Sword Art Online is an Isekai (light fantasy) anime, packed with a lot of action and a lot of romance in a fantasy world that involves transporting to another world/universe.
If there’s one thing Sword Art Online fans know, it’s that Isekai is one of the best and easiest genres to watch. The story of SAO is pretty captivating, where Kirito and his friends get stuck in a virtual reality game. There are no fillers.
Isekai anime has all types of fans, and Sword Art Online has probably made an opening for those who haven’t entered the fantasy world already. Be it action, adventure, romance, or a harem plot, this anime has a lot to offer.
This list is for those who are not only fans of SAO for any specific reason, but it is also for those who want to explore more into this genre. The Isekai genre is the most famous genre, with new anime upcoming every few months which means that there’s more to watch.
Here are 7 anime like Sword Art Online that can transport you to another world:
1. The Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
This anime has two seasons and its plot is somewhat similar to SAO. Except, in this anime, the protagonist actually transported into another world. The plot is basic but humorous. This is a good watch for those who like light comedy action type of anime. It has harem elements and the story gets darker which is similar to SAO.
2. Re: Zero- Starting Life in Another World
Re: Zero is somewhat similar to SAO, where the main character gets transported to a game world. The story definitely has a darker, psychological theme to it than SAO, but has a similar plot. The harem aspect is similar, with the protagonist having eyes only for one girl. This anime is enjoyable for its plot. It is somewhat mysterious and the main character is not strong but develops a special ability later on.
3. How Not to Summon A Demon Lord?
The story takes place in a somewhat similar scenario, the main character is a hikikomori gamer who gets transported into the game world. It has similar themes to SAO, such as the action and the harem aspects. It also has more light-hearted, humorous elements to it. While SAO has a much darker theme than this anime, it is still a good watch for those who love light novels.
4. In Another World with My Smartphone
The main character Mochizuki Touya shares similarities with Kirito. They are both overpowered and use it to their advantage, not to mention the harem element. Both protagonists are skilled and they don’t hesitate to jump into action when needed. Touya develops special powers and possesses a smartphone.
5. Accel World
There are controversies and theories between SAO and Accel World. Fans believe that the story takes place in the same universe, with the first-generation tech of NerveGear used in Accel World. Both stories have similar plots, where the protagonists are determined to find the reasons for their unchangeable situation. Haruyuki Arita is the main character who plays a virtual reality game called Brain Burst.
6. The Rising of the Shield Hero
The main protagonist of this anime goes through a similar experience as Kirito. They both go through traumatic events. They eventually find a female character and feel comforted. Naofumi Iwatani is not as strong as Kirito but he has a team of other characters that help him with different objectives.
7. And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online
This is also another light-hearted anime with a few similarities with SAO. The characters in this anime try to live out their in-game characters in real life. The protagonist has a similar harem situation as Kirito. This anime does not fall under the darker, dramatic genre like SAO but it definitely has the light-hearted aspect of SAO in it.