Earlier today, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a new notice on Netflix’s streams for Sword Art Online. A new pop-up dialogue notifies fans who load Sword Art Online that the show will be removed from Netflix’s digital platform on March 15.
We’ve reached out to Aniplex of America for comment, and will update once we receive further information.
Sword Art Online is based on Reki Kawahara’s light novel series of the same name. Tomohiko Ito (Erased, Silver Spoon) directed the series titles at A-1 Pictures, with Shingo Adachi (Wagnaria!!) providing character designs.
The show made its Japanese TV debut in the Summer 2012 broadcast season. Sequel series Sword Art Online II hit the airwaves two years later, in Summer 2014. Most recently, Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale- hit Japanese theaters on February 18. The feature opened in North America on March 9. To date, the feature has seen over one million ticket-holding viewers across the globe.
Aniplex of America currently holds the domestic rights to Sword Art Online. They describe the show as:
Sword Art Online is an anime adaptation of one of the most popular light-novel series (Dengeki Bunko / ASCII MDIA WORKS) written by author Reki Kawahara. The story is set in a not-so-distant future where people are able to play video games more realistically with the emergence of the NerveGear, a virtual reality generating device, which the players wear to stimulate their senses to control their avatars in the world of the game. Kirito is an
experienced player who was excited for the release of the new Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), Sword Art Online, a.k.a. SAO. But, when Kirito and all the other players logged on to SAO for the first time, they quickly realized that something was not right. The creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba, reveals to them that they will not be able to leave the game world unless they defeat the final boss atop a tower that is 100 floors high! To make things worse, Kayaba informs them that if a player dies in the game, he or she will also die in the real world. Now Kirito must fight along with players to defeat the boss and free everyone from Kayaba’s dreadful ploy. Kirito and his friends will soon learn that Sword Art Online is more than just a game.
Source: Netflix (Thanks to L.B. Bryant for the tip!)
Note: As a disclaimer, the title could return with or without a gap, due to contract structures. Still, it’s best to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.