Sword Art Online (ソードアート・オンライン, Sōdo Āto Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near future, where virtual reality MMORPGs have become the dominant form of mass media entertainment, and follows the protagonist Kirito after he and thousands of gamers get trapped in the first VRMMORPG titled Sword Art Online. The series has been licensed by Aniplex of America and is mostly adapted from the main story arc.

Sword Art Online Plot

Sword Art Online is set in the near future and follows the story of Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, a young boy who is trapped within the virtual reality world of Sword Art Online (SAO), a role-playing game (RPG) where players interact with each other using their avatars. Kirito meets a girl named Asuna Yuuki who helps him survive by using her knowledge of the game. The two decide to join forces and take down the creator of SAO, Kayaba Akihiko, to free all the minds trapped inside.

Sword Art Online I

Sword Art Online: Aincrad Arc is season 1 of Sword Art Online anime series, which aired from July 7 to December 23, 2012. In this arc, Kirito and Asuna go onto defeating floor boss monster called «The Gleam Eyes» on the 76th floor. After defeating it they start logging out but are forced back into the game. Kirito finds out the reason for them still being logged into the game is that their brains are dead and they are still connected to their bodies. They have no choice but to defeat the next boss and save everyone trapped in Aincrad.

Sword Art Online II

The second season of Sword Art Online anime series, which aired from July 5, 2013 until December 22, 2014. In this arc, Kirito and Asuna are considered traitors to the players who agree to form a raid party after Floor 76. During the floor boss battle with «The Skull Reaper», Kirito and Asuna confess their love for each other after defeating it. But once again they are forced back into the game due to a glitch in the system. While helping others escape from SAO Kayaba Akihiko reveals that he is actually Akihiko Kayaba, SSAO’s creator and he is about to die because of his disease because of SAO’s creation. He creates a new world called Alfheim Online (ALF) where everyone trapped in Sword Art Online can go there together with their avatars from SAO along with giving them a year of time to exit ALF if they want or live in ALF for the rest of their lives.

How Much Filler is in Sword Art Online?

The Sword Art Online series has a remarkably low filler episode rate. There are a total of 50 episodes in the series, and there are no filler episodes, which gives it a score of 0% filler episodes.

Quick Filler & Canon Lists

Canon Episodes


Filler Episodes

Complete Filler List

List of Sword Art Online episodes in chronological order – Learn if it is worth watching

This list will be an exception, as there are no filler episodes in the series. Instead, we are covering selected episodes that are rated as most boring and slow moving in chronological order for Sword Art Online.

Episode 2: Beater

Episode 2 of the Sword Art Online anime could be considered to be a filler episode because it is an alternate telling of the events in the first light novel of Sword Art Online. This episode contains cutscenes and plot points that are not present in the original novel, thus creating an alternate retelling of the events. Because Episode 2 contains material that is not present in the first light novel, it is considered to be a filler episode.

In most cases, episodes that contain material that was not originally present are often made into OVAs or Specials and are treated as non-canonical unless they use elements from the original source. This is due to most anime being based on light novels or visual novels, which have a set number of chapters and need to be adapted into multiple seasons. Because episodes that contain material not originally present in their source are usually made into OVAs or specials instead, they are often viewed as non-canonical, even if they used elements from their original source.

However, some anime series will create filler episodes which have original content that was created for the anime adaptation itself and do not share any similarities with their original source. These fillers will usually be treated as canon unless there is evidence otherwise.

Episode 2 of the Sword Art Online anime is considered to be a filler episode because it is an alternate telling of the events in the first light novel of Sword Art Online. The plot of Episode 2 is similar to the plot of the first light novel, but there are several key differences that make it an alternate retelling instead of a straight adaptation.

In this episode, Kirito meets Asuna for the first time instead of being with his friends. Later on, Asuna joins up with Kirito’s party and helps them fight off a group of monsters before she learns that Kirito has never cleared a dungeon before. After clearing the Labyrinth, they head to Tolbana and meet up with Diavel. In Tolbana, Diavel reveals that he has found the boss room at the top of the Labyrinth and announces their intentions to defeat it. After some discussion about how they should approach defeating it, Asuna reveals that she has never cleared a dungeon before either and offers to help them practice for when they face the boss. The party then returns to Tolbana and faces off against a group monsters for their practice session. After defeating them all, they return to town to celebrate their victory over a boss.

Episode 2 of the Sword Art Online anime is an alternate retelling of the events in the first light novel of Sword Art Online. While this episode is similar to the novel, there are several key differences that make it an alternate telling instead of a straight adaptation. Episode 2 goes into a lot more detail about Kirito and Asuna’s relationship before they were trapped in Sword Art Online, as well as their first experience fighting monsters together. In addition, Episode 2 also reveals that Kirito has never beaten a dungeon before, whereas in the original novel he is shown to have already cleared a few dungeons with his friends.

Because Episode 2 contains extra material not found in its original source, it is considered to be filler content for the anime. However, this episode does contain some original content that was created specifically for the anime adaptation and does not share any similarities with its source material. Because this episode contains elements that were created specifically for it, it is treated as canon and can be used as evidence against claims that Episode 2 is non-canonical because of its filler status.

