Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online is currently at the biggest and most complicated story arc ever. Until now, every story arc took place in a specific world; but what if there is a single world with the elements of all previously visited worlds?
That does sound like a mess for once, but here is the worst part – You have to start from Level 1.
On Saturday, the May issue of Monthly Shonen Ace magazine revealed a special “Chapter 0” of Sword Art Online: Unital Ring manga. It will be illustrated by Masato Kanetsuki and will be adapted from the Unital Ring arc of the light novels.
The Sword Art Online: Unital Ring light novels are illustrated by abec. As of March 2023, there are six published volumes, with the last one published in October 2022. Both Reki Kawahara and abec are credited for their work in the manga.
Kanetsuki’s manga adaptation will begin its serialization in the June issue of the Monthly Shonen Ace magazine, which releases on April 26.
This story arc takes place a month after Kirito and Asuna return from Underworld. Alice joins them and now has a physical form. A few months later, a warning message like in the first SAO game appears in the sky and all the games that used the “Seed Engine” combine into one game – Unital Ring.
Kirito, Asuna, and others realize that they have to start all over. The only clue to the goal is a message that tells them to go to a marked land and the first one to reach will get everything.
I am glad that this arc got a manga adaptation, which makes an anime adaptation a lot more likely in the future.
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.
Source: Monthly Shōnen Ace May issue
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