Sword Art Online The Movie -Ordinal Scale- Grosses $1.35 Million in Its First Four Days of North American Release

Aniplex of America has announced that Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale- has grossed $1.35 million during the first four days of its North American run. The film set an opening weekend record for an Aniplex of America theatrical release, and has played in 560 theaters nationwide.

“I am honored that so many SAO fans came out and supported the film,” said Hideki Goto, President of Aniplex of America. “Ordinal Scale has become a smash hit worldwide and has garnered some wonderful reviews from critics. We hope that our dub release next month will bring the same excitement and lead to more people being able to enjoy this wonderful film.”

Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale- will return on April 22, 2017 for a limited theatrical engagement featuring the dub. Tickets for this screening are available via the official website (www.sao-movie.net/us).

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale English Dub Screenings Begin in the United States on April 22, 2017

Aniplex of America has opened ticket sales for English-dubbed screenings of the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale anime film. The dub will screen in U.S. theaters on April 22, 2017; however, some theaters are listed with screenings on April 23, 2017. Azoland Pictures is distributing the film.

The dub will premiere at the Anime Boston convention, which will be held from March 31-April 2, 2017.

The English cast for the film includes:

  • Bryce Papenbrook is Kirito / Kazuto Kirigaya
  • Cherami Leigh is Asuna / Asuna Yuuki
  • Stephanie Sheh is Yui
  • Cassandra Lee Morris is Leafa / Suguha Kirigaya
  • Christine Marie Cabanos is Silica / Keiko Ayano
  • Sarah Anne Williams is Lisbeth / Rika Shinozaki
  • Michelle Ruff is Sinon / Shino Asada
  • Kirk Thornton is Klein
  • Patrick Seitz is Agil
  • Matthew Mercer is Seijirou Kikuoka
  • Marc Diraison is Akihiko Kayaba
  • Ryan Bartley is Yuna / Yuuna Shigemura
  • Chris Patton is Eiji / Eiji Nochizawa
  • Taylor Henry is Tetsuhiro Shigemura

Aniplex of America hosted a premiere event with English subtitles in Hollywood, California on March 1, 2017, and followed it with a one-night wide release in the United States on March 9, 2017. The film will screen in Canada on March 17-19, 2017.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale opened in Japan on February 18, 2017, and sold about 308,376 tickets for 425,762,760 yen (about US$3.76 milion) in its opening weekend.

Source: ANN

Aniplex of America to Host Sword Art Online Festival at Anime Expo 2016

Aniplex of America is announcing that they will be hosting the Sword Art Online Festival at this year’s Anime Expo to celebrate the worldwide release of Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale- in 2017. This exclusive event will be on July 2nd, 2016, (Day 2 of the convention) in Petree Hall (Live Programming 1) and features 11 members of the English dub cast from the series including: Bryce Papenbrook (Kirito), Cherami Leigh (Asuna), Cassandra Lee Morris (Leafa), Stephanie Sheh (Yui), Michelle Ruff (Sinon), Ben Diskin (Death Gun), Christine Cabanos (Silica), Sarah Williams (Lisbeth), Patrick Seitz (Agil), Kirk Thornton (Klein) and Erica Mendez (Yuuki) along with Alex Von David (ADR Script Writer/Director) as the MC. Aniplex of America has also confirmed that they will be welcoming some secret guests who will only be revealed at the event.

The Sword Art Online Festival will feature a wide variety of live entertainment by the cast members, such as live line readings, games, and bloopers. Fans who attend the event will also receive an exclusive giveaway item while supplies last. Details of the giveaway item will be announced at a later date.

“We are excited to bring the Sword Art Online Festival to the fans at this year’s Anime Expo,” says Hideki Goto, President of Aniplex of America. “Every year, our English cast panels are extremely well received by the attendees so we really wanted to wow them this year with a super-charged version of the panel.”

Aniplex of America also plans to make a special announcement regarding Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale- at this event.

