Best Sword Art Online Episodes of the Aincrad Arc

Sword Art Online is probably one of my favourite cartoons/animes of all time ever since I first saw in back in late October 2019. I've seen as of the making of this list the aincrad arc and the fairy dance arc, AKA the first season. Since I've seen the first arc, the original, I'm going to make a list of the best episodes in the Aincrad arc of Sword Art Online. With that being said here is the list.
The Top Ten
1 The Girl of Morning Dew

One of the most heartwarming and most fun cartoon episodes that I've honestly seen ever. I totally support the romance between Kirito and Asuna for starters. They are just so fit for each other and the chemistry really works well. In all honesty I love almost any episodes which features the romance but this episode nailed it completely plus with the addition of one of the best characters in the anime, Yui. So at first in this episode continuing the events of the previous episodes, Kirito and Asuna are still taking days off of the frontline to spend times themselves with each other. But then when going for a walk, a mysterious creature is found spying on them and before Kirito realizes it, it collapses. It's revealed to be a little girl thought to have maybe gotten lost so the couple take her home to rest, however she has no marker, which players always have in SAO. When she wakes up, she reveals herself to be named Yui but she also appears to have the mentality of a newborn, as she ...more

2 The Blue-Eyed Demon

This is one of the most climatic episodes of the arc. Even though it's situated just in the beginning of the second half of the arc, it really showed us how much our characters have evolved since the beginning of the SAO incident and now they have arrived at the 74th floor boss. It is revealed to be more powerful than anything they have ever met in the game. The climax and everything about this episode was just downright awesome! This is like the only boss in the game you actually witness being fought in the arc including the 1st, 75th and final bosses which makes you connect to how it actually is to fight a boss because Ilfang the Kobold Lord from Ep. 2 was more straight forwad. This is also one of three episodes in the arc where Klein, my favourite character actually gets a lot of screentime. He's such a funny and charming guy who's while a good player, not over-powered but reallistic. Definitely worthy of being #2 on my list.

3 Murder in the Safe Zone

This is definitely one of the most interesting episodes of the first half of the arc. Like really The first four episode weren't too interesting although I did like the first one a lot but other than that, Beater was alright, the red-nosed reindeer wasn't that interesting and Sachi's death was too rushed, and the episode with Silica was very boring and weird. Like Silica is from what she appears to be, young and immature but yet they constantly sexualize her character. I am confused. Anyways, this was a really interesting murder mystery episode which really got you hooked up. While I didn't like Asuna yet, I do like how she develops slowly but steadily. Now yes this is a first-part episode of a long episode, the next episode Illusionary Avenger is a part two of the episode but I didn't really like it as much. This was much more interesting but then again it has very nice cliffhangers in my opinion.

4 The Temperature of the Heart

This was one of those few filler episodes in the arc only being there to introduce and show off a new main character, in this case, Lisbeth. It really did not have much of an otherwise purpose but it certainly was not bad by any means. Lisbeth is quite a funny and comical character who was a nice character to have an episode centered around. Well it basically starts off as Kirito wanting to buy a new sword at a shop of Lisbeth but before doing so he tries the best sword and it breaks. Lisbeth gets furious so they on an adventure go to find this ingredient that can create the finest sword in Aincrad. It's honestly just a very fun episode in my opinion although not particularly noteworthy.

5 The World of Swords

This is the first episode of thes series and it surely knows how to be interesting. It starts off with our main character Kirigaya "Kirito" Kazuto logging in onto the newly released VRMMORPG game Sword Art Online in the near future (2022 to be exact). He is one of few people who played the beta version of the game and in the newly released game, he meets the newcomer Klein (favourite character) and Kirito shows him how the game works as he is familiar with it since the beta days. You'd think Kirito'd be the main character and Klein the deuterogist and while Kirito's role is correct, Klein is unfortunately reduced to a supporting character only appearing in four of the arc's episodes sadly. However, off-topic. This episode is excellent and surely deserves to be on the list.

