Kirito Ditches Virtual Reality for an Old School Game

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Anime News Network's merchandise coverage sponsored by Tokyo Otaku Mode.

Kirito and crew are often on the cutting edge of future technology, exploring new worlds in completely immersive virtual and augmented reality games. These adventures have their fair share of risks ranging from not being able to log out to being shot by a guy who will kill you in real life. It's easy to understand why Kirito might turn in his headset for some old-fashioned kendama fun.

The ASCII Startup Accelerator venture project is collaborating with hardware startup companies to create "SAO Future Lab" to commercialize products from "10 years in the future," or in this case, products seen in Sword Art Online's future timeline of 2025 to 2026. The anime's production committee is working in conjunction with ASCII on the project. AI, AR /VR/MR companies submitted applications to participate until the deadline closed on January 31.

What does this all have to do with Japan's classic "catch a ball in a cup" toy? Kendama are traditionally wooden toys that date back to 16th century. The SAO Future Lab is reinventing the classic with company Dendama for more interactive experience that adds an app, levels, and unlockable avatars.

Kirito's Dendama is now available for pre-order for 16,600 yen (US$150). This limited edition toy has an exclusive paint scheme replicating Kirito's swords, Elucidator and Dark Repulser. Kirito voice actor Yoshitsugu Matsuoka recorded new lines to accompany the toy. Sword Art Online sword skills can also be activated with a specific combination of kendama techniques. Finally, a Kirito avatar also comes with the toy.

Even when it comes to the classics, you can't keep Kirito from plugging in.

[Via Nijimen]

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