Why is Sword Art Online Hated by Many People? Here’s the Real Reason!

Why is Sword Art Online Hated by Many People

Sword Art Online, aka SAO, maybe you are not familiar with the name of this anime because it has spread throughout the world among anime lovers. What’s surprising is that Sword Art Online is one of the most popular anime, with several fans exceeding the number of featured anime.

Even on various anime sites, SAO gets high ratings because of its popularity and because it has fans. There are fans, and there are haters. That’s the fate of an anime if it’s popular.


Like Sword Art Online, this series seems to have many haters compared to other popular anime. So, why can this happen?

The Reason Sword Art Online Is Hated

If you enter various foreign or domestic forums or groups, someone must discuss SAO. And in the discussion, there must be people who bully the anime by badmouthing it. There are several reasons why they hate this anime so much; the reasons are as follows:


Less Quality but Its Popularity Keeps Soaring

Suppose you compare Sword Art Online from the level of popularity. In that case, you will realize that the row adjacent to SAO is quality anime such as Death Note, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Berserk, Neon Genesis Evangilion, Shingeki no Kyojin, and others.

Although SAO deserves to be the most popular anime because of the fact that this anime is widely liked and has many fans. However, to be used as the Best Anime seems inappropriate because the best anime series has a quality that can be quite far compared to Sword Art Online.

In animeWhy is Sword Art Online Hated by Many People, a series that can be considered the best usually has good quality in terms of stories, characters, ideas, and others. However, for Sword Art Online, several factors make this anime less quality; they consist of the following:

  • Some stories that can be considered boring
  • Thick Armor Plot
  • Lack of Character Development
  • Fan service
  • Harem

This factor is why Sao’s Quality has decreased but still gets high popularity. For more details, here’s the explanation!

Some Boring Stories

The concept and idea of ​​the story are quite good; where this anime tells about an MMORPG Game where concepts like this were rarely applied by other anime before Sword Art Online was popular. The prefix is ​​also quite good in the First Arc, namely the “Aincard Arc” where a game that was usually intended only to play, has now become a deadly survival game that can risk someone’s life.

  Sword Art Online: Alicization Filler List

But the fun didn’t last long. In the middle of the episode, it turned out that the SAO Game, which was supposed to provide a tense survival theme, had ended quickly. The concept changed when it entered the Second Arc, namely the “Fairy Dance Arc” where the main character saved the female main character, namely Asuna, from the person she had betrothed to.

The existence of this second arc makes the presentation of the first arc not executed well because, actually, there are many things that might be used as story material, but they pass. A similar thing happened in Season 2 (Sword Art Online II), where there was a third arc, the “Phantom Bullet Arc.”

The story is very interesting in this arc, where the main character is once again involved in a game related to death because he has to play a game called “Gun Gale Online” and solve the mystery about players who can kill players in the real world through a game.


Before the real mystery has been revealed, the scene where Death Gun shoots his rifle at them gives its own tension because, at first, we thought that by firing the gun, the player would die.

However, after the arc was over, the story once again became less interesting and less exciting because in the next arc it tells the Side Story, namely the “Calibur Arc” and “Mother’s Rosario Arc,” where Kirito and his friends just do quests in ordinary games with drama stories. Mainstream teenagers then tell the story of the struggle of a side character named Konno Yukki, who is suffering from HIV disease.

Although there is no tension felt during the First Arc, the Mother’s Rosary Arc has a good ending and manages to make a lot of the audience excited.


Thick Armor Plot

It’s actually okay, and there’s no prohibition against applying plot armor in an anime if it needs to be done because the main character can’t do anything to resolve the conflict in the story without plot armor.

But this is usually not liked by anime fans, especially if there are too many plot armors. The existence of plot armor also occurs in some Sword Art Online stories where characters can solve very difficult conflicts just because they are the main characters. These are some examples of armor plot scenes in SAO:

Aincard Arc: When Heathcliff killed Kirito, he suddenly came back to life for no apparent reason, allowing him to kill Heatcliff and finish the game.

