Sword Art Online's first season introduced fans to Leafa, a new heroine for Kirito to adventure alongside, and now one cosplay has put the spotlight on this fan favorite! The second arc of Sword Art Online's very first season had a major hill to climb as the Aincrad arc of the series effectively told its story within that very first arc. The Fairy Dance arc had to establish a new status quo for Kirito and the others, and had the major issue of needing to follow up such a decisively condensed story. It needed to set up a whole world to follow up with, and a major drive for this was Leafa.
Kirito had to get adjusted to a whole new virtual world and thus eventually made friends with Leafa, who was a veteran of this new game already. Little did Kirito know, however, that Leafa was actually his sister Suguha the entire time. The two of them then grew much closer over the course of their adventures together (but maybe not as close as Suguha might have wanted at first), and it continued in the seasons since.
Now artist @natysacosplay (who you can find more work from on Instagram here) has put the spotlight on Leafa, and it shows why Leafa's such a fan favorite. The character was such a hit with fans that she basically put the stamp on the rest of that first season. She gets less screen time as the series rolls on, unfortunately, as Kirito begins to adventure with different heroines, but this cosplay shows why her time was special. Check it out:
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The only major flaw with Leafa's involvement in the series was that her being the major heroine for that arc meant there was some, less than savory developments between the two siblings. This remained one-sided, thankfully, and was eventually pushed under the rug as Suguha eventually got past this phase. But soon Leafa was replaced with other heroines like Asuna, Sinon, Alice, and probably many more as the franchise continues.
What did you think of Leafa's debut in Sword Art Online? Where does she rank among your favorite heroines in the franchise thus far? What did you think of that romantic subplot between Kirito and Suguha? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!