6 Yui's Heart

The direct sequel episode, to my favourite episode of the arc. Yui's Heart answers all the questions we so eager wanted to know in Girl of the Morning Dew. This episode is one of the most emotional ones in not just the arc, but the entire season. It gets really interesting as we closer gets to know who Yui actually is. It's executed almost near-perfectly and her "death" is among the most sad ones ever. Yes, sadder than Sachi's. Her death while emotional was way too rushed. Anyways, you'd think I'd put this episode above Girl of the Morning Dew but I felt like the chemistry was executed better in the episode above and the plot of this one wasn't too terribly interesting. It was just Asuna, Kirito and Yui going down to the first floor and saving a guild member of the aincrad liberation army. This combined with Yui's story is the real reason this episode made it to #3. Anyways, excellent episode.

7 Crimson Killing Intent

This was definitely one of the most interesting and scariest episodes. It's interesting because it evokes various emotions while you watch it. In the beginning, with Kirito and Heathcliff dueling, you feel a sense of excitement as you wonder who will win. After Kirito loses, you experience a sense of disappointment but still remain interested.

Then, Kirito, Kuradeel, and Godfree go on an adventure to train themselves. This part becomes scary when Kuradeel reveals himself as a member of the player-killing guild called the Laughing Coffin. He paralyzes Godfree and Kirito, nearly kills Kirito, and successfully kills Godfree until Asuna comes to the rescue. What makes this part scary? The sadistic facial expressions of Kuradeel. Although he may be a lackluster villain with no motivation, those facial expressions and sadistic thoughts make it interesting.

The ending of the episode, however, is hilarious compared to the scary middle. Kirito gives a speech after Kuradeel's defeat about how he belongs to Asuna and wants to sleep with her. So, in the end, Asuna takes off her clothes (yes, really) because she thought Kirito literally wanted to have sex with her. But in reality, Kirito only meant he wanted to sleep in the same room and live with her. This is quite hilarious. The combination of different feelings involved in this episode makes it #4 on my list.

8 The Sword Dance of Black and White

You know it's funny because after I was done with the first arc of this anime, I totally forgot what this episode was about, even though I actually thought it was one of the best episodes. I guess it's because not much happened here and what this episode revolves around it obscure. Kirito finds an incredibly rare animal that he succesfully hunts and he craves to eat it but he can't actually eat it before cooking it, but he has no cooking experience. This is where Asuna comes as she has maxed out her cooking skills. This is the first episode where Kirito and Asuna get to know each other fairly well and the romandce really starts to kick off. They had met each other before, notably in Beater and the duo episodes of Murder in the Safe Zone, but this is where they start to become a couple for real. The chemistry is just executed so well and not having this episode on the list would be a crime. Also the epic ending when they confront the gleam eyes. So epic.

9 The End of the World

The finale episode of the arc is called "The End of the World". And by that, it means the end of the world in Sword Art Online, not the real world. You know the Aincrad castle. It picks up right after the end of the last episode when our characters had reached the 75th floor boss the hardest boss yet so far. After the defeat of it. Kirito suddenly realizes that the master of his guild Heathcliff holds a dark secret. He attemps to hit him with his sword but it's revealed that he is in fact, an immortal object. He then reveals himself as Kayaba Akihiko, the creator of the game and that he was actually the final boss of the game. However with Kirito revealing his secret, the final boss would now be fought on floor 75 as well. It's quite an interesting and fun episode however there's something that just off about the episode. It felt very rushed how the game just supposedly ended on the 75th floor. So it's only at #7 for me. But it's still great.

10 Beater

This is the second episode of the series and takes place roughly a while after the first episode. No one has still completed the first floor of the Aincrad castle and 1K people have already died since the release of the game. This episode is mainly about fighting the first floor boss, Ilfang the Kobold Lord. Very entertaining I must say. After the fight, it's revealed that he was actually a beta tester and this causes everyone to hate him as they have a bad reputation in the game as they abandoned all the noobs. They also call him a cheater. So Kirito decides to distance himself from other beta testers as he actually helped the noobs and calls himself a "beater" as in beta tester cheater. Entertaining episode.

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