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This page details the main protagonist himself, Kirito, in Sword Art Online.

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


Kazuto Kirigaya (born Kazuto Narusaka) / Kirito (SAO, ALO, GGO) / Star King (UW)

Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese), Bryce Papenbrook (English), Luis Leonardo Suarez (Latin American Spanish), Darío Torrent (European Spanish)

"I got this... I can do this! This world can't beat me! I will survive!"
Click here to see Kirito's first ALO avatar 
Click here to see Kirito's second ALO avatar 
Click here to see Kirito's GGO avatar 
Click here to see Kirito's Ordinal Scale avatar 
Click here to see Kirito in Hollow Realization 

The Protagonist of the series.

Born Kazuto Narusaka to Yukito and Aoi Narusaka on October 7, 2008. His parents died in a car accident when he was a toddler, but was promptly adopted by his aunt. From a very young age, Kazuto developed an extraordinary ability with computers in general, and at age 10, he was able to hack into the Japan's National Registry, where he found out about his adoption. After this discovery, he started to distance himself from his family and started to compulsively play MMO-RPG games under the nickname "Kirito" as a mean of escapism.


At 14 years old, he gets to be a beta tester for the first Virtual Reality MMO-RPG ever created: "Sword Art Online". However, when the game is officially launched, he gets trapped inside of it along with the other 9999 players. Knowing how the game works thanks to his experience as an MMO player and beta tester, Kirito vows to survive in SAO no matter what.

However, due to his trust issues, he decides to make it as a solo player, rather than trying to socialize with other gamers. That changes temporarily when he joins a small guild called the Black Cats of the Full Moon, where he seems to manage to feel comfortable enough to start opening out to other people. However, Kirito decides to hide his true strength and his past as a Beta tester out of fear of alienating them, which later on indirectly gets his guild mates killed. Blaming himself for their death, Kirito decides even more strongly to write off relating to other players almost entirely for a long time.


Thanks to his extraordinary abilities as a gamer, though, Kirito becomes one of the strongest players in SAO, which gets him to be known as "The Black Swordsman". Eventually, he earns the Unique Skill "Dual Wielding", which allows him to equip a second sword in his off-hand.

