If you're looking for anime similar to Sword Art Online, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
Ten years before Shirou Emiya's and Saber's fateful meeting, Japan is the stage for the fourth Holy Grail War. Seven Masters, each with his own dreams, step forward to win the boon of the mystic relic. Into this fray comes Kiritsugu Emiya, the enigmatic "Mage Killer" who wants to use the Grail to make a better world. Can he, paired with the indomitable Saber win the War? Or will he fall to the ambitions of the other mages?
The story revolves around Raina Ryuuto, an apathetic student who always dozes off at the Roland Imperial Special Academy. One day, Raina and his classmates get caught in the war waged by the opposing Kingdom of Esutabūru, and he loses many friends. After the battle, Raina goes on a quest on behalf of the Roland Empire and Emperor Shion Asutaaru, even as the darkness that has enveloped the land has begun to consume the empire.
On the whole both take place with a 'medieval fantasy' setting. Plot-wise they remain difference, but there is a similar feel in a 'save the world' way.
Male and female lead who are both very capable (and the female being relatively terse characters).
Legend of Legendary Heroes focuses more on political intrigue.
The power to cross over dimensions is one that is deeply coveted -- a lesson that childhood friends Sakura and Syaoran learn the hard way when an unknown enemy attacks an archaeological dig in their country. As a result, Sakura's memories are scattered to different dimensions, causing her to fall into a deep sleep. In order to save Sakura's life, she and Syaoran must journey to various worlds in search of her memories, with the help of fellow travelers, Fai and Kurogane. But finding Sakura's memories won't be easy, and the price for traveling through time and space is high...
In a mythical kingdom, the mighty Imperial Knights harness a magical substance known as Aer to power their weapons and protect humanity from the monsters of the forest. But something strange is afoot. The Aer is somehow changing, causing the wilderness to waste away and stirring the woodland beasts to attack with greater frequency. As danger creeps steadily closer to civilization, two young recruits - Flynn, the rigid son of a fallen hero, and the rebellious and brash Yuri - must ride with their fellow Imperial Knights to distant ruins in hopes of uncovering the truth behind the transforming Aer. Some will not survive the thrilling journey. Some will be betrayed. If Flynn and Yuri cannot overcome their differences and learn to fight together, all will be lost for the people of the realm.
Death and reincarnation are inescapable, but what happens in between? Without warning and without his memories, a boy who only recalls his last name - Otonashi - wakes up next to a girl named Yuri who offers him a gun and tells him to shoot an angel. Assuming it must be a misunderstanding, Otonashi is then almost killed by the angel and is drawn into Yuri's army to battle to delay the beginning of his next life. Immortality is within reach, but if Otonashi remembers how he died, will he keep fighting or allow himself to vanish?
The fact that characters are stuck in a game-like world which has a specific set of rules made me think of Sword Art Online when watching Angel Beats!. While those two series are not exactly similar, I believe that this feel is enough to justify a recommendation.
Additionally I would like to add that both series sport a competent male lead (I'm not sure if this is the right word to describe them). Simply put if you liked the male lead in one series, you shouldn't be disappointed with the other series.