Sword Art Online has been one of the most interesting anime series to come along in awhile, despite having a lot in common with the infamous .Hack series and video games. Fans and newcomers that enjoy anime films will want to delve into Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale, as it captures what made the series exciting while also being accessible to those who haven’t seen the show.
Taking place after the second season, our hero Kirito along with Asuna and some of their other friends give a new video game a try called Ordinal Scale that uses augmented reality to play this time around, making the fight against monsters more real than ever before since they can show up in your environment and requires you to physically dodge, attack, etc. All seems well at first, until once again they find themselves coming across monsters from the same game they were trapped in during the anime series. Now that this new game is demanding on the body to play, Kirito isn’t in the best shape to play intensely or help his friends for that matter. Nevertheless, he’ll have to pull it together or risk losing his friends and their minds forever.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed watching this film, as it’s always fun to see how people put a spin on playing video games and becoming trapped in them. The pacing was also well done and always had a sense of intensity thanks to Kirito struggling to keep up in this new game world that relies on his body instead of his mind (I know most gamers can relate to this), which leads to some pretty bad consequences for some of his friends that I won’t spoil. Seeing that this is an animated movie, the production values are on display with the wonderful artwork and animation that’s nice to behold, especially during the battle scenes. The Japanese voice acting is also great and matches with the characters perfectly to bring them and this film to life as they did the series.
Fans will get the most out of Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale, but those looking for a nice anime fix will find something to enjoy from the film as well. Cool characters, an intense plot, along with great artwork and animation make this an augmented world you’ll want to get lost in.