OK, this movie is stunning enough to make me write a review for the first time. I just came back from watching it. It was a full house at the cinema. It is rare to see a full house in my country when the theater is airing anime. This was a total shock!
The story is great. It is sort of like a mixture of tragedy, comedy and romance. Its sort like the mixture of SAO, ALO and GGO but mainly it revives that kind of feeling after you watch the original SAO. It makes me feel nostalgic.
For me, the art can
be considered good enough and at certain parts the coloring is mind blowing especially when they defeated the monster. The animation also looked more lively compared to the recent GGO series. A great improvement overall.
*Wagnaria Cafe (www working!) made a cameo !
The OST is not as great as SAO, but they did use some of the SAO soundtrack (mainly Swordland) and even made an improved version for certain situation.
In Chinese philosophy, whenever there is Yin, there is always a Yang. But for this movie, they neutralize it perfectly. There is no real main evil guy here. All the character had been well design and created with lot of background information. (You can dig deeper to see how much they took into consideration before creating a new character such as Eiji) The MC, Yuna is so kawaii (you will know what I mean once you have watched the movie). A little bit fan service as usual between Asuna and Kirito.
I really enjoyed the 2 hours in the cinema and I do think that you probably need to watch the original SAO series first before watching this movie if possible try to finish ALO and GGO as well.
Overall score is 9.4 but I will definitely round it off to 10 instead of 9 because of the story, the comedy, again Yuna is so kawaii, the art and coloring during the FIANL MOMENT when the monster is defeated and the BGM being played at the right time at the right moment. I would definitely recommend any SAO fans to watch it, you will never regret!
* For those who plan to go cinema and watch it, do stay until the ending song is finish. You will be rewarded :)
** Sorry for my poor grammar, do drop me a message if you found any grammar mistake that I had made.
Going to keep this review spoiler free.
To make a clever analogy, Sword Art Online is similar to an apple that looks fresh on the outside but is all rotten inside. If you have ever heard of the "Rotten Apple" theory which states that one rotten apple can ruin an entire barrel, that is what I am affraid of.
Anime series similar to Sword Art Online will spread like mold in an old house, resulting in lowering the current set standards for a "good" show.
Unfortunately the very premise of the show makes it hard to take seriously. A new innovative game "Ordinal Scale" is created and
people are crazy about it until shit hits the fan and Kirito must save the day.
The story revolves around Asuna and Kirito's group of friends battling Augma as well as Asuna's and Kirito's romantic relationship. The story is more of a way to connect and insert action scenes rather than progressing with the characters.
To compare SAO:Ordinal Scale's plot with the previous series I would say that Ordinal Scale is better but as the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
With that being said, the story is still boring, predictable and borderline ridiculous containing numerous plot holes, plot armor and having a simplistic idea that is poorly executed. Ordinal Scale is a failed mix of comedy, drama and romance but it does have great action scenes that keep attracting viewers.
The story brings nothing new to the table, it is mostly the same old repetitive SAO plot but a bit diffrent and a bit more enjoyable with the only redeeming factor being its pace. Even though the story itself is nothing special, the pacing is pretty good to be honest.
The characters are poor, one-dimensional, cliched, generic and utterly annoying, there is not much to say that can redeem them.
Ordinal Scale features lots of survivors from SAO and I liked seeing them again, just a bit of nostalgia.
Kirito is the same overpowered guy that can defeat anything and anyone if he gets serious. All the girls still fall for him even though he has no charisma or an intriguing personality nor is he particularly intelligent.
In Kirito's defense, I suppose being a hero in a life-or-death game can make most people grow to respect him and maybe "love" him.
Asuna is the same as always, a generic damsel in distress that is constantly seeking attention and constantly irritating me. Asuna does have some good moments thorughout the show but that is not nealry enough to redeem her character.
Shino Asada, a generic character from the ALO/GGO series. I liked the fact that she respected Kirito and Auna as a couple even though she had feelings for Kirito therefore not creating further drama.
The only character I liked was Eiji, a badass player who is top ranked and has a cool air about him, won't go into details due to possible spoilers.
The villains are cliched, generic and imbecilic. We have seen these type of villains many, many times before in the provious seasons of Sword Art Online or other low tier anime series.
The overall art and animation is great, fluid with nice design and colors, just what you would expect from a 2017 anime production.
The fight scenes are very well coreographed, fluid and engaging.
The animation does have some glitches but I am compelled to overlook them.
I personally did not like the OST, they used some old SAO music and some new and not very good songs.
The overall sound is pretty good but nothing memorable or to brag about.
After finishing Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale I was left with a "meh" feeling and a bad taste in my mouth. Having Kirito wear his old "black swordsman" uniform was a sore sight.
There are some good battles and nice scenes but they are not nearly enough to make this a good watching experience.
Unfortunately Sword Art Online continues being the malignant tumor slowly eating away at the good anime production.
The poor plot and generic characters can not be overlooked even though the animation and sound were very good. If you are the typical SAO fan you will love this movie but if you did not like the SAO series you will not like this.
If you are ready to waste 2 hours of your life, I recommend giving this a try since it is so popular.
It's no secret by now that the SAO anime series was basically lackluster at best, combining lazy writing with shallow characters and only getting so much attention because of its brilliant character designs and astronomical production values. Ordinal Scale, though, was surprisingly good. Why?
Because for the first time, SAO became action-centric, rather than plot- or character-centric.
The TV anime focused heavily on its characters. The climax of the Aincrad arc was not Kirito beating the game (spoilers, I guess), but his last scene with Asuna. The Fairy Dance arc focused on its plot, and the Phantom Bullet and Mother's Rosario arcs were basically character studies. Since
these things were written poorly, these arcs were poor as a result.
By the time Alicization came around, Kawahara learned how to write a good plot, and SAO Progressive marked his transition into writing good characters. It's an absolute joy to read about Kirito and Eugeo's exploits in Underworld, compared to the tedium of his harem in Aincrad.
By comparison, Ordinal Scale's plot is extremely simple and straightforward, largely serving as an excuse to serve up action scenes. It centers around a consumer-grade AR device called the Augma, presumably a precursor to Accel World's Neurolinkers (in more ways than one, as is eventually revealed). The conflict in the plot comes from the titular Ordinal Scale, an ARMMO for it. Think "Pokemon Go meets Aincrad," and you're in the right ballpark. Trouble befalls SAO survivors who die in Ordinal Scale, and it's up to Kirito to figure out what's happening and put a stop to it.
The villains are simple, cliche, and boring - you've seen them a million times before. Likewise, the new poster girl, Yuna, joins Yui, Eugeo, and Kizmel in Kawahara's growing list of "might as well just be human" AIs. The plot unfolds at a satisfying pace, utilizing a Mother's Rosario-esque structure. The story is completely self-contained. Basically, this is just another original anime movie for a popular anime. So why am I not giving this a five?
Because A-1 Pictures brought their A game on this one.
The action scenes are GORGEOUS. They're beautifully choreographed, making them easy to follow while simultaneously being fast and exciting. Even the final one, which was so fast-paced it'd put Sonic to shame, was an avalanche of awesomeness that I could enjoy without being confused. Captain America Civil War could've learned a thing or two from this movie.
