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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. Maaaajor major spoilers. If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!note 

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    Main Characters 

Kazuto Kirigaya/Kirito (SAO, ALO, GGO)

Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese), 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: 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.
  • The Ace: Out of all 10,000 players, Kirito is the most skilled fighter of all, able to do feats that nobody else can, and is nearly unbeatable in battle.
    • Broken Ace: Especially during the Aincrad arc, Kirito has alot of issues. Before entering the game, he was a little bit sheltered, partly due to his insecurity of his place in his adopted family, which made him have some poor social skills. But once in the game, he gets a heavy survivors guilt because of the Black Moon Cat guild event. Not only that, he's drone to severe It's All My Fault and he has issues with some of the things he's done. He grows out of it in the Ahlfhiem arc but there are shades of it still.
  • Action Dad: To the AI Yui.
  • Alliterative Name
  • 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: At his worst he's willing to do what it takes to survive.
  • Attack Its Weak Point/Breakable Weapons: Specializes in this. Asuna notes that in SAO/ALO, Kirito's fighting style focuses on targeting enemy weak points and their 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 Liz crafted it for him. As Liz noted, its rapidly being outclassed and a moderately upgraded rare weapon from the 70th floor could match the nearly fully upgraded Dark Repulser, with much less materials per upgrade being spent. 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 or GGO.
    • Badass Adorable: Awww, he's so cute—wait, he's what?! The strongest player in SAO?!
    • Bad Ass Biker: Downplayed in the real world, he owns a motorcycle and often rides it. The skill becomes useful during the BoB when he and Sinon were being chased by Death Gun.
    • Badass Longcoat: He often wears black longcoats, even IRL he prefers black or dark clothing. There is a reason he's called The Black Swordsman.
    • Badass Normal: Even in the Real World, his Badass 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, just try an threaten his friends and family. Especially Asuna and Yui. We dare you.
  • 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 episode 19. Biggest example during the Alfeim Arc when he transforms him self into a demonic looking monster that allows him to use his claws to fight and kill, not to mention eating some of his opponents.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Just watch 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 murderers' guild Laughing Coffin, Kirito actually kills two of the murderers who would not surrender. This comes back to haunt him in the GGO arc, where he discovers that the eponymous Death Gun is, in fact, a survivor of the Laughing Coffin purge.
    • Near the end of the Fairy Dance arc or episode 24-25 of the anime. You should see how many pieces of the person who tried to rape the love-of-his-life remain after Kirito's done with him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Suguha. He even helps Silica revive Pina because she reminds him of Suguha.
    • And, as mentioned above, he has these tendencies towards Silica. He even thinks of her as his younger sister and let's her call him big brother in the Extra Edition episodes.
  • Bishōnen: Applies to his IRL 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 whose hilt is black.
  • Blood Knight: Never quite admitted or gets out of hand with it, but it exists. Acknowledged as such by his wife 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
  • 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 skill is also 100, but we never really see him use it ingame... 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.
  • The Chosen One: An unusual and indirect example, but his Dual Blade skill was programmed by Kayaba to go to whichever player had the fastest natural reaction time, with the intent of making him or 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 black color. 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.
  • Curtains Match the Window: In real life and his game avatars; black.
  • Cute and Psycho: Not himself, but the playerbase of GGO starts avoiding him after his sweeping the Bullet of Bullets 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, and ties in the third main tournament of GGO, AND apparently does quite a bit in the Underworld. Not to mention the skills he learn while playing MMOs actually transfers to real life. Just ask idiotic psychopath 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.
  • 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 VMM Os that he participates in.
  • 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 Volume 1, where, despite being killed by Kayaba, he holds on long enough to return the favour.
  • 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 1/10 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: 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 the sidestory 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 avatar in GGO, a rare M9000 type which turned his already feminine looks Up to Eleven. When he saw his own reflection in-game, he thought his gender was swapped. 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 first episode of the ALFheim Online arc in the anime. One pretty spectacular one has him slamming into the ground head-first from several hundred feet 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 "Black Cats of the Full Moon".
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Flechette Storm: Has the Blade Throwing Skill, he regularly carries throwing spikes.
  • Game Breaker: Literally in-universe. 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.
  • 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.
  • Cool Guns/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 Aincrad incident, though.
  • Happily Married: To Asuna in SAO. Only in-game, though.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: All his avatar characters uses some sort of Cool Sword.
  • Heroic BSOD: 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 his participation in the crusade against Laughing Coffin returned and left him in such a wrecked state that Sinon was worried what had happened to him.
    • Before that, however, 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.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: During the Aincrad arc. First due to his condition 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.
  • 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 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.
    Kirito: Just trying to lighten the mood.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In episode 22, where he tries to reach the apex of the tower by himself, only to be overwhelmed by the infinitely respawning guardians.
