In the wake of Sword Art Online, there are a number of other anime that are worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series.
Despite its relatively short lifespan, Sword Art Online has managed to become one of the most beloved series in anime history. Kirito and his buddies are locked in a video game with only two ways out (death or reaching the top of the dungeon) that many people find fascinating. The show has also served as a springboard for those who have never seen anime before.
This is a resource for everyone, not just those people. Anyone who like Sword Art Online is welcome to join this list. No matter how you look at it, there’s always something wrong with video games and video game characters. Here, you’ll find no criticism, only practical advice on how to proceed.
A Louis Kemner update will appear here on August 11th, 2020. The rapidly expanding isekai subgenre has a few disgruntled viewers. As for those who can’t get enough of it, Sword Art Online is likely their gateway series. Aincrad, though, isn’t the end of the story. If you’re a fan of SAO, there are plenty of other isekai and swordfighting series that will satisfy your cravings.
1. NO GAME, NO LIFE
If you’re a fan of isekai, you won’t be disappointed by this brief series. Hardcore gamers Sora and Shiro find themselves in a world where war has been replaced by competitive video games.
Sora and Shiro are in heaven in this new universe, and they set out to prove that they are as fearsome as they were in Earth’s online games. In a similar vein to SAO, No Game, No Life explores the idea of finding a new identity through the medium of video games.
Fans of SAO will find much to like in this series, which ranks alongside Naruto and One Piece. Swords (called zanpakuto) are used by most of the characters, and some of these swordsmen are legendary.
Bleach also features mild isekai themes, such as Ichigo’s voyage to the Japanese-inspired Soul Society (the afterlife) and Hueco Mundo, a mysterious desert full of monsters, which should be enough to win over SAO fans.
3. THE RISING OF THE SHIELD HERO
As an isekai series, this one stands out from others that feature an OP character having fun in a fantastical environment. Naofumi Iwatani, the protagonist, can only fight with shields. As a result, he’ll require assistance from a group.
In order to save the Melromarc realm, Naofumi and the other heroes must fight against waves of dangerous monsters, and it’s like a video game… but with sky-high stakes! Weapons, monsters, and a lot of shields make up this series. Naofumi has replaced Kirito as the next big thing in the anime world.
4. SAMURAI CHAMPLOO
When it comes to swordfighting, Samurai Champloo is an excellent choice for fans of the SAO series. However, there is also a fair amount of anachronistic humor to be found in this series’ well-animated swordfighting sequences.
To find Fuu’s father, the three main characters travel across early 20th century Japan. They’ll fight, play baseball, and listen to some hip-hop along the road. This isn’t anything you want to miss.
5. DEMON SLAYER
In the vein of Bleach, Demon Slayer focuses on swordplay and demons. Set in Japan at the turn of the 20th century, this series depicts a country split between its traditional past and its Western-style future, with demons lurking in the shadows.
In order to restore his demon sister’s humanity, Tanjiro Kamado, the hero, must master the art of the sword and face the world’s toughest demons. He picks up the skills of a whole band of swashbuckling adventurers in no time.
6. THE KING’S AVATAR
With the exception of the protagonist being trapped in an other universe, The King’s Avatar is very similar to Sword Art Online. Instead, Ye Xiu is a professional eSports player for the popular video game Glory. Ye Xiu, fed up with the dirty politics of the eSports industry, decides to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with a new character at the tenth server’s grand opening.
When it comes to The King’s Avatar, it’s all about Ye Xiu’s quest to reclaim his position as the best player in the game he left behind, much like Sword Art Online.
7. THE IRREGULAR AT MAGIC HIGH SCHOOL
Miyuki Shiba is a descendant of Clan Yotsuba, one of Japan’s most powerful magical families. Tatsuya, her older brother, is supposed to be her bodyguard, but he doesn’t seem to have any interest in magic. The truth is that he’s a member of an elite magic-fighting squad and a master of both physical combat and magical technology design.
When it comes to Sword Art Online fans who admire Kirito’s ability to maintain his cool in any situation, TheIrregular at Magic High School will make them feel like they haven’t missed a beat.