Additionally, all the action scenes were backed by a frankly kickass soundtrack, noticeably getting me more excited than I would be without them. Say what you will about SAO, but you can't deny that it's always had amazing sound direction, and it really shows in this movie.
Don't get me wrong, though. There are plot holes. A LOT of them. How are these places in Tokyo empty enough for a bunch of LARPers to do their thing every night? Lemme tell you, I ain't ever seen the UDX plaza that empty, no matter how late it gets. How is the Augma not constantly making the news when people inevitably become spontaneously idiotic? Remember Pokemon Go? The Augma is supposedly even more prolific, and since it's a product, it's presumably here to stay. How are these make-believe battles actually making people recoil, making them encounter physical resistance to their movements (i.e. when they block an attack), sending them flying, and all these other things? How is Kirito - weak as he is in these battles - able to do even what he DOES accomplish? He is canonically a frail, weak, and slightly effeminate-looking nerd. In any other SAO production, I would not be able to forgive so many plot holes, which reek of the Kawahara who brought us the content of the TV anime. However, I can make an exception for Ordinal Scale.
The movie does not take itself seriously.
One problem with the TV anime is that it overblew the drama, making every single plot point feel like the end of the world. Ordinal Scale doesn't do that. It doesn't linger for longer than it should on any plot event, instead prioritizing constant movement to get to the next action scene. At one point, it even throws all logic and common sense right out the window, since it'd rather be awesome than have a coherent plot. The TV anime wanted you to take its stories and characters seriously, and that didn't work, since the writing was usually bad. By contrast, Ordinal Scale's writing is generally unremarkable (besides the litany of plot holes that perforate it like Swiss cheese), but it doesn't care. Rather than boast and brag and say, "Look at how great my story is," it instead directs your attention to the flashy and exciting fights. It just wants you to have a good time. Don't get me wrong - the fights were the best part of the TV anime too, but the difference is that Ordinal Scale WANTS you to focus on them. It succeeds at what it goes for, whereas the TV anime failed at what it was going for.
That said, there was no reason why there needed to be so many unexplained plot holes - even a comment in passing would have sufficed - so my final rating for Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale is a seven out of ten.
For all its flaws, it's hard to hate this movie, even for someone who's usually unimpressed by the SAO series. Existing fans will love it, and even haters might find something to like, too.
Also, what was up with that post-credits scene? Unless it spoiled the mastermind of the Alicization arc (which I haven't finished) or the Moon Cradle arc (which I haven't even started), then are we getting more anime-original content?
This was actually good, not disappointing I have to say...
The prologue isn't that good.. It starts off the end of their story. Which really doesn't give you any bad-thoughts such as someone dying or having the mood that it'll be like, meh.
You'll get to feel the tensity, but the answer to their "plot's" problem was obvious. But, I still like how they have a sad concept based on what it originally is. It brings everything back from the way it was like the SAO scenario.
And about Shino Asada. I liked the fact that she respected Kirito and Asuna as a couple even though she
had feelings for Kirito therefore not creating anymore further drama.
The villains are cliched. We have seen these type of villains many, many times before in the previous seasons of Sword Art Online.
Of course the art is beautiful and the animation is smooth. But if you look closely, you can see some parts where is a little bit off.. The animation's so good that it hurts my eyes...
Binaural hearing's the best. I watched this movie at a cinema. You can hear everything so clear. ~Zoom~ fades~ Boosh~~~~~~~ And the bgm's really beautiful. The music's immersive.
Ah, still same old same old. I'm still annoyed how Kirito can do everything as long as he's serious. The girls are still after his *cough. The jokes they did weren't really that funny.. Kirito and Asuna still continues their boring relationship..
To be honest, I thought this was going to be disappointing. But once you've passed the prologue. It fills you with curiosity that makes you wanna know more and you really do want to check out those fighting scenes. The fighting scenes are great. There are just times you're like: "They're winning, the enemy just doesn't know how to dodge." Their jokes... 6.5/10
Seeing the old Kirito still kinda bores me... There are some "plot holes" left for a lot of characters. With that problem, it doesn't really make up anything you feel for these characters who played in this movie. The drama is somewhat good for the last part.
I just explained.. I know I'm not really good at explaining. But, I hope you'd understand. Their will to fight, their story, their past, their moments, are good. The ending left Kirito carrying some guilt. The antagonist(the one who fights) is retarded and is somewhat kind of fun to see him failed miserably... As much as I go into detail, kiss scenes always get cock block...... Kirito is the king of ARMMORPG(may it be every game).
Nearing the end of the Summer of 2014, SAO’s Gun Gale Online Arc finally draws to a close. Dumbfounded and genuinely surprised at the story arc’s terrible writing, characters and overall aesthetic, I sat back and assessed Sword Art Online up to that point in time, and concluded there and then, that, for me at least anyway, the Gun Gale Online arc was the absolute lowest point the series had fallen, and, surely, for how incredibly awful that arc was, there would be nothing else that could possibly be as bad, and as I witnessed the next two story arcs the series had to offer,
was content in the assumption I had made. As such, when the announcement for the latest addition to the series arrived, a film of the Ordinal Scale arc, while not expecting too much, was, at the very least, hoping for something that was entertaining. For me, something that is "bad" is not inherently a game breaker as long as I can derive some kind of entertainment from the piece I am consuming (it's the same reason I kept watching Hand Shakers after all!). However, when I finally got a chance to see the film at my local cinema I was immediately transported back to Gun Gale Online, and all of the problems I had with that arc. It was like a World War II survivor being shown film of the war again. It was horrifying. To put it bluntly, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, is awful, and may be the most illogical and poorly written entry in the series thus far, and that’s saying a lot when taking into account the franchise's now seemingly unanimous hatred from much of the community! There are so many things that this movie does wrong, and of course, keeping in style with previous entries into the series, is essentially the living embodiment of wasted potential, and I think that's what annoys me most about SAO in general. The series has interesting ideas from time to time, and in some instances, such as in Gun Gale, when given the opportunity to develop Kirito, it's unfortunately glossed over. And that's the impression I get of Ordinal Scale. It feels like everything that could have been interesting got pushed to the side.
To properly discuss the various elements at fault in the narrative, a quick summary of its contents:
A new game in the world of Sword Art Online has gained insane popularity, using a cutting-edge piece of technology called the "Augma". Wearing such a device creates a virtual world out of the real one, in which players can interact with, as well as play games within this world in order to earn in-game currency. This currency can then be used to, for example, purchase cakes at local shops or be used to earn discounts on over goods (be it clothing, or gadgets), which results in the game becoming insanely popular. However, the bosses from Sword Art Online begin to appear and battle against the players, whereupon the viewer learns that, if one who is defeated by said boss just so happens to be a surviving member of the aforementioned game, then their memories will be completely wiped! As is the case with our main girl, Asuna! Now, with a basic narrative, which is inherently fine on its own, there is a lot to discuss. Firstly, let's discuss the impracticality of the Augma as a piece of technology.
