The Ace: Out of all 10,000 players in SAO, Kirito is the most skilled of them all, able to do feats that nobody else can, and is nearly unbeatable in battle...
Broken Ace: ...But at the same time he hides a lot of personal demons. Prior to SAO, he has little to No Social Skills due to his insecurity regarding his place in his aunt's family. In his earlier SAO days, he suffered a massive Survivors Guilt due to what happened to Black Moon Cat, causing him to develop a severe tendency for self-imposed guilt trips. He largely grows out of it come ALO.
Alliterative Name: Both his given and family names begin with a "K", as is his online version.
Aloof Big Brother: He distanced himself from his adoptive sister/cousin Suguha after he found out they weren't real siblings. After SAO he worked to repair the distance.
Anti-Hero: The Knight in Sour Armor variant at the beginning — at his worst he's willing to do what it takes to survive. He largely grows out of it as his experiences expand beyond SAO.
Attack Its Weak Point/Breakable Weapons: Specializes in this. Asuna notes that in SAO/ALO, Kirito's fighting style focuses on going after his enemy's weak points and weapons, and is called "Arms Blast", an Outside System Skill. In ALO, this led to the creation of another Outside System Skill, "Spell Blast", where he accurately targets the tiny core in the middle of spells and destroys them.
Awesome, but Impractical: In SAO, he's still using and upgrading Dark Repulser months after Lisbeth crafted it for him. As she noted, it's rapidly being outclassed, and any moderately upgraded rare weapon from the 70th floor could match it even if fully upgraded, with much less material expense. The reason is because of its name, Kirito believes that he is destined to use it on the 100th floor final boss. He's right.
Badass: You have to be one to survive as a front-line solo player in SAO. His badassery doesn't decrease in ALO, GGO or even UW.
Badass Adorable: Awww, he's so cute — wait, he's what?! The strongest player in SAO?!
Badass Biker: Downplayed in the real world, as he owns a motorcycle and often rides it. The skill becomes useful during BoB when he and Sinon were being chased by Death Gun.
The Berserker: His use of Dual Blades skill makes him seem like one. Actually, whenever he gets really serious in a fight. Lampshaded by himself in Season 1 Eepisode 19. The biggest example was during ALO, when he transforms into a demon, using his claws to fight and kill, not to mention eating some of his opponents.
In the battle against the murderous guild Laughing Coffin, Kirito actually kills two of its members who would not surrender. This comes back to haunt him in GGO: he discovers that Death Gun is a survivor of said purge.
Near the end of Season 1, you should see how many pieces of the person who tried to rape his beloved remain after Kirito's done with him.
Big Brother Instinct: Mostly towards his cousin and little-sister figure Suguha. He also tends to extend this to Silica, who reminds him of the former, so much so he helped her revive Pina.
Bishōnen: Applies to his actual self as well, but it should be noted that its due to being essentially stuck in a coma for two years and is still recovering. Sinon realizes this, so she never makes fun of him for looking so effeminate.
BFS: In ALO the second sword he owned is almost as big as his character, though it's more of a longsword.
Black Swords Are Better: In SAO, his primary weapon "Elucidator"; In ALO, a BFS that replaced his starter weapon; In GGO, a "Kagemitsu G4" lightsaber with a black hilt.
Character Development: In ALO, he's more confident and lighthearted despite having lost Asuna. Of course, this may have to do with the fact that he can actually play ALO like a game, instead of having to watch people actually die all the time.
Chekhov's Skill: His Unarmed parameter is 100, but we never really see him use it in-game... but in the real world, Kirito manages to disarm Sugou using his bare hands.
Chick Magnet: Oh yes. Plenty of girls flock to him, though it's a bit better handled than other harem series, especially given that he has his eyes only for Asuna.
The Chosen One: An unusual and indirect example, but his Dual Blade skill was programmed by Kayaba to go to he/she who has the fastest natural reaction time, with the intent of making him/her be the one to face his him as the final boss... and it just so happened to be Kirito. Which makes this a rare example of the The Chosen One being chosen by the villain.
Color Motif: He's always related to the color black. Even Asuna says as a joke at one point that she should party with him "because her horoscope said black was her lucky color that week". Blue usually acts as his secondary color.
Crippling Overspecialization: Kirito primarily uses heavy swords in both SAO, and ALO out of personal preference. This bites him badly when he plays GGO as the closest sword available is a Lightsaber, which is very light. This nearly causes him to lose to Death Gun, as Death Gun, aka XaXa, uses a Estoc, a weapon he's familar with, to combat him.
Cute and Psycho: What GGO players think of him after sweeping the BoB preliminaries, because they see him as a beautiful yet crazy girl running around with a lightsaber in a gunfight... and winning.
Cute Bruiser: His appearance is so feminine it causes him to swear off metal armor, and more than one foe comments "he doesn't look very strong"... yet he becomes the strongest player in SAO and ALO, forces a tie with Sinon, GGO's ace, and apparently does quite a bit in UW, not to mention the skills he learn while playing MMOs actually transfers to real life. Just ask Sugou.
Cynicism Catalyst: Kirito became a loner after he lost all the members of the Black Cats of the Full Moon and failed to revive Sachi. He blames himself for their deaths and avoids people because he's afraid of losing those close to him again.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: In-Universe, his experience with a sword in SAO and ALO has given him extra experience with swords in later games he participates. However, in GGO, where there are no "swords" but retractable lightsabers, he constantly forgets that there is no sheath for it and are supposed to put it away with the clip-on.
Almost crossed it when he managed to obtain a resurrection item to revive Sachi with (on Christmas Eve, no less) and went suicidal after finding out that it doesn't work the way he thought it would.
He gets better only to cross it again when he sees his Second Love struck down in front of him but even after he got over his Death Seeker phase, he still believed his sin of omission to be unforgivable.
Determinator: Shows this trait from time to time. Best example is the climax of the SAO arc where, despite being technically killed by Kayaba, he held on long enough to return the favor.
Difficult but Awesome: So many that only the outstanding examples will be listed here. Dual Wielding without system assist. Blocking bullets. Chaining together one-handed Sword Skills (he has to start one sword skill within a 0.1-second window in order to stop himself from freezing, basically a combo of combos). Spell Blast (using a system-controlled Sword Skill precisely enough to strike down fast-moving spells, which have a minuscule hitbox).
Dual Wielding: The only SAO player who has the Dual Blades Sword Skills.
In later game worlds, he rarely does this anymore... but whenever he breaks out two swords, much awesomeness will occur. The best part? He's physically controlling two different swords without any System Assist.
It's seen quite well in Caliber. There are no Dual Blade sword skills... but he has two swords in two hands, so he chains separate one-handed sword skills, controlling each hand separately.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: His GGO avatar is a rare M9000-Type which cranked his already feminine looks Up to Eleven. When he saw his own reflection in-game, he thought he got gender-flipped. He looked so much like a girl that his IRL friends recognized him not because of his face nor his name, but by his sword style.
