Sword Art Online | A Line Through Time

Sword Art Online | A Line Through Time

Welcome to A LINE THROUGH T⌛ME, where I
write most of a script and then do nothing with it for almost two years. Yeah, I started
scripting this back in March 2018, and gave up because this shit is way too expansive. Okay, so, Sword Art Online, a series that
is basically the Japanese Twilight: beloved and reviled in equal measure, and watched
by everyone except those in the middle. Making videos on this series is often seen as low-hanging-fruit
or for easy views, but let me assure you now: this video is purely in the latter camp, so
thanks for clicking, please stick around and hopefully you’ll be entertained and maybe
even educated. Admittedly, this probably would have gotten move views without the two year
wait, since no one outside the series’ fanbase and Geoff Thew actually cares about it anymore… Sword Art Online started as a light novel
written by one Reki Kawahara for a story contest in 2002, which he couldn’t actually enter
due to exceeding the page limit. He released it online and then entered the contest in
2008 with Accel World, not to be confused with Excel Saga. Accel World won the grand
prize and both series were picked up for official release by ASCII Media Works in 2009, beginning
exactly two months apart and continuing to this day. But why is all of this relevant?
Well, because both series are implied to actually be set in the same universe, which I’ll explain
later. We’re going to be focusing on the light novel continuity, rather than the myriad adaptations
the two series have received. Now, keep in mind, I’ve never actually seen
or read SAO, nor do I have any desire to do so, so if you notice any mistakes… I dunno,
blame Kawahara’s concepts for not drawing me in or something. SAO is about a bunch of people who become
trapped inside the titular virtual reality MMORPG where if you die in the game, you die
for real. Original, I know. Main protagonist Kazuto Kirigaya, or Kirito, Gary Stu extraordinaire,
is the best player of it and just about any other game, is a genius programmer and hacker,
and attracts all the ladies who continue to follow him around even after he’s effectively
married. After escaping the game, Kirito and friends start having adventures inside other
VR MMOs despite their traumatic experience, because this type of story is supposed to
end once the heroes escape the death game, so everyone has to be written as sub-human
retards for the series to continue. We’ll be discussing the series by sub-series,
rather than release order because Kawahara actually writes one of the spin-offs as well
as the core series and Accel World, releasing multiple volumes of each per year, which probably
explains the reported quality of the writing, somewhat. The core SAO series currently rests at twenty-three
volumes long. They follow a mostly linear progression, but not completely. Volume 1
covers the main story of Kirito’s time in SAO, the Aincrad Arc, while Volume 2 is a
series of short stories set during this timespan, which the anime adapted all in chronological
order. From here, the series progresses linearly with Volume 3 and 4’s Fairy Dance Arc, 5 and
6’s Phantom Bullet Arc, and Volume 7: Mother’s Rosario. Volume 8: Early and Late is a series of three
short stories. A Murder Case in the Area is a murder mystery set during Aincrad, Calibur
is set in the present with Kirito and friends doing a new quest in ALfheim, and First Day
follows Kirito’s early loner days in Aincrad and the moment he first faced his own mortality.
There was also an alternate version of Calibur that diverges at a certain point and apparently
released two months before the book? Either version takes place between Phantom Bullet
and the next arc, so we’ll place it here. Volumes 9 through 18 (seriously) are one massive,
linear arc, Alicization. Volumes 19 & 20 are the Moon Cradle Arc, which is a side story
set towards the end of Alicization. Volumes 21 and 23 are part of the ongoing
Unital Ring Arc, continuing on from Alicisation. Volume 22 is a series of four side stories.
The Day Before is yet another story set during Aincrad, detailing the days following Kirito’s
proposal to Asuna. The Day After is a story about Asuna during Volume 4. Rainbow Bridge
is a sequel to Extra Edition, which was a special episode set after Fairy Dance, so
I guess I have to add that in here as well now. And Sisters’ Prayer is a tie-in to Mother’s
Rosario, but set six months before the end of Aincrad. Because why expand on literally
anything else? From here, we can discuss the spin-offs. SAO:
Progressive began in 2012, also written by Kawahara, and is a more fleshed-out retelling
of the Aincrad Arc, currently consisting of six volumes. It goes floor-by-floor, so it’s