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  • Aborted Arc:
    • Kirito's Zero-Approval Gambit of being a Beater in episode 2, where he shoulders the discrimination against beta-players is never really touched upon again. The next episode immediately shows him after a Time Skip where he's gotten lonely of going solo and joins a guild to make up for it. He's almost never referred to as a Beater again, aside from few passing mentions which have no significance to the plot. In its place he instead gains a reputation and a lot of respect as a strong player and clearer, earning the title of "The Black Swordsman".
    • Averted in Progressive, which has Kirito holding the Beater status for far longer. This led to him being ostracized and became the most despised player in SAO. While traveling in towns he was forced to unequip his Badass Longcoat which he had previously used to label himself as a Beater, as to not draw attention to himself.
  • Accidental Pervert:
    • In SAO, he accidentally gropes Asuna after she falls on him when she used a Teleport Crystal while running away from Kuradeel. She responds with an Armor-Piercing Slap.
    • Later in GGO, he sees Sinon in her underwear, thanks to a gender mix-up.
    • Happens a lot in the non-canon games, with Kirito frequently ending up in a situation where he looks like a pervert and has to explain his way out to avoid facing an angry girl's wrath.
  • Action Dad: To his AI daughter Yui.
    • In the Aincrad arc, when she's on the verge of deletion due to using a GM console to disobey Cardinal, Kirito uses said GM console to hack the system and save her from being deleted.
    • In Accel World VS Sword Art Online he takes a more physical role, fighting to save Yui after she gets kidnapped by Persona Vabel.
  • Action Hero: The World's Best Warrior in SAO and one of the top players in subsequent games. He can be relied on to clear up any tough boss or red player that's posing a threat.
  • Action Survivor: Started off as this, only concerned with surviving SAO. However over time he evolves into a Action Hero.
  • Adorkable: Being a shut-in gamer for most of his life, he's not very good with social interactions, especially when it comes to girls, having a tendency to trip over his own words so others gets the wrong idea.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He's already good looking in the web version despite being seen as a Shōnen hero but the light novel, anime, manga, and game adaptations gave him more Bishōnen features. Taken Up to Eleven with his GGO avatar and some of his costumes in Code Register.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the light novels and anime, he was the one who killed Kuradeel instead of Asuna.
    • For Kirito's final duel with Yuuki: in the light novel, their duel had drawn out for 10 minutes and Yuuki finished him off with her OSS, while in the anime Yuuki ended up winning by timeout due to having slightly higher HP with it being left vague if Kirito could have beaten her if he was given a few more seconds to land the blow.
    • He appears to be stronger in the game adaptations than he is in canon.
      • Unlike canon, during his duel with Heathcliff, Kirito fares much better to the point where he isn't pressured into activating a Sword Skill, thereby preventing Heathcliff from shattering his sword. The only reason he doesn't succeed in killing Heathcliff is because the glitches start buzzing in and teleport Heathcliff away just as Kirito stabs him through the chest.
      • He doesn't lose to Yuuki in their duel when he got beaten in canon.note 
      • In Alfheim Online, Kirito is able to use the Sword Skill "Starburst Stream" having successfully recreated it as an OSS, while in canon he stated this was the one Sword Skill he was struggling to recreate.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In Fatal Bullet his canon GGO avatar is actually an alternate account with the name "Kiriko", which was once a fan nickname. He uses this account during the BoB Tournament in Death Gun sidestory which is an adaptation of the Phantom Bullet arc.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • In the light novels he had a more colorful personality with an existential philosophy and being a VR-geek, as opposed to his stoic attitude in the anime.
    • In the game adaptation, Kirito is far less stoic and a great deal more adorkable, frequently presented as being socially clueless while also being thrown into awkward situations he has no idea how to get out of.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the Alicization novel and manga, great part of the firsts chapters, Kirito thought the citizens were NP Cs and the monsters like the Goblins were just programs and it was not until he fought Ugachi that confirmed all of them were sentients beings. Instead in anime, Kirito quickly deduced talking with Eugeo, the inhabitants of Underworld are made with artificial fluctlights.
  • Adoptive Peer Parent: He is only 16 years old and he and Asuna essentially adopted the AI Yui as their daughter. Whether he considers Strea this in the game continuity is still up in the air, especially due to his reaction after Strea brings it up and even calls him "Daddy" (possibly as a joke) in Hollow Realization.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Kirito loves doing this, typically to all the girls in his life, ranging from his daughter Yui, his sister Suguha, and even to his wife/girlfriend Asuna. Sarah Williams once commented that Kirito has a head patting fetish.
  • Adventure Duo: Kirito tends to be The Hero to all of the respective female Arc Heroes (Asuna, Leafa, Sinon) who serve as The Lancer. Either by being less brave or less serious than Kirito.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Klein calls him "Kiri-no-ji"note  while Argo calls him "Kii-bou". Even Asuna calling him "Kirito-kun" in real life could be considered this.
    • In real life his friends call him "Kaz".
  • Alliterative Name: Both his given and family names begin with a "K", as is his online name. Furthermore his title, in Japanese is Kuro no Kenshi (which means Black Swordsman).
    • Averted with his birth name which was Kazuto Narusaka.
  • Aloof Big Brother: He distanced himself from his adoptive sister/cousin Suguha after he found out they aren't real siblings. After SAO he works to repair the distance.
  • Amazon Chaser: He is often stunned speechless by the sight of Asuna in action. He's described her as "an angel" and her combos as "pure beauty".
  • Angst Coma: Spends almost three books being stuck in this state until PoH shows up while Rath fixes his brain damage in the RW.
  • Anime Hair: His first ALO avatar had stereotypical spiky hair. However Yui disliked it as it made it difficult for her to sit on, so he changed it back to his usual style.
  • Another Side, Another Story: For the majority of Fatal Bullet it focuses on the custom Player Character. However you can unlock an achievement which allows access to "Kirito Mode" and play from Kirito's POV.
  • 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.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Nobuyuki Sugou, who is a contender for his most despised enemy. He finds out that Sugou trapped Asuna in a game and intends to forcible marry her, while rubbing it into Kirito's face that there's nothing he can do. Sugou subjects Asuna to extreme humiliation, dressing her provocatively and keeping her locked in a cage. When Kirito finally comes to rescue Asuna, Sugou uses admin privileges to beat Kirito down, then tortures him by turning down the pain absorber and stabbing him with his own sword while forcing Kirito to watch as he attempts to rape Asuna. It's no surprise that once Kirito breaks free thanks to Kayaba, he puts Sugou through a world of pain, proceeding to completely turn off the pain absorber and brutally kill his in-game avatar, to the point where Sugou is left permanently injured IRL. The feeling is very mutual on Sugou's side, who comes to hate Kirito so much that he wants him dead above all else and tries to kill Kirito in the real world. When Kirito turns the tides of their real life fight, he is very nearly tempted to kill Sugou then and there before deciding to turn him over to the police when Sugou passes out from fear.
    • The Laughing Coffin. A murder guild in SAO and Kirito's most persistent enemies. Ever since Kirito's efforts had them beaten and then jailed, the high-ranking members return in later arcs to menace Kirito over and over in different games. XaXa faces off against Kirito in GGO as "Death Gun", taunting him with the power to kill Sinon and Kirito's inability to remember his name. While PoH, the guild leader, causes trouble for Kirito in the Underworld being in charge of the Glowgen Assault Team sent by Gabriel the new Big Bad, where he goes out of his way to try to torture and kill Kirito and Asuna in the real world, and is only stopped by Kirito subjecting him to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Happens to him at least Once a Season due to him somehow annoying the female protagonist of a respective arc, quite often due to him being an Accidental Pervert.
    • Asuna delivers one to him after he accidentally gropes her when she falls on top him.
    • Asuna later gives him a Megaton Punch after she strips off her clothes thinking Kirito wanted to sleep with her, before he awkwardly explains the misunderstanding.
    • Leafa gives him one after Kirito tries to mess with her by biting her hand, due to him being in a monster form earlier that ate some Salamanders and pretending he was still in that mindset.
    • Sinon slaps him for making her believe Kirito was a girl due to his avatar, which led to her stripping down to her underwear in front of him.
    • In the Caliber arc he was very nearly subjected to an Armor Piercing Claw Scratch from Sinon, after he decides to pull her Cait-Sith tail for kicks. He manages to dodge this one though.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Dude deserves a lot of credit. From clearings SAO to ending the war in UW by kicking Gabriel's ass, Kirito is not only a Physical God, but also the boss of UW for 200 years.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: 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 leads 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. This Skill is immensely difficult to use, as the timing has to perfect to hit the spells and one wrong move will cause it to fail. Kirito is the only known player capable of using this skill thanks to his Super Reflexes.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: His GGO avatar looks very effeminate with pretty much everyone mistaking him for a girl, and a very cute one at that, possessing long black hair, crimson lips, and shining black eyes fringed by long eyelashes. He started attracting gazes from GGO's male population wherever he went.
  • 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.
    • Played with in regards to his Photon Sword in GGO. While it's undeniably very powerful with Kirito turning it into a Lethal Joke Weapon that the gun-toting GGO players are completely unprepared for, it is however far more light weight than what Kirito is used to using. For this reason Kirito is at a disadvantage against Death Gun who is another sword wielder, but unlike Kirito uses an Estoc that is closer to the weight that Kirito is used to using. While statistically an Estoc does less damage than a Photon Swordnote , Death Gun is able to land far more hits on Kirito and probably would have won if he wasn't distracted by Sinon.
  • Back from the Dead: Or coming back from being brain dead in this case. Just when PoH is about to go for the kill against the heroes, Kirito wakes up and gives him a well-deserved beatdown.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Does this with Leafa while taking on the Grand Quest and facing off against the World Tree Guardians.
    • In the Progressive manga he does this with Asuna when the two are in a Labyrinth together.
  • Backup Bluff: How Kirito makes Laughing Coffin leave when they try to finish off Yolko, Caynzm, and Schmitt. By announcing that a whole squadron of KoB were on their way, greatly outnumbering the three LC members present. Whether or not Kirito was telling the truth is left vague, but it works and the LC members reluctantly retreat.
  • 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 are being chased by Death Gun.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Kirito's first one occurs during his Zero-Approval Gambit by declaring himself a Beater and better than the other beta testers.
    • After Kirito draws out Rosalia and the orange guild Titans Hand, they all attack him at once while Kirito stands there and lets them slash at him. After 10 seconds his HP hasn't depleted at all, to which they halt and Kirito says:
      Kirito: About 400 in around 10 seconds, that's the total damage you seven can do to me. I'm level 78. I have 14,500 HP. My Battle Healing skill auto-regenerates 600 points every 10 seconds. We could stand here all day, and you'd never beat me.
      Titan's Hand thug: Is that even possible?
      Kirito: It is. High enough numbers will make you invincible. MMOs that use a level system are unfair that way.
    • During his fight with Sugou in the real world, after disarming his opponent and sizing up the kabar combat knife...
      Kirito: Such a weak weapon. Too light, no reach. And it's all I'm gonna need to kill you once and for all.
    • In Mother's Rosario, after Kirito pulls a You Shall Not Pass! moment on a rival raid party trying to stop Asuna and the Sleeping Knights from entering the boss room, the guild leader asks Kirito if he really thought he could take on all of them. Kirito's response:
      Kirito: I don't know. I've never tried.
    • Then when the rival guild's mages fire spells at him and Kirito slices them right out of the air.
      Kirito: Even the fastest magic is slower than an anti-material rifle's bullet.
  • Badass Bookworm: When he's not gaming he shows himself to be a Gadgeteer Genius with a natural talent with technology and programming. However he's also the World's Best Warrior of SAO and one of the strongest players for any game he tries out.
  • Badass in Charge: Post-Alicization, the UW people worshiped him as their immortal ruler.
  • Badass Longcoat: He often wears black long coats; even in real life he prefers at least dark clothing. There's a reason he's called The Black Swordsman.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: He knows unarmed combat to supplement his swordsmanship.
  • Battle Couple: With Asuna, especially during the Aincrad arc. They show an uncanny understanding of each other in battle, and coordinate their movements perfectly.
  • The Berserker:
    • His use of Dual Blades skill makes him seem like one and he gets really serious in a fight. It's lampshaded by himself in Season 1 Episode 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. Kirito explains that while in this state he acts on raw instinct and barely remembers anything.
