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Characters: Sword Art Online

Real world names are in western naming order. Followed by their online name and worlds they played in.note 

Work in progress due to Loads and Loads of Characters.

Note: Unmarked spoilers ahead. If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!

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    Main Characters 

Kazuto Kirigaya / Kirito (SAO, ALO, GGO)

Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese) and Bryce Papenbrook (English)

"I got this... I can do this! This world can't beat me! I will survive!"

The main male protagonist of the series. Known as "The Black Swordsman", Kirito is one of the strongest players in SAO and possesses the Unique Skill "Dual Wielding", which allows him to equip a second sword in his off-hand.
  • Absurdly Youthful Father/Action Dad: To the AI Yui.
  • Accidental Pervert:
    • Accidentally gropes Asuna after she falls over him when she used a Teleport Crystal while running away from Kuradeel. She responds with a Megaton Punch.
    • Later he sees Sinon in her underwear, thanks to a gender mix-up.
  • The Ace: Out of all 10,000 players in SAO, Kirito is the most skilled of them all, able to do feats that nobody else can, and is nearly unbeatable in battle...
    • Broken Ace: ...But at the same time he hides a lot of personal demons. Prior to SAO, he has little to No Social Skills due to his insecurity regarding his place in his aunt's family. In his earlier SAO days, he suffered a massive Survivors Guilt due to what happened to Black Moon Cat, causing him to develop a severe tendency for self-imposed guilt trips. He largely grows out of it come ALO.
  • Alliterative Name: Both his given and family names begin with a "K", as is his online version.
  • Aloof Big Brother: He distanced himself from his adoptive sister/cousin Suguha after he found out they weren't real siblings. After SAO he worked to repair the distance.
  • Anti-Hero: The Knight in Sour Armor variant at the beginning — at his worst he's willing to do what it takes to survive. He largely grows out of it as his experiences expand beyond SAO.
  • Attack Its Weak Point/Breakable Weapons: Specializes in this. Asuna notes that in SAO/ALO, Kirito's fighting style focuses on going after his enemy's weak points and weapons, and is called "Arms Blast", an Outside System Skill. In ALO, this led to the creation of another Outside System Skill, "Spell Blast", where he accurately targets the tiny core in the middle of spells and destroys them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In SAO, he's still using and upgrading Dark Repulser months after Lisbeth crafted it for him. As she noted, it's rapidly being outclassed, and any moderately upgraded rare weapon from the 70th floor could match it even if fully upgraded, with much less material expense. The reason is because of its name, Kirito believes that he is destined to use it on the 100th floor final boss. He's right.
  • Badass: You have to be one to survive as a front-line solo player in SAO. His badassery doesn't decrease in ALO, GGO or even UW.
    • Badass Adorable: Awww, he's so cute — wait, he's what?! The strongest player in SAO?!
    • Badass Biker: Downplayed in the real world, as he owns a motorcycle and often rides it. The skill becomes useful during BoB when he and Sinon were being chased by Death Gun.
    • Badass Longcoat: He often wears black longcoats; even in real life he prefers at least dark clothing. There's a reason he's called The Black Swordsman.
    • Badass Normal: Even in the real world, his credentials remain the same.
    • Badass Boast: While disarming his opponent and sizing up the kabar combat knife...
      "Such a weak weapon. Too light, no reach. And it's all I'm gonna need to kill you once and for all."
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Knows unarmed combat to supplement his swordsmanship.
  • Battle Couple: With Asuna.
  • Berserk Button: Go ahead, threaten his friends and family. Especially Asuna and Yui.
  • The Berserker: His use of Dual Blades skill makes him seem like one. Actually, whenever he gets really serious in a fight. Lampshaded by himself in Season 1 Eepisode 19. The biggest example was during ALO, when he transforms into a demon, using his claws to fight and kill, not to mention eating some of his opponents.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Just watch Season 1 Episode 4. He will not let murdering psychopaths to go unpunished. Even if he has to turn his status into a ''Player Killer''.
    • In the battle against the murderous guild Laughing Coffin, Kirito actually kills two of its members who would not surrender. This comes back to haunt him in GGO: he discovers that Death Gun is a survivor of said purge.
    • Near the end of Season 1, you should see how many pieces of the person who tried to rape his beloved remain after Kirito's done with him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Mostly towards his cousin and little-sister figure Suguha. He also tends to extend this to Silica, who reminds him of the former, so much so he helped her revive Pina.
  • Bishōnen: Applies to his actual self as well, but it should be noted that its due to being essentially stuck in a coma for two years and is still recovering. Sinon realizes this, so she never makes fun of him for looking so effeminate.
  • BFS: In ALO the second sword he owned is almost as big as his character, though it's more of a longsword.
  • Black Swords Are Better: In SAO, his primary weapon "Elucidator"; In ALO, a BFS that replaced his starter weapon; In GGO, a "Kagemitsu G4" lightsaber with a black hilt.
  • Blood Knight: Never quite admitted or gets out of hand with it, but it exists. Acknowledged as such by Asuna as well:
    Yulier: (as Kirito is slicing up dozens of frog enemies) "I feel like I should apologize; he's doing all the fighting."
    Asuna: (with a smile, holding Yui) "Oh no, he's happy out there. Really, he loves getting his battle on."
  • Broken Bird: The entire Black Moon Cats ordeal will certainly haunt him for many years.
  • Captain Ersatz: His GGO avatar looks similar to Yuri Lowell.
  • Character Development: In ALO, he's more confident and lighthearted despite having lost Asuna. Of course, this may have to do with the fact that he can actually play ALO like a game, instead of having to watch people actually die all the time.
  • Chekhov's Skill: His Unarmed parameter is 100, but we never really see him use it in-game... but in the real world, Kirito manages to disarm Sugou using his bare hands.
  • Chick Magnet: Oh yes. Plenty of girls flock to him, though it's a bit better handled than other harem series, especially given that he has his eyes only for Asuna.
  • The Chosen One: An unusual and indirect example, but his Dual Blade skill was programmed by Kayaba to go to he/she who has the fastest natural reaction time, with the intent of making him/her be the one to face his him as the final boss... and it just so happened to be Kirito. Which makes this a rare example of the The Chosen One being chosen by the villain.
  • Color Motif: He's always related to the color black. Even Asuna says as a joke at one point that she should party with him "because her horoscope said black was her lucky color that week". Blue usually acts as his secondary color.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Kirito primarily uses heavy swords in both SAO, and ALO out of personal preference. This bites him badly when he plays GGO as the closest sword available is a Lightsaber, which is very light. This nearly causes him to lose to Death Gun, as Death Gun, aka XaXa, uses a Estoc, a weapon he's familar with, to combat him.
  • Curtains Match the Window: In real life and his game avatars, both his hair and eyes are black.
  • Cute and Psycho: What GGO players think of him after sweeping the BoB preliminaries, because they see him as a beautiful yet crazy girl running around with a lightsaber in a gunfight... and winning.
  • Cute Bruiser: His appearance is so feminine it causes him to swear off metal armor, and more than one foe comments "he doesn't look very strong"... yet he becomes the strongest player in SAO and ALO, forces a tie with Sinon, GGO's ace, and apparently does quite a bit in UW, not to mention the skills he learn while playing MMOs actually transfers to real life. Just ask Sugou.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Kirito became a loner after he lost all the members of the Black Cats of the Full Moon and failed to revive Sachi. He blames himself for their deaths and avoids people because he's afraid of losing those close to him again.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: In-Universe, his experience with a sword in SAO and ALO has given him extra experience with swords in later games he participates. However, in GGO, where there are no "swords" but retractable lightsabers, he constantly forgets that there is no sheath for it and are supposed to put it away with the clip-on.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All acquired during his two years in SAO.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wears black as his main colors, both in real life and in the VRMMOs that he participates in. And somehow he is among the few paragons of righteousness in many of the games he plays.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: His birth parents died when he was younger.
  • Declaration of Protection: He has swore to protect Asuna.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Almost crossed it when he managed to obtain a resurrection item to revive Sachi with (on Christmas Eve, no less) and went suicidal after finding out that it doesn't work the way he thought it would.
    • He gets better only to cross it again when he sees his Second Love struck down in front of him but even after he got over his Death Seeker phase, he still believed his sin of omission to be unforgivable.
  • Determinator: Shows this trait from time to time. Best example is the climax of the SAO arc where, despite being technically killed by Kayaba, he held on long enough to return the favor.
  • Difficult but Awesome: So many that only the outstanding examples will be listed here. Dual Wielding without system assist. Blocking bullets. Chaining together one-handed Sword Skills (he has to start one sword skill within a 0.1-second window in order to stop himself from freezing, basically a combo of combos). Spell Blast (using a system-controlled Sword Skill precisely enough to strike down fast-moving spells, which have a minuscule hitbox).
  • Dirty Business: He killed members of the red guild "Laughing Coffin" while on a mission to capture and imprison them. Not that they didn't deserve it, but he'd rather not had and brought them to justice instead. But given the nature of those psychotic sons-of-bitches, it's not like he has any choice in that matter.
  • Dual Wielding: The only SAO player who has the Dual Blades Sword Skills.
    • In later game worlds, he rarely does this anymore... but whenever he breaks out two swords, much awesomeness will occur. The best part? He's physically controlling two different swords without any System Assist.
    • It's seen quite well in Caliber. There are no Dual Blade sword skills... but he has two swords in two hands, so he chains separate one-handed sword skills, controlling each hand separately.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: His GGO avatar is a rare M9000-Type which cranked his already feminine looks Up to Eleven. When he saw his own reflection in-game, he thought he got gender-flipped. He looked so much like a girl that his IRL friends recognized him not because of his face nor his name, but by his sword style.
  • Escapism: Done subtly, but like Yuuki, Kirito embraces VR and is deeply immersed in it, to the point where he's preferring VR over reality. Yuuki realizes this and warns Asuna to watch out for Kirito, though Asuna didn't understand what she was talking about.
  • Evil Costume Switch/Paint It Black: Kirito invokes this when he declares himself a Beater in front of a horde of players by putting on his recently obtained black coat after accepting his newly obtained name.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Why negotiate or threaten when you can just bribe someone with ludicrous amounts of money?
  • Face Plant: Happens to him several times when trying to get the hang of ALO's flight engine in the beginning of the ALO arc. One pretty spectacular one has him slamming into the ground head-first from dozens of meters in the air and seemingly being stuck for almost a minute after impact.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Blames himself for the deaths of his first guild, the Black Cats of the Full Moon.
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Flechette Storm: Has the Blade Throwing Skill, he regularly carries throwing spikes.
  • Game Breaker: In-Universeeven when Kayaba kills him, Kirito forcibly defies the game system long enough to avenge himself and Asuna. They get better. Kayaba doesn't.
  • Genre Savvy: Mainly when it comes to MMORPGs.
  • G.I.R.L.: In GGO, he initially takes advantage of his feminine player avatar to get help from Sinon, and later exploits it again to garner support from male players.
  • Glass Cannon: When he whips out Dual Wielding, he gains a completely massive attack output that outstrips everyone in the game. However he basically becomes The Berserker and give up virtually all forms of defense.
  • Handguns: In GGO, a FN Five seveN as his secondary weapon.
  • Happily Adopted: By his aunt Midori and uncle Minetaka. Although he became distant when he found out they weren't really his parents. He gets over it after the SAO incident.
  • Happily Married: To Asuna in SAO. Only in-game, though, because they're too young to marry in real life. Even there it's a happy dating.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: All his avatar characters uses some sort of Cool Sword.
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • He suffers a huge one when Asuna performs a Heroic Sacrifice. It debilitates him so badly that he can't bring himself to do more than slowly and feebly swing his swords at Heathcliff for a few seconds.
    • Suffers a major one when he encounters Death Gun and realizes that not only is he a survivor of SAO, but also a member of Laughing Coffin. All of Kirito's repressed memories of the purge against that guild returned and left him in such a wrecked state that Sinon was worried what had happened to him.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: During SAO, first due to his status as a "Beater", although he gets better when he joins the Black Cats of the Full Moon. Turned Up to Eleven after the whole guild is wiped out, to the point he becomes quite self-loathing.
  • Hurting Hero: Believes letting the Black Cats of the Full Moon die is unforgivable. He's also haunted by the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members. He'd also rather storm the gates of Hell than let anything happen to his friends.
  • Hope Spot: The aforementioned resurrection item, the Stone of Returning Soul. It only works within ten seconds of a player's death, making it utterly useless for reviving Sachi, who died months ago.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: At the beginning of Fairy Dance, Kirito proves that he has real-world reaction and dodging speed on par with his cousin, the kendo expert. At the end of the arc, he finally realizes that he can beat an incompetent, wounded, poor fighter, despite the fighter having a knife.
    • I Don't Know Mortal Kombat: In the same battle, at the beginning of Fairy Dance, Kirito proves very clearly that Sword Skills do not work in the real world. Seems he really needs to work on his real-life sword attacks.
  • I Know Your True Name: In the climax of GGO, Kirito is faced with a situation where he can't remember the name of the Laughing Coffin member who is impersonating Death Gun, despite having found a few clues during the BoB tournament. Throughout the final duel, he frantically scrapes through his memories, and remembers the briefing before the raid on Laughing Coffin's HQ, which brought out the names of several key members. It is then, through the conjecture of Death Gun's physical appearance, specifically the skull mask and red lenses, that Kirito realizes he is fighting Red-Eyed XaXa, prompting the latter to be distracted and eventually get defeated. The implication runs even deeper since Kirito now has the means to arrest the Death Gun perpetrators.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: During his time with the Black Cats, protecting and comforting Sachi from her fear of dying helped to assuage some of his guilt over being a beater and solo player, but his halfheartedness came back to bite him hard in the end when his inability to admit his background and knowledge indirectly caused her to die from a trap.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When he uses an illusion spell to apparently turn into a monster, he eats some of the enemy players, and then chomps on Leafa's fingers when he turns back to normal. He was just joking, though.
