The anime movie Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale- (officially released on February 18) held a preview screening and guest talk show on February 14, Valentine’s Day, at Shinjuku Wald 9!
The two guests were Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who plays protagonist Kirito, and Shinichirou Kashida, the movie’s producer from Aniplex. They spoke about the appeal of the movie from their own unique viewpoint.
Read on for our report of this amazing event!
About Valentine’s Day
‘On the anime info website Anime! Anime!, a survey was held asking its readers which ‘Male Anime Characters You Want to Give Valentine’s Chocolates to’, and Kirito ranked first! Not only did he win first place in the total ranking, but he also won in the ranking of the men’s votes! How many chocolates do you want to receive this year, Mr. Matsuoka?’
‘Wow, are there a lot of boys out there who have their eyes on Kirito? [laugh]
I’ll be happy if I get one chocolate, but to tell the truth, I’ve already received quite a few from male fans. [laugh]’
About the Sports Chanbara Tournament
‘Mr Kashida, the SAO Cup Sports Chanbara Tournament was held on February 12, and you won second place in the amateur division. How did you feel about this?’
‘The majority of the people playing in the games were in their 20s, while I am in my 40s. My legs hurt so bad the next day that I could hardly move. Anyway, I had such a fun time playing with all my might, just like a small child! I was surprised by an experienced player in the game, who can use the ‘sword skills’. He was just like Heathcliff, protecting himself from the opponent’s attack with a shield, and striking them with the sword.’
‘So, Mr. Matsuoka, I have heard that you used to play sports chanbara, and you have won in a competition before. Is this true?’
‘I played in the kata (form) competition, in which the athletes compete with the beauty and preciseness of their movements, rather than their strength and battling techniques, so I didn’t think it had anything to do with fighting powers. You never know when your past experiences will become useful!’
The fascinating moments of the movie
‘The fans who are here today have already seen the movie, so it’s okay for you to talk about any scenes here, but there are a lot of people who haven’t seen the movie yet. Without spoiling the best parts for them, please tell us your favorite scenes that you want them to know about.’
‘That would definitely be the action scenes. As I mentioned the other day at the film premiere, I think we can call this movie the compilation of every aspect of Sword Art Online. When recording the last battle scene, I started to get so excited that my lips were trembling as I read out the lines.’
‘This might not be something to say in front of Matsuoka, but the best thing about this movie is Asuna. She is so cute. She is amazing. That’s what this movie is all about. Even under critical situations, Asuna is always the one who has a strong heart, and that is what makes her so wonderful. From the time when we were making the movie, and also during our promotional activities, I kept on saying that we should put the spotlight more on Asuna. [laugh]’
The setting changed from the anime’s VR to the movie’s AR!
‘One of the exciting parts of this movie is that the setting has changed from the VR (Virtual Reality) in the anime to the AR (Augmented Reality) in the film. What are some things that you were careful about when making the film?’
‘The world was not virtual anymore, so I had to think about the capability of a living body in the AR world. I was especially careful about how to speak, so the viewers could tell that Kirito was feeling his body weight when he moved around.’
‘In the anime’s VR world, Kirito was really strong, so I tried not to make him too strong in the AR.’
‘Could you give a message for the fans who are here today, and some last comments on the movie’s release?’
‘I’ve seen this new movie more than ten times now, but every time I watch it, Asuna makes my heart skip a beat. [laugh] I hope for all the fans to come to the theatre and watch this movie many times.’
‘Every cast and staff member has put their heart and soul into making this movie, so I hope for everyone to watch it over and over again. Every time you watch it, I think you could see things in a different perspective, and make new discoveries. I hope to meet you all in theatres again!’
Anime Movie ‘Sword Art Online -Ordinal Scale-‘
Released February 18 Across Japan
Released March 9 Across the United States and Canada!
Screening in Cologne, Germany on February 18 (Nationwide screening not yet announced)
Screening in Perth, Australia on March 3 (Nationwide Screening not yet announced)
Running Time: 119 minutes
Official US and Canadian Site http://sao-movie.net/us/
Official German Site http://sao-movie.net/de/
Information on the Australian Screening: http://www.animefestival.com.au/events/perth-sword-art-online-ordinal-scale-premiere/
(C)2016 川原 礫/KADOKAWA アスキー・メディアワークス刊/SAO MOVIE Project