Sword Art Online: Progressive

Sword Art Online: Progressive
Sword Art Online: Progressive

English Title: Sword Art Online: Progressive
Japanese Title: ソードアート・オンライン プログレッシブ -- “Sword Art Online: Progressive”
Author: Reki Kawahara — 川原礫
Illustrator: abec — あべし
Translator: Stephen Paul
Genre: Adventure, Sci-fi, Romance
Original Run: October 2012 – ongoing
English Run: March 2015 – ongoing
Japanese Publisher: Dengeki Bunko (ASCII Media Works)
English Publisher: Yen On (Yen Press)
Volumes in Japanese: 6 (In Progress)
Volumes in English: 6 (Caught Up)

Synopsis: One month after Akihiko Kayaba's game of death began, the death toll continues to rise, two thousand players having already lost their lives to the ultra-difficult VRMMO world of Sword Art Online. On the day of the strategy meeting to plan out the first-floor boss battle, Kirito, a solo player who vows to fight alone to get stronger, runs into a rare, high-level female player. She gracefully dispatches powerful monsters with a single rapier that flashes like a shooting star in the night…This volume contains three stories, including “Aria of a Starless Night,” which details how Kirito came to be called the Black Swordsman, and “Rondo of a Fragile Blade,” the tragic tale of a young blacksmith that takes place before the second-floor boss fight.

Volume 1
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Released March 24, 2015 — ISBN-13: 978-0316259361

Volume 2
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Released June 30, 2015 — ISBN-13: 978-0316342179

Volume 3
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Released October 27, 2015 — ISBN-13: 978-0316348836

Volume 4
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Released October 25, 2016 — ISBN-13: 978-0316545426

Volume 5
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Released November 13, 2018 — ISBN-13: 978-1975328146

Volume 6
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Released July 9, 2019 — ISBN-13: 978-1975383336

Reviews of Sword Art Online: Progressive

Illustrations Sampler

Manga Adaptation

MAL Entry — Published June 2013 – ongoing (English release by Yen Press)
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Anime Adaptation

MAL Entry — In production

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14 thoughts on “Sword Art Online: Progressive

    1. From what I understand, SAO: Progressive expands on the events of the first two volumes of Sword Art Online–i.e. Kirito’s time in the virtual reality game “Sword Art Online.”
      The original SAO series features Kirito in a variety of other virtual reality games (starting with volume 3), which would take place after Progressive.

      1. That’s what it looks like!

        From Wikipedia: “Kawahara also writes the Sword Art Online: Progressive series, which covers Kirito’s adventures on the first few floors of Aincrad.”

      2. Basically there was a lot of complaint over the lack of any real depth to Kirito. Since basically the books start when the game is already almost cleared and Kirito is OP. And is basically about his relationship with Asuna.

        The author therefore decided to start the progressive series which tells the story of Kirito from level 1. Hence the name ‘progressive’. Or you could also argue that with Alicization the author was running out of ideas and started progressive as a new way to milk the cow.

        (If you have watched the anime, the books are somewhat dissimilar, as the anime inserted a lot of content from both progressive and other short stories. The original Aincrad novels aren’t particularly harem, unlike the anime. It was only with the addition of a bunch of characters, primarily from short stories, that the series became a huge harem fest. Although once Fairy Dance started the novels and anime are very similar. Which is disconcerting as you are basically required to read the short stories to understand who all the new characters are once Fairy Dance starts. A very odd thing to do as an author. Basically retrofitting the series into harem afterwards by using short stories.)

      3. Interesting to hear. It seems Progressive (as well as the general direction of the series) is very much a product of SAO originally being a story written for the web. The author was able to deliver extra content to readers who specifically wanted the setting further fleshed-out along with extended back-stories for various characters.

      4. That is the way I took it. I just thought it was about expanding the details on Kirito’s adventure and how he got connected to Asuna. I read the first volume of SAO and I did wondered how he and Asuna became a pair that quickly.

  1. I love SAO. After reading Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad, I was curious about Asuna and the title “The Black Swordsman”. I need to get this book.

  2. So… I’ve read the “normal” SAO novels so far. I liked them more than the anime since it went downhill ever since they decided to make SAO into a harem anime.
    Would you recommend reading Progressive for someone who hates harem stuff? I did like the original Aincrad arc the most so far and it’d be great if the series focused more on Kirito and Asuna instead of throwing girl after girl at him.

  3. […] A light novel series easily accessible by gamers and fans of action or sci-fi. It has been adapted into anime and manga, and recently a North American television series has been announced. For existing fans of the anime, the novels have improved characterization and some minor events skipped by the anime, but the bulk of the stories from the first eight novels were covered. Volume nine begins Sword Art‘s longest, and many fans say best, storyline. That volume will be released in December 2016 in the English market. Also, if you find yourself wishing the story had covered the first Aincrad arc in greater detail, you can see Reki Kawahara’s sister series Sword Art Online: Progressive. […]

  4. Sword Art Online Progressive is everything the first 2 Light Novels for Aincrad werent. SAO:P Gives a closer look at the story from Asuna’s pooint of view and fills in all the crap that seemed to be missing from the main story line of Aincrad.
    From how Asuna entered the game and started to whn the guilds were created and the introduction of Heathcliff. Quest Insert points to faction based Quest events. The world of Sword Art online is enriched greatly from the SAO”P manga series.

  5. Appears Japanese Volume 5 and 6 are out.
    02/10/2018 and 05/10/2018 respectively.

    Volume 5 English version available for pre-order. Release date 11/13/2018.

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