Introduced in Season 1
Kirito: My sweet-ass coat begs to differ.
- The Ace: Like his canon counterpart, Kirito is the most skilled fighter in all of SAO. But this version also has a massive ego to show for it. However, some comments by himself and other players imply that he is nowhere near as impressive a person in real life and is actually placed fairly low on the social pecking order. When the audience finally sees his home life in episode 12, it's pretty clear he's only an ace in video games, as his younger sister frequently insults him and belittles his accomplishments.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
- Surprisingly played straight, given that this is an abridged series. Sachi's death ends up proving to have a much more profound effect on him than his canon counterpart. In fact, the effect of his trauma is so strong he can go into into a fit of sadistic anger if reminded of it.
- Similarly, so did the events of being trapped in SAO — when he starts ALO in episode 13, he momentarily panics at the thought of being unable to logout, screaming that he doesn't want to die.
- His overall jerkass personality while stuck inside of the game gets confirmed in episode 11 to be Kirito overcompensating for his inferiority complex in the real world.
- Surprisingly played straight, given that this is an abridged series. Sachi's death ends up proving to have a much more profound effect on him than his canon counterpart. In fact, the effect of his trauma is so strong he can go into into a fit of sadistic anger if reminded of it.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Zigzagged. On the one hand, abridged Kirito averts a lot of his canon counterpart's Idiot Ball moments. He either recognizes that there's a problem much more quickly, or notices the problems and doesn't care. On the other hand, abridged Kirito seems to lack a lot of the common sense that his canon counterpart has and is even more socially hopeless.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Even following Kirito's Character Development and coming to value human life, he's still a much bigger asshole than he is in canon, being a Troll who takes great pleasure in making those around him miserable. Kayaba outright calls him and Asuna the Lesser of Two Evils compared to him.
- Adaptational Villainy: Complete with Evil Laugh. This Kirito is much darker, selfish, and unhinged than his canon counterpart. He's a massive dick to other players, is a Smug Super who flaunts his superiority upon weaker players, and doesn't have a problem killing someone when pushed far enough. Though he does get a HeelFace Turn alongside his Character Development.
- Adaptational Wimp:
- It's frequently implied that Kirito is a lonely loser in real life, somewhat in contrast to his canon counterpart where this is more of an Informed Flaw. Abridged Kirito's Insufferable Genius attitude does him no more favors offline, and his greatest strength — impressive skills in video games — is what makes people most likely to overlook or merely tolerate his character flaws. He's rendered pretty much useless outside of them.
- His first duel with Heathcliff was pretty pathetic in comparison. In canon, Kirito overwhelmed Heathcliff with his sheer speed so that he was forced to cheat by getting help from the system. In the abridged series, Kirito gets so distracted formulating a plan that Heathcliff defeats him out in seconds without him even noticing.
- Kirito implies in the first season that he gets bullied a lot in the real world, which plays a major factor into him falling into G.I.F.T-antics online. This gets fully shown episode 12, where he gets beat and reduced to crying by Suguha in kendo. This is a far cry from the regular series where, through muscle memory, he actually does know how to handle a sword in real life. Not helping matters is the fact that this series acknowledges that he was essentially in a coma for two years, meaning his muscles atrophied significantly.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Canon Kirito is unable to ignore the suffering of others. Add in a healthy dose of misanthropy to show part of his reason to want to ignore others, along with several helpings of Ax-Crazy, and you have this version's Kirito.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Lizbeth's past triggers his own trauma, he resorts to this to make her stop.
- He asks for mercy when 'sparring' with Suguha. Doesn't help him, though.
- Alliterative Name: His real name is Kazuto Kirigaya. A terrible name, according to Asuna.Asuna: What am I supposed to call you as a nickname, "Kaz?" Yeah no, I'm just gonna stick with "Kirito".
- Anti-Hero: Unlike his canon self who's mostly a hero but sometimes drifting into Disney territory, this abridged Kirito is a full out Unscrupulous Hero.
- Arch-Enemy: Don Fluffles, oddly enough. He was (indirectly) responsible for the death of Kirito's entire guild, most significantly Sachi. Apparently they've had many an offscreen battle, assuming Kirito isn't just trolling everyone.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Really skilled, and really arrogant about it. Since this version of Kirito prides himself on his video game accomplishments, he takes as much solace in his skills as he can. Kirito shows this by acting like a Smug Super around weaker players, even not stepping in when he could help in favor of smarking at them. He even gives out a Blasphemous Boast when facing Rosalia and her gang, as Kirito says "there's no need to wonder where your god is" when they prove incapable of hurting him.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Although beginning as a very dysfunctional relationship with Asuna, full of bickering and mind games, the more time they spent together the more they came to care about each other. By the end of season 1 the two are a fully functioning, albeit unorthodox couple.
- Badass Boast: Gives a lot of these as part of his characterization of being a Smug Super.Kirito: You see Girlie, you may think ya got me all figured out, but there's one thing, you didn't account for: my numbers are bigger than yours! Funny thing, really. Get to a high enough level and you're basically untouchable, my wounds heal faster than you can cut them! We could do this all day, and you would not be any closer to beating me, not that it wouldn't be fun. But, I've got good news. You see, there's no need to wonder where your god is! 'Cause he's right here! And he's fresh out of mercy!
- Badass Bookworm: Kirito is immensely Genre Savvy with various pop-culture, is an expert l33t gamer, and a computer nerd.Kirito: Prepare to feel the wrath of a pissed-off nerd with admin privileges!
- Berserk Button: Kirito has several of these. And Rosalia pushed three of them at once. Kirito did not let her get away with it. They include, but are not limited to:
- Broken Ace: He's a bitter, lonely loser with no pride in anything outside of his (admittedly godlike) abilities as a gamer, and he knows it.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In his second duel with Heathcliff, he manages to take down the cheating "Cheating Haxxor Faggot" at the cost of his own life. He gets better.
- Brought Down to Normal: Played for Drama in Episode 12 as we see that in the real world, Kirito has gone from the invincible hero of Aincrad to a wimpy teenager helpless to stand up to Sugou and unable to hold a fight against his little sister.
- Cain and Abel: The Knight in Sour Armor Abel to Suguha's plain Jerkass Cain.
- Casanova Wannabe: Kirito likes to talk like he's the experienced gentleman when it comes to love and sex, especially to Asuna. When faced with the prospect of actually having sex, he's reduced to a paralyzed wreck.Kirito: Thanks for dinner, Asuna, but, uh, do you think it's okay for me to be over this late?
Asuna: Why wouldn't it be?
Kirito: Oh, sweet, naive, stupid Asuna! You might not be able to see the dubious implications but to a man as worldly as I... Eh, Asuna?
Asuna: [now disrobed and with the lighting down] Why are your pants still on? We doing this or what?
Kirito: [high pitched shocked squealing]
- When mocking the people around him, Kirito will sometimes sarcastically say "Oh wow."
- He starts a lot of long-winded explanations with "For you see!" When Leafa tries to do the same thing, Kirito instantly shuts her down.
- Character Development: Starting off as a stereotypical arrogant "l33t" gamer who treats weaker players as being expendable, he eventually Took a Level in Kindness and started to open up to people, only for that to backfire so horribly that he went "cold turkey" on emotions for a bit, before gradually recovering. His sociopathic relationship with Asuna was more of a contest at first before evolving into genuine love and desire for each other's presence.
- Character Exaggeration: Canon Kirito's Gadfly nature is amped up to fullblown Troll, where he goes out of his way to piss others off.
- Chick Magnet: Like his canon counterpart, he wins the affection of Asuna, Lizbeth and Silica more or less by accident. Unlike in canon, Kirito's other personality traits eventually drive all of them but Asuna away. And Asuna only sticks around because she's just as crazy as he is; she's just better at hiding it.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: For all of his posturing, he still finds it impossible to not help people when they need it. Admittedly, that mostly happens when they say the words that turn off his mental defenses, but he starts doing it on his own later, such as when he saves Suguha from a blueberry muffin she was choking on without comprehending it until she was clearing her throat.
- Collective Identity: Played for Laughs. Much to his dismay, he finds out that a huge number of ALfheim Online users typed in some take on "Kirito" for their avatars. Kirito himself has to use "xVx_K1r1t0_xVx_KillMe" as a handle, because everything else was taken.
- Comically Invincible Hero: Canon Kirito was an Invincible Hero with it being made obvious there would never truly be any risk of him dying in SAO. Abridged Kirito takes that and adds in a dose of Smug Super, to make his overpoweredness funny.
- Composite Character: He takes Argo's place as the one who wrote the player's manual.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Sachi's death made him even more cynical than he already was.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's second nature for him to run his mouth with sarcastic remarks. He frequently includes pop culture references in his speeches (which most people don't recognize), steps back when he could help for the sake of snarking, and rarely takes the threats on his life seriously.
- Defiant to the End: While he doesn't die, he maintains his smug, insulting attitude all the way through Kuradeel's attempted assassination just to deny Kuradeel any joy from killing him.
- Defrosting Ice King: He comes to respect and value the friends he made in the game, and desires to free them from Kayaba Akihiko because every day they spend in the game he runs the risk of losing them. Despite the fact that the game is basically the perfect world for him since he's not facing any of the shortcomings of his real life.
- Didn't Think This Through: To test whether Guilty Thorn can indeed kill players in a safe zone, Kirito nearly stabs himself with it before Asuna intervenes.Asuna: Jesus Christ, what the hell are you doing?!
Kirito: Well, clearly, I'm stabbing myself with this sword to see if it kills me— Oh, God, what AM I doing?
- Dragon-in-Chief: He was by far the most powerful member of The Crew, even though Keita led the team. In fact, the only thing standing between him and leaving the group, if not just taking it over himself, was Keita's charisma-boosting hat.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Yui faking her death as a prank is not funny to Daddy Kirito. Mommy, on the other hand, is fair game.
- Escapism: He has a worse case of this than his canon counterpart due to his lack of friends in real life, and Asuna even lampshades that if the game ends, he'll lose his wish-fulfillment fantasy. That said, he's still willing to clear the game to save his in-game friends.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- In Episode 5, when Kirito wakes up to find Asuna asleep next to him, the idea of taking advantage of her doesn't even occur to him. Asuna is completely baffled when Kirito says he just drew whiskers on her face when she was asleep, and asks what else he would do in that situation. It also surprises Kirito — not only did the thought never occur to him, but he completely fails to comprehend what Asuna's suggesting.
- When Grimlock reveals his Stay in the Kitchen reason for killing his wife, Kirito is completely disgusted.
- When the Kirito is Always Right Foundation's commercial implied that the cure for stupidity was to get all stupid people killed, Kirito quickly offered an alternative. Which was to give him money, while calling everyone else morons, but still.
- In Episode 12, Kirito is thoroughly repulsed by Sugou's advancements towards the comatose Asuna. He is also offended by Suguha implying that he would make those same kinds of advancements to Asuna.
- In Episode 15, Kirito is clearly not impressed by Leafa brushing off Recon, despite the poor guy being head-over-heels for her.
- Funny Background Event: Abridged Kirito's eyes will often roll or look sideways in response to the person talking.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: "Detective Mode" makes Kirito's eyes glow bright gold.
- A God Am I: Kirito lapses into this after Rosalia intentionally pushes several of his Berserk Buttons, and he reveals that his level is so high that his wounds "heal faster than [they] can make them."Kirito: We could do this all day, and you would not be any closer to beating me, not that it wouldn't be fun. But, I've got good news. You see, there's no need to wonder where your god is! 'Cause he's right here! And he's fresh out of mercy!
[in the background, a random Mook begins crying in despair]
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Kirito uses the words "Gee willikers" around Yui in Episode 13 instead of the usual profanity the series is known for. It's revealed in the next episode that ALfheim Online, being a kid's game, has a swear filter, and he immediately breaks down upon finding out.
- Guile Hero: He convinced a Laughing Coffin hit squad to back off by convincing them they needed to go on a PR campaign and rebrand themselves to improve their business.
- Heel Realization: Sachi is the first one to make him see that he has been an asshole, where he vows to be nicer to others. He does try for a while, albeit with difficulty. However it is the death of Sachi and Keita that really pushes him to be a better person, experiencing grief for someone else for the first time. It doesn't last though as he shortly resorts to coping by abandoning emotions altogether.
- Heroic BSoD:
- When Silica snaps after they fail to revive Pina in time in Episode 4, The Stinger shows him just staring off in shock with claw marks across his face and her scream still ringing in his ears as fire rains all around him. Considering he declared himself a god after Rosalia tried to break him before curbstomping her troops not that long ago, it really sells just how terrifying Silica really is when pressed.
- In episode 11, when Asuna, Kirito is so devastated that he could only vaguely swing his sword in Kayaba's direction. Kayaba at least thinks Kirito's just trying to take all the fun out of their duel.
- Later slips dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon when he realizes he's utterly helpless to save Asuna in the real world beyond angrily flaming Sugou. He's barely drawn out of it by a picture of her Titania identity being sent to him.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: He flip-flops on whether he's closer to the heroic side or the sociopath side, but either way he retains a very twisted sense of morality.
- Hidden Depths: He gives a rather touching speech about the value of a loved one in episode 6. He admits that he pulled it from a very deep place within him, where the emotions there scare and confuse him.
- His comment about the Raguu Rabbit Stew "Flowers for Algernon"-ing his and Asuna's taste buds hints at his actual intellect.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It is there, under all that crusty exterior of insufferable smugness and jackassery, despite his claims of having gone cold turkey on emotions.
- Kirito's speech on humanity in episode 8 really drove home the fact that he despises people. However, his time in the game has made it impossible for him not to care about them.
- Hope Spot: A Played for Laughs version in Episode 12. Kirito is in a dream where SAO is real life, he's happily married to Asuna, and all the SAO victims are not really dead. Their world then shatters around them before Kirito awakens from the nightmare to the horror of real life.
- Played darkly straight in episode three. After watching his guildmates get slaughtered in the trap room Kirito is informed by Klein that the item in the Christmas event might be able to resurrect players. Unfortunately all he gets for his efforts is rare charisma boosting hat and completed slide into total misanthropy.
- Humans Are Morons: He really doesn't like people, and he will happily tell you why if he has the excuse. It makes his Chronic Hero Syndrome all the more remarkable to him.
- Hurting Hero: It's becoming increasingly clear just how deeply Sachi's death affected him, such as his Wrong Name Outburst in episode 7, or his self-inflicted Armor-Piercing Question in episode 8.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Kirito's previous experience with video games is put to good use, given that he's living in the game world now.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: The death of Sachi really affected Kirito, cutting deep into his psyche whenever he hears someone tell him: "It's not your fault." or "Gary".
- In Name Only: One of the most drastically different abridged series adaptations of a character to date, to the point where he's almost unrecognizable if it weren't for his name and physical appearance. His personality is taken full circle from a The Stoic Nice Guy with Chronic Hero Syndrome, to a psychotic Smug Super who starts off being devoid of empathy. Abridged Kirito's voice doesn't resemble any version of canon Kirito, being far more high-pitched. Even in terms of physical appearance, Abridged Kirito had Black Eyes of Insanity added to further distance the two.
- Insufferable Genius: Klein (BallsDeep69) described Kirito as the most unbearable asshole that he's ever met, but he's really good at this game.
- Internet Jerk: Early hints of this are in the very first episode where Kirito gets quite peeved and defensive after Klein jokingly guesses that he often is on the receiving end of beatings when it comes to real life. Later in the episode, after shooting multiple insults Klein's way, he runs away crying after Klein calls him an asshole.
- Played straight in Episode 12, where in the real world, he retaliates to Sugou's evil by flaming him on Twitter.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Episode 8 had everyone using the word "sword" as a substitute for Kirito's dick.
- I Reject Your Reality: Kirito quotes the Trope Namer. When Heathcliff declares he is the God of this reality, Kirito replies with "I reject your reality and substitute my own." Heathcliff is at first impressed by this, thinking Kirito was referencing The Dungeonmaster, but ironically, despite his encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and his own parallels to the main character, Kirito didn't know its actual origin and thought it came from MythBusters.
- It Amused Me: On a good day, he runs on this, insulting, belittling, pranking, scamming, trolling, and humiliating people for a quick laugh. Due to his high level, no one can really stop him from doing what he wants.
- Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: The difference between Kirito at the start of the first season and the end is extremely drastic. Although at the end he still has a tendency to insult and rip on his friends, it's mostly affectionate, and is willing to fight for them when it matters.
- Kick the Dog: Lizbeth certainly didn't deserve to be humiliated like that. Subverted when he later reveals he was only kidding and that he didn't actually spread the dragon poop joke, though she probably won't learn that until she talks with Tiffany after the game is won.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Episode 5, he stabs and hacks one of the NPCs he was defending earlier in the boss tactics meeting. Only, said NPC is Gary, the guy that left Sachi, Kirito and the rest of the party behind to fend for themselves after triggering a trap, which led to the deaths of everyone in the party but Kirito.
