'Sword Art Online' Creator Announces Next Story Arc

If you have been waiting for more Sword Art Online, then you won’t have to be patient for much longer. The hit series is getting ready to release a brand-new arc in the wake of its successful ‘Alicization’ storyline.

Taking to Twitter, the creator of Sword Art Online confirmed his next arc for the series.

“Well then, first! A prologue of SAO's new arc “Unital Ring" is included in Dengeki Bunko Magazine Vol. 59 that released today,” the creator wrote.

According to Reki Kawahara, the new arc is title ‘Unital Ring’ and is based on a real mathematical term just like Ordinal Scale. However, the term’s actual meaning will not have anything to do with the the next phase of Sword Art Online. Kawahara also said the setting of ‘Unital Ring’ will not be giving a wiki, guidebook, or preview to fans before its release. The secrecy differs greatly from the franchise’s other games as Sword Art Online, ALfheim Online, and Gun Gale Online were all previewed to fans ahead of time.

Of course, the franchise’s new arc will follow-up on the aftermath of ‘Alicization.’ The prologue reveals the latest arc takes place over a month after Kirito returns to his normal life once ‘Alicization’ ends. ‘Unital Ring’ will be primarily focused on the protagonist as he readjusts, and the prologue also reveals new details about Kirito’s parents. The couple were named Narusaka Yukito and Narusaka Aoi, so you can make all your Naruto shipping jokes now.

Fans are looking forward to seeing how 'Unital Ring' shapes up as Sword Art Online prepares to return to the world of anime. Earlier this year, it was announced that the franchise's 'Alicization' arc and 'Gun Gale Online' storyline would be getting separate anime adaptations.

If you are not familiar with Sword Art Online’s upcoming anime arc, then you have a bit to read up on. The storyline is covering in volumes 9-18 of Kawahara’s light novel series. The story stars in June 2026 after Kirito is offered a job with a company called Rath. The hero is asked to work for the private firm to test out a new type of FullDive equipment known as the Soul Translator. However, as fans could expect, Kirito’s job wasn’t laid out fully before he took the gig.

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As it turns out, Rath has no plans to make a new FullDive gaming console. Instead, the firm is working to make a new AI for military purposes. The company was able to copy a child’s soul into the machine, but Rath could not make its AI break laws or do anything humanistic. As such, they brought in Kirito to act as a human influence on the AIs until one finally broke their virtual world’s law. When Kirito was brought out of the machine, Rath blocked his memories of his time in Underworld, but Kirito learns there are plenty who’d like to shut him up permanently about his time spent with the AI named Alice.

Are you excited for Sword Art Online's comeback next year? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!