Sword Art Online Is Set in 2022, and the New Year Is Freaking Fans Out

In the last decade, Sword Art Online has become one of the biggest anime series in the world. The rise of the isekai genre is often pegged in part to the series, and Kirito has amassed millions of fans since his debut. Of course, it is his introduction that has Sword Art Online fans geeking out this week. After all, Kirito and Asuna made their debut under some wild circumstances that don't seem all that far-fetched now...

And why is that, you might be asking? Well, it all has to do with 2022. If you didn't know, the original series was set in the year 2022, so fans are rightfully freaking out.

The whole conversation came about naturally as the new year rung in yesterday. As midnight struck on 2021, a new year was welcomed with many hoping for a better 2022. But if you happen to be a fan of Sword Art Online, you know this year has been bungled before. In the anime, 2022 marked the start of Kirito's hero quest, and it changed his life for good.

If you look back in Sword Art Online, 2022 ushered the release of the NerveGear that May after the sophisticated VR tech was released. By August, the Sword Art Online game went into its Closed beta before the game launched in full that November. And not long after the game launched, Kirito and 10,000 players were trapped inside Sword Art Online following a cyber attack. More than 200 died that day alone and more would follow as players who died in the game would follow in real life.

Clearly, 2022 was a wild year in the Sword Art Online universe, but it didn't go south until November came around. At the start, things seemed great as new VR tech was made public, and the future of gaming expanded its horizons. In our real world, much the same can be said thanks to innovations from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. But when it comes to VR, well – we are nowhere near ready to launch a console as complicated as the NerveGear. Honestly, that is probably for the best given how the tech was used in Sword Art Online. So if you are set on exploring VR this year, may we recommend the Oculus or HTC Vive. 

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What do you make of the new year's connection to Sword Art Online? How far away do you think we are from gaming like Kirito and Asuna? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.