    • His berserk rage is such that Death Gun intends to kill Sinon just to see if the Kirito competing in BoB is the Kirito from SAO.
    Death Gun: If a friend of yours is killed, and you go berserk, then you're the real deal.
    • In Ordinal Scale it's shown that his berserk rage is so intense that in the heat of battle he shuts out everything but his enemy. He nearly knocks over another player while fighting a boss and doesn't even notice Yuna had appeared to buff players up, with the idol unhappy with being ignored.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Just watch Season 1 Episode 4. He will not let murdering psychopaths go unpunished. Even if he has to turn his status into a ''Player Killer''.
    • In the battle against the murderous guild Laughing Coffin, Kirito 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.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Power of Love and Heroic Willpower helps him to achieve the outright impossible. When he gets stabbed by Heathcliff and starts disappearing, he disobeys the system's orders telling him to die, giving him enough time to stab and kill Kayaba in a Taking You with Me moment.
  • 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.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • He's definitely this to his cousin/foster-sister Suguha. She looks up to him, while he wants to always be there for her to rely on.
    • Often acted like this to his friends like Silica, Lisbeth, and Asuna, when they were still getting used to playing VRMMOs. Even those who are clearly older than him like Klein can be on the receiving end of this.
    • In the video game continuity especially, he's also this to Sinon, who often refers to him as her teacher proudly. Yuuki also thinks of him as a big brother with how he looks out for her, much like she thinks of Asuna as a Cool Big Sis.
    • In Accel World vs Sword Art Online he outright says Haruyuki was like his little brother while he was his big bro.
  • Big Damn Heroes: His favorite method of dealing with psychopaths. Alicization takes it further when he deflects PoH's attacks after waking up and bails out Alice in the aftermath of her fight against Gabriel.
  • Birds of a Feather: The roots of his close friendship with Sinon who, like him, has also killed someone in the past.
  • Bishōnen: Applies to his physical self as well, but it should be noted that it's due to being essentially stuck in a coma for two years and still recovering. Sinon realizes this, so she never makes fun of him for looking so effeminate.
  • Big Good: As the "Star King".
  • Bizarre Taste in Food:
    • Kirito evidently has a fondness for extremely spicy food which others can't handle.
    • During a dungeon raid he attempts to cajole Asuna into making a meal of the Scavenged Toad Meat he acquired as a result of battle drops. Asuna has none of it, to which he claims "The weirder the meat, the better the taste!"
  • BFS:
    • In ALO the second sword he owns is almost as big as his character, though it's more of a longsword.
    • He gets another one that's bigger than he is as a bonus for dealing the killing blow to the final boss in Ordinal Scale.
  • 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.
  • Blade Spam: His sword skills all involve rapid successions of slashes, especially his ultimate attack Starburst Stream which has 16-hits.
  • Blood Knight: Never quite admitted or gets out of hand with it, but it exists. It's acknowledged as such by Asuna as well:
    Yulier: [as Kirito is slicing up dozens of frog enemies] I feel like I should apologize; he's doing all the fighting.
    Asuna: [with a smile, holding Yui] Oh no, he's happy out there. Really, he loves getting his battle on.
  • Blatant Lies: The Gambit Roulette he pulls against General Eugene involves several straight-up ridiculous lies including a Spriggan-Undine alliance and him being an ambassador. The only reason it works is because he was strong enough to beat Eugene and thereby put weight behind his lies.
  • Break the Badass: Let's see, finding out that his parents actually died when he was 2 at the age of 10, being trapped in a VRMMORPG where if people die, they die for real, encountering some particularly nasty folks who still wanted to kill people, and being nearly killed by one of them, and seeing his closest friends die yet again have really hit him so hard that he almost attemped suicide, and twice!
  • Bring It: During Fairy Dance, he tried to solo the Grand Quest at the World Tree and when countless guardians spawned to block his way, he just smirked and charged forward screaming.
  • Broken 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. 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 suffers a massive Survivor's Guilt due to what happened to Moonlit Black Cats guild, causing him to develop a severe tendency for self-imposed guilt trips. He largely grows out of it come ALO but he slips back into it during GGO due to Death Gun being a former member of Laughing Coffin and in Alicization after Eugeo is killed off.
  • Broken Bird: The Moonlit Black Cats ordeal and Eugeo's death will certainly haunt him for many years.
  • Brought Down to Badass: He's this in real life. In the real world he's just a scrawny guy who's been in a coma for the last year, and you've just stabbed his arm in a sneak attack. He has no gear, no Sword Arts, no insanely high level. Think you can take him in a fight? So did Sugou.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Aside from his fight with Sugou, Kirito had consistently shown having difficulty in real life fights.
    • In Phantom Bullet, despite getting a good hit on Shinkawa with a surprise attack, he still end up being overwhelmed and very nearly injected with a syringe if it weren't for a Pocket Protector.
    • In Ordinal Scale, it's brought up that he's out of shape and quickly gets exhausted from the physical acitivity that the augmented reality game requires. The first boss fight has him tripping over his own feet. It took a Training Montage from his sister Suguha to stand a chance against Eiji, who had been pummeling him in every prior encounter.
    • In Alicization he has a lot of trouble against Johnny Black, falling for muscle memory again where he reaches for his non-existent sword. He's also unable to stop Black's syringe, choosing to stab Black's leg with his umbrella while he ends up getting injected in the heart.
  • Bullet Time: There are a few instances in the Phantom Bullet arc where time slows down while Kirito either dodges or deflects bullets, with the bullets seen approaching at slow motion.
  • Bully Hunter: Kirito's failure to protect Sachi left in him a deep-seated resolve to never let the weak be victimized in front of him ever again: and heaven help you if you try.
  • The Bus Came Back: Kirito's GGO avatar makes a return in Episode 1 of Alicization, where he and the rest of the gang have converted over to GGO to help Sinon.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Part of the big conflict between him and Death Gun during the Phantom Bullet arc. For Kirito, his defeating XaXa and his cohorts in Laughing Coffin was just another day, to the extent he didn't even bother finding out his name. For XaXa, It's Personal, and he delights in having a chance at revenge on Kirito in GGO.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tends to be this in the Sword Art Offline shorts, where he's even more frequently a victim of being an Accidental Pervert than canon, and subjected to heavy injury and pain. Asuna and Leafa constantly pound his face in, while Sinon spends a whole episode putting bullet holes into him.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • He will announce some of the Sword Skills that he uses, with the most notable one being "Starburst Stream".
    • In Alicization Kirito calls out the majority of his Sword Skills in order for the system to register and activate them.
  • Came Back Strong: Once Kirito wakes up, he single-handedly wipes out the remaining 30,000 foreign players in one strike.
  • The Cameo:
  • Captain Ersatz: His GGO avatar looks similar to Yuri Lowell.
  • Character Development: In ALO, he's more confident and lighthearted despite having lost Asuna due to the fact that he can actually play ALO like a game, instead of having to watch people die all the time. Plus, he now has his adoptive AI daughter to keep him company.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • His Unarmed parameter is 100, but we never see him use it in-game, save a few special occasions,such as when Kirito bores a hole in Kuradeel's chest with his bare hands, as said psychopath attempts to pull a I Surrender, Suckers against Asuna.
    • Kirito first acquires his Dual Wielding in SAO and while it was handy there it wasn't essential. It isn't until ALO during the battle against General Eugene where it's this skill that is the difference between winning and losing. Eugene is in possession of the Demonic Sword Gram with the special feature of phasing through an opponent's first block, so Kirito gets around it by borrowing Leafa's katananote  and negates the Demonic Sword Gram's ability and allows him to cut Eugene up.
    • All the time he's spent playing VRMMO games, has ingrained in him some self-defense skills. This allows him to take on several attackers outside of the game, in the real world. Though he does have to rely on his own natural strength, and not calculated statistical numbers to help him. This becomes integral when Kirito is ambushed by Sugou, who is out for revenge after getting killed in-game by Kirito. He attacks Kirito with a knife, thinking the boy was weak and powerless. It doesn't go any better for Sugou, as Kirito manages to disarm Sugou, overpowering him and snatching the knife from his grasp, leading to Sugou's face getting slammed into a car door before he's held at knife point and passes out from fear.
    • In the Phantom Bullet arc, his high reaction speeds, and sword skills let's him turn the Kagemitsu G4 Photon Sword into a Lethal Joke Weapon as he's able to block, and vaporize bullets, by using the Bullet Trace lines as a guide.
    • Also in the Phantom Bullet arc, his time riding a motorcycle in the real world (and possibly some racing style games) has given him good understanding of how to handle GGO's Trike "buggies", which he uses first to get Sinon and himself to the Governor's Palace just in time before registration closed for the Bullet of Bullet preliminary. He later uses it to help Sinon and him escape from a pursuing Death Gun who was riding a mechanical horse.
    • More like "Chekhov's Lack of Skill", but the nurse assigned to watch over him while he's in GGO notes that he doesn't have a whole lot of meat on him. When he goes to Shino's house IRL and tries to fight of Kyouji, he's able to land some good hits, but the Yandere is able to overpower him.
  • Chick Magnet: Girls seem to endlessly gravitate towards him and the female-to-male gender ratio of their circle of friends gets ever larger, and that's not even counting the one-off girls who gain crushes on him. Though it's a bit better-handled than other harem series, with one of the ways is that he has eyes only for Asuna.
  • Childhood Friends: With Alice and Eugeo, whom he grew up with and became extremely close to probably.
  • The Chosen One: An unusual and indirect example, but his Dual Blade skill was programmed by Kayaba to go to s/he who has the fastest natural reaction time, with the intent of making him/her be the one to face 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.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Kirito's Survivor's Guilt leads him to be unable to ignore the suffering of others. If there's anyone in trouble, especially a girl, he will go the extra mile to make sure they're safe and happy.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After gaining Kayaba's admin privileges, he subjects Sugou/Oberon to this. Instead of quickly finishing him off, Kirito first strips Oberon of his admin status, sets his in-game level to 1, and sets the Pain Absorber to Level 0, ensuring that every wound he inflicted on Oberon would carry over to Sugou's real body. Then, he summons Excalibur and gives it to Sugou, knowing that it won't make a difference. Finally, he gives Sugou a small cut on the cheek before chopping off his right arm, slicing him in two at the waist, and then throwing him up into the air before impaling him through the eye, killing Sugou in-game and permanently injuring him in real life.
  • Color Motif: He's always related to the color black. Asuna jokingly says its refreshing to see him on the rare occasion he isn't wearing black. When meeting in real life with Asuna, they both remark that even in the real world they are still wearing their colors (black and white). Blue usually acts as his secondary color.
  • Combat Parkour: Kirito does a fair bit of this, often performing jumps and flips during duels, especially when fighting Heathcliff. This is especially the case in GGO, where he's practically a Dance Battler spinning and twirling to parry bullets.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In ALO, by using his SAO skills and buffs that were carried over. While in SAO he had an advantage purely by having a head-start over most people; he even points out what he's doing is cheating in ALO. "Before I was a beater, but now I'm just a cheater".
  • Comically Invincible Hero: While he's usually played straight as an Invincible Hero, there are some instances where his overpoweredness is played for laughs.
    • He makes his presence known to Leafa and a group of Salamander PKers by crashing landing into the ground. Seeing a group of guys ganging up on a girl, Kirito decides to step in and proceeds to mop the floor with the Salamanders in an utterly humiliating fashion. Catching the Salamander's lance and holding it in place as the Salamander struggles, before flicking it back so that he crashes into his friend. Leafa can only stare in awe at him doing so much damage with starter equipment.
    • When cornered by a party of Salamanders on a bridge, Kirito fights as the DPS melee user, while Leafa acts as healing support. Yui then gives Kirito an illusion spell, which is generally supposed to give the user the appearance of low level monsters. But Kirito's stats are so through the roof that when he casts it, he becomes a Gleam-Eyes monster and proceeds to tear the Salamander party apart like tissue paper, even eating some of them in the process.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Whenever one of the girls asks his opinion on fashion, all he ever takes into consideration is the stats of said clothing.
