'Sword Art Online' Celebrates 10th Anniversary With New Artwork

Sword Art Online first made its debut in 2009 thanks to the efforts of creator Reki Kawahara and illustrator abec, and has since become a huge hit in the ten years that followed. Spawning numerous light novels, manga, spin-offs, multiple seasons of an anime, films, and even an anime spin-off, the Sword Art Online franchise is bigger than ever.

Kadokawa will be celebrating the franchise's 10th Anniversary this year, and has launched a special new website (which you can find at the link here). Though there currently aren't many details as to how they will celebrate, this special period will be lasting until March 2020. There is also a new illustration provided by abec for the occasion and you can check it out below:

Sword-Art-Online-10th-Anniversary
(Photo: KADOKAWA)

Series creator Reki Kawahara also shared a comment celebrating the big occasion, and thanked fans for all their support, "I have repeatedly stated, 'My goal is to survive for 10 years!' But as I finally reach the 10th anniversary, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and a little sense of loss. Remembering the time when I serialized the early version of Sword Art Online on my website, the journey so far has never been easy. There were times when I thought 'I can't write anymore,' because I could not stand impatience and pressure in myself."

Elaborating further, "However, thanks to many people who have cheered me, and the readers, viewers, and players who have supported my works, I have managed to work as a writer for ten years. I have not found my next goal yet, but I intend to continue writing novels steadily for 15, and 20 years. I appreciate your continued support."

Sword Art Online was originally created by Reki Kawahara with illustrations provided by abec for ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko line in 2009. 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.

If you have yet to catch the new season of Sword Art Online's anime adaptation, the original Japanese release of Sword Art Online: Alicization can currently be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu. The English dub of the series is now airing Saturday nights on Adult Swim's Toonami block. The series will be returning for the second half of its Alicization season with War of Underworld in October.

via Crunchyroll

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