Sword Art Online’s ‘Unital Ring’ Arc to Receive Manga Adaptation


Chapter 0 of the highly anticipated Sword Art Online: Unital Ring manga, which serves as the adaptation of the “Unital Ring” arc from Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online light novel series, made its debut in the May issue of Kadokawa’s Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine. This special chapter spans an impressive 41 pages and was released on a Saturday, delighting fans with a sneak peek into the thrilling storyline.

Excitement continues to build as the manga is set to officially begin its serialization in the magazine’s June issue, scheduled to hit the shelves on April 26. With Masato Kanetsuki at the helm, fans can expect an immersive visual experience that brings Kawahara’s captivating narrative to life.

Reki Kawahara, acclaimed for his original work, lays the foundation for the “Unital Ring” arc, while the talented abec is credited with the character design, ensuring that the beloved characters are faithfully represented in the manga adaptation.

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The “Unital Ring” arc’s story picks up one month after the return of Kirito, Asuna, and Alice from their adventures in the Underworld. However, their peaceful existence is abruptly disrupted when they find themselves entangled in a perplexing survival-focused Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game known as Unital Ring. This virtual realm merges all the Virtual Reality MMOs ever developed with the revolutionary “The Seed” program. Kirito, stripped of his prized equipment, is left with only a solitary pair of pants, and together with his companions, they must start their journey anew, beginning at level 1.

The Sword Art Online franchise has garnered immense popularity, inspiring various adaptations, including manga series and anime films. Notably, Kōtarō Yamada’s Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet manga, which adapted the “Phantom Bullet” arc from the novels, captivated audiences with its release in 2014. After a temporary hiatus in July 2016, the manga resumed in December 2020, eventually concluding in December 2021. The English versions of the three volumes were published by Yen Press.

Yamada’s previous work, the Sword Art Online: Project Alicization manga, also enjoyed a successful run. Serialized in Kadokawa’s Dengeki Bunko Magazine starting in August 2016, it later moved to the Web DenPlay Comic website when Dengeki Bunko Magazine ceased publication in April 2020. Yen Press serves as the publisher for the English release.

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Reaching far beyond the pages of manga and light novels, the Sword Art Online franchise has expanded its influence across multiple media platforms. It has inspired captivating television anime adaptations, thrilling games, and even a mesmerizing virtual reality demonstration in Japan.

In a significant development, Skydance Television announced its acquisition of the global live-action television rights for the Sword Art Online franchise from Kadokawa in August 2018. This exciting venture promises to bring the immersive world of Sword Art Online to life in a new and unprecedented way.

Fans of the franchise were also treated to the Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- anime film series. The first film, Aria of a Starless Night, debuted in October 2021, leaving viewers eager for more. While the second film, Scherzo of Deep Night, faced a slight delay, it eventually premiered on October 22, following its initial scheduled date of September 10.

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With the release of the Sword Art Online: Unital Ring manga, fans can look forward to diving deeper into the enthralling narrative and immersing themselves once again in the captivating world of Sword Art Online.

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Kirito, Asuna, Sinon, Leafa, Klein

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