    "Just trying to lighten the mood."
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In Season 1 Episode 22, where he tries to reach the apex of the tower by himself, only to be overwhelmed by the infinitely respawning guardians.
    • Again in Season 1 Episode 24, when Sugou impaled him with his own sword, just after altering the pain absorber to make it even worse for him.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: After two years trapped in SAO, Kirito is possibly the best virtual swordsman in existence. He goes into Gun Gale Online... and buys a lightsaber which he uses to deflect bullets. He later uses this experience to control otherwise uncontrollable Sword Skills well enough to cut spells out of the air. You can practically taste the expressions of the first set of enemies he demonstrates that to.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Due to his Dark and Troubled Past, he mostly acts as a lone wolf but still his friends, people in need and girls will flock to him whether he wants it or not. Of course, he does care back.
  • The Informant: Becomes one to Seijurou to investigate the Death Gun rumors.
  • Jerkass Façade: After clearing SAO L1, he decides to out himself as the first Beater in attempts to keep beta tester discrimination under control.
  • Kid Hero: Only 14 at the beginning, 16 by the end of the SAO arc.
  • Laser Blade: His primary weapon in GGO.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Let's just say that most of his enemies can't see him dashing across the battlefield towards the them before it's too late.
  • Likes Older Women: As illustrated by his relationships with Sachi and Asuna, who is a full year older.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Actively cultivated this, first due to the stigma against beta testers, and later after his guild was annihilated. He gets better, as part of his character development.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: His Avatar in GGO.
  • Manly Tears: Several times, but two moments stand out: while listening to the audio recording Sachi left him, and while apologizing to a comatose Asuna for being unable to fulfill his promise to her to help her return to the real world.
  • Master of Illusion: Comes with being a Spriggan in ALO. Used to terrifying effect against a twelve-person attack squad.
  • Master Swordsman: In SAO he mastered the One Handed Straight Sword skills and Dual Blades unique skills.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of SAO, Kirito keeps himself from dying long enough to kill Kayaba. Also, Kirito or possibly Kayaba's ghost, in which case this wouldn't count, unstuck a sword that was position-fixed at the end of ALO. These were apparently impossible based on the laws of SAO. Power of Love? Yes. Reality Warper? Maybe. Or incarnate system, which would count as a mundane explanation.
  • My Greatest Failure: The aforementioned fall of the "Black Cats of the Full Moon" and failure to revive Sachi.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: After the whole SAO (and, by extension ALO) experience, he vows to become a more honest and better brother figure for Suguha.
  • Named Weapons: Has owned a few.
    • SAO: Anneal Blade (1H Straight Sword, quest reward), Elucidator (1H Straight Sword, drop) and Dark Repulser (1H Straight Sword, crafted by Lisbeth)
    • ALO: Excaliber (2H Greatsword, quest reward with a handy assist from Sinon)
    • GGO: Kagemitsu G4 (Photon sword, purchased)
  • Narrator: Throughout most of the light novels, he is the one narrating the story.
  • Nephewism: His biological parents died in an accident when he was very young and he was adopted by his aunt and uncle.
  • Nice Guy: Isn't reluctant to help those in need, even strangers on the road.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Of the Poor Communication Kills variety. Before committing suicide, Keita pointed out that had Kirito been more honest about his status, their guild would have still been alive]].
  • No Sell: During his match against the (player-attacking) orange guild Titan's Hand, half a dozen players hack away at Kirito as hard as they can. He has so much HP it'd take them about 5 minutes to kill him... except he regenerates faster than they can hurt him... and he gets tired of being used for target practice and tells them off.
  • Not So Different:
    • Notes that he and Sugou are similar, as they were both defeated and then forced to assist Kayaba — the difference being that Kirito never sought to become like Kayaba or Sugou.
    • Kayaba himself. Both are the best players in Aincrad, immerse themselves in the game to the point where it's more real to them, and they both love video games. The difference however is fairly obvious, as Kirito never tried to become a god.
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted refreshingly. Unlike the stereotypical harem protagonist, Kirito is well aware of the girls' affections around him. It's just that he has already given his heart to Asuna and deliberately plays Selective Obliviousness so as not to hurt their feelings.
  • Official Couple: With Asuna.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name is barely mentioned at all. This is less prevalent in the English dub, though, since Suguha calls him by his name instead of "brother", probably highlighting their alienation from each other.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yeah, Kirito is a rather skilled VR-MMORPG player-slash-addict and a SAO beta tester, but other than his mild family issues, there's not much unusual about his backstory. Or his present... until Kayaba traps everyone in SAO.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Partway through Volume 9, Atsuhi attacks Kirito to avenge the downfall of Death Gun, and stabs him with a fatal dose of succinylcholine. Although he manages to take him down before succumbing to the poison, the volume ends with him flatlining. By the beginning of the next volume, it is revealed that his body recovered from the dose but his brain was damaged, so Seijuro has to use his political clout to get him to Ocean Turtle and hook him up to UnderWorld so it can be repaired.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mostly in the chibi special Sword Art Offline. He makes multiple threats to Klein about teaching Yui bad things and states he would kill Klein if the guy ever flirted with Yui.
  • Papa Wolf: To Yui
  • The Paragon: Kirito's experiences have made him an altruistic and courageous character who helps and inspires many other players, like Sinon.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Just watch him torture Sugou after turning the tables on the man who nearly raped the love of his life.
  • Pocket Protector: A mild variant in GGO; he forgot to detach one of the electrodes used to monitor his health, but it ultimately saved him from Kyouji's attempt at injecting him with succinylcholine while he went to Shino's house to save her from the Death Gun perpetrators.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Computer, set Pain Absorber to 0." After gaining control of ALO's GM powers and disabling Sugou's, Kirito decides it's time for some payback for Sugou torturing him and molesting Asuna. Sugou also mentioned that a setting of 3 or lower will result in real-world injuries from in-game damage.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Not shown very often, but he can flash some serious crazy under the right circumstance. Prime example would be during his one man attack against the World Tree guardians.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His Laser Blade during the GGO arc.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: More so with his GGO avatar, complete with crimson red lips, shining eyes, and long eyelashes.
  • Red Baron: In SAO, he is known as "The Black Swordsman" due to his clothes, hair, eyes, and primary weapon being black.
    • He is later known as "The Twin Blade Swordsman" after he reveals that he can dual wield.
  • Reverse Grip: It's very difficult to spot, but on rare occasions, Kirito will wield his sword(s) like this if he needs to. The most visible example is from Episode 9 of the anime, during the battle with Gleam Eyes; he tanked a strike and briefly switched his grip to counterattack.
  • Second Love: Asuna is his. This helps him get over Sachi's death and the fall of his first SAO guild.
  • Secret Identity: Kinda. When he returns to the real world, he tries to keep his Kirito identity on the down low.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: SAO will do that to you. It's hard to tell what messes him up more: the fact that he let the Black Cats of the Full Moon die or the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Said this almost word for word when Klein speculated he was partying with Asuna because he fell for her. The smiles of Asuna and the Furinkazan members show they don't buy it.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Kirito does this to Asuna in episode 10.
  • Signature Move: In SAO, it's his Dual Blades skill, though it's kept hidden for the most part.
  • Silent Scapegoat: In Season 1 Episode 2, he takes on the title of "Beater" in order to separate all other Beta players who help others with Betas who take advantage of their knowledge at the expense of others (Beta+Cheater).
  • Sixth Ranger: Was the extra member of the Black Cats of the Full Moon; the rest were friends from a real-world computer club. He's also the only survivor.
  • Skyward Scream: Kirito fulfills this trope at the end of Season 1 Episode 1, after he resolves to survive SAO.
  • Sole Survivor: Of Black Cats of the Full Moon.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: In SAO, he once used a sword skill to block a breath attack of a dragon.
  • Spider-Sense: The Outside System Skill, "Hypersense". Despite being a hypothetical hidden skill, Kirito notes that several times in SAO, he'd felt the presence of someone watching him and credits the skill for saving his life.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: When he enters GGO, his avatar looks too much like a girl, and he checks to make sure he is actually a guy (to his relief, he is). Cue guys hitting on him and Sinon mistaking him for a girl. Also cue him playing up the girly tone when he confronts Sinon.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: He's a nice guy but he can be a bit cold and distant, being paralyzed by the fear of reliving the Black Cats experience all over again.
  • Super Reflexes: A big reason for his ace status in any VRMMORPGs he plays.
    • He had the fastest reaction speed of all players in SAO, which was why the system granted him his trademark dual-wielding ability.
    • In ALO, his reaction speed played an even bigger role as it determined one's ingame movement speed and attack damage. He was so fast his speed completely overwhelmed one of the fastest players of the race with an affinity for speed, and was able to pummel players with high-level armor with initial equipment.
    • In GGO, his reaction speed is shown to be demonic enough for him to slice showers of bullets midair with his lightsaber as long as he can sense their trajectories. When he returns to ALO, he uses the same technique to easily block magic attacks which have notoriously small hitboxes, noting that magic attacks were far slower than bullets.
  • Survival Mantra: The quote at the top of his trope list, said at end of the first episode of the anime. And followed up by the aforementioned Skyward Scream.
  • Survivor Guilt: Feels haunted by the guilt of being the only surviving member of the Black Cats of the Full Moon.
  • Sword and Gun: Does this in GGO, due to his preference and the lightsaber being too expensive for him to get anything better than a pistol.
  • Sword over Head: Sugou is finally held with a knife to his throat by Kirito in real life. With no one else around at so late an hour, Kirito could easily kill him and put him out of everyone's misery... But he doesn't. He simply beats Sugou to a barely-breathing pulp and leaves him for the police.
  • These Hands Have Killed: He's haunted by the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Anything cooked by Asuna.
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Meets Silver Crow/Haruyuki from Accel World in the side story Versus. Of course, as pure fanservice, he's back to his old Black Swordsman Kirito form as the two fight in an epic battle. It ends in a draw.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Contradicts himself in different accounts of the incident with the Black Cats of the Full Moon. This suggests he may be giving a distorted account of other past events.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Because SAO and ALO are built on the same source code, Kirito's compatible stats from SAO are transferred over. For the duration of the ALO arc, he uses the default starting skills and equipment of the Spriggan class. However, since his SAO stats are through the roof (and ALO stats are limited by there being no levels to grind), the effects of his basic spells are amped up beyond belief. A small smokescreen spell turns into a massive explosion of smoke, and a basic illusion casting spell outright transforms him into the boss creature he was trying to create a facsimile of, broken party-killing moveset and all. He later resets his stats so he can make a proper Spriggan build and have fun with it.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: When he and Sinon first met, she mistakes him for a girl. They get along and she helps him get his equipment, but when it's time to put on their battle suits Sinon gets undressed right in front of Kirito and he awkwardly tells her he's a guy. Sinon doesn't take it well.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Go ahead, just try to harm anyone he cares about. Especially Asuna. Hopefully there's still enough of you to fill a bucket once he's through.
  • Unwanted Harem: He gradually builds one up due to helping out various girls in the series.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: As for Leafa/Suguha not taking well of finding out Kirito is really her cousin/adopted brother...
    Suguha: "If that's how it is, I wished you kept on being a jerk to me."
  • Weapon of Choice: Kirito is always a sword user. Even in GGO, he picks up a lightsaber. It's fitting given his chivalrious impluses.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When given the opportunity to kill Sugou, the man who nearly ruined his life and raped Asuna, Kirito simply gives him a beatdown and leaves him to the cops.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Kirito prefers swords. Even GGO, which focuses heavily on ranged combat.
  • When He Smiles: Normally he has a sad look on his face, but when he smiled at Silica, well...
  • Willfully Weak: Lisbeth and the rest of the girls speculate this is the case for Kirito.
    Lisbeth: "This is what I think. Probably, in a normal game, Kirito won't fight seriously anymore. On the other hand, Kirito only fights seriously when the game isn't a game anymore, when the virtual world becomes real... That's why it's better if situations which force him to fight seriously don't appear. From the beginning, he was the type to easily get wrapped into troublesome things."
  • Would Hit a Girl: He expresses that he does not like to fight females, but he could if he has to.
    • He threatened the female leader of the player-killing guild "Titan's Hand" to intimidate the guild.
    • He once dueled Asuna due to their disagreement on using an NPC village as bait for a floor boss and won.
    • He took out the female GGO player Musketeer X during BoB.
  • Zero Approval Gambit: Outs himself as the first "Beater" to reduce prejudice against beta testers. By doing this, he focuses the stigma exclusively on beta testers who selfishly keep foreknowledge of the game to themselves, protecting other, less unscrupulous beta players (such as his friend Argo).

