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Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (a J!-ENT Anime Film Review)

March 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I found the storyline of “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” to be extremely satisfying and as a person who has watched the series and loved nearly every episode, I really enjoyed seeing the progression of Kirito and Asuna’s relationship and how that relationship plays a big part in the film’s storyline. I really do feel that fans will enjoy this SAO film! A wonderful and engrossing storyline filled with action and drama, “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of  2017 © REKI KAWAHARA/PUBLISHED BY KADOKAWA CORPORATION ASCII MEDIA WORKS/SAO MOVIE Project. © RK/KC AMW/SM


Originally created by Reki Kawahara

Original Character Design by abec

Directed by Tomohiko Ito

Scenario by Reki Kawahara, Tomohiko Ito

Music by Yuki Kajiura

Character Design: Shingo Adachi

Art Director: Takayuki Nagashima

Chief Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Sound Director: Yoshikazu Iwanami

CGI Director: Ryuta Undo

Director of Photography: Kentaro Waki

Anime Production by A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Haruka Tomatsu as Asuna Yūki

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kazuto Kirigaya/Kirito

Ayahi Takagaki as Rika Shinozaki/Lizbeth

Ayana Taketatsu as Suguha Kirigaya/Leafa

Hiroaki Hirata as Klein

Hiroki Yasumoto as Andrew Gilbert Mills/Agil

Kanae Itō as Yui

Miyuki Sawashiro as Shino Asada/Sinon

Rina Hidaka as Keiko Ayano/Silica

Sayaka Kanda as Yuna

Takeshi Kaga as Professor Shigemura

Yoshio Inoue as Eiji

Kouichi Yamadera as Akihiko Kayaba


2022 – The NerveGear, the world’s first dedicated full-dive device developed by the genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba. It was a revolutionary machine that opened up infinite possibilities for the world of VR (Virtual Reality.) 4 years later…. A next-generation, wearable multi-device called the Augma has been released to compete with the NerveGear’s successor – the Amusphere. A cutting-edge machine boasting the ability to enhance AR (Augmented Reality) to the maximum, the Augma offers a safe, user-friendly experience, as it can be used while the player is awake, making it an instant hit. Its killer title is an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma, “Ordinal Scale (a.k.a. OS).” Kirito is about to join Asuna and the others as an Ordinal Scale player, but…


The year 2026.

Two years after the “Sword Art Online” fiasco perpetrated by SAO creator Akihiko Kayaba which left many gamers injured or dead, a new technology is to be released.  A technology that is thought to be safe and nothing like the Nerve Gear that was used in “Sword Art Online”.

Now people can use the Augma, the successor to the Amusphere full-dive system which allows a player to play a game that simulates reality while the player is conscious (via augmented reality).

And one of the popular games created for the Augma is “Ordinal Scale”.  A game which has quickly gain popularity that Asuna, Lisbeth and Silica are playing it, but surprisingly Kirito hasn’t jumped aboard to play the game just yet until now.

As people get into the game, part of the main appeal to “Ordinal Scale” is the game’s mascot, an AI idol singer named Yuna who appears during the game to increase the stats of players.

While everyone is playing, the #2 ranked player Eiji helps the Kirito, Asuna and team defeat the level boss but Eiji uses the words “switch”, a term that was used in SAO to Asuna.

Meanwhile, Asuna tells Kirito that Eiji is most likely a member of the Knights of the Blood Oath named Nautilus, Yui tells them that the appearance of Aincrad bosses in “Ordinal Scale” are similar to the line up with the SAO dungeon maps.

As Asuna goes to play the game with her friends again, immediately Yuna and Eiji appear and Eiji pushes Asuna towards the level boss.

When Asuna is hit, she passes out and suddenly, Asuna starts to realize that her memories from SAO are starting to disappear. Concerned, Kirito takes Asuna to the hospital to get checked out and it is learned that the Augma device has scanned her brain for SAO memories, and it may have happened to other SAO players that are playing “Ordinal Scale”.

