Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

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Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale
Sword Art Online The Movie - Ordinal Scale Visual.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Japanese 劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール-
Hepburn Gekijō-ban Sōdo Āto Onrain -Ōdinaru Sukēru-
Directed by Tomohiko Itō
Screenplay by
Based on Sword Art Online
by Reki Kawahara
Starring
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Cinematography Kentarō Waki
Edited by Shigeru Nishiyama
Production
company
Distributed by Aniplex
Release date
  • February 18, 2017 (2017-02-18)
Running time
119 minutes[1]
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office ¥4.3 billion[2] (US$38.2 million)[3]

Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (Japanese: 劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール-, Hepburn: Gekijō-ban Sōdo Āto Onrain -Ōdinaru Sukēru-) is a 2017 Japanese animated fantasy adventure film based on the Sword Art Online light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The film is produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Itō, featuring an original story by Kawahara, character designs by Shingo Adachi and music by Yuki Kajiura. It was released in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Germany on February 18, 2017, in Mexico on March 4, 2017, and in the United States on March 9, 2017.

Plot[edit]

In the year 2026, the Augma is released to the public as an alternative system to the AmuSphere, due to its function to simulate reality while the player is conscious rather than using FullDive. The most prominent combat-based game is Ordinal Scale, in which a player's abilities are ranked by ordinal numbers.

Asuna, Lisbeth and Silica encourage Kirito to play OS upon hearing that Aincrad bosses have appeared. Kirito joins Asuna and Klein in a boss fight where the game's mascot, AI idol singer Yuna, appears and gives players buff effects as she sings. Kirito fails to achieve anything due to lack of physical strength and quickness. Eiji, the number-two player, aides the group in defeating the boss. Before Asuna makes the killing blow, Eiji whispers the word "Switch," a game mechanic from SAO that she recognizes.

The next night, Asuna joins Klein and his group for another boss fight while waiting for their last group member, unaware that he was injured by Eiji the night before. Asuna proceeds to the fight which is again presided over by Yuna. Klein and his group are ambushed and defeated by the sudden appearance of another boss and Eiji. The following morning, as Kirito practices with OS in a park, a girl in a white hood appears and points off into the distance before disappearing. Kirito meets with Asuna, who theorizes that Eiji was a member of the Knights of the Blood Oath named Nautilus, while Yui deduces that the spawn locations of the Aincrad bosses line up with the SAO dungeon maps.

Asuna, Lisbeth and Silica enter another fight where Yuna and Eiji appear again. Asuna is hit by the boss and passes out upon saving Silica who was pushed into the boss' path by Eiji. Asuna realizes her memories of SAO are fading and at a hospital visit with Kirito, learn that the Augma scanned her brain for SAO memories and that it could also happen to other SAO survivors playing OS. Kirito investigates the issue with Sinon during a boss battle, where an SAO player is defeated and a glowing orb floats upward into an OS drone. Yui fails to retrieve it after being locked out by the game. Later, Kirito meets the hooded girl again who repeats her actions from before. Kirito and Yui discover she is pointing towards Touto Technical University.

Kirito goes to the school and meets Professor Tetsuhiro Shigemura who developed Augma, but Shigemura refuses to answer any questions. Before leaving, Kirito notices on Shigemura's desk a picture of a girl who resembles Yuna. Kirito discusses with Kikuoka Seijirou, who informs him that Shigemura's daughter, Yuna, died in SAO. Visiting Asuna's home, Kirito promises Asuna to get her memories back. Kirito encounters the hooded girl again, revealed to be Yuna. When she tells him his rank is too low, Kirito decides to level up, solo-killing as many bosses as he can with aid from Sinon and Leafa.

Days later, the OS players gather at a stadium for Yuna's concert. In the lower levels, Kirito duels with Eiji who claims he has a way to return Asuna's memories. Kirito wins but Eiji reveals that Shigemura has been harvesting memories of SAO players in an attempt to reconstruct his lost daughter's soul and download her as an AI; having all players in the concert would make removing memories easier. Eiji adds that the drones used for harvesting possess enough power to damage the players' brains, killing them like the NerveGear did in SAO.