Escapism: Done subtly, but like Yuuki, Kirito embraces VR and is deeply immersed in it, to the point where he's preferring VR over reality. Yuuki realizes this and warns Asuna to watch out for Kirito, though Asuna didn't understand what she was talking about.
Evil Costume Switch/Paint It Black: Kirito invokes this when he declares himself a Beater in front of a horde of players by putting on his recently obtained black coat after accepting his newly obtained name.
Every Man Has His Price: Why negotiate or threaten when you can just bribe someone with ludicrous amounts of money?
Face Plant: Happens to him several times when trying to get the hang of ALO's flight engine in the beginning of the ALO arc. One pretty spectacular one has him slamming into the ground head-first from dozens of meters in the air and seemingly being stuck for almost a minute after impact.
G.I.R.L.: In GGO, he initially takes advantage of his feminine player avatar to get help from Sinon, and later exploits it again to garner support from male players.
Glass Cannon: When he whips out Dual Wielding, he gains a completely massive attack output that outstrips everyone in the game. However he basically becomes The Berserker and give up virtually all forms of defense.
Handguns: In GGO, a FN Five seveN as his secondary weapon.
Happily Adopted: By his aunt Midori and uncle Minetaka. Although he became distant when he found out they weren't really his parents. He gets over it after the SAO incident.
Happily Married: To Asuna in SAO. Only in-game, though, because they're too young to marry in real life. Even there it's a happy dating.
He suffers a huge one when Asuna performs a Heroic Sacrifice. It debilitates him so badly that he can't bring himself to do more than slowly and feebly swing his swords at Heathcliff for a few seconds.
Suffers a major one when he encounters Death Gun and realizes that not only is he a survivor of SAO, but also a member of Laughing Coffin. All of Kirito's repressed memories of the purge against that guild returned and left him in such a wrecked state that Sinon was worried what had happened to him.
Hurting Hero: Believes letting the Black Cats of the Full Moon die is unforgivable. He's also haunted by the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members. He'd also rather storm the gates of Hell than let anything happen to his friends.
Hope Spot: The aforementioned resurrection item, the Stone of Returning Soul. It only works within ten seconds of a player's death, making it utterly useless for reviving Sachi, who died months ago.
I Know Mortal Kombat: At the beginning of Fairy Dance, Kirito proves that he has real-world reaction and dodging speed on par with his cousin, the kendo expert. At the end of the arc, he finally realizes that he can beat an incompetent, wounded, poor fighter, despite the fighter having a knife.
I Don't Know Mortal Kombat: In the same battle, at the beginning of Fairy Dance, Kirito proves very clearly that Sword Skills do not work in the real world. Seems he really needs to work on his real-life sword attacks.
I Know Your True Name: In the climax of GGO, Kirito is faced with a situation where he can't remember the name of the Laughing Coffin member who is impersonating Death Gun, despite having found a few clues during the BoB tournament. Throughout the final duel, he frantically scrapes through his memories, and remembers the briefing before the raid on Laughing Coffin's HQ, which brought out the names of several key members. It is then, through the conjecture of Death Gun's physical appearance, specifically the skull mask and red lenses, that Kirito realizes he is fighting Red-Eyed XaXa, prompting the latter to be distracted and eventually get defeated. The implication runs even deeper since Kirito now has the means to arrest the Death Gun perpetrators.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: During his time with the Black Cats, protecting and comforting Sachi from her fear of dying helped to assuage some of his guilt over being a beater and solo player, but his halfheartedness came back to bite him hard in the end when his inability to admit his background and knowledge indirectly caused her to die from a trap.
I'm a Humanitarian: When he uses an illusion spell to apparently turn into a monster, he eats some of the enemy players, and then chomps on Leafa's fingers when he turns back to normal. He was just joking, though.
In Season 1 Episode 22, where he tries to reach the apex of the tower by himself, only to be overwhelmed by the infinitely respawning guardians.
Again in Season 1 Episode 24, when Sugou impaled him with his own sword, just after altering the pain absorber to make it even worse for him.
Implausible Fencing Powers: After two years trapped in SAO, Kirito is possibly the best virtual swordsman in existence. He goes into Gun Gale Online... and buys a lightsaber which he uses to deflect bullets. He later uses this experience to control otherwise uncontrollable Sword Skills well enough to cut spells out of the air. You can practically taste the expressions of the first set of enemies he demonstrates that to.
Manly Tears: Several times, but two moments stand out: while listening to the audio recording Sachi left him, and while apologizing to a comatose Asuna for being unable to fulfill his promise to her to help her return to the real world.
No Sell: During his match against the (player-attacking) orange guild Titan's Hand, half a dozen players hack away at Kirito as hard as they can. He has so much HP it'd take them about 5 minutes to kill him... except he regenerates faster than they can hurt him... and he gets tired of being used for target practice and tells them off.
Notes that he and Sugou are similar, as they were both defeated and then forced to assist Kayaba — the difference being that Kirito never sought to become like Kayaba or Sugou.
Kayaba himself. Both are the best players in Aincrad, immerse themselves in the game to the point where it's more real to them, and they both love video games. The difference however is fairly obvious, as Kirito never tried to become a god.
Oblivious to Love: Subverted refreshingly. Unlike the stereotypical harem protagonist, Kirito is well aware of the girls' affections around him. It's just that he has already given his heart to Asuna and deliberately plays Selective Obliviousness so as not to hurt their feelings.
Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name is barely mentioned at all. This is less prevalent in the English dub, though, since Suguha calls him by his name instead of "brother", probably highlighting their alienation from each other.
Ordinary High-School Student: Yeah, Kirito is a rather skilled VR-MMORPG player-slash-addict and a SAO beta tester, but other than his mild family issues, there's not much unusual about his backstory. Or his present... until Kayaba traps everyone in SAO.
Our Hero Is Dead: Partway through Volume 9, Atsuhi attacks Kirito to avenge the downfall of Death Gun, and stabs him with a fatal dose of succinylcholine. Although he manages to take him down before succumbing to the poison, the volume ends with him flatlining. By the beginning of the next volume, it is revealed that his body recovered from the dose but his brain was damaged, so Seijuro has to use his political clout to get him to Ocean Turtle and hook him up to UnderWorld so it can be repaired.
Overprotective Dad: Mostly in the chibi special Sword Art Offline. He makes multiple threats to Klein about teaching Yui bad things and states he would kill Klein if the guy ever flirted with Yui.
The Paragon: Kirito's experiences have made him an altruistic and courageous character who helps and inspires many other players, like Sinon.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Just watch him torture Sugou after turning the tables on the man who nearly raped the love of his life.
Pocket Protector: A mild variant in GGO; he forgot to detach one of the electrodes used to monitor his health, but it ultimately saved him from Kyouji's attempt at injecting him with succinylcholine while he went to Shino's house to save her from the Death Gun perpetrators.
Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Computer, set Pain Absorber to 0." After gaining control of ALO's GM powers and disabling Sugou's, Kirito decides it's time for some payback for Sugou torturing him and molesting Asuna. Sugou also mentioned that a setting of 3 or lower will result in real-world injuries from in-game damage.
