The production held a thank-you event on 8 April 2017, at Toho Cinemas Shinjuku. The main cast attended the event to personally thank the fans. On-stage were Kirito’s voice actor Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Asuna’s voice Haruka Tomatsu, and their co-stars Ayana Taketatsu and Rina Hidaka. They were joined by Director Tomohiko Ito, and character designer and art director Shingo Adachi. During the talk segment, they looked back at previous talk events and stage greetings, talked about each character’s charms, and their present thoughts.
The stage event started with Matsuoka’s greeting ‘Ordinal Scale, Launch!’ to which the audience answered with a huge applause. Matsuoka, who has been attending stage greetings all over Japan, had just come back from Niigata. He commented, ‘The fans in Tokyo know best how to heat things up. [laugh]’
It has been the 41st stage greeting for the movie, so Taketatsu asked, ‘Couldn’t we sign up for the Guinness World Record as the “work with the most stage greetings”?’ The director agreed enthusiastically, ‘Great! If we hold about 100 greetings, we should become number one in the world, right?’ The answer from the audience was similarly enthusiastic, with cheers saying, ‘We will come to watch (all of them)!’
Character designer Shingo Adachi said that he drew the characters a bit more adult-like compared to the TV anime.
Hidaka, who voices Silica, said, ‘This time, we can hear Silica sing her song, but I like best how she sticks out her tongue at the end of the scene.’
We also have some comments from the stage guests!
‘This is the first time I have been involved with my characters for such a long time and also the first time to have them become a movie adaptation.I would be glad if everybody can remember these days even years from now.’
‘For all of you who watched the movie up until the end, I can say this to you: all of this is connected to something that follows, so please continue to support us from now on as well.’
‘I was so happy to have heard from Adachi. I am so thankful for all the love Sword Art Online is receiving. I am looking forward to my future work with the series as well!’
‘I am really happy to still see so many fans, even 8 weeks after the release date. It is a movie that can be enjoyed again and again, no matter how many times you watch it, so please keep supporting Sword Art Online.’
‘I was able to come this far because there have been many people who watched the movie or people around me that told me they liked the movie. I was able to come this far because of all those people who supported me. I got to experience a lot through Kirito’s and Asuna’s relationship. No matter how many times you see this movie, there will be something new to discover, so please continue to support us!’
‘These past 5 years have really felt so long yet gone so fast. I think there is no other work that could have come this far. I will keep doing more with Sword Art Online, so please keep supporting us!’
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