As a horde of Aincrad bosses raid the arena, Kirito and Yuna join the battle. Yuna tells Kirito that the Augma has a hidden full-dive feature and he can use it to defeat SAO's 100th floor boss to end the battle. Before diving, Kirito gives Asuna an engagement ring. Entering the Ruby Palace of Floor 100, Kirito, Lisbeth, Silica, Agil, and Sinon confront the boss. They are easily defeated until Asuna, Leafa, Klein, and several others from ALO and GGO come to their aid. Yui restores their saved abilities from SAO, allowing everyone to defeat the boss. The voice of Akihiko Kayaba congratulates them on their victory and gives Kirito an extremely powerful sword as a reward.

The group returns to the arena still in full-dive where Kirito, now OS's top-ranked player, dispatches the bosses with his new sword as Kikuoka finds Shigemura in the server room of Argus (the defunct company that ran SAO) and arrests him. The hooded Yuna restores the survivors' memories and fades out of existence since she was coded from the Floor 100 boss. Afterwards, Kirito and Asuna fulfill their promise they made to each other in Aincrad, to watch a meteor shower together. Asuna returns Kirito's engagement ring so to properly put it on her hand, which he does.

In a post-credits scene, Kikuoka, who was impressed with Shigemura's attempt at AI and soul reconstruction, recruits Shigemura to Rath.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese[4] English[5]
Kirito / Kazuto Kirigaya Yoshitsugu Matsuoka Bryce Papenbrook
Asuna / Asuna Yuuki Haruka Tomatsu Cherami Leigh
Leafa / Suguha Kirigaya Ayana Taketatsu Cassandra Morris
Yui Kanae Itō Stephanie Sheh
Silica / Keiko Ayano Rina Hidaka Christine Marie Cabanos
Lisbeth / Rika Shinozaki Ayahi Takagaki Sarah Anne Williams
Sinon / Shino Asada Miyuki Sawashiro Michelle Ruff
Klein / Ryōtarō Tsuboi Hiroaki Hirata Kirk Thornton
Agil / Andrew Gilbert Mills Hiroki Yasumoto Patrick Seitz
Akihiko Kayaba Kōichi Yamadera Marc Diraison
Seijirō Kikuoka Toshiyuki Morikawa Matthew Mercer
Yuna / Yuna Shigemura Sayaka Kanda Ryan Bartley
Eiji / Eiji Nochizawa Yoshio Inoue Chris Patton
Dr. Tetsuhiro Shigemura Takeshi Kaga Jamieson Price

Production[edit]

At the Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival 2015 on October 4, 2015, it was announced that the light novel series would be adapted into an animated film, with the main staff returning from the anime series.[6][7] The film takes place after the anime series' second season, Sword Art Online II.[8] It was then revealed at the Dengeki Bunko Haru no Saiten 2016 event on March 13, 2016 that the film is titled Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale.[9] The voice cast from the anime series returned to reprise their roles in the film.[4][10][11]

The film's soundtrack is composed by Yuki Kajiura, who also composed the music for the anime series. The soundtrack features 50 tracks, including 5 insert songs performed by Sayaka Kanda. It was released by Aniplex on February 22, 2017.[12] LiSA performed the film's theme song, titled "Catch the Moment".[13] Sayaka Kanda performs five songs as Yuna: "Ubiquitous dB", "Longing", "Delete", "Break Beat Bark!" and "Smile For You".

Release[edit]

The film premiered in Japan, Southeast Asia and Germany on February 18, 2017. The Asian premieres were distributed by Aniplex and Odex, respectively.[14][15][16] There was a premiere event in the United States on March 1, 2017; Eleven Arts distributed and released the film in U.S. theaters on March 9, 2017.[17] Madman Entertainment also released the film at theaters in Australia and New Zealand on March 9, 2017.[18] Aniplex of America released the film at theaters in Canada between March 17 and March 19, 2017.[19] The English dub premiered at Anime Boston 2017, with a national release on April 22.[20][21] Anime Limited brought the film to cinemas in the United Kingdom and Ireland on April 19, 2017.[22][23] The film was set to play in about 1,000 theaters worldwide.[24]

A few days after the world premiere, a leak of the film was found online, tracing the source back to Malaysia and Singapore.[25][26]

