Exciting news out of Bandai Namco with the announcement that they may consider bringing their range of games based around the hugely popular series, Sword Art Online, to the Nintendo Switch.
The statement was recently dropped by Sword Art Online series Producer Yosuke Futami and Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet Producer Keishi Minami in the middle of a Bandai Namco hosted livestream event. Nothing is confirmed at this early stage but just the fact that they’re talking is exciting news for fans of the Nintendo Switch and fans of SAO *puts hand up*
We’ll let you know if we hear any more news around this amazing development.
Not sure how this one slipped under my radar and I was sure it was just a hoax when I eventually did hear about it but no! Bandai Namco has confirmed that there is an Accel World VS Sword Art Online game for the PS4 and the PS Vita and even better, it’s receiving a Western release too. Here’s a bit of a blurb from Bandai Namco themselves:
The worlds of Sword Art Online and Accel World have begun to merge! In the midst of the chaos, the strongest Burst Linkers from Accel World and Alfheim Online Players from Sword Art Online must come together in a war of the worlds to challenge the Seven Kings of Pure Color and rescue a dear friend from the clutches of Personna Babel. This all-new original story comes from Reki Kawahara, the creator of both Sword Art Online and Accel World, for an interdimensional adventure between two popular anime franchises.
Fro what we’ve heard, your team will be built from three characters and while the SAO characters will be able to use magic skills and flight, Access World characters will be able to incorporate “Acceleration and special techniques.” Here’s an awesome trailer:
Welcome to the Japandaman Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale movie review. If you’re wondering why I’m announcing the review in this manner, something I’ve never done before, it’s because this is a special joint review which is also a first for Japandaman.com. The film will be reviewed by Japandaman and our latest team member, anime writer Farrah!
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale continues a couple of years later where the series left off. Kirito, Asuna and the rest of the SAO crew have adjusted to life in the real world and are involved in a new AR game called Ordinal Scale. OS used a new head-gear called The Augma. The game is the successor to the Amusphere technology used previously which allowed the players to immerse themselves into a virtual world. The new technology places the virtual world I to the real world allowing them to remain conscious and aware of everything that’s going in.
Kirito isn’t keen to take part in the game preferring the VR world of ALO to Ordinal Scale and the AR environment. It isn’t long before bosses from Aincrad begin to show up in OS, which prompts Kirito to join in the game. It’s during this time, Asuna meets the number two ranked player in the game, Eiji. Kirito has a hard time adjusting to the game as he lacks the real world fitness and stamina for the game. Adding to the mix is a virtual idol called Yuna who shows up at random battles to give the players bonuses through her songs.
Kirito also begins to see a mysterious white hooded girl who tries to communicate with him but always disappears before he can talk to her. He begins to think she plays a bigger part in what starts to happen in the AR world. After a series of Aincrad boss battles, Asuna realizes that she’s beginning to lose her memories from her SAO days as do other players who survived SAO. Kirito begins to investigate OS to help Asuna and the other players but is in a race against the clock before all the players end up losing their lives in the new AR world.
Ok, so hopefully I haven’t given away any spoilers with that little synopsis as this is one movie that carries itself so well, never taking itself too serious and has a nice balanced blend of drama, action, comedy and relationship issues. One part I always look at with anime is the animation itself and Ordinal Scale does not disappoint one little bit. The characters, the environments, the enemies and giant bosses are all beautifully drawn, move effortlessly and very smoothly. It’s definitely stepped up a notch from the SAO series without going over the top and relying too much on 3D CGI.
The musical score is what you’d expect and also has some nice tracks from the series thrown in, more so notable during the massive end battle scene and that’s all I’m saying on that with no spoilers! The music provided by Yuna, the virtual idol is spot on and what you hear these days from vocaloids minus the computer generated voices, the vocals are provided by Sayaka Kanda, an established singer in Japan.
Where this movie gets MASSIVE kudos is from the story itself which is stunningly well crafted and doesn’t let down in any area. All the major players get a reasonable amount of screen time, story and character development. Just when you think you know all of them from the series, the movie continues to develop them even further instead of just using what was established in SAO. It was very interesting to see to be honest and something I wasn’t expecting. Kirito and Asuna’s relationship continues to develop and I’m a sucker for it and for them. They’re easily my favourite anime couple and I just love the way they love and care for each other. There’s some realy cute and awkward moments between them with even a little fan service thrown in for good measure. Their “daughter” Yui is also behind some light hearted banter and heart warming moments. It’s easy to forget with everything that’s going on in the movie with the drama and action pieces that nestled amongst all that is a love story, just as it was in the series but the way it’s told isn’t sappy like most love stories. Kirito and Asuna have an amazing chemistry and the writers have done an outstanding job of making you really give a damn about them and what happens.
