Kazuto Kirigaya, more commonly known by his in-game nickname Kirito, is the main protagonist of Reki Kawahara's light novel series Sword Art Online and its anime adaptations by the studio A-1 Pictures.
Kirito's broad appeal and the general popularity of SAO helped him garner a massive amount of followers among the anime community. His popularity is most evident in East Asian countries, especially China and Japan. An example of this is in the Japanese magazine Kono light novel ga sugoi, where he consistently appears among the top 10 characters every year.
Furthermore, in the East Asian-dominated International Saimoe League contest, he won the 2012 Male exhibition tournament, defeating Hideyoshi Kinoshita in the final. Kirito is also a massive favorite to win China's Bilibili Moe contest, reaching the quarter-finals in 2015. He would've won the 2017 edition if it weren't for a certain mobile game fanbase spoiling everyone's fun by controlling the results of the entire tournament.
However, Kirito is widely criticized in the Western anime community, citing among other reasons: "bland characterization",; "too OP", and "being a Gary Stu-type character". This certainly lends to the swordsman's historically poor performance in r/anime's Best Guy and Best Character contests.
- Wikipedia link
- Sword Art Online Fandom wiki page
- MyAnimeList character profile
- Moegirl link (Chinese)
|Male Major Champions|
|ISML ★||2011: Lelouch Lamperouge • 2012: Kirito • 2013: Houtarou Oreki • 2014: Hideyoshi Kinoshita • 2015: Accelerator • 2016: Sora • 2017: Koro-sensei • 2018: Hachiman Hikigaya • 2019: Rimuru Tempest • 2020: ???|
|AnimeBracket||Best Guy ★||BGuy1: Lelouch Lamperouge • BGuy2: Koyomi Araragi • BGuy3: Spike Spiegel • BGuy4: Koro-sensei • BGuy5: Shigeo Kageyama • BGuy6: Levi Ackerman • BGuy7|
|Best Char. ☆ ‡||BCh1: Roy Mustang • BCh4: Rintarou Okabe|
|Bilibili Moe †||Japan ★||2015: • Lelouch Lamperouge • 2016: Yato • 2017: Romani Archaman • 2018: Gilgamesh|
|China ★||2016: Dongfang Yuechu • 2017: Ye Xiu • 2018: Abe no Seimei (Onmyoji)|
|Korea Best Moe ☆ †||2007: Kyon • 2008: Lelouch Lamperouge • 2009: Mukuro Rokudo • 2010: Tsunayoshi Sawada • 2011: Kanglim (KR) • 2012: Masamune Takano • 2013: Okita Sougo|
|Legend: † Defunct, ‡ Hiatus / Unknown fate|