- Knight in Sour Armor: By Episode 11, he's grown into this. He still thinks that most of humanity is idiotic and thinks that getting stuck in Sword Art Online is one of the best things to ever happen to him, but he's willing to see that they have some good qualities, like being willing to risk their lives coming to the boss raid, and willing to fight Kayaba to end the game if it means that he can protect the few friends that he's made.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Kirito is so focused on the aerial combat aspect of ALfheim Online that he's completely in his own little world, gushing about flying around and beating down noobs like in the Aincrad days until Tiffany brings his attention to the picture of Asuna's holding place.
- Lack of Empathy: One of the clear contrasts between Kirito before and after Character Development is his inability to care about someone else. It is the death of Sachi that manages to push him towards being more human. Nearing the end of the first season, Kirito is putting his life on the line for others, even verbally defending a mass of players from Kayaba despite his own negative views about them.
- Loners Are Freaks: He wants to make friends with others, but due to his Insufferable Genius, and sociopathic tendencies, he ends up chasing others away.
- Made Myself Sad: In episode 5, he protests Asuna's plan to use NPCs as bait on the basis that some of his best friends are NPCs. He then hears Gary in the background, and gets reminded of his dead guild.
- Mask of Sanity: While he does nothing to hide his insufferable asshole personality, he has an even deeper twisted psychotic personality under the surface. The telltale signal he's about to lose it is his irises shrink down. Certain triggers will cause him to lapse into a psychotic killing spree as Rosalia and Gary find out the hard way.
- Medium Awareness: He can hear and interact with the Narrator in episode 2.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Eventually subverted, as he really, really, wants to be this. Unfortunately, Sachi's influence brought his Hidden Heart of Gold to the light of day..."[People] are without question, a complete write-off of a species, AND HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME CARE ABOUT THEM!"
- My Greatest Failure: Seems to regard Sachi's death as this. Anyone even remotely bringing it up will send him into some form of a Heroic BSoD.
- Mythology Gag: Kirito getting stuck at the username creation for ALfheim Online appears to be a reference to a "Sword Art Online on Crack" video that did the same joke of Kirito trying countless usernames.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Kirito temporarily 'killed his feelings forever' after failing to revive any of his dead guildmates, but especially Sachi, so that he doesn't feel sad or upset anymore. He eventually grows out of it.
- Nominal Hero: He starts off as this, being a borderline villain but sided with good due to sharing the common struggle of being in a death game. He grows out of this over time to more of a Good Is Not Nice Knight in Sour Armor who is firmly on the side of good despite being very reluctant to help others.
- Noodle Incident: He's apparently had several encounters with Don Fluffles, one of which apparently involved Fluffles falling off a cliff. He also somehow pissed off the King of Ashes enough to break the truce he negotiated with Heathcliff.
- No Social Skills: Where as this was an Informed Flaw in the canon, it's played much more realistically in the abridged version. Kirito's lack of social skills makes even people who like him think he's an asshole.
- Not a Morning Person: Implied by this bit after experiencing a nightmare.Kirito: 7:15, in the A.M.! No human is awake at this hour! Except....
- Not Good with People: Kirito has openly declared he hates people. A large part of his Character Development is him learning to care about (or at the very least, tolerate them without openly mocking them).
- Oblivious to Love: It's less about Kirito being blind to Asuna's love and more about Kirito lacking an understanding of love to begin with. Asuna's gestures of affection only serve to confuse him when he's long since been used to seeing her aggressive side. He gets over this by Episode 9 though, and the two do eventually become a couple.
- Oh, Crap!: In every form, from the annoyed "DAMN IT!" when he realizes he actually does care about people, to the small, subtly-horrified "Oh no." when Yui reveals that there is a catch to her takedown of the Floor 1 Reaper boss.
- Also a minor one when he realizes who is awake at the morning for Kendo practice in Episode 12.
- OOC Is Serious Business: See Ain't Too Proud to Beg above. Lizbeth's past touches too much of his trauma and he shows his embarrassing point to boot.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He is seriously tempted to let Suguha choke to death on a muffin after how brutally she treats him.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: In addition to his mastery of the game, he has a wide array of knowledge regarding movies, video games, comics and literature. It's what tips him off to Heathcliff's true identity.
- The Power of Love:
- Defied. Kirito tears this trope apart in episode 10.Kirito: The power of love is bullshit! Power of swords and violence, that's where the money is.
- Later played straight in episode 11 where it is Kirito's love for Asuna which gives him "something to fight for" and grants him the will to fight on against Kayaba.
- Defied. Kirito tears this trope apart in episode 10.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He tries to aloof when he's around other people but he starves for attention and easily breaks into emotional fits when other people insult him. Many episodes start with someone asking for him help, him acting smug which turns away the player, and then him forcing himself into the situation just so he can be around other people.
- Red Baron: In this series he earned the title of "Hero of Aincrad", which may or may not be self-imposed. He even uses it as his twitter name. Episode 15 also has Recon refer to Kirito as "The Black Swordsman."
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Brutally kills Rosalia when the latter pushes most of his Berserk Buttons.
- Later also kills Gary in front of other players due to vengeance against Gary escaping with the crystals and leaving them all to die.
- Sad Clown: Later episodes show that Kirito always cracks jokes and continues being a troll may actually be as a coping mechanism for all of the tragedy and anguish he's faced such as Sachi's death.
- Sanity Slippage: Sachi and Keita's death really broke him and he becomes even more unhinged and psychotic than he was at the start of the season.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Completing his whiny Internet Jerk characterization are the high-pitched shrieks he makes when genuinely startled.
- Shadow Archetype: He becomes this to his canon self after someone livestreams his "No More Holding Back" Speech and Curb-Stomp Battle with the Gleam Eyes; Canon Kirito started off as a savior with a Hidden Heart of Gold-hiding facade and struggled with hiding the secret of being the most powerful player in the game. Abridged Kirito reveled in his power from the beginning, but now has to struggle with being a Nominal Hero unwillingly placed in the role of, as Tiffany sarcastically puts it, "The Chosen One."
- Showy Invincible Hero: Now that he has reached a high enough level in the game, he's basically untouchable by everyone with a much lower level, and he loves to rub it in.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: To the point where discovering that ALfheim Online has a Gosh Dang It to Heck! profanity filter causes him to have a brief Heroic BSoD.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: His relationship with Asuna had this to an even greater extent than canon. They started off as a fierce snark fest and being at each other's throats, before developing feelings for each other and evolving into a functioning, albeit sociopathic relationship.
- Smug Super: He has a massive ego and comparing him to the same level as lower players is not a good idea.
- Space Jews: The Spriggan class he chose in ALfheim Online is treated as equivalent to a jew in the middle of the #RaceWar, with multiple jokes about him being greedy, treated as below other classes, and referred to as a "filthy spriggan".
- Speaks Fluent Animal: He can apparently communicate with Fluffles, who is a cat. After a conversation between Fluffles and Kirito, Heathcliff wonders if Kirito really can speak "cat," or if he's just messing with everyone. Asuna replies that, knowing Kirito, it could very well be both.
- The Sociopath: Subverted. Kirito initially comes off as a low-functioning type, having little empathy for others, not regretting the carnage he causes, and showing a constant need for stimulation satisfied by video games and/or fighting. As the series goes on, it's shown that Kirito actually can bond with others and care about his fellow players in his own way.
- Stock Light-Novel Hero: Being an abridged series it actually deconstructs the concept. He's far from the Nice Guy Hero that are common to the genre, being a sociopath who holds little regard for human life and part of his Character Development being learning to care. While he's similarly overpowered, he's also a Smug Super who loves rubbing it in everyone's faces. He starts off as a Chick Magnet who attracts girls, but his obnoxious personality always repels them away before he acquires his Unwanted Harem with only Asuna so far being able to stand being around him. He also learns his skills along the way rather than being given them with no explanation.
- Strong and Skilled: Much like canon he racked up extremely high stats as well as the skill and experience as a beta-player to use them to maximum efficiency. However unlike canon, he's all too eager to remind everyone else of this.
- Took a Level in Kindness:
- While he still shows a level of disdain towards everyone, Kirito is shown to be willing to save innocents even if he hates it, and even calls BallsDeep69 Klein when the latter tells him not to give up on humanity.
- By Season 2, his sarcastic streak is still around but it's very obvious that the events of Season 1 has changed him for the better. Notably, he's almost nothing but nice and even protective of Dogged Nice Guy Recon when Leafa is clearly abusing him.
- Tranquil Fury: In Episode 5 when Gary shows up, an unhinged Kirito starts off by greeting Gary like an old friend before proceeding to stab him to death.
- Trauma Button: Sachi's last words (though in the context of 'it's not your fault', it was the last two that were repeated in a demonic hellvoice). Hearing them made him compulsively stop and help Silica, he desperately prevented Lizbeth from saying them, and even triggered himself while trying to ignore a bunch of adventurers who were about to get themselves killed.Kirito: I know what you're doing. You think we should follow them. Well, I'm not playing your game. Whatever happens to them, it's not our... [Beat, then angrily] DAMMIT!
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The few friendships he has work out like this, since his jerkass behavior still pisses them off, but they're able to acknowledge he's got a Hidden Heart of Gold. Among his friends being Lizbeth, Tiffany, and Klein.
- Vocal Dissonance: In-Universe it's pointed out he sounds like a girl, he does not take well to that comparison.
- What Is This Feeling?: After the deaths of Sachi and Keita, Kirito is in mourning. He is, however, unable to comprehend the emotion, describing it as "this weird pain in my chest", something which completely puzzles him as he doesn't remember taking any physical damage from the fight, and he believes he can cure it the usual way; by collecting some rare item. Klein has to explain the concept of grief to him before he gets it.
- What You Are in the Dark: He realizes he can leave his horribly abusive little sister to choke on her food. Not only her death wouldn't be his fault, but also nobody would ever know he could've done something to save her and didn't. He still helps her, much to his chagrin.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Shown in his image above. This is the main physical distinction between canon and abridged Kirito, which he gets whenever he's enraged or psychotic.
- Wrong Name Outburst:
- When Kirito demands Lizbeth to stay back, she protests. Which causes Kirito to let out a "Do it Sachi!". Which he immediately plays off.
- He cries out "SUCK IT, ROSALIA!!" mid-coitus with Asuna; while he was clearly intending to get back at the former for her last words, the latter misinterpreted it as him having an affair with another woman.
- Adaptational Badass: While the canon version of Asuna wasn't exactly a pushover, the abridged series amps it up by removing or altering her more Damsel in Distress moments.
- In Episode 8, her fleeing from Kuradeel was actually her manipulating Kirito into fighting in her place in order to keep her hands clean and for personal satisfaction.
- In Episode 9, the canon version of her fight with Kuradeel had her being tricked into sparing him, which forced Kirito to kill him instead. While in the abridged series, she subjects Kuradeel to a full-fledged Curb-Stomp Battle, and kills him herself. Notably, this is in keeping with the original SAO web novel, which also had Asuna kill Kuradeel herself.
- In Episode 12, she's far less submissive to Sugou. When he comes to visit and attempt to seduce her, rather than giving a "you'll never get away with this" speech, she proceeds to spit on his face.
- In Episode 14, she bites Sugou when he tries to get too close to her, and when he gets too caught up in his own speech manages to slip away and beat down a few guards in an escape attempt. By Episode 15, she effectively made her cage a Cardboard Prison.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Like Kirito, she is shown to be a lot darker than her canon counterpart. See Beneath the Mask, Heroic Comedic Sociopath, and Yandere for more details.
- Adaptational Wimp: Asuna's ridiculous feat of breaking the dexterity speed limit to save Kirito is removed, and instead explained that Asuna had been following Kirito the whole time. Then again, the rest of the scene balances it out; her subsequent fight with Kuradeel is listed under Adaptational Badass above.
- Anti-Advice: She lives by the words of her mother about never backing down even when you're wrong. She briefly wonders whether that played a part in her parents' divorce, but refuses to think too much about it.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?:
- In episode 9, after dinner with Kirito, he's pretending to be a world-weary man for noticing the awkwardness in the air between them, only for Asuna to dim the lights and reveal that she's already in her underwear, which stuns Kirito.Asuna: Why are your pants still on? We doing this, or what?
- In episode 9, after dinner with Kirito, he's pretending to be a world-weary man for noticing the awkwardness in the air between them, only for Asuna to dim the lights and reveal that she's already in her underwear, which stuns Kirito.
- Badass in Distress: While she may be Sugou's prisoner like in canon, her flagrant disrespect for him and frequent (and violent) escape attempts makes perfectly clear that Sugou's admin privileges are the only reason he's managed to keep her for so long.
- Beneath the Mask: She's not much better than Kirito in terms of morality; she's just a lot better at hiding it.
- Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: She's quite casual with handling the knife that killed Yolko, although the 'gets-blamed-for-murder' part of the trope is ultimately averted since SAO is a virtual reality game that doesn't have blood or fingerprints programmed in. And Yolko didn't actually die.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Her dad actively hates her enough to consider euthanasia when shes in a coma, her mom was never willing to compromise and caused the two to get a divorce, and Asuna herself took after both in the worst ways.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: See her entries for Genius Ditz and Hopeless with Tech. Then consider that she still gets to be a high-rank commander in the Knights of the Blood.
- Character Development: Like Kirito she undergoes development, with her false relationship with Kirito turning into genuine love which reaches its climax when she willingly sacrifices herself to save him. Her yandere aspects also get dropped in the later episodes and she acts more like a normal girlfriend.
- Character Exaggeration:
- Her debut episode amps up her canon counterpart's Hopeless with Tech tendencies to ridiculous levels, thinking bread can be equipped and "DPS" is a sex thing. Though it gets dropped when she next returns.
- Asuna's clinginess for Kirito has gone from being a Clingy Jealous Girl with some tsundere aspects, to a murderous yandere who won't let anyone else near Kirito. Lizbeth learned this the hard way.
- Characterization Marches On:
- In her first appearance in episode 2, her main character trait is that she's a Hopeless with Tech noob at the game. In her later appearances, this has been dropped completely due to having time to learn everything, and instead her characterization revolves around how she's Not So Different from Kirito.
- Her yandere aspect gets dropped after she and Kirito go from having a sociopathic relationship to genuine love.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Towards Kirito. She threatens to kill Lizbeth when she attempts to make a move on Kirito and not even the posthumous Sachi is spared of her scorn.
- Cut Your Heart Out With A Spoon: Threatens Sugou with this after Sugou makes clear he is only allowing him to play ALO to crush his hope seeing Asuna behind admin-enabled barriers. It freaks Sugou out enough to trigger a full-on Villainous Breakdown.
- Damsel out of Distress: She manages to briefly escape from Sugou in Episode 14 and beat his guards with her bare hands. It's said that this isn't the first time, and she's become The Dreaded to his goons. Episode 15 shows her as The Juggernaut, painted as something akin to the xenomorph from Alien.
- Defiant Captive: She refuses to submit to Kuradeel's whims. When Sugou attempts to intimidate her, Asuna gives him some Spiteful Spit to the face.
- In fact, Sugou's scientists and guards are very much afraid of Asuna, so much that some of them take their leave just to avoid her rampage.
- The Dreaded:
- Tiffany and Lizbeth end up being terrified of her due to her obnoxious demeanour or psychotic nature and will do anything to be away from her. This is solidified in the beginning of Episode 9.Asuna: [entering the room] Hey Kirito, the commander wants to-
Lizbeth: AAAAHHH! I DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING [to Kirito], I SWEAR! [sound of breaking glass is heard]
Tiffany: Wait for me! I know a shortcut! [more breaking glass]
- She's evidently made quite an impression on Sugou's Mooks, because when she escapes her cage in Episode 14, their response is to scream "IT'S LOOSE!!"
- Tiffany and Lizbeth end up being terrified of her due to her obnoxious demeanour or psychotic nature and will do anything to be away from her. This is solidified in the beginning of Episode 9.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After hearing how stat altercations in the game are able to influence how interactions and combat are allowed to occur, Asuna barely speaks the word "Charisma" before she instantly figures out where Sugou's plan is going.
- Foreshadowing: It's easy to miss, but early in episode 5, Asuna is the only person not disturbed when Kirito brutally kills the NPC Gary. This marks how she's wearing a Mask of Sanity.
- Genius Ditz: She's an excellent fighter and strategist who has never played MMOs before. This leads to things like having no idea what "XP" is or how to open the menu. This doesn't last past her first episode, as she learns these things later.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Burns down Lizbeth's shop because the latter tried flirting with Kirito.
- Hopeless with Tech: She doesn't even know how to open the menu, which is literally a matter of life or death given that most of the interactions within SAO are done through the menu. How she managed to survive the first month is nothing short of a miracle, and the ending of episode two shows she still has no idea how to open the damn thing. Also, while she is a competent fighter and strategist, she obviously hasn't played MMOs before, having no idea what "XP" stands for, and thinking that "DPS" has something to do with sex. Appears to be dropped by Episode 5, probably due to it being a long time passing since we last saw her.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Kirito compares her crying to that of a "surly drunk".
