Major Characters (Kazuto Kirigaya, Asuna Yuuki, Suguha Kirigaya, Shino Asada) | Aincrad | Alfheim Online | Gun Gale Online | Underworld (Integrity Knights) | Antagonists (Akihiko Kayaba) | Video Game Exclusives | Alternative Gun Gale Online | Others | Mobile Game Exclusives
This page details characters who are introduced outside of the MMO servers, as well as characters introduced in the movie Ordinal Scale
Note: Unmarked spoilers ahead.note If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!
Seijirou Kikuoka / Chrystheight (ALO, SAO beta test)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese), Matthew Mercer (English), Óscar Flores (Latin American Spanish), Rafael Ordóñez Arrieta (European Spanish)
A member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who's responsible for monitoring situations in the virtual world, Kikuoka was present when Kirito returned to the real world and the person who asks him to investigate the Phantom Bullet case. He maintains an ALO account, though it's mostly used as an alternate method to contact Kirito and Asuna.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In the light novels he doesn't appear until the Phantom Bullet arc, while in the anime he first appears in Extra Edition.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's presented as being one of the good guys, but he's been known to be secretive and done morally ambiguous things. Kirito makes it no secret that he doesn't trust him at times.
- Artificial Intelligence: Kikuoka's true goal is to create intelligent AIs to be used in real wars. He ditches it in the end.
- Batman Gambit: While he gains a new appreciation of Artificial Fluctlights and vows to protect them, Kirito notes that he likely hasn't given up on his desire to implement them in warfare, likely banking on Integrity Knights, members of the Dark Territory, and their descendants willingly signing up for military service to fulfil their desire to protect and fight.
- Conveniently an Orphan: He tells Kirito and Asuna that he doesn't have any other family members and relatives left; he was orphaned after his parents died in a plane crash back in the 1980s.
- Faking the Dead: Near the end of the Alicization arc, he faked his death in the middle of a gunfight against a GDS operator and the US forces in a successful attempt to protect a robot Kayaba hijacked, effectively saving both UW and Ocean Turtle (although he gets injured doing so). He's also fine with himself being declared dead on paper by the government.
- Foil: The patriot to Sugou's traitor. Also, he avoids experimenting on human beings to the extent possible.
- Freudian Excuse: It's revealed late that his parents where killed in a plane accident when he was a baby, and one of the apparent causes was a fighter pilot misfiring a missile. This Implies that his desire to remove humans from warfare, namely jets, stems less from a desire to lower soldier casualties but more to make sure a similar mistake doesn't happen.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: While an ally of Kirito and his friends, they regard him with a high level of caution. Kirito mentions in the light novels that he speaks to Kikuoka less formally than would be appropriate for someone in Kikuoka's position because he doesn't really like him.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: He's not exactly an enemy, but he's not quite a friend as well. Despite that, he's gone on a few dungeon raids with Kirito's party, although his unreliability causes them to recruit Sinon to fill the last slot in the group in Calibur.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His modus operandi. He has good or noble intentionsnote . How he goes about it, though, often treads the grey zone of morality, or at least very pragmaticnote
- In-Series Nickname: Higa calls him "Kiku."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite often putting Kirito into very dangerous situations, his concern is genuine enough to prioritize getting him out of the Underworld over defeating Gabriel.
- Kick the Dog:
- While not entirely evil, his showing Asuna and Rinko a Fluctlight of his colleague Higa, and watching as it collapses when talking with the real Higa and realizing that it's a copy is proof of how little Kikuoka cares for Fluctlights. Even Higa himself is a bit reluctant to go through with the demonstration.
- He also reveals that, showing frustration at the Artificial Fluctlights absolute adherence to the Taboo Index preventing them from being capable of killing like they hoped, Rath caused a plague in the Underworld. This was done in hopes of inciting the residents to steal and kill for resources or take measures to ensure that the majority survived, which failed and caused more casualties among them than necessary. In the Underworld, this plague is noted to have been a devastating event that has orphaned multiple children.
- Mad Scientist: Leader of a group of scientists who develop the fluctlights.
- Meaningful Name: His online handle is a portmanteau of a direct English translation of his family name, Chrysanthemum Heights.
- Megane: Both in real life and in ALO. Shino notes that they don't seem to have much power...
- The Men in Black: A more overt example, working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or so it seems. Kikuoka appears to actually belong to the JSDF, leading Kirito to suspect that he may have been sent to observe the possibility of VRMMOs as a substitute for real-world training.
- Necessary Evil: He seeks a way to create AIs that can be used to replace humans in real warfare, and is more than willing to cross ethical boundaries, including making virtual clones of real infants and playing god with a virtual civilization. On the other hand, he does so in hopes of averting human casualties, as well as help Japan gain military self-sufficiency, and has shown that he does care for Kirito and his friends. At one point he even agreed with Asuna that like Yui, AIs can become "alive" like a human, but would ultimately choose the life of a single human over hundreds of thousands of AIs.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Kirito notes that Kikuoka is far more intelligent than he lets on, which is one reason why Kirito is quite wary around him.
- Pet the Dog: While he does have a few Kick the Dog moments as shown above, he's also got a few of these to emphasize that he's more of an Anti-Hero.
- Allowing Shino to visit Kyouji at her request, even commending her for being brave to want to do it.
- Him transporting Kirito to the Ocean Turtle and putting him into the Soul Translator, while having some ulterior motives, was done out of a legitimate desire to save his life, realizing that the Soul Translator had the best chance of curing him of his current state.
- As Higa points out, Kikuoka has every reason to leave Kirito and Asuna trapped in the Underworld and detain Rinko should she try to stop him, considering that they could get in the way of him trying to implement the Artificial Fluctlights into warfare like he wanted to, yet he does what he can to save them anyway.
- Remember the New Guy?: He first appears in the Extra Edition episode (or the Phantom Bullet arc for the light novels), but Kirito already knew about him earlier than that as he was the one who told Kirito the location of the hospital that Asuna was located at. He also showed up in Kirito's hospital room before Kirito's family did.
- Took a Level in Kindness: By the end of the Alicization Arc, he's dropped a lot of his subservient views towards Artificial Fluctlights and vows to Kirito to protect the Underworld. That being said, he does still hope to implement them in warfare by gambling that the ones descended from Integrity Knights and Dark Territory willingly sign up for service.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: While he acknowledges that AIs can become alive like humans, he nonetheless comes right out and admits that he considers the life of a single human to be worth more than those of a hundred thousand artificial Fluctlights. That being said, after the Alicization project succeed, he has a change of heart.
