Sword Art Online Season 3 (2018): Alicization
ソードアート・オンライン アリシゼーション (Sōdo Āto Onrain)


Kirito awakens in a vast, fantastical forest filled with towering trees. In his search for clues to the truth of his surroundings, he encounters a young boy who seems to know him. He ought to be a simple NPC, but the depth of his emotions seem no different than a human. As they search for the boy’s parents, Kirito finds a peculiar memory returning to him. A memory from his childhood, of this boy and a girl, too, with golden hair, and a name he should have never forgotten – Alice.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by


  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


Character design
Character development
World building





Sword Art Online: Alicization is produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Manabu Ono. It covers the first part of the “Alicization” arc and adapts from the novel’s ninth volume, Alicization Beginning, to the fourteenth volume, Alicization Uniting. While not covered in the light novels, Alicization takes place after Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, as it incorporates elements from the film not in the novels. The series premiered on October 6, 2018 and aired until March 30, 2019.

Alternative titles

– Sword Art Online: Alicization
– ソードアート・オンライン アリシゼーション
– 刀劍神域 Alicization
– 소드 아트 온라인: 앨리시제이션
– SAO Alicization
– Sword Art Online III
– SAO3

TL;DR Review

The third season of Sword Art Online, titled Sword Art Online: Alicization, is an anime series adapted from the light novel series of the same title written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by ABEC.

Like other Sword Art Online series, the artwork and animation are just as gorgeous. Unlike the first two seasons where each season was split into two story arcs, the third season is doing the reverse where the arc is split into two seasons. The main narrative is focused on the VR world of Alicization, where time moves faster than real life and using artificial “soul” to populate this world. It is an intriguing notion and sounds credible.

The arc starts very strong with the blend of the real world and the VR account. Once the tale only focuses on the VR world, the pacing suffers. I was more invested at the beginning as we see our familiar characters mature and grow. But the VR sub-arc is almost a stand-alone story that just takes you out of your earlier investment.

Compound the facts that we have fewer characters and a longer arc make the show a bit slow. The show would have been better with fewer episodes. Despite that, I am still looking forward to the conclusion in season 4.

Highly recommended for fans of the series and those that also enjoy playing MMO. Sword Art Online contains moderate violence and suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for young adults.

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Featured Music

Sword Art Online Season 3 (2018): Alicization

A collection of notable music and song from this series.


Opening Theme

– “Adamas” by Lisa (eps 2-13)
– “Resister” by Asca (eps 14-22, 24)

Closing Theme

– “Adamas” by Lisa (ep 1)
– “Iris” by Aoi Eir (eps 2-13)
– “Forget Me Not” by Reona (eps 14-18, 20-22, 24)
– “Niji no Kanata ni” by Reona (ep 19)
– “Resister” by Asca (ep 23)

Insert/Image Theme

– “Longing” by Kanda Sayaka (ep 5)
– “Niji no Kanata ni” by Reona (ep 24)
“I don’t even know the real names of the two… no, three that I killed back then. I just close my eyes, put my hands over my ears and tried to forget it all.”
“Just consider hardships as another part of training and keep working hard.”
Asuna Yuuki
“Sometimes the things that matter the most are right in front of you.”
“Everybody can fight. It’s just a choice of whether you should.”
“Whether here or in the real world, you can cry when it hurts. There’s no rule that you can’t show feelings just because it’s a game.”
Asuna Yuuki
“I cried alone every single night. It felt like every day that passed here stole another piece of my real life away. After I cried, I’d go and fight as hard as I could. My only thought was winning, moving forward and getting stronger.”



All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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