  • Cool Guns: In GGO, an FN Five seveN is his secondary weapon.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Hmm, let's see... Being trapped in SAO for two years, failing to save the Moonlit Black Cats, killed three Laughing Coffin members as part of his Dirty Business, being Forced to Watch Sugou molesting Asuna until Kayaba's virtual ghost bails him out, finding out that Death Gun is a Laughing Coffin member, being dumped into UW by Rath after Johnny Black poisoned him, witnessing Quinella cutting Eugeo in half, being brain dead for almost three consecutive books until Eugeo's "spirit" snapped him out of his Despair Event Horizon, and finally, being stuck in UW for 200 years with Asuna after killing Gabriel. Being Kirito isn't easy, huh?
  • The Cowl: Has shades of this during SAO. After gaining a reputation as the solo player known as the Black Swordsman, and possibly the World's Best Warrior for SAO, many criminal players begin to fear him and he's all too happy to use his status to strike fear into them to make them comply. While searching for the orange guild known as Titans Hand, he makes a point to first demonstrating how much he thoroughly outclasses them by No Selling their combined attacks, before giving them the choice to be teleported to jail or face his blade.
  • 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 an Estoc, a weapon he's familiar with, to combat him.
  • Crisis Catch-and-Carry: When Sinon gets ambushed and paralysed by Death Gun who is about to shoot her dead. Kirito then pulls a Big Damn Heroes, throwing a smoke screen grenade to get rid of Death Gun, before he swoops in and carries Sinon away and escaping on a quadbike.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: In-Universe. Due to his GGO avatar looking like a girl, Kirito puts on a higher-pitched voice when pretending to be a girl.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • After managing to overpower Sugou in real life, Kirito is fully prepared to just slit his throat and be done with it, but ultimately settles for just knocking Sugou out and letting the cops arrest and incarcerate him, his dreams and ambitions crushed, his body permanently damaged, and exposed to the world as a cyber-criminal.
    • After their fight in Underworld, PoH fully expects Kirito to give him a warrior's death, boasting that he'll just keep coming after Kirito and Asuna again and again until he finally slits their throats and rips their hearts out in real life. Instead, Kirito subjects him to a Fate Worse than Death by turning him into a tree and trapping him in Underworld, declaring that he'll never log out.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Unless it's against a boss monster or the overpowered Big Bad, Kirito will typically lay these down in any fight he partakes in.
  • Curtains Match the Window: In real life and his game avatars, both his hair and eyes are black.
  • Cute and Psycho: What GGO players think of him after he sweeps 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 learns while playing MMOs transfer to real life. Just ask Sugou.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Kirito becomes a loner after he loses all the members of the Moonlit Black Cats and fails 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 plays. However, once in real life after a Kendo sparring match with Suguha he tries sheathing his shinai bamboo sword on his back, and does it again at least twice in GGO, where there are no "swords" that he can get at in time for the BoB tournament but retractable lightsabers, he constantly forgets that there is no sheath for it and he's supposed to hang it from his waist with a clip.
      Kirito: Not again...
    • It also bites him in the rear hard in several instances. At the end of the Aincrad arc, while fighting Kayaba/Heathcliff for a second time, this time to the death he tries avoiding triggering any Sword Arts, as he knows his opponent will know immediately from the motions and glow, and block according.. Unfortunately, Muscle Memory kicks in at a point of desperation to land at least one hit in, triggering a Sword Skill, and making his attack pattern obvious and ends up breaking one of his swords on Kayaba's shield, giving Kayaba the opening he needs to swing back.
    • At the beginning of the Fairy Dance Arc, it happens again during a Kendo sparring match with Suguha. She's a National Quarterfinalist in Japan for Kendo, and he's just completed about 2 months of physical therapy from his time stuck in a coma like state due to being stuck in SAO. His skill with swords in SAO transfers over, matching Suguha's techniques almost equally, up until muscle memory kicks in, and he tries activating a Sword Skill in real life. Reality Ensues, letting Suguha get an easy head strike in on the flat-footed, tiring out, and unguarded Kazuto.
    • It happens again in the Phantom Bullet arc, though further time playing ALO has allowed Kirito enough practice that he imitates some simpler Sword Skills very well without any system assist, such as "Horizontal Square" and "Vorpal Strike" in GGO with his Photon Sword. Versus most GGO players, who have spent 99% of their time in game combat in gun fights, don't even have a clue how to dodge melee attacks. Unfortunately for Kirito, the enemy he's chasing, Death Gun, does as he's a SAO Survivor as well, and has been practicing with the same Estoc skills he used in SAO. To make matters worse, he has fought Kirito before, so he know's Kirito's fighting style, and has an equipment advantage as Kirito's Photon sword doesn't have the heavy weight he's used to with swords, whereas Death Gun's weapon (made from starship armor plate materials) has a similar weight to his old Estoc, allowing him to easily parry and overcome Kirito and his Photon Sword.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Prior to the events of SAO, Kirito at age 10 managed to find on Japan's National Registry his records which showed that the family he lived with were not his real parents and sister. Rather, they were his his aunt, uncle, and cousin, and they adopted when he was just over a year old when his real parents died in a car crash. This revelation caused him to distance himself from them and became focused on gaming as a way to cope until after the events of the SAO incident.
    • Unfortunately, being a SAO survivor who spent much of his time on the front lines, has given him a whole new list of troubles that weigh upon his shoulders; survivor's guilt, taking lives to protect others, battle fatigue. It's not ideal for a 14 to 16 year old kid to deal with getting trapped in a video game that was originally meant to be fun. Getting reminded of uglier events certainly affects his psyche to the point that in several cases, he either shuts down in shock, or breaks down in tears.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Wears black as his main colors, both in real life and in the VRMMOs that he participates in, but is recognized as one of the greatest heroes of SAO. Initially, this was part of his "jerkass beater" guise but even then that was about taking heat off other beta testers.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: His birth parents died when he was younger.
  • Declaration of Protection: He has sworn to protect Asuna.
  • Demoted to Extra: Integral Factor adapts the Aincrad arc, but Kirito isn't The Protagonist. Instead the story focuses on a custom Player character and their partner, Koharu. Kirito is still there, but he has his own adventures offscreen and is no longer The Hero, instead he's a powerful side character who assists and encourages the Player.
  • Demoted to Satellite Love Interest: During the Mother's Rosario arc, Asuna becomes The Protagonist, while he has very little to do with the main plot, and is mostly there as the boyfriend that her mother disapproves of. It's interesting, considering this had happened to Asuna from the Fairy Dance Arc through the Phantom Bullet arc.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Almost crosses it when he manages to obtain a resurrection item to revive Sachi with (on Christmas Eve, no less) and goes near-suicidal after finding out that it doesn't work the way he thought it would.
  • 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 holds on long enough to return the favor.
    • In the Fairy Dance arc, Kirito takes on the unbeatable Grand Quest by himself to reach the top of the World Tree and save Asuna. Guardian after guardian gets thrown at him, but Kirito tears through them all, not caring about all the damage he gets taken. Then when the guardians start firing volleys of arrows and swords at him, not even getting shish-kebabed stops Kirito and he still keeps trying to reach the top. It took him actually dying from all his HP being depleted to put an end to his attempt. And then when Leafa bails his Remain Light out and revives him, he very nearly tries the quest solo again before she talks him out of it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He solos The Gleam-Eyes Boss using his Dual Wielding after a low level squad foolishly decided to fight it and several of them were killed. Soloing bosses was thought to be impossible up to that point. Granted it reduced him to critical HP and he passed out afterwards, but the feat still stands.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • So many that only the outstanding examples will be listed here. Dual Wielding without system assist; Cutting bullets out of the air; 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).
    • Photon Swords were neglected by most of GGO's population due to a melee weapon being deemed impractical to use in a gun game. But as Kirito proved, it's an extremely powerful weapon in the right hands.
  • Dirty Business: He killed members of the red guild "Laughing Coffin" while on a mission to capture and imprison them. Not that they didn't deserve it, but he'd rather not have and brought them to justice instead. Given the nature of those psychotic sons-of-bitches, it's not like he has any choice in that matter. Averted near the end of the Alicization arc when Kirito shows no remorse in sending PoH to his Fate Worse than Death.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: In "A Murder Case In The Area." Kirito considers killing someone over Loot Drama petty enough, but is downright appalled when the victim killed his wife because she was no longer the woman he knew.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Not so much from a morality stand-point, but simply because he's not used to their feel and prefers swords over them. Even in the gun dominated GGO, Kirito chooses a Laser Blade over a gun.
  • Doting Parent: Towards Yui; in fact, his main motivation in studying technology is so that he and Asuna may one day have a happy life with their daughter outside the virtual world.
  • The Dreaded: Kirito gains quite a reputation as the Black Swordsman. While he's fondly admired by most normal players, he's also feared by PKers and criminal players.
    • While confronting Rosalia and Titan's Hand, one of the mooks recognizes him from his black attire and single one-handed sword, which immediately leads him to start shitting himself.
    • In Hollow Fragment, one event has Kirito and friends filling in at Agil's bar on a busy night. When Silica encounters trouble with two scary customers, Kirito goes to check out what the commotion is about. The customers immediately recognize him, apologize for being jerks to Silica, and proceed to bail the scene in fear.
  • Driven to Suicide: He takes Eugeo's loss very personally to the point of attempting to commit suicide if it weren't for a You Are Not Alone speech from Eugeo's "spirit".
  • 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 a sword in each hand, so he chains separate one-handed sword skills, controlling each hand separately.
    • In GGO, he has two one-handed weapons there as well, an FN Five-seveN and Kagemitsu G4 "Photon Sword". However because he's never used guns before in a VRMMOnote , he's a complete novice at handling the pistol and other guns he borrows, having low accuracy and only uses it twice outside of a GGO shops gun range, preferring to use the Photon Sword alone. When he remembers he can go Sword and Gun, he's particular effective as shooting Five-seveN gives him openings by interrupting his opponents actions to charge in and get a vital sword attack against his foes.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: His GGO avatar is a rare M9000-Type which cranks his already feminine looks Up to Eleven. When he sees his own reflection in-game, he thinks he got gender-flipped. He looked so much like a girl that his IRL friends recognize him not because of his face nor his name but his sword style.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite all of the awful things he has to go through, he does get his happy ending, being in a healthy relationship with Asuna while surrounded by his True Companions.
  • 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 doesn't understand what she is talking about.
  • Evil Costume Switch: 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?
  • Everyone Can See It: Nearly everyone can see that Kirito and Asuna are an item long before they realize their feelings for themselves.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • In Hollow Fragment. Kirito's Hollow Data counterpart is the Final Boss of the optional Hollow story arc, and it's just as strong as the real Kirito, effectively making it a Mirror Boss.
    • In Fatal Bullet, Kirito is among several players who have a doppelganger ArFAsys impersonating him, although it's not a perfect copy with its color scheme being an inverse of him. The Player, Kureha, and ArFAsys are forced to fight it several times and it proves to be as strong as the real Kirito.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Progressive, after being reduced to just above half health in his duel with Morte, he remembers that it's possible to kill an opponent with a powerful enough attack even in a duel to half health.
    If Morte had left me with just a bit of health on purpose... He was not hoping to win this duel and force me to leave my quest for another day. He was planning, here and now... To kill me.
  • Experienced Protagonist: He was one of the beta testers of SAO. His knowledge of the game's mechanics give him an edge over other players at the game's launch, and allows him to adapt to other VR games fairly quickly.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: His ALO avatar originally has very spiky hair. Between the end of Fairy Dance and the beginning of Phantom Bullet, he has his avatar's hair cut so it looks more like his hairstyle in the real world.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: What he does to Sugou/Oberon at the end of the Fairy Dance arc. After getting admin privileges, he uses them to strip Sugou of his own, as well as turn off the Pain Absorber to ensure that every wound he inflicted on Oberon would carry over to Sugou's real body. After this, he slices off Oberon's arm, cutting him in half at the waist, and finally stabbing him clean through the right eye, killing Sugou in-game and leaving Sugou with permanent injuries in real life. Considering all the horrible things Sugou did throughout the arc, not the least of which includes trying to rape Asuna while making Kirito watch, it's impossible not to root for Kirito.