- Innocent Bigot: Her relationship with Tiffany is strained because of this since her earnest efforts to not be racist keep coming around to being racist again. Speaking in Jive Turkey and apologizing over using terms like "calling the kettle black" are just the tip of her problems.
- In the Hood: During her introduction.
- Jive Turkey: Her attempts to speak to Tiffany veer into this and Ebonics.
- Mama Bear: When Yulier angrily threatens Yui, Asuna quietly tells her to back off or she'll kill Thinker herself.
- Manipulative Bitch: She knows how to play to Kirito's flaws and traumas. In Episode 8 she's able to appeal to his pride to make him deal with one of her underlings so she can avoid some guild drama, and in Episode 9 pushes his Trauma Button to simultaneously demoralize and reassure him.
- Mask of Sanity: She's arguably even more messed up than Kirito, but hides it better. Asuna is personable to other players, and is able to convince a few players to help her. However, when the mask drops, Asuna is a Blood Knight who has no problem killing people, and is a yandere who wants Kirito all to herself. In fact, part of the reason she's so obsessive about Kirito is likely that he's the only one whose seen under her mask and hasn't immediately started treating her as The Dreaded.
- More Deadly Than the Male: As explained above, Asuna and Kirito are Birds of a Feather when it comes to their anti-social behavior and trauma, but Asuna is the considerably more unhinged and volatile of the two. While Kirito has his moments of Pay Evil unto Evil, Asuna has done some truly heinous things for outright petty reasons, such as burning down threatening to kill Lizbeth and later burning down her shop because she got too close to Kirito.
- Not So Different: The more we see of her, the more we learn that the only difference between her and Kirito is her acting ability.
- Comes to a head in Episode 10. Both their subconscious's are represented by two versions with themselves arguing with each other. They both agree that their marriage was rushed, but they don't want to admit it to the other and end up resorting to complicated mindgames of one-uping the other that only end up giving them more troubles. And they were both sent away from peace talks because Heathcliff is afraid that one of them will piss someone off and kill thousands.
- The Power of Love: As noted by Kayaba, the power of love was able to allow Asuna to break admin-induced paralysis.
- Pragmatic Hero: While she thinks of the other players as complete idiots like Kirito, she's at least willing to work with them on the rationalization that she has a better chance of surviving if she works with people. Or at least has a human shield in front of her.
- Real Name as an Alias: Much like her canon counterpart, she still goes by her real name in SAO.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Sugou spills his entire plan to her believing she won't be able to stop him with force, she bolts while he's monologuing and slaughters his guards.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Seemingly part of what attracts her to Kirito in the first place; when he doesn't take advantage of her as she slept next to him (only drawing whiskers on her face as a prank), she sounds almost flabbergasted that the thought apparently never occurred to him. The fact that he proves to be her equal in terms of snark and mind-games seals the deal.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: After Kirito is forced to join The Knights of the Blood, Asuna tries to cheer him up by assuring him that she won't die "like that dumb bitch Sally."
- Spiteful Spit: Spits in Sugou's face at the end of Episode 12.
- Stalker with a Crush: This is how the abridged series explains her insanely good timing in saving Kirito from Kuradeel; she was following Kirito around.
- Stating the Simple Solution: She points out that Kayaba could have easily blamed anonymous hackers for the death glitch rather than pretend it was all part of some master plan. Kayaba can only reply that he wishes he'd thought of that.
- Taking the Bullet: She somehow manages to shake off Kayaba's admin paralysis and takes a fatal blow for Kirito. You should know she survives, though.
- That Came Out Wrong: When speaking with Tiffany everything she says accidentally comes out sounding racist. Luckily Tiff is a very patient person and knows she doesn't mean it.
- Took a Level in Badass: By the time of her appearance in Episode 5, she appears to be much more savvy with how the game runs. Also, the abridged series gets rid of a few of her Damsel in Distress moments, such as killing Kuradeel herself in Episode 9 instead of having Kirito do it.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: She becomes considerably meaner as the series goes on. Then again, she's dealing with Kirito, so it's hard to blame her. It's also implied that her friendliness is mainly a mask to hide this side of her.
- Took a Level in Kindness: A relatively minor one, but Yui's death had much the same effect on her as it did on Kirito.
- Tsundere: While she does have feelings for Kirito, she spends all her time arguing and belittling him. Her Hidden Heart of Gold-hiding facade is part of her Mask of Sanity, so it's close to what she actually believes.
- However, he gives as good as he gets from her, so it balances out.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: In episode 15 when Sugou / Oberon states his desire to see Kirito lose all hope from failing to reach the World Tree, Asuna threatens to gut him and then wear his entails as a scarf which completely unnerves Sugou despite Asuna having no way to harm him.
- We Want Our Jerk Back!: Kirito's initial response to Asuna being nice towards him.Asuna: Kirito? Hi! Come on in! How are you?
Kirito: Okay, stop that.
Asuna: I'm sorry?
Kirito: This thing you're doing where you seem genuinely happy to see me. I was half-expecting to find a suspiciously sound-proof warehouse on the outskirts of town with a shallow grave out back, but somehow this is more unsettling.
- Yandere: She burned Lizbeth's shop down for "flirting" with Kirito, and she was her Only Friend at that point.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: Inverted. Klein is one of the few characters played more seriously than he is in canon, aside from the joke about his name.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the original, he was named Tsuboi Ryoutarou and his screen name was Klein. Here, Klein appears to be his real name.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Klein's Chivalrous Pervert side is mostly dropped in favor of being an Only Sane Man and Morality Pet to Kirito.
- Catchphrase: "My name is Klein!" He says it so often his guild thinks it's how he says hello.
- The Conscience: Acts as this to Kirito, to an extent.
- Embarrassing Nickname: In his defense, he claims that this was supposed to be a test character that he was just fooling around with before he would create his main.
- The Heart: Tends to be this when he shows up.
- Hero of Another Story: Don Fluffles's men refer to him as "the legendary warrior, BallsDeep69," while he and Tiffany evidently had quite an adventure fighting chimeras to get a new weapon. Kirito has trouble believing that they have a life outside of their interactions with him.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Is reduced to this before Kirito's final duel with Heathcliff, when Kirito tells him he's always regretted not joining his guild and that it would have been fun.
- Nice Guy: Have to give the guy credit, he actually tries to be a supporting friend for Kirito. It's a lot harder than it sounds.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Episode 3, Klein and his guild manage to fend off a huge force of mobsters, but we only see them resting in the aftermath.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Klein. Justified because his character's name is rather embarrassing.
- Only Sane Man: Among Kirito and Asuna, he's the one who tries to see reasoning the most and tries to be a bit of a Morality Chain for the former.
- Straight Man: Other than his nickname, he's the serious foil for Kirito's antics.
- Swapped Roles: He and Kirito have swapped places compared to their canon counterparts. Now Kirito is the comic relief, while Klein is the mature Straight Man.
- Tears of Joy: He breaks down then he realizes his words to Kirito about the value of having friends actually had an impact. He becomes outright incoherent when Kirito expresses regret over not joining his guild.
- Took a Level in Badass: He goes from not even finishing off the boar in the beginning to defeating a group of mafia players with his own guild.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Nice as he may be to Kirito, he is completely aware of how much an asshole Kirito is from the moment they meet, and won't hesitate to point that out.
- Worthy Opponent: In the third episode, Don Fluffles's mafia considers him one for keeping them from killing Kirito.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In moments of emotional significance for Kirito, he calls Klein by his canon name rather than "Balls". The most notable example is during Kirito's heroic speech to Heathcliff before their Final Battle, where he shows just how far he's come as a character and a person.
Tiffany: Good, then maybe you'll shut up and listen.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In the original, he was an Uncle Pennybags who used the profits from his store to help lower-level players. In this, he's a Con Artist who takes advantage of the idiotic player base. He did start off trying to help people, but realized most of the people there were Too Dumb to Live.
- Adaptation Name Change: His canon gamer name was Agil, which he never gets referred to as in this series.
- Con Artist: Intentionally sells broken or otherwise useless equipment to other players in the game, something Laughing Coffin's ads lampshade.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Laments this after seeing the Skull Reaper kill two players in one hit.Tiffany: WHY DID I PUT ALL MY POINTS INTO BARTERING?
- Embarrassing Nickname: Defied in that he doesn't seem the least bit embarrassed about going by "Tiffany", which he himself says is a girl's name when Diabel tries to cover for him. No specific reason has been given, so it's not known if it was because his original character model was playing up the G.I.R.L. trope, he logged into his wife's account, or if he just chose it because it amused him. He doesn't mind, but does like using it to confuse the hell out of others so that he can gain the floor to talk.
- Hero of Another Story: He had an off-screen adventure with Klein where they fought chimaeras and acquired a rare item. Kirito expresses disbelief at this, prompting them to scold him for not knowing they had lives outside of him.
- Hypocrite: He lambastes everyone for not reading the manual, but if he had read it, he'd have probably realized it's full of bad advice.
- I Have Many Names: "Mountain Slayer." "Thunder Lion." "The Chocolate Axe." But you? You may call him... Tiffany.Diabel: So, as Mr. Thunderchocolate was saying...
- Nice Guy: Cons exluded, (and really, it's the player's own fault for falling for it at this point) he's a decent guy. Kirito even notes that the only reason he goes off on him is because Tiffany is nice enough to bear it
- Only Sane Man: Well, aside from being named Tiffany, he's one of the few that tries to maintain some semblance of order amongst the many noobs in the game.
- Pet the Dog: He may be a con artist, but he had the decency to help Lizbeth escape from his shop when Asuna showed up. That and he's terrified of Asuna's wrath too. In Episode 13, he encourages Kirito to save Asuna even though he hates her.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He is not at all embarrassed to be known as "Tiffany." He even says that it is a girl's name up front when others try to cover for him.
- Surrounded by Idiots: In his first appearance, he's actually trying to help his fellow players, like his Canon counterpart. But he quickly becomes so fed up with their Too Dumb to Live attitudes that he starts scamming them instead.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Is one of the only people that actually shows anything resembling a proper friendship with Kirito, jokingly calling him his "least favorite customer" since according to Kirito, he isn't "dumb enough to buy [Tiffany's] crap". Helps that Tiff agrees with Kirito that a lot of the other players are indeed idiots, and neither of them make any real attempt to pretend otherwise. Kirito even stops by his bar in early Season 2 and in the middle of a rant about his day, he angrily exclaims "I TREASURE OUR FRIENDSHIP!" with total sincerity.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Unlike in canon, she and Kirito aren't in time to save Pina.
- Audience Surrogate: Acts as one, regarding how MMOs and RPGs handle quests. As well as dealing with asshole party members.
- Badass Adorable: You wouldn't think so at first, but Pina calls her "Dovahkiin" near the beginning of the episode, and if The Stinger at the end is any indication, she certainly lives up to the title when she snaps.
- Break the Cutie: Episode 4 was not kind to her.
- Brutal Honesty: Eventually admits to Kirito that he's "the worst person [she's] ever met."
- Death by Adaptation: Not her, but her pet Pina. Unlike the canon series, she and Kirito fail to revive Pina in time.
- Head Pet: Pina is introduced sitting on her head.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Silica points to the day of her birth as when her life started going wrong.Silica: Well, I guess it all started when I was born. My mom was a bit of a drinker, and sober? That was just not in the cards...
- Indie Game: A Freeze-Frame Bonus in episode 12 on Kirito's Twitter feed shows her responding to a bad review of a game she made.
- Love at First Sight: Her first impression of Kirito includes Bishie Sparkles and roses, leaving her starstruck. However, after going on a quest together and getting to know him, her feelings for him subside, so by the end of the episode she just wants to get away from him.
- Shout-Out: Pina calls her a "Dovahkiin" and she thought Pina was going to evolve when the dragon starts glowing.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Unlike in canon, Silica is not happy with being used by Kirito as bait to draw Rosalia out. It probably doesn't help that this Kirito is a much bigger ass about it, feeling no shame at all and even proudly admits it.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: She did not take the fact that, despite all the hell she and Kirito went through throughout Episode 4, they were still too late to revive Pina. The Stinger shows Kirito standing there utterly gobsmacked with claw marks across his face and ears still ringing from her scream of rage, sitting on his knees as smoke, fire, air-raid sirens, and chaos roars around him.Kirito: [thinking] ...She took that well.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Here, she has a much more sad background than her canon counterpart, see Sole Survivor. There's also the fact that Asuna burned her shop down by the end of her debut episode, meaning her Only Friend at this point has turned on her. Although she later becomes friends with Tiffany and Kirito.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Abridged Lizbeth is an Hikikomori who prefers to stay in her shop. She also did not want to accompany Kirito on the quest for the rare mineral, as opposed to her canon self who insisted on going against Kirito's better judgement.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Kayaba tends to play appropriate music whenever possible. Shows how impressed he is with her smithing skills that he chooses the kind of pulse-pounding Hard Rock you get from the Guilty Gear soundtrack (along with it being appropriate in the backdrop of the final fight of Gurren Lagann, which is shown as an in-universe Fighting Game, which she balances along with the rhythm game, and the game of Space Invaders).
- Break the Cutie: Twice, once when her entire guild was killed off, and the second time when Kirito cemented her legacy with literal dragon shit. And then Asuna burns down her shop by the end of the episode.
- Brick Joke:
- At the end of episode 7 Asuna burns her shop down for talking to Kirito, and in episode 9 she's carrying a box of things she managed to recover from her ruined shop, then Asuna shows up where she insists she wasn't talking to Kirito and promptly flees by jumping out the window.
- In episode 7, she talks about the Lizbeth Quality Guarantee right before Kirito casually breaks her best sword as a test. After blackmailing her into making him the best sword in the game, said sword shatters in the climactic battle against Kayaba in episode 11. The subtitle reads "Lizbeth Quality Guarantee".
- Cry Laughing: By the time Kirito is done with her (see Yank the Dog's Chain below), she ends up doing this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Just as snarky as her canon counterpart.
- Hikikomori: She rarely leaves her shop. It took Kirito blackmailing her and Asuna threatening her to get her to leave.
- Humiliation Conga: Basically all of episode 7 was this for her.
- My Greatest Failure: The reason she became a shut-in was because she ran headlong into a trap that got her guild killed.
- Not So Different: From Kirito. Both suffer from PTSD from being the Sole Survivor of their guilds.
- Only Friend: Asuna is her only friend... until after The Stinger of episode 7, where Asuna goes full on yandere and burns down her shop. This changes by episode 9, as she becomes Vitriolic Best Buds with Kirito and Tiffany.
- Sole Survivor: Her entire guild got killed off in a similar situation to the Black Cats. Her reaction to Kirito telling her she can't just run ahead, immediately flashing back to the picture of her former guild, suggests she feels immense guilt over what happened to them. His later sarcastic comment that she didn't manage to get them killed being a ground-breaking achievement just has her quietly note that it probably is.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: She's so good at SAO's blacksmithing mechanic that she breaks the game's scoring system when forging Kirito's new sword, and Kayaba sets the sequence to "Big Blast Sonic."
- Vitriolic Best Buds: After getting over her feelings for him, she and Kirito remain friends, while remaining fully aware how much of an asshole he is. She herself partakes in playful ribbing after his "No More Holding Back" Speech goes public.
- We Used to Be Friends: Lizbeth (understandably) breaks off ties with Asuna after the latter threatened to kill her and burned down her weapons shop. And her next appearance, while Lizbeth is playfully ribbing Kirito, she ends up running away in fear when she hears that Asuna is about to return.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: At the end of episode 7, it looks like Kirito might share a heartwarming moment with her... until he ruins it by revealing he's essentially made her and her blacksmithing into a dragon poop joke though it turns out he only said that to mess with her and didn't actually go through with it. And then Asuna burns her shop down.
- You Need to Get Laid: In the opening on episode 7, Lizbeth starts asking invasive questions about Asuna's sex life due to her own lack of action and wanting to live vicariously through her.
- Adaptational Intelligence: At the time of her introduction she is far more smart than canon Yui, who went through Laser-Guided Amnesia and acted like a real child. This Yui engages in Little Professor Dialog and is noted by Kirito and Asuna to be exceptionally intelligent. Of course by the time canon Yui gets her memories back she's pretty much in line with Abridged Yui too.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Like her parents, this Yui has her negative qualities amplified. While canon Yui was an innocent Nice Girl, this Yui is a Manipulative Bitch pretending to be a helpless girl, as well as being a snarky troll.
- Adaptation Distillation: Rather than her being a lost girl that Kirito and Asuna find in the forest and bring home with them. Asuna awakens to find Yui in her bed immediately.
- And I Must Scream: She tried to prank Kirito and Asuna by faking her death, but Kirito unknowingly trapped her by turning her into an item before she could reveal that she was indeed alive. She's shown to have be completely aware of everything else that occurred after that, but was eventually freed in ALfheim.
