Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online franchise, despite criticism, has been a pretty popular series in which fans have wondered if there would be a third season of the television anime. The film, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, is set to release in Japan next week; however, a few lucky fans were able to get a sneak peek of the film. According to some, the words “SAO Will Return” were seen after the credits had finished rolling, hinting that a third television anime season is on its way.
While nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet, it is no secret that the internet took hold of this report and ran with it.
The series has already had two television seasons which covered the Sword Art Online, ALfheim Online, Gun Gale Online, Excalibur, and Mother’s Rosario arcs from the light novel series. If a third season were to happen, it would, most likely, cover the Alicization arc, which is said to be one of the darker arcs of the series.
In addition to two anime seasons, there are ten manga adaptations of the light novels, all written by Reki Kawahara and published by ASCII Media Works. Yen Press currently holds the license to the Sword Art Online series for North American distribution. There have also been numerous video games produces for the Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and PS Vita including Infinity Moment, Hollow Fragment, Lost Song and Hollow Realization. A Japan-only social network game, End World, was also released back in 2013 and a freemium mobile game, Code Register released one year later.
An upcoming Action RPG, Accel World vs Sword Art Online, was announced back in October 2016 and is slated for release on Playstation 4 and PS Vita sometime in 2017. The game will be a crossover of two of Reki Kawahara’s most popular franchises.
Skydance Television also announced that there will be a live-action adaptation of Sword Art Online as well for North American audiences with a VR experience based on the television show to be released shortly after.
Once the movie releases in Japan next week, we will follow up to either confirm or deny the rumor of a third television anime season.