With Asuna’s memory loss of SAO, that means her memories of her friends, but most importantly her memories of Kirito will disappear.

A desperate Kirito tries to search for answers and promises that he will do whatever he can to get Asuna’s memories back.  But what will his search unveil?

What is “Sword Art Online” about:

In 2002, writer Reki Kawahara wrote a novel series titled “Sword Art Online” under the name Fumio Kunori.

While Kawahara would receive critical acclaim for his novel “Accel World” in 2009, which earned Kawahara an ASCII Media Works’ 15th Dengeki Novel Prize and also winning the Grand Prize in 2008, the popularity of his “Accel World” storyline would lead to “Sword Art Online” being republished and also featuring the art work of illustrator, abec.

This time using his real name on ASCII Media Works’ Dengeku Bunko label from April 10, 2009 and a spin-off series in 2012.  The series has since spawned a total of ten manga adaptations, two anime series, one TV film, five video games and now an animated film.

The original “Sword Art Online” series is set in 2022 and many are playing the Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), “Sword Art Online” (SAO for short).

The game comes with a virtual reality helmet known as a Nerve Gear which uses the five senses of the brain and so players can control their characters with their mind.

The anime series focuses on protagonist, Kirito, one of the 1,000 beta testers of the Closed Beta version of SAO.  On November 6th, the game is released to the public and Kirito is enjoying the game and meets Klein, who has experience playing RPG’s but learns from Kirito about the basics of the game.

While the two are talking, suddenly they are transported to the main courtyard and are unable to log out.  They are told by the creator of SAO, Akihiko Kayaba, that all of the people playing are stuck in the game.  If anyone takes of the virtual reality helmet of a player, they will die.

As for those playing the game, if they want to be free of the game, they must reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss.  But if their avatars (their game character) dies in the game, their bodies will also die in the real world.  Also,  people in the real world who were stuck in the game have died by someone removing their Nerve Gear.

In the first series, Kirito and Asuna have become an online couple and while Kirito was able to succeed and free everyone by defeating the final boss of “Sword Art Online”, he has been utilized by law enforcement to assist in troubles that have affected users (as seen in “Sword Art Online II”).

In reality, Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito) and Asuna Yuuki (Asuna) have continued their relationship outside of the game.  Asuna dreams of marrying Kazuto and having a family with him in the future.

And with the 2017 animated film “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”, with Asuna’s memories of SAO fading, the dreams of her and Kirito being together may now be in jeopardy.


If there is one thing that “Sword Art Online” has proved over the years, that Reki Kawahara’s light novels and the anime adaptation inspired from it, are popular among many fans worldwide.

I had no doubt in my mind that “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” would do well as a theatrical release, not just in Japan but other countries worldwide, especially the United States.

Considering the film is not a Studio Ghibli film or an animated film with no Disney or Hollywood movie studio connect, “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” grossed $1.35 million in the first four days of its North American run.

In fact, the film set an opening weekend record for an Aniplex of America theatrical release and has played in 560 theaters nationwide.

And that is for a film that debuted in American theaters with Japanese voice acting and English subtitles.  And for those who dislike reading during their films, Aniplex of America will be releasing the film with an English dub soundtrack in April 2017 for a limited theatrical engagement.

Watching “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”, it has everything that fans have loved in the series.  A lot of action, a lot of humor but also emotional drama as viewers have watched and seen the relationship between Kazuto (Kirito) and Asuna evolve and in this film, you really see how far their love for each other has blossomed.  And so, this film has become a fight for love and Kazuto doing all that is necessary to make sure that the young woman he loves is saved from losing her memories due to a new threat.

Fans will also love seeing characters from the past making their appearance in the video game but one will no doubt be anticipating the next SOA storyline as the ending teaser (after all the credits are done) shows us another menacing threat that will surely surprise fans of the series.