Psychotic Smirk: Not shown very often, but he can flash some serious crazy under the right circumstance. Prime example would be during his one man attack against the World Tree guardians.
Red Baron: In SAO, he is known as "The Black Swordsman" due to his clothes, hair, eyes, and primary weapon being black.
He is later known as "The Twin Blade Swordsman" after he reveals that he can dual wield.
Reverse Grip: It's very difficult to spot, but on rare occasions, Kirito will wield his sword(s) like this if he needs to. The most visible example is from Episode 9 of the anime, during the battle with Gleam Eyes; he tanked a strike and briefly switched his grip to counterattack.
Second Love: Asuna is his. This helps him get over Sachi's death and the fall of his first SAO guild.
Secret Identity: Kinda. When he returns to the real world, he tries to keep his Kirito identity on the down low.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: SAO will do that to you. It's hard to tell what messes him up more: the fact that he let the Black Cats of the Full Moon die or the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members.
Signature Move: In SAO, it's his Dual Blades skill, though it's kept hidden for the most part.
Silent Scapegoat: In Season 1 Episode 2, he takes on the title of "Beater" in order to separate all other Beta players who help others with Betas who take advantage of their knowledge at the expense of others (Beta+Cheater).
Sixth Ranger: Was the extra member of the Black Cats of the Full Moon; the rest were friends from a real-world computer club. He's also the only survivor.
Skyward Scream: Kirito fulfills this trope at the end of Season 1 Episode 1, after he resolves to survive SAO.
Spider-Sense: The Outside System Skill, "Hypersense". Despite being a hypothetical hidden skill, Kirito notes that several times in SAO, he'd felt the presence of someone watching him and credits the skill for saving his life.
Stupid Sexy Flanders: When he enters GGO, his avatar looks too much like a girl, and he checks to make sure he is actually a guy (to his relief, he is). Cue guys hitting on him and Sinon mistaking him for a girl. Also cue him playing up the girly tone when he confronts Sinon.
Sugar and Ice Personality: He's a nice guy but he can be a bit cold and distant, being paralyzed by the fear of reliving the Black Cats experience all over again.
He had the fastest reaction speed of all players in SAO, which was why the system granted him his trademark dual-wielding ability.
In ALO, his reaction speed played an even bigger role as it determined one's ingame movement speed and attack damage. He was so fast his speed completely overwhelmed one of the fastest players of the race with an affinity for speed, and was able to pummel players with high-level armor with initial equipment.
In GGO, his reaction speed is shown to be demonic enough for him to slice showers of bullets midair with his lightsaber as long as he can sense their trajectories. When he returns to ALO, he uses the same technique to easily block magic attacks which have notoriously small hitboxes, noting that magic attacks were far slower than bullets.
Survival Mantra: The quote at the top of his trope list, said at end of the first episode of the anime. And followed up by the aforementioned Skyward Scream.
Survivor Guilt: Feels haunted by the guilt of being the only surviving member of the Black Cats of the Full Moon.
Sword and Gun: Does this in GGO, due to his preference and the lightsaber being too expensive for him to get anything better than a pistol.
Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Meets Silver Crow/Haruyuki from Accel World in the side story Versus. Of course, as pure fanservice, he's back to his old Black Swordsman Kirito form as the two fight in an epic battle. It ends in a draw.
Unreliable Narrator: Contradicts himself in different accounts of the incident with the Black Cats of the Full Moon. This suggests he may be giving a distorted account of other past events.
Unskilled, but Strong: Because SAO and ALO are built on the same source code, Kirito's compatible stats from SAO are transferred over. For the duration of the ALO arc, he uses the default starting skills and equipment of the Spriggan class. However, since his SAO stats are through the roof (and ALO stats are limited by there being no levels to grind), the effects of his basic spells are amped up beyond belief. A small smokescreen spell turns into a massive explosion of smoke, and a basic illusion casting spell outright transforms him into the boss creature he was trying to create a facsimile of, broken party-killing moveset and all. He later resets his stats so he can make a proper Spriggan build and have fun with it.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: When he and Sinon first met, she mistakes him for a girl. They get along and she helps him get his equipment, but when it's time to put on their battle suits Sinon gets undressed right in front of Kirito and he awkwardly tells her he's a guy. Sinon doesn't take it well.
Unstoppable Rage: Go ahead, just try to harm anyone he cares about. Especially Asuna. Hopefully there's still enough of you to fill a bucket once he's through.
Unwanted Harem: He gradually builds one up due to helping out various girls in the series.
We Want Our Jerk Back: As for Leafa/Suguha not taking well of finding out Kirito is really her cousin/adopted brother...
Suguha: "If that's how it is, I wished you kept on being a jerk to me."
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"* a portmanteau of "beta tester" and "cheater" to reduce prejudice against beta testers. By doing this, he focuses the stigma exclusively on beta testers who selfishly keep foreknowledge of the game to themselves, protecting other, less unscrupulous beta players (such as his friend Argo).
Asuna Yuuki / Asuna (SAO, ALO) / Titania, the Queen of Fairies (ALO) / Erika (ALO)
"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".
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.
Combat Medic: Her ALO build; as an Undine healer, she hasn't forgotten how to use her rapier. More than once she's switched from healing to taking down the level boss.
Cool Big Sis: Acts a bit like one to Liz and Silica in real life. Arguably, Asuna acts this way to most of the other female characters. Suguha and Sinon aren't excluded.
Curb-Stomp Battle: When the 21-30th floors of Aincrad were opened in ALO, Asuna, her friends and alongside 50 other players rushed right to the floor boss, where they watched in awe as Asuna single-handedly take out the boss, kicked it to the side, and rush onward to the 22nd floor. The reason was to purchase the small wooden house in the middle of the forest, the same house herself and Kirito briefly lived in, back in SAO.
Custom Uniform of Sexy: A rare case where it was customized by the other members of her guild. They guilt-tripped her into wearing it due to how much it cost.
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.
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.
He Is Not My Boyfriend: In the anime, when Lisbeth wishes her good luck in her relationship with Kirito. Averted in the novels, where once Liz has met Kirito, Asuna quietly confirms her interest in him instead.
Lightning Bruiser: She's not nicknamed The Flash for nothing, you know? Not only is she absurdly fast, her strikes are insanely powerful.
Lonely at the Top: In SAO, as second-in-command of the Knights of Blood, she demanded iron discipline and a steel will among all the members, and thus never smiled in front of them as an example. However, while the members followed her orders, she noted that it was out of fear, not respect. This is also the reason why Asuna never joined another guild in ALO, not even a small one between Kirito and their mutual friends.
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."
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.
Samus Is a Girl: In Aria in the Starless Night Kirito originally mistook her for a guy until she speaks. Before that, she awed him in regards to the speed of her Linear skill. It's also entirely possible that most of the people at the first boss battle didn't realize her gender her cloak was discarded. Which is exactly what happens in the manga version.