going to be bloody long. Newer novels apparently do reference the new additions and retcons,
so I guess it’s supposed to replace Volume 1 and maybe the rest of the Aincrad material?
Regardless, I fully expect a standalone anime adaptation once it concludes. I also wonder
how many of the 800,000 retroactive additions to Aincrad will be retold as part of Progressive. Next is Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale
Online, written by Keiichi Sigsawa, under Kawahara’s supervision. It focuses on another
Gungale Online player spanning the timeframe from just before Phantom Bullet, to… I have
no idea. It’s surprisingly how little information I can find about this on this on the wiki,
so we’ll just place it before Phantom Bullet. Then came Sword Art Online Alternative Clover’s
Regret, written by Souichirou Watase, and also supervised by Kawahara. This one’s about…
ninjas, I think? The description seems to suggest it comes after Mother’s Rosario, but
that’s as much as I can find out. Kawahara also wrote the plot for the anime
movie Ordinal Scale, which he apparently considers canonical, despite contradictions in the novels,
but what do you expect at this point? It takes place between Mother’s Rosario and Alicization. There are also a bunch of standalone short
stories written by Kawahara, which we need to discuss. Hopeful Chant is a prequel to
the movie, following an important character from it during the Aincrad Arc. Cordial Chords
is a direct sequel to the film, set in its aftermath. Distant Journey follows Kirito
and Eugo encountering a ghost early during Alicisation. 16.8.5 is set between 16.8 and
16.9… You know what? Fuck these decimal stories, fuck Sugary Days, and fuck the official
doujins by Kawahara. Maybe if I reach like $300 a month on Patreon, I’ll come back to
this, but I can’t do this right now. Let’s talk about Accel World instead… This series is much simpler, thank God. Being
not nearly as much of a smash hit as SAO, Accel World has no spin-offs and its currently
twenty-four-volume-long story is told linearly. It potentially takes place decades later with
technology evolved partially from the NervGear VR tech of SAO. Kawahara has been weirdly vague about whether
or not they’re in the same universe, but Kawahara wrote Versus and Versus II. Versus was published
in Accel World Volume 10, and is a crossover between the two series, where both protagonists
fight each other while connected through VR across time, I guess? There’s no winner, as
Kirito is disconnected before a winner can be decided. It might not be canon, but it
was published in the main series of Accel World, so I’m counting it. This was followed by Dream Game -Crossover-,
a crossover with The Irregular at Magic High School, written by that series’ author, where
Tatsuya Shiba ends up inside Alfheim and fights Eugene and Kirito. This was then followed
by Versus II, which is a sequel to both. Irregular is confirmed to be set in another world, so
I don’t have to include it here. With Accel World not being explicitly deconfirmed as
sharing SAO’s world, I’m going to keep it in for now. These crossovers take place within
a week, and Kirito meets with Takeru from the Alicization Arc, setting them early in
that arc. I’m not going to do the final summary of this
timeline because simply placing the stories was hard enough for a non-fan. Do you honestly
think I’d stand a chance at actually explaining it? This is really just a rough guide for
people looking for where to start reading and a general idea of what order to proceed
in. Now, it’s possible that there are some manga
spin-offs that are actually considered canonical to the light novels, or that I missed one
of the billion side stories Kawahara wrote outside of the numerous light novel series,
because there are a ton of them. If nothing else, I can say this of Kawahara: he clearly
enjoys writing stories about this world and these characters he’s created. It doesn’t
seem to be a franchise driven by soulless, cynical marketing, but a genuine love from
the creator towards his creation. Even if the end product isn’t all that great, I can
still respect Kawahara and his work for that. If you liked this video, why not subscribe
and support me on Patreon like these fine people here? If not, then make sure to share
it with your enemies so they can suffer along with you. Today’s recommended video is Fixing Alfheim
– the WORST Part of SAO by Mother’s Basement. It’s basically a rip-off of Wasted Plotential
that came out a month before WP started because Geoff Thew is a fucking warlock who can see
into the future to find ideas to steal and products to shill. …And he does make what
seems like a genuinely compelling story, so… you know, there’s that too.