I will add this next comment with a slight spoiler alert and just say that the climactic battle scene at the end should have both fanboys and fangirls squirming with delight in their seats. I’m not ashamed to say that I was fanboying something chronic and so hard and the audience in the theatre were losing it as well. Oh and don’t leave when the movie ends because just like Marvel films, there’s a post credits sequence and let’s just say, you’ll be glad you stayed.
I’ve been yammering for the past four paragraphs about what I loved about the Ordinal Scale, let me dedicate some time to what I didn’t like about is.
That empty space above is where my dislikes should be and yes, it’s empty on purpose. There was nothing I didn’t like about this film, it met and exceeded my expectations in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I was really, really worried that the film would be a let down and a bit of a cash in on the huge popularity of SAO but I was wrong. The writers and production team have put as much, if not more, work and love into this outing. And I’m going on record saying that I loved it as much as Makoto Shinkai’s brilliance, Your Name. Highly recommended and will warrant repeated viewings. So good.
Final Score: 10/10
Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale is perfect!
There, that’s my review. Nothing more needs to be said.
Of course that wouldn’t be professional on my part to just give you a one-line review so let me continue.
The film is a brilliant way to say to fans ‘SAO fandom we are back!’ This film manages to capture the original story and give it a whole new spin and a new life to the series. We are reunited with our favourite characters from the series who are now a little bit older, a little bit wiser. We see the series leads in an emotional yet adventure filled story that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole movie. I don’t want to go into too much detail of the plot as Japandaman has done so already so I might just briefly mention the things that just stood out to me in this film.
I have never fan-girled so hard in my life until I saw this film. Being able to see those characters again after all these years of waiting for a new story has been the gift we desperately needed as fans. I loved that we got to see another side of our favourite characters and particularly more of their vulnerable sides, which yes was in the original series but not into the depth that this movie has exposed us to. When the characters were feeling sad, you felt sad, when they were happy, you felt happy. I loved that the characters have matured and grown up which is something I didn’t even expect to see. Also as a token Asuna fan girl this was the movie for me. She defines awesomeness, she defines femininity, and she defines girl power.
I cannot stress enough how amazing the soundtrack to this film is. It managed to pay homage and yet bring something new to the series. The addition of the character ‘Yuna’ and her songs are so captivating that has found me wanting to get the whole soundtrack when it is available. The music and soundtrack actually help tell the story in this film and give it an extra depth that sometimes anime movies seem to lack. Just for the soundtrack alone the movie is worth going to see.
Animation and Visuals
This film got it right. I cannot believe how they managed to create those detailed fight scenes and make it look the way it did. They kept you on the edge of your seat. Each fight scene had something different to offer the viewers leaving you wanting more and more. I personally don’t generally care for fight scenes in movies, but man I was intently watching the scenes and not wanting to turn away in case I missed a small detail. The animation itself has improved greatly, still taking on the original character designs and format but giving is a new sense of life.
A simple story with a lot of depth. That is the best way to describe this film. You don’t technically have to go and see the series to enjoy this film, but it doesn’t hurt. It is a film that you could go and see for the first time and then possibly re-watch the show as the movie makes you want to go back to the start. What I liked is how they managed to tie in the original series with what was shown in the movie, extremely clever.
I could go on and on about this movie. I had the privilege to see the movie when it premiered in Perth at MadFest and the crowd went absolutely ballistic throughout the whole film, likewise when the movie was released this past Thursday the crowd was taking it all in the greatness that is this series. Also without giving too much away the post credit scene made many, many fans extremely happy and I for one nearly started crying when I saw it.
This film for me is easily 10/10. I am not being biased just because I am an SAO fan-girl but as an anime viewer this movie managed to live up to the hype it was delivering. You can tell that the production company, animators, producer and director were listening to the fans to give them exactly what they wanted, for that I am grateful. I look forward to the English dub that has been announced for release next month in the U.S (will let you know when it hits our Australian shores) because I cannot wait to relive the magic that is SAO.