Asuna Yuuki / Asuna (SAO, ALO) / Titania, the Queen of Fairies (ALO) / Erika (ALO)

Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese) and Cherami Leigh (English)

"I don't want to lock myself in a room at the Town of Beginnings and slowly rot away. I'd rather stay the way I am until the last moment. Even if a monster beats me and I die... I won't lose to this game nor this world, no matter what."

The main female protagonist. In SAO, she is the sub-leader of the frontline guild "Knights of Blood". Her speed and proficiency with a rapier is so advanced that she has earned the moniker of "The Flash".
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother/Action Mom: To the AI Yui.
  • Action Girl: Oh yes. More than a few times she's taken down foes Kirito couldn't handle.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Goes from auburn/brunette in the novels to strawberry-blonde in the anime.
  • Attempted Rape: During the climax of ALO, Sugou attempts to molest Asuna in front of a paralysed Kirito, though the latter frees himself with the help of Kayaba's ghost and soundly defeats him.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As the sub-leader of the "Knights of the Blood Oath"
  • Badass Adorable: Hard to imagine the vice-commander of "The Knights of Blood" going Tsundere towards our hero? Just watch Season 1 Episode 5.
  • Badass in Distress: During the early part of the ALO arc, she was trapped in the ALO virtual reality by her then-fiance Sugou, who kept her locked in a cage in the World Tree. She came very close to freeing herself, and managed to leave clues for Kirito and Yui to get to her.
  • Bare Your Midriff: As Titania.
  • Battle Couple: With Kirito.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten those she cares about. Especially Kirito and Yui. She will kick your ass.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If you fall into her good side, you'll see she is a really sweet girl. However, piss her off and you'll be cut in half before you even see her coming.
  • Brainy Brunette: In the real world and in SAO. Also as Titania in ALO during "Fairy Dance".
  • Characterization Marches On: In Volume 1 her Action Girl traits were toned down, making her Tsundere traits stand out more. However, as the series marches on, her Action Girl persona takes the forefront (with the exception of during the ALFheim arc).
    • The anime adaptation got hit pretty hard because of this. Since later volumes tell events from the Aincrad arc in a non-linear fashion, but the anime tells them in linear progression, Asuna's characterization flip-flops a bit. For example, in episode 11, Asuna shows that she is afraid of ghosts. However, previously in episodes 5 and 6 the story also involves the possibility of ghosts, and yet she doesn't even flinch. That's because while the events of episode 11 were originally told on volume 2 of the light novel series, the events of episodes 5 and 6 were told in volume 8.
  • Chef of Iron: She's an extremely skilled swordswoman, and has mastered her Cooking skill.
  • Clothing Damage: When Sugou starts to strip her with the intention of raping her.
  • Color Motif: White.
  • Combat Medic: Her ALO build; as an Undine healer, she hasn't forgotten how to use her rapier. More than once she's switched from healing to taking down the level boss.
  • Cool Big Sis: Acts a bit like one to Liz and Silica in real life. Arguably, Asuna acts this way to most of the other female characters. Suguha and Sinon aren't excluded.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When the 21-30th floors of Aincrad were opened in ALO, Asuna, her friends and alongside 50 other players rushed right to the floor boss, where they watched in awe as Asuna single-handedly take out the boss, kicked it to the side, and rush onward to the 22nd floor. The reason was to purchase the small wooden house in the middle of the forest, the same house herself and Kirito briefly lived in, back in SAO.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: A rare case where it was customized by the other members of her guild. They guilt-tripped her into wearing it due to how much it cost.
  • Declaration of Protection: She promises Kirito to protect him.
  • Defiant Captive: When she was Sugou's captive in ALO he asked for her love. She said he'd have to make due with her "disgust and hatred".
  • Detached Sleeves: Her uniform as a member of the "Knights of Blood."
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Near the end of the Aincrad arc, she dies in Kirito's arms after taking a fatal blow for him in the final battle. She gets better once Heathcliff is defeated, but remains trapped in virtual reality due to Sugou's manipulations, triggering the Fairy Dance arc.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Her speed, both attack and movement. In VRMMORPGs, you can concentrate to speed up attacks significantly. However, if you do it even slightly incorrectly (which gets more and more likely the more you are trying to speed up the strike), you cancel the attack and get frozen for a split second. By the time Asuna first meets Kirito, she (as a rookie) has faster attacks that even he does. Similar rules (though usually without a possible freeze penalty) apply to movement, and Asuna has one of the highest movement speeds of any SAO player.
  • Dude Magnet: She says she has received many confessions and proposals from guys. She also has two stalkers.
  • Dynamic Entry: Asuna appears, practically out of nowhere, running slightly faster than the system's speed cap, and knocks the player-killer who had paralyzed and was slowly killing Kirito into the far wall.
  • Fan Disservice: When Sugou strips and molests her right in front of Kirito.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Both in the game, and real life!
  • First Girl Wins: Not counting Suguha, Asuna is the first of the many girls in Kirito's (virtual) life.
  • Godiva Hair: When Sugou rips her top off.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Her outfit as Titania is pretty revealing. Sugou was probably the one who designed it that way.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In the final battle of the Aincrad arc, she dies smiling to Kirito after Taking the Bullet for him. Fortunately for her, Heathcliff's defeat and subsequent deletion of the Aincrad server brought her back from imminent death.
  • Happily Married: To Kirito in SAO. Only in-game, though.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: In the anime, when Lisbeth wishes her good luck in her relationship with Kirito. Averted in the novels, where once Liz has met Kirito, Asuna quietly confirms her interest in him instead.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Thanks to her Supreme Chef abilities, she manages to make an Impossibly Delicious Stew with a ragout rabbit, a super rare S-Class ingredient found by Kirito.
    • Also, pretty much everything that she cooks is this to Kirito, S-class ingredients or not.
  • In the Hood: During her introduction.
  • Knife Nut: Her other character in ALO, "Erika".
  • Light is Good: Wears white colors, in contrast to Kirito's Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's not nicknamed The Flash for nothing, you know? Not only is she absurdly fast, her strikes are insanely powerful.
  • Lonely at the Top: In SAO, as second-in-command of the Knights of Blood, she demanded iron discipline and a steel will among all the members, and thus never smiled in front of them as an example. However, while the members followed her orders, she noted that it was out of fear, not respect. This is also the reason why Asuna never joined another guild in ALO, not even a small one between Kirito and their mutual friends.
  • Mama Bear: To Yui.
  • Master Swordswoman: In SAO she mastered the One Handed Rapier skill.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: About halfway through SAO, Asuna runs faster than the dexterity speed limit allows to rescue Kirito. Also, she stands up — despite unbreakable in-game paralysis — and takes Kayaba's fatal strike, dying (in-game), but saving Kirito. She recovers. Kayaba himself comments that this is impossible by the rules of the game; the rules that he coded. Power of Love? Yes. Reality Warper? Maybe.
    • In GGO, her touch also reminds Kirito that he has a handgun, not just a lightsaber. Despite the fact that he's in a game, and she's in the real world. Of course, between what we've learned about Fluctlight, and the fact that Amuspheres (like Kirito was using) are less-powerful and don't block 100% of nerve signals, this probably isn't "Magic". (Unless Fluctlight counts as "Magic".) Still, you never know...
  • Meaningful Name: Yuuki means "Courage" and Asuna can be translated as "For Tomorrow."
  • Ms. Fanservice: As Titania.
  • Nice Girl: Sweet, kind and caring. Just don't piss her off.
  • Official Couple: With Kirito.
  • Ojou: She's quite rich, and her father owns RECTO, the parent company that made SAO and the Amusphere.
  • Parental Substitute: To the AI Yui, who essentially adopted her and Kirito as parents.
  • Plucky Girl: Not even capture by Sugou broke her spirit. If anything, it only made her steel herself even more against his advances.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: What she wears with her school uniform.
  • The Protagonist: She has the entire Mother's Rosario arc to herself.
  • Rapunzel Hair: It reaches her waist and it becomes even longer as Titania. In the former case, it could reflect her ojou status but the later is clearly Sugou's work. She's supposed to be Queen of the Fairies after all.
  • Real Name as an Alias: In SAO.
  • Red Baron: In SAO, she is know as the "Flash." In ALO, she's know as the "Berserk Healer".
  • Royal Rapier: In SAO, her primary weapon. One of them is made by her friend Lizbeth, "Lambent Light".
  • Samus Is a Girl: In Aria in the Starless Night Kirito originally mistook her for a guy until she speaks. Before that, she awed him in regards to the speed of her Linear skill. It's also entirely possible that most of the people at the first boss battle didn't realize her gender her cloak was discarded. Which is exactly what happens in the manga version.
  • Seen It All: Her reaction to Kirito's Spell Blast, a feat of incredible control and precision that everyone thought was impossible. Mild amusement.
  • Sleep Cute: Very much so. Even when she just woke up also.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: She apologizes to Kirito as she lies dying in his arms after Taking the Bullet for him in the final battle of the Aincrad arc. She gets better.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Before starting SAO, her family lavished plenty of attention and affection on her, but at the same time she had high expectations to fulfill.
  • Supreme Chef: In SAO, she mastered the non-combat cooking skill to make food that tastes like the real world.
  • Switching P.O.V.: SAO: Progressive tells the story from her point of view.
  • Take Up My Sword: She inherits Yuki's Original Skill before she passes away to let her continue her fight.
  • Taking the Bullet: Takes a fatal blow for Kirito in the final battle of the Aincrad arc. She gets better.
  • Tender Tears: Sheds these a few times, particularly after Yui's apparent death.
  • Through His Stomach: She uses her cooking skills to win over Kirito. And, boy, does it work!
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Asuna seems to have a thing for sweets. Especially cheesecake in Sword Art Online Progressive.
  • Tsundere: Type B. Sweet and kind until you piss her off. Although in her first appearances she looks more like a type A, but that's just because at first Kirito gets on her nerves all the time.
  • Uptown Girl: Her family is quite rich while Kirito belongs to the middle-class.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: If her saving Kirito from Kuradeel is any indication.
  • When She Smiles: Kirito says he will never forget the beautiful smile Asuna gave him after accepting his proposal.
  • Woman in White: Almost all her outfits are partially white.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her avatar in ALO, an Undine. Her other ALO avatar Erika, a Sylph, has grass-green hair.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Her uniform as a member of the "Knights of Blood."

Suguha Kirigaya / Leafa (ALO)

Her appearance IRL
Her Leafa avatar
Voiced by: Ayana Taketatsu (Japanese) and Cassandra Lee (English)

Kirito's younger cousin and sister by adoption, and the co-female protagonist of Fairy Dance (Volumes 3-4). In ALO, she is a Sylph warrior called Leafa and is well known for being one of the fastest flyers in the game.
  • Action Girl: It's kinda a requirement in ALO.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Sugu" by Kazuto.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: The English dub of Season 1 Episode 22 has her saying "I love you" towards Kazuto before telling him to leave her alone due to the trauma of discovering that he and Kirito are one and the same.
  • Badass Adorable: Yep.
  • Boobs of Steel: Has the largest bust of all the girls, and in real-life is the most physically fit, being a kendo national quarterfinalist.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Gets a bit jealous in Season 1 Episode 20 when Sakuya and Alicia, the leaders of the Slyph and Cait-Sith races, get a bit too friendly with Kirito after he saves them from an ambush.
  • Curtains Match the Window: In real life.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: As Leafa.
  • Green Eyes: As Leafa.
  • Hair Decorations: A pair of clips in real life, and a five-petal floral brooch holding her ponytail as Leafa.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: As Leafa.
  • Hero of Another Story: Had her own adventures in ALO before Kirito joined the game.
  • Heroic BSOD: She doesn't take very well to the news that both the cousin/brother she was trying to forget and the Spriggan she came to love are the same person. She spends the end of Season 1 Episode 22 crying unto herself in her room.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Even if Asuna was out of the picture, poor Suguha wouldn't have a chance with Kirito anyway. While they are technically cousins, he probably wouldn't see her as anything other than his sister.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Falls in love with Kazuto, but after seeing him with Asuna, she moves on to Kirito, only to discover that it's her brother/cousin all along.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Her preferred weapon. Justified as she practices kendo in real life, and is very good (national-level middle school quarter-finalist).
  • Kissing Cousins: Deep down, she wants this with Kazuto, being in love with him. However, she also knows this is wrong, he would never go for it, and she can't tell anyone because of the very likely backlash. So she tries to get over him by loving Kirito, not knowing they're the same guy... and it doesn't exactly go well.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Technically younger-by-a-year cousin, but Kirito's relationship with Suguha is like this.
  • Luminescent Blush: When she realized that she had fallen asleep in Kirito's bed, with cleavage visible, and that he had woken up before her and noticed.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Falls in love with Kirito, unaware that he is actually Kazuto. Since she had fallen in love with Kazuto, only to give up on winning his affections, she takes this rather badly.
  • Magic Knight: Skilled with using both attack magic and her katana.
  • Not Blood Siblings: She falls in love with her adopted brother and cousin who was raised with her since they were infants, only to get her heartbroken. Then gets it inadvertently broken again by him in ALO.
  • Red Baron: The "Speed Holic".
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: In her real appearance.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Official translations give her avatar's name as "Leafa". However, typos in the anime occasionally write it out as "Leefa" and fan translations of the novels used "Lyfa". A literal reading of the kana used in the novels would give you "Rifa".
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: As Leafa.
  • Tsundere: Type A for both Kirito and Recon.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Wears these (coupled with track shorts on her ALO avatar).