Anime Film Review: Sword Art Online: Extra Edition

Sword Art Online: Extra Edition is a television anime film for the Sword Art Online franchise that aired on Japanese television on December 31, 2013. Aniplex of America holds the North American distribution license for the film.

Out of the 100 minute runtime for Sword Art Online: Extra Edition, roughly 80 minutes of it is devoted to reused footage from the first season of the series that make up the flashbacks that various characters have. Kirito is talking to an investigator that is looking into what happened while he was in both the Sword Art Online and Alfheim Online games. The female characters, meanwhile, are teaching Suguha how to swim and they share their memories of meeting Kirito in Sword Art Online. The only new animation to appear in the first 80 minutes is the footage that was created to bridge the flashbacks.

To me, the first 80 minutes of the film were rather boring, and the newly animated footage did nothing to help make up for the fact that most of that time is made up of footage previously seen in the anime series. When it comes to the scenes with the girls at the pool, it felt like they were there more for “fanservice” than anything else.

The final 20 minutes of the movie actually have a story to them, although it’s not enough to make up for the previous 80 minutes. It’s during these last 20 minutes that we learn why the girls were trying to teach Suguha how to swim: they, along with some of their friends, are going to an underwater dungeon to undertake a quest in the hopes that Yui can see a whale.

While these last 20 minutes had some kind of a story, roughly the first half of it was simply Kirito, Asuna, and the others lounging around a beach in Alfheim Online. The quest itself only lasts for about 10 minutes, and feels rushed. For me, it wasn’t a satisfying way to end the movie after I had spent 80 minutes being bored by it.

After watching Sword Art Online: Extra Edition, I came to the conclusion that it really isn’t necessary for someone to watch this in order to understand Sword Art Online II. It’s not something that viewers of Sword Art Online have to watch, and it’s something I would only recommend to viewers who absolutely must watch everything that’s been released for the Sword Art Online anime. Outside of those die-hard fans, it’s not a film I can truly recommend to anyone as a “must see.”

Sword Art Online Film to Take Place After Mother’s Rosario Arc

The December 2015 issue of Kadokawa’s Dengeki G’s Comic magazine has revealed that the Sword Art Online anime film’s all-new original story will take place after the Mother’s Rosario arc, which was the final arc depicted in the TV anime’s second season.

The Mother’s Rosario arc in Reki Kawahara’s original light novel series covers volume 7 of the series. The second half of the anime’s second season also covered the Calibur arc, which took place in volume 8 of the light novel series, but aired in the second season before the Mother’s Rosario arc.

Kawahara is writing a new story for the film. Tomohiko Ito is returning from the two TV anime series and the anime special to direct the film at A-1 Pictures. Shingo Adachi is also returning from the TV anime to design the characters.

Source: ANN

Sword Art Online Anime Film Project Announced

A stage event at the Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival 2015 event has revealed that Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online light novel series is inspiring a new anime film.

The film project will be a completely new anime work, and Tomohiko Ito is returning from the two TV anime series and the anime special to direct the film at A-1 Pictures. Shingo Adachi is also returning from the TV anime to design the characters. Kawahara is writing a new story for the film.

Kadokawa will reveal more information about the film in the next issue of Dengeki Bunko Magazine on October 10, 2015.

Source: ANN

Anime Review: Sword Art Online II

Introduction

Sword Art Online II is an anime based on a light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The anime is produced by A-1 Pictures, and is directed by Tomohiko Ito. The series aired on Japanese television from July 5-December 20, 2014.

As of this writing, Aniplex of America holds the North American license for Sword Art Online II.

About Sword Art Online II

Kirito has returned to the real world to resume a normal life with his friends, but he’s called upon to help out in a virtual reality game known as Gun Gale Online when a string of deaths begin occurring in connection with it. Kirito meets a player known as Sinon, and the two of them end up going up against “Death Gun,” the player behind the mysterious deaths. What the two of them discover is both shocking and terrifying.