The latest Sword Art Online feature film is nearly upon us but until then, here’s a new release from Madman and Aniplex for anyone craving a walk through the early days of the SAO storyline. The events in this offering fall after season one but before season two and the GGO story arc and everything else that followed.
It’s basically broken up into three different stories, two of which are being told at the same time. The first involves Kirito taking his sister, Suguha, to his school to meet up with Asuna, Rika (Lisbeth) and Keiko (Silica) to assist her with something that she’s yet to learn: swim. After arriving at the school, Kirito meets up with Seijiro Kikuoka from the Virtual Reality Section of the Department of General Affairs. Seijiro essentially wants to touch base with Kirito for a ore comprehensive wrap up after the events of SAO and ALO. This launches into the bulk of the story which involves a lot of flashback sequences with how Silica, Lisbeth, Asuna, Yui and Suguha (Leafa) all recounting how they met Kirito and the quests and adventures they had with him. From beating different end of floor bosses to the whole Beta/Cheater incident and more, it’s all covered. It also delves into the ALO storyline with the Asuna/Titania arc.
While all this is going on, the others are still progressing with their efforts to teach Suguha how to swim. It has to be said that there’s quite a bit of fan service in these sequences, nothing over the top but expect lots of cleavage and bouncing bits.
The final part shows the whole crew relaxing in the virtual world of ALO before embarking on a quest underwater to try and show Yui her first real whale, something which she’s never seen before. But as these things go, they’re never as they appear and before too long things begin to go awry. This last part doesn’t run for too long but for fans of the SAO Universe, it’s a welcome extra little quest. Overall, if you’re a diehard fan of SAO then it goes without saying that you probably already have this in your collection. If you just have a passing interest in this series, it’s still worthwhile pick up just for the nice flashback sequence which may resolve any unanswered questions you may have. And the latest quest, while short, is still pretty cool.
Fans of Sword Art Online will no doubt be familiar with the OP from the first 14 episodes in the first season, “Crossing Field” by LiSA. If you somehow missed it and kept skipping past it to get to the show, I’ve included the awesome track below:
What’s even better is the recent announcement that singer LiSA will be coming back to SAO series to provide the theme song for the SAO film, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. The track is called “Catch the Moment” and will be released on February 15, 2017 which is only a few days out from the film’s premiere on the 18th of February. Can’t wait to hear it or see the movie. And just on the movie, rumours are rife that it will be having a worldwide simultaneous launch would be amazing!
Some exciting stuff came out last night for anyone wanting to see new material for the upcoming PS4/PS Vita game, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. Here’s some new art from abec which looks absolutely stunning:
The screenshots below also show the rich options behind the character creation such as name, gender, physique and loads more.
But even better, the opening cinematic movie was also released for the game:
Here’s a peek at the skill tree which allows you to develop and learn new skills as you progress through the story:
And here are some shots from the “lying down” scenes in the game, (ahem):
This game is looking pretty awesome, we’ll be able to have a better look at it when it releases in Japan on October 27.
The Tokyo Anime Centre in the UDX building, Akihabara is currently hosting a Sword Art Online exhibition from October 15 through to the 26th. And one of the items being sold at the event are bed sheets manufactured by Genco featuring Kirito from SAO II. However fans who missed the opening of the show were left disappointed when they found out that the bedsheets sold out on the first day. Fans of Asuna were in luck though with an abundance of sheets still to be found.
Haruka Tomatsu is a Japanese voice actress and singer, she’s also the voice behind Asuna on Sword Art Online. She’s currently making a debut of sorts by starring in a commercial for Furuta candy which you can check out below.
Figure manufacturer, Kotobukiya, have announced a rough release schedule for their amazing figure of SAO’s Asuna which is the Fairy Dance version. We now know that they plan to release her in July of this year but no firm exact date as yet.
How amazing is this 22cm tall figure retailing for ¥10, 750? Check out the cool pics below.
Awesome looking arcade fighter, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, is looking better and better with each new trailer. Here’s a fresh one featuring SAO’s Kirito and Tomoka Minato from Ro-Kyu-Bu! plus many fighters from different franchises.
This game looks set to feature some amazing action from favourite series’ from SAO, Accel World and more!