For starters, the game requires you to play with this device outside and to utilise your own body in order to fight off against the monsters you see before you, as you place the technology over your face (much like the Nerve Gear in SAO). The idea is that the players, with this technology equipped, can see the virtual world and monsters presented within it, and those without, cannot, and since the game requires the players to be running around and swinging their arms about, then your average person would just be seeing a bunch of man-children screaming as they fight off against seemingly nothing! It's an image I had while watching the film that made me laugh as it is quite frankly, silly. In addition to this, while playing the game, the player is not aware of the physical world around them, and, let's say if they go to punch an enemy in the game (in which only they can see!), in the real world they could easily punch a random pedestrian without even being aware! Thankfully, in this world, it seems nobody travels outside, as this problem never seemed to be brought into fruition. It seems everyone in the real world disappears once the players begin their flailing. Even more problems arise when you think about the dangers the players themselves are in while in the game. What about if they think they’re running to a dragon or something, a good sixty meters in front of them but instead they proceed to run into open traffic and get run over? And I know the writer even thought of this possibility himself because during the scene in which Kirito goes to a university lecture and remarks to the lecturer that there are problems with the technology, the lecturer responds by asking him, “Is this an issue with the road accidents?” or something along those lines. As such, it leaves me to believe that there have been plenty of incidents while wearing and playing this game, and the fact that the player is completely unaware of his or her surroundings makes me wonder why anyone would willingly want to play the game out of fear of an incident occurring. Hell, a random passer-by could easily steal items out of their pockets, or even worse since they’re practically undefended!
"LIQ, you always nitpick these small little things. Why does it even matter?"
Perhaps you're right, imaginary voice in my head in which thinks of counter-arguments to my points so I can provide justification against them. Perhaps I am being pedantic in my criticisms, and just looking for stuff to complain about because indeed I am talking about SAO. A series so overtly hated at this point, that people begin groaning when they see another video on YouTube criticising the series. However, the reason why I was so distracted by such little effort in creating something that feels "real" or "believable" was because the film bored me to death, and when I'm bored, my mind thinks of such things.
Boredom. There in lies my main problem with the film, and the main reason in which every element felt so contrived to me. As a result of this boredom, another problem with the technology that bugged me began to arise: there was no clear limitations of what it could or couldn't do. For example, when attacked by an enemy in the game, some people are perfectly okay, while others are thrown back or respond to pain when being hit by an enemy. They’re nothing more than CPUs, right...? How can they issue any pain whatsoever, more so have any ability to physically move a person? When a player is hurt by these enemies and is thrown through the air, does their real-life body also fly back? The character in the digital world's movements are dictated by the actions of the player in the real world, so it doesn't make any sense. It’s just incredibly inconsistent.
This lack of clear limitations regarding the mechanics of the game also extends to the abilities of the players. For example, one of the antagonists in the film was capable of pulling off all of these amazing manoeuvres by bouncing off the walls at great speeds, which, if this were a video game in which a player used some kind of gaming peripheral such as a controller would be understandable, this element begins to make less sense when you remember that this game is controlled by the player physically moving their bodies! It's just silly to imagine that anyone could realistically be able to do such a thing, and it ends up pulling me out of the film because my suspension of disbelief shatters.
Moving along to Kirito, one thing I always praised about Gun Gale Online, despite my obvious disdain for that arc, was that they attempted to do something new with Kirto's character. His short battle with PTSD was, in my opinion, the most interesting thing to ever happen to his character, and while the pay off for this is incredibly weak, at least there was an attempt! A gold star for effort, if you will. In Ordinal Scale however, Kirito is perhaps at his most bland, and that's saying something for an already bland character. Kirito's purpose in this narrative is simple: he is the hero who saves the day and that's it. We never learn anything new about him as a person nor are there any attempts at trying to give him any more of a personality. He feels like an empty shell. While initially I was ready to throw Ordinal Scale some praise as it presented Kirito as the weakest player of this new game, thereby placing him in a position in which he is not the strongest at all times, and even resulting in a somewhat charming scene in which he falls flat on his face in an attempt to be cool, unfortunately this element is only used for comedic purposes.
Kirito’s lack of strength means nothing in the grand scheme of things since he gains power pretty quickly, becoming the number one player with little to no effort, and is used more so to pad out the story otherwise Kirito would have defeated the antagonist in their first encounter. Having Kirito be the weakest, and having him struggle and work hard to gain power in order to save his girlfriend would have given the narrative a greater sense of sincerity and heart as well. I may have found myself rooting for Kirito, as he is the underdog in this tale for once, but unfortunately the narrative opts for its roots of having him be overpowered and that's all. Watching the film, I can somewhat understand where I believe the script was going regarding his character: that of a directionless guy who has to finally decide what to do with his life. This is evident by the fact that he seems even more melancholic than what we are used to, and by the fact that he is taking a while in choosing a college course to attend. I really want to find the pieces here, and I really want to like Kirito, but I simply can't, as, even with these tiny details, Kirito feels more so like a robot than a character.
Asuna’s character in the film acts as the focal point of interest for the audience, being that she loses her memory of her time in Sword Art Online. Their relationship is pivotal in holding together much of the emotional weight of the narrative, due to the fact that we see both of them at the beginning of the film promise to each other that they’ll see the stars together; something that is shattered as a result of this loss of memory. Asuna's struggle with her memory loss is honestly the only element that kind of held my interest. Seeing her experience some form of PTSD when being cut down by the antagonist, or when she breaks down and cries alone after losing her memories, adds some layers of depth onto her character, and while it is nothing extraordinary, it also adds some kind of drama to the narrative.
Perhaps my biggest gripe with the narrative was the use of exposition. Exposition is inherently not a bad thing, and, in fact, is a pivotal element in every narrative to allow the viewer to understand the world they are presented with. However, what's important is the way in which the exposition is delivered. Have the exposition be delivered in such a way to naturally allow the viewer to learn and gauge things by themselves. Perhaps use the cinematography and framing to convey ideas. Perhaps slip small pieces of information in conversations between characters that build on our established knowledge of the context of the world. There is an infinite number of ways to handle exposition, but the one most common, as it requires little effort, is when simply a character monologues, or flat out tells the viewer everything! And indeed, SAO: Ordinal Scale opts for this kind of delivery. As such, it makes the script come across as lazy and not very well thought out, as the viewer is subjected to large sections dedicated to simply telling us what is happening. While certainly not as prevalent in Gun Gale, Ordinal Scale makes use of plenty of cafe scenes in order to deliver such exposition, which, as previously mentioned, not only makes these scenes drag on, but the inherent framing that comes with a cafe scene is visually boring too.
The villains of this film are also incredibly poor. Both antagonists, Eiji, a surviving member of SAO, and Tetsuhiro Shigemura, a professor and father to a girl called Yuna, wish to bring this girl back to life. They believe the way in which to resurrect her is by extracting memories of the SAO survivors through the technology already discussed. While this is indeed a fine motivation, its ultimately undercut by how little emotional weight this carries. As a viewer, we have no reason to care for these people, or the deceased girl, as we know nothing about them. Who cares if they do not succeed? We are given no reason to do so, nor are their characters well-written enough to elicit such emotions of sympathy in me.