- She inflicts this on Leafa after she doesn't back off from trying to harm Kirito. It was so effective Leafa drops her schemes to go along with whatever Yui says.
- Artificial Intelligence: As if Yui's speech and behavior weren't evidence enough, during her fight against the Grim Reaper the abridged series adds visual and auditory glitch effects to emphasize her reality-bending nature.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While at first Kirito and Asuna only see her as a means to an end, both come to truly adore Yui after seeing how alike she is to them with her sarcastic retort to Yulier.
- Becoming the Mask: Contrast to her original character, Yui was just faking her Laser-Guided Amnesia to become intimately involved with the most dysfunctional couple she found and reevaluate her definition of love. Then, this trope happened.Yui: I am sorry I lied to you. I inserted myself into your lives merely to satisfy my own curiosity. At least, at first. It was... nice to be a part of your family. I... I WISH I REALLY WAS YOUR DAUGHTER!
- Creepy Child: Her debut in The Stinger of Episode 9 plays this up, with a lot of screen distortion and static and a ghostly reverb to her voice. The reverb comes back in Episode 13 when she learns that Asuna is trapped in ALfheim Online.
- Deadpan Snarker: When Yulier calls Thinker one of the most brilliant men she's ever known, Yui retorts that it says more about Yulier than Thinker.
- Dude, Not Ironic: She points out to Yulier that Thinker falling into an obvious trap is not as ironic as the fact that his name is Thinker but he's "something of a dullard." This prompts Kirito to wish he'd given her a tiny microphone to drop (which Asuna thinks would be adorable).
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite her penchant for Black Comedy, she is not impressed when Leafa still suspects Kirito for having an ulterior motive to play ALO than him actually trying to save Asuna.
- Faking the Dead: Episode 13 reveals that her death was actually her attempt at a joke. She wasn't expecting Kirito and Asuna to use admin privileges to turn her into an item before she could reveal herself, however.
- The Gadfly: Has her moments, but shown clearly when she reveals she faked her deletion just to mess with Kirito and Asuna.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Psychologist AI who was meant to manage the mental health of the players on Sword Art Online and console them, only to get turned off by Kayaba on Launch Day and was Forced to Watch as so many players died to have their friends mourn them or had killed themselves from grief. Then when she managed to encounter the adventures of both Kirito and Asuna and their dysfunctional relationship managed to get her a means to glitch out to join them and pose as their adoptive daughter: taking full advantage of her [ IMMORTAL Object ] status to protect both of her parents and destroy the Floor 1 Boss until the system threatened to delete her; where Kirito manages to use his daughters' Administration status to turn Yui's AI code into an Item that he uploaded directly to his NerveGear. Then when Kirito goes over to ALfheim Online note to save Asuna, she was ported into the game and was able to port over most of Kirito's SAO Gear and granted herself Admin Status in ALO to mess around with ALO's code to help Daddy save her Mommy.
- I Know Your True Name: Invokes this on Leafa, aka Suguha Kirigaya to convince her to help Kirito.
- Laser-Guided Karma: A heroic example. Her faked death caused Kirito to "save her" by turning her into an item, resulting in her being unable to speak to her parents for months, meaning that her pretending to be in serious trouble actually led to her being in serious trouble.
- Little Miss Badass: Took out the Fatal Scythe without so much as a flinch. Also goes straight into "save my mother" mode when Kirito tells her Asuna's being held captive.
- Little Miss Snarker: And it is this trait of her's that ultimately endears her to Kirito and Asuna.
- Little Professor Dialog: Aside from her tendency towards Spock Speak, she sometimes breaks into this, employing words like "geopolitical" or "dullard" that most girls her age wouldn't. Justified since she's an AI.
- Manipulative Bitch: While Kirito and Asuna are using her as a pawn in their mind games, she in turn is using them as research subjects.
- Morality Chain: There is a very distinct change in Kirito and Asuna's attitude once they genuinely start feeling affection towards Yui, acting more like a real family and their behavior becoming more civil. It's especially Yui's (fake) deletion that really humanizes Kirito and Asuna, where they immediately proceed to have a normal conversation and even the usual Sadist remarks being played up as a harmless joke.
- My Daddy Is Off Limits: Takes an instant disliking to Leafa as an "obstinate hussy," and repeatedly urges Kirito to ditch her so they can get back to rescuing Asuna.Yui: I WILL END YOU, THOT!!
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: To Leafa's embarrassment, Yui senses that Leafa and Recon's heart rates increased by 22% when they met each other in episode 15. Leafa tries to say that she's scared of Recon, but both Kirito and Yui start laughing at the suggestion, since Recon is a Dogged Nice Guy.
- Not So Different: While she initially seems like a slightly odd little girl, it turns out Yui is a lot like her adoptive parents in that she's smarter than she looks, seems to enjoy violence, can be devastatingly snarky, is pretty knowledgeable about the game, and does not take kindly to people threatening her loved ones.
- Only Sane Man: She's completely aware that Kirito and Asuna are using her against one another to try to get the other to balk out of their relationship.
- Outside-Context Problem: Yui is slowly on the road to becoming this for Oberon in ALfheim Online, where due to being downloaded from Sword Art Online directly into Kirito's NerveGear she managed to port over most of her father's equipment that he had back in Sword Art Onlinenote to give him more of an advantage in the game, along with narrowing down the exact location of her mother Asuna who is trapped somewhere inside of the gamenote .
- Reality Warper: A low-key example, but she is an AI with admin privileges for the engine ALfheim Online copied, ported over from Sword Art Online. She abuses these privileges to thwart Leafa's attempted hate-fueled investigation of Kirito by temporarily deleting her face. In games like SAO and ALO where the avatars are linked to the player's actual senses, this means that she is effectively taking away the sight, smell and taste of any player of her own choosing. This is pretty much a death sentence unless they have a higher level of admin privileges to override her command or Yui herself gives it back.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After hearing that Asuna's consciousness was being held hostage by Oberon; the Game Admin for ALfheim Online, Yui runs through several calculations in order to help her Daddy to free her Mommy from Oberon.Warning: Area is under direct control of game admin
New Objective Added: Kill game admin by any means necessary
- Sophisticated as Hell: Lapses into this in Episode 14, where she alternates between her usual Little Professor Dialog and terms like "hussy" and "thot".
- Spared by the Adaptation: While she lives in both versions, Yui's first death here was a prank she played on Kirito and Asuna. It backfired horribly when Kirito turned her into an item while thinking he was saving her from deletion.
- Spock Speak: As an AI she speaks in a formal tone and avoids contractions... usually.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
- Yui giggles at Kirito going on a murderous rampage on some enemies. Though only Yulier is concerned by this.Yui: Go for the eyes, Papa! That is their weakpoint!
- This shows in a Freeze-Frame Bonus in Episode 13, where some of the text in her eyes reads "KILL GAME MASTER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY".
- She's aware of what Leafa is talking about when she mentions "sucking off" someone, and helpfully begins to provide an explanation before Kirito stops her.
- Yui giggles at Kirito going on a murderous rampage on some enemies. Though only Yulier is concerned by this.
- Waxing Lyrical: Engages in this when stating her reasons for latching onto Kirito and Asuna.Yui: I wanted to know what love is. I wanted you to show me.
Asuna: [tearfully] Goddamn Foreigner!
Kirito: You mean the band, right?
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Even though Yui's an AI trained in psychiatry, she couldn't comprehend how "two of the most broken, sociopathic players" she had ever seen managed to form a working relationship, and decided to get closer to study Kirito and Asuna directly.
He's later revealed to actually be Kayaba Akihiko, Sword Art Online's head developer, and the very person who trapped ten thousand players inside the game on launch day.
Tropes applying to Heathcliff
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's not the leader of the KOB for nothing. And that's before taking his true identity as SAO's admin into account.
- Bad Liar: Trying to explain the 'Immortal Object' popup that shows up when Kirito stabs him. Nobody buys it.
- Berserk Button: A Spot the Thread-inducing one: He gets very defensive when people insult Sword Art Online.
- Big Good: The leader of a large guild and very proactive in clearing out SAO. Kayaba had to take on this role because of how idiotic the players were.
- Expy: Shares traits from Perfect Cell, having an identical voice, a gentlemanly manner, and an inflated ego. He also has a similar relationship with Kirito that Cell has to Goku, being a Worthy Opponent and the only one who Kayaba feels understands him.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: He's exasperated when no one reacts when he makes a Dr. Strangelove reference to try to defuse a tense situation.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: One of very few. Kayaba decided he had to be this, since the sheer stupidity of the players would never be able to beat the game without a strong unifying force.
- Red Baron: His impregnable defense has earned him the distinguished title of "Cheating Haxxor Faggot." Unbeknownst to everyone else, he is keeping himself alive with a cheat code.Sam: Distinguished?
- Shout-Out: Likes making references to classic movies (that usually no one else has seen). The fact that he shares this habit with Kayaba makes Kirito suspicious of him.
- Something Only They Would Say: What ultimately gives him away is his fascination with pop culture references, just like Kayaba.Heathcliff: Oh, so now you've seen TRON!
Kirito: Of course I've seen TRO—wait, "now?"
- Younger Than They Look: Looks to be middle-aged, but he's really Kayaba, who seems to be in his mid-twenties.
- Death by Adaptation: Her canon counterpart just gets sent to prison with the rest of her guild. Her abridged self? Gets her neck cut open for pressing all three of Kirito's Berserk Buttons.
- Defiant to the End: As she is killed by Kirito, she proceeds to make one final remark to spite him, which evidentally really gets to him. See "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Doesn't understand why Silica might be upset at the prospect of skinning and wearing her pet.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "Enjoy this while you can. It's the deepest you'll ever be in a woman."
- Fun with Subtitles: She's introduced in the subtitles as "Pet Skinner".
- Interface Spoiler: In-Universe. Her attempt to ambush Kirito is foiled because he can see her nametag hovering over her head, poking around the sides of the tree she's behind.
- I Shall Taunt You: She goads Kirito into helping Silica by insinuating he's underleveled. Kirito falls for it. Then when they have the Numa Flower, she tries it again to throw Kirito off his game. It... ends badly.
- Joke and Receive: She attempts to insult Kirito by suggesting that Silica finally found a party member closer to her level, but as the end of Episode 4 shows, that's more true than Rosalia could have known.
- Kick the Dog: She's introduced trying to convince Silica to hand Pina over so they can skin her and make dragon leather pants.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her teammates were very much looking forward to seeing her in leather pants.
- Small Role, Big Impact: As much as Kirito doesn't want to admit it, her "First year Psyche-School bullshit" was an accurate assessment of Kirito pre-Character Development.Rosalia: And to top it all off, you play the tough guy; this invincible warrior you could never hope to be in the real world. Getting stuck in this game was probably the best thing to ever happen to you.
- Virgin-Shaming: Rosalia's dying words after Kirito stabs her is that "that is the deepest you'll ever get inside a woman." This gets under Kirito's skin because he's unable to come up with a snappy comeback.
- Conservation of Competence: Rosalia's mooks start getting worried when they realize Kirito initially thought they were in Laughing Coffin, and still only brought himself and Silica. Rosalia dismisses their concerns, much to her detriment.
- Mook Horror Show: One of them starts crying when Kirito reveals his character level and how utterly screwed they all are.
- Mugging the Monster: To their credit, Rosalia pushed them into it.
- Only Sane Man: One of them points out that Kirito thought they were the Laughing Coffin and still only brought himself and a girl for backup. He was right to be afraid.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Kirito attributes his dual-wielding skill to when he saw one of Rosalia's mooks using such an ability.
A guild that Kirito got roped into joining, consisting of Keita, Sachi, and three NPCs from quests Keita never finished. Unlike in the original series, here they are usually called "The Crew".
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI party members... aren't exactly the greatest. Granted, all of them are from low level quests, one of them being the Tutorial NPC.
- Chekhov's Gun: The fact that one of their NPC members is from the tutorial comes back in a big way in Episode 11, where Kayaba reveals that stealing him was one of the primary reasons over 2000 players died within the first month as none of them could complete the tutorial, and was a catalyst for him posing as Heathcliff to try and get things back on the rails.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Keita is a cheater using glitches and exploits to fund the guild by using duplication glitches on rare items, Sachi has terrible internet connection and lags at all the wrong times, and the NPCs suck at pathfinding, fighting, obeying orders, and will randomly get stuck in walls.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Abridged Keita is a lot more smarter, on top of being a manipulative glitch-exploiting hacker, he specifically recruits Kirito into his guild because of his level. While in canon, Keita never even knew about Kirito's true level.
- Adaptational Villainy: He's a manipulative glitch-exploiting hacker whose selfishness in stealing several NPCs resulted in the death of thousands of players. Also, instead of his guild deciding to explore a dungeon out of curiosity like in canon, he was the one who forced them to go to recover an item from a dangerous dungeon and pay off his debt while he opts to not join them.
- Asshole Victim: Here it's a lot harder to feel sympathy for his death due to all the awful things he's done.
- Chekhov's Skill: That Charisma-boosting hat of his? It turns out to be the inspiration behind Sugou's plot to abuse the mechanics of the game to enact a worldwide Mind Control plot.
- Compelling Voice: With the hat on.
- Driven to Suicide: Here, Keita knew about Kirito's levels, but still jumps to his death. Not because Sachi (and two of the three NPC members) died, but because he'd rather not face an in-game mafia for failing to duplicate a rare item.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: He seems to be sexually attracted by Kirito's stats much like an average guy would be to a girl's assets.Kirito: Hey Hey! My eyes are down here!
- Jerkass: He's a glitch-exploiting hacker who uses a Charisma-granting hat to force other players to do whatever he needs them to do, along with stealing various quest-essential NPCs by never completing their quests. This includes the Tutorial NPC, which results in thousands of deaths because a lot of players couldn't complete the tutorial.
- Kid with the Leash: Because of the huge Charisma score granted by his hat, Keita can control Kirito, and make him and Sachi do things he'd rather not do.
- Loophole Abuse: Figured out that if he never completed a quest an NPC was involved in, they'd follow him indefinitely to serve as a fighter and pack mule.
- Nice Hat: It's a hat of Charisma (+50). Kirito hates it as Keita uses it to compel Kirito to do whatever he wants.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Taking the Tutorial NPC for his guild kept other players from completing the game's tutorial, leading to the deaths of thousands.
- Adult Fear: She's worried that her lag problem will get herself and everyone she loves killed. It does indeed result in her death.
- Composite Character: She fills the role of Suguha as the one who inspires Kirito to be nicer to others, such as what pushes Kirito to help Silica. This is justified given how much of a jerk Suguha is in this version.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Her death really messed up Kirito — even more than it did in the actual show. Each subsequent episode has at least one mention of said event affecting his psyche in some way, shape, or form.
- The Lost Lenore: To Kirito, obviously. Obvious enough that Asuna clearly did not take learning about her well.
- Morality Chain: To Kirito. She's the one who convinces him to try and act nicer, and be more helpful. Her death, and final words "Notnote your fault" becomes Kirito's PTSD trigger into helping others out despite his attempts not to do so.
- The Quiet One: She doesn't say much.
- Sacrificial Lion: Her death is instrumental in Kirito's Character Development into a better person for the rest of the series.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Sachi was only around for episode 3; but her impact on Kirito could be felt over the entire first season as the initial cause of Kirito's gradual progression to caring about other people. From attempting to help Silica revive Pina, to defending the remains of Corvatz's army from the Gleam Eyes. Everything started with her simply asking Kirito to not be an ass all the time.
- Uncanny Valley: In-Universe, her lagging and subsequent glitching are reacted to as such by Kirito.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her decision to set Gary to auto-loot ended up destroying her guild.
- Adaptation Name Change: From Ducker to Gary.
- Adaptation Species Change: From a human player to an AI.
- Artificial Stupidity: Part of being an NPC. Because Sachi has set him to auto-loot, he does so slavishly with every chest he come across, even if said chest is an incredibly Obvious Trap.
- Ascended Extra: He ends up playing a far bigger role here than he did in canon. He's the actual cause of the Black Cats of the Full Moon dying since he teleported away with the crystals. He gets Spared by the Adaptation meaning he survives for months longer. He also ends up being Kirito's Berserk Button and is mentioned many times later in the series.
- Berserk Button: To Kirito, especially after he abandons the rest of the guild in an ambush. Hearing his voice or someone mentioning his name will send Kirito into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Brick Joke: Kirito was really pissed at Gary for teleporting away with all their crystals and leaving Sachi to die. He shows up again in Episode 5 where Kirito proceeds to murder him in cold blood for abandoning them.
- Broken Record: "We must save my family!"
- Dirty Coward: Kirito considers him this, since he teleported away and left the rest of the Crew to die.
- Karmic Death: After getting Sachi killed, Kirito's next encounter with Gary ends with Kirito repeatedly running Gary through with a sword, with Gary futilely choking out his only line as he dies.
