[Video Game-Inspired Shounen Fall 2020] Like Sword Art Online? Watch This!

Sword Art Online is an isekai of the video game variety that satisfies in terms of storyline, action scenes, and character development. It shows characters facing the genuine threat of death and decide their morals in the unsupervised world they cannot escape. Since SAO's production, there has been a surge in anime titles that have game influences and several other follow-up seasons to the Sword Art Online series. So far, fans have loved the video-game isekai! With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to a few shows from the Fall of 2020 for shounen fans that already like Sword Art Online!

Liked Sword Art Online? Watch 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru (I'm Standing on a Million Lives)!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2020 – December 2020

In true isekai fashion, Yuusuke is whisked away to another world, in such immediate teleportation that it defies the known laws of physics. He rolls for a class and lets his party down when fate gives him the "farmer" profession. With Yuusuke's poor abilities, he dies quickly, but resurrects. Yuusuke realizes that he cannot die and begins to treat his life like its value is nothing. Then Yuusuke learns something that sobers him into focus: if everyone in the party dies, everyone dies for real.

Major Similarities Between Sword Art Online and 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatteiru (I'm Standing on a Million Lives)

1. The Very Real Threat of Death

In Sword Art Online, players who die in-game or have their game console turned off wind up dead. Because of this, the culture of the game throughout is one of survival and lawlessness. As a point of difference, in I'm Standing on a Million Lives, a player can resurrect when they die, but danger is still present. It is understood that while if one player dies, they will come back to life, but if everyone dies, everyone dies for real. Similarly to SAO, the fear and threat of death are always present.

2. Game Master and Uncertain Futures

In SAO, the Game Master is the developer/creator who made the game so that it trapped all players inside. Game Master is also one of the last bosses in the original series. With I'm Standing on a Million Lives, Game Master is the unusual entity that brings the players into the game world and gives the quests needed to return home. In both series, Game Master is a seemingly omnipotent being who traps players in the game against their will.

Liked Sword Art Online? Watch Dragon's Dogma!

  • Episodes: 7
  • Aired: September 2020

In Dragon's Dogma, Ethan has a modest life with a wife and a baby on the way. Without warning, this life is ripped from Ethan, as a dragon destroys his village and takes everything from him. The dragon, sensing bloodlust from Ethan, turns his attention to him and consumes only his heart before challenging Ethan to find him if he wants to fulfill a death wish. Ethan survives somehow and becomes an Arisen, a being whose heart has been eaten by a dragon and lives to slay it.

Major Similarities Between Sword Art Online and Dragon's Dogma

1. A Main Character with a Game-Inspired Objective

In Sword Art Online, characters are told that the game will end once it has been cleared. The task is too daunting for most players, so most resign to the idea that someone else will need to beat the game. The main character, though, eventually finds themselves drawn towards defeating the Game Master. More passionately, Dragon's Dogma features Ethan, who becomes an Arisen and lives to defeat the dragon who killed his family. While SAO takes place in a game, Dragon's Dogma is based on a real game of the same name.

2. Human Nature at its Worst

Both of these anime also have elements that show the dark side of human nature. In SAO, understanding their entrapment in the game causes players to do as they like to survive and find fulfillment. With Dragon's Dogma, this takes the form of people facing poverty or addiction who do not make healthy or selfless choices. The characters in these productions decide how they will conduct themselves because there is little repercussion in choosing to act with selfishness or malice.

Final Thoughts

Sword Art Online has been the catalyst for several years of video game isekai that anime lovers worldwide have enjoyed! We are hoping you found something to add to your queue today! Are there some other similarities we missed here? Have you seen these anime yet? Please let us know in the comments!

100-man-no-Inochi-no-Ue-ni-Ore-wa-Tatteiru-dvd-225x350 [Video Game-Inspired Shounen Fall 2020] Like Sword Art Online? Watch This!


Author: Mool Basil

Hi! I'm Mool Basil! I'm just your everyday salarywoman, who spends her evenings reading and writing about anime, and playing in a blues band. I spend my off days at the K-Spa and catching up with the new week of Shounen Jump and my other favorite chapter releases. Thanks for reading, hive members!

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