Moreover, as their targets are specifically that of SAO survivors, it doesn't make much sense to have the bosses be that from the game as a means to attract them. Perhaps it may act as a deterrent and stop people from even going as it brings along memories of that time in which they witnessed thousands of people die, and thus, be fruitless. However, I am willing to accept the possibility that, of course, some SAO survivors perhaps may have gotten over such trauma, as it has been four years, and will use such opportunities as a means of getting over their past nightmares, which I believe could have been an interesting angle, but is unfortunately never used.
As Kirito believes it be wrong for the survivors of SAO to forget their memories, as it would mean they're also forgetting the people that they lost, perhaps an interesting narrative thread would have been to have the antagonist play a direct contrasting ideology to Kirito's. Perhaps the antagonist could argue that it's in fact great for the SAO players to forget as they can move on with their lives. This would have given Kirito a greater sense of purpose in this narrative, and allowed the viewer to see the advantages of two ideologies. As such, we are not subjected to Kirito's stance, which the film propagates as the morally "correct" one, rather that the film allows the viewer to think for themselves, and would have given Kirito's rivalry towards the villain a greater sense of authenticity. It's not only about physically besting the villain, but also a journey of understanding them too, making each party all the more human.
I've talked at length about what this film "could have been", and offered many ways in which I think it could have been made interesting, but in doing so, I don't mean to suggest that I am a good writer, or my ideas are of any greater value than those presented. Simply, all my own interpretations of how Ordinal Scale could be good stem from my frustration with it: mainly its wasted potential.
Hell, even Kayiba makes an appearance in the film, and just like every encounter we’ve had up with him up to this point, all he does is spout off some random vague bullshit and off he goes! While it does add some introspection into his character, as he remarks that he too used to think like the father whom is trying to revive his daughter, suggesting some kind of growth or awakening, we don’t learn anything else. Ultimately Ordinal Scale’s narrative and character fails due to a lack of focus, and I believe that's the keyword here. "Focus". Ordinal Scale feels as if a team of over twenty writers had ideas for a story, and instead of choosing one or two concrete ideas and developing them, chose to use every single unique idea. The result is a rather confusing mess of ideas and concepts that never really mesh together, nor play out in any interesting way.
Now, that’s not to say that the film is ultimately worthless however. There were a few moments I kind of liked in fact! SAO’s visuals and music has always been pretty strong (for the most part anyway) and this is where the film excels best at. The film looks good from a visual perspective, and the final action sequence was one I certainly did enjoy! Another small detail I liked was a short two second visual in which we see Asuna fly up in the air to get ready for an attack. Overlayed on her stance, one can see an image of Yuuki, who then aids Asuna in her fight. It’s a sweet little exchange, and while it was mainly included for some forced manipulation of the FEEELS I’d imagine, it works on me anyway since these two are the only two characters with some semblance of actual emotional investment; I admit I smiled when I saw that! You know what other moment made me smile? An uncensored shot of Asuna’s nipples while she was bathing. Now THAT was worth the price! I did notice a few instances of CGI however, which did kind of break my immersion in a couple of places, used mainly in the final scene of the film with some of the designs of the monsters, and in a shot where Kirito is on the phone to Asuna on his bike, where CGI pedestrians are used in the background, but it’s nowhere near the worst case of CGI I’ve seen before. The music is also good too (albeit somewhat generic and forgettable in my opinion), and I honestly really do like Yuna’s character design as well!
In conclusion, Ordinal Scale was a massive mess of ideas and concepts thrown into a blender. While, upon reflection, I wouldn’t consider Ordinal Scale to be as bad as Gun Gale Online (for that was not only much longer, filled with more plot convenience and didn’t have nearly as good animation) it was certainly nothing to raise the bar for the series, and at this point my expectations are so low that they’re right next to Dinosaur bones! It’s essentially a movie for the fans of the series, with constant call backs to earlier instalments in the franchise and the such, which is not inherently a bad thing to be, but it doesn’t excuse all of the problems I had in regards to the script. Now, I'm not here to degrade anyone who likes Sword Art Online. I believe doing such a thing anyway is dumb, and rather counter-intuitive if we all want to be open to different perspectives. Like previous instalments, the reason why I feel such irritation towards Ordinal Scale is, again, the wasted potential. The ingredients are here. It's just a shame a chef who doesn't know how to cook made the meal.
The movie wasnt hype without a reason and boy did they delivered it. I really liked how the story went. I liked everything about it because the movie was that good. That 1 year waiting was so worth it and now after watching it I just wanna download it and watch it again and again! I've never felt so much enjoyment before even when I was watching Kimi No Na Wa. Sure that movie became a class of its own but SAO Ordinal Scale just went above that level. Its only been less than 24 hrs and it alr has a 8.57 rating. This may
well be the new best anime movie and possibly will remain as the best throughout 2017.
The nostalgic feeling when they changed into their old SAO outfits from SAO1 with Kirito having his dual swords, dressed in his iconic blackswordsman and Asuna in her iconic KOB outfit. Just amazing. They even added back Kirito's legendary Starburst stream and Yuki's 11combo hit on Asuna. The end battle was really exciting and I was filled with so much of nostalgic feelings.
Great story, with EPIC/OP scenes, music from revious seasons included in movie, character development for the MC's. This is a must see for those who enjoyed the SAO anime. Also, there are a few scenes that you can understand the epicness only by having seen the 2 seasons of SAO.
For those who have seen SAO (and liked it), WATCH THIS MOVIE!!! Soo many scenes that relate to the previous SAO's. A big enjoyement, with Asuna and Kirito's relationship being important in the story. Great action scenes. Also, you re gonna get a lot of surprises while watching the movie, soo many that you re
gonna think "That was soo Epic and Awesome!!!!" I personally loved it, SAO being one of my favourite anime. I m soo glad to have watched it. Also, watch the movie until the very end, even after the credits. You re gonna get another good news.
For those who haven t seen SAO at all, you can still understand the story, but it's still better to have at least a bit of knowledge of what had happened during the previous seasons. Also, if you haven t seen the previous SAO's, you wouldn't understand why people find some scenes completely EPIC, even though it seems to be average to you. So, I think that it is better to have seen the previous SAO's, to be able to relate and enjoy the awsomeness.
There will be PROBABLY SOME MINI MINI MINI SPOILERS HERE so I'll do my BEST NOT TO SHOW ANYTHING WHICH IS CONSIDERED A SPOILER.
For your __SAfety__, DON'T READ MY REVIEW YET UNTIL YOU WATCH THE MOVIE!
If you already watched the MOVIE, Feel Free to READ!
Sword art online: Ordinal Scale was everything i expected from the Sword Art Online Series and much much more well. And i know people will be wondering is it worth watching, YES!!! YES!!! YAAS!!! YES! IT IS THE BEST MOVIE! SWORD ART ONLINE IS BACK IN AN AWESOMELY GOOD WAY!!