- What You Are in the Dark: Higa expresses slight confusion at Kikuoka attempts to get Kirito and Asuna out of the STL as soon as possible, since they're the most likely people to try and stop his attempts to implement the Artifical Fluctlights in warfare and he'd face less problems with it if they were out of the picture, and they could simply detain Rinko if she protested.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His avatar in ALO, an Undine mage.
Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Brian Beacock (English)
Kikuoka's colleague in Project Alicization.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He's revealed to have been interested in Rinko when they went to school together, but didn't ask her out since she was with Kayaba. And when he tries asking her out after she saves him from Yanai, she doesn't even realize that he's asking her out.
- Alone with the Psycho: While traveling through the Ocean Turtle to find a maintenance connector, he's threatened by Yanai, Sugou's mole, at gunpoint. Fortunately, the other Ocean Turtle members realize Yanai's treachery in time, leading to Rinko saving him.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- While he's part of a somewhat amoral project to develop Artificial Intelligence soldiers for Japan to use in wars, he's not exactly thrilled about having Kikuoka use a Fluctlight of himself as a demonstration.
- When he realizes Yanai's true nature as a greedy, perverted, and murderous follower of Sugou, he's disgusted and wonders how Yanai got screened.
- For Science!: His reason for saving a copy of the Star King's memories when he was tasked with deleting them, saying he's quite possibly the most advanced AI, even human, in existence due to having lived 200 year. Even when the Star King starts saying some concerning things about protecting the Underworld and expresses a desire to team up with Kayaba to this end, he only shows slight hesitance before agreeing to help because he wants to see what happens.
- Freudian Excuse: Played With. He mentions that part of the reason why he's participating in the project is because he knew someone who got killed while serving in Iraq, and doesn't want to see that happen again. He admits that's probably a fairly childish reason.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: His Fluctlight collapses and shuts down within one minute, eight seconds of being told that it's a clone of the real Higa.
- Mouthful of Pi: He has a talent for reciting digits of pi, as does his Fluctlight. The Fluctlight challenges the real Higa to a pi recitation contest before shutting down.
- Perma-Stubble: He has a bit of stubble on his sideburns.
- Verbal Tic: He likes inserting "~ssu" into his sentences.
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Julie Ann Taylor (English)
The nurse who oversaw Kazuto during his rehabilitation and watched over him when he was investigating Death Gun in GGO.
- Ascended Extra: As the one personally in-charge of Kazuto's treatment in the Underworld, she has far more screentime and plot important during Alicization than the Gun Gale arc.
- Combat Medic: She is a ranking officer in the JSDF but mostly a nurse. She just went to a college affiliated with the military for a deal on tuition.
- Hidden Depths: Is also a Sergeant in the JSDF.
- Hospital Hottie: Even Kikuoka warns Kazuto not to get all too flirty with her.
- Meganekko: Wears glasses during the second day Kazuto dives into GGO to participate in BoB.
- Remember the New Guy?: When she debuts, Kazuto evidently already knew her quite well even though this is the first time the viewers have seen her.
- Mrs. Robinson: Played for Laughs: she likes to flirt with Kazuto, making him quite flustered.
Voiced by: Yusuke Numata (Japanese), Elliot Leguizamo (Latin American Spanish)
Another member of Rath, as well as the traitor.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Of Asuna, expressing envy that Nobuyuki Sugou gets her all to himself, and later Quinella, who manipulates him to create the "Seal of the Right Eye" to keep the residents of the Underworld obedient to her Taboo Index.
- Ascended Extra: It's revealed that he was one of the two slug scientists from Fairy Dance, namely the one who tried harassing Asuna while the other went to report her attempted escape to Oberon.
- Dirty Coward: He escapes punishment for his role in Sugou's crimes by throwing his coworker under the bus. During the confrontation with Higa, Yanai is the one who's visibly terrified, even though he has a gun and Higa is unarmed.
- Disney Villain Death: A falling wrench causes him to fall to his death.
- Drugs Are Bad: His encounter with Asuna implies that he's a user of digital drugs, drugs usable via a VR device that create stimulation in brain activity with varying effects.
- Hate Sink: The revelation that he was one of the slug monsters who subjected Asuna to Naughty Tentacles during the Fairy Dance arc firmly puts him as this.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: After receiving no comeuppance for him harassing Asuna in Fairy Dance, he finally got his comeuppance when he fell to his death.
- Meaningful Name: His surname has the characters for 8, 7 and 1 in that order, meaning that he's the source of the program that prevents the Fluctlights from violating the Taboo Index in the Human Empire and the "Rule of the Strongest" in the Dark Territory, thereby proving that he was Quinella's ally from the real world.
- The Mole: He's the spy in Rath, as well as one of Sugou's subordinates.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Aside from the rest of the spoilered lines, he is also the one who revealed the real world to Quinella, setting up everything Kirito had to go through during the first half of Alicization.
- Walking Spoiler: Since he's mostly a background character, it's impossible to discuss him without revealing that he's the spy inside the Ocean Turtle.
Voiced by: Aya Endo (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English), Circe Luna (Latin American Spanish)
Suguha's mother, as well as Kazuto's maternal aunt and adoptive mother in the real world.
- Cool Aunt: She is the one who got Kazuto into computers and electronics. She's also a casual video gamer herself.
- Good Parents: Midori adopted Kirito when he was just a year old when his parents- her sister and brother-in-law- died in a car crash. Even when Kazuto found out that she's really his Aunt, she still does her best to provide motherly support to him and Suguha.
- Nephewism: She's Kazuto's adoptive mother, as well as his aunt.
- Secret Keeper: It is ultimately revealed at the end of the Alicization arc that she and her husband already know about Kirito's heroism in the VR thanks to "The Black Swordsman" book they bought and read from someone else.
- She and her husband were also initially this before Kazuto found out they weren't his real parents.
Suguha's father, as well as Kazuto's uncle and adoptive father in the real world.
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese), Keith Silverstein (English)
Asuna's father, the CEO of RECTO.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Barring some of his associates, Shouzou is by nature a good, if somehow gullible, leader. Sugou agrees with Asuna that Shouzou would never approve of his Mind Control experiments... which is why he didn't know about them.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Asuna's engagement to Nobuyuki Sugou was his decision. His wife even says that he's never been a very good judge of character, and the narration of Volume 7 indicates that he doesn't always pay attention to those closest to him. In Shouzou's defense, Sugou admits that he would have called off the engagement in a heartbeat if he knew how Asuna felt about it.
- Possibly subverted in the engagement sense, however, as Asuna claims that it was her mother's idea for the Arranged Marriage and he just went along with it, which may be why he wasn't directly aware of how Asuna truly felt about Sugou.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After he discovers Sugou's true colors, as well as the fact that Sugou sexually assaulted Asuna and was responsible for inhumane experiments on 300 SAO survivors, he's so horrified by how badly he misjudged Sugou's character that he steps down from his position as CEO of RECTO, and Asuna just barely manages to convince him not to completely retire.