Shino Asada / Sinon (GGO, ALO)

Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese)

The main female protagonist of Phantom Bullet (volumes 5–6). An elite sniper in Gun Gale Online who wields the rare anti-material rifle "PGM Hecate II". She later joins ALO to be with Kirito and his friends, where she becomes a Cait Sith archer.
  • Action Girl: In the predominately male populated GGO.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Sinonon" by Asuna.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Volume 5 describes Sinon's voice as having a high, clear and cute sound and therefore aurally pleasing to GGO's mostly male playerbase. For the anime and games, Miyuki Sawashiro uses a lower tone.
  • Badass Adorable: Not only is she cute as a kitten, both in the real and virtual worlds, but is also a force to reckon with in terms of ranged combat, so much so Kirito actually dreads the day she gets Skekhinah, ALO's ultimate bow — which, by Sinon's own estimates, would allow her to snipe from 200m, well beyond everybody else's melee/spell range.
  • Boom, Headshot: Her speciality, since she is a sniper.
  • Broken Bird: Her accidental murder of a robber haunted her for many years, causing her multiple psychological hang-ups.
  • Cat Girl: Her appearance and mannerisms are often compared to those of a cat. Fittingly, she rolls a Cait-Sith in ALO.
  • Cold Sniper: At first, until warming up a little to Kirito.
  • Cry Cute: Lets down her cold facade down and broke down sobbing a few times, such as after Kirito dissuades her from chasing after Death Gun by herself, and after Mizue hands her a thank-you letter for saving her and her mother during that robbery four years ago.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As an eleven-year-old, she accidentally killed a post office robber with his own gun following a Gun Struggle. The experience so traumatized her she developed PTSD and a strong hoplophobia, and not only her schoolmates but her mother shunned her as a murderer (though to be fair, by that point she has been already traumatized from helplessly watching her husband bleed to death in a car accident). She started playing GGO to try and get over her phobia, but it's only partially successful. She also has a replica gun in her room, but she's not able to overcome her fear.
  • Difficult but Awesome: A sniper rifle has one of the highest single-shot damage outputs in GGO, but more importantly, the first shot taken by a sniper from stealth does not give the target any warning or window to dodge. However, it is also one of the hardest weapons to actually hit with: the distance creates a low base accuracy, and the shooter must keep their pulse as low as possible to maximize their chance to hit. Furthermore, a sniper loses their primary advantage (surprise) after the first shot, making it ill-suited in 1v1 battles or when outnumbered.
    • This carries over to archery in ALO. The game has no automated systems to aid the accuracy of an archer (unlike GGO), and arrows are affected by gravity and wind. But unlike magic, archery is a ranged weapon with no casting time; a master archer could defeat any melee opponent before they even managed to get within attack range. Since Sinon has already mastered long-distance shooting in GGO and all of the games created from The Seed use the same physics engine, she masters the bow very quickly.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In the anime, Shino's eyes are a muted brown. However, as Sinon they are a vibrant turquoise.
  • Friendly Sniper: While she typically carries a calm and collected disposition, she is also a genuinely kind-hearted person.
  • The Gadfly: Only really applies to between Kirito and herself. Kirito teases Sinon, and Sinon finds a way to tease him right back.
  • Glass Cannon: Her character build in GGO focuses on STR and AGI, at the expense of VIT.
  • Gratuitous English: She often spouts short phrases in English, many of them are Pre-Mortem One-Liners.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: She invokes this after Kirito (wisely) asks her to clear up any potential misunderstandings. Whether or not she actually does develop a romantic interest in him is left ambiguous, but there is some back-and-forth teasing between them. She also trolls him (in a glorious fashion) by asking him to "always think of me" when using Excalibur... in front of all his other love interests. Only the twitching of her Cait-Sith tail gives away her laughter.
  • Heroic BSOD: Suffers a massive one when she realizes that the pistol that Death Gun uses to kill his targets is the same model of pistol she used to kill the bank robber years ago.
  • Hero of Another Story: Literally. Although she created an ALO character to play with Kirito and her new friends, she still mainly plays GGO, where she is one of the top players and goes on her own adventures in that game world.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Manages to hit a falling sword at 200m with a bow whose maximum effective range was 100m, while falling herself, while surrounded by falling ice shards, while using a spell that distorts the arc of her arrow.
    • ALO players consider Shino's normal attacks to be this; she plays as a Cait Sith specced for long range vision, and regularly takes down enemies 100 meters away by arching her arrows. Shino doesn't consider it anything special, since she came from GGO and regularly engages from beyond 1000 meters with her Hecate II.
    • It still isn't enough for her. She's hoping to obtain the legendary bow Shekhinah because she estimates with that bow she should be able to consistently snipe from 200 meters away.
  • Instant Expert: In ALO, it took her all of one day to fully master the bow.
  • Machine Pistols: In the anime, a Glock 18 takes the place of the MP7 as her sidearm.
  • Male Gaze: Plenty of shots are dedicated to admiring her tight in-game outfit.
  • Meganekko: She wears glasses in the real world not to correct her eyesight, but because they were advertised as "bulletproof" and wearing them gives her a small sense of protection.
  • Ms. Exposition: She explains much of how GGO works for Kirito (and the audience).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: She becomes obsessed with defeating Kirito in a fair fight, thinking that doing so will make her strong like he is, and commands him to not lose until she can beat him.
  • Red Baron: In GGO, she is known as "Hecate", and sometimes "Goddess of the Underworld", from both her anti-material sniper rifle and the goddess.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Wears a muffler.
  • Security Blanket:
    • Her glasses, which were advertised as being made of bulletproof material. In the anime, they turn shiny when she is putting up an emotional barrier. She finally discards them when confronting Endo for the last time.
    • She is also attached to the Hecate II. Sinon sometimes talks to it when she needs to calm herself, and prides herself in being one of the few players capable of wielding it.
  • Serious Business: She really takes all of her moves in gaming highly, to the point where her leader suggested to log out on a losing game, she tells him straight up and a certain fansubbing group made the appropriate lines.
    Leader: It's just a game! Don't take it seriously! If we run in, we'll just die—
    Sinon: You're pathetic! In the game, at least have the fucking balls to run toward the guns and die!
  • Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: The long-ranger to Kirito's short-ranger.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Sinon is small in size, so much so that her avatar is described as "doll-like". The Hecate II is longer than she is tall.
  • Sniper Rifle: In GGO, an FR-F2 .308 sniper rifle, before upgrading to the FR-12,7 (otherwise known as the PGM Hécate II) .50 BMG anti-material rifle that she managed to get as an extremely rare drop.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Her relationship with Kirito, after she finds out he's a boy and after GGO.
  • Split Personality: Shino views herself and Sinon as this, believing that if Sinon becomes powerful enough, the strength of "Sinon" will supersede the weakness of "Shino". They're not, as proven when "Sinon" becomes paralysed by the sight of the Type 54 pistol. If anything, "Sinon" is akin to a placebo effect.
  • The Stoic: When playing GGO.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Upon joining ALO, her long-range skills translated into her becoming the archer of Kirito's party.
  • Stripperific: She actually wears quite a bit, but her GGO outfit shows off skin in just the right places, especially her backside.
  • Submachine Guns: An MP7 as her sidearm.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: She seems to keep her distance from most players, but, as seen with Kyouji and Kirito, she can be friendly and even light-hearted.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: As explained in her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. She's been in therapy ever since the botched robbery, but it didn't really do her any good as they were all Japanese therapists who fully embraced their culturally-enforced disgust for guns — and those who use them, even accidental killers such as herself. Thanks to all of that, she has a case of PTSD so intense a schoolyard bully can set off a panic attack simply by pointing a finger at her and saying "bang". What straightens her out after four years is meeting Sachie Oosawa, the then-pregnant teller the gunman threatened, and though she can't really get over her horror at witnessing a shooting, let alone meeting the shooter, she feels indebted to Shino for saving her baby — now four-year-old Mizue, who gives her a doodle of herself and her parents with the words "Shino onee-san, thank you for saving mama and Mizue".
  • Tomboyish Sidetails: In real-life and in-game.
  • Trick Arrow: Arrows with special magical properties exist in ALO. She, being a sniper in a gun-oriented game, exploits this ability to be able to perform to her full potential in a more fantasy-oriented game.
  • Trigger: Guns in general, pistols in particular, bring back the memory of her past trauma and cause her to throw up.
  • Tsundere: After getting along with Kirito when thinking he's a female player, she starts acting cold and angry towards Kirito after finding out his true gender for the first time right before the Bo B qualifiers, but still helps him out.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kirito.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Her fear of guns is so bad that it can cause her to puke, though the audience is not shown it.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In ALO, she has the lowest stats in Kirito's party, since her avatar there is only two weeks old. She compensates with her Improbable Aiming Skills, and does very well.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sees Kirito as one, and wants to face against him in a future Bullet of Bullets tournament so they can finally have a proper battle. Though she'll never admit it, she greatly admires his skill, and even secretly bought her own lightsaber to practice deflecting bullets, with limited success.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her avatar in GGO and ALO.

Yuuki Konno/Yuuki (ALO)

Voiced by: Aoi Yuuki (Japanese)

The second main female protagonist of Mother's Rosario (Volume 7) and the an energetic, cheerful Imp leader of the Sleeping Knights guild. She holds a street duel competition, hoping to find someone strong enough to help her guild solo a floor boss, an achievement which will mark their names on the Monument of Swordsmen.
  • Always Someone Better: Duels with Kirito twice and wins both rounds. It is debatable who is actually more skilled, as Kirito never fights her with his signature style, but her reaction speed and VRMMORPG experience are significantly better than his. Kirito even stated that had she been in SAO, the system would have instead granted her the dual blades ability due to her superior reflexes.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Averted for the most part, but shows hints of this when she gets strongly attached to Asuna due to her resemblance to her twin sister.
  • Badass Adorable: She's one of the kindest and most cheerful person in ALO. She's also probably the only person who can beat Kirito in a fair duel.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Her main motivation for wanting to carve the names of the Sleeping Knights onto the Monument of Swordsmen before AIDS claims her and Sleeping Knights is disbanded.
  • Hair Antennae: She has a small one pointing near her headband.
  • Ill Girl: She was born with HIV. By the time she was introduced in, her real body was already blind, bedridden and on the verge of death.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Remember how most opponents can't even react to Kirito dashing towards them before its too late? Lets just say that Kirito can't even react to her and leave it at that.
  • The Pollyanna: Despite her family being killed off one by one by AIDS until she was left to bear the pain and the stigma by herself, she remains cheerful and as energetic as an Ill Girl could possibly be.
  • Red Baron: In ALO, she is known as Zekken, or 'Absolute Sword', due to her legendary skill as a swordswoman.
  • Signature Move: The titular Mother's Rosario, an 11-hit attack developed with pure skill in technique and crystallized into a Sword Skill. She later passes it on to Asuna before dying.
  • Super Reflexes: Her reflexes surpasses even Kirito. Kirito even said that if she played SAO, she would have been the one granted the Dual Blades skill.

Eugeo

The co-male protagonist of the Alicization arc. A boy from Rulid Village who's Sacred Task was to cut down the Gigas Cedar, the seventh generation woodcutter since his predecessors.

Alice Schuberg

A girl from Rulid Village who was friends with Kirito and Eugeo until she was taken away by an Integrity Knight for touching the gravel from the Land of Darkness.

    Knights of The Blood 

Heathcliff (SAO)

Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (Japanese) and Kevin M. Connolly (English)

Leader of Knights of Blood, of which Asuna was a member. Known as "The Holy Sword", Heathcliff is a legendary player whose HP has never dropped below 50%. He possesses the Unique Skill "Holy Sword", which lets him use his tower shield as an offensive weapon.

