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Sword Art Online Novel Series' 'Unital Ring' Arc Gets Manga Adaptation

posted on by Joanna Cayanan
Chapter 0 debuted on Saturday

The May issue of Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine published the 41-page special chapter 0 of Masato Kanetsuki's Sword Art Online: Unital Ring manga – the adaptation of the "Unital Ring" arc of Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online light novel series – on Saturday. The manga will start its serialization in the magazine's June issue on April 26.

Kawahara is credited for the original work, and abec is credited for the character design.

© Reki Kawahara, abec, Kadokawa
Kadokawa's now defunct Dengeki Bunko magazine published the prologue chapter of the novels' "Unital Ring" arc in 2017. The 27th overall volume for the series (image right), which released in October 2022, is the sixth novel in the new arc.

The "Unital Ring" arc's story begins one month after Kirito and Asuna returned from Underworld along with Alice, who had taken a physical form in the real world. They suddenly get caught up in a mysterious survival Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game called Unital Ring, which fuses all the Virtual Reality MMOs that were built with the "The Seed" program. As soon as the game starts, Kirito loses all his favorite equipment, and is left with just one pair of pants. Kirito and the others have to start the game from level 1.

Kōtarō Yamada launched the Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet manga, the adaptation of the novel series' "Phantom Bullet" arc, in 2014. The manga ended temporarily in July 2016, then resumed in December 2020. The manga ended in December 2021. Kadokawa published three complied volumes for the manga in Japan between 2014-2016, respectively, and Yen Press published the three volumes in English.

Yamada's Sword Art Online: Project Alicization manga ended with its 30th chapter in June 2021. Yamada launched the manga in Kadokawa's Dengeki Bunko Magazine in August 2016. The manga moved online to the Web DenPlay Comic website when Kadokawa ceased publication of Dengeki Bunko Magazine in April 2020. Yen Press publishes the manga in English.

The Sword Art Online light novel series has inspired several television anime adaptations and anime films. It has also inspired multiple manga series, games, and a virtual reality demonstration in Japan. Skydance Television announced in August 2018 that it had acquired the global live-action television rights for the franchise from Kadokawa.

Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night, the first anime film in the Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- anime film series, opened in Japan in October 2021. Sword Art Online The Movie - Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night, the second film, was slated to open on September 10 but opened on October 22 after a delay.

The franchise is launching a "brand-new original film project."

Source: Monthly Shōnen Ace May issue

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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