- Parental Obliviousness: Aside from being a Horrible Judge of Character, he had absolutely no idea that even before she was trapped in SAO for two years and the events of the Fairy Dance arc, Asuna hated Sugou's guts.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He ends up resigning as CEO of RECTO, but it doesn't work out thanks to Asuna convincing him not to completely retire.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His decision to engage Asuna to Sugou and make him the head of RECT Progress results in 300 SAO survivors being trapped and forced to endure inhumane mind control experiments, and Asuna being trapped in ALO for months and nearly being raped. As a result, RECT nearly goes bankrupt and Shouzou's reputation is ruined when Sugou's cyber-crimes are exposed to the public.
- Uptown Guy: He was already born into a wealthy family when he married Kyouko, who was born into a middle-class merchant family.
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese), Dorothy Elias Fahn (English), Patricia Hannidez (Latin American Spanish)
Asuna's mother, who's a professor at a prestigious university, and initially disapproves of Asuna associating with Kirito and the SAO survivors.
- Aesop Amnesia: As shown when she tries to set up an Arranged Marriage with Asuna yet again during New Year's, Kyouko has clearly not learned from all the chaos that resulted with Sugou; Asuna even calls her out on it, especially in the original Japanese:
- Break the Haughty: Kyouko goes through one of these over the course of Asuna's arc. Kyouko is a serious-minded professor who is dissatisfied with her daughter's fascination of the virtual world and her association with Kazuto, as well as trying to transfer Asuna into a prep school. After Asuna shows her the virtual world using the AmuSphere, she cries after realizing that she was a jerk. Afterward, she allows Asuna to continue her studies at the SAO survivors school.
- Brutal Honesty: She bluntly criticizes the SAO survivors school as a correctional facility and tells Asuna that she spends a lot more time on the AmuSphere than in real-life.
- Character Development: Kyouko initially disliked her daughter's fascination with the virtual world and viewed it as a time sink, until Asuna convinced her to look into that world herself through the AmuSphere. After remembering her sad nostalgic memories upon looking at Asuna's home resembling her own childhood's, Kyouko tells Asuna that, as long as she works hard to become strong enough to support someone else, she would allow Asuna to do as she pleased.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: When Asuna shows Kyouko the virtual world, in particular the cabin that resembles her own parents' home, she reconciles with her daughter and doesn't mind her marrying Kazuto, as long as she works hard to become someone strong enough to support someone else.
- The Dreaded: She becomes a comical example after Mother's Rosario. The idea of formally meeting his girlfriend's mother apparently scares Kazuto more than floor bosses, serial killers, and hostile game masters. It's implied that this is why he's never visited Asuna at her house.
- Education Mama: She says that the SAO survivors school is a prison staffed by nobodies. She attempts to have Asuna transferred into a preparatory school where she can graduate quickly and start her university education within the year. By the end of volume 7, they reach a compromise: as long as Asuna maintains a high degree of academic excellence and prepares for college, then she can stay at the SAO survivors school.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: Kyouko tries to rein in Asuna's interest in the AmuSphere because she doesn't consider its worlds and people meaningless, instead wanting to ensure a brighter academic future for her daughter. She ultimately reconsiders by the end of volume 7 thanks to Asuna telling her about how and why she would want a simple life.
- Freudian Excuse: Her harsh parenting of Asuna stems from her own childhood, where she grew up with a farming family that had little. Seeing it as an Old Shame, it prevents her from understanding why Asuna would want a simple life, at first.
- Gold Digger: Played with. There are vibes that she married Shouzou because of his money and she certainly wants Asuna to do so. She claims that it would be "stable" and she "wouldn't have to worry". However, she did use that stability to build a successful career of her own and wants Asuna to do the same as well.
- Hypocrite: When she forcefully disconnects Asuna's VR helmet for being a few minutes late for dinner, accusing Asuna of "disrespecting the staff's efforts," Asuna is sorely tempted to remind her of several occasions where Kyouko was also late for dinner, threw out the meals, untasted and had the staff make them again for her own convenience. Asuna ultimately decides not to do so.
- Insult Friendly Fire: She refers to the SAO survivors as "kids who spent two years killing each other" in front of Asuna, who immediately points out that she is one of them.
- Worsening this is the fact Asuna was part of the mission to put an end to Laughing Coffin (and thus may have actually killed someone to prevent further murderers) and in the original novels, it was her who killed Kuradeel.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- She bluntly makes a valid point about putting too much time into a game and forgetting her real-life duties.
- While she's a jerk about it, she's right about Asuna needing to focus on getting herself some kind of future, as she lost two years of her life that could've used to better herself. Asuna knows this is true, and her only disagreement with her mother is whether this means she has to leave her current school.
- Kyouko calls the SAO Survivor's School a correctional facility used to monitor the SAO survivors, noting that the lenient entry conditions are a little too good to be true. This echoes what Kazuto said to Suguha while discussing it. Asuna knows her mother has a reasonable point but believes that regardless of the reason why the school was established, she likes being there.
- Jerkass Realization: Towards the end of Volume 7, she and Asuna has a discussion inside ALO (using her daughter's "Erika" account) where Asuna confides to her mother that her own parents are proud of her achievements and that Asuna's time at SAO and ALO taught her the value of having people who can appreciate her deeds. This causing Kyouko to break down in Tears of Remorse over what a jerk she's been to her parents and her daughter.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though she can be a jerk towards Asuna at times, her actions towards the end of volume 7 show that she deeply loves her daughter, as well as her parents.
- My Beloved Smother: Although she deeply loves Asuna to the point that she wants to make sure she has a bright future, Kyouko's efforts in doing so are by trying to essentially control her daughter's life, from her education institution to her future spouse, which tenses up their relationship. She gets better by the end of volume 7.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kyouko has a horrified and guilt-ridden look on her face after she realizes that because of efforts to help Asuna, it made the latter feel the same misery that she had towards her own origins.
- Never Say That Again: The mere mention of Nobuyuki Sugou has unsurprisingly become a sore spot for her, considering he was shown to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who trapped 300 SAO survivors, including Asuna herself, in ALO to perform inhumane Mind Control experiments on them, tried to rape Asuna, and nearly drove her husband's company to bankruptcy when his crimes were made public. When Asuna calls her out on trying to set her up on another Arranged Marriage, reminding her of how badly things went when she chose to make Sugou Asuna's fiancé, Kyouko understandably asks her to never mention him again.
