Sword Art Online Season 5 is one of the most anticipated upcoming anime releases. This sci-fi virtual reality series has been a global phenomenon, leaving fans eager for more after the fourth season ended.
Though not officially confirmed yet, speculation is high that Sword Art Online will return for a fifth season based on its massive popularity and the availability of additional source material to adapt from the light novels.
This article will provide an in-depth look at what viewers can expect from a potential Sword Art Online Season 5. Key details will include an analysis of the light novel storyline, possible release timeframe, production details, and plot speculation.
As one of the most influential isekai anime in recent years, the return of Sword Art Online would excite fans worldwide. Make sure to read through all sections of this article to get the full scoop on the prospects and possibilities for Sword Art Online Season 5. The hype is already building in the anime community, so that that confirmation could come any time soon.
Sword Art Online: Intro
Sword Art Online is a hugely popular Japanese sci-fi/fantasy light novel franchise written by Reki Kawahara. It's set in a futuristic virtual reality and follows players trapped inside immersive VR games. Themes involve the blurring of illusion and reality, transhumanism, moral dilemmas, romance, and the human psyche. Starting as a web novel in 2002 before being published as print novels in 2009, the franchise has expanded into manga, acclaimed anime adaptations, films, video games, and merchandising. Notable anime includes Sword Art Online (2012), Sword Art Online II (2014), and Sword Art Online: Alicization (2018-2020). With over 30 million copies of the novels sold globally, Sword Art Online continues to captivate fans worldwide as a pioneering VR sci-fi franchise that explores virtual worlds and artificial intelligence.
Will there be a Sword Art Online Season 5?
Yes, there is a good chance that there will be a Sword Art Online Season 5. The light novels, which are the source material for the anime series, are still ongoing. Additionally, the anime series is top-rated, and it has been profitable for both the studio and the production committee.
When will Sword Art Online Season 5 be released?
While there is no official release date set yet, Sword Art Online Season 5 realistically will not come out until at least 2024 based on various production factors. These include needing enough new source material from the ongoing light novels, typical anime industry timelines of 2-3+ years between seasons, and delays caused by COVID-19. The anime team's availability also depends on their work on Sword Art Online movie projects. Although nothing is confirmed yet, 2024 seems the earliest possible release window for SAO Season 5, but fans may need to be patient as many variables are involved. The bottom line is more time is required for light novel content and anime production schedule alignment before a fifth season can be expected.
What can we expect from Sword Art Online Season 5? Spoilers Ahead
The most likely source material for Sword Art Online Season 5 is the Unital Ring arc, which is the ninth and most recent arc in the light novels. The Unital Ring arc takes place after the Alicization arc, and it follows Kirito and his friends as they explore a new VRMMORPG called Unital Ring.
Another possibility for Season 5 is a Progressive adaptation of the Alicization arc. The Progressive Light novels are a retelling of the Alicization arc from Asuna's perspective, and they provide more detail and insights into Asuna's character.
Which Studio Is Making Sword Art Online: Season 5?
A-1 Pictures is a subsidiary of Aniplex and has been the main studio behind the Sword Art Online anime adaptation since it began in 2012. They have produced the series alongside Genco.
Given their long history and experience with the property, A-1 Pictures would likely continue to animate a potential Sword Art Online Season 5.
The studio has earned praise for its high-quality animation and stellar production values that bring the virtual worlds of SAO to life. Fans have come to expect exciting action sequences and vibrant colour palettes from A-1 Pictures' work on the franchise.
Barring any major changes, A-1 Pictures would be expected to return for a fifth season of Sword Art Online. Their talented production team knows the world and aesthetics of the series inside out. A different studio taking over could risk inconsistent quality or visuals.
So, while still being confirmed, A-1 Pictures is the most probable animation studio if Sword Art Online gets renewed down the line. Their continued stellar work would be essential to immersing fans back into the SAO universe.
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Where Will Sword Art Online: Season 5 Be Aired?
Sword Art Online Season 5 is likely to be aired on Tokyo MX in Japan. This is because Tokyo MX has aired all previous seasons of Sword Art Online, as well as the movies.
It is also likely that Sword Art Online Season 5 will be streamed on Crunchyroll and Funimation outside of Japan. These two streaming services have streamed all previous seasons of Sword Art Online, and they are both popular among anime fans around the world.
Other possible streaming services that could air Sword Art Online Season 5 include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. These streaming services have all been expanding their anime libraries in recent years, and they could potentially add Sword Art Online Season 5 to their catalogues.
How Many Episodes Will Be There in Sword Art Online Season 5?
While not officially confirmed, Sword Art Online Season 5 will likely be either a standard 1-cour season of 12-13 episodes or a longer 2-cour season of 24-26 episodes. This depends on how much source material from the Unital Ring arc of light novels is available by the time the anime enters production. Currently, there are only 2-3 published Unital Ring volumes, which may only provide enough content for a 12-13 episode single cour season. However, if the author writes significantly more Unital Ring story before adaptation, a 2-cour season with 24-26 episodes would also be possible. In summary, the episode count is still speculative but SAO Season 5 will probably be a shorter 12-13 episode season based on existing light novel content unless the source material expands substantially ahead of production starting on the anime sequel.
Who Would be There in Season 5 of Sword Art Online? (Cast)
The following characters are likely to be in Sword Art Online Season 5:
- Kirito (voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka in Japanese, Bryce Papenbrook in English) - The main protagonist of the series and hero of the virtual worlds. Kirito would undoubtedly be back as the central character in a new season.
- Asuna (voiced by Haruka Tomatsu in Japanese and Cherami Leigh in English) - Kirito's love interest and one of the strongest female leads in the series. She would also certainly return as a main cast member alongside Kirito.
- Klein (voiced by Hiroaki Hirata in Japanese, Kirk Thornton in English) - Kirito's ally and friend, Klein provides reliable support and comic relief. He'd likely play a key role again.
- Sinon (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro in Japanese and Michelle Ruff in English) - The skilled gunwoman in the GGO arc would probably have a supporting presence.
- Alice (voiced by Ai Kayano in Japanese, Rebecca Forstadt in English) - As a key figure in Alicization, Alice could have an important continuation in the Unital Ring arc.
- Other supporting characters like Silica, Lizbeth, Agil, Yui, Suguha and Leafa would also potentially return in some capacity.
Of course, new characters from the Unital Ring arc would be introduced as well. But the main Japanese and English voice cast would be expected to reprise their roles for Sword Art Online Season 5.