The Superior Version of Sword Art Online Is Finally Getting An Anime

Sword Art Online Progressive, the spinoff focusing on Asuna and Kirito exploring Aincrad first floors is getting an anime, here's the first teaser trailer.

September 19, 2020

Aniplex announced the Sword Art Online Progressive light novel is getting an anime adaptation. The news was revealed after the final episode of the SAO Alicization anime aired on September 19, with a first key visual featuring Asuna and the floating castle of Aincrad. The key visual was drawn by original character designer and illustrator Abec (also known as Bunbun). An official site was opened but no further info was published for now. We don’t know yet if it’ll be a TV anime series or a movie project.

The Sword Art Online Progressive anime reveal trailer is right below.

Sword Art Online Progressive is an ongoing light novel by Reki Kawahara, started in October 2012. As you already know, the original SAO starts with the beginning of Aincrad and how the death game started. However, right from the first volume, a two years timeskip happens, with the action switching to Kirito and how he manages to unexpectedly clear the death game. This is what happens in the first SAO anime as well. In SAO Progressive however, this timeskip doesn’t happen, and you get to see in detail the adventures of Asuna and Kirito as they first meet, decide to become a party and explore the first floors of Aincrad.

SAO Progressive is extremely slowly paced when it comes to floor progression to the point the story will probably never cover up to Floor 25, let alone Floor 74-75, when the first SAO volume takes place. However, it covers both brand new story elements added by Reki Kawahara, and events mentioned in SAO but that we never got to see.

It’s also important to note that SAO up to Alicization arc included was originally a web novel, written in the early 2000s by a young and inexperienced Kawahara. While many elements were changed or improved in the Light Novel version, you can still clearly feel that even when watching the anime adaptations. You can easily tell how Kawahara improved over the years by reading Accel World. SAO Progressive also proves that, and is an awesome story you shouldn’t miss.

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Sword Art Online Progressive is especially good for Kirito x Asuna fans who prefer seeing the story focus on the couple. I personally always found it disappointing how SAO just keeps adding more girls to the Kirito harem, and then don’t do much with each one of them past their respective arcs. SAO Progressive is also perfect for those who preferred Aincrad and Sword Art Online itself among all the VR games and worlds featured in the SAO novel. An anime adaptation of SAO Progressive is definitely promising.

Six light novel volumes of Sword Art Online Progressive have been released so far. Volume 6 released in May 2018, meaning we might get a new one soon too to ride the anime announcement hype. The series is published in the land of freedom and justice by Yen Press.

The SAO Anime official twitter also shared a new key visual celebrating the end of the Alicization anime adaptation:

SAO Editor Kazuma Miki also announced the launch of a Reki Kawahara Niconico channel:

Read more on SAO games with our past coverage.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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