Seen It All: Her reaction to Kirito's Spell Blast, a feat of incredible control and precision that everyone thought was impossible. Mild amusement.
Sleep Cute: Very much so. Even when she just woke up also.
Kirito's younger cousin and sister by adoption, and the co-female protagonist of Fairy Dance (Volumes 3-4). In ALO, she is a Sylph warrior called Leafa and is well known for being one of the fastest flyers in the game.
Anguished Declaration of Love: The English dub of Season 1 Episode 22 has her saying "I love you" towards Kazuto before telling him to leave her alone due to the trauma of discovering that he and Kirito are one and the same.
Boobs of Steel: Has the largest bust of all the girls, and in real-life is the most physically fit, being a kendo national quarterfinalist.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Gets a bit jealous in Season 1 Episode 20 when Sakuya and Alicia, the leaders of the Slyph and Cait-Sith races, get a bit too friendly with Kirito after he saves them from an ambush.
Heroic BSOD: She doesn't take very well to the news that both the cousin/brother she was trying to forget and the Spriggan she came to love are the same person. She spends the end of Season 1 Episode 22 crying unto herself in her room.
Hopeless Suitor: Even if Asuna was out of the picture, poor Suguha wouldn't have a chance with Kirito anyway. While they are technically cousins, he probably wouldn't see her as anything other than his sister.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Falls in love with Kazuto, but after seeing him with Asuna, she moves on to Kirito, only to discover that it's her brother/cousin all along.
Katanas Are Just Better: Her preferred weapon. Justified as she practices kendo in real life, and is very good (national-level middle school quarter-finalist).
Little Sister Heroine: Technically younger-by-a-year cousin, but Kirito's relationship with Suguha is like this.
Luminescent Blush: When she realized that she had fallen asleep in Kirito's bed, with cleavage visible, and that he had woken up before her and noticed.
Loves My Alter Ego: Falls in love with Kirito, unaware that he is actually Kazuto. Since she had fallen in love with Kazuto, only to give up on winning his affections, she takes this rather badly.
Magic Knight: Skilled with using both attack magic and her katana.
Not Blood Siblings: She falls in love with her adopted brother and cousin who was raised with her since they were infants, only to get her heartbroken. Then gets it inadvertently broken again by him in ALO.
Spell My Name with an "S": Official translations give her avatar's name as "Leafa". However, typos in the anime occasionally write it out as "Leefa" and fan translations of the novels used "Lyfa". A literal reading of the kana used in the novels would give you "Rifa".
The main female protagonist of Phantom Bullet (volumes 5–6). An elite sniper in Gun Gale Online who wields the rare anti-material rifle "PGM Hecate II". She later joins ALO to be with Kirito and his friends, where she becomes a Cait Sith archer.
Aroused by Their Voice: Volume 5 describes Sinon's voice as having a high, clear and cute sound and therefore aurally pleasing to GGO's mostly male playerbase. For the anime and games, Miyuki Sawashiro uses a lower tone.
Badass Adorable: Not only is she cute as a kitten, both in the real and virtual worlds, but is also a force to reckon with in terms of ranged combat, so much so Kirito actually dreads the day she gets Skekhinah, ALO's ultimate bow — which, by Sinon's own estimates, would allow her to snipe from 200m, well beyond everybody else's melee/spell range.
Broken Bird: Her accidental murder of a robber haunted her for many years, causing her multiple psychological hang-ups.
Cat Girl: Her appearance and mannerisms are often compared to those of a cat. Fittingly, she rolls a Cait-Sith in ALO.
Cold Sniper: At first, until warming up a little to Kirito.
Cry Cute: Lets down her cold facade down and broke down sobbing a few times, such as after Kirito dissuades her from chasing after Death Gun by herself, and after Mizue hands her a thank-you letter for saving her and her mother during that robbery four years ago.
Dark and Troubled Past: As an eleven-year-old, she accidentally killed a post office robber with his own gun following a Gun Struggle. The experience so traumatized her she developed PTSD and a strong hoplophobia, and not only her schoolmates but her mother shunned her as a murderer (though to be fair, by that point she has been already traumatized from helplessly watching her husband bleed to death in a car accident). She started playing GGO to try and get over her phobia, but it's only partially successful. She also has a replica gun in her room, but she's not able to overcome her fear.
Difficult but Awesome: A sniper rifle has one of the highest single-shot damage outputs in GGO, but more importantly, the first shot taken by a sniper from stealth does not give the target any warning or window to dodge. However, it is also one of the hardest weapons to actually hit with: the distance creates a low base accuracy, and the shooter must keep their pulse as low as possible to maximize their chance to hit. Furthermore, a sniper loses their primary advantage (surprise) after the first shot, making it ill-suited in 1v1 battles or when outnumbered.
This carries over to archery in ALO. The game has no automated systems to aid the accuracy of an archer (unlike GGO), and arrows are affected by gravity and wind. But unlike magic, archery is a ranged weapon with no casting time; a master archer could defeat any melee opponent before they even managed to get within attack range. Since Sinon has already mastered long-distance shooting in GGO and all of the games created from The Seed use the same physics engine, she masters the bow very quickly.
He Is Not My Boyfriend: She invokes this after Kirito (wisely) asks her to clear up any potential misunderstandings. Whether or not she actually does develop a romantic interest in him is left ambiguous, but there is some back-and-forth teasing between them. She also trolls him (in a glorious fashion) by asking him to "always think of me" when using Excalibur... in front of all his other love interests. Only the twitching of her Cait-Sith tail gives away her laughter.
Heroic BSOD: Suffers a massive one when she realizes that the pistol that Death Gun uses to kill his targets is the same model of pistol she used to kill the bank robber years ago.
Hero of Another Story: Literally. Although she created an ALO character to play with Kirito and her new friends, she still mainly plays GGO, where she is one of the top players and goes on her own adventures in that game world.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Manages to hit a falling sword at 200m with a bow whose maximum effective range was 100m, while falling herself, while surrounded by falling ice shards, while using a spell that distorts the arc of her arrow.
ALO players consider Shino's normal attacks to be this; she plays as a Cait Sith specced for long range vision, and regularly takes down enemies 100 meters away by arching her arrows. Shino doesn't consider it anything special, since she came from GGO and regularly engages from beyond 1000 meters with her Hecate II.
It still isn't enough for her. She's hoping to obtain the legendary bow Shekhinah because she estimates with that bow she should be able to consistently snipe from 200 meters away.
Instant Expert: In ALO, it took her all of one day to fully master the bow.
Machine Pistols: In the anime, a Glock 18 takes the place of the MP7 as her sidearm.
Male Gaze: Plenty of shots are dedicated to admiring her tight in-game outfit.
Ms. Exposition: She explains much of how GGO works for Kirito (and the audience).
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: She becomes obsessed with defeating Kirito in a fair fight, thinking that doing so will make her strong like he is, and commands him to not lose until she can beat him.
