Sword Art Online is a global phenomenon, that is what we know at this moment. The light novel series has received several anime adaptations, it has been remade into a manga, and several video games based on the series have also been released. Sword Art Online attracted a large fandom from around the world and eager fans are waiting for news on a fourth season of the show.
Season four of Sword Art Online hasn’t been confirmed yet, but seeing how the light novels are still being published, we expect it to be renewed, with a potential 2023 or 2024 release date. In the meantime, a second Progressive anime film, Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk, is going to premiere in 2022.
The rest of this article is going to bring you all the known and unknown information related to season 4 of Sword Art Online. You’re going to find out about its potential release date, whether there is a trailer, what the story could be about, and much more about this great anime series.
Sword Art Online Season 4 Release Date
Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of a Dark Dusk, the second movie adaptation of the Progressive series, is going to appear sometime during 2022. It will be a sequel to the recently released Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night.
This is everything we know about the future of the franchise as of yet, so we don’t actually know whether and when a fourth season of Sword Art Online is going to be released.
Now, having said this, we can reassure fans by saying that Sword Art Online is almost certainly going to return for a fourth season, we just don’t know when. The anime is enormously popular, the franchise is expanding, and there is more than enough light novel material for future adaptations. So, from our point of view, the question is not if, but when Sword Art Online will return.
We can assume that it won’t be before late 2022, but 2023 or even 2024 are more probable dates, so we’ll have to wait a bit for a new season.
Sword Art Online Season 4 Trailer
Knowing what you know now, you probably assumed yourselves that there is no trailer for the 4th season of Sword Art Online simply because the season has not yet been produced, or even announced for that matter.
Sword Art Online will almost certainly return, that much is fairly obvious, but until we actually get some info on the next adaptation, knowing that there is enough material to adapt from the light novels, we won’t be getting any information on a new season. We’ll have to wait for the second Progressive movie to debut.
Taking into account all of the delays, we could probably wait until late 2022, early 2023 to get some info on the new season.
Sword Art Online Season 4 Plot
Since we actually don’t know anything about the potential fourth season, we cannot really tell you what it will be about. We know it won’t be adapting the Progressive series, since they’re being adapted as anime movies, and we do assume that it will adapt the Unital Ring arc, but that is just an assumption on our side. We don’t actually know that thing will happen like that.
Now, in case you’ve forgotten, let us remind you what Sword Art Online is all about. Sword Art Online (SAO) is a massively multiplayer virtual reality networked role-playing game (VRMMORPG) released in 2022: thanks to NerveGear, a helmet capable of stimulating the user’s five senses through direct manipulation of the brain, the players can impersonate and control their own character in the game directly with their mind.
SAO officially opens on November 6, 2022, but logged-in users realize it is impossible to log out. The creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba, reveals himself to be a psychopath and informs them that he has imprisoned them.
If they wish to return to being free, the last level of the game must be reached and passed (represented by the 100th floor of the flying castle of Aincrad, in which the final boss is found), however in the event of a game-over or forcibly removing the NerveGear, the hardware will cause a brain coma to the player by means of electric shocks to the brain. The players are immediately hospitalized and artificially fed.
Among the many players to witness the words of Kayaba, there is Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, one of the 1,000 beta testers who had the opportunity to try the game in preview. Backed by his previous experience, Kirito works hard to complete the game on his own, but over time he will pair up with a player named Asuna whom he will fall in love with.
Two years later, the protagonist discovers Kayaba’s identity in SAO, confronts him, and defeats him once and for all, thus earning both his own freedom and that of the other players still alive. Upon returning to the real world, however, Kirito discovers that 300 SAO players, including Asuna, have not yet awakened.
Following a lead according to which Asuna would find herself imprisoned in another VRMMORPG called ALfheim Online (ALO), Kirito also participates in this other game, in which he accidentally meets Leafa, her cousin Suguha.
With her help, Kirito discovers that the players trapped in ALO are part of a plan devised by Nobuyuki Sugō to perform illegal experiments on the human mind and find a way to control it. In addition, Sugō also plans to marry Asuna in the real world to take over her father’s company, which is why Kirito goes on a rampage and annihilates him both in ALO and in reality.
Once Sugō is defeated in the world of ALO, Akihiko’s ghost program will give him “the seed”, or the world generation program, giving him the choice to destroy it or use it. Kirito will choose, during the party in Agil’s pub, to make it available to the whole world, so that everyone can create their own personal world, and give a new luster to the category of VRMMOs, almost brought to extinction due to Sugō.
A short time later, Kirito plays Gun Gale Online (GGO) to investigate some mysterious deaths that are taking place in the real world. Assisted by a player named Sinon who guides him in this other reality, Kirito identifies and reports to the authorities the perpetrators of the various murders, among which there are also some former members of a guild of assassins that he had faced in SAO.
Kirito is then hired to test the Soul Translator (STL), a cutting-edge machine characterized by a much more realistic and complex interface than those tried by him previously. Unlike the real world, in the virtual reality mainframe – called the Underworld (UW) – of this new technology, time passes thousands of times faster, and Kirito’s memories of what goes on inside are cramped.
However, Kirito is seriously injured by one of SAO’s assassins and ends up waking up inside Underworld not being able to remember how he found himself there or how to disconnect, leaving his real self in the real world in a comatose state.
Sword Art Online Season 4 Cast
The cast of Sword Art Online doesn’t change that often, sans the usual additions of new characters, mostly because the same characters keep appearing in each of the seasons. Now, the core of the series has remained the same and the characters’ voice actors are as follows:
|Kirito||Yoshitsugu Matsuoka||Bryce Papenbrook|
|Asuna||Haruka Tomatsu||Cherami Leigh|
|Akihiko Kayaba||Kōichi Yamadera||Marc Diraison|
|Yui||Kanae Itō||Stephanie Sheh|
|Klein||Hiroaki Hirata||Kirk Thornton|
|Leafa / Suguha Kirigaya||Ayana Taketatsu||Cassandra Morris|
|Agil / Andrew Gilbert Mills||Hiroki Yasumoto||Patrick Seitz|
|Sachi||Saori Hayami||Xanthe Huynh|
|Heathcliff||Toru Ohkawa||Kevin M. Connolly|
|Eugeo||Nobunaga Shimazaki||Brandon Winckler|
|Yuuki||Aoi Yūki||Erica Mendez|
|Alice Zuberg||Ai Kayano||Kayli Mills|
Now, we don’t know for sure, but we expect all of them to return to reprise their roles in the forthcoming season when it gets announced since they have returned for each new season so far.
What Will the Fourth Season of Sword Art Online Be Called?
We don’t actually know how the as of yet unannounced fourth season of Sword Art Online will be called, but knowing how the previous seasons were titled, we assume that the fourth season could be titled Unital Ring, as it seems to be the proper continuation, seeing how Progressive was made into a movie. This is not completely certain, but from our perspective, it looks like a plausible assumption.
Where Can You Watch Sword Art Online Season 4?
Sword Art Online season four cannot be watched at this time, simply because the season hasn’t been produced yet. Based on what we know from earlier, the show is probably going to air on Toonami and be available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu outside of Japan. In Japan, several TV stations have aired the anime.
Will There Be a Season 5 of Sword Art Online?
We don’t know this for sure, it’s just too far away, but seeing how the anime is so popular, and considering that the light novel series is still being published, we assume that a fifth season is very probable, but we’ll have to wait a while to see whether our predictions are correct or not.