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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
Сворд арт онлайн
刀剑神域 (小说)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.12 c.8 + Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki over 4 years ago
v.12 c.7 by Baka-Tsuki over 4 years ago
v.11 c.Author's Notes by Baka-Tsuki over 4 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
20 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

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

User Reviews

8 topics, 51 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.4 / 10.0 (534 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.29 / 10.0
 49% (261 votes)
 19% (100 votes)
 10% (56 votes)
 7% (35 votes)
 4% (22 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 2% (10 votes)
 2% (10 votes)
 1% (8 votes)
 5% (27 votes)

Last Updated
December 19th 2017, 5:13pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
ASCII Media Works (Dengeki Bunko)

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Yen Press (12 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #552 increased(+208)
Monthly Pos #1227 increased(+197)
3 Month Pos #1779 increased(+100)
6 Month Pos #1892 increased(+72)

List Stats
On 1800 reading lists
On 848 wish lists
On 74 unfinished lists
On 524 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Do you think it's actually possible? over 2 years ago
Where to read Sword Art Online (Light novel)? over 3 years ago
Sword Art Online and Accel World over 3 years ago
Swordt Art Online dropped over 4 years ago
does it get better? over 4 years ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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DO NOT stop after volume 1, it just gets better as the series goes on   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by darn2k
May 7th, 2011, 3:53pm
I really love this series, I'm even helping edit. But I've just got to know how much of volume 3 claudiofd actually read, because no matter how much it was, it wouldn't be enough. Volume 3/4 are all one big story so if you only read a couple chapters or even the full volume 3 you wouldn't be able to get the same feeling, but once you read all of volume 4 with it you won't be disappointed.

That is not even mentioning volumes 5/6 where you get more of what is going on outside the game and Kirito is using a light saber in a shooting-based game.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by callmebaboon
February 19th, 2010, 11:55am
OMG!!!! this is wat im looking for!!!! whole in one package!!!!. action, romance,and of course great plot.highly recommended .Hope this will turn into anime or manga..

... Last updated on February 19th, 2010, 11:56am
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The Unique ONE   
Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
by josejdj
July 11th, 2012, 6:15am
is a history where you actually feel like if you were feeling the same as the characters and (this is only mi gues but..) Akihiko Kayaba's Dream may be the final stage to the author if you think about it the climax of all this event´s only could be a maximun battle in other dimension or New World, and in the other subject well... the Romantic subplot if you read the side history "There is but one ultimate way" you already gasp the idea so is no use to say any spoiler, but what is going to happen whit YUI in the end i belive that is too soon to say someting.

PD: nice one baka-tsuki, just after a couple of days they already have the vol.10 and I hope that they translate it, the faster the better

... Last updated on July 12th, 2012, 7:24pm
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While people may hate, may love   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by dim1
April 24th, 2012, 9:35pm
While many people have stated they love this series me being one of them, the people who hate or dislike they also have a point. Me I have reread the series into its grave and then some. I don't know what about this series appeals to me, cause when I analyze it it doesn't add up. I mean the character development is mid-range, the setting is minorly overused, with some uniqueness, and the plot is very good, yet that doesn't justify my fanaticism, if you look at it in summation it is average series. This series has the unusual quality like Harry Potter, that you will love it even if you don't understand why.
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Read Volume 1 - Loved It   
Rating: N/A
by Freecss
March 18th, 2011, 10:37pm
It started out real well. Protagonist is like your typical MMO grind player. Socially inept/withdrawn. Great Main Character in my book. He's neither weak or a loser. He's independent initially and able to stand by himself but later will soon have someone to depend on.

Plot was great IMO. Everything blended real well. Volume one tells the beginning and end of the whole story but the later volume will delve into Kirito and Asuna's life as well as every character they encountered in game in more detail(I've only read v01 don't quote me on this). His journey within the 2 years before the current floor 74. Where Volume had a time-skip.

Spoiler (highlight to view)
Gah! I need to know Asuna and Kazuto's relationship after clearing the game!
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I picked it up since it's so popular   
Rating: N/A
by jeffreymgibson
June 1st, 2016, 3:11am
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.   
Rating: N/A
by ZombieObed
April 20th, 2015, 12:01pm
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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High-budget, low quality   
Rating: 6.5 / 10.0
by Yama_San
October 6th, 2016, 3:10pm
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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Not bad but...   
Rating: N/A
by harrysoung
May 20th, 2012, 11:48am
Okay, a lot of people here are saying that Volume 1 was one of, if not THE, best volume in the entire series. A damn good pilot volume, kudos to the author. But I read SAO from volumes 1 ~ 3, and I believe that the story deteriorated from volume 2. Volume 2 was a medley of side stories that occur between time frames from volume 1, but they did not appeal to me because they did nothing to progress the story. Simply put, VOLUME 2 WAS BORING.

Then here comes Volume 3. The good news? The story progresses into a rescue mission, and Kirito has found new resolve to go back to the gaming world hell to entertain us readers. The bad news? You have to read volume 2 to understand the subtleties of volume 3. It's basically saying "Don't skip this one just because its a side story volume. It has its uses later on." Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my opinion it was just BORING.

Volume 1 was certainly not a bad volume, but I don't think it deserves the hype that it gets.

May change my opinion later on.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by iamin7ove
May 5th, 2010, 2:12pm
9.9/10 (read below)

Since others have already said i wanted to say i will only say on little thing
Had the waking-up scene been Asuna's then its 10/10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

... Last updated on May 5th, 2010, 2:14pm
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