'Sword Art Online' Creator Apologizes to Actors Over Recent Controversial Episode

Sword Art Online's anime adaptation is no stranger to controversy, but a recent episode may have taken things a little far. The creator of Sword Art Online actually publicly apologized to the anime's actors for one specific scene of a recent episode.

For those unaware, a recent episode of the anime adaptation included a scene of graphic sexual assault. Despite the varying levels of censorship, even the most chaste version of the scene is... well, a lot. There's no mistaking what's happening on screen, and the voice actors certainly make it clear.

The creator of Sword Art Online, Reki Kawahara, then took to Twitter to say the voice actors did well, and to then apologize to them. You can check it out below:

According to Anime New Network, the apology translates as follows: "Ms. Ishihara, who plays Tiese, and Ms. Kondo, who plays Ronye, both performed a painful scene with aplomb. Thank you so much! And I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

Sword Art Online was originally created by Reki Kawahara with illustrations provided by abec. It began life as a web novel, then a light novel, and now an ongoing anime adaptation. The series follows a boy named Kirito after he and thousands of gamers get trapped in a virtual reality video game known as Sword Art Online. The gamers must band together to defeat the game’s final level to escape, but Kirito and his guild learn there is more behind their prison than they were originally told.

Sword Art Online: Alicization, the most recent anime adaptation, can currently be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu. The series is officially described as such:

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"'Where... am I...?' Before he knows it, Kirito has made a full-dive into an epic, fantasy-like virtual world. With only a murky recollection of what happened right before he logged in, he starts to wander around, searching for clues. He comes upon an enormous, pitch dark tree (the Gigas Cedar), where he encounters a boy. 'My name is Eugeo. Nice to meet you, Kirito.' Although he is supposedly a resident of the virtual world - an NPC - the boy shows the same array of emotions as any human being.

As Kirito bonds with Eugeo, he continues to search for a way to log out of this world. Meanwhile, he remembers a certain memory deep down within him. He remembers racing through the mountains with Eugeo as a child... A memory that he should not have in the first place... And in this memory, he sees someone other than Eugeo, a young blond girl. Her name is Alice. And it is a name that must never be forgotten...”