by Jeremiah Fajardo | staff writer
Earlier this month at Anime Boston Aniplex announced that hit anime series Sword Art Online would be coming to North America later this year. Coming in four separate volumes, each will come in two formats, a Limited Edition Blu-Ray box set and a Standard Edition DVD. Each of the Limited Edition sets will come with an assortment of bonuses, which range from Original Soundtrack CDs to bonus DVDs of English cast interviews. Other extras include a 16-page booklet, illustration pin-ups and collectible cards from Bushiroad. Both Limited Edition and Standard Edition formats of all four volumes are now available for preorder through rightstuff.com and Aniplex’s official retailers (Aniplexusa.com/retailers).
For those unfamiliar with the series, Sword Art Online is the anime adaptation of a highly popular light-novel series by Reki Kawahara. The story is set in the near future where people are able to play video games through a virtual reality-generating device known as NerveGear. Viewers follow the exploits of Kirito, an avid gamer excited for the release of Sword Art Online, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. But, once Kirito and all the other players log on, they find they are stuck. Akihiko Kayaba, the game’s creator, then reveals they cannot log off until they defeat the final boss atop a tower that is 100 floors high. To make things worse, Kayaba tells them that anyone’s death within the game results in their death in the real world. From here Kirito must band together with fellow players to defeat the final boss and set everyone free. It is on this journey that they come to learn that Sword Art Online is not merely a game.
The first volume of Sword Art Online will be available on August 13 this year. The Limited Edition Blu-Ray Box Set is available starting at $89.98 while the Standard Edition begins at $39.98.