- Not So Above It All: She complains that her ALO avatar's weight is lighter, and takes umbrage when Asuna reminds her that since it weighs approximately 40 kg (88 lbs), it's obviously lighter than her real body.
- Not So Stoic: She loses her cool when Asuna asks her if she's ashamed of her parents, and breaks down and cries when she realizes how regretful about what she felt about her origins.
- Older Than She Looks: Despite having the physical appearance of someone in their 20s or 30s, she's actually 49 (later 50) years old.
- Old Shame: An In-Universe example. She is ashamed of humble origins as the daughter of farmers, which Asuna points out. She eventually gets somewhat better after a dose of Break the Haughty. Talking about Nobuyuki Sugou is bound to make her lose her cool and ask her to never mention him again.
- Parental Marriage Veto: She claims that Asuna can marry whoever she wants, as long as that person is worthy of her. Naturally, she determines the worthiness of suitors and "that boy from the facility" (I.E. Kazuto) is not among them. By the end of volume 7, she becomes more open to the idea. If supporting Kazuto motivates Asuna to excel in her own right then she might tolerate it.
- Pet the Dog: When Kyouko is taken to the virtual world and realizes how much her parents are proud of her, she allows Asuna to continue to stay with the SAO survivors.
- Rags to Riches: She originally was the daughter of farmers. Then she married Shouzou Yuuki and became a successful university professor.
- Self-Made Woman: She takes charge and becomes a well-known university teacher after marrying Shouzou Yuuki.
- Sharp Dressed Woman: She's shown wearing a red business suit in most of her appearances, and doesn't approve of her daughter dressing casually around the house.
- The Stoic: She has a composed demeanor, and most events don't affect her much.
- Took a Level in Kindness: At the end of volume 7, she's still fairly stoic and has high standards for Asuna, but she's a bit more respectful of her daughter's decisions.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Kyouko's intentions to have an Arranged Marriage for Asuna and her transferring to a prep school from the SAO survivors school are to ensure a bright future for her own daughter. Fortunately, when Asuna shows her the virtual world, Kyouko realizes that her plans were too extreme.
- Her Education Mama tendencies are also the result of her own experiences and the Old Shame to her humble origins. She can't understand why Asuna prefers a simpler life until she shows her.
Yuna Shigemura / Yuna (SAO, OS)
Voiced by: Sayaka Kanda (Japanese), Ryan Bartley (English), Melissa Gedeón (Latin American Spanish)
An AI idol singer and the mascot of Ordinal Scale.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In Integral Factor, whereas in canon she's a Posthumous Character who isn't introduced into over two years after SAO is cleared. Much like canon Yuna, she trains to be a bard having been training a music skill, but is also daring and bold.
- All There in the Manual: A Behind the Scenes interview for Ordinal Scale has the Miki, Itou, and Kawahara naming Yuna's little drone, Ain-chan, as it's meant to be a smaller version of the Floor 100 Boss, "An Incarnation of Radius", which in itself was meant to be a reference to Aincrad.
- Ambiguously Bi: She eagerly gives a buff-granting Smooch of Victory to the MVP of a Boss Battle irrespective of gender.
- Barrier Warrior: She can generate a shield strong enough to hold back Fatal Scythe and keep it at bay long enough for a raiding party to defeat an even stronger boss.
- Big Damn Heroes: Along with Eiji, during War of the Underworld she appears to try and break PoH's influence out of the players.
- Casting Gag: In the Latin American Spanish dub of the Ordinal Scale movie, Idol Singer Yuna is voiced by Melissa Gedeón, who is also a professional singer as well in her native Mexico.
- Catch Phrase: "Music Start!"
- Cessation of Existence: By SAO standards, the Virtual Ghost Yuuna pulls another Heroic Sacrifice by telling Kirito to defeat the Floor 100 Boss and save everyone, but as her AI programming was tied to the Boss's data, it meant she would cease to exist as well. And this time she's truly gone as her data can no longer be recovered by Shigemura. That is until Cordial Cords where Yuna is brought back and merges with Idol YUNA into a single Yuna.
- Collective Identity: There are a total of three Yuna's featured in the film. The original brown haired Yuuna who died in SAO, the white-haired Virtual Ghost Yuna who wears a hood and aids Kirito, and the Artificial Intelligence Idol Singer YUNA created by Shigemura. However in Cordial Cords, both Yunas end up merging together.
- Constantly Curious: Idol YUNA displays a very inquisitive nature, wanting to experience the joys of singing and is very interested in Eiji's book detailing the events of SAO.
- Dead All Along: The original Yuuna died in SAO. The Yuna in the game is an AI recreation.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- The original Yuuna gave up her life in SAO by using her singing to draw a Boss room's minions away from her fellow paralyzed players. Her efforts saved their lives and allowed to defeat the Boss, but she herself was killed by the minions.
- It was only through her efforts that Kazuto and friends were able to stop her father's Evil Plan, and doing so meant that she is denied a second chance at life.
- Fusion Dance: In Cordial Cords, White Yuna is brought Back from the Dead and she is fused with Black YUNA into a single Yuna.
- Goal in Life: To sing on a professional stage before a large crowd. Because of the concert organized for the Ordinal Scale game, she fulfilled this goal so she's okay with dying again.
- Idol Singer: She was designed to be a diva and all she wants to do is sing.
- In the Hood: Her casual clothing involves a hood that hides her identity. This kept her low-profile while she provided hints to Kazuto about her father's Evil Plan.
- Magic Music: As an AI idol, her singing grants all sorts of status buffs and healing to players fighting bosses.
- In SAO, the Chant Extra Skill allowed her to do something similiar.
- Meaningful Name: Discussed by Kayaba's Virtual Ghost and Shigemura. Yuna's name is derived from "una" the Latin word for one, highlighting Yuna's status as the No. 1 player of Ordinal Scale and the fact the game was derived from Ordinal Numbers.
- Music for Courage: She aids players during event boss fights by singing, which gives them status buffs. She also performed this role in her previous life in Aincrad, via the Chant Extra Skill.
- Mystical White Hair: She was given long white hair as part of her "mysterious" design.
- Nice Girl: The fact that she's such a sweetheart has players swooning over her. It is implied that she spent her time in Aincrad inspiring others.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: No Virtual Celebrity Was Harmed more like. One toward Hatsune Miku.
- Non-Human Sidekick: She's accompanied by a cute hovering dronenote , which she is able to ride on to fly through the air.
- Not Quite Dead: In Cordial Chords, Yuna's spirit fuses with the AI Idol YUNA.
- The Not-Love Interest: While Yuna's arc is heavily defined by romance, it is not with Kirito like most girls, but with Eiji.
- Posthumous Character: The real Yuuna died back in SAO and wasn't heard of until Ordinal Scale.
