Sword Art Online: Alicization Animator Describes Season 3's Key Feature

Sword Art Online's third season stood out in many ways from previous seasons of the series, and its reception has been positive among fans because of all of those differences. Production has shifted behind the scenes in terms of how the action and character designs for the anime series, and character designer Shingo Adachi spoke about how everything was shifted after the release of the Ordinal Scale film.

Speaking with ComicBook.com, Adachi revealed many of the key features behind the designs in the third season of the series and how those features separate it from the work done in the past seasons of the series.

As Adachi explained, "Previous to Alicization, we had the theatrical feature Ordinal Scale, and that one had an information density [for] the theatrical feature. That density carried on into the production of the TV series, so I think the studio carried on a whole lot to work on for a TV show. Especially since in Alicization we have a lot of armor in form of the Integrity Knights."

Adachi revealed that much of his work on the third season was around bringing the Integrity Knights to life, "There's a whole lot of density that needs to be drawn into the animation, so my task includes alleviating the load on the studio, and at the same time maintaining the production quality."

Because so much work went into presenting the armor from the Integrity Knights, Adachi even ran into some unexpected challenges as a character designer, "[S]ince the story is continuously in the underworld, my favorite part of dressing up my characters in their daily clothes has no opportunity. So that's been a point of frustration for me."

Fans are hoping the series will have plenty of more well designed characters with the second half of the third season, War of Underworld, beginning this October. If you have yet to catch the newest season of Sword Art Online yourself, the original Japanese release of Sword Art Online: Alicization can currently be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.

Sword Art Online: Alicization is officially described as such, "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.

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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..."