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How to Watch Sword Art Online? Easy Watch Order Guide

Sword Art Online is an anime that’s a dream come true for every gamer.

An almost undefeatable main character, epic boss fights, out of this world gameplay, and of course, attractive gamer-girls, all encapsulated in a series with gorgeous animation.

The animation of Sword Art Online is exceptional, and regardless of whether or not you enjoy the story and its characters, the entertainment quotient never goes down.

How To Watch Sword Art Online? Easy Watch Order Guide
Sword Art Online | Source: Fandom

The main anime has three seasons and 96 episodes, none of which are fillers.

Sword Art Online was quite controversial when it started airing and has polarized opinions regarding its plot and characters. Still, the anime gets really good after Season 2.

So, give it a watch and decide for yourself which side of the argument you side with!

1. Release Order

I. TV Series

  • Season 1: Sword Art Online (2012)
  • Season 2: Sword Art Online II (2014)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (2018)
  • Season 3, Part 1: Sword Art Online: Alicization (2018–19)
  • Season 3, Part 2: Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld (2019–20)
  • Season 3, Part 3: Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Part 2 (2020)

II. Movies

  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (2013)
  • Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale (2017)
  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night (2021)
  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk (Upcoming October 2022)

III. ONAs

  • Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet: The Third Episode – Pilot-ban (2018)

IV. Specials

  • Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline (2013)
  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (2013)
  • Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline – Extra Edition (2014)
  • Sword Art Online II: Debriefing (2014)
  • Sword Art Online II: Sword Art Offline II (2014)
  • Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale – Sword Art Offline (2017)
  • Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet: The Third Episode (2018)
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Refrain (2018)
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Recollection (2019)
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Reflection (2019)
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Reminiscence (2020)

V. Upcoming

  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night (30th October 2021) (Movie)

2. Chronological Order

  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night
  • Season 1: Sword Art Online (Episode 1-2)
  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk (Upcoming October 2022)
  • Season 1: Sword Art Online (Episode 3-25)
  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition
  • Season 2: Sword Art Online II
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
  • Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale
  • Season 3, Part 1: Sword Art Online: Alicization
  • Season 3, Part 2: Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld
  • Season 3, Part 3: Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2nd Season
Watch Sword Art Online on:

3. Watch Order Conclusion

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

How To Watch Sword Art Online? Easy Watch Order Guide
Sword Art Online | Source: Netflix

4. How Much Time Will It Take To Watch?

It will take you 53 hours and 24 minutes to watch all the Sword Art Online anime installments. 

This includes all the TV series, movies, ONAs, and specials.

If you follow the chronological order, you can complete the TV series in 41 hours and 59 minutes.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online is a spin-off story featuring a different protagonist. You can choose to watch it or skip it as it won’t affect the main story.

Here’s a quick list of each installment and their run time in order of their release:

  • Sword Art Online – 575 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline (BD/DVD Specials) – 99 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Extra Edition – 101 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline – Extra Edition – 13 minutes
  • Sword Art Online II – 552 minutes
  • Sword Art Online II: Debriefing – 24 minutes
  • Sword Art Online II: Sword Art Offline II (BD/DVD Specials) – 117 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale – 119 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale – Sword Art Offline – 14 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet: The Third Episode – Pilot-ban – 3 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet: The Third Episode – 3 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – 276 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online – Refrain – 23 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – 576 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – Recollection – 24 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Reflection – 24 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld – 276 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld –Reflection – 24 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld – Reminiscence – 24 minutes
  • Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Part 2 – 264 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night – 97 minutes
  • Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk – N/A

5. Reading Order (Light Novel)

I. Publishing Order

Sword Art Online

  • Volume 1: Aincrad
  • Volume 2: Aincrad
  • Volume 3: Fairy Dance
  • Volume 4: Fairy Dance
  • Volume 5: Phantom Bullet
  • Volume 6: Phantom Bullet
  • Volume 7: Mother’s Rosario
  • Volume 8: Early and Late
  • Volume 9: Alicization Beginning
  • Volume 10: Alicization Running
  • Volume 11: Alicization Turning
  • Volume 12: Alicization Rising
  • Volume 13: Alicization Dividing
  • Volume 14: Alicization Uniting
  • Volume 15: Alicization Invading
  • Volume 16: Alicization Exploding
  • Volume 17: Alicization Awakening
  • Volume 18: Alicization Lasting
  • Volume 19: Moon Cradle
  • Volume 20: Moon Cradle
  • Volume 21: Unital Ring I
  • Volume 22: Kiss and Fly
  • Volume 23: Unital Ring II
  • Volume 24: Unital Ring III
  • Volume 25: Unital Ring IV
  • Volume 26: Unital Ring V
  • Volume 27: Unital Ring VI