- Remember the New Guy?:
- She was quite well-known back in SAO as a motivational singer, but never got a mention until Ordinal Scale. The SAO gang have explicitly stated they have heard her singing voice before. The end of the film shows them remembering flashbacks of them encountering Yuuna, where she is retroactively present numerous times in Aincrad.
- This one is justified near the end of story. The book published about the SAO incident only includes big names who headed large guilds or defeated floor bosses, like Kirito, Klein, or Asuna. Players who performed more minor roles like Yuna went unmentioned, and thus, unrecognized. This drove Eiji nuts. The Main Characters met lots of people in Aincrad that they have not mentioned. This book is republished after Yuna's concert to include a line honoring these unsung heroes.
- The Reveal: Her actual identity is Yuuna Shigemura, an SAO player that lost her life in the game.
- Smooch of Victory: She always gives a kiss on the cheek to the MVP of a Boss Battle.
- Support Party Member: Effectively how she functions, appearing at boss fights in Ordinal Scale and singing to grant players buffs to their attack power, defense power and HP.
- During Eiji's fight with PoH in the War of Underworld Anime, she turns into her Idol form to apply buffs to Eiji to give him an edge, plus also to try and break PoH influence out of the foreign players.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: One of the purest, kind-hearted characters who gave up her own life twice so others could live.
- Virtual Ghost: Through her father's efforts, she is effectively resurrected given that her A.I. has the same memories and personality as the original. However, making this permanent would lead to the deaths of others so she put a stop to it.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Part of her Idol Singer outfit is thigh-length stockings and a short skirt. It lends to her resemblance to Hatsune Miku.
Eiji Nochizawa / Nautilus / Eiji (SAO, OS)
Voiced by: Yoshio Inoue (Japanese), Chris Patton (English), Diego Estrada (Latin American Spanish)
One of the best players in the ARMMORPG of Ordinal Scale.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In Integral Factor he shows up in SAO as Nautilus on Floor 13, whereas in canon he doesn't appear until over two years later in the real world. He's shown to be overprotective of Yuna and aiming to be strong enough to join the Assault Team.
- Always Someone Better: Eiji is probably one of the most skilled swordsman to have come out of SAO and, exoskeleton aside, was certainly more physically active than Kirito in the real world. Despite this, he loses to Kirito in Ordinal Scale after losing the exoskeleton, even when he should be physically superior anyway.
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses both arms while fighting against Po H during War of the Underworld. It doesn't stop him from biting him in the neck with his last breath.
- Berserk Button: Calling him "Nautilus" is a good way to piss him off because he regards it as a mark of shame and heartbreak.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the War of the Underworld anime, he shows up in the nick of time to save Kirito from PoH.
- Call-Forward: In Integral Factor, when he first shows up as Nautilus on Floor 13, he experiences the problem of being paralysed with fear when his HP drops too low, mirroring what happened in canon.
- Combat Clairvoyance: His personal Augma is equipped with a feature for tracking and predicting his opponent's moves, thus enabling him to respond faster.
- Composite Character: In War of the Underworld, he takes the place of Moonphase as the one who fights Vassago to defend Kirito.
- Dark Is Evil: To mirror Kirito he also dresses in dark colors, donning black and purple, but he's a villain.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His ALO Avatar is heavily Implied to be an Imp or Spriggan with his dark colored clothes and purple accessories, and he establishes himself to be with the good guys this time when he willingly joins the War of Underworld after Liz's speech and attacking PoH to save Kirito, during which his outfit changes to his old KoB attire.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Even if it's only his avatar, he still vanishes while being comforted by Yuna, who assures him that he did well.
- The Dragon: He is Shigemura's field agent, hunting down SAO survivors and ensuring they die so their memories can be harvested for the sake of their Evil Plan.
- Evil Counterpart: Many aspects of Eiji mirror that of Kirito: a fast and skilled solo fighter who battles on behalf of the girl he loves. Both dress in dark colors, but with Kirito being Dark Is Not Evil and Eiji being Dark Is Evil. Also like Kirito, he has Survivor's Guilt because he outlived his first love due to his inability to protect her from the dangers of Aincrad. The difference lies in that he relishes his ability to beat down other players and he does it through an unfair advantage. Kirito may have been a "beater" but Eiji is just a cheater. After he pulls a HeelFace Turn and reforms, he has instead moved to being a Shadow Archetype.
- Freudian Excuse: His antagonism stems from the loss of his lover, Yuna. He also wants to prove that he is a strong fighter instead of the weak-kneed wimp he was in Aincrad.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: He was Driven to Villainy over the loss of his love, Yuna. However this does not justify most of his actions, which are unnecessarily cruel and verges on sadism in the enjoyment he derives from beating down his fellow players. It's no wonder Kirito doesn't hold a shred of sympathy for him despite their similar pasts.
- Handicapped Badass: In SAO. Nautilus was a considerably skilled swordsman and had large knowledge of the One-Handed Sword Skills, which was enough to get him scouted by the Knights of the Blood Oath once he reached the appropriate level. However he had a Full-Dive Non-Conformity which, in his case, was giving priority to the commands of his lower cerebral centres, the origin of instincts, instead of the higher centres, responsible for reason, thus making Nautilus's avatar unresponsive when at times of perceived danger. Reality Ensues in that instead of being able to fight with this handicap to make him appear more badass, it ends up hindering him greatly to the point where its agreed by Asuna and Heathcliff that he shouldnt take part in Boss Fights after being The Load on a grinding mission and later leads to Yunas death.
- The Heavy: While Shigemura is the Big Bad, Eiji is the main threat that Kirito and co face throughout the film.
- HeelFace Turn: The first instance of a major SAO villain doing this, other than maybe Kayaba who was never firmly evil to begin with. While he shows signs of going through one in Cordial Chords after getting Yuna back, he cements this in War of the Underworld Anime when he joins in on protecting the Underworld and saves Kirito from PoH.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Only in the anime, and even if it's just his ALO avatar, he still fought against PoH before he could kill Kirito, buying enough time for Asuna and the others to restore his memory. There's also the fact that the Underworld server has no pain absorber, meaning that he felt every wound he suffered in it.
- Heroic Willpower: During his fight with PoH, his ALO outfit turns into his old KoB uniform.
- Hidden Depths: His original username, Nautilus, is the name of an underwater cephalopod, suggesting that Eiji has some interest in aquatic life.
- I Just Want to Be Special: He resented the fact he was so weak and powerless in SAO which led him to be unable to save Yuna. Come Ordinal Scale he adores the power he gets granted by Shigemura's Powered Armor and takes great pride in how he has surpassed the legendary players: the Black Swordsman and the Lightning Flash.
