Finally, the anime movie Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale- comes out this month in Japan! On January 30, 2017, MANGA.TOKYO went to the premiere at the Tokyo movie theatre Shinjuku Wald 9. Just before the movie screening, there was an on-stage greeting by Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito) and SAO director Tomohiko Itoh.
Hello, everybody! This is your favorite MANGA.TOKYO otaku writer, Ayumi! I went to the greeting and premiere screening of the anime movie we’ve all be waiting for, Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-! It was held at a venue I know really well- Shinjuku Wald 9! As this was the world premiere, the venue was packed with press!
MANGA.TOKYO is happy to bring all you SAO fans some video news from the venue! Don’t worry- we have added English subtitles just for you! Here is the stage for the cast greetings at the movie premiere.
Comments from the Stage Greeting
Their True feelings on the Completion of the Movie
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito):
‘It’s no exaggeration to say that Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale- is a masterpiece. I’ll be glad if it can really pierce your hearts.’
Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna):
‘Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale- is an original story written by Reki Kawahara, the original creator of SAO. I was so excited at how the story evolved when I read through the script. You’ll never guess what will happen in the movie. I hope you enjoyed it.’
Regarding the Augma design by Sony
Director Tomohiko Itoh:
‘You must have heard about AR games on smartphones recently. This device enables the users to see AR right in front of their eyes. The design team at Sony created it with all their might. It’s very sophisticated and makes me believe a FullDive version may appear in the near future!’
‘The real world may be catching up with the world of Sword Art Online!’
Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna):
‘One thing really exciting about this work is the fact that we may be able to have this kind of technology someday. There are many things to look forward to in this movie, such as the AR world, that is different to the VR that came before it, and the many types of human relationships, so I think you will all enjoy it!’
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Kirito):
‘You can really say that this movie is a culmination of everything that Sword Art Online is! It’s been 3 months since we wrapped-up the recording, but it’s still lingering in my ears. The work is drawn so well that you can really see just how much effort was out into this movie. It’s filled with so much passion that the animators must have thought “I don’t need sleep, I just need to draw!” Please enjoy it!’
Director Tomohiko Itoh:
‘Well we’re finally here at this moment! Please watch this with all your concentration for the next 2 hours, right up until the very end of the credits!’
After this the screening of the movie began, and if I had to describe it in 3 words then I would say ‘full of excitement!’ I really hope people with just a little bit of interest in SAO can enjoy this movie along with the long-term fans.
Thoughts on Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-
The anime adaptation of Sword Art Online was first aired 5 years ago, and two years have passed since the second season ended. This is a new story that fans have been waiting for a long time! I remember feeling so happy seeing a completely new original work. I felt a kind of nostalgia since the atmosphere we saw back in the Aincrad Arc still lingers in this movie. I think a lot of people will feel ‘This is Aincrad in the real world…!’ There are many scenes where I even found myself so overcome with emotion that I had to put my hand over my mouth.
The movie is a culmination of everything from the first and second seasons of SAO! It’s a story woven with so many feelings, and I think it’s a wonderful work that can be enjoyed both by people who are new to SAO as well as hardcore fans. A lot of anime movie adaptations tend to focus on new main characters, but this one focuses on Kirito and Asuna. Fans of the anime and the light novel can rejoice! The poster also focuses only on the two of them, and this was a point that was emphasised by the director in the cast greeting before the screening.
This movie is not set in the VR world like in the light novels and anime, but instead focuses on AR (augmented reality). Kirito may be unmatched in the VR world, but he is not as capable in the AR one. Unlike in the anime series up to now, it feels as though he’s actually taken a step back. Matsuoka commented on this in the greeting event, ‘This time, Kirito sucks.’ One of the highlights of the movie is seeing how this sucky Kirito handles the AR world!
I think that moving on from VR to AR shows how times have changed. Even the director explained the AR world as being like that of Pokemon GO, although the SAO movie was actually confirmed a year before Pokemon GO came out. He laughed at how GO had managed to come out first, and so it was easier to explain the SEO:OS world to everybody.
The movie isn’t all about battle scenes; it will also tug at the heartstrings of the female audience. I didn’t feel bored at all during this movie and kept my eyes on the screen at all times.
That’s all I can tell you about the contents of the movie for now!
I just have one more thing that I have to say: Whatever you do… Do. Not. Leave. Before. The. Credits. Finish. Rolling!!!
What were the reactions of the SAO Fans Like?
To help me, I have brought along a fan with an SAO-fan-history of 5 years who buys anything SAO-related! A self-proclaimed Asuna obsessive, H-san was so excited that he woke up at 5 a.m.!
What did H-san think?
‘For me, no title has surpassed SAO yet. It is my New Year’s custom to watch SAO, and this year I watched the first and second seasons on a 5-time loop… I have been waiting so long for this work, and it was so good! I’m so happy! I cried a little bit. I was so nervous on the day of the screening that I woke up at 5 a.m., and as soon as the premiere ended I ran off to buy advanced tickets for the regular screening of the movie. I still have to wait until the movie is released properly in Japan, and I hate waiting for it! I want to watch it again! I don’t know how many times I will go and see this movie to be honest. My wallet is ready for it!!’
That was a very passionate comment from H-san. Too passionate… So I hope SAO fans around the world are getting even more excited for the movie now!
You can make an SAO anime pilgrimage!
The movie uses the real world as its stage, and there are landmarks appearing that look very familiar to the people living in Japan. When you’ve finished watching this movie, maybe the world around you will start to seem like SAO too…? Up until now the places SAO was modelled on weren’t just in Japan but around the world too, so it was a little difficult to put together an anime pilgrimage. However, this time the setting is all-Japan, so you can easily visit many of the places at once! If you make it to Japan then I hope you can try it!
MANGA.TOKYO is also planning on writing about an SAO pilgrimage, so don’t miss it!
This might be slightly off-topic, but Shinjuku Wald 9, the theater that held the premiere, has a photo spot where you can take photos with Kirito and Asuna! When I tried to take a photo with Kirito… his wife (Asuna) was glaring right at me!
By the way, I recommend taking selfies with the smartphone application SNOW! The face recognition works on Kirito and Asuna, so they became cuter too! [laugh]
The movie comes out on February 18, 2017 here in Japan and will be screened in the US (Premieres March 1, in Hollywood), Germany (Premieres February 18, in Cologne) and even Australia (Premieres March 4, in Perth)! Wow, SAO really is popular all over the world!♪
Anime Movie ‘Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-‘
Released February 18 Across Japan
Released March 9 Across the United States!
Screening in Cologne, Germany on February 18! (Nationwide screening not yet announced)
Screening in Perth, Australia on March 3 (Nationwide Screening not yet announced)
I'm a good-for-nothing otaku who works as a freelance web writer.
I live in Kyoto, Japan, but I am so often in Tokyo for anime-related cafes and products that people frequently misunderstood that I live there. Yowamushi Pedal helps me overcome all difficulties. I'm also a huge fan of Touken Ranbu! In order to deliver to you the latest otaku info and trends, I'll keep dwelling in the 2-D world. Thank you very much!