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Sword Art Online (Novel)  
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Associated Names
Сворд арт онлайн
فن السيف عبر الانترنت (رواية)
刀剑神域 (小说)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.12 c.8 + Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki over 8 years ago
v.12 c.7 by Baka-Tsuki over 8 years ago
v.11 c.Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki over 8 years ago
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in Country of Origin
26 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 2 (Sword Art Online)
Ends at Vol 18 (As of Sword Art Online: Alicization-War of Underworld Episode 23)

User Reviews

8 topics, 51 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.4 / 10.0 (550 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.3 / 10.0

Last Updated
September 17th 2021, 5:25am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
ASCII Media Works (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Yen On (21 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #422 increased(+207)
Monthly Pos #1093 increased(+371)
3 Month Pos #2185 increased(+462)
6 Month Pos #3145 increased(+476)
Year Pos #4112 decreased(-230)

List Stats
On 1810 reading lists
On 864 wish lists
On 81 unfinished lists
On 542 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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High-budget, low quality  
by Yama_San
October 6th, 2016, 3:10pm
Rating: 6.5 / 10.0
Sword Art Online is a series that starts with an intriguing premise-- the potential to have a thrilling story with deep, intricate characters was laid out within the first portion of the novel. However, the story quickly devolves into a standard power fantasy, in which the main character inexplicably and without mention gains strength ridiculous enough to break all suspension of disbelief. From gaining the love of every female within his immediate vicinity to singlehandedly overcoming an obstacle it takes numerous other players (who should, in the first place, have more power than the MC) to fail miserably at, to say that the story tests your desire to invest in the MC is an understatement.

Despite this, the novel can prove to be entertaining, especially for those with an affinity for power fantasy, pseudo-fantasy, or are new to the anime/manga medium. However, it is not in any way a particularly well-written novel, instead fitting squarely in the "mediocre with too much budget" genre of franchises.

I would recommend this novel to younger readers, new members of the anime/manga community, or those that don't mind stretching a bit too far for their suspension of disbelief.

Side-note: I do not believe that the series is terrible. I believe that it is too poorly-written to deserve the amount of resources being dumped into the franchise, and that the premise after the first volume is too weak to sustain a long-running story. However, the value of an entertaining, but cliche series often garners a 7 from me, with a .5 point deduction for poor use of a good premise and being shoddily written despite being a novel.

... Last updated on October 6th, 2016, 3:16pm
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I picked it up since it's so popular  
by jeffreymgibson
June 1st, 2016, 3:11am
Rating: N/A
I picked this up mainly because it's so popular. I read a couple of Japanese Anime and Manga magazines that I get in the mail each month and they devote quite a few pages to SAO each month, so I figured it must be good.

It starts out pretty good. I do like stories where the characters are trapped in a virtual game world, but after a couple of volumes it gets boring. It seems like nothing really happens to much in the story. It's almost like slice of life in a virtual world. I don't think I have it in me to read this all the way to volume 17. But since this title is a cash cow, it will probably go on for a long time. I dropped it, but if it ever ends, I will read the last volume.
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Cash cow.  
by ZombieObed
April 20th, 2015, 12:01pm
Rating: N/A
Should have just ended with the defeat of Kayaba Akihiko. I think what particularly bugged me was the forced harem, even after it was obvious that Asuna had already won.

If this were a real drama where they break up, and each move on, it would be understandable, yet, the author and all the readers know damn well that that wasn't going to happen.
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it had potentional but it turned out to be awful  
by ramnor
April 17th, 2015, 6:00pm
Rating: 2.0 / 10.0
Its a highly overrated piece of crap
I was rly disappointed after the first volume
Like rly u wake up from such a shocking a visibly scaring for u experiance and next month u will gladly jump back in a game
Not too realistic
The characters r stupidly useless and the mc is portraied as a god while the rest of the chars r there to be there acting as placeholders
The romance is terrible the action other than the first volume by no mean exciting and even the author is so hanged up on the main that he doesnt care about anything
His dual wealding is said to be one of the 10 unique skills in the game other than that the rest of the skills r just glossed over
It doesnt deserve ur time
Also to the guy that says w8 till the Alice project
No just no i read that far and its still boring stupid and only focuses on the mc to keep u in
All the settings r boringly and hastily developted which they had potentional the rest of the cast becomes blank without the mc
And the main prick is always the best always chicks suddenly fall for him and always wins
And sure im happy for him but it got too damn boring for me
2.0 cause is the lowest and 1 more out of respect for the 1rst volume
Dont wast ur time with this shit
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Highly Overrated  
by Sizaki
November 3rd, 2014, 7:53am
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
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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by Sukets
October 14th, 2013, 9:58pm
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
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  
by B3rKuT
April 26th, 2013, 2:55pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
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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by Slaanesh14509
February 4th, 2013, 9:03am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
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...  
by PinkShippuden
December 23rd, 2012, 7:41am
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
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  
by liltripp2hustla
December 12th, 2012, 6:49pm
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
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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