- Lethally Stupid: He triggers an obvious trap because Sachi set him to auto-loot, then uses the party's supply of teleport crystals he's holding to leave the rest of the party to die.
- Non-Player Character: From a quest that Keita has no intention of turning in, just so Gary can follow them forever.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Survives longer than in canon, only to come across Kirito once more. Kirito doesn't forgive him for indirectly causing Sachi's death.
- Adaptation Name Change: From Tetsuo to Charlie.
- Adaptation Species Change: From a human player to an AI.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Routinely dispenses (questionable) nuggets of wisdom.
- Annoying Video-Game Helper: Invoked. He reminds players how long they've been playing in a game they can't log out of. Which turns out to be foreshadowing that the whole situation was a complete mistake.
- Eyes Always Shut
- Non-Player Character: From the tutorial.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His "recruitment" to the guild and subsequent death deprived thousands of players of the tutorial, which Kayaba hints lead to the mass deaths in the first month.
- Spoof Aesop: "Winners don't do drugs! Except steroids. In which case, use lots of drugs!"
- Tutorial Failure: Putting aside the fact that the NPC meant to mentor new players instead got turned into one guy's personal pack mule, Charlie's tips on playing the game are things like "always remember, to jump... jump!"Keita: It's not a great tutorial.
Another kidnapped quest companion NPC.
- Adaptation Species Change: From human player to AI.
- Adaptation Name Change: From Sasamaru to Larry.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: His one line turns out to be a pretty good summation of the guild's mob problem.
- Non-Player Character: From an unfinished quest.
- Welcome to Corneria: "The bandits are coming!"
A guild that attempted to avoid some Loot Drama by selling a valuable item instead of fighting over it, only for the guild leader to be murdered on the way to the market, leading the group to collapse into suspicion over who did the deed.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Their antics and dysfunctional relationships are played for laughs, but they end up beating Grimlock half to death and giving him a Neck Snap when he's exposed as his wife's real murderer.
- Made a Slave: In exchange for his business advice, Laughing Coffin decides to spare Yolko, Schmitt, and Kains by giving them to Kirito as slaves. He's pretty happy about it, they aren't.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Yolko overreacts to things and comes up with oddball ideas. Schmitt is a video game reviewer who justifiably fears for his life due to the possibility of angry fanboys killing him over his reviews as part of the death game. Grimlock murdered his wife not even for the money, but simply because she didn't cook him dinner one night, leaving him leftovers while she was having a Raid strategy meeting with Yolko and the others. Only Kains and Griselda tried to lead the group with any sort of sensibility. It's no wonder the group just fell apart.
- Achievements in Ignorance: For as much as Kains lambastes for her general inability to keep their secret revenge plot... a secret, it's this very same very incompetence that ends up saving their lives. Had she not decided to involve Kirito and Asuna in their plans for whatever reason, not only would they, along with Schmitt, have gotten murdered by Laughing Coffin but Grimlock would have gotten away with his crimes scot-free.
- Hopeless with Tech: Has a Callback to Asuna's issues with menus, as apparently she didn't think about deleting her friends list to keep her cover of being supposedly "dead".
- Missing Steps Plan: Even she can't articulate why she got Kirito and Asuna involved in her and Kains' plan.
- Ms. Fanservice: As in the anime, she wears tight pants and the camera focuses on her rear. It turns out that Kirito can't actually remember her name and just calls her "Yogapants."
- Not So Above It All: He goes along with Yolko's ghost plan despite its numerous flaws.
- Only Sane Man: Yolko's constant screw ups in the plan, and the fact that all their efforts turned out to be wrong in blaming Schmitt annoys him to no end. He does thank Kirito for his help in solving the case, as well as saving all of them. Kains even apologizes for not getting along with Kirito. Unfortunately, given the deal that was made with Laughing Coffin to spare them, and Kirito being Kirito.....Kirito: [with a tear in his eye] You guys were the best slaves a boy could have.
Kains: [angrily] Fuck it! I tried! You all saw it!
- 8.8: In-Universe: He received death threats for giving Pokémon V&R a 7 out of 10, hence why he's so nervous now that his "fans" (like Johnny Black) can find him in a death game.
- Butt-Monkey: His guildmates don't respect him at all, to the point of dropping all suspicion over Griselda's death upon remembering that he couldn't possibly have beaten her, or even caught her off guard. Later, Kirito specifies him as an example as to the potential that most of the SAO players have, something he doesn't take kindly to.Kirito: Nobody's saying their potential doesn't top out at "assistant manager at Kinkos". I mean, just look at Schmitt.
Schmitt: [offscreen] WHY AM I ALWAYS THE EXAMPLE?!
- Cowardly Lion: He showed up to help out at the boss battle in Episode 11, despite being a completely nervous wreck.
- Nervous Wreck: Justified, since being trapped in the game, he's been afraid that some of his more vocal anti-fans are going to cash in on their death threats.
- Oh, Crap!: Has one, when a certain member of Laughing Coffin asks him if he recalls a commenter to one of his reviews by the name of "Johnny Black."Schmitt: [in fear] ""Meat toboggan"....
- Adaptational Villainy: While murdering your wife out of fear she'll become a Blood Knight and no longer resemble who you fell in love with didn't justify murder, it was a significantly less petty motivation than killing her for not having the time to cook dinner one evening.
- Asshole Victim: Is killed by Yolko, Schmitt, and Kains for having his own wife murdered. The fact that he put out a hit on them later doesn't help his case.
- Death by Adaptation: He is confirmed as an SAO survivor in the canon, but here he is killed by his former guild.
- Evil Is Petty: The most galling aspect of his crime. He didn't gain anything from it except a dead wife and the hatred of his guild when they find out.
- Greed: Subverted. Kirito initially suspected that Grimlock killed his wife to keep that rare item for himself, since married players share inventory space and no one would know he stole it. However, his true motive is far pettier.
- Hate Sink: The entirety of his screen time is devoted to showing off how much of a vile piece of shit he is.
- Insane Troll Logic: He claims he didn't kill his wife but "the thing that took her place." Keep in mind that this stems from the fact that she didn't cook dinner one day.
- Stay in the Kitchen: His attitude towards his wife, to the point of killing her when she failed to do so.
- Villainous Breakdown: Not brought upon by Kirito's well-founded "Reason You Suck" Speech, but by Asuna telling him that his hat makes him look like a hipster.
- No Accounting for Taste: Considering she was one of two Only Sane Men in her guild, and she married Grimlock, a man who murdered her because she didn't make dinner for him one night, she's definitely got a case of this going on.
- Only Sane Woman: Of EVERYONE in her guild (except maybe Kains), she's the one who's most composed. Even after Kirito and Asuna fling a sword through her ghost, the most she does is just frown a bit, and sigh at how they're reacting.
- Posthumous Character: She's already dead by the time she's first mentioned, and Episodes 5 and 6 revolve around Kirito and Asuna investigating the circumstances of her death. She reappears in spirit form to thank them for solving the case, only for Kirito to throw his sword at her as he and Asuna run away screaming.
- Adaptational Wimp: They're depicted as a lot more incompetent, being easily manipulated by Kirito into letting targets go.
- Calling Card: The "Bible quoting serial killer" theme. But because of Jeffery's Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies, people don't seem to take them as seriously as they should because of it.
- The Dreaded: A gang of high level player killers who terrify pretty much anyone who isn't Kirito.
- Greed: Thanks to Kirito, this becomes their downfall when they reveal their location via an ad campaign.
- In the Hood: All of the Laughing Coffin members wear cloaks.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Both Johnny Black and Red-Eyes XaXa have masks in addition to their hoods.
- Too Dumb to Live: No seriously, they just told everyone where their guild of assassins was located. Even more foolishly, they came up with this idea themselves.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: PoH didn't appear in canon until Episode 6, here he appears as an ordinary player in Episode 2.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: It's implied that this PoH only created Laughing Coffin due to being not quite right in the head rather than being straight up evil. He's also a lot more Affably Evil towards Kirito.
- Adaptation Name Change: PoH's canon real name is Vassago Casals rather than Jeffery.
- Affably Evil: Outside his PoH persona, he's tolerant with Johnny Black's outburst, but he is comfortable using his normal voice with him. He's polite and cordial towards Kirito; and when Kirito gives some seemingly helpful advice, Jeffery does spare the lives of the sinners, offering them as slaves to Kirito.
- As the Good Book Says...: Likes to quote scripture as part of his persona. Unfortunately he likes to pick verses completely randomly, regardless if the context actually fits, and apparently doesn't even know what is in the Bible in the first place, given his reaction to Johnny Black.
- Badass Baritone: Whenever he's in his PoH persona, his voice is much deeper and menacing.
- Call-Forward: Evil Jesus inspires him in Episode 2 to create Laughing Coffin.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: As dangerous as he is, his cheerful "Jesus tells me what to do" dialogue makes him less scary to anyone who meets him in person.
- Composite Character: The Abridged Series combines PoH with one of the random nameless clearers seen in Episode 2.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His deeper voice is rather gravelly, but inverted when using his normal voice, which has a higher pitch.
- Expy: To Heath Ledger's Joker, whom Jeffery sounds remarkably similar to when using his PoH voice, and it gets more apparent when he converses with "Detective Kirito" trying to gruff his voice like Batman.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Was an ordinary player with an imaginary Jesus in Episode 2, but quickly formed the most feared player killing guild that even Kirito admits were really dangerous, and even looks far more imposing in episode 6 as PoH.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gotten a scar on his face in Episode 6.
- Hearing Voices: An imaginary Jesus is ordering him around, as seen in episode two.
- Holy Hitman: Tries to be one, with mixed results.
- Knight Templar: Every murder he does, is in the name of Jesus, referring to his victims as sinners.
- The Leader: He founded Laughing Coffin, and calmly asserts his authority as guild leader over Johnny Black in regards to who's religious verse is better, and Johnny Black refers to him as "Boss" at first.
One of Laughing Coffin's highest ranking members.
- Master Swordsman: Talented with a sword.
- The Quiet One: Out of the three highest ranked members of Laughing Coffin, he doesn't speak at all.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: As befitting his username.
- Slasher Smile: One of the few expressions he has.
- The Voiceless: Doesn't make a single sound.
- Ax-Crazy: He's the one who left the "meat toboggan" threat on Schmitt's channel, and sounded very eager to make good on it upon recognizing him.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Of all the people to be this, it's the cloth sack over their head wearing player who is most definitely not sane in any sense of the word in the original material. He's this to Jeffery.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: His response to one of Schmitt's less positive reviews was threatening to "chop off [his] limbs, rip out [his] intestines, and ride [him] like some sort of meat toboggan." He seemed pretty serious about it too once in the game.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Has no problems at all with paralyzing and murdering players, but even he doesn't approve of "that fuckstick Tiffany's" cons, if his ad campaign is anything to go by, right down to giving Tiffany devil horns and viciously flipping him off.
- The Faceless: Wears a cloth sack over his face, and his hood obscures his eye-holes.
- Flipping the Bird: Display's one in his ad campaign towards Tiffany.
- Greed: Jeffery seems more interested in following the Lord, while Johnny seems far more eager to sell out for a big profit.
- Hidden Depths: He seems to be more knowledgeable about religion compared to Jeffery, having read the Bible, and gets irritated with Jefferey's mishandled quotes.Johnny: Have... you actually ever read the Bible?
- Knife Nut: His poisoned daggers are his weapons of choice. He likes them enough that its possible he may have been conned by Tiffany into spending half his col on a bullshit dagger that broke almost immediately.
- Master Poisoner: Just like in the original, he uses poisoned daggers to paralyze players.
- Number Two: To Jeffery, he has a fair bit of autonomy with the Laughing Coffin ad campaign, always trying promote their guild, and is relatively rational compared to Jeffery.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Doesn't verbally say it, but it is his usual reaction towards Jeffery's verses, and even Kirito's intrusion.
One of the guilds trying to clear Sword Art Online, and for the most part, failing at it.
- Red Shirt Army: The only thing they're good at is getting themselves killed.
- Too Dumb to Live: In Kirito's own words, the ALF members in Episode 8 allowed Corvatz to lead them into a Hopeless Boss Fight like lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff. And Thinker is an even bigger example.
- Fantastic Racism: He hates beta testers for not helping people (read: him) clear the first floor, and blames them for getting everyone stuck in the game.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: His first and only onscreen appearance is in Episode 2 and is spent trash talking SAO's beta testers and blaming them for getting everyone trapped in the game. Then in a classic display of Offstage Villainy, he joins the ALF and stages a violent coup that throws the entire guild into chaos.
- Insane Troll Logic: Claims he doesn't need evidence to blame beta testers for anything, he just can.
- Jerkass: Much like in canon, although it's mitigated by the fact that Abridged Kirito actually is an asshole.
- Adaptational Dumbass: He was already pretty dumb in canon for attempting to take on a floor boss with a handful of players. But he's even dumber here for not only doing that but also refusing to run when he's severely outclassed.
- Damned by Faint Praise: He really is one of the greatest tactical minds the ALF has ever known. The bar is set that low.
- Gratuitous Spanish: He sounds Spanish, anyway, which surprises Asuna since she didn't know SAO has international servers. Another ALF member points out it doesn't; Corvatz is from Nagano and found an ingame item that makes Spanish guitar music play every time he talks. He's just really committed to the bit.
- Hollywood Tactics: In a Call-Back to Episode 2, his strategy to defeat the Gleam Eyes is to "group up, and hit it 'til it dies!" It doesn't end well for him. It's quite possible that he's the exact same guy from the Illfang briefing who suggested it in the first place.
- The Neidermeyer: His men don't think too highly of him, to put it one way.
- Berserk Button: Badmouthing Thinker. And not only does Yui press it, but she smashes it with a hammer.
- Everyone Can See It: Let's just say that her crush on Thinker is not well hidden, assuming she's actually trying to hide it in the first place.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Her infatuation with Thinker leaves her a bit, shall we say, biased when it comes to evaluating his qualities.
- Would Hurt a Child: "You wanna take this outside, kid?! I'll throw down with an eight-year-old! I don't give a fuck!"
- Adaptational Dumbass: Canon Thinker was attempting to apprehend a criminal player and got lured into a trap, while Abridged Thinker was stupid enough to attend a peace talk with his rival, in a dungeon without bringing any weapons or items. It also doesn't even occur to him to try and warn Kirito, Asuna, or even Yulier about the Bonus Boss that has him trapped in the dungeon's safe room since he was told the dungeon has crappy wi-fi.
- Ironic Name: As Yui points out, for a guy named Thinker he's "something of a dullard."
The top guild in Sword Art Online, of which Asuna and Kirito become members, and the leaders of the effort to clear the game.
- Only Sane Man: While several of its top members have more than a few screws loose, they're shades more competent than most of the other players in the game and the ones putting in the most effort to free everybody trapped in it.
- Abusive Parents: Suggested as he mutters to himself after recovering from a blow.Kuradeel: Don't hit me mommy, you know it makes me hard...
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Like in canon, when Asuna beats him, he goes to his knees begging for mercy. Unlike in canon, Asuna is far less merciful and kills him on the spot.
- Ax-Crazy: The guy is a fan of Laughing Coffin, so yeah.
- Berserk Button: Butchering the Bard's prose, as Godfree learns the hard way.Kuradeel: [whilst repeatedly stabbing Godfree] Wouldst thou shutteth the FUCK UP! I had to SIT and listen to you for MONTHS as you run Shakespeare through a wood chipper! Is that supposed to be endearing or something?!
- Butt-Monkey: Asuna has little patience for him, and Kirito refuses to give him any respect.
- Fanboy: He's revealed to be one of Laughing Coffin, as opposed to being an actual member like his canon counterpart. That doesn't make him any less dangerous, but it does give Kirito more ammunition to mock him with.
- Informed Deformity: While he's certainly not winning any beauty pageants, he's not quite the Gonk Kirito makes him out to be.
- Laughing Mad / Slasher Smile: Once he reveals his true colors.
- Mugging the Monster: He challenges Kirito to a duel in Episode 8, unaware of the possibility that he might be in over his head.
- Smug Snake: He has a rather overinflated opinion of his own abilities and has a tendency to look down on people who can and will kick his ass.
- Villainous Breakdown: He was already angry at Kirito for insulting his being a fanboy of Laughing Coffin, but when Asuna comes at him, he loses all semblance of his pride and begs her not to kill him.
- Younger Than They Look: Would you have guessed just from looking at him that he's 26?
- Horrible Judge of Character: He thinks Kuradeel spiking his and Kirito's drinks with paralysis poison is just a prank, and doesn't understand that he's about to be killed for "running Shakespeare through a wood chipper".
- Innocently Insensitive: He attempts to defend Kuradeel by claiming that his old and haggard appearance is result of his age, only for Kuradeel to meekly state that he's only 26.
- Killed Mid-Sentence
- OOC Is Serious Business: Drops his roleplaying act when begging for his life. It doesn't help.