Her glasses, which were advertised as being made of bulletproof material. In the anime, they turn shiny when she is putting up an emotional barrier. She finally discards them when confronting Endo for the last time.
She is also attached to the Hecate II. Sinon sometimes talks to it when she needs to calm herself, and prides herself in being one of the few players capable of wielding it.
Serious Business: She really takes all of her moves in gaming highly, to the point where her leader suggested to log out on a losing game, she tells him straight up and a certain fansubbing group made the appropriate lines.
Leader: It's just a game! Don't take it seriously! If we run in, we'll just die— Sinon: You're pathetic! In the game, at least have the fucking balls to run toward the guns and die!
There Are No Therapists: Averted. She's been in therapy ever since the botched robbery, but it didn't really do her any good as they were all Japanese therapists who fully embraced their culturally-enforced disgust for guns — and those who use them, even accidental killers such as herself. Thanks to all of that, she has a case of PTSD so intense a schoolyard bully can set off a panic attack simply by pointing a finger at her and saying "bang". What straightens her out after four years is meeting Sachie Oosawa, the then-pregnant teller the gunman threatened, and though she can't really get over her horror at witnessing a shooting, let alone meeting the shooter, she feels indebted to Shino for saving her baby — now four-year-old Mizue, who gives her a doodle of herself and her parents with the words "Shino onee-san, thank you for saving mama and Mizue".
Trick Arrow: Arrows with special magical properties exist in ALO. She, being a sniper in a gun-oriented game, exploits this ability to be able to perform to her full potential in a more fantasy-oriented game.
Trigger: Guns in general, pistols in particular, bring back the memory of her past trauma and cause her to throw up.
Tsundere: After getting along with Kirito when thinking he's a female player, she starts acting cold and angry towards Kirito after finding out his true gender for the first time right before the Bo B qualifiers, but still helps him out.
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.
The second main female protagonist of Mother's Rosario (Volume 7) and the an energetic, cheerful Imp leader of the Sleeping Knights guild. She holds a street duel competition, hoping to find someone strong enough to help her guild solo a floor boss, an achievement which will mark their names on the Monument of Swordsmen.
Always Someone Better: Duels with Kirito twice and wins both rounds. It is debatable who is actually more skilled, as Kirito never fights her with his signature style, but her reaction speed and VRMMORPG experience are significantly better than his. Kirito even stated that had she been in SAO, the system would have instead granted her the dual blades ability due to her superior reflexes.
Angsty Surviving Twin: Averted for the most part, but shows hints of this when she gets strongly attached to Asuna due to her resemblance to her twin sister.
Badass Adorable: She's one of the kindest and most cheerful person in ALO. She's also probably the only person who can beat Kirito in a fair duel.
Do Not Go Gentle: Her main motivation for wanting to carve the names of the Sleeping Knights onto the Monument of Swordsmen before AIDS claims her and Sleeping Knights is disbanded.
Ill Girl: She was born with HIV. By the time she was introduced in, her real body was already blind, bedridden and on the verge of death.
Lightning Bruiser: Remember how most opponents can't even react to Kirito dashing towards them before its too late? Lets just say that Kirito can't even react to her and leave it at that.
The Pollyanna: Despite her family being killed off one by one by AIDS until she was left to bear the pain and the stigma by herself, she remains cheerful and as energetic as an Ill Girl could possibly be.
Voiced by:Tōru Ōkawa (Japanese) and Kevin M. Connolly (English)
Leader of Knights of Blood, of which Asuna was a member. Known as "The Holy Sword", Heathcliff is a legendary player whose HP has never dropped below 50%. He possesses the Unique Skill "Holy Sword", which lets him use his tower shield as an offensive weapon.For more information on Akihiko Kayaba, see below.
Big Good: Since he's the head of the number guild on the front line, he's the highest authority among the heroes clearing levels for the others. Too bad he's actually the Final Boss.
Crutch Character: Heathcliff is something of a meta-example of this trope; he's the ultimate tank who fights on the front lines with his men, and created the strongest guild specifically to collect the game's biggest badasses. He also intended to betray the players on the 95th floor to set himself up as the Final Boss.
Deus ex Machina: Serves as this in ALO, as it is through Kayaba's Heathcliff avatar that Kirito assumes superuser control of the system. Since this is effectively a god granting a hero divine power, it's like a modernized classical example.
Distinctive Appearance: Unlike other members of the "Knights of Blood", his uniform is primarily red with white trimmings.
GMPC: He's actually Akihiko Kayaba. As Kirito points out, "there's nothing more boring than watching someone else play an RPG."
Jerkass: He treats Asuna like a trophy despite being her subordinate and treats Kirito like trash despite being ten levels lower than him. Even in his dying words, he accuses Kirito of "murdering" him, even though he tried to kill Kirito and Asuna (and did kill Godfrey), forcing them to fight back in self-defense.
Stalker with a Crush: Towards Asuna. He lurks around her house at morning (and implied at night) because 'it's his job'.
Mauve Shirt: He is killed by Kuradeel to establish the danger that Kirito is in.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets killed in the same episode he is introduced in to establish Kuradeel's intentions.
Black Cats of the Full Moon
From left to right: Tetsuo, Sasamaru, Ducker, Sachi and Keita
A guild made up of friends from the same computer club in the real world. They were the first guild that Kirito joined in SAO.
And the Rest: Whenever Kirito refers back to his old guild, he either refers to the entire guild, or to only Sachi and/or Keita.
Band of Brothers: They were originally from the same school club, but in the game they practically became a family. This is what ultimately convinces Kirito to join them, since he was feeling lonely after a whole year playing solo.
Doomed by Canon: Kirito tells Asuna about them in Volume 1, though their actual tale takes place in the next volume.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Their real world names are unknown, unless, like Asuna, their game names are the same as their real world name.
Poor Communication Kills: Had Kirito told them what he knew from the start, they wouldn't have been wiped out in the first place.
Sentai: Note their color-coded outfits, with the guy in red being the leader and black-themed Kirito as their extra man.
Too Dumb to Live: Kirito was only partly to blame for their doom. The other half of their sorry story is that they explored a dungeon well above their level and triggered a Shmuck Bait trap. Ducker assumed he could disarm any trap they ran across, Sachi assumed that Kirito would save everybody if anything happened, and Sasamaru and Tetsuo were just overconfident. Boy was their confidence misplaced.
Their acts throughout the entire game were reckless. Pressuring Sachi to be a shield user was merely a symptom of the fact that their egos were writing checks their bodies couldn't cash. Kirito blames himself for their deaths, but in all probability, Kirito's actions extended their lives.
A Father to His Men: He's the resident Team Dad, and the rest of the team respond accordingly. Kirito admits that his way of running the guild was one of the main reasons why he joined them, hoping that his way of thinking would help the people trapped in SAO to complete the game someday.
Driven to Suicide: After Kirito informed him that the rest of the guild died, he jumped off of Aincrad.
Fantastic Racism: Not as bad as Kibaou, but he wasn't fond of learning that Kirito hid his "beater" status along with his guild being wiped out.
