How Long Will 'Sword Art Online's Third Season Be?

Fans who've been waiting for Sword Art Online's third season have been wondering how the series [...]

Fans who've been waiting for Sword Art Online's third season have been wondering how the series was going to tackle the Alicization arc, as that arc is the longest arc in the original light novels so far.

Luckily, the anime series is prepared to take that all on as it will adapt the entirety of the Alicization arc.

Editor for the light novel original and producer for the anime adaptation, Kazuma Miki, confirmed that the series would cover the entirety of the next arc at a "SAO and GGO New Anime and Original Work Stage" fan event.

Unfortunately, Miki did not confirm how long the upcoming season would be, but he Alicization arc of the series is ten light novel volumes long, and that happens to be longer than every other arc in the series so far. For example, the Aincrad and Fairy Dance arcs only covered about five novels in the series. Even if the series trims story bits from the novels for the adaptation, there is still a good deal of promised content for the upcoming season.

The next arc covers Volumes 9-18 of Kawahara's light novel series. In 2026, Kirito is offered a job with Rath. He's asked to work for the firm in order to test a new type of FullDive equipment known as the Soul Translator. But Rath had no plans to make a new FullDive gaming console. Instead, the firm is working to make a new military AI.

Bringing Kirito in to act as a human influence on AI, he finds that Rath had already trapped a child's soul in the machinery. When Kirito was brought out of the machine, Rath blocked his memories of his time in Underworld, but Kirito learns there are many who want him to keep quiet about his time with the AI, a child named Alice.

For those unfamiliar with Sword Art Online, the series was originally created by Reki Kawahara with illustrations provided by abec. 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.

The series began as a series of light novels published through Dengeki Bunko in 2009, and has been adapted into eight different manga series by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The series has been licensed for an English language release by Yen Press, and has been adapted into an anime series by A-1 Pictures.

Its first season aired in 2012 and ran for 25 episodes, while its second season, Sword Art Online II, aired in 2014 and ran for 24 episodes. The series currently gearing up for its next big arc in the light novel series, "Unitial Ring," and the next season of the anime is set to adapt "Alicization.