If we're gonna get Sword Art Online Season 3
coming up this year and they're this good then im on board and I DIDNT EXPECT SUCH A WIDE ARRAY OF IMPRESSIVE THROWBACK AND MEMORIES of the past SAO 1 and 2 and Characters... I HAVE NO IDEA THAT WAS COMING! That i'll discuss later on...
Lets start with the story, <9/10>
The plot is really interesting and really entertaining. There're some jokes in there, mini interesting romances and GREAT CHEOGRAPHY FIGHTING! Comparing this and the old SAO episodes is that, the old SAO episodes have some errors that Itou, Tomohiko, the director have made, and I still think that this is a fun series, and THIS MOVIE! WOW! Itou has IMPROVED and THANK GOD HE and the ORIGINAL CREATOR,Kawahara, Reki KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING! I think they work together to produce this GREAT FILM!
Nice animation design! Actually this is the FIRST TIME THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH GREAT and SMOOTH ANIMATIONS! Which i've never seen before compared to other action or whatever animes. and YEAH! NOT BAD. Nagashima, Takayuki, Art director. Im not sure if i miss anymore staffs who are involved with this...
I FKING LOVE THE THEME SONG! LiSA DID A GREAT JOB IN DOING THE THEME SONG "Catching the moment"! LOVE THE THEME SONG! IT'S RIGHT NOW ONE OF MY FAVORITE THEME SONG EVER! I WOULD LITERALLY LISTEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Kajiura, Yuki and Kanda, Sayaka, Congrates on doing the music and inserted song. And again! LOVE THE MUSIC! CONGRATES LiSA and the other music team!
NEW CHARACTERS, Eiji, Yuna and Shigemura. I would start individually on Eiji. Eiji was one of the Top 2 player and he really wants to show the other players who played SAO by comparing his playstyle 'AUGMA' and "VRMMORPG" to prove that he's the strong player.
Next is Yuna! Oh boy! THE DESIGN OF HER IS GREAT! I ALSO LIKE HER ANIMATION! And i like the way she show her PAST to kirito when she was in or the survivor of SAO DEATH GAME. BTW, Yuna looks kinda HOT!
Finally is Shigemura, well to be honest he has the same plan, PROBABLY or ALMOST like Kayaba..... Well he's okay!
OH WAIT!!! NOT DONE YET!!! There's ONE MISSING CHARACTER which the designers forgot to ADD HER! LEAFA aka SUGUHA! Yes! The movie has every character like Kirito, Asuna, Klein and others WEARING THE "ORDINAL SCALE" OUTFIT!! BUT FORGOT LEAFA!! COME ON!! ;-; I KNOW the movie wallpaper has SUGUHA WEARING THE "ORDINAL SCALE" OUTFIT BUT I DIDN'T SEE HER FIGHTING WITH HER "ORDINAL SCALE" OUTFIT! Without THAT THE MOVIE WOULD NOT BE COMPLETE!!!
Sorry guys, its just that im worried about missing SMALL PARTS from the movie!
Well I still give a 10/10
Well, to be honest with myself THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME! THE BEST PART I LIKED FROM THIS MOVIE IS ADDING THE THROWBACKS OF SAO 1 and 2, the OLD OUTFITS Kirito and the others wored, THEIR OLD PLAYSTYLE, MEMORIES from the series, and THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SERIES, such as FROM ALO FACTIONS, Cait Siths, Salamander factions,Sylph AND ALSO SOME CHARACTERS FROM GGO!
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Yuuki Konno! I really wanna show some RESPECT to YUUKI because she.....you know..... passed away and that made me sad......and i literally nearly cried in the cinema when i see her popped out in the final battle!
THE THROWBACKS and the PAST SERIES ARE ADDED in the movie, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS EXPECTING and IT'S EXACTLY WHAT I GOT AND IT WORKS!
TO BE HONEST, THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHOCKING MOMENTS YOU EVER SEE IN THIS MOVIE and I DIDN'T KNOW THAT THIS WILL SHOW UP!!
AND also before I watch the movie, I've deciding NOT TO LOOK AT THE RATINGS AND THE RANK OF THIS MOVIE and what i've FEARED is that i thought THIS MOVIE WILL BE AS BAD AS OTHER SAO EPISODES or SERIES..... BUT NO!! THIS MOVIE MADE IT TO THE TOP 100 ANIME SHOWS OR MOVIES AND HAS A GOOD RATING!! PRETTY SHOCKING!!
This movie CURRENTLY, 85th rank or maybe it might go down or up I DONT KNOW!! AS LONG IT'S ONE OF THE TOP 100 ANIMES THEN I'M HAPPY WITH IT!!
WELL! SWORD ART ONLINE: ORDINAL SCALE ! ONE OF MY FAVOURITES MOVIES! GETS THE FINAL RATING OF..... 10/10 !!! CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STAFFS WHO PUT UP A LOT OF FREAKING EFFORT ON THIS SPECTACULAR MOVIE! AND I WOULD LOVE TO WATCH AGAIN so i can recall so.......
I HOPE SEASON 3 WILL BE GOOD. Speaking of SEASON 3, the aftercredits, PROBABLY ORDINAL SCALE MIGHT CONTINUE WITH SEASON 3.... I don't KNOW!!!
I'm not an avid fan of SAO nor do I despise the show however this movie was actually decent!
The Art and Sound were as expected of A1 and although the story and characterization weren't amazing for a movie it was actually enjoyable due to the simplistic plot that is engaging enough and fun to watch with an ample amount of action to distract from the lack of any coherent story.
All in all it isn't the next makoto shinkai master class but it's got good enough sound art and action to distract from the fact.
8/10 probably wouldn't watch again but the music (the OP
at least) will be listened to again... and again..and.....
I'm going to analyze this movie with pros and cons in bullet point. THIS RA- REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
+Fantastic action in the first boss raid. There were gunners on the balconies, melee dps fighters taking shots, tanks tanking shots, sufficient logic of boss moves and specials, and they formulated a strategy towards the end of the fight considering they were ragtag players and not an actual raid party. Very fun!
+Good environmental destruction animation throughout. The flames, the rocks flying, the smoke, and all that stuff was well animated. I especially liked that scene where Klein jobbed, with the integration of his HUD heightening our emotional connection
with his despair.
+The final boss' design met my expectations of what a final boss should look like: graceful yet menacing, a sense of beauty as she is the guardian of her garden and temple.
+I love the soundtrack and insert songs. They are right up my alley from upbeat j-pop idol songs to slower ballads; the volume dynamics used with a few noise tracks to create tension and boding.
+The background art and CGI of the AR transformation are pretty slick. This is easy mode, though; the weather is sunny for the week of this movie's timeline; and the fantasy setting is standard medieval meets magic with a blood-red colour pallete.
+Kirito and Asuna's romance moves forward in a meaningful way. The set-up is that they planned an outing into the countryside, but the plot kicks in and the trip is in danger of being cancelled! In addition, the memories they made together is being endangered! I genuinely felt for their relationship at all points throughout the movie, and I got a satisfying payoff.
