Sword Art Online: The 10 Best Episodes Of The Phantom Bullet Arc (According To IMDb), Ranked

After some time of peace in virtual MMORPGs, the public begins to panic when two cases of players get killed in real life while playing Gun Gale Online. Due to this, the VR Crime Division requests Kirito's help and they send him into the game with the goal of finding the killer, as well as uncovering the truth behind those people's death.

In this world, Kirito meets a strange girl that goes by the name Sinon, who would be of great help to Kirito throughout the entire season. The two spend the season chasing after Death Gun, and, after cornering him, they learn the truth behind Death Gun's ability.

RELATED: 10 Anime To Watch If You Love Sword Art Online

10 The Meaning of Strength - 7.3

After finding out that the current killer is a member of the player killing guild, Laughing Coffin, Kirito is disgusted and warns his companions of the threat that the group poses. Much of the episode dives into a lot of unnecessary exposition and, though the animators try to keep it interesting, the episode greatly suffers due to this.

Eventually, Kirito warns Sinon that, if she lives alone, she might be the next target of the Laughing Coffin's murderous rampage. Minutes later, we see Sinon being attacked in the real world while hooked up to her nerve gear. The scene then cuts to Asuna and the rest of Kirito's friends, where more plot exposition is dumped onto the audience.

9 Bullet of a Phantom - 7.4

The first half of this episode attempts to build up the final villain of the arc by listing out a number of impressive feats. The creators do a decent job of building the suspense, but the sloppy delivery of this information takes away from what the writer was attempting to do.

Much of the episode is a direct and flat interaction between Kirito and Sinon, where they share what little information they have on the killer with each other. The two then devise a strategy to take down their opponents and the remainder of the episode focuses on this battle and its immediate fallout.

8 Ice Sniper - 7.5

The episode opens on Sinon, expertly sniping several targets before they can even realize they were being targeted. After this, the episode quickly switches to yet another mission with Sinon and her team. At first, the battle is going well and Sinon takes down quite a few enemies, but, after encountering a minigun wielder, she starts getting flustered.

She was right to worry because, soon after, the minigun user wiped her team out. Sinon did, however, have the final laugh, as she would snipe the minigun user from close range a few minutes later.

RELATED: Boruto: 5 Characters That Could Replace Naruto As Hokage (& 5 Who Can't)

7 GGO - 7.5

Even after the tragedy of Sword Art Online, many citizens of the world are still strangely interested in virtual MMORPGs, without Kirito remaining a major fan. As such, he logs into Gun Gale Online, the most popular virtual MMORPG at the time. When Kirito arrives in the virtual world, he is given an effeminate avatar, much to his and the audience's surprise. After this, Kirito wonders around the world before he encounters Sinon, who then serves as a guide for him, introducing him into this new and strange world.

6 Pursuer of Death - 7.6

After seeing the weapon of the enemy, Sinon begins to panic, envisioning flashbacks of the weapon that caused much harm to her family. This greatly hinders her skills and she is nearly killed but, fortunately for her, Kirito arrived just in time to save her.

As the two ride away from their target, Kirito encourages Sinon to snipe him down, but her unstable mental state causes her to falter. The remainder of the episode gives an explanation as to why Sinon seemed so apprehensive during the fight, before ending abruptly.

5 Gun and Sword - 7.7

To arrive in time to register for the 3rd Bullet of Bullets, Sinon and Kirito hop onto a buggy and traveled quickly. They managed to register in time and the two then mull over their individual strategies going into the tournament. Not knowing that Kirito was a male, Sinon strips in front of Kirito, much to her embarrassment when she later finds out his gender.

After this, Kirito has his first match and, after an underwhelming start, he quickly defeats his opponent, thereby advancing to the next round. Kirito is then confronted by a mysterious player who was once a part of the player killing guild, Laughing Coffin.

4 Showdown In The Wilderness - 7.7

Kirito's reunion with a member of Laughing Coffin brings about an anxiety attack, which is largely understandable due to the carnage that they caused in the previous games they played. Laughing Coffin is notorious for going around murdering other gamers. They have a complete disregard for human life and Kirito's encounter with this member sets up the conflict for this Phantom Blood Arc.

Subsequent to that, Sinon is transported to her match location and, after defeating her opponent, she and Kirito then face-off. Through superior skills, Kirito manages to defeat Sinon, who then asks him for tips on how to become stronger.

RELATED: The 10 Best Episodes Of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (According To IMDb)

3 Bullet of Bullets - 7.7

As the next tournament draws close, Kirito goes searching for information on the players in the tournament as he attempts to narrow down his search for Death Gun. Kirito then runs into Sinon and the two decide to share the information that they've gathered so far.

Though they have not found out much, their combined efforts did go someway in narrowing down the target. As the tournament continues, the matches get even more competitive. Kirito and Sinon decide to team up and this allows both to survive, and as they do, they get closer to the truth behind Death Gun's identity.

2 Phantom Bullet - 7.7

As Kirito struggles against Sterben, his body in the real world starts to feel the effect. He gradually becomes more and more dehydrated as the battle continues. This worries Asuna, who has no choice but to watch Kirito struggle while not being able to help. Back in Gun Gale Online, Sinon is feeling the same, having lost her sniper rifle.

As Kirito's struggle continues, Asuna decides to hold his hands (in the real world). Somehow, Kirito manages to feel the sensation of her touch while still playing the game, and this provides the inspiration he needs in order to mount a serious comeback. Kirito and Sinon end up joint winners of the tournament and the two exchange contact information after the match. Back in the real world, Sinon is attacked by the real Death Gun but Kirito manages to rush over in time to save her.

1 Death Gun - 8.0

Asuna and the rest of Kirito's friends eagerly watch on as he battles against the other players of Gun Gale Online. However, for a large period of the match, they are unable to pinpoint him. Halfway throughout the episode, Kirito's friends begin to worry as they quickly realize that the mysterious Death Gun is a former member of Laughing Coffin.

Kirito then attempts to pursue Death Gun by himself, but Sinon tags along despite Kirito's many warnings. After finally tracking down Death Gun, Sinon gets shot and becomes paralyzed. The episode then ends on this brilliant cliff hanger.

NEXT: Hunter x Hunter: Top 10 Nen Abilities, Ranked

Next 10 References & Parodies You Missed In Gintama

More in Lists