  • Face Plant: Happens to him several times when trying to get the hang of ALO's flight engine in the beginning of the Fairy Dance 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.
  • Fading Away: When Kirito gets impailed by Heathcliff and his HP drops to zero, Kirito begins to fade away. However he's able to use his Heroic Willpower to delay his disappearing, giving him just enough time to return the favor to Heathcliff by stabbing him, in a Taking You with Me moment.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Blames himself for the deaths of his first guild, the Moonlit Black Cats.
  • Famed In-Story: In SAO, he's renowned as "The Black Swordsman", a member of the Assault Team and the strongest player in the game. He earns similar reputations in every game he joins where he quickly ascends the rankings within days of playing. Even his foster parents already knew his accomplishments from Aincrad to UW, as someone else wrote a book about him and they read it.
  • Fingerless Gloves: All of his in-game outfits in SAO, ALO, and GGO have him wearing these at some point.
  • Finishing Move:
    • Starburst Stream, a 16-hit Sword Skill.
    • Eclipse, a 27-hit Sword Skillnote .
  • Flechette Storm: Has the Blade Throwing Skill, and regularly carries throwing spikes.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • During the Fairy Dance arc, after Sugou/Oberon stabs him through his back and spine, he goes out of his way to torture Kirito by chaining up Asuna, ripping her clothes off, and groping and licking her, all right in front of him. He gets his just desserts when Kayaba overrides Sugou's control of the game and gives Kirito admin privileges, which Kirito takes full advantage of, turning off Sugou's pain inhibitor and killing his in-game avatar so brutally that Sugou is left permanently injured in real life.
    • Death Gun's intended Evil Plan for Kirito in GGO was to incapacitate Kirito in battle and make him watch as he kills Sinon, both in-game and in real life.
  • Foreshadowing: Kirito's Dual Wielding skill was hinted at a few times before finally being revealed in the battle against the Gleam-Eyes.
    • Kirito arrives in Lisbeth's shop looking to buy a second sword as strong as his Elucidator, this is despite the sword already being the strongest one obtainable from a boss drop.
    • Asuna is curious as to why Kirito doesn't use a shield, despite him only carrying one sword. Kirito looks uncomfortable with discussing the matter and the conversation doesn't go any further.
    • Even during the fight, Kirito keeps contemplating having to use that, before seeing how badly everyone else was faring and decides to go for it.
  • Fountain of Youth: In the Alicization Arc, he was put into the Underworld as a child where he resided there for eleven years of accelerated time.
  • The Gadfly: After Asuna taught him it was alright to feel the joy of living again, Kirito develops a mischievously sardonic sense of humor when at ease, which manifests in (relatively) harmless teasing towards girls.
    • Hearing about a ghost story tied to the woods in which he and Asuna had purchased a house on Floor 22, Kirito proceeded to lay it on thick while relaying the ghost story to Asuna. Her reactions just kept getting better and better... and then the "ghost girl in white" appeared: Yui.
    • When contemplating what to do with the rare S-Class Ragout Rabbit meat, Agil suggests eating it rather than selling it. Asuna then shows up and reveals she has maxed out her cooking skill, so Kirito hires her to cook it for him. Agil pleads Kirito to let him have a taste, to which Kirito tells Agil he'll write him a two page review on how it tasted.
    • The first time he saves Leafa from a Salamander attack, Leafa asks how he expected her to react, to which Kirito remarks that it's a 'noble knight saves princess' scenarios and that Leafa should consider running into his arms and sobbing while they embrace. Leafa cannot tell if he's for real before Kirito clarifies it was a joke.
    • After trashing a Salamander hit squad using the illusionary form of Gleam Eyes, Kirito saw Leafa's shock at his tactics (literally chomping down on several of the Salamanders) and decided to jokingly bite her hand. Her reaction was spectacular.
    • This extends to the real world. While outside the house near a tap, he tells his Sugu to turn around and puts water down her back, her scream can be heard for miles.
    • After the whole mix-up of Sinon mistaking Kirito for a girl and Spiegel shows up, Kirito intentionally plays it up like he's flirting with Sinon and making it sound like they spent a lot of time together having fun, despite a pissed off Sinon looking like she wants his head on a platter. Kirito himself later reminisces he may have gone too far on this one.
    • In GGO, Kirito deliberately played up the cuteness of his avatar just to take amusement at the lovestruck faces of admirers, who were not aware that he is not a cute girl. Though it's not there, one can imagine a Say It with Hearts moment because he lays it on so thickly.
    Cheer for me!
    • Back in ALO: tired of listening to his party gripe about a particularly long set of stairs, Kirito pulls the cat's tail. Sinon's tail, to be precise. He then has to dodge her retaliatory attempt at literally clawing his eyes out... The look on Sinon's face needs to go down as one of the best reactions to trolling in VRMMO history.
    Sinon: [rageface] You jerk! Do that again, and I'll shoot a flaming arrow up your nose!
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The boy has considerable aptitude in learning and applying technical knowledge, coupled with his already considerable programming expertise.
    • In a little over a year since Aincrad, he was able to learn sufficient engineering techniques to build a shoulder-mounted internet-connected camera-microphone-speaker-interface through which Yui, his and Asuna's virtual daughter, can see and talk to her parents and friends in the real world. In the Mother's Rosario arc, this same interface, mounted on Asuna's shoulders, also allowed the bedridden and terminally ill Yuuki Konno the chance to experience and live a full and happy school life.
    • Kirito also wrote a Smartphone Program through which Yui can also talk to him and Asuna any time in the real world.
    • At the start of the Moon Cradle arc, he built and test piloted his own creation, a mechanical dragon resembling a cross between a rocket and a jet, only to be blown up shortly afterwards.
  • Gambit Roulette: Kirito pulls one against General Eugene in an attempt to stop the Salamanders from attacking the Sylphs and Cait-Sith. He makes a dramatic appearance in front of the two armies and demands to speak to the commander. When Eugene appears before him, Kirito makes up a string of Blatant Lies, claiming to be an ambassador for a (non-existent) Spriggan-Undine alliance who had come to negotiate trade with the Sylph and Cait-Sith. However Eugene doesn't buy it given Kirito has no escort and terrible gear, so forces him to prove it by challenging him to a duel. Turns out Eugene is the World's Best Warrior and in possession of a Legendary Weapon, so Kirito has just gambled everything on one impossible fight. While overwhelmed at first, Kirito is able to use trickery to bypass Eugene's weapon. Against all odds, Kirito manages to secure victory, convince Eugene about his ridiculous claim of a Spriggan-Undine alliance, and make the entire Salamander army turn tail and leave.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: During the Alicization arc, the attack on the Ocean Turtle in real life damages Kirito's nervous system even more and leaves him paralyzed in UW until the images Asuna, Suguha, Sinon, and Eugeo snap him out of his epic depression in the middle of his Journey to the Center of the Mind moment.
  • Geek Physiques: He has the build one would expect from an indoorsy gamer who rarely engages in physical activity. Since he used to do kendo, it's implied that his muscles atrophying while trapped in SAO was the cause of this.
  • Genius Bruiser: While Kirito's power typically comes from the high stats of his physical abilities, he's also a brilliant strategist who excels at exploiting the system.
  • Genre Savvy: When it comes to MMORPGs, he has a great deal of experience and thus knows how they work. This becomes crucial for survival in SAO and all the more so because he was a beta tester.
  • The Ghost: In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online Kirito is alluded to a few times, including a silhouette of his GGO avatar, however he has never appeared in the series in person.
  • The Gift: Kirito is a Godlike Gamer who is a prodigy in all forms of VR gaming. He's revealed to have the highest natural reaction time out of all the players in SAO. Kayaba had programmed the system so that this single player would be granted the Dual Wielding Unique Skill and be the one to face him as the Final Boss.
  • G.I.F.T.: Defied. He explains to Leafa, that he's heard a lot of people who argue that they can steal and kill other players in VRMMOs and that it is alright since they're not doing it to real life people. However Kirito believes that doing evil things in said games ends up changing your actual personality in real life. Considering the number of psychotic, sociopathic, players Kirito and company have encountered over the years he's got a point.
  • 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.
  • Giver of Lame Names: In Underworld, he initially dubs his sword "The Black One," a less than creative moniker that ends up sticking
  • Glass Cannon: When he whips out Dual Wielding and unleashes Starburst Stream, he gains a completely massive attack output that outstrips everyone in the game. However, he basically becomes The Berserker and gives up all forms of defense.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Whenever the situations becomes life or death, Kirito will fight seriously, which is marked by him bringing out his second sword.
  • God-Emperor: As The "Star King" in the Underworld.
  • Godlike Gamer: He's depicted as a virtual reality MMORPG prodigy, who spent a large portion of his life gaming as a form of escapism. Upon being trapped in Sword Art Online he quickly ascended the ranks to become the World's Best Warrior and the destined hero to take on the Big Bad. This also applies to any game he tries, where even if he's a complete newbie he'll be a top player within days and known by everyone there.
  • Good Parents: He and Asuna are this to Yui, who set aside a lot of time to play with and care for their daughter, while going to great lengths to protect her and keep her safe.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal:
    • As a group of orange guild Titan's Hand members find out, Kirito HP heals faster than they can damage it, allowing him to No-Sell a simultaneous attack from nine players.
    • When Kuradeel pulls a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on Asuna and tries to attack her, Kirito blocks at the cost of having his arm cut off. Fortunately for him, dismembered limbs regrow within minutes in-game.
  • Gratuitous English: Likes to slip in English words at times, such as "good job".
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Gets a few of these when he gets battle-crazy.
  • Guile Hero: It doesn't pop up very often as Kirito is usually an Action Hero that relies on physically beating down his enemies, but he has on occasion shown a more manipulative side.
    • He pulls a Gambit Roulette in an attempt to stop General Eugene's army of Salamanders from ambushing the Sylph and Cait-Sith meeting, which against all odds succeeds.
    • In Hollow Realization he tricks Genesis into giving an Engineered Public Confession while Seven is listening, giving the SA:O admins the proof they needed to terminate his account and send a warrant for his arrest.
  • Happily Adopted: By his aunt Midori and uncle Minetaka. Although he became distant when he found out they aren't really his parents, he gets over it after the SAO incident.
  • Happily Married: His marriage to Asuna in SAO is the only time during the death game that he was truly happy. They're too young to marry in real life, and even there, they're happily dating.
  • Hates Being Called Cute: The rare times it does happen, he seems annoyed at being called such.
  • The Hero: The Protagonist of Sword Art Online and the most active hero in the story.
  • Heroes Act, Villains Hinder:
    • For the Aincrad and Fairy Dance arcs, Kirito is the one with the end goal, while most villains he comes across are obstacles for him to clear.
    • Averted with Phantom Bullet, where Death Gun actively hunts him and Sinon down, and they have to dedicate efforts to escaping his clutches.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: All of his avatar characters use some sort of Cool Sword. Even in Gun Gale Online, he forgoes using a gun (aside from a pistol sidearm) in favor of a Laser Blade.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • He suffers 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 another 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 return and leave him in such a wrecked state that Sinon is worried by his nonresponsiveness.
    • He also briefly suffers one in his Near-Death Experience in Episode 24 when Sugou/Oberon sexually assaults Asuna after paralyzing him, thinking he couldn't be able to save her, and basically gives up (in his words "facing reality"). The spirit of Kayaba, the first half's Affably Evil baddie, manages to snap him out of it and give him a Heroic Second Wind, as well giving him his system administrator privileges to take Oberon down.
    • Happens to him again twice during the events of Alicization. First when Eugeo was cut in half by Quinella, and second when he finally recovers most of his past memories during his Journey to the Center of the Mind moment.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: During SAO, first due to his status as a "Beater", although he gets better when he joins the Moonlit Black Cats. Then it's turned Up to Eleven after the whole guild is wiped out, to the point he becomes quite self-loathing.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: For the first year of SAO, Kirito was easily the most despised player in the entire game, due to his Zero-Approval Gambit where he stigmatized himself as a Beater. The top guilds all shunned him and viewed him as a selfish player only concerned with himself. This subsides over time when word spreads of him performing selfless deeds and starts gaining a reputation as the legendary solo player known as the "Black Swordsman" who has come to the aid of others many times.
  • He's Back: The first thing Kirito did after coming back from being brain dead? Freeze the remaining 30,000 foreign players in ice, and then turn PoH into a tree.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
  • Hey, You!:
    • Kirito is noted for avoiding Japanese Honorifics when addressing others, with quite a few others such as Asuna and Lisbeth calling him out on his rudeness. He only resorts to formality when he really needs to show respect or when he's in trouble with Asuna.
    • It's pointed out that he talks very casually with Kikuoka, something that would be highly disrespectful considering that Kikuoka is significantly older than Kirito. It's implied that this is because Kirito doesn't exactly like Kikuoka, although he acknowledges that he's more competent than he seems.
  • Hidden Badass: To those unfamiliar with him, he looks like a scrawny teenager with no muscle mass, so it can come as quite a surprise just how Strong and Skilled he is with a sword.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold:
    • After clearing SAO L1, he decides to pull a Zero-Approval Gambit and out himself as the first Beater in attempts to keep beta tester discrimination under control.
    • More specifically, his cold behavior around Klein is meant to cover up the guilt he feels for "abandoning" him on the first floor.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Hacking: To save Yui, he does Rapid-Fire Typing on an admin console and manages to save her data as an in-game item.
  • Hope Spot: The resurrection item, the Stone of Returning Soul. Kirito relentlessly pursued it in hopes of redemption, but it only works within ten seconds of a player's death, making it utterly useless for reviving Sachi, who died months ago.
  • An Ice Person: After acquiring Eugeo's Sword of Blue Rose, he can cast ice magic.
  • 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 easily handles an asshole attacking him with a knife, though it should be noted the asshole was suffering from phantom injuries dealt by Kirito minutes prior.
    • Invoked in Alicization where Kirito is able to use his swordsman experience in SAO to great effect, which he dubs "Aincrad style".
  • 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 it 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.
  • Image Song: He has a total of three. Sword & Soul, BLAZING BULLET (Sinon and Kirito), and Sing All Overtures (Asuna, Yui, Silica, Lizbeth, Leafa, and Kirito).
  • 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 joking.
    "Just trying to lighten the mood."
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In Season 1 Episode 22, where he tries to reach the apex of the tower by himself, only to be overwhelmed by the infinitely respawning guardians throwing swords through him.
    • 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 too.
    Kirito: Compared to a bullet from an anti-materiel rifle, magic spells are just too slow.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Played with in Gun Gale Online. While swords are a perfectly good weapon in other games, his Photon Sword is part of what is considered the resident Joke Item class in Gun Gale since the game is a realistic shooter. Kirito picks up the Photon Sword and basically acts like a Jedi through pure skill.
  • Indirect Kiss: Has happened a few times in the game continuity.
    • In Hollow Fragment, when Kirito finds Silica working as a maid and gets served by her, he tries some of the food and offers some to Silica too. Silica obliges and loves it, before suddenly becoming flustered and claims it's because a maid isn't allowed to eat on the job. She is then heard muttering "indirect" to herself as she walks off.
    • In Hollow Realization, Kirito helps Yuuki complete a quest for a drink called a Honey Bee. After completing it and Yuuki is rewarded with the sugary sweet drink, she offers Kirito a taste too. However, Yuuki notices they used the same straw and wonders if that meant they indirectly kissed.
  • 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 Seijirou to investigate the Death Gun rumors.
  • Instant Expert: Averted to some degree. In ever single case, there's an explanation to how he's so good or bad at new feats being demonstrated.
    • In SAO, he has a jump start on how SAO works because he was a Beta Tester, and got particularly far during it, as well as a good understanding of MMOs in general from other, non VRMMOs, so he understands meta, and how to use in game systems in alternative ways.
    • In ALO during the Fairy Dance arc, the game, being based on SAO's systems and even using the Cardinal engine, detects his old SAO data and thinks it's his ALO stats. Having high or mastered level skills in combat puts him on even grounds with much better-equipped veteran players. However, he is completely unfamiliar with the use of the flight system, and at first, has to use the control stick item. Even after Leafa teaches him how to fly more naturally, without the aid of the flight stick, Kirito has absolutely no skill at actually landing, instead, relying on crashing into the ground, or a building to stop.
    • In GGO, he has absolute beginner's skill with firing guns. The first time he fires his pistol at an in-game gun range, he has poor shooting technique and completely misses the target. The first time in battle he uses it, he fired 5 shots from it, and only two hit, and his opponent still had 90% healthnote 
  • Invincible Hero: Kirito's level being so unbelievably high it makes it so that there is very little that can pose a threat to him, like No Selling several player-killers who all attack him simultaneously, before it's revealed his healing stat recovers damage faster than all these players combined can inflict on him. He's the best player in all of SAO and gets granted the unique skill Dual Wielding which allowed him to solo a Boss. He wins almost every fight with little difficulty, unless it's against a boss monster or overpowered Big Bad. To top it off he's also ridiculously smart for his age, being a skilled hacker and can master nearly any game he tries. After being out of action for the most part in the second half of Alicization, Kirito can single-handedly demolish Gabriel's army and beat up PoH in a Curbstomp Battle with little trouble.
    • Deconstructed several times in the Fairy Dance arc, where Kirito is overconfident in taking on a game where he's allowed to die, believing he's so overpowered that he's above the system and could ignore the limitations that were set. He attempts to take on the "Grand Quest" entirely on his own, and ultimately finds he's way out of his league and dies for it. He then reflects that his arrogance and ignoring the rules led to his downfall and this was his punishment. It happens again while fighting Sugou, who is a GM who abuses his power, with Kirito completely outclassed and he seems to submit to the system that he once defied, where only a timely intervention from Kayaba's Virtual Ghost is he able to bail out of this one.
  • Ironic Echo: In several climatic moments in the Aincrad arc, Kirito starts chanting "hayaku"note  while he's caught in an intense fight. Nearly every time he's done so it hasn't ended well for him.
  • Irony: The reason Kirito always wears black is he believes he can blend in with the shadows and will draw less attention. However, it actually causes him to stand-out more in a crowd.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Gives his thanks to "Eugeo" before finishing Gabriel off with a 17-hit Starburst Stream.
  • I Regret Nothing:
    • Kirito reveals he has no regrets for what he did to Sugou when he put the bastard through a world of hurt. He tells Klein in Memory Defrag that while he felt no remorse for what he did, he does wish the circumstances were different as it ended up ruining the reputation of Asuna's father.
    • When Sinon asks Kirito if he regretted what he did to PoH, he replies that he didn't; because he couldn't face her and Leafa if he did.
  • I Will Find You: When SAO begins collapsing around them Kirito promises Asuna that the two of them will find each other again in the real world. His quest to do just that encompasses the Fairy Dance Arc.
  • Japanese Honorifics: Kirito usually averts this, referring to his peers without any honorifics. Asuna actually calls him out on how rude he was being, before she grants him permission to continue using First-Name Basis.
  • Jerkass Ball: He's unusually hostile towards Lisbeth during the first time they meet, acting extremely arrogant while constantly belittling or snarking at her.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: While he was still paralyzed, he receives visions of his past, suffers from a huge Heroic BSoD over Eugeo's death, and nearly commits suicide by attempting to crush his heart with his bare hands. It took a lot of healing from Asuna, Leafa, Sinon, and Eugeo's images that Kirito has finally recovered from his Game-Breaking Injury to finish the heroes' job.