+There are a few standout cinematography moments sprinkled throughout. I liked Asuna's nightmare where the faces got blurred out to represent loss of memory, and when she woke up with the camera blurry as if we were waking up back to reality; a few POV camera shots when Kirito was looking around for the AR ghost were utilized as needed; and I liked the seemless integration of the HUD into several POV shots to visualize how cool the Augma is.
+Drones are a thing!
+Asuna's hair was amazing!
+Nice foreshadowing in this one scene where Kirito visits a future site of conflict. Very beautiful place fitting of the fantasy setting.
+I was invested in the mystery during the first half of the movie, before it falls apart as we try to piece the given answers together.
-The prologue before the title card is just recap using TV footage.
-The AR exposition is boring and unimaginative. They choose to use a news segment to explain the various functions of the Augma and how it got popular; the clips used to highlight its functions are generic and uninspiring as if the audience was the mainstream instead of fans of the franchise. (It is implied that you should watch the first 50 episodes of SAO first before this movie... otherwise you'd have no interest or you're watching in the wrong order.)
-Um... idols! She comes in, buffs the players, and sings music... because the producers needed to sell some music! It felt very silly, but I guess that's why they did it.
-It feels lazy when most of the bosses were recycling SAO monster designs. "Hey, we worked very hard on these boss designs, so let's use them in the movie instead of coming up with original monsters!" The excuse is that SAO and Ordinal Scale are doing a collab. I also really hate the plant venus-fly-trap monster; that thing just really irritates me.
-The entirety of act 2 is boring.
-Heavy exposition is dumped using dialogue in uninteresting areas. Kirito and Asuna would meet up, then awkward silence would ensue whenever they weren't talking about the plot. They'd sit in their Aincrad house, or at a cafe (that's outside!), or at a restaurant, or on the street.
-On that point, whenever there is dialogue, the animation comes to a stand still. There is a basic camera encomposing two characters at opposite ends of the frame and they have a standoff with only their mouths moving for a whole minute. Often, the director would cut to scenery where background characters and butterflies would move for no reason other than looking pretty while you listened to people talking.
-For almost 40 minutes, it feels like nothing important happened. There is a lot of waiting around transitioning to the next scene and "tension-building" pauses to elongate scene time.
-How many times have I got to see Kirito cook? Slice of life can have it's moments, but not three times of the exact same animation loop with nothing in between.
-As much as I like how Kirito depended on his connections to get to the bottom of this mystery, it is still uninspiring to have plot points dumped onto him via phone calls and using the internet. I like the few times he had to physically confront certain characters, but others do work for him and I didn't feel like he earned every new information.
-There are about 4 boss raids in total before the finale, and each one diminshes in importance and entertainment. They got repetitive (using stock footage of the AR transformation of the city) and gets less impressive quickly.
-Plotholes, a whole lot of them. It's like trying to drive on a road where any pothole will lead to instant death.
-Okay, so in order to obtain the memories of SAO survivors playing Ordinal Scale, the victims had to be cut down during the collab boss raids because the SAO monsters would remind them of their time in the death game and trigger an emotional response, letting the Augma calculate the location of those memories inside the brain, scan them, and extract them. Instead of being able to copy them (because why not? high-tech can mean anything), extraction leads to (ir)reversible damage to those sections of the brain. You would think that this would be permanent, until the main villains say they can give them back by reverse scanning..... this does not make any physical sense so I'm going to pretend this is all magic (or fictional science, or whatever).
-"We need solid evidence before we can sue the company that makes Augma." Can't we just reverse engineer the Augma and find out that it's just the Nervegear but with certain functions replaced? You can wear them and still full-dive? Isn't full-diving dangerous as lectured by the professor? It can perform a radiation scan to the brain just like the Nervegear, but instead of killing you, it just extracts (and destroys your) memories. All this thinking of how it works is mindwrecking and I'm just going to call this plot technology magic.
-You expect me to believe that Kirito does a training montage, that in the course of 24 hours, will increase his physical abilities and Ordinal Scale level so that he can be on even footing with Eiji? What the fuck.
-Let's go to an idol concert, she only plays one song, then you all must do a boss raid but this time they will overpower you while the exits are locked. They're not even indestructible because they get destroyed later on! You have to fight the final boss by full-diving back into ALO just because! Earn this special weapon that one-hits anything! WHY DOES THIS NUMBER NEEDS TO REACH 10000 TO TRIGGER A THING (THAN JUST TRIGGERING IT EVERY TIME SOMEBODY GETS 0 HP'D)? WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
-Terrible use of villians.
-Eiji was the perfect foil to Kirito: a fellow SAO survivor who didn't get put down in history because he did jack in Asuna's guild so he carries around a "bible", so to speak, a reminder that he was insignificant and also as a revenge list containing the names of who he hates; in the two years between SAO and Ordinal Scale, he trained his body and grew quite a bit taller so that when he lays the smackdown, I believe he can easily overpower Kazuto in real life; he lost his only (female) friend in the game and wishes nothing but despair for everybody involved. There was potential for an ideological dialogue between the two where their values could be tested as they try to one-up each other. There was none, then he got his ass handed to him because the plot said so.
-The professor guy had a believable motivation of bringing back his deceased daughter through constructing an AI and inserting memories of her time in SAO. I mean, this would result in a totally different person but at least she'd be a bit more human. This idea was okay, until the very end of the movie when he decides to betray Eiji because he had the most memories of her. So I get that to construct her he needs memories of all the SAO survivors who ever had contact with her, and this leads to using a blanket strategy with total disregard. This is totally evil, but it turned an otherwise potentially morally gray character to just a one-dimensional black villian who, at the end of the day, needs have his plans be ruined by Kirito.
-Act 3 is ridiculous and stupid.
-So Kirito goes up to Eiji, confronts him, and smacks his ass. I have two problems with this scene: I already mentioned the stretch of disbelief with Kirito buffing himself up overnight; instead of a fistfight like what I would have done, they activate Ordinal Scale and perform a terribly choreographied swordfight. I get that this scene is happening concurrently with the idol concert upstairs, but then the backstory of the professor also gets interspersed in this fight. Yes, you should definitely talk during the fight so he knows where you are and parry your attacks! All tension is lost as the fight is resolved rather quickly. There's also this unneccessary augmentation device that gets destroyed by Kirito and lets him get the upper hand... Eiji is already an atheletic guy in real life, so why the fuck is this plot device ruining this fight for???
-The adult government enforcers are also dumb as bricks. "Let's just let Kirito handle this." Bitch no, people are trapped in the stadium and would like to be let out. Maybe the doors are soundproof or something. They even go up to the balcony and open the door with a bullet to the control panel (stupid cliche), then they can see down into the situation. They could have opened the doors on their way down to the lower floors!
-I don't have a problem with the AR ghost that led Kirito around throughout act 2, but then she shows up via deus ex machina and tells Kirito what to do in order to save the day, and he just does it without question because he trusts her just because.
-The final boss fight is not as hyped as I thought it would be. I would think it's because it is obvious that Kirito and co would defeat it, but it also feels short and unimpactful due to repetitiveness from previous fights. The boss lady herself is fun and exciting, but the way they defeat it is predictable and cheesy. Basically, they dive into ALO and everybody (whose function is to be a cameo) are able to come together and defeat it. Also to note is that the action happens too fast and everybody only has less than 2 seconds to show off. No strategy involved, just keep attacking it is over.