Jerkass Has a Point: If you count the "jerkass" as someone who also doesn't like "beaters", he was right about the fact that the guild perished due to Kirito's dishonesty.
The Leader: Of the "Black Cats of the Full Moon." He's the levelheaded type.
The Strategist: He's also the guy who creates the team formations and strategies, more than someone who's in the middle of the fight.
The sole female member of the guild and the first girl Kirito set his eyes upon during his earlier days in SAO.
Beauty Mark: Has one near the outside corner of her right eye.
The Chick: The lone female that most of the guild, and especially Kirito, are invested in protecting.
Dead Man Writing: Recorded a Christmas card for Kirito and left it in their shared inventory. She mentions in the recording that she would have deleted it and told him its contents in person if she had survived until Christmas Eve.
Disposable Woman: Introduced as Kirito's first emotional link in SAO, only to get erased from the picture, causing him no small amount of psychological trauma.
This Is Gonna Suck: Implied. Sachi knew that Kirito's level was double what he said it was, and would therefore logically know that if Kirito thinks opening that chest is a bad idea, it's because opening that chest is a bad idea. The fact that the others decide to open it anyway means that she knew that something really bad was about to happen and there was nothing she could do about it.
Kirito's first friend and comrade in SAO. After Kayaba trapped them, he and Kirito parted ways to gather his real-world friends, in the process forming "Fuurinkazan", a guild famous for having all of its members survive SAO. Later in ALO, he joins Kirito's party as a Salamander-type swordsman.
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.
Dogged Nice Guy: A non-romantic example to Kirito. He keeps trying to get Kirito to join Fuurinkazan and tries to pull him out of his loner shell, but isn't as successful as Asuna. When he realizes Asuna's feelings for Kirito, he asks her to take care of him.
Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the news report in the first minute of the first episode.
I Will Wait for You: A non-romantic example. He always holds a open hand to Kirito to join him and even when he as at his emotional nadir, Klein still was friendly to him and wanted to help him, even when it seemed Kirito might be willing to fight him.
Nice Guy: Beneath is gruff, lecherous persona is a kind soul. In SAO, his first action post-entrapment was to find his friends and bring them under his wing.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Klein is one of the top players in SAO, and his guild managed to survive SAO virtually unscathed. Not even Knights of Blood can boast of a zero mortality rate. He'd be The Hero in any other setting but for the fact that among his friends are the speedster in black and a lady warrior in white. He gets a chance to shine in the Caliber arc, where he proves to have some damn big brass balls.
Spider-Sense: Like Kirito, he possesses the hypothetical skill, Hypersense.
Spirited Competitor: He won't go around picking fights, but he isn't afraid to show off his enthusiasm.
Took a Level in Badass: Seriously. He starts off a complete and total noob who had trouble with the starter enemies, to one of the best players in SAO by the end, and he leads his own guild which apparently had nobody die in it. Not even the Knights of the Blood can boast that!
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.
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.
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.
Genius Bruiser: Big and intelligent in combat. Don't think this salesman is for nothing, he's a tough one.
Good Guy Bar: He runs one in both the virtual and real worlds, and in both cases Kirito and his friends hang out there often.
Happily Married: In the real world. When he was trapped in SAO, his wife singlehandedly kept his bar running and waited for him to come back, so they could pick up where they left off. He did, and they did.
Nice Guy: You can never tell from his shop's seemingly unfair trading policies, but Agil is a loving husband and player who spent most of his fortune helping newbies.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a minor one to Kibaou in Season 1 Episode 2 when he goes into a rant against Beta-testers, showing him that the free manual handed out to people was written by the same people Kibaou accused of being selfish cheaters.
Scary Black Man: Subverted — as intimidating as he looks, he is actually one of the kindest senior players in SAO.
A "knight" who organized and led a raid against the L1 boss. He is actually another beta tester, and exploits the group in order to ensure that he lands the last hit, which would maximize his chance of obtaining a unique drop. Recognizing Kirito as another beta tester, he also takes steps to actively hinder him by manipulating Kibaou and assigning backrow duty to Kirito's party.
Adaptation Distillation: In the light novel, he's practically the Big Bad of the 1st Floor arc. The novel contains an additional subplot about a mysterious benefactor trying to buy Kirito's sword, later revealed to be Kibaou (acting as Diabel's middleman) as part of a scheme to weaken Kirito and further lower his chances of getting the final hit. The novel also contains more implications that Diabel is a Beater, making note of the obscene amount of Col he can throw around (for the first floor) and his possession of rare items such as his blue hair dye.
A warrior who participated in the 1st floor boss raid who has a dislike for beta testers.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: He becomes one later on as part of The Army. His group of followers are really nothing more than a bunch of extortionists. He later tried to get rid of Thinker rather than having to answer for his screwup that cost him a few men.
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.
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.
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.
Cannot Spit It Out: Never manages to directly tell Kirito about her feelings. Kirito actually catches on the gist of it from her embarrassed stuttering and turns extremely embarrassed himself upon realizing it.
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.
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.
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.
M.I.B.: A more overt example, working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or so it seems. Kikuoka appears to actually belong to the JSDF, leading Kirito to suspect that he may have been sent to observe the possibility of VRMMOs as a substitute to real-world training.
Necessary Evil: He seeks a way to create AIs that can be used to replace humans in real warfare, and is more than willing to cross ethical boundaries, including making virtual clones of real infants and playing god with a virtual civilization. On the other hand, he does so in hopes of averting human casualties, as well as help Japan gain military self-sufficiency, and has shown that he does care for Kirito and his friends. At one point he even agreed with Asuna that like Yui, AIs can become "alive" like a human, but would ultimately choose the life of a single human over hundreds of thousands of AIs.
Administrator of "MMO Today" and leader of Aincrad Liberation Front, the largest guild in SAO. Thinker's leadership and influence has slowly been eroded thanks to his second-in-command Kibaou, and he's eventually trapped unarmed in a dungeon, prompting Yulier, his real-world and virtual wife, to request Kirito and Asuna to help rescue him.
Distressed Dude: His status as one is what drove Yulier to contact Kirito and Asuna.
A senior member of ALF and wife to its leader Thinker, both in the real and virtual worlds, who disapproves of the current hardline direction of the guild. She requests Kirito and Asuna's help to rescue Thinker.
Hidden Depths: He's a better player than it may seem at first. He's captured once and is able to escape by himself by poisoning his captors. And he really surprises Leafa when he uses Black Magic to immolate himself.
Hopeless Suitor: Has a crush on Suguha, who is already in love with Kirito. He even tried to confess to her but was rejected. Although Suguha got a little bit more of respect for him afterwards.
Shino's best friend, and the one who introduced her to Gun Gale Online.
Big Bad Friend: Worked with his older brother, a former Laughing Coffin member, to create Death Gun.
