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Sword Art Online (Novel)  
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From Yen Press:

In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online-a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other-opens its virtual doors, allowing players to take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the game world by manipulating their brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience. But when the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG-a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one hundred floors of Aincrad to regain your freedom. But in the warped world of SAO, "game over" means certain death-both virtual and real...


Related Series

Associated Names
Искусство меча онлайн (ранобэ)
刀剑神域 (小说)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.12 c.8 + Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki (540d ago)
v.12 c.7 by Baka-Tsuki (600d ago)
v.11 c.Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki (716d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
15 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 2
Ends at Vol 4, Chap 9

User Reviews

8 topics, 48 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (487 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.48 / 10.0
 52% (255 votes)
 19% (91 votes)
 9% (46 votes)
 6% (29 votes)
 4% (18 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 2% (9 votes)
 2% (9 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 4% (21 votes)

Last Updated
January 28th 2015, 4:34pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
ASCII Media Works (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)
Dengeki Bunko Magazine (ASCII Media Works)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Yen Press (3 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #495 increased(+85)
Monthly Pos #608 decreased(-1)
3 Month Pos #606 decreased(-152)
6 Month Pos #424 decreased(-102)

List Stats
On 1742 reading lists
On 832 wish lists
On 54 unfinished lists
On 410 custom lists

Sponsored Links
Game advertisements by <a href="" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

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Forum Posts
Where to read Sword Art Online (Light novel)? 158 days, 22 hours, 47 minutes ago
Sword Art Online and Accel World 348 days, 19 hours, 37 minutes ago
Swordt Art Online dropped 448 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes ago
does it get better? 600 days, 10 hours, 35 minutes ago
want to start the novel, need answers to a few questions 727 days, 14 hours, 28 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Highly Overrated   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by Sizaki
November 3rd, 2014, 7:53am
My brother forced me into this and he made it sound REALLY interesting.
But I was extremely disappointed with everything.

This novel is made for kids, because it's so badly scripted and forced plots everywhere and the mc just completely ignores the main heroine and just plays around with his forced harem. And it's over dramatic, and so slow paced in many occasions. In other words, extremely overrated.

I may have enjoyed it if I was like 12, but as it turns out, I'm 18 and this isn't for me.
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Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by Sukets
October 14th, 2013, 9:58pm
This has as much Deus ex machina as you could possibly put on a plot. He goes as far as to put DeM even in action scenes, making the reader feel like a absolute retard while reading it.
For me, this novel goes as far as Twilight in terms of narrative and plot, with Kirito saving girls, like princesses on top of a tower (volume 3/4 anyone?).
People often told me to treat every adventure as a multiverse, but the author simply don't give any room for it, with constant pace breakers with other people in other games. This may work as a web novel, where you read it 1 chapter/month; but doesn't as volume novel, where you go through a volume in a couple of days, the story has just too much inconsistence...
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very very good story   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by B3rKuT
April 26th, 2013, 2:55pm
SAO 7 (Mother's rosario) novell touched me in a really powerful way. I read really many book in my life, but for first time I've been crying. People who rated those novells low , please try to read little firther then prologue...
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Slaanesh14509
February 4th, 2013, 9:03am
So, I've read all of SAO up until and including Mother's rosario. I agree with many that volume one (with it's side stories) made up most of the initial appeal. Personally I liked the side stories, just because it showed some more sides to the world. While many dislike the ALO arc, it still makes for a good story, like the adaptation back into reality. I admit that it pales in comparison to the Aincrad or GGO arc, but it's still good. Now GGO turned the whole story into a deathgame again, maybe not as severe, but that is what made up most of the appeal of the first arc. In my opinion (which is biased since I'm a med student) the mothers rosario arc is the best. First of all there is finally some character development (and background info) on Asuna, which until then was plain (not that I dislike plain characters). Out of personal experience girls with such a background have a high probability of turning out plain in RL too. The thing that annoys me most is the degeneration of the relationship. If the neuro linker works the way I think it works, then essentially everything that happened was real. I really dislike the harem tendencies. For me the series is one of the best out there, even with it's drawbacks.

Anyway, I gotta go figure out where my medical physics prof went and pester about theoretical possibilities. With that I have a good subject for obtaing my mD-deg xD

For all the Aincrad fanatics: I think Kawahara thinks like you guys and because of that rebooted the aincrad series with SAO progressive
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Just Amazing...   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by PinkShippuden
December 23rd, 2012, 7:41am
In my opinion it is great~~~! I've already seen the anime and i have read up to Volume 10, and i dont find it boring in the least bit!
I'm absolutely hoping that the anime gets a second season but until then i shall keep reading the novel. ^.^
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Worth it   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by liltripp2hustla
December 12th, 2012, 6:49pm
I watched the anime (the first arc up until the episode he solo's the boss on whatever floor) but after that I read the novel from the beginning and I have to say they did a good job on keeping most of the novel in the anime unlike manga's and even integrated volume 2 in between.