Shino Asada, who goes by Sinon in Gun Gale Online, has issues to deal with, due to shooting and killing someone as a child when she and her mother had been at the post office at the time a criminal was holding it up for money. Since then, she suffers from PTSD and becomes violently ill whenever she sees a gun. Shino’s friend Kyoji Shinkawa was the one who convinced her to get involved with the game as a kind of immersion therapy.

After this storyline is resolved, Sword Art Online II sees Kirito and some of his friends learning about a legendary item being discovered in Alfheim Online, and they go on a quest to try to get it. But as they go on their quest, they discover there’s more at stake than just locating the item; there is the potential for the world of Alfheim Online to be destroyed.

The final story arc in the series sees Asuna’s mother trying to force her leave the school she’s attending with Kirito, study under a tutor, and apply to an oriented high school. Asuna, of course, wants nothing to do with this, but her mother doesn’t seem to want to listen. Meanwhile, Asuna hears about a mysterious player in Alfheim Online who is taking on challengers. Asuna takes on this player, who turns out to be a girl named Yuuki. Even though Asuna doesn’t defeat Yuuki, the other girl is so impressed by Asuna’s skills that she asks Asuna to join her guild, the Sleeping Knights. This guild wants to defeat the Next Floor Boss with just one party to etch their names on the Monument of Swordsmen before disbanding their guild. Asuna works with them, and with some help from Kirito, they are able to achieve their goal. But Asuna discovers there’s more to Yuuki and the other members of the guild than she realized.

My Impressions of Sword Art Online II

Admittedly, the second and third episodes of Sword Art Online II can feel a little on the slow side, since they focus on the new game and on new character Sion. However, these episodes are needed to establish both Gun Gale Online and Sion’s character. Without getting the backstory for Sion that early on, it would be harder for the audience to understand why she acts the way she does. But once you make it past Episode Three, the remainder of the arc is interesting to watch. Episodes 13 and 14 are very dramatic and full of tension, especially with the revelation of who “Death Gun” is and the aftermath of learning this individual’s identity. I have to admit that I nearly cried at the end of Episode 14.

There is an Episode 14.5 that is titled “Debriefing.” It’s a recap episode that shows events that happened over the course of the first 14 episodes, and it’s narrated by Sion. Unfortunately, the way the recap was done it became rather jumpy as it went along. And to be honest, I didn’t understand the point of this clip show episode, because the audience had just made it through the previous 14 episodes. In addition, this recap really had nothing to do with leading into the next story arc.

The next arc in Sword Art Online II was rather short, and it was more on the lighthearted side than the Gun Gale Online story had been. While the potential for the destruction of an entire virtual world is a very serious thing, the story was told in such a way that the tone of these episodes didn’t have the same kind of tension that the first arc had. After watching Sword Art Online II, I’m glad this more lighthearted story was here to bridge the other two story arcs.

The final arc of Sword Art Online II is very deceptive at first. Even though Asuna is having her issues with her mother and starting to question her abilities as a gamer, what we see happening in-game seems to be rather normal. But after Asuna becomes involved with the Sleeping Knights and learns the truth about Yuuki and the other members, this storyline quickly becomes very serious and very emotional. I learned the hard way that when you watch Sword Art Online II, you don’t want to see the last three episodes all in one sitting due to how serious and how emotional they are. Seeing all three of them in one night ended up being an emotionally draining experience and I was crying at the end of Episode 24. These three episodes are good episodes, but it’s just a little much to watch all of them in one shot.

I have to give some serious props to the author of the light novels that served as the source material for Sword Art Online II, due to the inclusion of such elements as PTSD and having a character battling a serious and terminal disease. Characters’ emotional and physical states, along with the idea of immersion therapy with the virtual games, were definitely a running theme in this series.

Conclusion

Sword Art Online II is a very worthy addition to the Sword Art Online anime. Even though the series can be a little slow to get going right at first, I believe that it has the potential to appeal to viewers who watched and enjoyed the first Sword Art Online series.