Sword Art Online is another series written by Reki Kawahara, the author of Accel World. The main wiki can be found here.
Accel World contains numerous references and possess many shared concepts with Sword Art Online. As the sheer number of connections is overwhelming, they will be ordered in the following fashion:
1. Conceptual Similarities
- Fluctlight Technology
- Main Visualizer
- Social Security Camera Network
2. Historical References
- Accelerated World Origin Story
- Neurolinker’s Development / RECT and Kamura
- Lost Technology
- White Cosmos’ “Past Virtual World”
- Graphite Edge
- Kamura Shikimi
4. Miscellaneous Information
- The SSS Order
- 20320930 Barcode
- Nervegear (Anime Only)
5. Author's Comments
The first section, “Conceptual Similarities”, will describe shared concepts and technology between the two series. The second section, “Historical References”, will examine historical references that have been made between the two series. The third section, “Characters”, will give information on characters of interest. And finally, the fourth section, “Miscellaneous Information”, will detail references that do not fit cleanly within any of the previous three sections.
Concrete connections will be written normally, while more speculative information will be written in color.
In short, this theory states that human souls are essentially a collection of photons trapped within the microtubules of brain cells. This group of lights is known collectively as an individual’s Fluctlight.
Fluctlights can be read, edited, and even copied. When an individual first enters the Accelerated World, the program creates a copy of their Fluctlight. This Fluctlight copy is stored within a Lightcube in the Accelerated World’s Lightcube Cluster – a feature that also exists in Sword Art Online’s Underworld. In all subsequent dives into the games, the Linker uses this Fluctlight copy to play.
One of the most important features of the Fluctlight theory is its concept of Fluctlight Acceleration, which the Accelerated World takes its name from. By accelerating the functioning of a Fluctlight, the consciousness of the user can be accelerated to an almost infinite amount. The amount the Fluctlight is accelerated is called the “FLA Rate”. Normal activities in the Accelerated World run under a constant FLA Rate of x1000.
Closely linked to the concept of Fluctlights, the Accelerated World uses a Main Visualizer to run the game’s systems. As with Fluctlight Technology, the concept of the “Main Visualizer” was first introduced in Sword Art Online Alicization.
The Main Visualizer controls all aspects of the game. Using memory information, it creates incredibly realistic sensations while causing the least amount of stress on the Accelerated World’s systems. The Main Visualizer also deals with many miscellaneous tasks, such as imagination-reading (Incarnation) and future-prediction.
For more information on the Main Visualizer, look here.
Because of the shared use of a Main Visualizer, the concept of Incarnation exists in both Accel World and Sword Art Online.
The nature of the Main Visualizer allows it to read the “imagination” of its users. As a side effect, if the image projected in the user’s is strong enough, it can potentially override the phenomena of the virtual world.
However, the Incarnation present in Accel World differs slightly from that used in the Underworld. While Sword Art Online’s version of Incarnation is more “general-purpose”, Accel World’s Incarnate system is more structured, possessing three stages each with their own characteristics.
For more information on Accel World’s Incarnate System, look here.
Social Security Camera System
The Accelerated World is created from data gained from the Social Security Camera system that spans across Japan. At the Highest Level, they are known as the “nodes” that gives the world its shape.
A prototype of Accel World’s Social Security Camera system is shown at the beginning of Sword Art Online’s “Phantom Bullet” arc. Kirito points out the most striking characteristic of the sphere-shaped camera: the camera network was a completely standalone system. In other words, it was an isolated network with not a single connection from the outside world — a feature that is iconic of Accel World’s Social Security Camera system.
It is interesting to note that this reference was not originally included in the Sword Art Online Phantom Bullet web novel. The reference was added only after the creation of the Accel World series.
Accelerated World Origin Story
In short, the birth of the Accelerated World is as follows:
Long ago, in a certain virtual world, a long, bloody, large-scale war took place. The focus of the war was a certain Being. One side of the war, led by a person known as “A”, wanted to destroy the Being, while the other side, led by a person known as “B”, sought to protect it.