For more information on Akihiko Kayaba, see below.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As the leader of the "Knights of Blood."
  • Big Good: Since he's the head of the number guild on the front line, he's the highest authority among the heroes clearing levels for the others. Too bad he's actually the Final Boss.
  • Crutch Character: Heathcliff is something of a meta-example of this trope; he's the ultimate tank who fights on the front lines with his men, and created the strongest guild specifically to collect the game's biggest badasses. He also intended to betray the players on the 95th floor to set himself up as the Final Boss.
  • Deus ex Machina: Serves as this in ALO, as it is through Kayaba's Heathcliff avatar that Kirito assumes superuser control of the system. Since this is effectively a god granting a hero divine power, it's like a modernized classical example.
  • Distinctive Appearance: Unlike other members of the "Knights of Blood", his uniform is primarily red with white trimmings.
  • GMPC: He's actually Akihiko Kayaba. As Kirito points out, "there's nothing more boring than watching someone else play an RPG."
  • I Have Many Names/Red Baron: He is known as: "The Living Legend," "The Strongest Man," and "The Paladin."
  • Lack of Empathy: He watches people die on raids and doesn't care about their loss.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Double subverted. His first official duel with Kirito was rigged because of his GM abilities. For the second duel, he turned off those abilities, up to and including Complete Immortality.
  • Light is Good: His title is "The Paladin" and his skills are Holy Sword and Spiritual Light. Unfortunately, he is also Kayaba.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: His weapon "Liberator," a sword and tower shield combo. His Holy Sword Unique Skill allows him to use his shield as an offensive weapon.
  • Master Swordsman: Kirito notes that he is intimately familiar with the dueling system and so his skill level is above even his own. This is because he created the dueling system.
  • The Paladin: His title and his light based skills invoked the trope.
  • Red Is Heroic: He is the only one in Red Armor. Inverted since he is the Big Bad. Therefore, Red and Black and Evil All Over is more appropriate.
  • The Stoic: His expression never changes; it's just varying degrees of seriousness.
  • Stonewall: As mentioned above, he's an incredible, seemingly invincible tank player. As also mentioned, this is justified because he used his GM powers to give himself god mode.
  • Walking Spoiler: On account of secretly being Kayaba.

Kuradeel (SAO)

Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese) and Doug Erholtz (English)

A Two-Handed Sword user and Asuna's bodyguard.
  • Ax-Crazy: Laughs madly while slowing killing and torturing Godfrey.
  • Bodyguard Crush: On Asuna. He uses the position as an excuse to exclude her from romantic rivals, like Kirito.
  • Hero Killer: Is a former member of Laughing Coffin who killed Godfrey before Kirito dished out his own retribution.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Kirito, with his Power Fist no less!
  • Jerkass: He treats Asuna like a trophy despite being her subordinate and treats Kirito like trash despite being ten levels lower than him. Even in his dying words, he accuses Kirito of "murdering" him, even though he tried to kill Kirito and Asuna (and did kill Godfrey), forcing them to fight back in self-defense.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Towards Asuna. He lurks around her house at morning (and implied at night) because 'it's his job'.
  • Tattooed Crook: He bears the Laughing Coffin insignia on his forearm.

Godfrey

Voiced by: Masahi Ebara (Japanese) and Kyle Hebert (English)

Another member of Knights of Blood. He was assigned to form a party with Kuradeel and Kirito to assess the talents of the latter.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Towards Kuradeel after getting paralyzed and killed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Acted a bit rough with Kirito at first, but ultimately seemed to be a pretty decent guy with Cool Big Bro vibes.
  • Mauve Shirt: He is killed by Kuradeel to establish the danger that Kirito is in.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets killed in the same episode he is introduced in to establish Kuradeel's intentions.

    Black Cats of the Full Moon 
From left to right: Tetsuo, Sasamaru, Ducker, Sachi and Keita
A guild made up of friends from the same computer club in the real world. They were the first guild that Kirito joined in SAO.

  • And the Rest: Whenever Kirito refers back to his old guild, he either refers to the entire guild, or to only Sachi and/or Keita.
  • Band of Brothers: They were originally from the same school club, but in the game they practically became a family. This is what ultimately convinces Kirito to join them, since he was feeling lonely after a whole year playing solo.
  • Doomed by Canon: Kirito tells Asuna about them in Volume 1, though their actual tale takes place in the next volume.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Kill 'em All/Total Party Kill: The sole survivor was, ironically, their extra man.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Their real world names are unknown, unless, like Asuna, their game names are the same as their real world name.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Had Kirito told them what he knew from the start, they wouldn't have been wiped out in the first place.
  • Sentai: Note their color-coded outfits, with the guy in red being the leader and black-themed Kirito as their extra man.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kirito was only partly to blame for their doom. The other half of their sorry story is that they explored a dungeon well above their level and triggered a Shmuck Bait trap. Ducker assumed he could disarm any trap they ran across, Sachi assumed that Kirito would save everybody if anything happened, and Sasamaru and Tetsuo were just overconfident. Boy was their confidence misplaced.
    • Their acts throughout the entire game were reckless. Pressuring Sachi to be a shield user was merely a symptom of the fact that their egos were writing checks their bodies couldn't cash. Kirito blames himself for their deaths, but in all probability, Kirito's actions extended their lives.

Keita (SAO)

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese) and Lucien Dodge (English)

Leader and founder of the guild.
  • A Father to His Men: He's the resident Team Dad, and the rest of the team respond accordingly. Kirito admits that his way of running the guild was one of the main reasons why he joined them, hoping that his way of thinking would help the people trapped in SAO to complete the game someday.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Kirito informed him that the rest of the guild died, he jumped off of Aincrad.
  • Fantastic Racism: Not as bad as Kibaou, but he wasn't fond of learning that Kirito hid his "beater" status along with his guild being wiped out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: If you count the "jerkass" as someone who also doesn't like "beaters", he was right about the fact that the guild perished due to Kirito's dishonesty.
  • The Leader: Of the "Black Cats of the Full Moon." He's the levelheaded type.
    • The Strategist: He's also the guy who creates the team formations and strategies, more than someone who's in the middle of the fight.
  • Simple Staff: His Weapon of Choice.

Tetsuo (SAO)

Voiced by: Kenji Akabane (Japanese) and Tyler Shamy (English)

The mace user of the guild.

Sasamaru (SAO)

Voiced by: Tsubasa Yonaga (Japanese) and Bobby Thong (English)

A spear man of the guild.

Ducker (SAO)

Voiced by: Takuya Eguchi (Japanese) and Erik Kimerer (English)

The thief of the guild.

Sachi (SAO)

Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese) and Xanthe Huynh (English)

The sole female member of the guild and the first girl Kirito set his eyes upon during his earlier days in SAO.
  • Beauty Mark: Has one near the outside corner of her right eye.
  • The Chick: The lone female that most of the guild, and especially Kirito, are invested in protecting.
  • Dead Man Writing: Recorded a Christmas card for Kirito and left it in their shared inventory. She mentions in the recording that she would have deleted it and told him its contents in person if she had survived until Christmas Eve.
  • Disposable Woman: Introduced as Kirito's first emotional link in SAO, only to get erased from the picture, causing him no small amount of psychological trauma.
  • Go Out with a Smile: She dies smiling at Kirito.
  • The Gwen Stacy: Her death in particular is what causes Kirito to go solo for so long.
  • The Heart: Of The Black Cats of the Full Moon.
  • The Lost Lenore: If Word of God is anything to go by.
  • Nice Girl: Although she's not a good fighter, what she can contribute are kind words and love.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Kirito claims that their close relationship was not that of lovers, but then again he was the narrator.
    • A character Q&A session states that she is, in fact, the first love interest for Kirito. Which makes her death all the more tragic.
  • Satellite Love Interest: She was rather undeveloped, only being someone Kirito could fight for and ultimately lose.
  • Secret Secret Keeper: It wasn't until six months after her death that Kirito learns she was aware of his actual level, but refrained from telling anyone.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the "Black Cats Of The Full Moon".
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Implied. Sachi knew that Kirito's level was double what he said it was, and would therefore logically know that if Kirito thinks opening that chest is a bad idea, it's because opening that chest is a bad idea. The fact that the others decide to open it anyway means that she knew that something really bad was about to happen and there was nothing she could do about it.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A light of innocence and hope that was destined to be snuffed out.

    Other Player Characters 

Ryōtarō Tsuboi/Klein (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese) and Kirk Thornton (English)

Kirito's first friend and comrade in SAO. After Kayaba trapped them, he and Kirito parted ways to gather his real-world friends, in the process forming "Fuurinkazan", a guild famous for having all of its members survive SAO. Later in ALO, he joins Kirito's party as a Salamander-type swordsman.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As The Leader of Fuurinkazan.
  • Badass: Not as much as Kirito, but underestimating him in battle will hand you your ass on a silver platter.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Loves a good fight, and isn't afraid to yell his enthusiasm.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Is one of the nicest guys in the series, with a really soft heart, and has cried the most out of all the characters. He is also a badass swordsman with balls of steel, and an excellent leader.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: A very loyal friend and comrade, who also likes to ogle schoolgirls.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: A non-romantic example to Kirito. He keeps trying to get Kirito to join Fuurinkazan and tries to pull him out of his loner shell, but isn't as successful as Asuna. When he realizes Asuna's feelings for Kirito, he asks her to take care of him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the news report in the first minute of the first episode.
  • Face of a Thug: Is described as this by Kirito.
  • Hero of Another Story: Klein has had his own adventures in SAO, and the story of how Furinkazan went from being a noob guild to the Action Survivor guild is one worth telling one day.
  • Hot-Blooded: Goes with being a Boisterous Bruiser.
  • I Will Wait for You: A non-romantic example. He always holds a open hand to Kirito to join him and even when he as at his emotional nadir, Klein still was friendly to him and wanted to help him, even when it seemed Kirito might be willing to fight him.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: He is always seen with a katana on his side.
  • The Lancer: Plays this role during the Caliber arc.
  • Martial Arts Headband: His main shtick, even in real life.
  • Nice Guy: Beneath is gruff, lecherous persona is a kind soul. In SAO, his first action post-entrapment was to find his friends and bring them under his wing.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Klein is one of the top players in SAO, and his guild managed to survive SAO virtually unscathed. Not even Knights of Blood can boast of a zero mortality rate. He'd be The Hero in any other setting but for the fact that among his friends are the speedster in black and a lady warrior in white. He gets a chance to shine in the Caliber arc, where he proves to have some damn big brass balls.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In Caliber, he insists on saving Freyja even though it seems like Schmuck Bait. This decision saves the team's ass, but not without some Brain Bleach due to Freyja's true identity as Thor.
  • Spider-Sense: Like Kirito, he possesses the hypothetical skill, Hypersense.
  • Spirited Competitor: He won't go around picking fights, but he isn't afraid to show off his enthusiasm.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Seriously. He starts off a complete and total noob who had trouble with the starter enemies, to one of the best players in SAO by the end, and he leads his own guild which apparently had nobody die in it. Not even the Knights of the Blood can boast that!

Argo (SAO)

Voiced by: Shiori Izawa (Japanese) and Cassandra Lee (English)

A friend and fellow beta tester of Kirito. Within SAO she works as a Knowledge Broker and messenger.
  • Dance Battler: Uses a style that is even named Wild Dance
  • Demoted to Extra: In the anime, she only appears in one brief scene towards the end of Season 1 Episode 3.
  • Dual Wielding: Her weapon are a pair of Wolverine Claws.
  • Facial Markings: She has whisker markings, which she applies with make-up. The information on why she has them has a high price tag of 100,000 col. She originally got them as scars during the beta test, when she tried and failed the quest to unlock the "Martial Arts" Extra Skill. When her character was transferred to the main game and the scars vanished, she liked the markings enough to apply them using make-up.
  • Flechette Storm: Carries throwing pikes as one of her weapons.
  • Fragile Speedster: Her dash exceeds even Asuna's speed!
  • Incompletely Trained: During the Beta she tried to get the "Martial Arts" Extra Skill but gave up.
  • The Informant/Knowledge Broker/The Rat: In SAO, being a beta tester she has some info only she knows and sells them for col (the currency of SAO).
  • In the Hood
  • Intrepid Reporter: Publisher of the Weekly Argo and always in search of new information and rumors. When Kirito was going to propose to Asuna and they met Argo he was quite afraid to be tomorrow's headline.
  • Meaningful Name: Argo means "swift" in Greek and her character build is focused on agility.
  • Only in It for the Money: She is incredibly sly and greedy, and will sell any piece of information for the right price, including the identities of her clients and the information they bought from her. She observes that as soon as someone buys information from her, she gets a new piece of information (X bought Y from her) to sell. Though she draws the line at selling the identities of other beta testers. She is also the author of a free strategy guide for beginner players, detailing the hazards and best hunting spots of each floor. Kirito observes that this is probably her way of "atoning" as a beta tester.
  • Red Baron: She is known as the "Rat", due to her whiskers and her selling info.
  • What Happened To The Rat?: Argo is one of the few named allies of Kirito whose fate is completely unknown. While other side-story characters like Lisbeth and Silica continue to make appearances in the main light novels, Argo disappears entirely after her story concludes... which has ominous connotations.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Dogs?: As in, panickly runs away screaming
  • Wolverine Claws: One of her weapons.

