The highly successful Sword Art Online (SAO) franchise has been a staple on the better cartoon show for over six years now. Last year, fans were treated to the first half of the Project Alicization story arc. Today, Toonami and Aniplex have announced that the second half of SAO’s third season, titled War of Underworld, will premiere its dub beginning on Jan. 18 at midnight Eastern/Pacific to continue this much anticipated story arc.

Sword Art Online will be replacing One-Punch Man on the schedule as the latter will be completing its second season this upcoming Saturday.

War of Underworld will cover volumes 15-18 of the original light novels by Reki Kawahara. While Aniplex has announced that the second half of Sword Art Online Alicization will be 23 episodes long, there will be a 3-month off-season after the arc’s third cour (Ep. 36 or Ep. 12 of War of Underworld). The fourth cour will premiere in Japan and on streaming subbed in April. Assuming that Toonami and the dubbing crew at Bang Zoom! also follow this schedule, SAO will be taking a break at the end of March and is expected to resume in July.

Yen Press, the US distributor of the SAO light novels describes Volume 15, the start of the second half of Project Alicization as follows:

Administrator’s defeat has come at a heavy cost: The death of Eugeo as well as the mental decline of Kirito. Six months after the epic battle atop Central Cathedral, Kirito spends his days in the Underworld wheelchair-bound; bereft of emotion or even a will to live. Although Alice and Bercouli do what they can to help him, it isn’t long before the armies of the dark territory are start to move in earnest. The “Final Stress Test” has begun. But will Kirito be ready?

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