Episode 11: The Girl of the Morning Dew

Episode 11 could be considered a filler episode. A filler episode is an anime episode which doesn’t move the plot along. In this case, the plot is about the players in SAO trying to survive in the game and escape from it. Episode 11 does not contribute to this plot in any way or form. The only reason why it was made is to show how Kirito and Asuna’s relationship develops. This part of SAO’s story was not as interesting as other parts of SAO, so the writers decided to make a filler episode to get rid of some of their problems with that part of the story.

Episode 11 starts off with Kirito and Asuna meeting up with Heathcliff, their guild leader. Asuna asks Heathcliff if they can take some time off for a little while. The reason why she wanted to take some time off is because of what happened at the battle arena where she and Kirito fought Kuradeel. They were attacked by Kuradeel, who was revealed to be an anti-SAO player. After he attacked them, Kirito killed him in self-defense.

After that, the two decided to go on a honeymoon so they could get away from it all. They stayed in one of the houses on the 22nd floor of Aincrad. When they went back out into Aincrad, they noticed someone walking around when no one should really be out there at that time of night. They decided to follow this person until they reached the forest where they saw something strange happen before their eyes…

While playing in SAO, Kirito and his wife Asuna thought that it would be fun to explore SAO’s world more freely instead of just fighting monsters or doing quests; so they took a trip to the 22nd floor. There they met a mysterious girl, who was unconscious. They brought her back to their house and decided to wait until she woke up so they could ask her what happened. When she finally woke up, they asked her where she came from and how she got to the forest. When the girl didn’t answer, they figured out that something was wrong with her, so Asuna asked Kirito if he would help investigate this matter.

After a few days, Kirito had a hunch that the girl wasn’t actually “playing” SAO, but instead just trapped like all of them in it because of some sort of glitch in the system. He brought the girl into town and took her to an NPC doctor who determined that she was not an NPC at all; thus confirming his suspicion that she was actually a human being stuck in SAO just like everyone else…

Episode 12: Yui’s Heart

Episode 12 could be considered a filler episode in the Sword Art Online anime adaptation, as it is not present in the original light novel series. Despite this, it’s one of my favorite episodes from the Sword Art Online anime, as it shows Kirito and Asuna’s relationship with Yui.

Yui was created by Kayaba Akihiko to serve as an AI for players who were trapped in the game, thus she was only programmed to be aware of her surroundings and not much else. However, after Kirito rescued her from being deleted by Kazuto’s console, he gave her a Father-Daughter relationship with him and Asuna. But despite this relationship, Yui felt that she was missing something from being alive in that world. This is seen how when Yui healed Sasha’s wounds from earlier on thanks to Kirito giving her his heart crystal; she felt something strange happen when she did so. After explaining what happened to Kirito and Asuna later on, they both told her that they were very happy to have her with them and love her like their own daughter respectively. After hearing this, Yui then revealed to them that she had been reading through their memories during their sleep time at night and discovered that they had met before in the real world. With that in mind, Kirito and Asuna explained to Yui about how they had met each other in the real world.

After being informed about what happened during that time, Yui then told Kirito and Asuna that she had seen a memory of a woman who was pregnant at the time and carried them from the top floor to the 1st floor, thus confirming to them that it was her. After hearing this, Kirito couldn’t help but wonder why Kayaba had given his heart crystal to Yui as he was never really one for sentimentality despite creating this death game in the first place. After telling Yui to not tell anyone about what she discovered, she then asked Kirito and Asuna if they would be willing to tell her more about their past lives sometime later on.

When Yulier arrived at their location, she, Kirito and Asuna finally headed off towards Thinker’s location. Then when they arrived at Thinker’s location; Kirito and Asuna realized that Thinker wasn’t even there as it was a trap. Just as Kobatz tried to kill them all; Yulier appeared out of nowhere and saved all of their lives. After Kirito healed Thinker with his heart crystal, Yui then told him that she knew where Sasha was.

Yui then led Asuna and Kirito to Sasha’s location. After arriving there; they discovered that Sasha had been taken hostage by Kobatz and his men, who now had a weapon powerful enough to kill a Floor Boss in one hit: the «Anti-Crystal». However, Kobatz’s plan was not to kill her but force her to join them in «The Army» under the threat of killing her if she refused. To counter this threat, Yui revealed herself to everyone as a fairy and told them about how she could heal people in the real world. Seeing this as an advantage for Kobatz’s plans; he demanded her to heal Thinker first so that he could join The Army. Yui then could not bring herself to betray Kirito and Asuna’s trust in her and thus she refused to heal either of them or anyone else from «The Army» on the grounds that it would be unfair for Sasha if she did so; which left Kobatz furious as he tried to force her into submission by threatening to kill Sasha if she didn’t do as he said.

Episode 12 is a filler episode because it was created in order to give Yui more development and depth as a character, which was something that the original light novel series did not do. In episode 12, it is revealed that Yui has been reading through Kirito and Asuna’s memories during their sleep time at night and discovered that they had met each other in the real world. As such, she now understands their relationship with one another and how they feel about each other.

In the original light novel series, Yui is stated to have been created by Kayaba Akihiko specifically for the purpose of interacting with players in the virtual world. But in Episode 12 it’s revealed that she was actually created from Kayaba’s heart crystal which he gave to Kirito after being rescued by him from being deleted by Kazuto’s console. This makes her more unique than she originally was in the light novel series as this explains why she can heal people like Kirito and Asuna.

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