- It's Personal: It's Implied that his brutal beatdown of Fuurinkazan is because when Yuna died, he begged two of their members to save her from the boss' minions but they said that they couldn't due to be preoccupied with said boss.
- It's Personal with the Dragon: Shigemura is the Big Bad, but never develops any personal relationship with Kirito. It is Eiji who instead fills this role, being Kirito's Evil Counterpart and the two of them end up clashing many times, with Kirito especially resenting him for what he did to his friends.
- Jerkass: Despite being a Tragic Villain, his many Kick the Dog moments and being a Smug Super negate sympathy the audience would otherwise have for him. While Shigemura takes no pleasure in the crimes he commits and is very pained the whole way, Eiji gleefully abuses his power as he beats down his fellow players.
- Karma Houdini: In the end Shigemura doesn't succeed in killing him as his You Have Failed Me was cut short thanks to Kirito. Cordial Chords reveals that he turned himself over to the police for assault on the members of Fuurinkazan, but he was released as none of them pressed charges against him.
- Kick the Dog: Simply making his fellow players lose isn't enough, he had to rub it in on how powerless they are too stop him. After beating down Klein's guild and Klein himself, he makes Klein watch as a Boss monster lunges to attack him while Klein is too weak to do anything about it.
- Master Swordsman: While his Full-Dive Nonconformity hindered him in SAO and hes no match for Kirito, Eiji is still a skilled swordsman specializing in One-Handed Swords, which was the reason he was scouted for the KoB to begin with.
- Meaningful Rename: Unlike other SAO survivors, who use the same ID in Ordinal Scale that they did in Sword Art Online, he redubs himself "Eiji" because he wants to sever himself from his past as "Nautilus".
- Reversed in the War of the Underworld anime. When PoH asks him who he is, he uses his SAO name once more.
- One-Man Army: Due to the Powered Armor he wears, he's able to take down bosses that give entire squadrons of players trouble. Needless to say players themselves stand no chance against him either, where he takes down all of Fuurinkazan. Even Kirito is no match and spends the majority of the film getting trounced by him, and required special training from Suguha and a dose of luck to gain victory.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother divorced his father and gained custody of him while he was still young, and upon waking up from SAO, he discovers that his mother and step-father divorced while he was trapped and were reluctant to bring another child into their new lives, which led to him living alone while they sent him money.
- Player Killing: His specialty is hunting down Ordinal Scale players who are also SAO survivors and making sure they lose to the monsters.
- Powered Armor: Wears an exosuit to overcome his panic-induced paralysis, which also grants him special abilities such as Combat Clairvoyance.
- Pragmatic Villain: He actively assists in the first OS boss battle, being forced to step-in to keep a stray blast from hitting Yuna, and once he made his presence known he had to keep partaking in the battle to keep his cover from being blown.
- Purple Is Powerful: His OS outfit is purple, and he's the second highest ranked player in the game. He later uses an ALO avatar with similar colors.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mocks Kirito for being the greatest swordsman in VR but utterly pathetic in AR.
- Remember the New Guy?: Asuna evidently knew him back when they were on the Knights of the Blood Oath together, even though he never made an appearance or was ever mentioned back in the Aincrad arc. This is justified in that he was a minor member who was too scared to join boss battles. With Asuna being a vice-commander of a large guild and in charge of countless players, she had no reason to mention him prior to Ordinal Scale.
- Referenced again in the War of Underworld, as PoH doesn't recognize him when they fight.
- Sacrificial Lion: While he puts up an amazing fight considering the odds, his defeat by PoH serves to establish how much of a threat Laughing Coffin's leader is.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Everything he did was because Shigemura promised to reunite him with Yuna. Instead, Shigemura betrays him and takes his memories as well; since Eiji spent the most time with Yuna, his memories are the most important ones needed to construct the Yuna A.I.
- Sinister Scimitar: His sword in ALO has a single-edged blade with serrations on the back near the handle. Ironically enough, this is after his HeelFace Turn.
- Smug Super: It appears as though he's Drunk on the Dark Side with the pleasure he gets from flaunting his superior abilities to overpower his fellow players.
- Took a Level in Badass: He went from a shy coward in SAO who was too scared to partake in Floor Boss battles, to a brutal villain and the No. 2 player of Ordinal Scale for a time. Granted he was cheating, but the attitude change is still noteworthy.
- The War of the Underworld anime shows that he's grown into a skilled player without the aforementioned equipment, managing to fight PoH on more or less even ground for a bit.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Seeing him go from a Smug Jerkass who would gleefully torture SAO Survivors before taking their memories to a man willing to help protect the Underworld and even try and save Kirito from PoH is especially notable.
- Tragic Villain: He was driven to villainy upon reaching the Despair Event Horizon over losing Yuuna.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: He was in love with the original Yuna who he's known since childhood. Unfortunately, she only thinks of him as a brother.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He relies on his Powered Armor to gain an unfair advantage, but does not have the skills to go with it. Once Kirito damages his armor by pulling out the power source, he goes down with one hit. Played With however seeing as the reason he was recruited into the KoB back in SAO was because he was an expert on One-Handed Sword Skills.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He was quite a shy and timid, but kind boy back when he was in SAO. Then he lost Yuuna...
- Would Hurt a Child: Pushed Silica into harm's way when she tried to escape from a boss, forcing Asuna to shield her and take the hit.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After he gets beaten by Kirito, he tries to remind his employer that Shigemura promised to reunite him with Yuna, but Shigemura then says that, since Eiji spent the most time with Yuna, his memories are the most important ones and they'll be taken as well, much to his shock.
Voiced by: Takeshi Kaga (Japanese), Jamieson Price (English) Gerardo Reyero (Latin American Spanish)
Professor Tetsuhiro Shigemura is the developer of the AR technology Augma. Also the father of Yuuna Shigemura, and wants to revive her through... less than savory means.
- All for Nothing: His attempt at potentially killing thousands of people to bring Yuna back becomes this in Cordial Chords when she technically comes back after her soul merges with Idol Yuna, meaning he could have possibly brought her back without becoming a criminal.
- Ascended Extra: Technically, he was first name-dropped in the novels via a reference to his lab. He later becomes an important character in the interquel movie.
- Big Bad: He serves as the main antagonist of Ordinal Scale.
- Boxed Crook: He escapes arrest and a ruined reputation through Seijiro Kikuoka pulling strings in the Japanese government. Kikuoka would rather put his genius to work for Rath than isolate it in a cell.
