all due plotarmor. The second arc is still airing but luckily it'll be over soon. All changes have been for the worse. Another issue are the characters; cardboard cutouts and personality changes on demand. Most of the women (or better girls) tend to exist to form a harem for our MC. Speaking of which, this show goes full-shonen as far as his powers go. It is ridiculous what he can pull off (getting his own skills in an mmo, hacking, highest leveled player in the game when all you see is him idlying and helping lowlevel players.. it get's even worse in the second arc). Given that it is an action show you would at least expect the fights to be good. Unfortunatly these are a letdown. The bossfights usually look rather bad. Not only because of the CGI but the way they animated it. There is hardly a battle choreography and they overuse still frames. You can literally see that the only things animated are the flashing lights which are supposed to represent sword strikes. Add to this the ever increasing fan-service, silly dialogue, unbelievable romance and countless things that make no sense. Due to reasons I cannot understand this show is popular and sells really well so a second season could happen.

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It has been pretty good so far. The amount of accurate MMO references has been surprising as well.

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This is a definite watch. First season was a little boring because of lack of Action Scenes but after that it was a impressive. Season 3 and 4 will definitely keep you on the edge. Plot, animation, story everything was top notch. Now, I am patiently waiting for the Second Cour of Season 4.

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I realy loved this show, the store, the characters, the awsome animation, just excelent 10pts.

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WAIT WHY TF IS IT SHOWING ENDED? IT'S STILL GOING IN, THERE'S SEASON 3 PART 2 ON THE EAY IN OCTOBER!!

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