Progressive Series

  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 01
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 02
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 03
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 04
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 05
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 06
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 07
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volume 08

II. Chronological Order

  • Volume 1: Chapters 1 – 3
  • Volume 8: Chapter 3
  • Sword Art Online Progressive Volumes 1 – 8
  • Volume 2: Chapter 4
  • Volume 2: Chapter 1
  • Volume 8: Chapter 1
  • Volume 2: Chapter 2
  • Volume 1: Chapter 4 – 16
  • Volume 22: Chapter 1
  • Volume 1: Chapter 17
  • Volume 2: Chapter 3
  • Volume 1: Chapter 18 – 25
  • Volume 3: Fairy Dance
  • Volumes 4 – 6
  • Volume 8: Chapter 2
  • Volume 7
  • Volume 9
  • Volume 22: Chapters 2 – 4
  • Volumes 10– 18
  • Volume 19 – 20 (side story to the Alicization arc)
  • Volume 21
  • Volume 23 – 27

III. Reading Order Conclusion

It is highly recommended that you follow the publishing order if you’re new to Sword Art Online. Chronological Order is only recommended after you’re familiar with the series.

There are other series like Material Editions, Pina, Silica, Lisbeth Editions spread out all over the LNs. 

However, they are non-canon doujinshis and not crucial to the plot. Hence, they haven’t been included to avoid confusion.

SAO Alternative: Gun Gale series and Clover’s Regret Series are spin-offs to the main light novels with different characters. They are not meant to be read with the main SAO novels so, feel free to read them after Volume 6 of the main light novels.

6. Where to watch Sword Art Online with subtitles or dubbed?

Sword Art Online 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

7. Can you download and watch Sword Art Online offline?

All of the streaming platforms that are currently showing Sword Art Online anime provide a download option.

Netflix already gives the subscribers the download option without any particular plan or special subscription.

Sword Art Online - Official Trailer
Sword Art Online – Official Trailer

For Hulu, a subscriber has to have a No Ads Plan ($11.99 per month) or No Ads Plan + Live TV ($70.99 per month)

Funimation has a Premium Plus subscription ($7.99 per month) and a Premium Plus Ultra ($99.99 per year) subscription. Viewers that want to download shows from Funimation has to have either of this subscription.

People can watch it offline on Crunchyroll particular plan Mega Fan subscription ($9.99 per month) or an Ultimate Fan subscription ($14.99 per month).

8. About Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec.

The series occurs in the near future and focuses on the protagonist “Kirito” Kirigaya Kazuto and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG worlds.

At the launch of the game, 10,000 people had connected themselves to the virtual reality of Sword Art Online. The plot takes a twist when people realize that they can’t quit the game.

Protagonist Kirito, a pro gamer and was present for the beta launch of SAO, starts planning to clear levels as soon as possible. Throughout his quest to finish the game, he meets many friends and also a love interest, Asuna.

The plot and the whole premise of the show are remarkably unique and quite believable in some futuristic sense.

Originally Written By Epic Dope

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Comments:

5 replies on “How to Watch Sword Art Online? Easy Watch Order Guide”

please please i verry verry aprieciate your hard work but pls pls pls tell me the chronological order of lightnovels and manga………………..i can’t find any thing! i am so confused! please help me out! i tell u if u clear that your website will be more famous

Haha thanks for the tip about getting the website more famous mate XD

As for your demand, coming right up! The post will be updated within 2-3 days, make sure to check back.

Thanks!

Kirito and Asuna do meet in the real world in Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, and it is shown that he wakes up from the coma. However, since the original story (light novel) is still ongoing, there’s no conclusion yet.

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Aaryan Sharma

Aaryan Sharma

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