  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: After acquiring Kayaba's Administrator ID, Kirito proceeds to use it on Sugou, brutally chopping up his avatar, followed by beating him up in the real world, and finally leaves him to the police as retribution for his actions up to this point.
    • He also has no problems imprisoning PoH in a tree for putting the lives of his friends in grave danger (especially Asuna's) and beating him up while he was still suffering from his Game-Breaking Injury, followed by giving Gabriel poetic justice.
  • Kid Hero: Only 14 at the beginning, 16 by the end of the SAO arc and by then he's put a number of bad guys behind bars (or six feet under in the case of Laughing Coffin).
  • Kung-Fu Clairvoyance: Invoke by Kirito in GGO. He's shown to be able to deflect bullets through the Prediction Line. But as Sinon pointed out there isn't enough time between seeing the Prediction Lines and reacting to it. So how does he do it? Turns out Kirito learned to predict the Prediction Lines.
  • Laser Blade: His primary weapon in GGO is a beam sword. He doesn't like it because it's too light.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: While Kirito is pretty calm and composed most of the time there are moments when his trigger gets pushed and he proceeds to fight with this style. The most obvious example is during the Fairy Dance arc, when he finds out that Asuna really is at the top of the world tree, and he charges at the barrier despite having learned he can't breach it, before attempting to take on the Grand Quest on his own in a Heroic Second Wind, which gets him shishkabobed by dozens of swords. Leafa has to come in and rescue him, revive him, then talk him out of trying it again.
  • Lethal Chef: When he tries his hand at cooking in Lost Song, he makes something that's too spicy for normal people to safely eat. Of course, Kirito's sense of taste is far from normal so he had no problem eating it.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Kirito gains this dynamic with the first two Big Bads, Heathcliff/Kayaba and Oberon/Sugou, with Kirito being Dark Is Not Evil while the villains being Light Is Not Good. Kirito is The Hero who always dresses in black, earning him the name the "Black Swordsman" and has swords named after dark themes like "Dark Repulsor" and "Night Sky Sword". Heathcliff is a paladin with his attacks including the "Holy Sword" and "Spiritual Light". Meanwhile Sugou made himself into the King of the Fairies and the God of Alfheim Online, giving himself a divine appearance with blonde hair and ornamented with gold.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He possesses unbelievable speed and Super Reflexes that at times allows him to Flash Step, but he also has a insanely high DPS. On top of that he can just as easily serve as a Tank if required, being able to shrug off minor attacks due to healing faster than the damage gets inflicted.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Asuna. Their relationship is very serious, to the point that they cannot live on if one of them dies. He also sees Eugeo as this too.
  • Living Legend: Became the greatest VR hero known to man with even a book being written about his heroism. Even his stepparents knew about Kirito's actions in the VR world by reading the aforementioned book.
  • Lonely at the Top: While it might seem cool to be the strongest player in SAO, it's also not easy being the solo Beater due to how lonely Kirito gets.
  • 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 has waist length hair which amplifies his already feminine appearance.
  • Mage Killer: In ALO, he is able to target the small hitboxes in magic attacks and destroy them, a skill he acquired from deflecting bullets in GGO.
  • Magnetic Hero: Kirito naturally has this effect on people he comes across, which heavily overlaps with why he's a Chick Magnet. Other players (usually girls) are enamored by chivalry and strength, so get drawn towards him.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon:
    • For the majority of the Fairy Dance arc, Kirito had very low level gear, but is able to perform incredible feats like one-shotting enemy players, including holding his own in a duel against Eugene, the World's Best Warrior, and essentially beating him.
    • He pulls this off masterfully during his final duel with Sugou/Oberon in the Fairy Dance arc. Using Kayaba's admin privileges, Kirito summons Excalibur, the Infinity +1 Sword of ALO, and gives it to Sugou before choosing to use his own sword. For all of his bravado, Sugou has no combat experience whatsoever; even with the strongest weapon in the game, he fails to land a single hit on Kirito, who literally tears him apart in mere seconds.
  • 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.
    • Happens again near the end of Alicization when Kirito went to the now inactive World End Altar after disposing of PoH and Gabriel, thinking that he won't be able to see everyone in the RW again since he's stuck in UW for 200 years. Thankfully, Asuna shows up to keep him company.
  • Marry Them All: His solution to his Unwanted Harem in the post-Alicization Gaiden X2 special.
  • Master of Illusion: Comes with being a Spriggan in ALO. Used to terrifying effect against a twelve-person attack squad.
  • Master Swordsman: In SAO he mastered the One Handed Straight Sword skills and Dual Blades unique skills.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of SAO, Kirito keeps himself from dying long enough to kill Kayaba. Also, Kirito or possibly Kayaba's ghost, in which case this wouldn't count, unstuck a sword that was position-fixed at the end of ALO. These were apparently impossible based on the laws of SAO. Power of Love? Yes. Reality Warper? Maybe. Or incarnate system, which would count as a mundane explanation.
  • The Mentor: He becomes one to Eugeo, teaching and training him how to use a sword.
  • Mirror Boss: The boss of the Hollow Area is Kirito's own Hollow Data AI copy, who is just as strong as the real Kirito.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: When Kirito uses Metamorphosis to turn into a Gleam-Eyes monster, he gets less rational as well and resorting to biting enemies. Kirito states he only half remembers things while in this state.
  • The Mourning After: Eugeo's loss hits him so badly, he even mourns for his best friend and Living Emotional Crutch after ending the war in UW to the point where Suguha has to come in his room and comfort him.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless:
    • Despite being the strongest player in SAO, he has the same physique as he does in real life, being an indoorsy gamer who rarely ever practices physical activity. Lots of characters have commented how it's odd that he's so thin yet is able to be so powerful.
    • This is zigzagged in real life. He's a scrawny kid, due to spending two years in a coma. In the GGO arc, he's overpowered in a straight fight by Kyouji. That being said, when Sugou attacks him in real life at the end of the Fairy Dance arc, Kirito is not only able to overpower him, but slams Sugou's head into a car door with enough force to leave a visible dent.
  • My Greatest Failure: The aforementioned fall of the "Moonlit Black Cats" and failure to revive Sachi defined him as a person for all of SAO.
    • And Eugeo's death is added to his list in Alicization.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: After the whole SAO (and, by extension ALO) experience, he vows to become a more honest and better brother figure for Suguha. Successfully rescuing Asuna when he failed Sachi also does wonders for his mental health.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: He's the "Yours" in the equation during the Alfheim and GGO arcs. He knows Mortal Kombat... but two years of twenty-four-hour full dive takes its toll on your muscles. A few months of rehab let him go toe-to-toe with Suguha, but she's got the better body for it (and he's still trying to use Sword Skills). When he confronts Sugou in the real world at the arc's end, he would have died from being stabbed by Sugou if the man wasn't suffering from his phantom injuries dealt by Kirito minutes earlier in the game that allowed Kirito to dodge and easily overpower him. The nurse watching over him during his GGO stint notes that, although he's got a bit of meat on him, it's still obvious he's an SAO survivor, and it shows when he tries to fight off Kyouji and gets overpowered.
  • Mythology Gag: Fatal Bullet gives Kirito a different appearance to his canon GGO avatar, where he looks like his real self. However his canon Attractive Gender Bent avatar does make an appearance as an alternate account named "Kiriko" which he uses to compete in the BoB Tournament which adapts the Phantom Bullet arc.
  • Named Weapons: Has owned a few.
    • SAO: Anneal Blade (1H Straight Sword, quest reward), Queen's Knightsword (1H Straight Sword, quest reward), Elucidator (1H Straight Sword, drop) and Dark Repulser (1H Straight Sword, crafted by Lisbeth)
    • ALO: Excaliber (2H Greatsword, quest reward with a handy assist from Sinon)
    • GGO: Kagemitsu G4 (Photon Sword, purchased)
    • Underworld: Sword of Night Sky (1H Straight Sword, forged) and Sword of Blue Rose
  • Narrator:
    • Throughout most of the light novels, he is the one narrating the story. It's easy to tell his parts from those of others because his are always in First Person while others are in third person.
    • Even in the anime some episodes feature a voice over provided by him to give a deeper explanation of the events.
  • Nephewism: His biological parents died in an accident when he was very young and he was adopted by his aunt and uncle.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: In GGO. His swordsmanship experience from ALO and SAO allows him to turn the Kagemitsu G4, the game's Joke Weapon, into a Lethal Joke Weapon.
  • Nice Guy: Kirito generally tries to help everyone he meets, and will routinely charge into danger to help random strangers in trouble.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He has this opinion of himself because he didn't try hard enough to prevent the Moonlight Black Cats from falling for Schmuck Bait. Thus, they died. note .
  • No-Sell: During his match against the (player-attacking) orange guild Titan's Hand, half a dozen players hack away at Kirito as hard as they can. He has so much HP it'd take them about 5 minutes to kill him... except he regenerates faster than they can hurt him... and he gets tired of being used for target practice and tells them off.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the Alicization arc, he's rendered brain dead and paralyzed as a result of the GDS' attack on Ocean Turtle, leaving his friends to deal with PoH and the foreign players on their own. He Came Back Strong later and took matters into his own hands, personally killing both PoH and Gabriel as a result.
  • Not So Different: To 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 toward 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.
    • Played straight for drama when he not only fails to realize Suguha's feelings for him until she spells it out for him, but he fails to realize Leafa's feelings for Kirito until he realizes that she's Suguha.
  • Official Couple: With Asuna since the very first light novel. In SAO they were married according to the game's mechanics. In later arcs, they are dating.
  • Older Than He Looks: Although physically he's still a teenage boy, due to being trapped in the UW where time runs faster, he ends up having lived there for 200 years.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Played around with. Kirito's stats are so high in the VRMMO games he plays that he can take on raiding parties or a powerful event boss like Nicholas the Renegade or the Gleam Eyes and emerge victorious as a solo player. At the same time, this fact makes him arrogant and he will overestimate his own capabilities.
    • In the Aincrad arc, Kirito goes up against the orange PKer guild known as Titan's Hand. Seven thugs all charge and attack Kirito simultaneously. But no matter how much they cut and slash at Kirito, his auto-healing skill recovers all the damage inflicted. Kirito waits for the thugs to tire themselves out before revealing he's level 78 and they would never be able to beat him no matter what. To put this in perspective, Kirito is one of the few fictional characters who can claim he beat the bad guys by standing there and doing nothing.
    • From the Fairy Dance arc, when he and Leafa are cornered by a party of Salamanders, Kirito charges all of them on his own while Leafa acts as support healer. While initially pushed back due the Salamanders healing faster than Kirito can damage them, he gains the upperhand when Yui gives him a Metamorphosis spell that turns him into a Gleam-Eyes monster, to which he proceeds to slaughter the entire squadron.
    • Also from Fairy Dance, he gets a Heroic Second Wind and attempts to take on the "World Tree Grand Quest" all on his own, which was supposedly designed for an entire race to attempt at once. He actually does quite well and takes out all of the melee guardians on his own. He only gets overwhelmed by a Rain of Arrows and blades that impale him from all angels, eventually depleting his HP just as he's about to reach the top.
    • In Mother's Rosario, Kirito (and later Klein) manage to Hold the Line for the Sleeping Knights, against 30 elite players from a rival guild. He gets serious for the first time, by taking out, not only two swords but Excalibur. They succeeding in delaying them long enough that by the time the guild has finally gotten through him, the Sleeping Knights have already won.
    • In Ordinal Scale, the final part of the film has Kirito gaining an Infinity +1 Sword and he proceeds to God Mode over all of the remaining bosses attacking the concert members, proceeding to One-Hit Kill each one with mere swings of his new sword!
    • In Alicization, he tears through a mob of goblins that had captured Selka. Though he has a bit more trouble against the boss goblin.
    • Guess what Kirito did to the remaining 30,000 foreign players near the end of the Alicization arc.
  • Online Alias: Kirito, taken from the "Kiri" in his surname and the "to" in his given name.
  • 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.
  • Only Mostly 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.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yeah, Kirito is a rather skilled VRMMORPG player-slash-addict and an 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.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Kirito's big mouth has gotten him into a tonne of trouble before, especially in the game adaptation where he often ends up in awkward situations. He'll let slip a stupid question or a stupid answer and end up looking like an Accidental Pervert.
  • Out of Focus: During the Mother's Rosario arc his screen time is greatly reduced. As this storyline focuses on Asuna and her Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Yuuki, so he takes a mild supporting role, helping buy the Sleeping Knights enough time to break through to the boss chamber and giving Asuna a piece of information that helps her find Yuuki in real life. He plays an integral role in the storyline, but it's ultimately Asuna and Yuuki's story.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Kirito is this to the players of GGO, as a Laser Blade wielding swordsman is something completely new to them with most not having the first clue on how to deal with melee attacks.
  • 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 beat the Begeezus out of Klein if the guy ever flirted with Yui.