- Red Shirt / We Hardly Knew Ye
- The Roleplayer / Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Speaks like a Shakespearean actor who walked right off the stage? Check. Kirito and Kuradeel both find it annoying, and if Asuna's tone when she introduces him is anything to go on, so does everybody else. He instantly drops it when he realizes Kuradeel is about to kill him for it. Not that it helps.
The main antagonist of SAO Abridged's Aincrad arc. Posing as the leader of the Knights of the Blood Oath, Kayaba ends up trapping the entire playerbase in Sword Art Online due to sleep deprevation in order to make the game's deadline and events just snowballing out of control from there.
Tropes applying to Akihiko
- Adaptational Heroism: A lot of what happened was due to him going crazy staying up for three weeks straight programming and trying to make a deadline. The whole "you die in the game, you die for real" thing was due to a glitch, and him trapping everyone inside was because in his sleep-deprived mind, the best idea he had to cover up his previous blunder was to make it look like it was his master plan (a plan concocted while under sleep deprivation so severe, he thought the government was run by Mole Men), all the while using the players as hostages to try (and fail) to come up with a better idea that would let him fix everything while avoiding prosecution. When two thousand people died in the first month without even clearing the first floor, he formed the Knights of the Blood Oath to try and get people through the game. Ultimately Played With though; he claims that he didn't want to hurt anyone, but Kirito and Asuna immediately rebuke this, pointing out that he just killed them as well as another man for mildly sassing him. He does point out that he "ain't exactly the picture of grace under fire", and that the other guy was part of the mafianote . Essentially, his motives are to cover his own ass and avoid taking responsibility for the mess he made, some sadly all-too-human traits, rather than For the Evulz.
- Adaptational Karma: His canon self essentially escaped justice by means of turning himself into a Virtual Ghost. Here, he's not only alive but on the run as "the most wanted man on the face of the planet." It is revealed by Yui that he is currently hiding out somewhere in ALfheim Online due to searching for ALO Players that previously played SAO to narrow down exactly where Asuna was inside of the game.
- Affably Evil: He traps all the players of his game within it at the risk of brain death, but is rather nice towards a player who received an advance copy of the game. Though this is downplayed compared to his original version, since he gets very snappy when players insult his game or his favorite films and even goes on a tirade against them for their incompetence.
- Artist Disillusionment: In-Universe example, his time with SAO's players has made him loathe every single one of them due to their stupidity.Kabaya: Alright now that I have your ears as well as your spines; allow me to indulge myself for a moment and tell you all what every content creator has always wanted to say to their audience: FUCK ALL Y'ALL!!
- The Atoner: In this version, Kayaba was an already overworked game developer who was pressed for time. He tried to do things rationally but to no avail, causing him to lose sleep on completing his game for a Christmas release. In his sleep-deprived state, he accidentally created a lethal glitch that kills players when their avatars die. Rather than shut down the server, he acted as if this was all part of a grand plan. By the time he caught up with his sleep, he realised what he did and that he was at a point of no return. After 2000 players died before clearing the first floor, he entered the game with an immortal avatar so he can rally the other players together and do something to help and atone for his actions. That said, the fact that he didn't just shut down the servers, leading to more people dying, still showcases his selfish side, since he's holding everyone hostage until he can figure out a way to avoid prosecution for his blunders.
- Badass Baritone: As Heathcliff, he uses a considerably deeper voice than he did when he was announcing the death game in Episode 1. When he's exposed, he returns to his first voice.
- Baddie Flattery: He's surprised to find out that most of the players of SAO are actually attractive twenty something males, and one fatty.
- Berserk Button:
- Talking back to him, implying he's responsible for the deaths in the game.
- Insulting Back to the Future.Asuna: That's a movie thing? Doesn't sound like a good one...
Kayaba: YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH, WOMAN!! I CAN END YOU WITH A THOUGHT!
Kirito: [dumbfounded] Yeah... Word to the wise: Don't mess with Zemeckis.
- Big Bad: Kayaba starts the plot by imprisoning thousands of people inside his virtual reality game. However, his reasons for doing so are not malicious, so much as they are, at their core, incredibly banal. The whole thing just turned into a Snowball Lie that he more or less lost control over.
- Big Good: Invoked. He reveals that he originally expected Kirito to lead the other players and clear the game more efficiently, but he didn't expect the latter to become a solo player instead. Thus, Kayaba had no choice but to be both the Big Bad and the Big Good to put an end to his own mess.
- Can't Take Criticism: He gets real defensive when the flaws in SAO (such as being able to steal NPCs and the abysmal crafting system) get brought up although it could be caused by a measure of guilt due to it being his incredibly sleep-deprived fuck up that created the player killing glitch in the first place.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Asuna points out he could have covered his ass while still saving everyone by lying and claiming that the glitch and his evil speech was just the work of some hacker group pretending to be him, since there wasn't much else connecting him to it. Kayaba says that the big flaw in that plan is that he didn't think of it.
- Despair Event Horizon: Went screaming over this about a month into the game when he caught up on his sleep and realized that trying to make it look like he was some scheming mastermind with an Evil Plan instead of a sleep-deprived mess who accidentally released a game so glitchy it was capable of killing its own players, in addition to other factors (like the tutorial NPC being hijacked), led to two thousand deaths in the first month before the first floor was even cleared. He became Heathcliff and formed the Knights of the Blood Oath to try and organize the players into actually finishing the game, but is continually frustrated by them ignoring all his strategies, leaping heedlessly into danger, getting killed, and the survivors blaming him for their own stupidity. And the fact that nobody except Kirito gets his movie references. By the time he finally releases the players and turns off and wipes the servers, he's so exhausted and worn down by the whole ordeal that he just wants it to end, though he also bitterly notes he is now the most wanted man on the planet and after Asuna mentions an easy solution that could have avoided most of the trouble, he says he's gonna go "scream at the uncaring void" for awhile before disappearing.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: The real reason so many people died in SAO. Kayaba thought it would be better to be seen as competent and evil instead of an ordinary guy who made a big mistake and was too embarrassed to admit he'd been wrong once he got out of his sleep-deprived insanity.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Kayaba murders a player when said player points out that for all his complaints about everyone blaming him for all their problems, he genuinely is responsible for many of their problems.
- Ditzy Genius: Despite Kayaba's hair-brained scheme to pretend to set up a death game to save face over a bug that was more due to how sleep deprived he was, he is still a genius programmer. Sugou states that despite Sword Art Online's buggy code, his team was able to advance virtual reality simply by studying it. Sugou's entire plan is based on the fact that Kayaba's code has the potential for video game stats to affect a person's real life ability such as charisma allowing for real life Compelling Voice. And the fact that he could have made a genuinely good game if Bethesda didn't order him to finish the game before its deadline.
- Enraged by Idiocy: After dealing with the SAO players for so long, he has long since lost hope for them. His frustrations come from the fact that even with him genuinely attempting to help them survive the mess he made, they were so incompetent that many of his efforts were for naught. He lets all his grievances fly when Kirito exposes him.
- Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy: His whole "plan" was the result of being up for three weeks straight without a wink of sleep trying to finish Sword Art Online. The player death thing was a bug he never patched out as a result of not paying attention. Kayaba was so delusional in his sleep-deprived state — he mentions that he believed that the government was run by Mole Men — he was only concerned with the game getting a bad Metacritic score. As Kirito points out, Kayaba's sleep-deprived belief that the critics would be harsher on a game that accidentally killed a handful of people than one that intentionally murdered thousands was a rather misguided one. Kayaba, after having caught up on his sleep in the first month, agrees in hindsight.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He goes from a game developer to a mass murderer thanks to his death game. This trope is downplayed when it's revealed that he's still just a disgruntled and overworked developer and that he never intended for the death game to happen. Kirito even lampshades that Kayaba is just as clueless and fucked-up as the other players. However, he ultimately chooses to become a nightmare rather than a nobody in a misguided attempt to save face.
- A God Am I: "Let's face it: I am the god of this world."
- Hanlon's Razor: His entire evil scheme was the result of a bunch of stupid mistakes and decisions made in his sleep-deprived madness, followed by him doubling down over and over again by the time he would have caught up with it. Kirito sums it up thusly:"All this time I assumed he was some Machiavellian schemer, but in the end, he was just as big a fuck-up as the rest of us."
- Hope Crusher: His appearance in Episode 1 has this effect on the players. As seen in the first sentence spoken after he disappears: "We're fucked!"
- In the Hood: His first appearance is as a giant shrouded in a hooded robe with smoke coming out of where the face should be.
- I Meant to Do That: His "master plan" was a result of sleep deprivation and a string of very bad and selfish decisions. Sword Art Online was Christmas Rushed for completion, and Kayaba spent three weeks without sleep trying to get it done on time. He overlooked a glitch that would kill the player if their avatar died, but was so tired that he just went along with it and clumsily proclaimed that it was all part of the plan. By the time Kayaba caught up on his sleep, he realised he lost control and was chin deep in trouble. Since no player had any actual military experience, over two thousand players died without clearing the first floor. In an effort to redeem himself, Kayaba decided to anonymously create an immortal avatar so he could at least try to fix the mess he made while also trying to buy time to come up with some means of covering his own ass so he can avoid getting arrested.
- I've Come Too Far: In a sleep-deprived state, Kayaba thought it was better to look like an evil mastermind than someone who had caused a few accidental deaths. After two thousand people died on the first month of trying to beat the game, he finally snapped out of it and tried to do something to help, though while also performing a stalling tactic so he could think of a way to avoid getting prosecuted.
- Kick the Dog: Him trapping Yui and making her watch all the suffering. Though after learning his real motives, it's likely he just forgot she existed.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Invoked. He tries to downplay the murder of a guy who sassed him by pointing out that he can't keep calm under fire and claiming the guy was in the Mafia (which, admittedly, he was).
- Laughably Evil: Like most abridged series villains, his dialogue is humorous. He descends into Black Comedy when he's given a sillier, but more believable motivation to be a villain.
- Mercy Mode: In-universe, he had to organize a guild because the players were Too Dumb to Live and because the most competent player won't lead them himself.
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The way he talks about going to watch a movie before eventually getting around to fix the glitched-out boss room in Episode 11 suggests that Kayaba's not locked into the game like the other players and can log himself out at will. Which makes sense, given that there's no reason in this continuity why he would trap himself as well.
- Not So Different: From Kirito. They are both Insufferable Geniuses who see themselves as Surrounded by Idiots and are also both huge movie buffs. They actually bond for a brief moment over their shared love for classic film quotes.
- After he reveals his rather banal original motives and how they turned into a Snowball Lie, Kirito points out that Kayaba, in a sense, was really just as clueless and confused as the average player of his game.
- Only Sane Man: Tries to pass himself off as this after Kirito outs him, ranting about how stupidly the players act and disgusted he is with them. However, it quickly becomes obvious that he's really, really not the Only Sane Man in SAO, he's just another fuck-up, probably the biggest fuck-up of them all.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
- Kayaba makes references to various movies and other video games, only to be frustrated by the SAO players' lack of knowledge of them. He even does it while under the guise of Heathcliff. Kirito uses this to determine his true identity.
- actually referencing Mythbusters, but Kayaba immediately attributes it properly to The Dungeonmaster, a story about an athletic genius programmer who gets trapped in fantasy world where the dangers are real and can only escape back to reality with the woman he loves by defeating all the villain's challenges, and then the villain himself. Sound familiar, Kirito? Furthermore, Kayaba, who gets the source properly, is SAO's Dungeon Master. Kirito exclaims "I reject your reality and substitute my own!" Kirito was
- Psychopathic Manchild: How Kirito summarizes his character, that in the end, Kayaba's much like a kid lashing out at other children on a playground.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Pretending that players dying when their avatars die was some sort of master plan accomplishes nothing; if anything, it makes the final outcome worse than the one he initially expected.
- Rage Breaking Point: The moment one player tries to attack him after seeing Kirito fail, Kayaba drops his cordial tone, paralyzes everyone, and expresses his true displeasure at the stupidity he had to put up with for 2 years, dripping with rage. He is so incensed that he is prone to murdering anyone who tries talking back to him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Voices his exasperation at the many ways the players rack up their body count and refuse to cooperate or follow his guidance.
- Receives one from Kirito in turn, that for all his criticism of the players, they had the bravery to show up to the boss fight without cheat codes on. And that Kayaba's essentially just throwing a giant childish temper tantrum.
- The Scapegoat: Deconstructed and played for laughs, as the one who kept everyone imprisoned in the game, everyone is completely justified in blaming him. However, Kayaba was driven into further insanity by both this and his guilt. The whole reason as to why this happened is that Kayaba was so sleep-deprived that he overlooked a glitch that killed people and he chose to double down on it than fix it. Racked with guilt after thousands of people died before clearing the first floor, he entered the game with an immortal avatar so he could save everyone from his mistake. However, he soon learned how stupid players can be and he grew increasingly frustrated by the other players and he quickly became disillusioned with his own goal because the players blamed him for everything, even when it was their own fault in the first place by performing death or glory attacks despite being told that will die in real life if they do it.Kayaba: Do you have any idea what's been like trying to lead you people?! You ignore all my strategies, you ADAMANTLY refuse to work together, and then you blame ME FOR ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS!!!Mobster: Well, to be fair, sir, you're responsible for at least a few of them.Kayaba: Ah, yes. I see your point. Although, and- and hear me out here, counterpoint...[Kayaba opens his menu and kills the mobster as the latter screams in the distance]Kayaba: You're dead... HA!!! (signs) I tried, you know? LORD knows I tried. But there's just no helping you people. It's like you crave death! But not just any death! Nooooo! YOU fuckers seem to have some sort of pool going to see who can end their existence in the dumbest, most avoidable way possible! And you just keep one-upping each other! Do you know how many of you have died screaming "Leeroy Jenkins"?! More than zero. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is grounds to exterminate the SPECIES.
- Skewed Priorities: Thanks to his sleep deprivation, he thought getting a bad score on Metacritic was worse than going down in history as a mass murderer.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike the original, where Kayaba's physical body dies following the end of the SAO death game Virtual Ghost notwithstanding, in this treatment it seems that Kayaba instead went into hiding as "the most wanted man on the planet." As of the second season he's still playing video games, as seen by a post from a Twitter bot on Kirito's computer.
- Tragic Villain: If he had just been given a few extra days to sleep, none of this mess would have happened.
- Trolling Creator: Besides revealing all the players' true appearances despite having a character creation system in the game, Kayaba had also programmed music and sound effects to play specifically to humiliate a player even more. This includes a sad trombone, Goofy's "YAAAAAA-HA-HA-HA-HOOOOEEEEEEEY!" and circus music.
- He also created Yui to care about other players then locked her away and forced her to watch them all suffer. Seemingly for no other reason than to be a sadist. Of course, with the reveal of his true motivation, one has to wonder if he'd simply locked her away while still being able to see what was going on during his delusional breakdown and simply forgot about her.
- Villain Respect:
- He genuinely respects Kirito for his skill in the game and the fact that he's the only guy that gets (most) of his movie references.
- He programmed the game to use appropriately-humiliating sound clips for Epic Fails. That said, the fact that Lisbeth's smithing minigame is backed by Big Blast Sonic from Guilty Gear, which is a game built around Awesome Music suggests he respects her skill as a blacksmith.
- Villainous Breakdown: Completely loses his cool when upon acknowledging his deception, players still keep trying to attack him anyway.
- Villainous BSoD: Upon realizing if he had just blamed the glitches on an anonymous hacker group, he could have avoided a lot of trouble to himself.
- Vocal Evolution: When Kirito reveals his identity, his voice begin to sound higher and immature matching his personality. Specifically, when posing as Heathcliff, his voice is closer to that of Perfect Cell, but after being outed as Akihiko Kayaba, he reverts to how he sounded in the first episode (which is his actual voice).
- Workaholic: An exaggerated version considering he spent weeks without sleep in order to get the game out on time. This leads to glitches like real deaths and leads to his Sanity Slippage.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Downplayed. After two years of nobody getting his movie references, he's borderline ecstatic when Kirito makes what he thinks is a very contextually appropriate reference to The Dungeonmaster during his Heroic Second Wind. He's incredibly disappointed to learn that he was actually referencing Mythbusters and that he's never even heard of Dungeonmaster.
A cat that somehow learned how to play SAO. And somehow started the game's mafia. And somehow ended up on the KoB's senior council, only to betray them and rule alongside the King of Ashes over the ruins of Floor 75.
- And Starring: The cast credits for the Aincrad arc end "And Don Fluffles [as] Himself".
- Arch-Enemy: To Kirito, oddly enough. He was responsible for the death of Kirito's entire guild, (including Sachi) And apparently they've had many an offscreen battle (assuming Kirito isn't just trolling everyone).
- Art Shift: His scenes are always done in a different art style to the usual anime art, due to being original Flash animated footage for an original character.