    • It happens again in episode 24, when Sugou impaled Kirito with his own sword, just after altering the pain absorber to make the experience even worse for him.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: After two years trapped inside SAO, Kirito is possibly the best VR sword-fighter in existence. He goes into Gun Gale Online... and buys a light-sabre, which he uses to deflect bullets. He later uses this experience to control (uncontrollable) Sword Skills well enough to cut spells out of the air. You can practically taste the Oh Crap expressions of the first set of enemies he demonstrates that to. This may be justified in that it's a video game, but his powers are implausible even by the game's standards!
  • 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 Kikuoka to investigate the "Death Gun" rumors.
  • Jerkass Fašade: After the defeat of floor one, he decides to put one on and become 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: In GGO, his primary weapon.
  • 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.
  • 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: First, when he listens to the audio recording that Sacchi left him. And second, when he apologizes to Asuna for not being able to keep his promise of making her to go back 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 the Aincrad arc, Kirito keeps himself from dying (in the game) long enough to kill Kayaba Akihiko. 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 the Fairy Dance arc. 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.
  • Named Weapons: Has owned a few.
    • In SAO:
      • Anneal Blade (One Handed Straight Sword - quest reward)
      • Elucidator (One Handed Straight Sword - monster drop)
      • Dark Repulser (One Handed Straight Sword - player-made by Lizbeth)
    • In ALO:
      • Excaliber (Retrieved as a Quest Item, with a handy assist from Shino)
  • Name's the Same: "The Black Swordsman" is another title held by Guts.
  • Narrator: Throughout most of the light novels, he is the one narrating the story.
  • 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 to him that if he actually was upfront about his stats and didn't withhold information in fears of being outed as a Beta Player, their guild would have still been alive.
  • No Sell: Kirito vs. the (player-attacking) Orange Guild Titan's Hand. Half a dozen players, hacking away at Kirito as hard as they can. He has so much health that it'd take them about 5 minutes to kill him... except that he regenerates faster than they can hurt him... and he gets tired of being used for target practice and tells them "Go to prison or... get paralyzed and thrown in anyway."
  • Not So Different:
    • Notes that he and Sugou are similar, as they were both defeated and then forced to assist Akihiko 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, Kirito never tried to become a god.
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted refreshingly. Unlike most other Harem Hero stereotypes in other anime/manga/novel series, he knows most of the heroines are in love with him. It's just that he loves Asuna only and chooses Selective Obliviousness over hurting 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".
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yeah, Kirito is a rather skilled VR-MMORPG player (er, 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, one of the Death Gun perpetrators who managed to escape comes back for revenge against Kirito, and succeeds in stabbing him with a deadly dose of succinylcholine. Although he manages to take his enemy down before succumbing to the effects of the poison, it was too late. Asuna calls for an ambulance and the heart monitor flatlines. The plot then shifts into the "Virtual Underworld". It is revealed in volume 10 that his body recovered from the dose but his brain was damaged so Seijuro Kikuoka pull some strings to get him to the 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
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Torturing Sugou after turning the tables on him.
  • 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 the entry under My Greatest Failure.
  • Secret Identity: Kinda. When he returns to the real world, he tries to keep his Kirito identity on the down low.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Said this almost word for word when Kline 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 episode 2 of the anime adaption, he takes on the title of Beater in order to separate all the 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 sixth member of the guild "Black Cats of the Full Moon"; the rest of the members were friends from their computer club in the real world. He's also the only survivor.
  • Skyward Scream: Kirito fulfills this trope at the end of the first episode of the anime. "I got this... I can do this! This world can't beat me! (Beat) I will survive! HaaaaaaaAAAAAA!"
  • 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 transfers his account to GGO, his character 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, Shinon mistaking he's a girl, and everybody else playing this up for what it's worth (there is a tag on Pixiv that means "Kiriko" (But, he's a guy!). Also cue him playing up the girly tone when he confronts Shinon.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: He's a nice guy but he can be a bit cold and distant.
  • 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 that 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 the standard beginning 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 "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, the villain who is engaged to Asuna, who has kidnapped her, and tortured her and Kirito in cold blood, 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 spares Sugou and leaves him for the police.
  • 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.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In the Fairy Dance arc, because SAO and ALO are built on the same source code, his compatible stats from SAO are transferred over. For the duration of the 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 being 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 meet, 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. I don't think there will be enough of you to fill a bucket once he's finished with you.
  • 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 Kazuto...
    Suguha: If that's how it is, I wished you kept on being a jerk to me.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Kirito prefers swords in the mmo games he plays. Even Gun Gale Online, which is a game that 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 lessen the prejudice against beta testers from the normal players. By doing this, he focuses the stigma exclusively on beta testers who selfishly keep foreknowledge of the game to themselves, protecting the other beta testers who do no such thing (such as his friend Argo).