Sometime near the end of the war, both A and B came across a system console that gave them administrator privileges. However, the powers were extremely limited, and they could only create monsters and terrain objects.
As an alternative plan, A kidnapped the Being, sealing it within an Enhanced Armament known as the Fluctuating Light. Then, using the admin privileges, he created eight extraordinarily powerful monsters to guard the Being. After that, he erected a massive fortress guarded by four similarly powerful monsters who would later become known as Accel World’s Four Gods.
A little later, B arrived on the scene. Challenging A to a duel, he won and killed him. Together with his army, they challenged the fortress created by A. However, the Four Gods were too strong, and B’s comrades died one after another. In the end, failing to kill even a single god, B was forced to retreat.
Placing hope into the future that warriors powerful enough to challenge the Four Gods and free the Fluctuating Light would someday appear, B developed a series of three games that were collectively known as The Accelerated World: Accel Assault (AA), Brain Burst (BB), and Cosmos Corrupt (CC).
The accompanying picture displays three individuals. Two of them, males, appear to be battling, while the third, a female, is shrouded in light.
It is interesting to note that one of the males, presumably B, has almost the exact same appearance as that of Kirito from Sword Art Online — he even wields two blades and wears a high-collared black coat. On the other hand, the girl floating in the altar possesses long light-colored hair reminiscent to that of Alice’s from Sword Art Online. Furthermore, the headband she wears is almost identical in appearance.
Because of this, fans have theorized that Developer B is indeed Kirito, while the Being is Alice and the referenced war is Sword Art Online’s foreshadowed Inter-Intelligence War.
In the later Accel World volumes, it is mentioned that certain technology was “lost” in the late 2020s.
First was the development of truly advanced Artificial Intelligence. In the late 2020s, there was a conflict involving Artificial Intelligence, and the advanced A.I. of the time were sealed away by the government.
Second was the development of Fluctlight Technology. According to Centaurea Sentry, Fluctlight Technology was lost during the late 2020s. Since then, all advancements in the field had been halted.
White Cosmos’ “Past Virtual World”
“A long time ago... in one virtual world completely unlike this one, almost the exact same situation developed. Many players who came from various different worlds were faced with the same ultimate choice: to cooperate and complete the game together, or to kill everyone else before they betrayed them. Among these players, there was an idealist who spoke exactly like you, Silver Crow. Many listened to his words, but in the end... it was too late.”
The statement “many players who came from various different worlds” sounds strikingly similar to the concept of Sword Art Online’s Unital Ring game, which combined all of the virtual worlds of the Seed Nexus into a single one. As such, fans theorize that the “past virtual world” was indeed Unital Ring, while the “idealist” was Kirito.
Kirito's Idea for a Wearable FLA Device
In Sword Art Online volume 24, Kirito has a conversation with professor Koujiro Rinko in which he expresses the idea of developing a wearable device that would allow the user to utilize Fluctlight Acceleration (FLA) without entering the Underworld. Rinko states that the idea could be feasible, but would require at least thirty or forty years to become a reality. Kirito responds that he would like for such technology to become available sooner, preferably in the next ten years.
This mention of creating a wearable FLA device is reminiscent of the Neuro Linker.
Graphite Edge, known to many as the “walking Kirito reference”, is a Level 8 Burst Linker in Accel World.
He was originally the “Earth” of the four “Elements” of the original Nega Nebulus. As the Black King’s former teacher, Graphite Edge is known across Brain Burst as one of the most powerful swordsmen. In fact, even the Archangel Metatron was intimated by his mere presence, sensing him to be a Being greater than even herself. Furthermore, White Cosmos judges him to be more powerful than any of the Six Kings of Pure Color despite him only being Level 8.
Graphite Edge, as his name suggests, wears thin black armor in the shape of a long coat with high collars — an appearance similar to that of Kirito’s Blackwyrm coat. However, the most striking part of Graphite Edges’ duel avatar is his two swords. The dual blades possess an extremely hard hyper-diamond core with a one-atom-thick graphene blade, giving them both absolute defense and absolute offense. Curiously, the two blades are named “Lux” and “Umbra” despite them both being perfectly clear.
