During the stage event at Dengeki Bunko’s “Aki no Saiten 2017” event in Tokyo, it was announced on Sunday that Sword Art Online will be receiving a third television anime series that will follow the light novel’s next major arc, Alicization. The Alicization arc is the 4th main arc in the Sword Art Online series. The new series is titled Sword Art Online Alicization.
In addition, a new visual for the third season of Sword Art Online was revealed on the official Twitter account:
Sword Art Online is a 2009 Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec. The series takes place in the near future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. The light novels began publication on ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Bunko imprint from April 10, 2009, with a spin-off series launching in October 2012. The series has spawned eight manga adaptations published by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The novels and four of the manga adaptations have been licensed for release in North America by Yen Press. An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between July and December 2012, with an Extra Edition episode aired on December 31, 2013, and a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, aired between July and December 2014. Four video games based on the series have been released on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4. 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.
Sword Art Online has received widespread commercial success, with the light novels having over 19 million copies sold worldwide. The anime series has received mixed to positive reviews, praised for its animation, musical score, and exploration of the psychological aspects of virtual reality, but criticized for its pacing and writing.
Sword Art Online synopsis:
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.