Sword art online light novel volume 18

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Sword Art Online: 10 Differences Between The Anime và Light Novel Although the anime adaption of Sword Art Online does a great job, there a few glaring differences between the light novel & its many adaptions.

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Sword Art Online Anime And Light Novel Feature
Anime fans either hate or love sầu the Sword Art Online seriesーvà there is no in-between about it. Despite the hate it garners from fans, its popularity is undeniable. It is one of the highest-selling light novels in nhật bản, as well as one of the most popular cash cows for Kadokawa and A-1 Pictures.

RELATED: Sword Art Online: 5 Reasons Why Kirito lớn Is Actually An Underrated Hero (và 5 Why He Really Is Annoying)

Despite all of this và the many anime adaptions, there are a few differences between the anime & light novels. No anime perfectly adapts the source material, and some changes were made for the better. However, some were not. Here are ten differences between the Sword Art Online anime và light novels.


Sword Art Online Side Stories
Sword Art Online has a lot of light novels that contain extra stories after the main arc is finished. There are even side stories that feature other supporting characters such as Silica & Lisbeth.

Some side stories also fill in some story between light novels, such as a Sword Art Online: Alicization side story when Kirito and Asuna were stuông xã inside the world for 200 years. It detailed their lives, as well as the fate of the other characters.

9 The Light Novels Have Slower Pacing



Perhaps because they are a series of books, the light novels have noticeablely slower pacing than the anime. This makes for a snapneông chồng pacing at some places, and a snail"s pace in others.

RELATED: 5 Sword Art Online Mysteries That Were Finally Resolved (và 5 That Remain Open)

Sometimes, even content is skipped và cut lớn fit the time requirements for the anime, such as some battles & lines.



To fit time restrictions, sometimes decisions have sầu khổng lồ be made. This is the case with the anime adaption, which happens khổng lồ cut a considerable amount of lines và phrases.

The light novel has a lot of speaking in it, from character quips to information. However, the anime cut down on this, instead focusing on showing, not telling. This is especially noticeable at the end of the first season of Sword Art Online when Kirilớn fought against Heathcliff.

7 The Anime Skipped Content



Fans were especially upphối when Sword Art Online: Alicization skipped two volumes worth of nội dung from the original light novel. In the light novel, it detailed the school life of Kirikhổng lồ & Eugeo learning from their teachers.

RELATED: Sword Art Online: Top 10 Fan-Favorite Characters (According To MyAnimeList)

However, this was only displayed as flashbacks in the anime. Because of thisーas well as time restrainstsーit made for an upsetting happening that even caused the author, Reki Kawahara, to lớn apologize.


Since Kirito is the protagonist of the story, it is told from his perspective. Because of this, his thoughts are more transparentーonly in the light novel, though.

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From how he first thought of being trapped in the game world to his interactions with the other girls and Asuna, his thoughts are laid out bare. This actually makes hyên ổn more relatable và interesting in the light novel.

5 The Light Novel Adds Story


Because Sword Art Online was originally a web novel, some bits of the story was not added inlớn the finished light novel.

However, since the author wished to lớn add in more story at times, some bits of information would be added in throughout arcs. This would lead lớn some confusion among readers at times.


While terms like "fluctlight" are said frequently and only explained once, there are way more explanations about them in the light novel.

Instead of one offhanded remark about a certain term, characters go in-depth about it. This is especially true in the Alicization arc, as there are a lot of new terms to lớn learn.

3 The Anime Has More Fanservice


This may come as a surprise khổng lồ some fans, but the anime contains way more bạn service than the light novels. This is true to characters such as Suguha, and the antagonist Quinella who walks around naked half the time she"s shown in the anime.

Although in the light novel Quinella walks around naked all the time, the anime makes it worse by actively trying lớn hide certain parts of her body toàn thân with her long hair.


The light novels don"t exactly pan everything out in chronological order. For instance, despite the Aincrad arc ending, the light novels sometimes go back to a past instance và recap the reader.

This is a bit frustrating at times, as it flip flops between the past & current events that are taking place in an arc. The added-in bits of story are also confusing lớn keep traông chồng of when looking bachồng at past events và incidents.

1 Sword Art Online: Progressive


Sword Art Online: Progressive is a light novel that focuses on what happens between the floors of the first arc of the series, Aincrad. However, it takes place From Asuna"s perspective sầu moreso than Kirito"s, which makes for an interesting twist.

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Some say Progressive is more detailed in its retelling, và this is true as it details some plot holes that were not touched up upon before in the original series. Luckily, fans will receive sầu an anime movie adaption of the novels in 2021 animated by the original studio, A-1 Pictures.

NEXT: 10 Things You Didn"t Know About The Creation Of Sword Art Online


Brianna Albert is an author, writer, reader, & seasonal anime watcher. She has been watching anime since before Naruto lớn became Hokage & trying lớn figure out how to bover air since she was in kindergarten. She now works for Valnet, Inc, writing anime lists on Comic Book Resources, writing about television on Screenrant, as well as editing as a Junior Editor. In her spare time, she writes romance novels, works as a freelance Japanese translator, catches hearts in otome games, & binge watches K-Dramas. You can follow her & her witty tweets at

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