Even though I skipped volume 2 since it was the side stories I already saw in the anime I skipped it but I do have to say "Sword Art Online" should have ended with the First (maybe the second in other peoples opinion) volume and been renamed something else at the start of the 3rd volume.

It just showed me he didn't plan it that far ahead thinking the popularity would go so far, or he would have named the novel something instead. I have to say the First volume was amazing imo, but the 3rd was unbelievably boring and I dropped it at the 4th volume. But I recently picked it back up again because I kept hearing that the 5-6th volume are worth the hanging in there through the ALO arc.
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Really absorbing... until...   
Rating: N/A
by sandyatthebeach1
December 10th, 2012, 4:48am
The first arc ended. Well, not precisely- the second arc and on we're still enjoyable and fun the read, but they weren't anything spectacular, whereas the first arc was addicting and generally awesome. The first arc in Aincrad is basically standalone, so of you wanted to just read that, I would recommend it- the story is amazing and exciting; Kirito is amazing and brave, but torn, and the whole premise of being trapped in virtual reality is just cool- I've seen it done, but it rarely disappoints. But after the first arc... It becomes a harem, and Kirito is still awesome, but in a more typical way... And the character development, instead of being good, tends to go in the reverse, haha. Still, it's a fun, exciting read, and I really liked it- just a little disappointed in the following arcs.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Asuna-chan
December 2nd, 2012, 10:49pm
It's been a lone time since I've enjoyed a series like this. I love it so far, but I do fear for the romance side of it as I read more of the light novel, but the anime is doing good. Love the art work and the story line has holes, but they're liveable.
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good but characters are annoying..   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by AddicTed to ManGas
October 11th, 2012, 12:17am
I really love this kind of mangas, i mean stuck in games (i am a gamer xD)
everything is GOOD except for the characters...
Kirito: the typical male lead... His character has nothing really special and it seems that if he dies (which will never happen), i won't really mind :/ His relationship with Asuna is just stupid!
Asuna: even though many people like her, i still find her STUPID... she is soooooooooooo shallow and all happy-blushy! The annoying female character you find EVEYWHERE! She is said to be one the most beautiful characters in the manga, but seriously, i find background characters much more beautiful -.- And her relationship with Kirito is annoying..
No characer development!

also, the conversations between kirito and asuna seems fake and unbelievable!
it deserves less than 5/10!

EDIT: It took me a lot of effort to get past volume 1 --'' The art is not amazing to me and the characters became even dumber... I mean, they are still YOUNG LOVERS.. yet in the anime, they do..''Things'' which disgusts me a lot!
Kirito, the main character, became worse.. it's turning into a harem.. I don't really see what the girls find in him.. i'm a girl, and he's a complete turn off :/ he's not attractive, his looks is the same as all the typical shounen males..
AND Asuna.. The so-perfect girl... My my, i've never seen a girl so plain and shallow in my whole life.. Even those stupid shoujo whinny characters are better IMO.. At least the shoujo characters are THERE.. while Asuna seems invisible..

Idk why people like this bullshit --'' well no offense.. 1/10

... Last updated on December 16th, 2012, 9:39am
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Rating: N/A
by Grienson
August 31st, 2012, 6:25pm
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I came upon this novel by a chance and fell in love right away, the main reason being that I'm a gamer and have wished for virtual reality games for a long time. The romance aspect of a single pairing with no interference of a harem was also very attractive to me.

With that said, I read through the first 2 volumes at an astonishing rate and absolutely loved it. I like loner characters like Kirito and when he later finally got together with Asuna I was delighted, the getting together part was a bit hurried I think, but overall it was an awesome novel.

After reading the first two volumes I was curious what happened to Asuna so I continued reading. I was shocked by how much the main character changed from the first arc, it's obvious he would change after his experiences in SAO, but not this much - an introverted, gloomy loner became a cheerful and carefree playboy.
Another disappointment came with the introduction of a new heroine madly in love with Kirito and the first hint of a possibility of a harem, but because of the situation Asuna found herself in he didn't pay any attention to it so it was still ok.

With a lot of skepticism, hoping it would improve, I moved on to GGO arc. How great was my disappointment when I found out Kirito not only further developed his horrible character from ALO (with the hint of a brat and a crybaby) but also became a womanizer with a "soft spot for beauties" as the author himself describes. After finishing half of this arc I decided to stop reading this novel for good.

As a final verdict I have to say that this novel should have ended with the first arc and it would absolutely deserve a rating higher than 9/10, the way it is now however I'm so disappointed with it that I won't even rate it.
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