Sword Art Online, a popular MMO which requires device called Nerve Gear, enables players to enter the video game world like real world. The fun ends when people are trapped inside and get killed in real life.
Sword Art Online is light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec that is now has three manga adaptations and one anime adaptation. The main premise of series is about boy named Kazuto Kirigaya and his dangerous experiences on internet games, and even though the first event is started with game named Sword Art Online, hence the name, and as series moves on, Kazuto is faced with different problems from different games.
Technological innovation named Nerve Gear allows players to enter virtual world, achieving the true immersion. Soon after the invention of Nerve Gear, beta invitations of MMO named Sword Art Online are sent to numerous players. The game was fun to play until player realized that they cannot log out of the game. Suddenly Akihiko Kayaba, the creator of Sword Art Online appears and announces that everybody in the game are trapped within, and cannot leave the game until they defeat boss at top of dungeon, and if they were to remove Nerve Gear by force before defeating the final boss or die within the game, they would permanently die in real world. As parting gift, Akihiko leave mirrors to each players, which reveals players' real face causing more panic. Among them is a boy named Kirito, who determines to reach the final dungeon and leave the game no matter what.
Real name Kazuto Kirigaya, Kirito is the main character of the series who gets tangled with numerous online events, starting with Sword Art Online. Kirito doesn't really like to socialize with others, even on online so he only makes friends with few people that he can really trust. However Kirito is no newcomer to online experience, he has been playing most of games for long time, and he is one of few people who was invited to play the beta version of Sword Art Online. Using his knowledge as beta tester, Kirito becomes stronger faster than other. However this action only caused him to be hated since he doesn't use his knowledge to help other players, marking him as Beater, a word combination of beta tester and cheater.
Asuna, which is based on her real name Asuna Yuuki, is one of few real female player in Sword Art Online. Being a real girl in Sword Art Online is rare, but to make things worse Asuna she is prettier than average female players, and so she constantly receive love confession of numerous male players. Asuna joins a guild named Knight of Blood, which is now one of strongest guild exist in Sword Art Online and becomes sub-leader as well as gaining title "Flash" for her fast sword skill. She approaches Kirito time to time to invite him to joining the guild.
First player Kirito interacted with, Klein learned many things from Kirito. When they found out that they cannot log out of the game, Kirito offered him to join him but Klein refused because he wanted to help his friends who recently join the game. They separated their ways until they got reunited years later.
Good friend of Asuna and Kirito, she is a blacksmith in Sword Art Online who managed to build her own shop basically from nothing. She created many equipment for both Asuna and Kirito.
Written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec, the light novel has been published by ASCII Media Works under Dengeki Bunko imprint since April 10 of 2009 and is sill on going consisting of ten volumes. Currently there are four arcs, each with different game world setting.
ASCII Media Works published three manga series in the Dengeki Bunko Magazine. Each of them is written by Reki Kawahara, and there is a different illustrator.
- Unnamed First Series - It ran in September 2010 and ended in May 2012. It's illustrated by Tamako Nakamura.
- Sword Art Online 4Koma - It's an ongoing series that started in September 2010. It's illustrated by Juusei Minami.
- Unnamed Third Series - It's a current series that started in May 2012. It's illustrated by Hazuki Tsubasa.
Anime adaptation has been published by Aniplex and produced by A-1 Pictures, the first episode was aired on July 7, 2012. It's directed by Tomohiko Ito, and the music is composed by Yuki Kajiura.