- Casting Gag: Tetsuhiro Shigemura also played another grief-stricken bespectacled father in a movie based on an anime.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Most, if not all major SAO villains are psychopaths with no sympathetic qualities, willing to do extremely evil things out of selfishness. Professor Shigemura is notable for being a relatively collected individual with a sympathetic backstory and motivation. He's also the only Big Bad to date who doesn't have any personal relationship with Kirito, be that Worthy Opponent or Arch-Enemy, with Kirito instead gaining that dynamic with Shigemura's lackey Eiji.
- Deal with the Devil: Drops the trope name when arguing with Yuuna's ghost on why he wanted to kill a stadium full of concertgoers.
- Dirty Business: He admits that he despises the lengths he's gone to in order to revive his daughter but sees it as necessary because he can't go on without her.
- Driven to Villainy: He was a kind man until his daughter Yuna was killed in SAO. This made him snap.
- Foil: To Kayaba. Both being genius game devs who created a revolutionary game that ended up turning real, while both aren't straight up evil like other villains. However while Kayaba created Sword Art Online to realize his own vision of making the virtual world real, Shigemura created Ordinal Scale out of a desire to be with his dead daughter again. Kayaba had a Lack of Empathy towards the deaths he caused, while Shigemura knew what he was doing was wrong and would cause the same pain he suffered to other parents, but was willing to pay that price.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Designed Augma, built Eiji's exosuit, and wanted to bring Yuuna back from the dead. Also, he was advisor for Argus, mentored Kayaba and Sugou, and is recruited into Rath in The Stinger. It is very strongly implied that almost all of the sci-fi VR technology developments in the series can be traced back to him through Kayaba, making him the the indirect instigator of the entire series.
- Hypocrite: While he doesn't necessarily enjoy the steps he takes to bring back his daughter and acknowledges that what he's doing is selfish, that doesn't change the fact that he's not above causing potentially thousands of other parents to lose their own children, just so he can have his back.
- It's All About Me: While ultimately sympathetic, he shows shades of this trait. While not necessarily happy about it, he's aware that in bringing back his daughter he'll likely be trading the lives of thousands of other children, and forcing those children's parents to go through the same pain he went through, but despite knowing this, he goes through with his plan. He also seems to care more about him getting Yuna back as opposed to all of her loved ones getting her back, as shown when he intentionally sends an SAO monster to finish off Eiji and take his memories since he knows how close the two of them were, and therefore knows Eiji is the most important source of memories of her aside from Tetsuhiro himself.
- When confronted by White Yuna trying to talk him out of his plan, he claims that she's just the incomplete Yuna afraid of being replaced by the complete one as an excuse to not listen to her and even outright tells her to be quiet when she persists, wanting to go through with his plan in spite of her heartfelt pleas and likely knowing how she died to begin with.
- It's All My Fault: The only reason Yuna was in SAO at all was because he pulled strings at Argus to get her a Nervegear and a copy of the game.
- Non-Action Big Bad: The only SAO villain to date who never directly engages in combat himself, instead manipulating from behind the scenes.
- Papa Wolf: Say what you will about the morality of his methods, but he is certainly devoted to his daughter.
- That Thing Is Not My Child!: When Yuna's A.I. attempts to talk him out of his Evil Plan, he declares that she is nothing but the program he created to collect data and learn about his daughter, and is merely trying to prolong its own life because it knows it will be replaced by the complete Yuna.
- Tragic Villain: He did many awful things, but at the end of the day he's still a grieving father who misses his late daughter and is willing to do whatever it takes to see her again.
- The Unfettered: Nothing is sacred when it comes to his daughter's wellbeing. Memory theft, mass murder, inflicting the same pain he feels upon other parents, or betraying his partner-in-crime, who is the only one who agrees with this madness; all of them are fair game.
- The Unfought: The only Big Bad to date who Kirito never fights, given he's a Non-Action Big Bad. Instead it's his underling Eiji who clashes with the heroes.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His final goal of reviving Yuna is definitely sympathetic and well-intentioned, he is just willing to go to extreme lengths to fulfill it, even if the process would be highly immoral.
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (English)
A classmate of Shino's who frequently bullies her.
- Animal Motifs: Her appearance is described as giving off an impression of a predatory insect, and considering that she and her Girl Posse prey on Shino.
- Blatant Lies: She says that she and her two friends spent too long at karaoke (20 minutes after school let out), and are out of money for the train (they have passes), which is why they need 10,000 yen (roughly $100 USD) from Shino. Shino sees through it, but it doesn't do her much good.
- The Bully: Endou is one who primarily uses psychological warfare against a vulnerable target.
- Bullying the Disabled: She takes advantage of Shino's PTSD and fear of guns to push her around and extort her for money. Eventually, Shino Grew a Spine and turned the tables on her, leaving Endou stunned and scared out of her wits.
- Dirty Coward: She's unwilling to try anything when there's even a risk of being caught, and flees when Kyouji bluffs that he's leading a police officer over. When Shino disarms her and then takes a shot at a can, Endou panics and does a Twisted-Knee Collapse.
- Disproportionate Retribution: When Shino, realizing that she's being taken advantage of, refuses to have Endou over any longer, Endou researches Shino's past trauma and uses it against her.
- Girl Posse: She's accompanied by two girls at almost all times.
- Hate Sink: She's shown to be a despicable character, which is driven home when she and her Girl Posse researched her past used it against her out of spite and later when she unsuccessfully threatens Shino with a gun yet again.
- Jerkass: She repeatedly throws her weight around Shino, and it's indicated that she has no problem taking advantage of her so-called "friends" and retaliating when they refuse to play along.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: She and her Girl Posse are arrested for breaking and entering after a neighbor files a noise complaint on Shino's home because of her antics, and Shino refuses to cover for her. However, after the GGO fiasco, the three return and threaten Shino with a gun, in Japan while Shino is under surveilance because of Red Eyes Xaxa's "parting message". However, karma does eventually catch up to her when Shino disarms her.
- No Name Given: Her first name is never revealed, and her two sidekicks are never named.
- Not with the Safety on, You Won't: She falls prey to this, enabling Shino to disarm her and show her where she went wrong before calmly handing the gun back to her.
- Oh, Crap!: After Shino disarms her, she's frightened out of her wits.
- Teens Are Monsters: There's no other way to describe someone who deliberately bullies a classmate using past trauma for nothing more than pure greed.
- Twisted-Knee Collapse: All she can do is slump down on her knees in shock when Shino finally disarms her.
- With Friends Like These...: She once "befriended" Shino so that she and her two friends could use Shino's apartment to host parties, not caring if they were imposing on Shino or causing trouble.
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese), Jennifer Losi (English)
A scientist and the former Love Interest and co-worker of Akihiko Kayaba, who was part of Shigemura Lab in the institute's Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department. She found Kayaba's body during the SAO incident, and spent the two years it lasted watching over him.