-I mentioned that the boss monsters are not indestructible. I would have programmed them to be and I'd get that special number 10000 to trigger my brain melt attack, but the hack weapon for some hack reason turns that flag off and I wouldn't be able to drain memories from my despairing victims. Bad logic.
Quick explanation of scores:
Animation 7 - Beautiful background art and action choregraphy, but terrible directing and cinematics for most of the runtime.
Sound 8 - Lovely OST, catchy insert songs, and I like LiSA. Good volume dynamics in certain scenes, and good sound effects work make the action passable.
Characters 3 - Kirito and Asuna's relationship was meaningful. Other than that, nothing of interest worth mentioning. Klein gets jobbed really hard.
Story 2 - Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Enjoyment 6 - Fun, fun, fun!
Overall 4 - Because MAL makes me assign numbers to categories even though they should not be weighed equally.
I don't hate this movie. It just falls apart by itself if you start thinking about it. I don't care about recommending it. I just wanted to ra- review it.
Hello SAO fans, haters and people alike, this a NON-SPOILER REVIEW of SAO: Ordinal Scale(so u know it came out earlier in my country and I just came out from watching it).
Before the actual review, I would like to emphasise a few of my concerns & "wishes" before I entered the cinema:
1. Make Kirito likeable-As an SAO fan(sorta), the one thing that tainted a bad image in my head for SAO besides the COUGH Fairy Dance arc COUGH...was Kirito; he lacked any REAL character development. To me, he was just 'there' to say for the plot to advance.
2. If Yui pulls a hax,
do it 'right'-A random thought circulating in my mind as I saw Yui in one of the trailers,"oh boy prepare for Yui-ex machina". Being another thing I DISLIKE(not hate) about SAO, I was hoping at least it wasn't as jarring that affect the entire movie.
3. Be entertaining and 'GOOD'- This is not really a personal problem but more an optional one. One of the reasons I loved SAO how gawd damn entertaining it was MOST of the time(Fairy Dance arc I'm looking at you again). What I wanted A1 Pictures to do is to have a have line of merging entertainment and quality for Ordinal Scale.
So, what's my verdict? Well overall, surprisely...it was pretty good! But how may ask? Let me breakdown my opinion;
Story: The movie has very certain theme that I so happy that they address, for the longest time I thought Reki Kawahara would never address. Thankfully they did and it was handled pretty well in terms of SAO standards. Plotholes in the movies personally were minimal and you have to be an extremely nitpicky person to find them out and it really depends on your perception. Since this place between s2 and the next arc, it fits rather nicely and takes it back to its 'roots' to one thing that many thought SAO lacked later on, Tension. Thou not as SAO terrifying(for awhile until the BIGGER reveal popped up), it feels refreshing to see it back better than ever. The "deus-ex-machina" of the movie wasn't as bad I thought it was so that's a plus LOL.
Characters: Oh boy this movie pretty well on this department(a relieve for me honestly). I hear back months ago that an SAO movie is going to handle Kirito's and Asuna's relationship my inner critic mindset was fan-gasming to the core, "ACTUAL CHARACTER FOR KIRITO!? F**K YES! Plz be gud thou." Miraculously, thank the lord it was well done, for once in SAO history, I did feel emotions for Kirito at times I so glad this happened. For Asuna's case, her amazing character development from the Mother's Rosario is carried on strongly here and it's great when Kirito's and Asuna's relationship 'intertwine' to say. You can actually tell they humanly love each other no matter what they go through. Hell, even the left-out characters got their spotlights and I was smiling throughout those moments; maybe not for one character but hey THEY AIN'T LEFT IN THE TRASH AT LEAST. The new characters; how about them? Well for the most part, their pretty good in terms SAO. The character "Eiji" especially. At first, judging by his coincidental name I thought he was going an evil Kirito with the Edge meter cranked to the max but that was the case initially, my outlook of him did changed of him. He is one of the better SAO Villains and he isn't the real villain of the movie. The real villain unfortunately I am unable to give thoughts as it is rather spoiler heavy. As for another character, Yuna, she is too spoiler heavy not but not as much. She is like if Hatsune Miku and Yui had a child. The best part about her is spoiler heavy thou sorry.
Animation and sound: What can you say? It's A1 Pictures and it's SAO. Many people who hate the series do at least mentions the stellar animation it has and the movie is no different. Character modelings are on point, scenery is beyond gorgeous and extremely fluid animation and effects. Inconsistency in this category can be noticeable but it's nitpicky and rare. Voice acting is well done as well for both returning and new characters.
Verdict: All and all, in my opinion, 8.5/10. It safe to say that Reki Kawahara and A1 Pictures knew what they were doing. It wasn't a cash-grab movie, it was surprisingly well put movie with great character developments, moments; sure that could some weird things here that for me(which I explain in my spoiler review if you want me to) but ya, it's good(to me).
BTW IT IS MY OPINION PEOPLE SO YA.
The Sword Art Online curse continues on the series but not on this one.
Story 7 - Somewhat predictable but the executions were good enough to make the story plot stand out. They really improved their writing and put it in a logical way. But the story is not perfect ofc but it is good, not mediocre, it's above average I would say.
Art 10 - On this one A-1 pictures animation is pretty massive. They used the Clean 2d animation with the mix of CGI effects and the 1st thing comes into your mind is the Ufotable Strategy. Big production right here, like having the
2d smoke mixed with translucent cgi smoke. Heavily filtered characters + the world building here is better than the series. Overall, astounding animation with stellar editing.
Sound 8 - A pretty good one but not so special, they able to capture the scenes with good soundtracks and overall a very decent Sound/Music.
Characters 7 - The main problem of this franchise is the cliche characters, It's OKAY to have cliche ones but please make use of your characters wise and important, the "unbalanced characterization" of SAO is a major major problem but here they kind of fix it but still more work/effort to go.
Enjoyment 10- I really really enjoyed this one :D I can't deny it bruh
Overall 8.4/ ( 8 / 10 ) despite of its problems / issues , they naturally stand out and made a better quality of the series to a movie. Goodsht A-1 pictures not so bad :))
Just finished the movie half an hour ago; I'd like to write while my memory is still fresh.
I had watched the first season of SAO last year and it was, well, quite shit. Even though the concept had the potential to make the anime a masterpiece. The romance was flat, the story was a chockful of Deus Ex Machinas and the second arc was just plain bad. I decided not to watch SAO II, as I had read and heard that it was worse than the first season. But when the movie was primed to be released in my region, I just simply had to
watch it. It is an indescribable feeling that I guess most anime watchers have felt before: Is the movie going to be as average as the original anime adaptation? Is Ordinal Scale simply meant to be a cash grab, or is it going to be a genuine attempt at telling a good SAO story?
Sitting on the bus now with an SAO: OS promotional paper bag resting on my legs, my opinion stands is that it was a little bit of both.
Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale was surprisingly good.