The Blu-ray and DVD home video release volumes of Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale were released in Japan on September 27, 2017 and North America on December 19, 2017.[27] The Japanese home video release features a sequel novel titled Sword Art Online: Cordial Code written by Kawahara and illustrated by abec, set eight days after the events of Ordinal Scale.[28]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film on its opening weekend opened at No. 1 at the Japanese box office, debuting in 151 theaters across Japan and grossed a total of ¥425 million from 308,376 admissions.[29][30] As of October 1, 2017, the film has grossed a total of over ¥4.3 billion.[2] It grossed over US$1.35 million in its first weekend in North America.[31] During its first day in Italy, the film beat out both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Wonder Woman at the box office.[32] It has grossed CN¥43 million in China.[33]

Critical response[edit]

Alex Osborn of IGN posted a score of 7.5/10 and stated: "It's not a visual stunner, but Ordinal Scale serves up a solid original story that will help tide over those who are hungry for more SAO while they wait for a third season". A review coming from Cine Premier's Julio Vélez who scored it a 4/5 and stated: "The second act falls a little in action by focusing more on defining the motives of the antagonists, but everything recovers in an exciting and prolonged climax".[34][35] In a review featured on the anime streaming website Crunchyroll, Isaac Akers states "SAO being SAO, this was never going to be a perfectly crafted movie—but it captures so many of the charms of the franchise whilst also avoiding nearly all of its most aggravating faults."[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン ―オーディナル・スケール― (2017). allcinema (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Film Earns 4.3 Billion Yen Worldwide". Anime News Network. October 1, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 29, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale English Dub Screenings Begin April 22 in U.S." Anime News Network. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Sword Art Online Anime Film Project Revealed". Anime News Network. October 4, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  7. ^ Chapman, Paul (October 4, 2015). "VIDEO: "Sword Art Online" Movie Announced with Teaser Trailer". Crunchyroll. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Sword Art Online Film Takes Place After Mother's Rosario Arc". Anime News Network. October 31, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale Film to Open in 2017 (Updated)". Anime News Network. March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Aniplex USA Streams Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale's English Trailer". Anime News Network. March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ Green, Scott (March 13, 2016). "English "Sword Art Online The Movie -Ordinal Scale-" Trailer Presented". Crunchyroll. Retrieved March 27, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Sword Art Online the Movie's 3rd Teaser Introduces Cast, Previews LiSA's Theme Song". Anime News Network. December 24, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  13. ^ "LiSA Performs Theme Song For Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale Film". Anime News Network. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Sword Art Online Movie's New Trailer Reveals Spring 2017 Opening". Anime News Network. July 3, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Sword Art Online Movie's February 18 Date Confirmed in Japan". Anime News Network. October 2, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale Opens in Southeast Asia on February 18". Anime News Network. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale Film Opens in U.S. on March 9". Anime News Network. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  18. ^ Browne, Tessa (December 20, 2016). "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Australian premiere set for Madman Anime Festival Perth in March!". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Film's Canadian Screenings Begin on March 17". Anime News Network. February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Aniplex of America Presents: SAO The Movie -Ordinal Scale- Eng Dub Premiere!". Anime Boston. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Aniplex USA". Facebook. March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Newswire #98 - 19th Jan 2017 - All the Anime". Anime Limited. January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Anime Limited and Funimation Updates". Anime News Network. February 19, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Sword Art Online Film to Play in About 1,000 Theaters Worldwide". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2017. 
  25. ^ "ODEX Copyright Notice". Odex. February 23, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Odex Receives 'Notice From Japan' About Sword Art Online Film Leaks in Singapore, Malaysia". Anime News Network. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  27. ^ Green, Scott (August 12, 2017). "Aniplex Of America Outlines Plans For "Anohana," "Monogatari" And "Sword Art Online" Blu-rays". Crunchyroll. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  28. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (August 4, 2017). ""Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale" DVD/Blu-ray Comes with Sequel Novel". Crunchyroll. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Film Tops Japanese Weekend Box Office". Anime News Network. February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Film Sells 308,376 Tickets for 426 Million Yen at #1". Anime News Network. February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Sword Art Online Film Earns Over US$1.35 Million After 1st N. American Weekend". Anime News Network. March 18, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  32. ^ ""Sword Art Online - Ordinal Scale" Beats "Pirates of the the Caribbean" In Italian Box Office". Crunchyroll. June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  33. ^ "刀剑神域:序列之争(2017)". Cbooo (in Chinese). Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale" (in Spanish). Cine Premiere. Retrieved December 26, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  36. ^ "FEATURE: "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale" Review". Crunchyroll. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]