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

Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese), 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: To the AI Yui.
  • Action Girl: Oh yes. More than a few times she's taken down foes Kirito couldn't handle.
  • Action Mom: To the AI Yui.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Goes from auburn/brunette hair in the Light Novels to more of a strawberry-blonde in the anime.
  • Attempted Rape: During the climax of the Fairy Dance arc, Sugou attempts to molest Asuna in front of a paralysed Kirito, though the latter frees himself with the help of Akihiko 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 episode 5 of the anime.
  • Badass in Distress: During the early part of the Fairy Dance 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 the light novels. In the first volume her Action Girl traits were toned down, making her Tsundere traits to 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; while she plays 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 his cousin Suguha, Asuna is the first of Kirito's love interests he meets.
  • 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 Lizbeth 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-like discipline and steel-willed 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 her friends.
  • Mama Bear: To Yui.
  • Master Swordswoman: In SAO she mastered the One Handed Rapier skill.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: About halfway through the Aincrad arc, Asuna runs faster than the dexterity speed limit allows, to rescue Kirito, in a Dynamic Entry Big Damn Heroes Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Also, she stands up - despite unbreakable in-game paralysis - and takes Kayaba's fatal sword-strike, dying (in-game), but saving Kirito. She recovers, thanks to Graceful Loser Kayaba. Anyway, 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
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: What she wears with her school uniform.
  • The Protagonist: During the Mother's Rosario arc.
  • 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 mistakens her for a guy, until she speaks. Before hand, she utterly 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 she was a she until 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.) About three parts Seen It All (type 1) to one part "Hey, cool!"
  • 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: Sorta; 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.: The manga adaptation of Sword Art Online: 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, however.
  • 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), Cassandra Lee (English)

Kirito's younger cousin, 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.

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".

  • Action Girl: In the predominately male populated GGO.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Sinonon" by Asuna.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Novel only: the 5th volume describes Shino's in-game voice as having a high, clear and cute sound and therefore aurally pleasing to GGO's mostly male playerbase. Outside the novels, she is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, who uses a lower voice for her.
  • Badass Adorable: Notice a pattern here?
    • Kirito actually dreads the day that she manages to obtain the ALO legendary bow, Shekhinah. The reason is that Sinon estimates that with that bow, she should be able to snipe from 200 meters away and can turn anything into a pin-cushion before they can possibly get within melee/spell range.
  • Boom, Headshot: Her speciality, since she is a sniper.
  • 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.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As an 11-year old, she killed a gun-wielding robber who was going to shoot her mother and/or a teller. She grabbed the gun, they struggled, and she fired. The experience so traumatized her, she developed PTSD and a strong phobia towards any gun, and not only her schoolmates but her mother shunned her as a murderer. She started playing GGO to try and get over her phobia of guns, but it's only partially successful. She also has a replica gun in her room, but she's not able to overcome her fear.
    • It should be noted, though, that this was due to her mother already being mentally damaged from having to watch her husband bleed to death for a few hours since no help was around on the road from the car crash, and so was even more broken from seeing her daughter kill a person.
  • 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 maximise 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 both 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 in a very short time.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In the anime, Shino's eyes are a muted brown colour. 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 very 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 her earlier match in season 2 gives the audience an idea of how Bad Ass she is, in the game anyway.
  • 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.
  • 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 HÚcate 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.
  • 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 incident where she killed a gun-wielding robber in a Gun Struggle, 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. Thanks to all of that, she has a case of PTSD so intense that a schoolyard bully can set off a panic attack simply by pointing a finger at her and saying "bang". What straightens her out after years of this is meeting the teller the gunman threatened; the woman was pregnant at the time, 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 - who is now four years old and gives her a cute picture of herself, her mother and her father stating, ôShino onee-san, thank you for saving mama and Mizue.ö
  • Tomboyish Sidetails: In real-life and in-game.
  • Trick Arrow: Arrows with special magical properties exist in ALO.
  • 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: She's got the lowest stats of the party during the Caliber arc since her ALO character is all of two weeks old. She compensates with her Improbable Aiming Skills, and does very well.
    • Averted in GGO, where she's more of a high-level Glass Cannon.
  • 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)