Graphite Edge’s sword style is known as the “Ain” style, possibly a reference to Kirito’s “Aincrad” style. The Ain style’s specialty lies in its dual-wielding potential. The Ain Style’s known techniques include the following:
- Vertical Square
- Cross Block
- Spinning Shield
- Vorpal Strike
- Starburst Stream
- The Eclipse
It is interesting to note that all of the techniques listed above, with the exception of Elucidator, are sword skills present in Sword Art Online. Moreover, Vorpal Strike, Starburst Stream, and The Eclipse were Kirito’s signature skills. Finally, Elucidator was the name of Kirito’s main sword within the game.
Graphite Edge uses old-fashioned net-game terms when speaking. For example, he unintentionally uses the term “log in” — a term that had long been replaced with the term “dive”. Furthermore, he occasionally speaks as if he is a generation older than those around him, saying “kids these days don’t know what a pencil is” when Utai was puzzled over the meaning of the word “pencil”.
In Accel World Light Novel Volume 23, it is revealed that Kuroyukihime’s mother was the daughter of the Kamura company’s owner, sharing the surname of “Kamura”. During one experiment researching Soul Translator Technology, she had birthed a child in an artificial womb. After the fetus reached maturity, she replaced its Fluctlight with one taken from somewhere else. This “machine child” later became Kuroyukihime.
In Sword Art Online Volume 21, a girl by the name of “Kamura Shikimi” — the Kamura company’s successor — mysteriously appeared in the Survivor School. Furthermore, she is hinted to be the identity of Mutasina, the current antagonist of Unital Ring.
If Sword Art Online’s “Kamura Shikimi” is indeed Kuroyukihime’s mother, then the two series may already share a common character.
In Accel World Light Novel Volume 21, Kuroyukihime uses a mysterious program called the SSS Order. Given to her by Graphite Edge, this program is capable of hacking anything except for the Brain Burst systems themselves.
The icon of the SSS Order takes on the appearance of two parallel vertical swords surrounded by a ring of flowers. This icon is almost identical to Sword Art Online’s “Star King’s Insignia”. In fact, the design of Kirito’s “Night Sky Sword” and Asuna’s “Radiant Light” can clearly be seen on the SSS Order.
A comparison of the two symbols can be seen on the right, with the SSS Order on the left and the Star King’s Insignia on the right.
When Kuroyukihime was first birthed within the artificial womb, a barcode with the numbers “20320930” was imprinted on her neck. This string of numbers symbolizes her birth date: September 30, 2032. However, the peculiar thing is this: even though Kuroyukihime was perfectly healthy as a fetus, her mother kept her in the artificial womb for an extra four months solely for the purpose of having her born on that exact date.
So, what’s so special about that date? Well, September 30 is also Asuna’s birthday. This could make the theory that Kamura Shikimi is Kuroyukihime's mother more likely, as it may be a nod to Asuna in some way.
Nervegear (Anime Only)
In the Accel World anime, while Haruyuki was looking for possible explanations for Nōmi's Brain Burst exploits, he came across a page about the NerveGear — the virtual reality headset that was used to log into Sword Art Online.
Please note that this is an anime only reference; it was not mentioned in the light novel source material.
Reki Kawahara, the author of the two series, maintains that Accel World and Sword Art Online have no clear connection. However, in contrast to Kawahara's claims, his editor Kazuma Miki has made somewhat contradictory statements. In a September 2020 tweet, he posted the following:
This tweet roughly translates as follows:
Miki's comments appear to affirm that the Accelerated World was born from Sword Art Online, contrasting from Kawahara's claims that the two series have no clear connection.
As of now, these have been all of the references/connections that have been made between Accel World and Sword Art Online. Some of them are very clear, such as the use of Fluctlight technology, while others are not so clear, such as the 20320930 barcode.
Adding to the confusion, Reki Kawahara, the author, and Kazuma Miki, the editor, have made contradictory statements regarding the relationship between the two series.
In summary, the connection between Sword Art Online and Accel World remains murky; future developments are awaited.