Crippling Overspecialisation: "Spiegel" is an AGI-heavy build, relying entirely on evasion and reaction speed. When the GGO metagame evolved to favor balanced STR/VIT builds, Kyouji was left with a severely under-powered character that lacked the STR to equip anything but the lightest guns. This in turn leads him to associate himself with his brother, who is a SAO survivor and created what would become the virtual serial killer, Death Gun.
Education Mama: His parents are high-ranking doctors and put a lot of pressure on him to succeed.
If I Can't Have You: Kyouji tries to kill Shino after he witnesses her crying in the arms of Kirito during the Bullet of Bullets tournament. Later on, he comes into her house right after she finished the BoB tournament, and threatens her with a dose of succinylcholine.
Kids Are Cruel: Kyouji was bullied when he was younger, something he shares with Shino.
Love Makes You Crazy: Attempted to give a Love Confession to Shino, but the latter tells him to give her time to think about it. Then in episode 13, he's revealed to be one of the people helping Death Gun to kill people in real life, and develops an Ax-Crazy look when he attempts to have his way with her.
Took a Level in Jerkass: He seems quite friendly and supportive of Shino, and attempts to be there for her while she's trying to get over her past. Then he reveals his motives to her, and attempts to rape her, along with trying to kill her almost entirely out of the blue after seeing how she seems to be more interested in Kirito than him.
Villain Ball: He's killed his enemies, established an alibi for himself, and only one thing stands between him and marrying his dream girl while his brother takes the fall for the murders: that creepy face he makes while proposing to Shino, which tips her off that there is something very wrong with him.
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.
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.
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.
The Heart: She was originally designed to maintain the mental health of the players by giving them emotional support. Unfortunately, when the death game began, she was suspended by the Cardinal system and was forced to watch the players commit suicide and kill each other out of fear, anger, and despair. Then she came across Kirito and Asuna.
Killer Rabbit: In SAO. Looks like an ordinary, cute child. One-shotted a super boss.
Living Lie Detector: She can easily tell when someone is lying, probably in order to help her do her job better.
There Are No Therapists: Invoked. Yui was designed to be a sort of therapist for players in SAO, but the system prevented her from doing her job. Needless to say, this caused a lot of problems for both her and the players she was unable to help.
Uncanny Family Resemblance: Although it's not brought up, she looks weirdly like a child Asuna with Kirito's haircolor. She even has a similar hair style to Asuna, making her being their "daughter" ironic. That may mean she purposefully or subconsciously sculpted her avatar to look like that when she broke out of Cardinal to find them.
Woman in White: In line with her purity and innocence, Yui's outfits are predominantly white.
Ambition Is Evil: He tells Kirito of his dream about creating a floating castle as the basis for creating Sword Art Online.
Badass: He created every Sword Arts in Sword Art Online, including Kirito's Dual Blades techniques.
Badass Bookworm: He programmed all of SAO, and designed the hardware, by himself. Even after his death he created a program that revived the VRMMORPG genre in the aftermath of the Fairy Dance arc.
Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the Fairy Dance arc, his spirit seemingly comes back from the dead to give Kirito his Administrator privileges so he can defeat Sugou.
Blue and Orange Morality: His extreme Lack of Empathy creates this. He weighed 10,000 human lives versus him creating his ideal world and chose the latter, but feels neither any guilt nor joy at the deaths. He's actually happy that someone is coming to kill him as that is how Aincrad is supposed to work.
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
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.
To protect his guise as Heathcliff in his duel with Kirito, he accelerated faster than the normal players in SAO to block damage. He also has the "Immortal Object" ability normally granted to environmental objects to protect his life if his HP goes below 50%.
In the second duel Kirito noted that Kayaba did not, in fact, need the additional assistance to strike that fast.
A God Am I: While he never claims to be anything more than a programmer, Kirito notes that his behavior is godlike - looking upon the players not with empathy, but with mercy and pity. This is what allows Kirito to identify him as Heathcliff.
Graceful Loser: When defeated three-quarters of the way through the planned SAO, Kayaba congratulates Kirito and Asuna, and lets them both live and return to the real world, even though they had both "died" in the virtual world.
Karma Houdini: He dies on his own terms. While Kirito isn't openly hostile or hateful, he doesn't think that he can ever forgive Kayaba for those deaths, particularly Sachi's.
Killer Game Master: He designed the Nerve Gear to kill players in real life if they died in his game. He also placed lots of traps in his world with the idea of making that happen.
Mad Artist: He dreamed of a masterpiece of a world where players can surpass the limits of reality. He also dreamed of people fighting for their lives in said world, apparently.
Meaningful Name: Kayaba naming his character after the villain of Wuthering Heights draws certain parallels — originally appearing heroic, he is revealed to have more evil and self-serving intents.
Noble Demon: He's a murder and a kidnapper and has some weird ethics to be sure but he sticks to his rules and is a Graceful Loser.
Psychopathic Man Child: His ultimate goal is essentially to bring the world of his imagination to life and have it be as real as possible. He also posses a certain sense of fair play. This would make him a Type C with bits of B and E mixed in.
The Sociopath: Just doesn't care either way about the people trapped in his death game. Sure, he does help found and raise a very powerful guild and helps its members develop, but that was done solely to have strong players who would keep challenging the game.
The Stoic: Even when Kirito overcomes death to attack him one last time, his expression barely changes.
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.
Infinity Moment upgrades him to Big Bad. He hijacked SAO so that he could use it for his experiments and used a super account to enter the game as Alberich.
Arranged Marriage: Was the fiance of Asuna chosen by her parents. In her parents' defense, he admits that if they knew how she felt about him, they would have called it off in a heartbeat.
Asshole Victim: Likely no one shed a tear after Kirito turns the tables on him and kills his avatar brutally in the ALO game, considering he was torturing the former moments before, and threatened to rape Asuna both in-game and in the real world.
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.
He mocks Asuna by telling her he met Kirito in the real world, and how weak he looked. He is completely unaware that letting her know her lover was alive was exactly what she needed to keep going.
He was also convinced that Kirito would be too scared to even put on his Nerve Gear, let alone try to save Asuna, boy was he wrong.
Eye Scream: Suffered this by Kirito at the final part of his Curb-Stomp Battle by letting his sword fall into him and because of the pain reception he brought up during that fight it transfers into the real world with painful irritation and bad vision from that right eye.
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.
Cold Sniper: During the BoB tournament, he shoots his targets with stun bullets from his "Silent Assassin" (a very rare and high-level sniper rifle according to Sinon) before moving in for the kill with his handgun.
Handguns: Uses a Type 54 note Chinese knock-off of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33 in GGO.
Invisibility Cloak: He owns a mantle that has the "Metamaterial Optical Camouflage" ability. He can use it in the city AREA and hide from satellite scans during BoB.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: As if his moniker as the "Death Gun" wasn't representative enough of the murders he started committing in GGO, his BoB tournament entry name, "Sterben", is the German verb for "To die".
Revenge: Another reason why "Death Gun" kills. Two of the perpetrators are former Laughing Coffin members, and they are elated when they get the chance to torment Kirito in Gun Gale Online. The third blamed the high level players for recommending a character build that eventually got nerfed, leaving him unable to compete in the Bo B tournament for his subscription fee.
