Sword Art Online Vs No Game No Life Which Isekai King Is The MOST Popular | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/
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Sword Art Online Vs No Game No Life: Which Isekai King Is The MOST Popular?

The definition of Isekai according to Japan is “another world”, mental gymnastics aside.

Sword Art Online is an Isekai series adapted from a light novel, with its first iteration made in the mid-2000s.

The anime then went on to become one of the biggest Isekai to date, fathered the genre, with its light novel also a major top seller.

No Game No Life has had similar success.

The light novel is a top seller and the anime has done major numbers even with just one season to its name, and a movie or two that was made in the late 2010s.

It was also one of the big Isekai anime that breathed life and started the trend of Isekai in the 2010s, 2020s and beyond.


sao vs no game no life | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

Let’s answer that question with a range of:

  • Statistics.
  • Date ranges.
  • Trends.

And some hard data (as much as we can get independently).

Here’s the breakdown.

Data is taken from all countries worldwide and aggregated.


sao vs no game no life statistics since 2004 | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

As we can see when measuring since 2004 with Google Trends, both series unsurprisingly started picking up steam after 2010.

SAO is the first to pick up steam with the big jump, which is quite consistent before trickling down slightly in 2024.

No Game No Life’s graph is smaller (in red), but it has stayed reasonably consistent ever since its release in the 2010s alongside SAO.

Winner Sword Art Online.


2. SAO Vs No Game No Life graph from 2019 to 2024

sao vs no game no life stats google trends | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

When comparing the graph since 2019 to 2024 (the last 5 years), the winner is clear yet again.

Sword Art Online’s blue graph is noticeably larger, spikier, and this even stays consistent when looking at the tail end which is 2024.

No Game No Life’s graph is still impressive since the anime has only had 1 or two movies besides its first season, so it speaks to its fanbase and continuous popularity.

Winner: Sword Art Online.


3. SAO Vs No Game No Life 2023 to 2024 stats

sword art online vs no game no life past 12 months stats 2023 2024 | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

Sword Art Online’s graph is even larger than last time on the left (blue bar) when comparing the last 12 months.

SAO’s bar sees a gradual decline, but not a sharp decline and not one that has continued down completely. Since 2024 it’s remained stable compared to the last let’s say, 6 or 9 months.

No Game No Life’s red bar has remained stable also in the last 12 months, with no significant drops or bumps upwards.

Its done well to maintain itself.

Winner: Sword Art Online.


4. SAO Vs No Game No Life past 90 days stats 2024

sao vs no game no life stats past 90 days 2024 | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

Again – the closer you compare the dates between both franchises, the bigger the gap seems to be. Even in the last 90 days of 2024.

Sword Art Online has been up and down in a zig zag fashion, but it has remained stable otherwise when you look at the consistency of the graph,

No Game No Life has yet again remained stable, and also has some zig zags to it in the last 90 days but still consistent.

Winner: Sword Art Online.


5. Comparing Acronyms for both series (SAO Vs NGNL)

When you compare the acronym for both Sword Art Online (SAO) and No Game No Life (NGNL), the results are staggering.

Whether it’s:

  • Past 90 days.
  • Past 12 months.
  • Past 5 years.

Or measured since 2004, the gap between both acronyms and their popularity/trends graph is incompatible. Or put another way, the difference between fans who use SAO as an acronym vs NGNL for No Game No Life isn’t even in the same lane.

NGNL is of course known for No Game No Life, but by comparison, it’s like it’s non existent as the blue bar brutally shows.

Winner Sword Art Online.


6. Sales statistics comparison

Sword Art Online Vs No Game No Life Sales Statistics 2024 | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

To break it down:

  • Sword Art Online has sold over 30 million copies worldwide as of May 2024.
  • No Game No Life has sold over 6 million copies (last recorded in 2021/2022).

If we adjust the sales, No Game No Life probably made an extra 1 or 2 million by 2024, putting it theoretically at 8 million in sales.

Both series have done well, and No Game No Life even more so given that it only has 1 season, 1 or 2 movies, and much less content in comparison to SAO’s franchise.


7. Myanimelist ratings

No Game No Life has over 2.3 million members and a popularity of 17. Plus the ranking is #563 on MAL.

The anime released in 2014.

Sword Art Online by comparison has over 3 million members, a popularity of #5, and a ranking of #3499 on MAL as of the 15th of May 2024.

Overall, SAO is the most popular anime in this scenario with more members and a higher popularity by MAL’s standards. I suspect the ranking is higher for NGNL because of its higher review ratings which is over 8, with SAO at 7.21

SAO Wins from a statistical point of view


I googled both series and SAO has around 349 million results, while NGNL has 6 billion. Take that as you want since this stat is less about popularity and more about curiosity.


8. Which anime has better quality between SAO and NGNL?

sao and no game no life | https://animemotivation.com/sword-art-online-vs-no-game-no-life-popularity-statistics/

This is a debatable conversation that can’t be baked down to statistics. People have opinions, and no opinion is rooted in fact no matter how strongly a person may feel or how biased we may be.

That being said, generally speaking, people would choose No Game No Life over Sword Art Online as far as public opinion, but this is more of a Western view.

In Asia and many other countries outside the West, this opinion differs drastically (they love SAO in Japan as one example).

It’s put on a pedestal in Japan actually, which is wildly different to the USA and its anime fans’ views.

In the end, both SAO and No Game No Life are famous for a reason. In my view, they both played a role in setting up the Isekai trend we see today in the anime industry.

The tropes, the plots, the characters, the wiring, and so much more. No different to how individually, down to the characters like Kirito, have influenced Isekai more than fans may realize.

What do you think?


The REAL Definition Of Isekai That Fans Outside Japan Misunderstand



Acronym comparison

SAO VS NGNL stats comparison

SAO Sales

NGNL Sales