The second main female protagonist of Mother's Rosario, volume 7. An energetic, cheerful girl who is the leader of the ALO guild "Sleeping Knights". 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 ace hero Kirito twice and wins both rounds. It is debatable who is actually more skilled, as Kirito never fights her with his signature two bladed style, but her reaction speed and VRMMORPG experience are significantly better than his. Kirito stated that if she had entered SAO, the system would have awarded her the dual blades ability rather than him 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.
  • Bokukko
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Her main motivation for wanting to carve the names of the Sleeping Knights onto the Monument of Swordsmen before her death and the disbandment of the guild.
  • Hair Antennae
  • Ill Girl: She contracted AIDS when she was born. By the time she was introduced in Mother's Rosario, she was already blind, bedridden and on the verge of death.
  • Japanese Christian
  • 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 entire family being killed off one by one by AIDS until only she was left to endure the disease and social stigma alone, 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.


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), Kevin M. Connolly (English)

The leader of the SAO guild "Knights of Blood", of which Asuna is 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.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As the leader of the "Knights of Blood."
  • Big Bad: Since he is Akihiko Kayaba.
  • 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 the Heathcliff login 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. Light Is Not Good: He is revealed to be the Big Bad Akihiko 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 the Big Bad.

Kuradeel (SAO)

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

A Two-Handed Sword user and member of "Knights of the Blood" who is assigned as 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 and killed Godfrey before Kirito invoked 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. Kuradeel is a jerkass even in death. With his last 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.


Voiced by: Masahi Eraba (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)

Another member of The Knights of Blood. He was assigned to form a party with Kuradeel and Kirito to assess the talents of the latter.

    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 vol.1. Their actual side story takes place in vol.2.
  • Kill 'em All/Total Party Kill: The only one who survived was Kirito.
  • 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: If Kirito told the guild 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.
  • The Team
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the reasons they died. They went out and 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. Their confidence was quite misplaced.

Keita (SAO)

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

The 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 Black Cats of the Full Moon died due to Kirito's dishonesty and withholding precious information.
  • 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

Tetsuo (SAO)

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

The mace user of the guild.

Sasamaru (SAO)

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

A spear man of the guild.

Ducker (SAO)

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

The thief of the guild.

Sachi (SAO)

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

The one and only female member of the guild, "Black Cats Of The Full Moon".

    Other Player Characters 

Ryōtarō Tsuboi/Klein (SAO, ALO)

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

The first friend that Kirito made in SAO, and also the first person he partied with. When they are trapped within SAO, Klein chooses to remain and help his real-world friends instead of going with Kirito. He ends up becoming the leader of the "Fuurinkazan", a powerful guild notable for having a mortality rate of zero.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As The Leader of the "Fuurinkazan".
  • Badass: Not to the level of his Crazy Awesome friends but underestimating him in battle WILL hand you your ass on a silver platter.
  • Blood Knight: A rare heroic version. He won't go around picking fights but when it comes to him, he isn't afraid to show his enthusiasm.
  • 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 oogle underage girls.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: A non-romantic example to Kirito. He keeps trying to get Kirito to join his guild 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 noobs to one of the top Guilds would definitely be worth telling...
  • 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 when Kirito as at his lowest point, 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: Klein is always seen with a katana on his side.
  • The Lancer: If he ends up working with Kirito, he'll end up playing this role.
  • Martial Arts Headband: His main shtick, even in real life.
  • Nice Guy: Very much so. His first thought when Kayaba announced SAO's true state was to find his friends and take care of them, and he invited Kirito to join them.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Klein is one of the top players in SAO, and has led his guild with no casualties throughout the time they were trapped in Aincrad, even when participating on the frontlines: not even Knights of Blood, the strongest guild, can boast that. He'd be the main character in any other setting, but his friends are The Black Swordsman Kirito and Asuna the Flash, so yeah. He gets a chance to shine in the Volume 8 story Caliber, where he proves to have some damn big brass ones.
  • Spider-Sense: Like Kirito, he possesses the hypothetical skill, Hypersense.
  • 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), 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 the third episode.
  • Dual Wielding: Dualwields 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), Patrick Seitz (English)

An ax wielding merchant.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: His store's modus operandi is to buy cheap and sell expensively. Turns out he uses his profits to help support lower-level players and the Saintly 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: His race in ALO.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a minor one to Kibaou in 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: His look is a bit intimidating but is actually a Nice Guy.