41 thoughts on “Sword Art Online | A Line Through Time

  1. Best video of 29th February no cap, can't wait for another SOA video in the next 4 years

  2. 5:48 sorry I'm broke

  3. Do you think you could do a Shared Universe Shonen Jump Timeline based on the Crossover Games placements? Me and a friend tried it once but there are just soooooooooo many IPs in it

  4. Line through time Fate Series.
    You’ll pull your hair tryna untangle that mess.

  5. Do what crossovers you would like to see 4th Snake!

  6. Never thought i would see a line though time for this of all anime sword art online

  7. Can you do a Line Through T⏳me episode of the Disney Timeline plz? That would be great

  8. Okay but why tho

  9. Havic's wasted potential please.

  10. Here Before 59000 subscribers. More please! also, Let's be youtube friends? xd

  11. Why did you do this? It's not currently popular, you haven't read the books, and you're not particularly a fan, right? I'm just wondering.

  12. Wtf sao since when did it get so big

  13. digibrony

  14. Is this the first anime line through time you have done?

  15. 0:31 Well. At least you told me the truth.

  16. Wasted opportunity to not call this "Sword Art OnLine Through Time."

  17. Honestly I am okay with sword art online. Not great just okay.

  18. This is legend of Zelda levels of timeline plotting

  19. Suggestions: Team Fortress 2
    Grand Theft Auto (All 3 Continuities)
    Carnivores (Maybe April Fools or Something)

  20. I actually think the phantom bullet arc had a lot of really good ideas involving dealing with guilt.

  21. Correction regarding GGO Alternative. It's set after Phantom Bullet since there is mention of the previous winner of "Bullet of Bullets" actually being two players who mutually killed each other, with the heavy implication that the winners were Kirito and Sinon

  22. You should do a defense of the 3D era of Mortal Kombat or a why is Deadly Alliance/Deception(especially Deception)/Armageddon is good video or series.

  23. One thing you need to know about SAO is that there is a lot of rape

  24. This is definitely really informative especially for someone who never watched this thank you 4th snake 🐍 ❤️

  25. Why did I watch this? I dont care for Sword Art or Anime….

    oh yeah The4thSnake quality content

  26. You’re never doing the Mk11 critique 🙃

  27. On the phone, official doujinshi?

  28. Jeez this just looks so complicated even though it's just a generalization of what's considered to be in order.


  30. I like sao

  31. Hear me out on this idea: A Line Through Time on Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy
    It sounds stupid on making an entire video on one character but he’s probably the only character that allows an actual timeline of the Final Fantasy series to exist since all games are different universes

  32. Jesus SAO has THAT many novels that are side novels!? Like damn so much Jesus Yamato Mark 3 and I only watched the first season of Sao, didn't bother with season 2 or 3 or the movie, heard good things about the shrimp spin off and saw nearly the entirely of Accel World. Still, it was interesting to hear you talk a little bit about that one virtual world anime where the OP teenage boy gets womanz.

  33. I may not like SAO but I like 4thsnake and vids like this. Side note did you do a Line through time about the Mega Man series?

  34. I love sword art online it was really awesome and tons of fun

  35. Fuck SAO and its dumb ass fanbase. try and find a fan who is 16< or without a mental disability. I dare you.

  36. Snake did a desperate weeb point a gun at ur head to make u do this

  37. Thanks i hate it

  38. Can you do a line through-time with the Fate/Stay series? That would be fun to watch you explain everything.

  39. The series might not be that good from what people told me, but the music is fantastic and you can’t deny that. Swordland is an awesome combat song.

  40. now to wait for the next sonic game to come out and where that fits in the timeline

  41. The 4th Snake is still "Still better than Injustice"

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