Kazuto Kirigaya, better by his in-game nickname Kirito, is the main protagonist of Reki Kawahara's light novel series Sword Art Online.
SAO's broad appeal 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 Takarajimasha's "Kono light novel ga sugoi!" ranking, where he has achieved first-place on multiple years, and consistently placing among the top three.
Furthermore, in the East Asian-dominated International Saimoe League contest, he won the 2012 Male exhibition tournament, defeating Hideyoshi Kinoshita in the final. Kirito was also one of the favorites to win China's Bilibili Moe contest, reaching the quarter-finals in 2015, and finishing runner-up in the 2017 edition.
On the other hand, Kirito has an infamously poor reputation in the Western anime communities, where prominent voices label him as a "Gary Stu" – a boring, generic character who gets his way when the plot says so. His bad rep is one of the contributing factors for SAO's notorious reputation, which is exploited to comedic effect in the anime's many parodies, most notably the YouTube series Sword Art Online Abridged. Kirito historically performs poorly in r/anime's Best Guy and Best Character contests, and has never advanced beyond the last 128 round in the tournament's entire history.
Tournament of Champions
Total Wins = 9 + 3 = 12
- ISML 2012 Male Exhibition
- Anitown Moe Tournament 2012 Summer/2012 ToC/2014 Summer/2017 Winter 
- Baidu Nova Moe 2017 Male Div 
- Pekin University Yuanhuo Moe S1 Male Div 
- Calendario Fabrio Torneo de Parejas 2019 (w/ Asuna) Image Link
- FB @Drawing Valdez Best Sword Character 2020 
- Facebook New Onii Chan Gran Torneo Shonen 2021 
- Go Toumemes Torneo de husbandos 2021 
- Baidu Chinese Moe 2022 (Male) 
- Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! : 1st (2012, 2013, 2018)
Beware of spoilers and pop-ups.
|International Saimoe League Champions|
|Fate Testarossa • Hinagiku Katsura • Mio Akiyama • Mikoto Misaka • Kanade Tachibana • Ruri Gokou • Kotori Itsuka • Eru Chitanda • Shana • Megumi Katou • Rem • Violet Evergarden • Yukino Yukinoshita • Elaina • 2022|
|Lelouch LamperougeEx • Kazuto KirigayaEx • Houtarou OrekiEx • Hideyoshi KinoshitaEx • Accelerator • Sora • Koro-sensei • Hachiman Hikigaya • Rimuru Tempest • Miyuki Shirogane • Sakuta Azusagawa • 2022|
|Ex - Exhibition tournament: Counted as official winners, but not recognized on the ISML website's main page|
|ISML Pendant Winners|
|First year of pendant win only. Crowns from 2015 are included.|
|2015||8man • Otonashi • Archer • Koyomi • Sora • Accelerator • Lelouch|
|2016||Koro-sensei • Kiritsugu|
|2017||Nagisa S. • Levi • Souma • Touma|
|2018||Okabe • Taki • Willem|
|2019||Slime • Riku • Sakuta • Kiyotaka • Tomoya • Yuuta|
|2020||Shirogane • Ishigami • Gilgamesh|
|2021||Sorata • Kirito|