Sword Art Online anime genre analysis and watch guide

Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

A Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by ABEC. The anime is produced by A-1 Pictures, with the direction of Itou Tomohiko (season 1, season 2, and season 3). The first season began airing on July 7, 2012, in Japan. While an English dub version began airing on July 27, 2013. A second season, titled Sword Art Online II, started airing on July 5, 2014. An original movie, titled The Movie – Ordinal Scale, has released on February 18, 2017, in Japan, as well as in various other countries.

Genre analysis

It is one of the most popular action, adventure, romance, game, fantasy anime series.

In this feature film, fans of the franchise can experience a brand new adventure with Kirito and Asuna. Moreover, fan-favorite characters. Two years after the SAO incident, where players were held captive inside the massive online role-playing game until they completed all 100 levels. A new Augmented-Reality MMORPG – Ordinal Scale became an instant hit on the market. Players soon realize that the line between virtual and reality is blurring, and their worst nightmares are coming true. Kirito is about to join Asuna and friends to explore the world of the Ordinal Scale, but they’ll quickly find out that it isn’t all fun and games.

Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki.
Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki.

For as long as time has existed, the world has been filled with love stories. However, there’s been one love story that has warmed the hearts of many in the anime community – Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki. The Black Swordsman and The Lightning Flash. In addition to that, these two are dubbed “anime’s best couple” by plenty. Furthermore, even Reki Kawahara, the writer, even said himself that they represent undeniable true love.

Watch guide of Sword Art Online

The Characters of all seasons
The Characters of all seasons

The series will have a massive premise, and you will be drawn into binge-watching it in one sitting. However, if you are ready to overlook some of the glaring flaws, then prepare yourself for an ever-evolving plot that will adapt to the characters and remain fresh until it last. The original light novel has now turned into several anime seasons and a theatrical anime movie, which could lead to confusion for fans new to the series.

If you are planning to watch this anime then watch it according to this order:

  • Sword Art Online
  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition
  • Season II
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
  • Ordinal Scale
  • Sword Art Online Alicization
  • Alicization – War of Underworld
  • Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season

The recommended order of SAO is its chronological order. Also, you can watch the specials, but they’re either recaps or one-shots that are irrelevant to the main plot.

Where to watch Sword Art Online with subtitles or dubbed?

SAO is available on all of the significant anime streaming platforms.

Here is the list to watch this anime either with subtitles or dubbed –  

  • Hulu – English subtitles and dubbed
  • Funimation – English subtitles and dubbed
  • Netflix US –   English subtitles and dubbed
  • Crunchyroll – English subtitles

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