Andrew Gilbert Mills / Agil (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese) and Patrick Seitz (English)

An ax wielding merchant who runs a shop in SAO while his real-world wife runs Dicey Café, his real-life one. In ALO he reprises his SAO job as a Gnome.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: His store's MO is to buy cheap and sell expensively. Turns out he uses his profit to support lower-level players and a local church.
  • An Ax To Grind: Carries a massive ax that he definitely knows how to use.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: In SAO, he runs a shop on the 50th floor. 2/5 of his 10 Skills is for appraisal and negotiations on pricing items.
  • Badass: He has his moments.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's virtually hairless, and he's also one of the most powerful players in SAO were he to concentrate more on combat.
  • The Bartender: His job in real life. He also fits the adviser part of the role both in the game.
  • The Big Guy: In SAO.
  • Genius Bruiser: Big and intelligent in combat. Don't think this salesman is for nothing, he's a tough one.
  • Good Guy Bar: He runs one in both the virtual and real worlds, and in both cases Kirito and his friends hang out there often.
  • Happily Married: In the real world. When he was trapped in SAO, his wife singlehandedly kept his bar running and waited for him to come back, so they could pick up where they left off. He did, and they did.
  • Nice Guy: You can never tell from his shop's seemingly unfair trading policies, but Agil is a loving husband and player who spent most of his fortune helping newbies.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: His race in ALO.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a minor one to Kibaou in Season 1 Episode 2 when he goes into a rant against Beta-testers, showing him that the free manual handed out to people was written by the same people Kibaou accused of being selfish cheaters.
  • Scary Black Man: Subverted — as intimidating as he looks, he is actually one of the kindest senior players in SAO.

Diabel (SAO)

Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (Japanese) and Sean Chiplock (English)

A "knight" who organized and led a raid against the L1 boss. He is actually another beta tester, and exploits the group in order to ensure that he lands the last hit, which would maximize his chance of obtaining a unique drop. Recognizing Kirito as another beta tester, he also takes steps to actively hinder him by manipulating Kibaou and assigning backrow duty to Kirito's party.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the light novel, he's practically the Big Bad of the 1st Floor arc. The novel contains an additional subplot about a mysterious benefactor trying to buy Kirito's sword, later revealed to be Kibaou (acting as Diabel's middleman) as part of a scheme to weaken Kirito and further lower his chances of getting the final hit. The novel also contains more implications that Diabel is a Beater, making note of the obscene amount of Col he can throw around (for the first floor) and his possession of rare items such as his blue hair dye.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Blue hair to match his blue eyes.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Level 1 boss has a different weapon and style when it Turns Red, which was much different from what was stated in the manual.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His beater knowledge proves to be his downfall as he became too confident in what to expect.
  • Mauve Shirt: He led the players in their victory over the first floor, but he didn't live long enough to see it.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Which is unnatural and the result of Diabel's use of a hair dye item.

Kibaou (SAO)

Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese) and Derek Stephen Prince (English)

A warrior who participated in the 1st floor boss raid who has a dislike for beta testers.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He becomes one later on as part of The Army. His group of followers are really nothing more than a bunch of extortionists. He later tried to get rid of Thinker rather than having to answer for his screwup that cost him a few men.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against Beta-testers. Coins the term "Beater."
  • Hate Sink: The point of Kibaou's character is to show that even in a life-or-death situation, people can still be jerks.
  • Incoming Ham: When he first makes his appearance, Kibaou loudly demands everyone's attention before flamboyantly hopping his way down to Diabel's stage.
  • Irony: Greatly respects Diabel, not knowing that he is actually a beta tester and is just using the raid group to get a rare floor boss item via exploiting the last hit system and screwing over Kirito. He respected the very type of player that he hated.
  • Jerkass: He's easily the biggest one in the Aincrad arc, and a contender for the biggest one in the show.
  • The Load: Complains much and contributes little. By the end of the second episode he incites a witch-hunt against beta-testers that dissembles the coalition Diabel put to together.
  • Spiky Hair: Sports random, protruding spikes from his hair that resembles a mace.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Rolls some rugged r's to match his rough personality.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Kirito saves his ass from the 1st floor boss, and what does he do? He accuses his savior of being as greedy as the other Beta-testers.

Keiko Ayano / Silica (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Rina Hidaka (Japanese) and Christine Marie Cabanos (English)

A preteen knife wielder who befriends Kirito. She was able to befriend an NPC dragon which became her familiar, earning her the title of "Beast Tamer". She later joins ALO as a Cait Sith beast tamer.
  • A-Cup Angst: Shows hints of this in regards to Suguha's bust in the Extra Edition episode.
  • Badass Adorable: Yes, she's cute as a button, but she's still a competent player for someone as young as her.
  • The Beastmaster: In Both SAO and ALO she works with dragons.
  • Cat Girl: A Cait-Sith beast tamer in ALO.
  • A Girl and Her Familiar: Befriends a Feathery Dragon she names Pina.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Signifying her youth and immaturity.
  • Hair Decorations: Ribbon and something else to hold up her pigtails.
  • Hopeless Suitor: For Kirito. The first time she met him, he was still too shaken over Sachi's death to think about romance. By the time they meet up again, he's in a relationship with Asuna.
  • Knife Nut: Uses a dagger as her main weapon.
  • Little Sister Heroine: Well, Kirito and Silica are not blood related. However, Kirito sees Silica like this because she reminds him of Suguha.
  • Luminescent Blush: Fairly often around Kirito.
  • Meaningful Name: Apparently her avatar name comes from the fourteenth element Silicon. The bauble-like hair bands represent Oxygen (as in silicon dioxide a.k.a. silica). Why? Her birth date is October 4th (10/4; since 104 was Rutherfordium, her father added 10 and 4 to get 14: Silicon) and her real name comes from keiso, the Japanese for Silicon. Kirito figured all that out from the simple hint that "My name comes after Alumi, and before Rin". Silica was shocked.
  • Precocious Crush: On Kirito, who's three years her senior.
  • Plucky Girl: After Pina's temporary death, Silica was distraught, but never gave up hope that she could save her dragon.
  • Red Baron: In SAO, she is known as "Dragon Master".
  • Rescue Romance: This sort of happens, which prompts her attraction to Kirito; he saves her after Pina performs a Heroic Sacrifice, helps her get the resurrection item, and protects her from Titan's Head.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Pina.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She's one of the youngest characters in both SAO and ALO, as well as the youngest in Kirito's Caliber party at the tender age of thirteen.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Wears thigh-high boots in SAO with a longcoat.

Rika Shinozaki / Lisbeth (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki (Japanese) and Sarah Williams (English)

A blacksmith and friend of Asuna. She helped forge both her and Kirito's weapons, while in battle she's a mace wielder. In ALO she joins as a Leprechaun.
  • The Blacksmith: She personally made Asuna's rapier "Lambent Light" and Kirito's secondary straight sword "Dark Repulser". This continues in ALO, this time with Kirito's sword there.
  • Brainy Brunette: Her hair is naturally brown, and she's very smart.
  • Big Breast Pride: In the Extra Edition episodes.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Never manages to directly tell Kirito about her feelings. Kirito actually catches on the gist of it from her embarrassed stuttering and turns extremely embarrassed himself upon realizing it.
  • Carry a Big Stick: She wields maces when she fights.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Despite supporting their relationship, she gets angry when she sees Kirito and Asuna getting lovey-dovey.
  • Cool Big Sis: Seems to be a bit of one towards Silica once they get out of the game.
  • Drop the Hammer: Happens on a daily basis, as she's constantly beating metal into weapons and armor.
  • Glass Cannon: Originally, her weapons focused on sharpness and quickness, while largely ignoring durability. After Kirito effortlessly destroyed her best sword, she realised that in a desperate situation, what could ultimately save the lives of her clients is the weapon's durability.
  • Hair Decorations: Both in-game and out, she sports hair clips that divide her bangs.
  • Leprechaun: Her character race in ALO.
  • Named Weapon: In ALO, Klein gave her the legendary hammer, Mjölnir, on the condition that she will not break it down into Orihalcon ingots.
  • Pimped Out Cape/Pretty in Mink: Has a fur lined cape she wears sometimes.
  • Plucky Girl: Despite losing Kirito to Asuna, Rika still cheers for the two of them.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Her avatars in SAO and ALO have pink hair, fitting her cheerful personality.
  • Secret Keeper: In SAO, she was the only person whom Kirito had trusted enough to reveal his Dual Wielding Unique Skill to.
  • Shipper on Deck: When she's not being envious, she openly supports Asuna and Kirito in their relationship.
  • Tomboyish Sidetails: Though they're shorter than most examples
  • Tsundere: A light example, but it's still there.
  • Young Entrepreneur: In SAO, she built her blacksmithing business from the ground up.
  • Youthful Freckles: One of the few characters to have them, alluding to her can-do personality.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Wears this in her school uniform IRL.

Rosalia (SAO)

Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese) and Laura Post (English)

The leader of Titan's Hand.
  • Evil Redhead: She has no qualms with making other players miserable or even outright killing them if it means getting ahead.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Yes, Kirito spares her life, but he sends her straight down to the Black Iron Dungeon instead. The anime, however, is more of What Happened to the Mouse? scenario.
  • Femme Fatale: A rare nonviolent one. What makes her dangerous is that she fools other players with her "green" cursor status.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Several unwitting male players seem to fall for her charms, but luckily, Kirito wasn't fooled by her.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: She either doesn't believe that people are actually dying when they're killed in the game, or just doesn't care. She claims that there's no proof, though exactly what she was doing when Akihiko informed everyone (with sources!) that people were actually dying is a mystery.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Her hair covers her right eye. Obviously there's a side of her that she's keeping hidden from others.
  • Smug Snake: She had no idea who she was messing with when she picked a fight with Kirito.
  • The Vamp: Her appearance and vain attitude lean her in this direction.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She and her guild were planning to attack Silica, a 12-year-old girl, to steal a rare item.
  • Walking Spoiler: Only for a single episode, but still.

Seijuro Kikuoka/Chrystheight (ALO, SAO beta test)

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese)

A member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who's responsible for monitoring situations in the virtual world, Kikuoka was present when Kirito returned to the real world, and the person who asks him to investigate the Phantom Bullet case. He maintains an ALO account, though it's mostly used as an alternate method to contact Kirito and Asuna.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Kikuoka's true goal is to create intelligent AIs to be used in real wars.
  • Foil: The patriot to Sugou's traitor. Also, he avoids experimenting on human beings to the extent possible.
  • Go Karting with Bowser: He's not exactly an enemy, but he's not quite a friend as well. Despite that, he's gone on a few dungeon raids with Kirito's party.
  • Megane: Both in real life and in ALO. Shino notes that they don't seem to have much power...
  • M.I.B.: A more overt example, working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or so it seems. Kikuoka appears to actually belong to the JSDF, leading Kirito to suspect that he may have been sent to observe the possibility of VRMMOs as a substitute to real-world training.
  • Necessary Evil: He seeks a way to create AIs that can be used to replace humans in real warfare, and is more than willing to cross ethical boundaries, including making virtual clones of real infants and playing god with a virtual civilization. On the other hand, he does so in hopes of averting human casualties, as well as help Japan gain military self-sufficiency, and has shown that he does care for Kirito and his friends. At one point he even agreed with Asuna that like Yui, AIs can become "alive" like a human, but would ultimately choose the life of a single human over hundreds of thousands of AIs.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Done several times during his conversation with Kazuto in Extra Edition.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His avatar in ALO, an Undine mage.

Thinker (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese) and Victor Sgroi (English)

Administrator of "MMO Today" and leader of Aincrad Liberation Front, the largest guild in SAO. Thinker's leadership and influence has slowly been eroded thanks to his second-in-command Kibaou, and he's eventually trapped unarmed in a dungeon, prompting Yulier, his real-world and virtual wife, to request Kirito and Asuna to help rescue him.
  • Distressed Dude: His status as one is what drove Yulier to contact Kirito and Asuna.
  • Happily Married: Eventually to Yulier, both in-game and IRL.
  • Honor Before Reason: Willingly walked unarmed into an obvious trap set by someone he knew was going to betray him.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: How could he trust Kibaou, like, at all?
  • Nice Guy: A bit too nice, to his detriment, which allowed the hardliners in ALF to marginalize him into a figurehead.

Yulier (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Ryōko Shiraishi (Japanese) and Amanda Celine Miller (English)

A senior member of ALF and wife to its leader Thinker, both in the real and virtual worlds, who disapproves of the current hardline direction of the guild. She requests Kirito and Asuna's help to rescue Thinker.
  • Happily Married: Eventually to Thinker, both in-game and IRL.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ignores Thinker's cries when he warns her a corridor is trapped and triggers the boss monster that Yui deletes, causing Cardinal to delete Yui.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Before arriving in the game she was all silk; a docile House Wife. After arriving in the game, the steel revealed itself; a powerful guild member.
  • The Stoic
    • Not So Stoic: She brakes into tears when she begs Kirito and Asuna to help her save Thinker.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail
  • Undying Loyalty: She's quite devoted to Thinker. It's soon clear that she has strong feelings for him, which he reciprocates.
  • Whip It Good: Her weapon of choice.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Strongly gives off this vibe, so much so that Asuna is awed when she first meets her.

Sasha (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Kyouko Fujii (Japanese) and Erika Harlacher (English)

A priest-type player who takes care of the younger players in SAO.

Shinichi Nagata/Recon (ALO)

His appearance IRL
His Recon avatar
Voiced by: Ayumu Murase (Japanese) and Marianne Miller (English)

Suguha's real-life friend and classmate who introduced her to ALO.