Serial Killer: The Gun Gale Online arc has Kirito investigate on this enigmatic character who is rumoured to be able to kill players both in the game and in the real world. Two known victims were among GGO's top players.
Siblings in Crime: The original two members of the team. The eldest was a former SAO player who was part of the red guild "Laughing Coffin"; he was the one who collected info on where their targets lived, was the one who injected XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako with Succinycholine in the real world, and is the one who shot the avatars of Pale Rider and Garret in GGO during BoB. The youngest was the one who shot the avatars of XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako in GGO, and during BoB he was meant to break into Shino's home and inject her with a dose of Succinylcholine with a needleless syringe. Both were children of a doctor and had access to the funds and equipment needed to pull it off.
Sniper Rifles: His rifle of choice is the L115A3, the British Army designation for the Arctic Warfare Super Magnum sniper rifle. His particular rifle is unique in that it has a custom integrally suppressed barrel akin to the AWS variant. This is what gives it its unique "Silent Assassin" moniker in-game.
Tattooed Crook: Amidst the bandages on his right arm, a small tattoo can be made out. It's the same mark as the members of Laughing Coffin, and Kirito subsequently has a Heroic BSOD when he sees it.
Vader Breath: When talking, a distinctive wheeze can be sporadically heard around "Death Gun".
Walking Spoiler: The character known as "Death Gun" is actually an entity created by three people, two of which are SAO survivors of the Player Killing variety, to carry out murders both in GGO and the real life near-simultaneously, making its importance to the overall series' story that much more vital.
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 Dreaded: Were this as a group, with multiple Hero Killer types like PoH, Xa Xa, and Johnny Black among their ranks.
Karma Houdini: Due to all blame being placed on Akihiko Kayaba, none of their crimes were revealed to the public and none of the surviving members were punished for their crimes. However, after the guild's kill count climbed into the triple digits, the Knights Of Blood put the floor-clearing on hold and with a lot of other like-minded players, initiated a purge to track down all members of the guild and bring them to justice. Most of the psychos were killed when they tried to fight back. Some of them, including XaXa and Johnny Black, managed to escape, though, and remain at large. At least, until the Death Gun incident.
Murder, Inc.: Sometimes, some players will hire their services to kill a target as a means to avoid having their Karma Meter changed to orange or red.
Big Bad: Given the damage he and his guild did, he rivals Kayaba for the biggest problem of the arc as well, necessitating most frontline players to put off the progression and actively hunt Laughing Coffin down.
Catch Phrase: "It's Showtime." (said in English) When the Death Gun utters this phrase in the BoB tournament, Kirito is quick to think that PoH might be the perpetrator. He's not: XaXa is the one operating the avatar.
Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Recruits people for his red guild by promising them that all the blame for any murderers they commit will be placed on Kayaba.
Fate Worse than Death: Got turned into a tree by Kirito and left to rot in Underworld. Which drives him into insanity.
Hero Killer: Had this reputation, with even Kirito respecting his abilities. Given that he had the highest bodycount of almost any player, this is understandable.
In the Hood: His face is partially shadowed by the black hood he wears, concealing part of his identity.
One of the top members of the Laughing Coffin, who survived the assault on the guild.
Call Forward: In the light novel version of "A Murder Case in the Area" (Episodes 4 and 5 from season 1 for reference), he threatens to chase down Kirito on a horse after he rides in on one and intervenes on an assassination. In GGO, he, as Death Gun, chases down Kirito and Sinon on a (mechanical) horse.
Hero Killer: Earns this reputation in SAO and GGO. As one of the few players who can match Kirito is a sword fight, it is not unwarranted.
Ill Boy: His brother Kyoji describes him as being very sick.
Master Swordsman: The best swordsman in the Guild, and a match for Kirito. He gets to duel once more against the latter during the climax of GGO's BoB tournament, this time posing as the Death Gun and using a hidden estoc within his sniper rifle. He also goes into detail about how Kirito is rusty and uses technical jargon.
Psycho for Hire: To the point where he could not stop killing after being released into the real world.
Skull for a Head: Wears a skull helmet. His preference carries over into GGO, where he poses as the Death Gun.
Weapon of Choice: Estoc-type weapons. In GGO, he tried to recreate one with the metal found in space battleships, but was only able to make a thin blade he can hide in his sniper rifle.
Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted. After his capture and imprisonment in SAO, he did nothing but train with his rapier skills, to the point where like Kirito, he can replicate SAO moves via muscle memory and can actually beat Kirito in a sword fight (though it should be noted that Kirito couldn't fight all out as his lightsaber had no weight, and he's too used to heavy swords).
Walking Spoiler: Even more so than the rest of his Laughing Coffin comrades due to the fact that he comes back in Gun Gale Online as the avatar known as Death Gun, and carries out public virtual executions while his accomplices inject their victims with succinylcholine in the real world.
Atsushi Kanamoto/Johnny Black (SAO)
One of the top members of the Laughing Coffin, and a survivor of SAO.
Axe Crazy: Johnny's dialogue does not hint at a sane mind.
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 whothatis. 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.
Boobs of Steel: Uses a 2-handed sword and has one of the highest HP counts among the players.
Fusion Dance: She ends up fusing with the Hollow Avatar when Sugou inflicts incurable poison on her. Later, Yui absorbs her data in the hopes of someday restoring her.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: After regaining her memories, she wants to prevent the world from getting destroyed, which pits her against Kirito and the raid team. She later performs a Heroic Sacrifice for Kirito and takes away Sugou's GM privileges, only to merge with the original Final Boss.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Like Yui, she felt powerless in helping the players cope with the horrors of Aincrad, but Kirito assures her that she actually did help by befriending the raid team as a player character.
Broken Ace: She's strong enough to survive in the Brutal Bonus Level, but the isolation is clearly getting to her, to the point where she's not even sure if she's the real Philia.
Cloning Blues: Hollow PoH convinces her that she's actually a Hollow AI clone of the real Philia and that she killed the real one. This is backed up by how she cannot return to Aincrad unlike Kirito. Subverted when it turns out that she's the real one.
Easily Forgiven: She feels that Kirito forgave her betrayal too easily and starts a sidequest to find out how he really feels. As a heartwarming example, she discovers that this trope is played completely straight.
Heroic BSOD: Has one when she realizes that Kirito might have been killed instead of merely trapped and that PoH is going to have everyone killed and replaced by Hollows. Luckily, Kirito saves her and they eventually stop PoH's plan.
Mark of Shame/Player Killing: She's the first friendly orange player in the series. This is due to a system glitch where she killed her Hollow counterpart. She later gets her status back to green.
You Can't Go Home Again: Being trapped in a Death Game is one thing, but somehow, she is unable to return to Aincrad to join the rest of the players. She returns to Aincrad once the Hollow Area is beaten, though like everyone else, she can't return to below floor 76.