2016 The End Movies Online [BETTER]
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2016 The End Movies Online
The light novel series spans several virtual reality worlds, beginning with the game, Sword Art Online (SAO), which is set in a world known as Aincrad. Each world is built on a game engine called the World Seed, which was initially developed specifically for SAO by Akihiko Kayaba, but was later duplicated for Alfheim Online (ALO), and later willed to Kirito, who had it leaked online with the successful intention of reviving the virtual reality industry. A third world known as Gun Gale Online (GGO) appears in the third arc and is stylized as a FPS game instead of an RPG, and is the main setting of Alternative Gun Gale Online. It was created using the World Seed by an American company. A fourth world appears in the fourth arc known as the Underworld (UW). The world itself was created using the World Seed as a base, but it is as realistic as the real world due to using many powerful government resources to keep it running.
In 2022, a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO) was released. With the NerveGear, a helmet that stimulates the user's five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. Both the game and the NerveGear were created by Akihiko Kayaba. On November 6, 10,000 players log into SAO's mainframe cyberspace for the first time, only to discover that they are unable to log out. Kayaba appears and tells the players that they must beat all 100 floors of Aincrad, a steel castle which is the setting of SAO if they wish to be free. He also states that those who suffer in-game deaths or forcibly remove the NerveGear out-of-game will suffer real-life deaths.
For the protagonist Kirito, Kawahara was asked if Kirito's personality and character were based on his own; he answered that he usually does not put aspects of himself into his characters, and jokingly remarked: "but if I had to say there was a point of similarity between Kirito and myself, it is the fact that neither of us are good at forming parties. We [both] tend to play solo in these games a lot." He also noted that the female characters in the story were not based on anyone he knew in the real world, stating: "I don't usually make a character, setting, or anything before I start writing. As I write the story, the girls become what they are now. So, somehow, I don't know exactly, but somehow, my subliminal idea or some hidden emotion creates the characters to be strong and capable." He added that he wrote the series to demonstrate that he views online gaming not as a social ill or escape from real life, but rather decided to show games in a more positive light in his light novels. Kawahara also noted that the character of Asuna might have been created a little too perfectly.
A tenth manga, titled Sword Art Online: Project Alicization and illustrated by Kōtarō Yamada, based on the Alicization arc of the light novel series, began serialization in the September 2016 issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine. It moved to Web DenPlay Comic due to the discontinuation of Dengeki Bunko Magazine.
A fourth game titled Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization was released in Japan for the PS4, Vita, and Windows on October 27, 2016 and worldwide on November 8, 2016 for the PS4 and Vita.
A social network game called Sword Art Online: End World was released for Japanese feature phones and smartphones on February 28, 2013 with more than 1 million registered users. It was discontinued in September 2017. Another freemium game for Android and iOS titled Sword Art Online: Code Register launched in 2014, and over 3,000,000 users have downloaded the game. Another game called Sword Art Online: Progress Link designed for the Mobage browser game platform on smartphones was released on February 10, 2015. The game was terminated on July 29, 2016.
An action role-playing game titled Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight was announced in October 2016. The game is a crossover with Accel World, published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Windows via Steam, and was released to western audiences on July 7, 2017.
The Black Swordsman (黒衣剣士, 黑衣剑士) is a Chinese 3D role-playing game where the player can control 3D characters and experience Sword Art Online, Alfheim Online, and Gun Gale Online. It is developed by Yun Chang Game under Bandai Namco's supervision. The game is being distributed and is operating under Bandai Namco Shanghai, Bandai Namco Entertainment and Qihoo 360 on Chinese platforms. The game was launched on Android on May 26, 2016 and on iOS on June 9, 2016 after a brief period of closed beta, though it is officially still in an "open beta" phase.
Bandai Namco released Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag RPG for Android and iOS in August 2016. It was released outside of Japan on January 24, 2017. Featuring content from the anime series, Ordinal Scale, and some original shorts written for event characters, players are allowed to play solo and progress through the story, or join up with others online to farm special items, equipment, and materials. Common events include ranked challenges against other players, floor clearing, character introductions and seasonal events. Players have the choice of spending real money to speed-up their progress. However, the game was discontinued in August 30, 2021. While Memory Defrag is delisted from the app stores, the game is still available to play via offline version of the app if the person downloaded the game before the termination date.
Bandai Namco released Sword Art Online Arcade: Deep Explorer in Japanese arcades on March 19, 2019. It is an exploration action RPG that supports up to three players in online co-op and it is the first arcade game in the Sword Art Online series.
Skydance Television announced on August 2, 2016 that they had acquired the global rights to produce a live-action television adaptation of Sword Art Online light novel series. Laeta Kalogridis has been attached to write a script for the pilot, and will also serve as executive producer for the series alongside Skydance CEO David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross. Skydance has stated their intent to "fast-track" the launch of the series, along with plans to follow the TV series with the release of a Sword Art Online virtual reality experience. In February 2018, it was reported that the live-action series had been sold to Netflix.
According to Oricon, Sword Art Online was the top selling light novel series of 2012, with eight volumes figuring among the top selling light novels. It was ranked first in the 2012 and 2013 Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! rankings, as well as top five placement in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and top 10 in 2019. It was also the second best selling light novel series in the first half of 2016 in Japan, selling 489,374 copies. Sword Art Online: Progressive sold 321,535 copies in the same time period. As of 2017, the series has an estimated 20 million copies in print worldwide. As of 2021, the series has 26 million copies in print. The number of sales have reached 30 million in 2022.
Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku hails Sword Art Online as the smartest series in recent years, praising its deep insight on the psychological aspects of virtual reality on the human psyche, its sociological views on creating a realistic economy and society in a massively multiplayer online game setting, and the writing staff's ability to juggle a wide variety of genres within the series. Eisenbeis particularly noted how the romance between Kirito and Asuna is explored bringing "definition to exactly what love is like in a virtual world." However, at the time of this preliminary review, he had only watched the first 12 episodes of the series. He has since gone on to review the second half of the series, lauding its excellent use of plot twists and praising its well-written and believable villain. However, he felt that some of the initial positive aspects of the series were lost in the second half, such as the focus on psychological repercussions and social interactions that could be realistically seen in an online game. Criticism was also levied towards the aspect of turning Asuna into a damsel in distress, stating that a female lead as strong as her was "reduced to nothing but the quest item the male lead is hunting for." Eisenbeis closes his review of the series by stating in regards to the two halves, "Both, however, are enjoyable for what they are."
In the 2020 edition of Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, Sword Art Online was voted by the public in an online poll and by a jury (critics, influencers, and other people related to the light novel industry) as the best light novel series of the 2010s, being the first in the ranking with 1,728.95 points.
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