Sakuya (ALO)

Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi (Japanese) and Lauren Landa (English)

Guild Leader of the Sylphs in ALO.

Alicia Rue (ALO)

Voiced by: Chiwa Saito (Japanese) and Cristina Valenzuela (English)

Guild Leader of the Cat Siths in ALO

Kyouji Shinkawa/Spiegel (GGO)

Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae (Japanese)

Shino's best friend, and the one who introduced her to Gun Gale Online.
  • Big Bad Friend: Worked with his older brother, a former Laughing Coffin member, to create Death Gun.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: "Spiegel" is an AGI-heavy build, relying entirely on evasion and reaction speed. When the GGO metagame evolved to favor balanced STR/VIT builds, Kyouji was left with a severely under-powered character that lacked the STR to equip anything but the lightest guns. This in turn leads him to associate himself with his brother, who is a SAO survivor and created what would become the virtual serial killer, Death Gun.
  • Education Mama: His parents are high-ranking doctors and put a lot of pressure on him to succeed.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's the Recon to Sinon, but then he's revealed to be part of a Big Bad Triumvirate.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Is particularly jealous of Kirito for catching Sinon's attention.
  • If I Can't Have You: Kyouji tries to kill Shino after he witnesses her crying in the arms of Kirito during the Bullet of Bullets tournament. Later on, he comes into her house right after she finished the BoB tournament, and threatens her with a dose of succinylcholine.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: His motivation for creating Death Gun.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: He became attracted to Shino after hearing about how she killed a bank robber.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Kyouji was bullied when he was younger, something he shares with Shino.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Attempted to give a Love Confession to Shino, but the latter tells him to give her time to think about it. Then in episode 13, he's revealed to be one of the people helping Death Gun to kill people in real life, and develops an Ax-Crazy look when he attempts to have his way with her.
  • Madness Mantra: Asada-san, Asada-san, Asada-san.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Towards Shino. Borders on a Villainous Crush when it is revealed he was part of Death Gun all along.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He seems quite friendly and supportive of Shino, and attempts to be there for her while she's trying to get over her past. Then he reveals his motives to her, and attempts to rape her, along with trying to kill her almost entirely out of the blue after seeing how she seems to be more interested in Kirito than him.
  • Villain Ball: He's killed his enemies, established an alibi for himself, and only one thing stands between him and marrying his dream girl while his brother takes the fall for the murders: that creepy face he makes while proposing to Shino, which tips her off that there is something very wrong with him.

    Real World Characters 

Midori Kirigaya

Voiced by: Aya Endo (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)

Suguha's mother, as well as Kirito's aunt and adoptive mother in the real world.

Natsumi Aki

The nurse who oversaw Kazuto during his rehabilitation and watched over him when he was investigating Death Gun in GGO.
  • Hidden Depths: Is also a Sergeant in the JSDF.
  • Meganekko: Wears glasses during the second day Kirito dives into GGO to participate in BoB.

Shouzou Yuuki

Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese), Keith Silverstein (English)

Asuna's father, the CEO of RECTO.

Kyouko Yuuki

Asuna's mother, who's a stern professor at a prestigious university, and disapproves of Asuna associating with Kirito and the SAO survivors.
  • Fantasy Forbidding Mother: What she initially appears as, though she and Asuna eventually reconcile in Volume 7, and she allows her to continue associating with her friends.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe: Treats her humble origins as the daughter of farmers as this. She eventually gets somewhat better.

    Virtual Beings 

Yui (SAO, ALO)

Voiced by: Kanae Itō (Japanese), Stephanie Sheh (English)

An AI in SAO created to take care of the mental health of the players but was suspended by the Cardinal system when the death game began. Unfortunately her monitoring operations continued and sensed the negative emotions such as fear, despair, rage, and madness from the players. Unable to perform her duty due to her restriction, she broke down due to errors. When she sensed Asuna and Kirito's more positive emotions, she was overcome with the urge to see them, which then kicked off the events of Morning Dew Girl and later made her their adoptive daughter.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: The girl who has no memory also doesn't have a care in the world.
  • Artificial Intelligence: A Top-Down AI.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Technically, since she's an AI.
  • Back from Deletion: Kirito manages to save her information before she's entirely deleted from the system, and successfully brings her back in ALO.
  • Badass Adorable: Cute and sweet, not to mention she actually cares about the players in the game worlds she's assigned (it's her job to begin with). But try to threaten those she care about (i.e. her adopted mom and dad), she will conjure up a sword made of fire (or any weapon of mass destruction) and utterly erase you from existence, even if you are a nigh-invulnerable boss monster. In short, do not taunt the happy fun admin.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Claims only she and Asuna can hug "Papa" when Kirito first meets Leafa after the latter thanks him for rescuing her. She in general reacts poorly to other girls getting too clingy with him, but it's clear she only wants to make sure he stays faithful to Asuna.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She mostly goes barefoot.
  • The Empath: Due to being programmed as a therapist, she is extremely compassionate and in-tune with the emotions of those around her. Near the end of her introductory arc, she is able to casually push a girl she just met towards confessing her feelings towards her guild leader.
  • Exposition Fairy: In ALO.
  • Fairy Companion: In ALO she becomes a "Navigation Pixie."
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: She causes one of these in SAO. When she screams, the entire area bugs out briefly.
  • Happily Adopted: By Kirito and Asuna.
  • The Heart: She was originally designed to maintain the mental health of the players by giving them emotional support. Unfortunately, when the death game began, she was suspended by the Cardinal system and was forced to watch the players commit suicide and kill each other out of fear, anger, and despair. Then she came across Kirito and Asuna.
  • Killer Rabbit: In SAO. Looks like an ordinary, cute child. One-shotted a super boss.
  • Living Lie Detector: She can easily tell when someone is lying, probably in order to help her do her job better.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: She knows about Recon's crush on Leafa, again because of her ability to sense emotions.
  • Our Phlebotinum Child: The love between Kirito and Asuna basically bought her into existing in the main game world.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: She wouldn't be a very effective therapy bot if she was obviously inhuman.
  • There Are No Therapists: Invoked. Yui was designed to be a sort of therapist for players in SAO, but the system prevented her from doing her job. Needless to say, this caused a lot of problems for both her and the players she was unable to help.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Although it's not brought up, she looks weirdly like a child Asuna with Kirito's haircolor. She even has a similar hair style to Asuna, making her being their "daughter" ironic. That may mean she purposefully or subconsciously sculpted her avatar to look like that when she broke out of Cardinal to find them.
  • Woman in White: In line with her purity and innocence, Yui's outfits are predominantly white.

    Main Antagonists 

Akihiko Kayaba

Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (Japanese), Marc Diraison (English)

The creator of SAO who trapped ten thousand players in his game of death.
  • Affably Evil: He's very polite and professional. He's also threatening the lives of thousands of innocent people.
  • Arc Villain: Aincrad arc.
  • Ambition Is Evil: He tells Kirito of his dream about creating a floating castle as the basis for creating Sword Art Online.
  • Badass: He created every Sword Arts in Sword Art Online, including Kirito's Dual Blades techniques.
  • Badass Bookworm: He programmed all of SAO, and designed the hardware, by himself. Even after his death he created a program that revived the VRMMORPG genre in the aftermath of the Fairy Dance arc.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the Fairy Dance arc, his spirit seemingly comes back from the dead to give Kirito his Administrator privileges so he can defeat Sugou.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: His extreme Lack of Empathy creates this. He weighed 10,000 human lives versus him creating his ideal world and chose the latter, but feels neither any guilt nor joy at the deaths. He's actually happy that someone is coming to kill him as that is how Aincrad is supposed to work.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kirito as virtual reality junkies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He may have caused the deaths of 4000+ players just to bring his imagination to life, but he keeps his own rules even if it meant losing everything. By these standards he holds Nobuyuki Sugou in contempt and helps out Kirito in taking him down.
  • Fair Play Villain: Zigzagged, he keeps his own rules, even when it costs him his world and his life. However, he did make himself an Immortal object as Heathcliff
  • Final Boss: He was supposed to be this for SAO.
  • Game Master: He's the administrator of SAO.
  • GMPC: Considered to be the strongest player in SAO. The Leader of the most powerful guild. One of the only two known people with a Unique Skill. Have never been seen being brought down to below 50% HP. Respected by all. Granted he expected himself to be revealed at around the 95th floor and deliberately did this to bring forth the greatest despair to the players. On the other hand, he tends to not do much and fights passively, letting the rest of the players do their own thing and to figure out what to do on their own. It was the combination of all the above that led Kirito to suspect this trope and thus his true identity.
  • The GM Is A Cheating Bastard:
    • To protect his guise as Heathcliff in his duel with Kirito, he accelerated faster than the normal players in SAO to block damage. He also has the "Immortal Object" ability normally granted to environmental objects to protect his life if his HP goes below 50%.
    • In the second duel Kirito noted that Kayaba did not, in fact, need the additional assistance to strike that fast.
  • A God Am I: While he never claims to be anything more than a programmer, Kirito notes that his behavior is godlike - looking upon the players not with empathy, but with mercy and pity. This is what allows Kirito to identify him as Heathcliff.
  • Graceful Loser: When defeated three-quarters of the way through the planned SAO, Kayaba congratulates Kirito and Asuna, and lets them both live and return to the real world, even though they had both "died" in the virtual world.
  • Karma Houdini: He dies on his own terms. While Kirito isn't openly hostile or hateful, he doesn't think that he can ever forgive Kayaba for those deaths, particularly Sachi's.
  • Killer Game Master: He designed the Nerve Gear to kill players in real life if they died in his game. He also placed lots of traps in his world with the idea of making that happen.
  • Lack of Empathy: He cares nothing for the deaths of the players in SAO.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In his final duel with Kirito, he lowers himself to the level of the players, forfeiting all of his GM advantages to face Kirito in a fair duel.
  • Light Is Not Good: His Heathcliff Avatar has light based skills.
  • Mad Artist: He dreamed of a masterpiece of a world where players can surpass the limits of reality. He also dreamed of people fighting for their lives in said world, apparently.
  • Meaningful Name: Kayaba naming his character after the villain of Wuthering Heights draws certain parallels — originally appearing heroic, he is revealed to have more evil and self-serving intents.
  • Noble Demon: He's a murder and a kidnapper and has some weird ethics to be sure but he sticks to his rules and is a Graceful Loser.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: His ultimate goal is essentially to bring the world of his imagination to life and have it be as real as possible. He also posses a certain sense of fair play. This would make him a Type C with bits of B and E mixed in.
  • The Sociopath: Just doesn't care either way about the people trapped in his death game. Sure, he does help found and raise a very powerful guild and helps its members develop, but that was done solely to have strong players who would keep challenging the game.
  • The Stoic: Even when Kirito overcomes death to attack him one last time, his expression barely changes.
  • Straw Nihilist: He doesn't even care about his own life.
  • The Unfettered: The game will continue for Kayaba's amusement. What the players think of him is irrelevant.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: His ultimate goal it to reach or create "Aincrad", the world that surpasses the limits of reality that he saw in his dreams. The "Aincrad" from SAO is based on it.
  • Visionary Villain: His dream of "Aincrad" led him to villainy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: As Heathcliff.