  8 Sword Art Online Opening Songs

Fairy Dence Arc: When Kirito was pressed where he had been stabbed by the sword plus the gravitational effect that made him unable to move, but when Kayaba appeared suddenly, he could easily move under the effects of heavy gravity magic and pull out the sword, whereas before he looked in pain to the point of crying because he couldn’t do anything.

Phantom Bullet Arc: When Shinkawa Shouji injects a lethal liquid into Kirito, very, very coincidentally, he injects it into the electrodes that are still attached to Kirito’s body so that he is still fine.

Lack of Character Development

Character development in an anime story is very mandatory to make the anime more fun to watch. But unfortunately, this is not paid attention to in Sword Art Online because this series focuses more on Fanservice and beautiful characters that sell rather than Stories.


Many relationships and developments between characters are rushed and even inconsistent. For example, regarding Kirito and Asuna’s relationship, without giving a clear development of their relationship, suddenly, in the first episode, Kirito and Asuna were already married.

In addition, Kirito’s character attitude at the beginning of the story looks the most enthusiastic after knowing that players are trapped in the game and must finish it immediately, but in the next story, he seems to be a relaxed person, and in the end, his nature doesn’t change much from before, it’s just that he is more open than before he was trapped in the SAO game.

Fan service

Do you remember when the announcement of the BD Movie Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale will be released? In the announcement, it was also said that the BD would feature Asuna’s ni**le scene, and suddenly the announcement excited SAO fans, especially Asuna’s fans.


From this, it can be assumed that some viewers are more interested in Asuna than the SAO: Ordinal Scale story, and this makes this anime very hated because fanservice can be a factor in why Sword Art Online can be popular even more than other anime with higher quality.


A harem element in this anime also contributes to reducing the quality of Sword Art Online Anime. Although the harem in this anime is a Support type Harem (a harem where the female characters are only supporters, and the main character still chooses the heroine to be his partner) but this still makes the audience dislike him.


Throughout the story, instead of focusing on developing stories about survival in the SAO Game, such as how Kirito became strong, his struggles to get rare items, and so on, the story focuses more on the introduction of supporting female characters who will become Kirito’s harem list, where they all have their own feelings towards Kirito, so that the execution of the story delivery is not good and reduces the quality of the SAO anime itself.

  5 Tech Devices in Sword Art Online

Toxic fanbase

The picture above is an example of a meme that can create chaos among anime fans, whether it’s just sarcasm or not. Apart from the lack of quality but getting a very high level of popularity, Sword Art Online is hated because SAO fans are too fanatical about the anime.

If you pay attention in various community groups and anime forums, you will surely find many SAO fans who think that SAO is the best action anime of all time, the best anime that beats this and that anime, and the characters are set by Overpower compared to other anime characters.

It’s clear that many people don’t like riotous fans who are disturbing, especially other anime fans whose anime has been vilified by SAO fans, and finally, there has been a riot until now. There are many memes that vilify SAO or vice versa.


Surely this Anime Sword Art Online has advantages and disadvantages in several ways. Many like this anime because in terms of the story, it is very good and the ideas from the concept of MMORPG games to virtual game devices from NerveGear, Amusphere, Augma, Soul Translator, and others are packaged very well..

Many SAO fans who like it because of the story are surprised that Sword Art Online is so hated, even though it has an interesting storyline. In addition, the popularity of SAO has also changed the world of anime broadcasting. Where in the year after Sword Art Online Anime, many studios adapted anime with similar genres but from different perspectives.

If SAO gives a positive view of story quality, the resulting anime games are also of high quality, such as Log Horizon, Overlord, No Game No Life, and others. Meanwhile, when viewed from the negative side, for example, from fanservice, harems, and beautiful characters, the anime produced is also of poor quality, such as Isekai wa Smartphone, Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku, and other isekai harem anime.


Maybe that’s all that can be conveyed; if there are errors or omissions in this article, readers are welcome to tell them through the contacts or comments available to make this article more informative and useful.

Author - Rohit
I am Rohit, an author at Otakukan. I was born and raised in Banglore, India. I have always loved watching anime and reading manga. In college, I started writing my own stories and creating my own characters.