Anime fans are excited because official news about the Sword Art Online Season 3 release date is finally starting to trickle out. But, first, studio A-1 Pictures has officially confirmed that the new SAO spin-off anime, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, will be released in April of 2018.
Several months ago, A-1 Pictures surprised everyone during Dengeki Bunko Fall Festival 2017 by announcing that there would be two new SAO anime, not just the third season adaptation of the Sword Art Online: Alicization story arc. The new Alternative Gun Gale Online (AGGO) anime is based on the books by author Keiichi Sigsawa, who is also famous for writing the long-running Kin no Tabi book series.
The story follows college student Karen Kohiruimaki, who is relatively tall for a woman in real life compared to others and feels awkward around people. So, when she creates an avatar for the Full Dive VR experience, she designs a character named LLENN, who is short and covered in pink clothing.
Along the way, LLENN connects with other female gamers like the gun crazy Pitohui and an old hometown friend named Shinohara Miyu. Together, they join a GGO tournament called Squad Jam, which is a team-based variant of Bullet Of Bullets.
In a recent interview about GGO and Sword Art Online Season 3, SAO creator Reki Kawahara and Sigsawa hinted that the third season would be coming out after the spin-off anime. Yesterday, the official Twitter account for GGO announced that the first season would start broadcasting in April.
TVアニメ「ソードアート・オンライン オルタナティブ ガンゲイル・オンライン」は【2018年4月】より放送開始決定！ #GGO
— TVアニメ「ガンゲイル・オンライン」公式 (@ggo_anime) January 3, 2018
Unfortunately, the exact timing for the Sword Art Online Season 3 release date has yet to be confirmed. Translators of the earlier interview assumed that the third season would not come out until 2019 or 2020, but then Kawahara tweeted out a happy new year message stating that both GGO and SAO Season 3 would be coming out in 2018.
あけましておめでとうございます！ 2018年はアニメGGO＆SAO3期の年！ アクセルとユナイタル・リングも頑張ります、よろしくお願いします！
— 川原礫;AW22巻11月10日発売 (@kunori) December 31, 2017
Based on that information, it seems reasonable to predict that the Sword Art Online: Alicization release date will be in the summer (July) or fall (October) of 2018. For those wanting more spoilers for Sword Art Online Season 3, previous articles from the Inquisitr have provided a synopsis of what Project Alicization is, how Kirito and Asuna were separated during much of the Underworld story, and what happens to the main characters in the real world at the ending of the SAO: Project Alicization story arc. You can also read up on the plot summary for the Alternative Gun Gale Online anime. Let’s just hope the Sword Art Online Season 3 release date comes sooner rather than later.