Sword Art Online (SAO) Season 4: Release date, news and rumors

Credit: A-1 Pictures

Sword Art Online (SAO) first starting airing on July 8, 2012, and since then, it has released over 3 seasons, with Sword Art Online Season 4 in the making. Written by Reki Kawahara and the studio in charge of its animation was A-1 Pictures.

Catching international fame, the light novel series has made fans fall in love with the animation and the adaptation between anime and gameplay with characters being sucked into the gaming world, with the option of only leaving it if they complete the game. This RPG-inspired anime has turned the dreams of every gamer and otaku into a reality.

What happened so far in Sword Art Online

The anime started with a young boy named Kirito being stuck into a massive role-playing game using a Nerve Gear, a console that stimulates all of one’s 5 senses, giving a real-life experience of the game but surprisingly, the creator of the game trapped all of its 10,000 users in the game and the only way out was to finish it. Forcefully removing the console or dying in the game would automatically kill the gamer or leave them in a coma. Season one revolves around Kirito leveling up and defeating the leaders to complete the game, which he does in the end and gets to free everyone playing the game.

Season 3, titled Alicization, has Kirito dragged back into the virtual reality world by a poison syringe by Johnny Black, a survivor of the Death Gun incident. Kirito awakens into the underworld universe, and it takes him time to access the situation to which he decides to level up before he makes any attempt to get back into the real world. Unlike the previous two seasons, Season 3 has over 47 episodes, with the first half from Volume (9-14) and the second half ending with the next 4 volumes from the novel series.

At the end of Season 3, Kirito was resurrected, and he, with the help of the people and their faith, was able to defeat PoH with his Night Sky Sword, by which he froze PoH into a tree. Alice also made it safely back to the real world, where her soul was transferred into a mechanical body, giving rise to AI. The manga was expressed in much more detail, but the anime series could not do the manga justice.

What is going on with A-1 Pictures?

A-1 Pictures studio has had its hands full with several anime series that have reached fame in the past couple of years.

Animes such as Darling in the FranXX (2018), Fairy Tail (2009), Kyoto Fujouou-hen, Eromanga Sensei, Persona 5, and their latest anime,’86’ Visual Prison, are set to be released in 2021. SAO Season 4 was set to be released in October 2020 but was due to the global pandemic rescheduled for 2023-2024.

What Do We Know Sword Art Online Season 4 so far?

After the completion of Season 3, A-1 Studios started working on Season 4 and planned to release it in October 2020, but due to the global pandemic, it has been shifted for 2023-2024. Apart from a few animations and fan comics, there have been no other forms of information that can give us a small idea of what it will contain.

A movie adaptation of the series has been announced, the first arc of the series Aincard; it will be based on the 6 volume light novel titled ‘Aria of the Starless Night,’ the release date is set to be in late 2021.  Season 4 will pick up from the end of Season 3 with Kirito trying to save Alice.

What are fans saying about Sword Art Online Season 4?

Mixed opinions surface around the notorious anime series SAO; apart from the usual hype and love for the anime, it has its fair share of critics. Regarding the hatred for the anime, many Otakus who have actually read the novel series/manga concludes that the anime series was rushed and didn’t do justice to the storyline.

The series portrayed Kirito as some immortal character worshiped by almost every female character in the game. At the same time, he himself would chase his lover Asuna who was also head over heels for Kirito. If it weren’t for these minor issues,s SAO is undoubtedly one of the top anime ever made by Studio A-1 Pictures. Those in favor of the anime series found the storyline captivating and intriguing, and Sword Art Online greatly loved the animation and the way the producers took the anime throughout the series.

Will there be Sword Art Online Season 4?

We all have our fingers crossed for Season 4 of SAO; Season 3 ended in a cliffhanger, leaving millions of SAO fans begging the producers to release Season 4.

Studio A-1 Pictures recently said they would release a movie with an adaptation of the series Aincard, which will be based on the 6 volume light novel ‘Aria of the starless night,’ in 2021, which we hope will be a completion of season 3 which they left, they ended season 3 with the first half of volume (9-14) from the manga and the second half with the remaining (4-5) volumes. Season 4 was set to be released in late 2021, but due to the worldwide pandemic, it will be released in 2023-2024.  Via Google Trends, SAO season 4’s popularity has fluctuated over the past year, with countries like the Philippines, Canada, Singapore, and Indonesia having the top searches.

When will Sword Art Online Season 4 be released?

Since the end of Season 3, Studio A-1 pictures have invested their time in other anime series. Still, we are lucky to know that there will be a Season 4 for SAO but before it, there will be a movie titled ‘Aria Of The Starless Night,’ which will be released before Season 4.

What can we expect in Season 4 of Sword Art Online?

Season 3 ended abruptly with Kirito waking up from his coma and completing the game by defeating PoH with his sword called The Night Sky. He had known later that his lover Asuna was captured and had to save her again. After Alicization, which was most of Season 3, there is moon cradle, and then Unital Ring, which is the last of the main series and hopefully will be Season 4.

We have our fingers that the producers don’t turn the ‘dark survival theme’ of the Anime; He had the romantic genre as the main issue upraised by the fans worldwide.