Sword Art Online Season Three Releases Official Alternative Timeline for 'If You Were Here'

The second half of the third season of Sword Art Online has arrived! The storyline for the "War of Underworld" finds Kirito in a coma and Alice taking over the reins as the main protagonist, attempting to finish the work of the "Black Swordsman", as well as find a way to bring Kirito back to the land of the living. While the premiere was universally praised by fans of the franchise, one fan has decided to celebrate in their own way: translating the alternative reality story, or What If tale, that follows Kirito and company into a very different direction in "If You Were Here".

Twitter User GSimenas translated the short story that asks the question: "What if Kirito and Eugeo had not broken the Taboo Index" and does a quick synopsis of just how different the lives of those within Sword Art Online would have been had everything remained relatively the same:

For those who have been following Sword Art Online this season, you know that the Taboo Index was created as a set of rules and guidelines for the virtual beings within the digital world to follow. These laws, of course, weren't just confusing, but also horribly flawed as it would sometimes punish virtuous people, and reward villainous ones. The short story does a good job of briefly diving into this alternate reality and we'll have to see if this story is made into an anime spin off of its own at some point. Considering the popularity of Sword Art Online at present, we'd believe it!

The recent premiere for the second half of the third season has once again moved events up in time, this time following Alice and Kirito six months forward since the conclusion of the last big battle. Whether or not Alice will truly become the new protagonist for the rest of the season is still up in the air, though it would certainly make for an interesting wrinkle.

What do you think of the spin-off story for Sword Art Online, "If You Were Here"? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Sword Art Online!

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If you have yet to catch the new season of Sword Art Online's anime adaptation, the original Japanese release of Sword Art Online: Alicization can currently be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu. The English dub of the series is now airing Saturday nights on Adult Swim's Toonami block. The series will be returning for the second half of its Alicization season with War of Underworld in October.