Diabel (SAO)

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

A "knight" who organised and led the raid against the boss of the first floor. He is actually another beta tester, and exploits the raid group in order to ensure that he lands the last hit on the boss, which would maximize his chance of obtaining the unique drop. Recognizing Kirito as another beta tester, he also takes steps to actively hinder his rival by manipulating Kibaou and assigning backrow duty to Kirito's party.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the light novel, he's practically the villain of the piece. The novel contains an additional subplot about a mysterious benefactor trying to buy Kirito's powerful 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 boss on the first floor has a different weapon and fighting style when it Turns Red, which was much different from what was stated in the manual.
  • Killed Off for Real: 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), 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. Later tried to get rid of Thinker, rather than having to answer for his screw up that got some of his fellow guild members killed.
  • 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), Christine Marie Cabanos (English)

A young dagger-wielder who befriends Kirito. She was able to befriend an NPC dragon which became her familiar, earning her the title of "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 very cute, but she's still very competent for the most part.
  • 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 traumatized by 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 his cousin/adopted sister 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 fifteen to her twelve. Although to be fair, the age difference isn't really that big.
  • 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 players in SAO at 12 years old.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Wears thigh-high boots in SAO with a longcoat.

Rika Shinozaki/Lizbeth (SAO, ALO)

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

A blacksmith and friend of Asuna.
  • The Blacksmith: She personally made Asuna's rapier "Lambent Light" and Kirito's secondary straight sword "Dark Repulser".
    • This continues in ALO, where Kirito's personal sword, is made by her.
  • 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. Unlike most dense harem protagonists however, he 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, Mj÷lnir, 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), Laura Post (English)

The leader of the guild 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)

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 crew.
  • 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, and Kirito suspects the JSDF is monitoring the progress of VRMMOs as a substitute to real world training.
  • Necessary Evil: Wants to figure out a way to create intelligent AIs that can be used to replace humans in real wars, and is more than willing to cross ethical boundaries to do is, including essentially making virtual clones of real infants and playing god with a virtual civilization. On the other hand, he does so in hopes of preventing humans from getting killed in wars, keeping up with the advancement in technology, making Japan more independent from the American military, and truly does care about Kirito and his friends. He even agrees 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 intelligent 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), Victor Sgroi (English)

An administrator for "MMO Today" and the leader of the Aincrad Liberation Front, the largest guild in Aincrad. Thinker's leadership and influence in the guild has slowly been eroded thanks to Kibaou his 2nd-in-command, and he's eventually trapped unarmed in a dungeon, prompting Yulier to request Kirito and Asuna to help rescue him.

Yulier (SAO, ALO)

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

A senior member of ALF, Yulier is very loyal to Thinker, and disapproves of the current hard-line stance the guild is taking. 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), Erika Harlacher (English)

A woman who takes care of the younger players in SAO.

Shinichi Nagata/Recon (ALO)

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

Friend and classmate of Suguha who introduced her to ALO.

Sakuya (ALO)

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

Guild Leader of the Sylphs in ALO.

Alicia Rue (ALO)

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

Guild Leader of the Cat Siths in ALO

Kyouji Shinkawa/Spiegel (GGO)

Shino's best friend, and the one who introduced her to Gun Gale Online.
  • 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.
  • Education Mama: His parents are high-ranking doctors and put a lot of pressure on him to succeed.
  • 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.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: His motivation for creating Death Gun.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Kyouji was bullied when he was younger, something he shares with Shino.

    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.

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.
  • 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 the same hair style as 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 also 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 verses him creating his ideal world and choose 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.
  • 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: 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.
    • Killer Game Master
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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: 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".
  • 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.
  • 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: On Asuna.

"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.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Three people are playing the role.
  • 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.
  • For the Evulz: One of the reasons "Death Gun" kills.
  • Handguns: Uses a Type 54 note  in GGO.
  • Invisibility Cloak: In GGO, 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.
  • 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.

    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.


The (former) leader of the guild.

XaXa (SAO)

One of the top members of the Laughing Coffin, who survived the assault on the guild.
  • 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.
  • Weapon of Choice: Estoc-type weapons. In GGO, he tried to recreate one.
  • 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).

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 


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.


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


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 )


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


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