  • Papa Wolf: He hacked Aincrad's Cardinal system to save Yui.
  • The Paragon: Kirito's experiences have made him an altruistic and courageous character who helps and inspires many other players, like Sinon.
  • Parental Substitute: He is Yui's "Daddy", or rather invoked My Real Daddy, since she was programmed by Kayaba, but it was Kirito (and Asuna) who inspired her to grow beyond her programming.
  • Parrying Bullets:
    • Less parrying and more cutting them up with his Photon Sword in GGO. He does so by predicting the bullet's trajectory, both from seeing the Prediction Line and anticipating where the Prediction Line would be to begin with.
    • He carries this skill back to ALO where he shows off his ability to slice spells out of the air using his sword. While the spells are slower than bullets, the skill itself is harder as Kirito needs to perfectly time sword skills to hit the spell's core, and unlike GGO he doesn't even have a Prediction Line to guide him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • In Ordinal Scale, after reacquiring his SAO avatar during the Final Boss fight against "An Incarnation of Radius", Kirito gains a 'God mode' where he emerges on the concert stage and One Hit Kills every SAO boss present with mere swings of his BFS.
    • In UW, once Kirito Came Back Strong, he proceeds to freeze 30,000 foreign players in ice.
  • Physical God: His One-Hit Kill on the remaining 30,000 foreign players, and subsequent smackdown of both PoH and Gabriel after recovering from his Game-Breaking Injury makes him this. He even becomes the "Star King" within 200 years in UW.
  • Plot Armor: Kirito is one of the most notorious examples of this trope, with his plot armor taking him to Invincible Hero levels. No matter how high the odds are stacked against him there's no chance he will ever die, even when all logic and common sense says he should. He will go Beyond the Impossible or return from the brink of death to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • Polyamory: Aside from Asuna, it is implied that he has a lot of "wives" during his 200-year stint as the boss of UW. Played straight and taken Up to Eleven in There is But One Ultimate Way.
  • 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.
  • The Power of Love: His love for Asuna is what enabled him to get as far as he did during his solo attempt at the World Tree's Grand Quest. Every time a new obstacle appeared or he started to run out of steam, a image of her would flash in his mind and he continued forward. Sure, he ultimately failed but it took an army of archers firing swords to stop him.
  • Power Trio: With Eugeo and Alice during his time in the Underworld.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Kirito has a penchant of giving these to his opponents whenever he's pissed off or disgusted.
    • After using Kayaba's ID to strip Oberon from his GM status, and then cutting off his arm, Kirito gives him a rather cruel one before killing him in-game.
      Kirito: Hurts, doesn't it? But it's nothing like the pain you made Asuna feel. NOT EVEN CLOSE!
    • Against Genesis in Hollow Realization:
      Genesis: Don't screw with me... Why does it... have to be you...?
      Kirito: You are not worthy of the name "Black Swordsman".
    • And later, he does this to PoH at the end of their fight in the Alicization arc:
      PoH: As expected, that’s what I’m talking about. But... this isn’t the end. Even if you log out from this world, I show up in front of you all, over and over again. It doesn’t matter how many times I do it before I slit the throats and tear out the hearts of both you and the "Flash"...
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Gets one in Volume 9, when while desperately trying to save Eugeo's life, he ponders whether the suffering that the people inside Underworld experience is an intentional consequence that's part of Rath's experiments, and they'd rather not let Kirito save Eugeo.
    Kirito: If that's the case, then they can eat shit for all I care! Soul without a physical body or not, Eugeo is my friend! I won't let him die, not like this!
    • In the English dub Kirito does use profanity like "shit" or "bitch" on occasion, especially in Ordinal Scale.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Not shown very often, but he can flash some serious crazy under the right circumstance. A prime example would be during his one-man attack against the World Tree guardians.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His Laser Blade during the GGO arc is purple in color.
  • Rape and Revenge: The climax of the Fairy Dance arc is more along the lines of Attempted Rape and Revenge, but the basic principle is the same. When Sugou/Oberon has Kirito pinned down, he decides to go the extra mile to torment him by making Kirito watch as he sexually assaults Asuna, tearing her clothes off, groping her, and licking her. When given admin privileges by Kayaba's Virtual Ghost, Kirito makes sure that Sugou's defeat at his hands is as painful and humiliating as possible, stripping him of his admin privileges, summoning Excalibur before giving it to Sugou all while knowing it won't make a difference, making sure to let Sugou know that Kayaba has screwed him over yet again, even in death, and finally turning off the Pain Absorber to make sure every wound inflicted on Sugou's avatar would carry over to his real body before killing Oberon so brutally that Sugou is left permanently injured in real life. When Sugou later tries to attack him in real life, Kazuto overpowers him and just barely manages to restrain himself from slitting Sugou's throat with his own knife.
  • Rapunzel Hair: His GGO avatar has hair that reaches down to his waist, which is why so many players mistook him for a girl.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Physically he's still 17 years old, but after the Alicization arc, his mind spent 200 years in the Underworld.
  • Real Name as an Alias: His in-game name of Kirito. Makes more sense if you remember that in Japan, naming convention is reversed from that of native English speakers, with family name first, then given name second. In this case, his name is a combination of Kirigaya Kazuto
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives a short, but effective one to Sugou/Oberon during his Heroic Second Wind:
    Kirito: You stole everything in this world. Everything! Including its people! You're nothing but a king of thieves, sitting alone on your stolen throne!
    Kirito: Sugou, in a way, I get where you're coming from. I lost to him too, and then I had to go work for him. [smirks] But whatever happened, I never wanted to be him. Unlike you.
  • 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.
    • In ALO, he declares himself the "Gilded Hero" when opposing Sugou/Oberon.
    • In Fatal Bullet he has gained the reputation as The "Photon Sword wielder".
    • During his 200-year rule in UW, he is referred to as the "Star King" by its people.
  • Relationship Ceiling:
    • Despite all the female characters that seem to flock towards him, the story still makes clear that Asuna is the only girl for him, meaning any new addition to his Supporting Harem will never go beyond Ship Tease.
    • In a different way, the same applies to him and Asuna in the Progressive mini-series. Although the reboot is partly meant to flesh out their relationship, they're still intended to officially get together in the events narrated in the first novel, which take place in the final days of SAO.
  • 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.
  • The Rival:
    • With Asuna in the early days of SAO, due to both being the strongest players in the game but with clashing ideologies, with Kirito prepared to tackle the game for several years while Asuna wanted to complete it as soon as possible. Of course they both grow out of it, with Asuna warming up to Kirito and eventually they marry and start dating in real life.
    • Kibaou was one of Kirito's fiercest rivals, who was hellbent on not letting the Beater get ahead. Kirito took on the entire Beater Zero-Approval Gambit to bear the burden on the stigmatization himself due to how much of a jerk Kibaou was, and Kibaou would never live it down.
    • Sinon considered herself one due to Kirito accidentally seeing Sinon in her underwear due to her mistaking him for a girl. She became determined to beat Kirito herself, but eventually softens up around him after seeing the two of them were Not So Different.
  • The Sacred Darkness: His "Darkness of the Boundless Night Sky". This is later proven useful during his fight against Gabriel.
  • Sanity Slippage: Upon finding out that Asuna is indeed trapped at the top of the World Tree, Kirito's mind snaps and he goes on a suicidal Heroic Second Wind. He completely loses his rationality and his usual calm demeanor, Suddenly SHOUTING!, repeating Asuna's name like a Madness Mantra and even gives off a suicidal smile.
  • Screaming Warrior: Whenever Kirito is in the middle of an intense battle expect him to let out a number of screams at his opponent.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: As to be expected of a Yoshitsugu Matsuoka character, Kirito is prone to hilariously-adorable girl-like-screams and shrieking when shocked, surprised, or desperately pleading his wife and this week's girl guests to not beat/cut/shoot him-up for his latest stupid/insensitive comment on the adorable Blu-Ray and DVD extras Sword Art Offline.
  • Secret Identity: Kinda. When he returns to the real world, he tries to keep his Kirito identity on the down low.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Kirito is confirmed to be this for Kawahara, in essence Kirito is the top gamer who Kawahara wanted to be but never could. Kirito was created to share the same enjoyments as Kawahara, but without having to think about consequence.
  • Sempai/Kohai:
    • Kirito became the Kohai to Sortilena's Sempai at the Swordcraft Academy.
    • Has this relationship with Ronye.
  • Serious Business: Even after escaping SAO Kirito adamantly refuses to let his party members die in any other game if he can help it even going to extreme lengths to ensure their survival. Considering his original guild were all slaughtered while he was Forced to Watch it makes sense why Kirito has this mindset.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: SAO will do that to you. It's hard to tell what messes him up more: the fact that he let the Black Cats of the Full Moon die or the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend:
  • Sherlock Scan: Certain instances show Kirito displays a very impressive deductive ability, being able to read people and piece together the truth based on small clues. Though sometimes they verge on being a Bat Deduction, with how little he has to go on in figuring it out.
    • He was able to figure out Silica's real name, where her name came from, and her birth date from a small hint she dropped. See Meaningful Name under Silica's section for more details.
    • He slowly pieces together the truth about Death Gun and how he kills, noticing that Death Gun shot at him with his rifle rather than his handgun that allegedly could kill people in real life. From this he deduces that Death Gun appear to be only targeting certain people, including Sinon, and that the way he kills them was using an accomplice who knew the real life addresses of these targets.
    • He quickly worked out why Yuuki was so unbelievably strong, deducing that she was always in FullDive, and from there worked out where she was located in the real world by searching up the only hospital that contained a Medicuboid, which he suspected her of using.
    • In Lost Song he was able to figure out that Rain was lying about being a new player, and she had been the one who had been stalking him, based on her shoes being of high level quality. He also worked out how strong Rain was and that all this time she was actually hiding her true power.
  • Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy:
    • In ALO, he's the close range melee user to Leafa's long range spell caster.
    • In GGO, he's the close range photon sword user to Sinon's long range sniper.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    Kirito: No, I don't think so. You stole everything in this world. Everything! Including its people! You're nothing but a king of thieves, sitting alone on your stolen throne!
    • He gives Sugou a second one during the former's Last Villain Stand in real life, before finding the strength to overpower him and take his knife:
    Sugou: You're a piece of scum! You don't have any real power!
    Kirito: And neither do you, Sugou!
    • He gives a short and concise one to Raios when the latter rants about his privileges as a noble, and how he has the authority to punish Eugeo.
    Kirito: I don't care about your taboos and noble rights.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Kirito does this to Asuna in episode 10. The light novel notes that this is technically a violation of the Ethics Code, but fortunately for him, Asuna didn't mind.
  • Sibling Team: With his sister Suguha/Leafa during the Fairy Dance arc onwards. Although they didn't know it at the time and only found out each other's real identities nearing the end of the arc.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: He and Asuna are often treated as such by their friends post-SAO, due to how lovey dovey they always are.
  • Signature Move: In SAO it's the various Sword Skills from his Dual Blades.
    • His most frequently used Sword Skill is the "Vorpal Strike", a one-handed high-damaging thrust Sword skill. It is effective on taking out monsters, though not so useful against players as the simple motion makes it very easy to dodge. Due to how often he uses it, Kirito once contemplates as having this as the mark of his Black Swordsman persona.
    • His ultimate attack is the "Starburst Stream", a 16-hit sword skill. On a meta level the phrase is so heavily associated with Kirito, it's pretty much analogous to Goku and the Kamehameha.
  • Silent Scapegoat: After Aincrad's first dungeon boss was defeated, suspicion began to spread about beta testers keeping information hidden from new players for their own selfish ends, due in part to the boss using different attack patterns from what was in the guidebook with information from the beta testers. As a result, it looked like the playerbase would begin to persecute all beta testers, including innocent ones. Kirito, himself a beta tester, decided to play himself up as a cocky bastard who used his foreknowledge to gain an unfair advantage, being labeled by others as a "Beater" (Beta tester + Cheater) and sparing other beta testers grief by making himself the target for other players' scorn.
  • 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.
  • Sleepyhead: Kirito loves taking naps, often in public places and in broad daylight.
    • In Lost Song, when Alicia Rue offers to hire Kirito as a renegade in exchange for three meals and naps, Silica and Sinon immediately tease Kirito over how he keeps napping on the spot anytime, anywhere.
    • In Alicization he's so fatigued from his job at Rath that while playing GGO he falls asleep and ends up leaning on Lisbeth. Shortly after he even falls asleep while standing up!
  • Smug Super: There are some instances where Kirito is so thoroughly confident in his abilities that he'll approach enemies with a smile plastered on his face.
    • When he interrupts Leafa getting ganged up on by a bunch of Salamander PKers and decides to take on the Salamanders himself, he effortlessly catches the Salamander's lance, holds it in place, then flicks him back with a fling of his arm, all the while treating the whole thing with amusement.
    • When Kirito pulls a Big Damn Heroes to help the Asuna and the Sleeping Knights in a You Shall Not Pass! moment, the look on his face is either sheer confidence at his vastly superior skill, or the thrill of the challenge. Either way, he asserts his dominance by slicing spells out of the air before taking out Excalibur from his inventory.
  • Sole Survivor: Of Black Cats of the Full Moon, he was the only one to survive the chest trap. Ironically, he was the extra man.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff:
    • In SAO, he once used a sword skill to block a breath attack of a dragon.
    • In GGO, he twirls and spins about to while Parrying Bullets. He later applies the same technique back in ALO against spells.
    • Later revealed to be a specific skill to protect against attacks, as showcased in the Underworld.
  • 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.
    • By the time of GGO, it's evolved into Super Senses as Kirito doesn't just sense incoming danger, but can pinpoint exactly where the danger is just by concentrating.
  • Starring Smurfette: Kirito is The Hero of the story, with the rest of the main cast predominantly comprised of girls that make up his Battle Harem. The only other significant male is Klein and he's only around half the time.
    • In Accel World VS Sword Art Online, Kirito himself wishes that he had at least one male friend of his age, with the only male friends he has being Klein and Agil who are a great deal older than himself.
  • Stock Light Novel Hero: Kirito is the most well-known example of the trope and quite possibly the Trope Codifier. He's an Ordinary High-School Student with a Badass Longcoat, a Clueless Chick Magnet with a Battle Harem, and is known to be a stoic Ineffectual Loner. He's a Godlike Gamer in an RPG-Mechanics Verse which allows him to become the World's Best Warrior of SAO, routinely gets given new abilities and skills such as his Dual Wielding, and he's an Invincible Hero with most enemies being fodder to him. He also quickly climbing the ranks in other virtual-reality games as well and is able to keep defying the limits the System has set. Subverted in Alicization where even though the series edges closer to an Isekai genre, Kirito himself actually shifts away from the cliched archetype, being much more underpowered than before and having to slowly learn about the new world he is in. His Supporting Harem is also absent for the most, having been shafted in favor of a Power Trio with Eugeo and Alice, the former being his Heterosexual Life-Partner.
  • Strong and Skilled: Kirito has extremely high stats to use in combat, as well as the knowledge and skill to make the best of them, due to having prior experience as a beta-player. Going up against normal players he can No-Sell attacks from an entire ambush party as he heals faster than they can inflict damage. While proof of his skill comes from being able to go toe-to-toe with opponents with vastly superior stats and/or equipment, but Kirito's combat smarts and strategy still allow him to come out on top. It gets downplayed in later seasons when he tries new games using his old avatar, where he retains his stats, but lacks the experience and requires another player to guide him through, making him Unskilled, but Strong. Although even this is up in the air, as he does retain his skill with the sword from previous games which he can use in the new environment of an unfamiliar game. There's also the fact Kirito has an impressive ability to master a new game very early and will quickly ascend the ranks despite only playing for a few days.
  • 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.
    • In Fatal Bullet, Klein is both in disbelief over Kirito using a girl avatar and perplexed if Kirito's face always looked so cute.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: During the climax of the Fairy Dance arc, he dips into this after performing his Heroic Second Wind and turning the tables on Sugou, particularly after he gives Sugou a small cut on the cheek, and Sugou flips out and whines about the pain:
    Kirito: Hurts, doesn't it? But it's nothing like the pain you made Asuna feel. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!
    [cue him lopping Sugou's right arm clean off]
  • Suggestive Collision: Happens when Asuna falls on him when teleporting onto the floor.
  • 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.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: When his determination is at its peak, his eyes turn from dark grey to bright yellow. This is seen when he lands the final blow on Heathcliff and Death Gun, during his final push in ALO's Grand Quest, and saving Yuuna from The Fatal Scythe.
  • 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 in-game 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 cut magic attacks out of the air, 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.
    • In SAO II, there's also him surviving SAO in general and the fact he took lives to ensure his own survival that comes to haunt him.
  • Sword and Gun: Does this in GGO, due to his preference and the lightsaber being too expensive for him to get anything better than a pistol.
  • Sword over Head: Sugou is finally held with a knife to his throat by Kirito in real life. With no one else around so late an hour, Kirito could easily kill him and put him out of everyone's misery... But he doesn't. He simply beats Sugou to a barely-breathing pulp and leaves him for the police.
  • Talented, but Trained: Kirito is established to be a gaming prodigy with natural talent when it comes to FullDive, but it really helps that he's had extensive experience to hone his skills with the sword, which he brings back with him to the real world thanks to muscle memory. If that wasn't enough, he's also received formal training from his Kendo champion sister Suguha followed by training as an Integrity Knight from his time in the Underworld.
  • Team Dad: While he's usually The Hero, there are times when Kirito steps into this role and becomes very paternal and protective over all his other friends, even Klein. It helps that he's an actual big brother to Leafa and a father to Yui.
  • Technical Pacifist: During Aincrad, he really would rather not kill anyone if he could help it, instead preferring to disarm Player Killers and forcing them to surrender. He even has PTSD over the few times he was forced to kill in self defense. That said, if given both the reason and the power, he will make you suffer. Prominent examples include setting the Pain Absorber to zero before brutally killing Sugou in-game to the point his real body was left with permanent injuries, and trapping PoH inside a tree in a game that runs on Year Inside, Hour Outside.
  • Teen Genius: Proficient at hacking from a young age and also a Gadgeteer Genius in the real world.
  • Thanks for the Mammary:
    • The initial example occurs in the Aincrad arc of the anime, where Asuna falls out of a portal and ends up landing on top of him. He obliviously pushes upwards and ends up grabbing her boob. She slaps him into a pillar in retaliation.
    • Following this incident, the non-canon game Hollow Fragment has a notorious tendency to make Kirito do this to other girls. He falls on top of Leafa where he ends up grabbing her boob before he comments how its gotten bigger. He later is trapped with Sinon in a tight enclosed space and grabs her boob as well. It's almost like Kirito's hand is a boob magnet.
  • The One Guy: Overlaps between this and Harem Genre. While he is a Chick Magnet with a Supporting Harem of girls with feelings for him, he's quickly established as an Official Couple with Asuna. So the other girls usually aren't love rivals fighting for his affection, and they all mostly consider themselves a circle of friends with an inbalanced girl-to-guy gender ratio.
    • Post Aincrad, his close circle of friends and in-game party (excluding Klein who is an on-off member) entirely consists of girls: Asuna, Yui, Lisbeth, Silica, Leafa, Sinon, and Alice.
    • The video game continuity adds Strea, Philia, Yuuki, Rain, Seven, and Premiere to the mix.
  • These Hands Have Killed: He's haunted by the fact that he killed three Laughing Coffin members.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: While he's not particularly hostile or hateful towards Akihiko Kayaba, he doesn't think that he can ever forgive him for all the deaths he caused in SAO, especially Sachi's.
  • Token Super: During the Aincrad arc, Kirito is the only known player to possess the Dual Wielding skill, which the game grants to the player with the fastest reaction time. As this is a Unique Protagonist Asset that cannot be attained through conventional methods, in this setting it also counts as a power. With it, Kirito was easily The Champion of any guild or party he joined and was capable of taking on extremely difficult bosses. Later games allowed him to load an Old Save Bonus from his Aincrad avatar, which by his own admission was cheating due to it carrying over his insanely high stats that were unseen in said games.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Every time Kirito picks up a(nother) weapon in a different world from the last, it qualifies. In order:
    • Surviving in SAO, The Most Dangerous Video Game;
    • Dual Wielding in SAO, something no other player can do;
    • Surviving in ALO, and defying all the world's PvP rules in the process;
    • Dual wielding in ALO, which means he's controlling two swords separately rather than getting system assist like in SAO;
    • Threatening Sugou in the real world, using a knife several times lighter than anything he's good with;
    • Surviving in GGO's BoB tournament with a sword;
    • Fighting in GGO with Sword and Gun, despite having no experience with the latter;
    • Dual wielding in ALO with Sword Skills.
    • In the UW, raising his Object Control Authority so that he is able to use the Blue Rose Sword.
    • Ending Quinella's reign in UW.
    • And finally, pulverizing two of the most dangerous player killers: PoH and Gabriel.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the early episodes of Aincrad, Kirito maintained a very cold disposition, often appearing mean and unsociable to those he spoke to, such as his first encounter with Lisbeth who he is smug towards and constantly belittles. This is in part due to maintaining his Beater guise, along with his Survivor's Guilt over the deaths of the Moonlit Black Cats. However over time he warms up in a genuine Nice Guy.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Anything cooked by Asuna. Other than that, Kirito's favorite food is Teriyaki chicken burgers. Thus, Teriyaki chicken burgers cooked by Asuna is number one.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Keeps Eugeo's sword in his arsenal at the end of Alicization.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he pulls off his Heroic Second Wind against Sugou. He's clearly furious at him for all the horrible things he's done, but barring a moment of Suddenly SHOUTING!, he remains calm and collected, the cool glare on his face the only sign of his rage as he literally tears Sugou apart piece by piece.