Animation is fantastic as A-1 Pictures did a wonderful job with capturing emotion in the faces of the characters but also within action sequences.  Voice acting is wonderful in its original Japanese soundtrack and English subtitles were easy to read.  And having watched the original series in both Japanese and English, I’m expecting the English dub to be equally fantastic when the English version of the film is released in US theaters this April.

If there was anything that I didn’t get into all that much in regards to “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” is the overuse of AI idol singer Yuna.  Music plays a big part in the film and where idol singers through battle is something we are accustomed to seeing in “Macross” anime series or film, it was not something I expected all that much in “Sword Art Online” and felt it was done a little bit too much for my tastes but at the same time, I’m sure it benefits Aniplex for music soundtrack sales and I’m sure fans who loved the music in the film will no doubt be seeking to purchase the soundtrack.

But I also hope that Aniplex, a company known for giving fans a lot of swag with their limited edition releases, will include the film’s soundtrack with the Blu-ray release of “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”.

I absolutely enjoyed “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” but I do recommend people who know nothing about the series to at least watch the SAO series before jumping into the film.

Overall, I found the storyline of “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” to be extremely satisfying and as a person who has watched the series and loved nearly every episode, I really enjoyed seeing the progression of Kirito and Asuna’s relationship and how that relationship plays a big part in the film’s storyline.  I really do feel that fans will enjoy this SAO film!

A wonderful and engrossing storyline filled with action and drama, “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale” is highly recommended!

“SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE” BASED ON SWORD ART ONLINE WHAT THE FANS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR – NOW SET TO LAUNCH AS A LIVE-ACTION SERIES IN HOLLYWOOD, U.S.A.!

August 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, based on the smash hit light novel series published by KADOKAWA’s Dengeki Bunko boasting worldwide sales of 19 million copies, is set for its global premiere in spring 2017.

In partnership with the KADOKAWA CORPORATION, Skydance Media, a U.S.-based diversified media company, has acquired the worldwide live-action rights for Sword Art Online.

Having already spawned a comic book series, two TV anime adaptations, and video games, and with its first theatrical film, Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, set for worldwide release in spring 2017, this marks Sword Art Online’s first foray into live-action television. It will be developed as a TV series based on the storyline of the original series.

With screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island, Terminator Genisys) on board to pen the pilot episode, all bases seem to be covered for the live-action launch. In addition to the TV series, Skydance Media is planning a Sword Art Online virtual reality experience through Skydance Interactive.

Original author Reki Kawahara, live-action screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis, and Skydance Media CEO David Ellison have all commented on the launch of the live action adaptation.

Please look forward to the launch of the live-action Sword Art Online series, following the movie, Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, set for its global premiere in spring 2017.

Reki Kawahara’s comments:

I am excited and moved that ‘Sword Art Online’ will be adapted into a live action series by the highly respected Skydance Media. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to everyone involved in this project, and to the fans all over the world who have so generously and enthusiastically supported SAO.

Laeta Kalogridis’s comments:

For years I have been inspired by the inventive and masterful storytelling of the SAO franchise. I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to work with such talented partners to bring this cutting-edge yet timeless story to a new format at Skydance..

David Ellison’s comments:

At Skydance we are in the business of world-building and SAO is a massive pop-culture phenomenon from which we plan to launch a full-scale and wide-ranging set of live action franchise extensions across our business verticals, beginning with television.

We look forward to working alongside Laeta, Reki Kawahara, and the teams at KADOKAWA and Aniplex to build out a deeply immersive new universe of SAO in an authentic way that honors its well-established fan base around the globe.

About Skydance Media

Skydance Media is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to produce entertainment that will take the world by storm. Through deft use of various platforms including feature film, television, and interactive media, Skydance excels at injecting stories with a sense of reality.

Skydance has been involved with the following: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Terminator Genisys, World War Z, Jack Reacher, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Star Trek Into Darkness, and True Grit. Its 2015 releases, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Terminator Genisys, together grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

Skydance acquired leading game developer The Workshop Entertainment in 2016, and established a new virtual reality experience division, Skydance Interactive.

About Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

A film based on an all-new, original story by original author Reki Kawahara!

<Story>

2022 – The NerveGear, the world’s first dedicated full-dive device developed by the genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba. It was a revolutionary machine that opened up infinite possibilities for the world of VR (Virtual Reality.) 4 years later…. A next-generation, wearable multi-device called the Augma has been released to compete with the NerveGear’s successor – the Amusphere. A cutting-edge machine boasting the ability to enhance AR (Augmented Reality) to the maximum, the Augma offers a safe, user-friendly experience, as it can be used while the player is awake, making it an instant hit. Its killer title is an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma, “Ordinal Scale (a.k.a. OS).” Kirito is about to join Asuna and the others as an Ordinal Scale player, but…

[STAFF]

Original Story: Reki Kawahara (Dengeki Bunko / ASCII MEDIA WORKS)

Director: Tomohiko Ito

Character Design Concept: abec

Character Design&Chief Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Music: Yuki Kajiura

Animation Production: A-1 Pictures

Distributed by Aniplex Inc.

Produced by SAO MOVIE Project

[CAST]

Kirito (Kazuto Kirigaya): Yoshitsugu Matsuoka

Asuna (Asuna Yuuki): Haruka Tomatsu

Yui: Kanae Ito

Sinon (Shino Asada): Miyuki Sawashiro

Lisbeth (Rika Shinozaki): Ayahi Takagaki

Silica (Keiko Ayano): Rina Hidaka

Klein (Ryotaro Tsuboi): Hiroaki Hirata

Leafa (Suguha Kirigaya): Ayana Taketatsu

Agil (Andrew Gilbert Mills): Hiroki Yasumoto

Akihiko Kayaba: Koichi Yamadera

[Nationwide bonus giveaway (Part 1) with advance ticket purchase]

On sale starting on July 16 (Saturday)! / Price: 1,500 yen (tax included) / Bonus: 2nd key visual B2-size poster

☆Walk-up ticket price: 1,800 yen (general admission)

☆Giveaways are limited in quantity. Only while supplies last.

☆Bonus giveaway (Part 2) will also go on sale nationwide.

SAO Concert by Yuki Kajiura in Hollywood!

“Yuki Kajiura LIVE ~ featuring SWORD ART ONLINE ~”, originally held on March 21, 2016 at the Tokyo International Forum, will be presented at one of Hollywood’s leading venues, The Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland on January 14, 2017! Ms. Kajiura will be making her North American debut as a solo artist. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for SAO fans in North America to experience Ms. Kajiura’s worldview in person, so please look forward to it.

Event name: Yuki Kajiura Live in Hollywood Featuring Sword Art Online

Date: January 14, 2017

Venue: Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland

Now on sale to great acclaim! For more information, please follow the link below.

http://www.sao-movie.net/us/yukikajiura

About the anime series Sword Art Online

Based on author Reki Kawahara’s light novel (winner of the 15th Dengeki Novel Award Grand Prize). It tells the tale of protagonist, Kirito’s heroics inside the mysterious next-gen VRMMORPG called Sword Art Online.

Since the first volume of the novel was published in April 2009, the series has been extremely popular, with cumulative sales exceeding 12.5 million units in Japan (19 million worldwide). The series has been adapted into two animated series, in addition to several games, comics and merchandise, boasting a wide-ranging mixed-media lineup. In Spring 2017, a brand new original story written by Reki Kawahara, is set for a theatrical release. SAO fans around the world are anxiously anticipating its release.

Please attach the following credits when publishing this press release.

Title: Sword Art Online The Movie – Ordinal Scale –

Coming to Theaters: Spring, 2017 Nationwide First-run Release

Distributed by Aniplex Inc.

Copyright: ©2016 Reki Kawahara/KADOKAWA ASCII Media Works/SAO MOVIE Project

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