The hype surrounding the rumored Sword Art Online movie has been confirmed with Aniplex announcing that Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale is in the works and is slated to be released Spring 2017 in Japan.
Taking place after the Mother Rosario arc, the movie will be based on a brand new original storyline created by the series original author, Reki Kawahara, and will center around a brand new augmented reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (ARMMO-RPG ) Ordinal Scale which was exclusively created for the Augma gear.
The Augma gear, according to the Sword Art Online website, is a wearable headphone-like multi-device that doesn’t have the previous headgear Amusphere’s full-dive function but instead is able to transmit “visual, audio and tactual sensations to the players” while they are wide awake.
Tomohiko Itou will be directing the film, with animator Shingo Adachi adapting the original character designs done by abec and Yuki Kajiura composing the music for the film. It has also been confirmed that Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Haruka Tomatsu will be returning to play the Black Swordsman, Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, and the Lightning Flash, Asuna Yuuki.
While not much information on the actual storyline of the movie has been released, the Sword Art Online Special Stage event at the 2016 Dengeki Bunko Spring Festival did give fans more details on how the Augma, a small device near the ears, works and how it “enables users to experience the evolution of the world” through a technology that makes users more willing to enjoy exercise and health management.
“Throughout Sword Art Online, we’ve seen the devices evolve, from the NerveGear to the Amusphere. And now it feels like it’s inching closer to the Neuro-linker, a choker-like apparatus worn around the neck that appears in another story of mine, Accel World,” Kawahara said during the panel.
Unlike the previous games of the Sword Art Online series, Ordinal Scale uses a ranking system where a player’s status is based on their rank number a.k.a. an ordinal number rather than a cardinal number. A player’s rank is then determined by the amount of items they collect and the amount of monsters they destroy in the real world. According to the website, this then means that rank is a significant part of how a solo Player Versus Player battle will end as the higher rank you are, the more power you’re given.
Kawahara also explained the difference between cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers and why he decided to use the word “Ordinal” to describe the system of this new augmented reality world.
“About cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers, let me just add that cardinal numbers show quantity, such as a player’s Hit Points(stamina) or Strength(muscular strength.) Since the SAO characters’ statuses were filed as cardinal numbers, they could be used under the Cardinal System,” Kawahara said. “Ordinal numbers show the order of things in a set. So I thought a system for keeping track of players in order should be called Ordinal…”
The movie is scheduled to be released in over 150 theaters in Japan, as reported by animenewsnetwork.com, with pre-order tickets having gone on sale July 16, but as of this moment, Aniplex has yet to confirm a date for the overseas movie release.
Check out the first official English Subtitled Trailer down below:
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