  • Ultimate Gamer 386: As the series mostly takes place inside of MMORPGs, Kirito both becomes and meets several of these across games. In the first game, he becomes famous for being a solo player on the assault team (the single most dangerous role in the game, which most consider to be suicide without a large group to back you up). While it's implied there are others like him, he's the one everybody recognizes. This gets downplayed in later stories; most of the people who recognize the name "Kirito" instantly are fellow SAO survivors, and most other player bases don't really have any idea who he is. That being said, Kirito has a knack for quickly making a reputation for himself in any game he tries and rapidly became famous in both ALO and GGO after only a few days spent in each game.
  • 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.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: He actually looks quite like his cousin Suguha. In the games Kirito reveals that back when they were younger, other people often mistook the two of them for twin sisters.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: In SAO, Kirito is the only player to acquire the Dual Wielding unique skill, which the system granted to the player with the fastest reaction time. This skill bolstered his already powerful status and had him overshadowing nearly every player. Two swords allowed him to deal double the damage, while they also allowed cross-blocking as a much more efficient defense than one sword. It is what enabled Kirito to solo the Gleam-Eyes boss on his own and what he uses whenever he gets serious.
  • 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.
  • 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 delivers an Armor-Piercing Slap for that.
  • 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), he's rendered unbelievably powerful. He was able to one-hit kill the Salamander PKers using starting equipment, while his flying speed outpaced that of Leafa who was previously the fastest flyer in-game. The effects of his basic spells have also been amped up beyond belief: a small smokescreen spell turns into a massive explosion of smoke, and a basic illusion casting spell ends up being a metamorphosis spell that turns him into a Gleam-Eyes like monster, that 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.
    • This translates over to GGO as well. Once again having a converted account with all of his stats from his old account, his speed is unbelievable and he can dodge bullets from almost point-blank range, and deflect bullets with his Laser Blade even without the Trajectory Prediction Line. Sinon notes that he can pull off these impossible dodge maneuvers even though he lacks even the most fundamental knowledge of guns in the game.
  • 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: Despite his Official Couple status with Asuna (the first heroine of the series), he gains a number of admirers as the series goes on with the number of girls in his always increasing.
    Klein: Man, you chick magnets have it tough, huh?
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: He learns a Metamorphsis spell in ALO that transforms him into a Gleam-eyes monster.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He's this in real life. While he retains the muscle memory of sword skills he picked up in SAO, his real body isn't very athletic. Nonetheless, he was able to hold his own against Suguha, a kendo quarterfinalist, after two months of physical therapy in a sparring match, only losing because he tried to activate a Sword Skill in real life.
    • This is especially prominent in Ordinal Scale where the Augmented Reality game requires players to use their real bodies. Kirito initially struggles against early bosses, even tripping over during battle which results in a Face Plant. He gets better after undergoing a Training Montage with Suguha.
  • Weapon of Choice: Kirito is always a sword user. Specifically, One-handed swords, and typically one in each hand. In SAO, he uses the Elucidator and Dark Repulser. Even in GGO, he picks up a lightsaber. It's fitting given his chivalrous impulses.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: As for Leafa/Suguha not taking well to 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."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • A large portion of the Alicization Arc has him questioning whether he is the real Kirito or an AI copy.
    • In Hollow Fragment he also starts considering the possibility he's a Hollow Data copy and not the real Kirito, although his friends snap him out of this and a test from Yui confirms he's the legitimate Kirito.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sugou of all characters has the nerve to call Kirito out on torturing and killing him in-game, saying what he did to him was very cruel. This coming from the guy who had it fully coming given that earlier he had just tortured Kirito and tried to rape Asuna.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When given the opportunity to kill Sugou, the man who nearly ruined his life and tried to rape Asuna, Kirito simply gives him a beatdown and leaves him to the cops.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Kirito prefers swords. Even GGO, which focuses heavily on ranged combat.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Four of his costumes involve him (in his GGO Avatar) cross-dressing as an Idol Singer, a French Maid, a Magical Girl, and a Bride in Code Register. Asuna, Lisbeth, and Silica tried to forcefully put him in a maid uniform at one point in the Maid in Aincrad Omake.
  • 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.
  • The Worf Barrage: Kirito's strongest Sword Skill in SAO was the 27-hit combo The Eclipse (not mentioned in the anime). It's only use was against Kayaba/Heathcliff where every single attack was blocked with ease due to him having programmed all Sword Skill before that he memorized every single strike of it.
  • World's Best Warrior:
    • Shares this honor with his wife Asuna in Sword Art Online.
    • In Alfheim Online, he likely would have held that status (given he beat the former holder of that title) prior to Yuuki the Absolute Sword showing up.
  • 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.
  • You Are Already Dead: When PoH keeps on bragging about killing both Kirito and Asuna in the RW once he gets out of the STL, Kirito's reply:
    Kirito: No, this is it. You'll never log out from Underworld.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gives one to Asuna after the first boss battle when Kirito had pulled a Zero-Approval Gambit and labeled himself a Beater. He tells Asuna that she could be great and powerful in this world, but also not to hesitate to join a guild with someone she trusts as there were limits to what a solo player could do. Asuna takes this advice to heart and becomes vice-commander of the strongest guild in the game.
  • You Are the New Trend: As revealed in Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, Kirito's time in GGO and being the first player to wield a Photon sword started a trend of players wielding that weapon in an attempt to parry bullets.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Played for Laughs. Kirito typically avoids using honorifics when addressing his friends including Asuna, but whenever he realizes Asuna is on the warpath and out to kill him, he'll address her as "Asuna-san".
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Kirito pulls one in Mother's Rosario to stall some rival guilds and buy time for the Sleeping Knights to kill the boss. He gets serious by not only Dual Wielding but by using Excalibur.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Outs himself as the first "Beater" to reduce prejudice against beta testers. By doing this, he focuses the stigma exclusively on beta testers who selfishly keep foreknowledge of the game to themselves, protecting other, less unscrupulous beta players (such as his friend Argo).
    Kirito: "Beater", that's not a bad name. That's right. I'm a beater. From now on, don't think of me as a mere beta tester.

Alternative Title(s): Kazuto Kirigaya