DISCUSSION – On October 4, 2015, it was announced that the light novel would be turned into an anime film adaptation, with the main staff returning from the anime series. The voice actors and actresses from the anime series will return to reprise their roles in the anime film. This anime film adaptation would be called “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”, and is scheduled to release in Japan on February 18, 2017. Australia and New Zealand will see the film in their theaters some time in 2017, courtesy of Madman Entertainment.
The plot for the new anime film is as follows:
The film is set after the events of the anime’s second season, in which Kirito, Asuna and their friends start playing a new game known as OS (short for “Ordinal Scale”) that, contrary to the previous ones they played, doesn’t have a full-dive function and is based on a new augmented reality device instead called “Augma”. In this game, players are ranked according to their achievements and players with lower ranks have serious disadvantages in duels against their higher ranked peers. However, Kirito and co. discover that something is wrong when they come across monsters from Aincrad, the world from the same game they were trapped inside for two years while fighting for their lives.
The thing that interests me about this new anime film adaptation for Sword Art Online is the augmented reality aspect. For those who don’t know, augmented reality is an indirect view of the environment around us. An example of a game that uses the augmented reality concept would be Pokemon GO.
Now imagine, the mechanics of Pokemon GO right now but merging the MMORPG genre. It would be a different situation entirely than playing virtual reality. The film is set on a game that uses augmented reality and (judging from the trailers) the main characters are somehow trapped in that game.
This certainly piques my interest as being “trapped” in an augmented reality seems too confusing to me since if such game would exist in real life, we would be playing through either a smartphone screen or a pair of goggles that use the elements of the environments in your local area. That idea would be cool but it is quite interesting how the characters would be “trapped” in such a game. Maybe the same conditions with the first game, Sword Art Online, where if they remove the device connecting them to the game then it would end their lives.
As far as success is concerned, I’m very “iffy” on how the plot would be written – will it be good or just as plain and illogical as the anime series? The concept of augmented reality is indeed a new thing in anime (or maybe not) but the success of Sword Art Online’s new animated film “Ordinal Scale” will basically be in the hands of the writer. I do hope that Reki Kawahara has improved his writing for this film, otherwise, it would be a huge downer for me and other people who are expecting the film. That being said, people are already expressing their dislike for the whole series. I hope that the film becomes the “saving grace” for the whole franchise.