Kirigaya Kazuto is Sword Art Online’s main character. His hair and eyes are black and his clothing in online games is also almost always black. From an early age he’s been taken in by computers and the world of massive online role-playing games. He’s one of the beta-testers for the first of its kind online game with a completely palpable virtual reality - Sword Art Online. His in- game alias is “Kirito” and it wasn’t chosen by chance. It combines the first two syllables of his surname (“Kiri”) and the last syllable of his name (“to”). When he first begins playing at the official start he does it with the desire to enjoy the game but that’s what does him in. The players can’t log out. The only way they can escape back to the real world is by clearing the game. But the worst news is that in-game death means death in real life as well. Along with all the other players Kirito is shocked upon realizing what he’s actually gotten himself into. Furthermore, he’s accused of fraud because he knows more about the game since he was a beta-tester. Hence where his nickname “beater” (a combination of “beta-tester ” and “cheater”) comes from . He’s also commonly called “Black Swordsman” because of his black clothes and the big sword he carries on his back.
Right at the start of the game his whole guild is killed in front of his own two eyes. This permanently traumatizes him and leaves a guilt that haunts him long afterwards. Later in the game he avoids guilds altogether and becomes a solo player because he doesn’t want to cause more deaths. In no case would he leave a fellow player to die. Nevertheless, he’s forced to kill three red players (players who kill other players). The great trauma from his actions is later depicted in the anime’s second season.
In Kirigaya Kazuto the author places a big dose of gallantry which is the cause of Kirito being loved by many girls, who also sympathize with him. One of them is Yuki Asuna (in-game only “Asuna”) which even becomes something more. Our protagonist takes on the noble role of the hero who has to fight off monsters in order to complete the next impossible task and save the damsel in distress.