Nobuyuki Sugou/Oberon the Fairy King (ALO)

His appearance IRL
His Oberon avatar
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English)

The director of RECTO's research institute. He high-jacked the minds of 300 of the SAO victims (including his then-fiance Asuna) and traps them in his own game ALFheim Online to experiment on them. The antagonist of volumes 3-4.
  • Always Second Best: To Kayaba, which drives him nuts.
  • Arc Villain: Fairy Dance arc.
    • Infinity Moment upgrades him to Big Bad. He hijacked SAO so that he could use it for his experiments and used a super account to enter the game as Alberich.
  • Arranged Marriage: Was the fiance of Asuna chosen by her parents. In her parents' defense, he admits that if they knew how she felt about him, they would have called it off in a heartbeat.
  • Asshole Victim: Likely no one shed a tear after Kirito turns the tables on him and kills his avatar brutally in the ALO game, considering he was torturing the former moments before, and threatened to rape Asuna both in-game and in the real world.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In front of Asuna's father.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: As Oberon.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: He wets himself after Kirito overpowers him in real life.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Unlike Akihiko, he is portrayed as straightly and unconditionally evil.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is the director of RECTO's research institute and the one responsible for keeping 300 Nerve Gear victims, including Asuna, prisoner even after SAO had ended. He did this by transferring them all into ALO for experiments on human subjugation via fulldive technology. He also attempts to take over RCT Progress Inc. by marrying Asuna while she is unconscious.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • He mocks Asuna by telling her he met Kirito in the real world, and how weak he looked. He is completely unaware that letting her know her lover was alive was exactly what she needed to keep going.
    • He was also convinced that Kirito would be too scared to even put on his Nerve Gear, let alone try to save Asuna, boy was he wrong.
  • Eye Scream: Suffered this by Kirito at the final part of his Curb-Stomp Battle by letting his sword fall into him and because of the pain reception he brought up during that fight it transfers into the real world with painful irritation and bad vision from that right eye.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: His real body wears glasses.
  • Game Master: He's the administrator of ALO during Fairy Dance.
  • A God Am I: Saw himself as one in ALO and gave himself the identity of "Oberon, king of the fairies".
  • The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: Uses an unreleased, overpowered spell on Kirito and Asuna. Changes the Pain Absorption to torture Kirito. The latter eventually leads to Hoist by His Own Petard with it being used against him.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Gets chopped in half by Kirito.
  • The Hedonist: His lust for power and treatment of Asuna gives him some exaggerated hedonistic qualities.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Pain Absorption that he used to torture Kirito is used against him when the latter obtains Administration Powers from Kayaba.
  • If I Can't Have You: His threat of altering Asuna's memories.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Does to Asuna by chaining her, ripping her clothes off and licking her all this right in front of Kirito.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kirito kills Sugou's Oberon avatar by tossing him up and letting him fall onto his sword that landed on his right eye.
  • Jerkass: He responds to Kirito's desperate attempts to save Asuna with sadistic mockery.
  • Killer Game Master: The overpowered spells, the Pain Reception controls, and the fact that ALO is Unwinnable by Design all point to a sadistic "Fairy King".
  • Knife Nut: He tried to kill Kazuto in the real world with a combat knife. Thankfully Kazuto handed him his ass and handed him to the police by his supposed-victim, thanks to the skills he learned in game.
  • Last Villain Stand: By the time he decides to pull a knife on Kirito in the real world, Sugou has suffered a complete Villainous Breakdown and has lost everything, save one last, desperate chance to get back at our hero.
  • Lecherous Licking: When he is sexually attacking Asuna in Alfheim Online, she starts to cry in humiliation and he ecstatically licks her tears.
  • Megane: Of the Four Eyes, Zero Soul variety.
  • No Ontological Inertia: His victims, bar Asuna, luckily had no recollection or post-effects of three months spent experimented upon. Neither madness nor suffering ensued once they were freed.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He doesn't know how to keep his hands and tongue to himself.
  • Not So Stoic: Tries to act as if he's always in control, but his composure collapses when unexpected events happen.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He talks big, describing himself as an incredibly powerful man, to the point of claiming to be a god but is really the poor man's version of Akihiko Kayaba and after the latter's Big Damn Heroes moment in Alfheim, he shows that he knows it too.
  • Smug Snake: He is extremely arrogant and tends to speak in a sarcastic tone.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Asuna. Among other disturbing things, he sniffs her hair while she is in a coma.
  • The Sociopath: Selfish, cruel and power-hungry, Sugou is obviously not someone Kirito is meant to get along with.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He's far from sane to begin with, but as noted above, when things aren't going his way he loses any semblance of stability.
  • Villainous Crush: His attempts at "courting" Asuna amount to putting her in a cage and threatening her memories.

"Death Gun" (GGO)

Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi

A mysterious gunman rumoured to be able to kill someone in real life from the virtual world. The antagonist of volumes 5-6.


  • Arc Villain: Of the GGO arc.
  • Ax-Crazy: As expected for a person who came from the Laughing Coffin guild.
  • Badass Cape: Dons a tattered mantle that comes with a hood, which, in addition to the skull-like helmet, gives him a sinister vibe, akin to a Grim Reaper.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Three people are playing the role.
  • Cold Sniper: During the BoB tournament, he shoots his targets with stun bullets from his "Silent Assassin" (a very rare and high-level sniper rifle according to Sinon) before moving in for the kill with his handgun.
  • Collective Identity: There were three perpetrators. Two were Siblings in Crime while the other was added later for their plot during the third Battle of Bullets.
  • Contrived Coincidence: His Death Gun is the same exact model of gun Sinon used to kill a bank robber years ago. She herself is stunned to see this. Subverted later; it's not a coincidence.
  • Cool Mask: Wears one that resembles a mechanical skull whose eyes are glowing red.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Clad in dark clothes, namely a Badass Cape (complete with a hood) and a Cool Mask, "Death Gun" sports a Vader Breath as well as a Creepy Monotone voice, and is related to Kirito by way of having faced him before in Aincrad as part of the Laughing Coffin guild.
  • For the Evulz: One of the reasons "Death Gun" kills. Two of the conspirators were members of Laughing Coffin and wanted to continue the death game that was SAO.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Much like Oberon before him, Kirito slices Death Gun in half at the end of their duel.
  • Handguns: Uses a Type 54 note  in GGO.
  • Invisibility Cloak: He owns a mantle that has the "Metamaterial Optical Camouflage" ability. He can use it in the city AREA and hide from satellite scans during BoB.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: As if his moniker as the "Death Gun" wasn't representative enough of the murders he started committing in GGO, his BoB tournament entry name, "Sterben", is the German verb for "To die".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: His goal is to kill as many people as he can.
  • Revenge: Another reason why "Death Gun" kills. Two of the perpetrators are former Laughing Coffin members, and they are elated when they get the chance to torment Kirito in Gun Gale Online. The third blamed the high level players for recommending a character build that eventually got nerfed, leaving him unable to compete in the Bo B tournament for his subscription fee.
  • Serial Killer: The Gun Gale Online arc has Kirito investigate on this enigmatic character who is rumoured to be able to kill players both in the game and in the real world. Two known victims were among GGO's top players.
  • Siblings in Crime: The original two members of the team. The eldest was a former SAO player who was part of the red guild "Laughing Coffin"; he was the one who collected info on where their targets lived, was the one who injected XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako with Succinycholine in the real world, and is the one who shot the avatars of Pale Rider and Garret in GGO during BoB. The youngest was the one who shot the avatars of XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako in GGO, and during BoB he was meant to break into Shino's home and inject her with a dose of Succinylcholine with a needleless syringe. Both were children of a doctor and had access to the funds and equipment needed to pull it off.
  • Sniper Rifles: His rifle of choice is the L115A3, the British Army designation for the Arctic Warfare Super Magnum sniper rifle. His particular rifle is unique in that it has a custom integrally suppressed barrel akin to the AWS variant. This is what gives it its unique "Silent Assassin" moniker in-game.
  • Tattooed Crook: Amidst the bandages on his right arm, a small tattoo can be made out. It's the same mark as the members of Laughing Coffin, and Kirito subsequently has a Heroic BSOD when he sees it.
  • Vader Breath: When talking, a distinctive wheeze can be sporadically heard around "Death Gun".
  • Walking Spoiler: The character known as "Death Gun" is actually an entity created by three people, two of which are SAO survivors of the Player Killing variety, to carry out murders both in GGO and the real life near-simultaneously, making its importance to the overall series' story that much more vital.

    Laughing Coffin 

A guild in SAO who revelled in killing other players. Because of this, they became known as a "red guild" and were eventually wiped out by the frontliner guilds.

PoH (SAO)

The (former) leader of the guild.
  • Big Bad: Given the damage he and his guild did, he rivals Kayaba for the biggest problem of the arc as well, necessitating most frontline players to put off the progression and actively hunt Laughing Coffin down.
  • Catch Phrase: "It's Showtime." (said in English) When the Death Gun utters this phrase in the BoB tournament, Kirito is quick to think that PoH might be the perpetrator. He's not: XaXa is the one operating the avatar.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Recruits people for his red guild by promising them that all the blame for any murderers they commit will be placed on Kayaba.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Got turned into a tree by Kirito and left to rot in Underworld. Which drives him into insanity.
  • Hero Killer: Had this reputation, with even Kirito respecting his abilities. Given that he had the highest bodycount of almost any player, this is understandable.
  • In the Hood: His face is partially shadowed by the black hood he wears, concealing part of his identity.
  • Knife Nut: Wields a cleaver-type knife called "Mate Chopper".
  • The Leader: Of Laughing Coffin.
  • Omni Glot: According to the novels he is apparently fluent in Japanese, English, and Spanish. Kirito even wonders if he's of mixed ethnicity.

Shouichi Shinkawa/XaXa (SAO)

One of the top members of the Laughing Coffin, who survived the assault on the guild.
  • Call Forward: In the light novel version of "A Murder Case in the Area" (Episodes 4 and 5 from season 1 for reference), he threatens to chase down Kirito on a horse after he rides in on one and intervenes on an assassination. In GGO, he, as Death Gun, chases down Kirito and Sinon on a (mechanical) horse.
  • Co-Dragons: To PoH alongside Johnny Black.
  • Curtains Match the Window: His avatar in SAO has red hair and eyes.
  • Hero Killer: Earns this reputation in SAO and GGO. As one of the few players who can match Kirito is a sword fight, it is not unwarranted.
  • Ill Boy: His brother Kyoji describes him as being very sick.
  • Master Swordsman: The best swordsman in the Guild, and a match for Kirito. He gets to duel once more against the latter during the climax of GGO's BoB tournament, this time posing as the Death Gun and using a hidden estoc within his sniper rifle. He also goes into detail about how Kirito is rusty and uses technical jargon.
  • Psycho for Hire: To the point where he could not stop killing after being released into the real world.
  • Red Baron: "Red-Eyed XaXa"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His avatar in SAO has red eyes which helped earned his nickname. His helmet as the Death Gun in GGO has red lenses that glow.
  • Serial Killer: In SAO and out of it.
  • Skull for a Head: Wears a skull helmet. His preference carries over into GGO, where he poses as the Death Gun.
  • Weapon of Choice: Estoc-type weapons. In GGO, he tried to recreate one with the metal found in space battleships, but was only able to make a thin blade he can hide in his sniper rifle.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted. After his capture and imprisonment in SAO, he did nothing but train with his rapier skills, to the point where like Kirito, he can replicate SAO moves via muscle memory and can actually beat Kirito in a sword fight (though it should be noted that Kirito couldn't fight all out as his lightsaber had no weight, and he's too used to heavy swords).
  • Walking Spoiler: Even more so than the rest of his Laughing Coffin comrades due to the fact that he comes back in Gun Gale Online as the avatar known as Death Gun, and carries out public virtual executions while his accomplices inject their victims with succinylcholine in the real world.

Atsushi Kanamoto/Johnny Black (SAO)

One of the top members of the Laughing Coffin, and a survivor of SAO.
  • Master Poisoner: Was infamous for using poisons, and equipping the rest of Laughing Coffin with them.
  • Psycho for Hire: Loves to kill, in both the real world and the games.
  • Serial Killer: In SAO and out of it, culminating in an attack on Kirito and Asuna in the real world.

    Underworld entities 

Ronye

Kirito's valet during his time in the Master Swordsman Academy.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Kohai to Kirito.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Thinks she'll never get married, because she's in love with someone who can never return that love. Three guesses who that is. Still, she has descendants in the epilogue, so it looks like she gets over it.

Tiize

Eugeo's valet during his time in the Master Swordsman Academy.

Cardinal

An extremely mysterious girl.

Solterina Sorult


Integrity Knights

Protectors of the Human World and enforcers of the Taboo Index.

Bercury (Synthesis I)


Fanatio (Synthesis II)


Deusolbert (Synthesis VII)

The Integrity Knight whom Kirito, Alice, and Eugeo saw fight a black knight. Was also the Integrity Knight who took Alice away.

Renly (Synthesis XLIXnote )

Administrator


  • Body Surf: Has been doing this to attain complete immortality.

Gabriel/Vector


    Infinity Moment/Hollow Fragment only 

Strea


  • The Ace: Her Hiding skills can elude Kirito and she is one of the strongest in the raid team.
  • Fusion Dance: She ends up fusing with the Hollow Avatar when Sugou inflicts incurable poison on her. Later, Yui absorbs her data in the hopes of someday restoring her.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: After regaining her memories, she wants to prevent the world from getting destroyed, which pits her against Kirito and the raid team. She later performs a Heroic Sacrifice for Kirito and takes away Sugou's GM privileges, only to merge with the original Final Boss.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Like Yui, she felt powerless in helping the players cope with the horrors of Aincrad, but Kirito assures her that she actually did help by befriending the raid team as a player character.

Philia


  • Broken Ace: She's strong enough to survive in the Brutal Bonus Level, but the isolation is clearly getting to her, to the point where she's not even sure if she's the real Philia.
  • Cloning Blues: Hollow PoH convinces her that she's actually a Hollow AI clone of the real Philia and that she killed the real one. This is backed up by how she cannot return to Aincrad unlike Kirito. Subverted when it turns out that she's the real one.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Kirito first met her.
  • Easily Forgiven: She feels that Kirito forgave her betrayal too easily and starts a sidequest to find out how he really feels. As a heartwarming example, she discovers that this trope is played completely straight.
  • Heroic BSOD: Has one when she realizes that Kirito might have been killed instead of merely trapped and that PoH is going to have everyone killed and replaced by Hollows. Luckily, Kirito saves her and they eventually stop PoH's plan.
  • Mark of Shame/Player Killing: She's the first friendly orange player in the series. This is due to a system glitch where she killed her Hollow counterpart. She later gets her status back to green.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Being trapped in a Death Game is one thing, but somehow, she is unable to return to Aincrad to join the rest of the players. She returns to Aincrad once the Hollow Area is beaten, though like everyone else, she can't return to below floor 76.

Super SonicoCharacters/AnimeSylvanian Families

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