Sword Art Online is a light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec.
An anime series produced by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between July and December 2012, with a television film Sword Art Online: Extra Edition airing on December 31, 2013, and a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, airing between July and December 2014. An animated film titled Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, featuring an original story by Kawahara, premiered in Japan and Southeast Asia on February 18, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 9, 2017.
A spin-off anime series titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online premiered in April 2018, while a third season titled Sword Art Online: Alicization aired from October 2018 to September 2020. An anime film adaptation of Sword Art Online: Progressive titled Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night premiered on October 30, 2021. A second film titled Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk is scheduled to premiere in 2022. A live-action series will be produced by Netflix. Six video games based on the series have been released for multiple consoles.
Sword Art Online has received widespread commercial success, with the light novels having over 26 million copies sold worldwide. The light novel series had good reviews, mainly on later arcs, while other series like Progressive were praised since the beginning. The anime series has received mixed to positive reviews, with praise for its animation, musical score and exploration of the psychological aspects of virtual reality, but criticisms for its pacing and writing.
So there’s no wonder that fans have been asking for Sword Art Online Season 4.
Sword Art Online Season 4: A Quick Recap
In the year 2022, virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds, and a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) is launched. With the aid of “NerveGear” technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts who get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself, with ten-thousand others, in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad, one full of fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, in a cruel turn of events, the players soon realize they cannot log out; the game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.
In order to escape Aincrad, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes, like Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse, Sword Art Online is not all fun and games: if they die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual hell.
Sword Art Online Season 4: Will It Happen?
Sword Art Online Season 4 Release Date
The third season of Sword Art Online, which was titled Sword Art Online: Alicization, was released on October 7, 2018, and continued till March 31, 2019. Then season 3, which was preceded by an anime movie titled Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, came out, and it was a direct continuation of the show from Season 2, and then adapted volumes 9 to 18 of the original light novel series.
Now, an adaptation of the ‘Progressive’ series has been announced. It was released as a movie adaptation of Aincard, the first arc from the series. It adapts the six-volume light novel series and is titled ‘Aria of a Starless Night.’ It was released on October 30, 2021.
Even though there is no official announcement about the renewal yet, we can be positive about Sword Art Online Season 4 because the light novel series is still being published, and there is no way the producers and creators can run out of sources and content for the next season. All that we can hope is for Sword Art Online Season 4 to come in 2022, but a realistic release date would be whether 2023 or 2024.