- Ascended Extra: He was originally just a throwaway joke of a cat who learned how to play SAO, before becoming the second biggest threat in Season 1 after Kayaba.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Alongside Kayaba, he causes the most trouble for Kirito throughout Season 1.
- Canon Foreigner: There's no mention of nonhuman players in the source material, much less cats.
- Cats Are Mean: Well, one doesn't become a mafia don by being nice.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Fluffles tends to turn traitor the moment someone more bloodthirsty comes into power.
- Dark Is Evil: Fluffles is a black cat, and most certainly is mean enough to be considered "evil".
- The Don: The men under his command explicitly refer to him as this.
- Evil Wears Black: Or in this case, evil has black fur.
- Expy: Seems to be filling the role of PoH as the leader of the main villainous players organization in SAO.
- FaceHeel Turn: When first introduced, he was trying to clear out floors and help the other players out of the game. Somewhere down the line, he became the feared don of Aincrad's mafia.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Fluffles is a cat. A literal house cat. And yet he is able to go toe-to-toe with Kirito and ran the in-game Mafia, before eventually throwing in with The King of Ashes.
- Heterochromia: One eye blue and one yellow, as seen above.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Despite only communicating with meows, he can command his men, Kirito can probably understand him, and apparently so can The King of Ashes. Nobody holding the Sanity Ball can. Heathcliff wonders aloud if Kirito can understand cat or if he just messing with them.
- Karma Houdini: He doesn't get his comeuppance as far as we see, at least in Aincrad. Jury's out on whether or not he shows up in ALfheim.
- Lethal Joke Character: Fluffles is a cat. A cat who is playing SAO. He also happens to be one of the most dangerous players out there.
- The Mafia: He is the leader of the mob Keita indebted himself to.
- Noodle Incident: His offscreen encounters with Kirito.Kirito: You know, I still have that knife you put in me... I've been meaning to give it back.
- No One Could Survive That!: One of his fights with Kirito ended with Fluffles going off a cliff. He survives with a contingency Kirito hadn't thought of. Maybe.
- Sadist: If The King of Ashes isn't projecting, he apparently recommends boiling intruders in oil.
- Shout-Out: That isn't just any old cat's head photoshopped onto a human body, it's Amanojaku from Ghost Stories.
- The Unintelligible: He's a cat, so he only communicates with meows and other cat noises.
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: He insists upon calling Asuna "Ti-TAN-ya" and mispronounces his own handle as "O-BEAR-on."Asuna: It's pronounced "OH-beron!" Y'know? Like "moron?"
- Accidental Misnaming: His boss mistakes his name for the brand name on a briefcase.
- Bad Samaritan: He was the one who paid to keep the SAO servers running for two years, though it wasn't out of the kindness of his own heart - as in canon, he's keeping some SAO players' consciousnesses prisoner to use as test subjects.
- Benevolent Boss: Downplayed. Apparently pays for his team's psych bills, which are really high due to Asuna's constant rampages, but his constant leching on Asuna is why these rampages happen in the first place.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of Season 2. He's captured Asuna's mind in ALfheim, and plans to use data from the game to influence his real-world self to be so charismatic that people will do whatever he says.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He obviously doesn't show this aspect of himself in public (see Villain with Good Publicity), but he relishes in his fetishes with the unconscious Asuna behind closed doors. It doesn't take long for him to spur Kirito into action through disgust.
- Caught Monologuing: It's a recurring flaw with him. In Episode 14, after laying out his Evil Plan to Asuna and gloating about he's protected by his status as ALO's system admin, by the time he's turned back from looking into the distance, Asuna's already out of her cage and massacring his guards. In episode 15, he does the same thing to Asuna's threats when she's acting like a Violently Protective Girlfriend towards Kirito, and Asuna breaks out again, killing his guards even more violently.Sugou: But if you really think you can overpower the System Admin, then I dare say you're even dumber [turns back around] than I a— Where did you go?
Guard: [offscreen] OH GOD! IT'S LOOSE!
- Compelling Voice: His goal. After he learned that the Nerve gear could analyze the player's real life abilities and translate it to video game stats, he wants to reverse it so the game stats will influence a person's real life abilities with focus on charisma to make people do whatever he wants.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Kayaba was just some overworked schmuck who tried to pretend he was a brilliant mastermind after having accidentally killed thousands of people while scrambling to get the rest out of the mess he created. Sugou meanwhile, is a calm manipulator who puts up an image of a savior for the victims of SAO in order to use them as test subjects for his own ends and using the game to enhance his charisma, allowing him control over others as he sees fit.
- Didn't Think This Through: On the track of becoming this with his desires to unlock the master code from Sword Art Online that allows for the players to upgrade their real life stats using the game stats, a code that he had moved over into ALfheim Online. Unbeknownst to him, this also means that any SAO Veterans that transfer over to ALO also have most of their own Stats and Inventory from the previous game left intact for them to use... Stats that allow for Asuna to constantly break out of her cell in an attempt to escape and torment and torture all of Oberon's guards within the World Tree. And an inventory that allows for Kirito to summon in his and Asuna's adoptive daughter Yui: the Psychologist AI from SAO that had been granted Admin priveledges for both games, and is fully-intent on killing Oberon "By any means necessary" for holding her Mommy hostage.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: It doesn't seem to bother him that Asuna's unconscious; he still intends to marry her. Turns out it's because he's the one keeping Asuna trapped in his virtual world.
- Entitled to Have You: He feels that since he talked Shouzou into buying up the Argus servers during the Aincrad clusterfuck, the SAO survivors owe him their lives, so he's entitled to some "satisfaction" in the form of Asuna.
- Evil Gloating: Much like in canon, Sugou simply cannot help himself, and gleefully rubs it in on what he's going to do with Asuna and how Kirito is powerless to stop him. His attempts with Asuna are less successful, to his guards' despair.
- Faux Affably Evil: Quite polite and civil while rubbing in how powerless Kirito is to stop him and how he's going to break Asuna's mind. But when Asuna shows that she won't be contained so easily, Sugou/Oberon is just as quick to start screaming that he's the king, and what he says goes.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears glasses in his civilian form, and is the ALfheim Arc villain.
- Hope Crusher: Episode 15 reveals the reason that he doesn't just ban Kirito's account right away is because Sugou wants to see Kirito fall to despair when he fails to save Asuna.
- Hypocrite: He uses a profanity filter as the host of ALfheim Online to censor everyone, but that doesn't stop him from making crude sexual propositions at Asuna both in and out of the game.
- No Sympathy: He doesn't seem to care that Asuna is slaughtering his guards every time she tries to escape. When she does it in episodes 14 and 15, Oberon doesn't even raise his voice as Asuna violently kills his guards off-screen.
- Pædo Hunt: His hint that Asuna should "put that tongue to better use" should tell you everything you need to know about his interests, and that's before you add in her audible shuddering. Keep in mind Asuna is still only 17.
- Perverted Sniffing: He sniffs a lock of Asuna's hair when she's in her hospital bed. Kirito finds it disgusting.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Along with his perverted actions with the comatose Asuna, Sugou also demands that if Kirito is going to buy them a wedding present, to make sure it's a sandwich press. There's also the bit he tries to force her to pick out the china pattern for their wedding.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He rubs in just how much control he has over Asuna via mockingly voicing her to Kirito and bragging about how she's going to like him more.
- Smug Snake: When Kirito points out that his marriage to Asuna can't possibly be legal because she's still got her Nerve Gear on, Nobuyuki points out the ways he saved everyone from SAO, though it's only to rub it in Kirito's face.
- Smug Super: A smug snake who happens to be a system administrator, meaning that he has access to all the admin perks that Kayaba had in SAO. Asuna makes graphic threats to his well-being in Episode 15, but she probably hasn't carried them out for this reason.
- Unknown Rival: While Oberon is completely aware of Kirito's presence in ALfheim Online and his intent to free Asuna at any cost, he doesn't know that during Kirito's adventures in Sword Art Online he and Asuna managed to adopt SAO's Psychologist AI Yui as their daughter, or that Kirito managed to download Yui directly into his NerveGear helmet which he used to port her into ALOnote as a companion... a companion that has Admin Access to everything within ALO just like he does, and is actively helping her Daddy to save her Mommy, and has already added Oberon as one of her primary targets to kill "by any means necessary".
- Villainous Breakdown: He has a minor one in episode 15. Asuna is a Damsel out of Distress who is turning his tower into a Cardboard Prison with her constant attempts to escape. Sugou manages to keep it together until Asuna threatens Sugou's life in a horrific manner, at which point he resorts to screaming at her that she's going to obey him, in spite of her attempts at rebellion. After Asuna escapes again, Sugou manages to recompose himself.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's the one who purchased the SAO servers that kept everyone alive for two years. As such, he figures the public will approve of his marriage to Asuna, or at least not interfere, since he's owed a "debt of gratitude."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Discussed. Due to being the main admin of Alfheim, Sugou admits he could easily ban Kirito's account from the game and instantly foil the attempts at rescuing Asuna. But Sugou prefers to break Kirito's spirit and crush his hopes by allowing him to continue his quest, completely unaware that the gates at the top are impregnable, thus crushing Kirito's hopes at the eleventh hour.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's a very quiet and kind person, but even she can be pushed too far.
- Extreme Doormat: Within minutes of meeting them, Sasha is reduced to serving tea while Kirito claims to be running her orphanage, and he even credits Asuna with making the beverage. Sasha meekly goes along with it, until she goes ballistic.
- In-Series Nickname: Gets nicknamed "Freckles" by Kirito since he never bothered to find out her real name.
- Large Ham: What she becomes during her rant...Sasha: OHHH! SO I CAN TALK NOW?! IT'S OKAAAY FOR I, SASHA TO TALK?! YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW MY NAME WAS SASHA, DID YOU? DID YOU?!
- Nice Girl: Much like in canon, she helps take care of the children who are trapped in the game.
- Only Sane Man: She's easily the sanest person, constantly pointing out common sense that has slipped Kirito, Asuna, and Yulier.
- Rage Breaking Point: What finally pushes her too far is when, after taking over her life, Kirito calls her "Freckles."
- Ax-Crazy: Most of his dialogue is barely coherent violent screaming.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Fluffles take over Floor 75 following Episode 10.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He wants to be the most feared threat, but Kirito is too busy dealing with bigger problems to give a crap about him.
- Blood Knight: His entire reason for rioting was being let down by a fight.King: WE PAID FOR BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
- The Cameo: In Episode 12, the King of Ashes is seen leaving a threatening tweet on Kirito's twitter, Kirito doesn't seem to care.
- Canon Foreigner: There is no characters who went by "King of Ashes" in the canon series.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Fluffles suggests doing something involving boiling oil, which earns a surprised response but it turns out he loves it.
- Evil Laugh: Lets out an incredibly hammy one once he orders his men to bring out boiling oil to torture his prisoners.
- Expy: Seems to be the abridged stand-in for Kibaou given the trouble he caused for the Aincrad Liberation Front.
- Hidden Depths: Assuming it wasn't just an excuse to get Asuna in a thong, apparently he and some others were planning on putting together a charity calendar for cancer research. Also a fan of Pictionary.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Kirito snarks at the ominous nickname.
- No Indoor Voice: He screams all his dialogue. Makes you wonder how peace talks were even possible with this guy. This extends to text as well, as everything except the hashtags is capslocked.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Kirito pisses him off, he breaks the truce with Heathcliff and has Kirito hunted down. He's still searching for him during Season 2, though his biggest action are just a few twitter threats.
- The Voice: He is only ever heard from afar.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Unlike in canon, this take on Diabel is legitimately trying to help people, and tries to solo the final boss not to swipe the "last hit" item, but because he knows the rest of the raid isn't competent enough to handle it.
- Beleaguered Boss: The first in the series to experience the trope.
- Cynicism Catalyst: By the end of the Floor 1 raid, he's bought into Kirito's worldview that other players are worthless morons.
- Driven to Suicide: The experience of trying to lead his fellow players in a raid group leaves Diabel refusing a healing potion after getting mortally wounded.
- Giving Up on Logic: He tries to encourage his fellow players to come up with a better plan than "group up and hit it 'til it dies" to beat the raid boss, but...Random Player: I'd like to hear more about zis "Final Solution."
Diabel: [flatly] Fuck it, group up.
- It's Up to You: He seems to feel this way by the Illfang boss fight.Diabel: Alright, men, this last part is going to take careful coordination... which is why I'm just going to do it myself!
- Only Sane Man: The only member of the Floor One clearing team besides Kirito, Asuna and Tiffany with an ounce of common sense.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: His reaction to the beta testers' "guidebook."Diabel: Now, it goes on to say that when Illfang's health goes into the red, he's going to switch from his axe and buckler to something called a talwar. At that point we should initiate a strategy called "The Final Solution" and I'm just gonna stop reading! Jesus, who wrote this?!
SAO's playerbase, forced to fight for their lives in a game they can no longer log out of. Or as Kirito puts it, "a bunch of mouth-breathing neckbeards who think 'LMAO' is how French people laugh."
- Answers to the Name of God: With one player it's justified. Jesus (Hay-soos) is a common name in Spanish-speaking countries.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: One of the players Kirito and Asuna flee from in Episode 11 "totally doesn't bang fish".
- Big "WHAT?!": Or, rather, an Up to Eleven Flat "What" said by one player in particular in the start of the series when Kayaba traps everyone in the game. Hilariously, he's credited as "Al, from ReBoot" in the closed captions. He returns as part of Heathcliff/Kayaba's raid party in Episode 11...with the exact same word to say.Al: WHAT?!
- Dumbass Has a Point: After his secret identity is revealed, Kayaba rants about how everyone blames him for all their problems when they ignore his strategies. One of them points out that he is responsible for many of their problems. Kayaba kills him in response.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Their preferred strategy, and has at least one player died screaming this exact phrase.
- Redshirt Army: Many, many casualties stem from their Leeroy Jenkins approach to things.
- Surrounded by Idiots: The idiots in question.
- Too Dumb to Live: Many barely understand strategy beyond "Group up and hit it until it dies".
Introduced in Season 2
- Adaptational Intelligence: Played with. She figures out Kirito's identity faster than she did in the original series, because it wasn't particularly difficult in the first place. This version of Suguha simply remembered what her brother's preferred Online Alias was, and was able to put the pieces together in a few seconds. At the same time, she doesn't seem to know what an advanced AI is when she talks to Yui, resulting in Yui having to resort to baby talk.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Compare the canon Nice Girl with a side of Big Brother Attraction to her abridged Ax-Crazy, bullying characterization.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
- While her canon counterpart's relationship with her brother was strained due to him being an Aloof Big Brother, they still loved and cared for each other greatly. In the abridged series, Kirito absolutely despises Sugua, while she only sees Kirito as her personal punching bag. The Kissing Cousins/Big Brother Attraction angle is wholly absent; when Suguha figures out that Kirito is playing ALfheim and realizes that she said her brother had a "sweet patootie", Suguha instantly reacts with revulsion.
- Also applies to Recon. Whereas in canon, where the two are friends but Recon has an unrequited crush on Leafa that's in part due to her Big Brother Attraction, Leafa here is in fact heavily Implied to have feelings for Recon, but is held back from reciprocating normally due to her unresolved issues with Kazuto and her own femininity, which compels her to pick on those she perceives as weaker than her to appear tough. Despite this, it should be noted that she once baked cupcakes for him, which canon Leafa is never hinted to have done, and the two have apparently had something resembling sex, which has definitely never happened in canon.
- Adopted into Royalty: Part of Princess Leafa's background is that she was taken off the streets and adopted into the sylph royal family.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: To the extent of being a Little Sister Bully. If Episode 12 is any indication, she spends her every interaction with Kirito putting him down and making him feel worthless.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Apparently Kirito isn't the first "peasant" to develop "a sudden yet powerful distrust of the monarchy" after interacting with her Princess Leafa persona.
- Attempted Rape: Subverted. Leafa's introduced surrounded by three men with a very clear intent to rape her. They're actually roleplaying sexual predation, as the game's age rating wouldn't let them go into actual rape.
- Ax-Crazy: When it comes to kendo, she gets a little... intense.Kirito: Oh, come on, Suguha! I just learned how to walk again!
Suguha: DON'T WORRY: YOU'LL STILL BE ABLE TO CRAWL, MAGGOT! HAHAHAHA!
Kirito: NO! PLEASE! MERCY! I YIELD! I YIELD!
Suguha: DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR!
- Bad "Bad Acting": Her attempts at being in-character as Princess Leafa. She puts on an over-the-top posh accent, and becomes a Large Ham. It's contrasted with Kirito (who straight-out refuses to roleplay in the game) and other players (who are much better roleplayers than Suguha/Leafa is).
- Big Sister Bully: Inverted. Despite being a year younger than Kirito (and visibly shorter than him), she's extremely insulting towards him, makes several demeaning comments about his relationship with Asuna, and when it comes to kendo practice... let's just say that we suddenly have a pretty clear picture of where a lot of Kirito's issues came from.
- Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: A lot of her insults boil down to extremely childish name calling, in stark contrast to Kirito who tends to have more refined one-liners. She still easily manages to push Kirito off-balance with it though.
- The Blank: Temporarily gets her face deleted by Yui; this puts an end to any fuss she gives the AI.
- Book Dumb: Episode 15 shows she doesn't share Kirito's brains. When talking to Yui, Suguha thinks Yui is a robot instead of an AI and mistaking the word delegate for deli. It gets to the point that Yui loses any respect she had for Suguha from this one conversation alone.
- Brain Bleach: She gets extremely disgusted when she realizes the person she's been flirting with in ALfheim is her own brother. She starts to cry from the very idea. When a nobleman suggested that Kirito seduced her in Episode 15, Leafa starts to gag.
- Calling Me a Logarithm: Kirito declaring he doesn't have the inclination to work out her love life leads to Leafa indignantly refusing to be compared to some mountaineering lesbian.
- Cluster F-Bomb: When she realizes in Episode 14 that the Spriggan she was helping out the entire time was her brother. Bonus for being the first time in the episode the Narrative Profanity Filter is off.Suguha: Son of a horse dick-fucking shit weasel-fucking bitch whore... ASS! What is that FUCKING cock-sampler doing in MY GAME?!
- Competition Freak: Like her brother Suguha is incredibly competitive, being jealous at how fast Kirito learned the flying mechanic and later offended when Kirito unintentionally suggests she's not good enough to help him.
- Deliberately Distressed Damsel: She tries to roleplay as a Damsel in Distress in ALfheim Online when cornered by some Salamanders, and isn't very good at it, to the point where "PantySmasher" breaks character to get her back on track.
- Domestic Abuse: On top of being a little sister bully, Suguha has been shown to physically abuse Kirito, such as during kendo 'practice'.
- The Dreaded: When Kirito realizes she's probably awake and ready for kendo practice with him, he has to give himself a pep talk to be able to face her. Given what the practice is like and her rather vicious and constant belittling of him, it's not hard to see why.
- Dumb Muscle: She's way, way stronger than Kazuto in the real world, but she's also dim enough to not realize an AI and a sentient robot are the same thing. Yui is not impressed.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her first interactions with Kirito show her as being just as much of a smartass as her older brother, made worse by her being physically abusive.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In episode 15, Yui reveals Kirito isn't planning to trick Suguha; he genuinely wants to save Asuna, and that's it. Suguha cannot believe that Kirito is playing ALfheim for a selfless reason, even denying Yui's insistence that the two of them bumping into each other was a coincidence; Suguha/Leafa chooses instead to believe that this is all a setup for some sort of prank on her by Kirito.
- Foil: She's basically Kirito before all his Character Development over Season One, only worse because she's able to act that way in real life, without the G.I.F.T.
- Forgetful Jones: She completely forgot about her own engagement party. And then there's the exchange when Kirito presses her to tell him about the World Tree:Leafa: Oh right, you were asking me about that. Ah, sure, you got me out of that party, so I guess I owe you one.
Kirito: I also saved you from those enemy players.
Leafa: I mean yeah, but What Have You Done for Me Lately?
Kirito: I got you out of your engagment party!
Leafa: Oh that's right. Okay, yeah.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: She reacts violently to Shinichi's efforts to take her on an actual date, but is happy to "quest" with him in the supply closet. Her imagining Kirito mocking her also has imaginary Kirito suggest she does like Shinichi. Yui's psychological profile of Suguha suggests the same thing.
- How Much Did You Hear?: She overhears Kirito making an embarrassing retort to Sugou over Twitter and she doesn't let him live it down.
- Internalized Categorism: She hates the idea of being seen as "girly" or being interested in girly things like ALFheim Online. Yui's psych profile in Episode 15 implies that someone or something that happened in her childhood caused her to hate any traditionally feminine traits, resulting in Suguha being resentful of her brother and hiding her true feelings for Shinichi.
- It's All About Me:
- Once she discovers that Kirito is playing ALfheim Online, she immediately jumps to the conclusion that he must only be doing it because he is plotting against her. Even when Yui spells out that this was all a coincidence, Suguha doesn't buy it.
- In a confrontation at the "fairport," Prince Cazmer reminds her that their marriage will end a devastating Sylph civil war. Leafa counters that she still wants out of it because "I'm bored now."
- Jerk Jock: A competent practitioner of kendo who seems to enjoy tormenting her older brother.
- Jerkass: Almost everything she says in the episode she's introduced in involves insulting Kirito and having No Sympathy for basically everything that's happened to him. She also doesn't go through with a marriage quest because she got bored, and she treats Recon like crap despite the fact that he does everything that Suguha asks him to do.
- Lack of Empathy: Her reaction to parent's preventing their children from playing a VR game due to the SAO disaster is to tell them to get over it. Bonus points for having her own brother be one of the SAO survivors.
- The Lad-ette: Despite being a petite 15-year-old girl, she's rude, crude, loud, foul-mouthed, aggressive, and a huge bully towards Kirito.
- Lust Object: As part of their roleplaying, with Leafa as a Damsel in Distress and the Salamanders as sexual predators.PantySmasher: Know this: the Salamanders cannot be stopped. And we shall not rest until we have. Dat. Booty.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Towards Shinichi/Recon. At the beginning of episode 15, she jabs him in the stomach with a kendo stick when he asks her out on a date, but tells him to meet her in the closet after practice because she has a "quest" for him, which was later stated to be a handjob. Suguha denies feeling any attractiveness towards Shinichi, but Yui says that her heart rate increased around him. Suguha also imagines a conversation with Kirito where he mocks her because she likes girly things like fairies and ponies and Shinichi. The conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that Suguha does like Shinichi, but desperately denies it and/or tries to keep anyone from finding out due to a fear of being seen as girly.
- Motive Misidentification: Once she discovers that Kirito is participating in ALfheim, her first go-to theory is that he must be playing the game to both annoy her and find blackmail material on her.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A Played for Laughs version happens after she realizes that the Spriggan she had been playing with was her brother. She curses up a storm and then realizes she said her brother had a "sweet patootie".
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Does a very hammy one in episode 14 when in-character as Princess Leafa.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: She tends to fall out of character when she stumbles over her improvised dialogue.Leafa: [ominously] They are a crafty bunch, plotting and scheming their... schemes and plots.
- Pet the Dog: She has a soft spot towards both Recon and his player Shinichi, helping him through his panic attack and, while she punts him in the stomach for flirting with her, it's more because she's frustrated with him being Lost in Character and confusing attraction towards Leafa with attraction towards her player (and then she immediately tells him to meet her in the janitor's closet because Leafa has a new quest for him).
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Shorter than Kirito and able to kick his ass in real life.
- The Roleplayer: She's trying her hand at this in ALO, but is better at being an overbearing princess than a fair damsel.
- Royal Brat: She's Princess Leafa, and "pleased to make my acquaintance."Kirito: Don't you mean "your?"
Leafa: I know what I said. ...Well? Bow!
- Runaway Fiancée: When Kirito meets her, Leafa's five hours late to her own engagement party, and isn't too excited about her in-game betrothal to Prince Cazmer.
- Screaming at Squick: When she realizes that not only had she been engaging in some flirty roleplaying with her brother online, but also that she said he had a "sweet patootie."
- Shared Family Quirks: Beyond acting a lot like Kirito's gaming persona in real life, she shares "For you see!" as the dramatic start to an infodump, considers throwing waves of expendable minions at a problem a valid battle strategy, and similarly gets pissed when someone implies she's not strong or experienced enough to do something.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In the Aincrad arc of the series, she only gets mentioned a few times, and has no real appearance at all. Yet it's her actions that ultimately shaped Kirito into who he becomes at the start of the series, and even him becoming a gamer to escape from the way she treated him. She only avoids being The Heavy because she only directly affects Kirito, but she still plays a large role in shaping him into the man he started as.
- The Sociopath: The idea of being concerned about other people's safety outright confuses her.
- Southern Belle: As Leafa, she adopts an accent to this effect.
- Surprise Incest: She only finds out Kirito's identity just as she's about to log out in front of him, and is appropriately horrified since she was flirting with him a lot. She unleashes a Cluster F-Bomb before realizing, much to her horror, that she said her brother had a "sweet patootie."
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Played for drama. Yui's psychological profile of Suguha suggests that Suguha is inherently scared and/or repulsed by her own femininity, and reacts violently to anyone who even remotely taps into this aspect.
- Too Dumb to Live: Almost literally. When choking on one muffin, her plan was to cram down a second muffin to dislodge the first one. She only survives because Kirito hands her a juice box; even then, she crams down the second muffin anyway, and starts choking again.
- Troll: Pretty much everything she says has the intent of pissing Kirito off, and it works. However, when he brushes off her insults in Episode 13, she can't do much more than grumble.
- Tsundere: Towards Recon/Nagata. She's arguably more prone to attacking and insulting him than her Canon counterpart and constantly calls him her "Fuck boy", but there are multiple hints that she genuinely likes him, from their... more intimate relationship, to her baking cupcakes for him one time, and Yui noticing both their heart rates increase when near each other. Deconstructed in that it's clearly the result of her issues with Kirito bleeding into her interactions with him, as noted by Yui in her psyche profile of her.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Suguha doesn't give Kirito so much as a thank you for saving her from choking to death in episode 13 and promptly goes back to mocking him as soon as she can breathe. Comes up again as Leafa in Episode 14, where she draws her sword on Kirito after he saves her, something he calls her out on.
- Vocal Dissonance: Contrast her canon counterpart who sounds like a little girl, her abridged self sounds like a grown woman.
- We Have Reserves: She declares her approach to problem-solving is to throw waves of her loyal subjects at something until either they take care of it or she can climb a pile of their corpses.Leafa: Because that good sir, is how a princess do.
A Sylph player who quests with Leafa in ALfheim Online, and "quests" with Suguha in real life.
- Bad "Bad Acting": When confronted with Kirito, his "threat" to the Spriggan is so wooden you could make household furniture out of it.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Averted. Despite his feelings for Suguha/Leafa, he has no issue with her hanging out with Kirito at all. Episode 15 shows he's more annoyed at being ditched by her causing her storyline fiance to torture him and he trusts Kirito to a degree that confuses him.
- The Cutie: Is held in high regard by both Kirito and Leafa, while definitely being the type of person they would both relentlessly emotionally terrorize under normal circumstances.
- Dogged Nice Guy: He basically does whatever Suguha/Leafa tells him to because he's attracted to her. The attraction doesn't seem to be one-sided either; despite Suguha hitting him with the butt of her kendo stick when Shinichi asks her on an actual date in Episode 15, she also tells him to meet her in the janitor's closet for some implied sex and later in the episode Yui notes that both of their heart rates increased by 22% when near each other.
- Friends with Benefits: Light on the "friends," and more emphasis on the "benefits."Suguha: You and I are barely friends! Recon is Princess Leafa's fuckboy. Got it? Don't confuse the game with real life, you perv! Now meet me in the supply closet after practice, I've got another quest for you.
- Hero-Worshipper: Episode 15 shows that Shinichi would like to meet Kirito due to his fame as the Hero of Aincard.
- Nice Guy: In the original series, Recon was extremely clingy with Leafa, but out of sincere, if immature love. Here, he's extremely nice, to the point where even Kirito doesn't even try to mock or belittle him in any way. Despite the fact that his NerveGear was bought second-hand for $100 more than a new one, and that he had to clean the previous users brain out of it, he doesn't once criticize the sellers' heartlessness, but instead chooses to assume it was due to grief. Additionally, upon Leafa describing a certain act she did with him, ostensibly in pursuit of a quest, Kirito goes so far as to call him "too precious for this world."
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: On the receiving end of this due to a faulty NerveGear, which occasionally "pulses the fear center of his brain" and sends him into shrieking fits where he hallucinates tentacle monsters in classrooms.
- Abusive Parents: Much like how Suguha gives us an idea of where Kirito's issues came from, Shouzou shows us where Asuna's came from. He's actively contemptuous of Asuna (going so far as to call her a parasite and expressing a desire to cut off her life support so he wouldn't have to keep paying medical bills, while shortly later casually talking about buying a new Ferrari), and seemingly has zero issues marrying her off (while she's in a COMA, no less) to a man whose name he doesn't even know.Shouzou: It's good of you to keep visiting her like this. Like a watchful guardian looking after a slumbering princess. Lying there like a perfect, beautiful little parasite, SUCKING THE MARROW FROM MY VERY BONES!
Kirito: I'm not letting you pull the plug, sir!
Shouzou: Ah, sorry. Force of habit. You can relax. My lawyers have advised me that killing my daughter to get out of medical bills would cause more problems than it would probably solve.
- Adaptational Villainy: Does not even appear to love Asuna, given that he's willing to let his daughter die to avoid paying for medical bills and then marry her off so someone else who can pay for them.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Like father, like daughter apparently. Shouzou puts on a hilariously bad Italian accent when talking to his Italian contact, Enzo, probably explaining where Asuna's weird insistence on talking to Tiffany in rather broken Jive Turkey came from.
- Conspicuous Consumption: He off-handedly implies that he's bought several Ferraris.
- Contempt Crossfire: Neglectful parenting and self-centered personality aside, he doesn't care enough about his prospective son-in-law to learn his name, instead calling him by the name of the briefcase he brough the money in.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Apparently, he wanted to cut off life support from his own comatose daughter, solely because he found the medical bills too expensive. His lawyers had to talk him out of that idea.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He calls Sugou - a man who wants to own Asuna like a sex slave and is exploiting his corporate privileges to that end - a "nice gentleman".
- It's All About Me: His rationale for deciding to marry off Asuna to Nobuyuki. He no longer wants to foot the bill for keeping his comatose daughter on life support.
- Pragmatic Villainy:
- He didn't take his daughter off life support to save money, if only because he'd be charged with murder otherwise.
- He took Sugou's suggestion to buy and maintain the servers holding the SAO players, keeping them alive, but only for the sake of getting good publicity and keeping up with the technology.
- Upper-Class Twit: It is made pretty clear that not only is he none-too-bright and has a rather limited attention span, but also that his money has allowed him to live a pretty sheltered lifestyle, leaving him blissfully unaware of how society at large actually functions. He treats setting up an arranged marriage for his daughter against payment and without her consent as if it is a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to do.
- Faux Horrific: Add two plus two—if you dare...
- Gonk: Has sunken yellow eyes, and dark gray teeth the size of car hubcaps. Its animation also clashes with the rest of the show's aesthetic, although (A) this is partly due to Something Witty's limited time and resources for original animation, and (B) it's completely intentional, in the name of comedy.
- Large Ham: "Gather 'round, children, and test your NUMERICAL MIGHT! against my mystical equaaationnss..."
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Is destroyed offscreen when Kirito gets tired of listening to it and yells "Oh my gosh—FOUR!"
The players of ALfheim Online, who have taken what is ostensibly a children's game and made it their own.
- Deep South: One Salamander affects a "redneck" accent and behaves like a character from Deliverance, something Kirito picks up on.
- Evil Brit: Played with. PantySmasher's player is a Brit going by accent, but he only goes into it when speaking OOC and is a Mean Character, Nice Actor.
- Fantastic Racism: With the nature of the roleplaying culture surrounding the game and the fact that the characters can be nine different races, not to mention the campaign that kickstarted the game's popularity being titled "Race War", it was really only a natural result. Even when out-of-character, the Salamanders look down on Leefa for being a Sylph and call Kirito a "filthy Spriggan." The Sylphs aren't much better, so that Recon offers to kill Kirito for Leafa, while some other players capture a Cait Sith and treat him like a pet.
- Improv: One Salamander mentions a prophecy that no one else has heard of, and spins a tale of destined kings, assassination and remorse. The other player logs out to eat pizza rolls and says they should stop seeing each other.
- Lost in Character: A frequent problem for the excess of roleplayers in the community, going from merely acting Fantastic Racism to actually living it, and Dylan the Salamander freaking out his friend when he gets lost in imagining the "Prophecy" role he was talking about.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-Universe, one Salamander player works all day in a soup kitchen and, though frustrated with Leafa's shortcomings, still takes the time to coach her on her roleplaying, but spends his time in ALO as a "sexually-predatory general named PantySmasher."
- Periphery Demographic: In-Universe. While ALfheim Online seems marketed to children ("aerial combat supremacy" notwithstanding), most players are older gamers taking advantage of its underpopulated server as a stage for roleplaying, or were attracted to the VRMMO's flight mechanics.
- The Roleplayer: According to Leafa, a catalyst behind the game suddenly becoming so big was a roleplaying group finding the game and realizing the wide variety of races in the game made it perfect for a campaign they came up with. As a result, the entire culture of the game ended up revolving around roleplaying, and people can get very, very intense about it.
- Serious Business: Leafa admits that she tries to stay in-character for as long as possible while online, just because of how seriously most people take it.