- The Atoner: Her post Aincrad work is her way to make up for not stopping Kayaba when she had the chance.
- Big Damn Heroes: She saves Higa from Yanai by dropping a wrench on him, causing him to stumble and fall to his death.
- Big Sister Instinct: While the exact nature of their relationship is unknown as of yet, she does appear rather appalled when a reporter asks that she "opens Alice's head" to show everyone her brain, and seems ready to shout at him when Alice stops her and gives her own retort. She also expressed a good deal of her concern over all the social events she was attending, worrying that she was getting stressed and asking if she needed a break.
- Brainy Brunette: She has a B.S, M.S and a Ph.D, and is notable as the only first year to participate in the Shigemura Seminar at the college she and Kayaba attended.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the light novel, she's briefly mentioned, but not by name, when Kirito describes tracking her down while investigating Kayaba.
- Country Mouse: Shes stated to have originally lived in the mountains and she used to have an accent that apparently disappeared over time.
- It does pop up again when she gets really emotive, like over Kayaba Akihiko.
- Dude Magnet: She's seemingly the only other person Kayaba cared about, Sugou apparently tried courting her back in school, and Higa also admits, albeit not to her, that he also had a crush on her and tries asking her out after she saves him from Yanai, only for her to miss the point.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She's mentioned in the final episode of Season II, as the one who sent the original design for Yuuki's Medicuboid.
- Easily Forgiven: Asuna doesn't even bat an eye at Rinko's revelations or guilt, pointing out that both she and Kirito would forgive her anyway and that the best days of their lives together were in SAO to begin with.
- The Generic Guy: How she views herself, describing herself as a plain, boring girl from the mountains when pondering as to why Kayaba took an interest in her.
- Knife Nut: She planned on killing Kayaba with a survival knife she brought to Nagano.
- Murder by Inaction: What she could've been charged for had Kayaba not put in a dummy micro-bomb into her chest to make it seem like she was a victim too, given that she was directly tied to the Aincrad incident and had the opportunity to stop Kayaba and his mad schemes right then and there. Rinko herself feels like she committed this as a result.
- Oblivious to Love: She does not pick up on the fact that Higa was trying to ask her out after she saved him from Yanai, instead thinking he was asking for a celebratory meal and agreeing to buy him a burger or ramen sometime.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Rinko was Kayaba's girlfriend and fellow researcher, which is a big role to have - especially when she could've prevented the entire franchise's story from kicking off to begin with. She's also the one that helped design the Medicuboid, meaning Yuuki's entire prolonged living state and thus her storyline was able to happen because of Rinko. However, despite getting Asuna to the Ocean Turtle, and helping try to get to the bottom of the JSDF's artificial intelligence research, ultimately Rinko herself is mostly a bit character to fill in the world a little more and irrelevant beyond that. That said, her saving Higa from Yanai ends up indirectly saving Kirito and by extension everyone else in Underworld.
- These Hands Have Killed: She feels indirectly responsible for the many deaths in the SAO incident, as she couldn't bring herself to kill Kayaba while he was inside the game.
- Undying Loyalty: Arguably to Kayaba. It what's prevents her from killing him when she finally tracked him down and the reason why she hasn't confessed that the bomb Kayaba implanted in her was a Red Herring to get her off the hook in spite of her guilt is because doing so would have defeated the purpose of "the only gift he ever gave her".
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By being unable to kill Kayaba right after he logged into Sword Art Online, Kayaba was able to trap ten thousand people in his death game for two years, with almost half of that number dying. Whether this would've hopelessly trapped everyone in SAO or resolved the death game before it even began is never answered, but Rinko firmly believes all of that blood is on her hands.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When unveiling Alice to the world, she makes it a point that she, as the current CEO of RATH, has no desire to use them as tools and servants, believing that they are no different from humans and that enslaving them would make them no better than those who have enslaved other humans in the past.
Jo Wol-Saeng / Moonphase
A Korean player who's dragged into the War of Underworld along with thousands of other Korean VR players, who's rightfully suspicious about the cover story he and his countrymen have been given.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: For a minor character, Moonphase is a surprisingly astute person.
- Unlike his online friends and apparently every other Korean player at first, he's the only person to notice the multiple suspicious factors and inconsistencies in the story of a joint American/Korean/Chinese VR project being attacked by Japanese players. He's further convinced when he's actually dragged into it and notices that the Japanese players, rather than appearing cruel and malicious, appear more desperate and like they're fighting for something important, and more so when he witnesses PoH beating a paralyzed Kirito.
- He also realizes the reason PoH isn't concerned about his army of Korean and Chinese players turning against each other once half of them realizes there's something shady going on; because he plans to finish him off and spur the ones on his side against the ones who are still blinded by their fanatical patriotism and resentment of the Japanese so he can watch them all kill each other for his amusement. He's naturally horrified by this.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Klein from being killed by a fellow Korean player.
- Demoted to Extra: In the anime adaptation of Alicization: War of Underworld, he plays much less of a role as opposed to the original light novel and his screentime is greatly reduced. Namely, the existence of the anime-original character Mei Mei Xiang makes them a sort of Decomposite Character since he splits up his dialogue with her, and his biggest moment in Alicization Awakening when he tries to stop Vassago from assaulting the comatose Kirito is replaced with an anime-original battle between the Ordinal Scale characters Eiji & Yuuna vs. Vassago.
- In the Back: PoH cuts into his back when he tries convincing the other Korean players to listen what Siune has to say. He survives, but the lack of a Pain Absorber means that this leaves him in a lot of pain.
- Mighty Glacier: He notes that compared to Silla Empire, where he's apparently more of a Lightning Bruiser, the Dark Knight avatar he ends up using in the Underworld feels slower than what he's used to.
- Only Sane Man: He's apparently the only person to actually recognize just how suspicious the cover story of "Japanese hackers trying to sabotage a joint VR Project between America, China and Korea" is and is even more convinced when Siune tries convincing the group he's with. Even after watching PoH beat up Kirito, who is pretty much a cripple at the time, only about half of the Koreans and Chinese players outside of him actually start to realize just how shady the whole thing is. This is averted in the anime adaptation which gives him a female Chinese friend named Mei Mei Xiang who also shares his skepticism.
- The Resenter: Averted. While he admits to having some beef with the Japanese due to the Koreans not getting access to the Seed to make VR games and numerous other things, he also remembers the good experiences he had with Japanese players.
- Spanner in the Works: His suspicions of PoH's true intentions buy enough time for Kirito's revival.
- Walking Spoiler: The sudden appearance of Korean and Chinese players, including Moonphase, is a major plot point and the closest the heroes have to a Darkest Hour in the war.