8. IS IT WRONG TO TRY TO PICK UP GIRLS IN A DUNGEON?
For newcomers to Sword Art Online, the shattered illusion that Kirito would have to slowly make his way up the tower is the most aggravating part of the experience. That labor is instead ignored in favor of jumping straight to the highest floors.
In a Dungeon, Is It Illegal to Approach Women? in reverse: Bell Cranel starts out weak but quickly gets a particular ability that lets him level up. After that, he begins his journey down the dungeons of his realm, searching for treasure for his family.
9. UNBREAKABLE MACHINE-DOLL
Raishin Akabane, the protagonist of Machine Doll, is a lot like Kirito in that he’s calm, pleasant, and extremely talented, making most battles a piece of cake for him. Puppeteer Raishin is able to give life to mechanical dolls known as automatons, making him a sort of wizard in this universe.
The Royal Academy of Machinart’s Evening Party, when puppeteers and automatons compete to determine who is the best, is out of reach for Raishin and his automaton Yaya. It doesn’t matter who wins, Raishin wants to restore the Akabane Clan’s reputation…and avenge those who torpedoed it.
10. GRIMGAR OF FANTASY AND ASH
Some individuals enjoy the fantasy setting of Sword Art Online, but others aren’t so convinced about the rest of the story. Harem elements may be too much, or the protagonist may be overpowered. We have Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash to cater to such needs. There are six adventurers who found themselves in a strange new planet without a clue as to how they got there or even any recollection of how they got there in the first place.
Just the awkward feelings of early puberty instead of a harem. As an alternative to overpowering heroes, you’ll find players taking on slimes and goblins in a more labor-intensive roleplay experience.
Japan’s finest Btooom! player, Ryouta Sakamoto, uses bombs rather than swords or firearms to take down his opponents. It is one day that Ryouta wakes up to find himself on an island where the rules and weapons of the game have been reproduced..
Before Ryouta is permitted to leave the game, he must kill seven individuals. It’s not clear who he can or cannot trust, so he ends up having to play by their rules. There’s Btooom!, which is based on the original Sword Art Online’s concept of combat in a life or death game, but with a Battle Royale twist.
12. ACCEL WORLD
As it turns out, Reki Kawahara is behind both Accel World and Sword Art Online. Accel World’s protagonists have a different purpose in mind when it comes to spending too much time in a virtual reality game. In Brain Burst, an augmented reality fighting game, Haruyuki Arita and Kuroyukihime team up to take on the game’s toughest opponents, the Six Kings of Pure Color.
Beat them and you’ll get to meet the game’s inventor and find out why Brain Burst was created, which is the highest level.
13. SWORD ART ONLINE ALTERNATIVE – GUN GALE ONLINE
The presence of this Sword Art Online spin-off, based on the third game in the series, Gun Gale Online, feels a little out of place. Sigsawa is most recognized for his work on Kino’s Journey, which served as a model for this series’ plot and character developments.
She joins Gun Gale Online because her avatar is petite and cute compared to her towering real-world counterpart, a college-aged woman named Karen Kohiruimaki. There are lots of gunfights in Alternative, which is set in a universe similar to Sword Art Online, but it does its own thing and parodies Sword Art Online throughout the series.
14. LOG HORIZON
As a SAO “clone” series, Log Horizon was one of the earliest to be released. One big difference between Log Horizon and SAO is that the player dies in Log Horizon, and the player does not respawn when they die. This fundamental shift shifts things from a tight war against both enemies and other players to that of players attempting to learn what it means to exist in the environment.
Elder Tale’s residents are slowly forming their own society, but it’s far from complete.
Elder Tale’s mysterious 12th expansion has altered the game’s laws in ways that even the players aren’t aware of, so the characters must find out how to buy land and feed themselves.
15. KNIGHT’S & MAGIC
In this magical realm of magic and enormous robots, young Tsubasa Kurata, who was killed by a truck, awakens from the dead. Kurata, reborn as Ernesti Echevalier, still has a deep fascination for big robots and uses both his programming knowledge and his remarkable knack for magic to become a super inventor/pilot.
Ernesti (or Eru, as his friends call him) becomes one of the most important people in his country thanks to his inventions and piloting prowess, and he even gets to create his own Knight company where he employs his friends, much like Ernesti does in Sword Art Online not long after entering the alternate world.