There’s been a few anime films lately that decide to show an alternate take of or even slightly reboot their source material, making for an interesting retelling of the story. One of the latest to follow this trend is the newest entry in the Sword Art Online franchise titled Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of a Starless Night. Fans will enjoy the new perspective of this animated film while newcomers get to see a new beginning to the famous series they can get into as well.
This film is a big screen adaptation of the light novel series, Sword Art Online: Progressive, which shows how the series began from the perspective of Asuna instead of the main hero Kirito. That being said, this time we’re shown how Asuna got into playing SAO but with some changes here and there, mainly the introduction of her new friend named Mito who is one of the best gamers around.
This will come in handy of course, since anyone who knows about SAO will remember that it’s a MMORPG where those who are logged in cannot log out until they beat the game or die trying. That’s right, if you die in game, you die in the real world thanks to the VR tech you use to log in known as NerveGear frying your brain with microwaves. The same will also happen should anyone attempt to remove the gear from a player.
Like all of the people playing, this terrifies Asuna, especially when the twisted creator of the game appears and lays out these scary rules. But Mito is determined to protect Asuna and teach her to become one of the greatest players of the game as they level and quest together which will eventually lead them to Kirito and a new spin on the SAO legacy.
That’s about all I can say without ruining any of the film, but I enjoyed watching this and seeing things from Asuna’s view as well as the awesome friendship she has with Mito. Everytime the two beat enemies and grew more powerful had me cheering them on, and I love how they were able to depend on each other when either of them felt down in the dumps.
The animation and artwork is great and clearly shows off the budget of being a film. Both the English dub and the original Japanese audio sound awesome as the actors fit perfectly on both language tracks. I’m also happy to learn that a second film in this Progressive series is already in the works and will hopefully be just as fresh and fun as this one.
Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of a Starless Night is the perfect package for fans and newcomers, as those familiar with the franchise will love this fresh new take on the beginning of it all, while those new to it can get in from a brand new ground level. I’m looking forward to the next entry in this film series which I’m sure will have viewers hooked in like the NerveGear thanks to the new, awesome additions made in this film.