The film kicks off with the introduction of the somewhat new breakthrough in the gaming industry: the Augma. Compared to the NerveGear in the actual SAO arc and the AmuSphere in the other arcs, the Augma was not a VR device, but an AR device.
What is AR? Augmented Reality, or AR for short, is exactly what it sounds like. AR devices or games aim to capture virtuality in reality. A good example would be the recent hit phenomenon, Pokémon Go, a game which players try to catch virtual objects in the real world.
Ordinal Scale is an AR game on a massive scale. Players, who no longer have to lie in bed and enter semi-sleep just in order to experience a virtual world and its thrilling adventures, could now simply take their wireless Augma out with them, wear it as a piece of headgear and head to various locations in the real world to team up with friends to fight huge game bosses. Of course, rewards were given if each boss was successfully defeated, but the rewards were actually tangible things such as a coupon for a free beef bowl or free cakes at a restaurant. The Augma, however, was not only just capable of providing an all-new way to game, but also had messaging and health management functions. I bet if this was released in the real world, it would be a hit in no time.
Appearing before us is our originally overpowered MC Kirigaya "Kirito" Kazuto, who is caught along by the new wave of Augma fanaticism. Along with Asuna and his old friends from Aincrad, now dubbed the "SAO survivors", Kirito goes out into the real world to fight a boss, only to discover that the boss was an old level boss from Aincrad. Realising that he didn't have the weightlessness that he had in VR, Kirito, an unfit bastard, could not replicate his sheer game-breaking power he had in almost all the other VR worlds. In the midst battle, he meets the mysterious girl who appears to him repeatedly afterwards: a popular AI diva Yuna, who is basically something like a vocaloid with personality. He also has frequent encounters with the 2nd ranked OS player, Eij. As battle after battle rages, Kirito starts to feel something amiss after strange incidents occur and uncovers the conspiracy behind certain aspects of Ordinal Scale.
While it was somewhat refreshing to finally see Kirito so weak at his game for a short while, the story of SAO: OS was not too shabby. Unlike the anime arcs which had many gaps in both plot and timeline, the film is coherent and understandable. There are no longer any ambiguous character intentions (like Kayaba's reason to create Aincrad ¬_¬) and the reasons behind every characters actions, no matter whether they were villains or the good guys, were presented clearly. The concept of Ordinal Scale and the marriage of the real and virtual world isn't anything new to the current era- but this isn't a bad thing. Instead, it helps us to enjoy the movie better because it relates to us here and now. Despite the fact that the movie is set on the 2020s, Augmented Reality (and Vocaloid idol fandom) is something that is widely talked about and enjoyed presently. The film opens our eyes to see how AR could be enjoyed close to the present; but truth be told, we do not have to wait long. Pokémon Go could have public events soon and players would be able to, as seen in the movie, take to the streets to catch legendary Pokémon. The future that SAO: OS shows us is not far after all and gives us many ideas and anticipations for what's to come in the near future. Aside from that, the movie makes several references to the anime which are pleasing to see. These reasons is why I enjoyed the story of the movie somewhat, despite it's occasional clichés and plot predictability.
In the animation department, A-1 Pictures delivers. SAO: OS deviates notably from crappy and sappy story for a more action-centred take on the SAO franchise. Animation is fluid, especially during the action scenes which are fast-paced and literally action-packed, but money didn't leak from the screen unlike films by CoMix and ufotable. A-1 had one job, and they did it. So there's no complaint for this section.
As for sound, I would say that this was one of the greater aspects of the film. You would do well to watch this film in cinemas; the surround sound was simply amazing. Along with great music, the background sound effects did an excellent job and immersed the audience in the action sequences. My seat literally shook when a game boss buried his weapon into the ground.
Speaking of music, Yuki Kajiura did a fantastic job. Her signature way of composing her music is apparent in countless areas in the movie, and tracks from the original OST such as Swordland (unfortunately, without the coffee and soda) were played, inducing a sense of unneeded but appreciated nostalgia. LiSA's theme song, "Catch the Moment", was the credits song for the film. Ironically, most fans who had left the cinema the moment the credits rolled failed to catch it.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Now for the characters. Like I mentioned earlier, the characters, whether good or evil, had clear intentions behind their actions. Unfortunately, even so, I can't help but feel that the characters are bland. They don't actually really serve much of a purpose for the story, but it was still good to see (and relieving not to see) some of the old characters. I was so happy to see Klein receive just a little bit screentime and Suguha not to receive close to any at all with the excuse of being sent off to Kendo camp. She's the character I hate the most in the franchise; just plain obnoxious. Even Yui isn't that bad. Kirito and Asuna's relationship is also one of the apparent parts of the film, and unlike being such an odd couple in SAO, they actually behave like a mature couple. Although they ain't canonically 20 yet, they already seem like they're married. We also get to see how attached Asuna actually is to Kirito. Don't get too worried yet, it's still a healthy relationship that hasn't descended to yandereism yet.
All in all, I'll have to recommend Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale. It was an unexpected enjoyment-it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and yet exceeds the expectations of an SAO hater like me. The SAO Movie is well-animated and has great sound and music. It provides a new outlook at possibilities of technology in the future, and yet provides a good story to go along with that. The plot is more than I have described, but I tried not to spoil anything at all, so if you are interested in the movie, please watch it at a local cinema near you. Sword Art Online is not leaving cinemas soon and is still being released in countries across the world, so fret not even if you are not able to watch it now.
If you do happen to get a ticket, just don't forget to stay for the after-credits scene!
Alright, I'll keep this review clean and as spoiler-free as much as possible since I haven't really written any new reviews for the past two months.
To begin, I must say that Ordinal Scale actually went above my expectations. It simply went off with a large bang and it really kept me at my wits end.
Since we're talking about Kawahara Reki-sensei here, expect awesome twists that really connects along all the dots. The story focuses on Asuna and Kirito's current relationship and it tests that connection to their limits. If you think about it, it's somehow generic, but the story build-up is spectacular and it really
leaves you awe-inspired.
In terms of the sound, art, and animation, I have no qualms about that. A-1 Pictures really did a number on the art and especially the animation, and that mostly and definitely made me give the movie the praise it utterly deserves. The action or battle scenes are pretty much enough to make you say "wow" — I mean... you really gotta see those colors and distortion effects flying through the screen.
In terms of characters... I'm really glad to have seen Kirito and the gang again in action, also, don't forget the new characters because they also give a lot of meaning to the show. With the addition of these new characters, you can almost guess where the next story will lead you. Personally, I think that SAO is going to take a much, much darker turn.
I love SAO!!!! Haters, mind your own business. The series were worth watching and enjoyable at the same time. Both Season 1 and 2 are pretty good but the second half of the second season left me with a disappointment. Then this movie came along.....
My favorite arc of the SAO series!!! Everything is almost perfect. The action scenes, animation and story is awesome!!! This is best arc so far. The MC (Kirito and Asuna) are pretty well developed in the story. Side characters like Sinon and Klein didn't have enough screentime but the last scene gave them a little spotlight. The final battle gave me
goosebumps. The villain is pretty awesome too, much like Kirito in swords fighting.
The animation of the movie is amazing. I haven't seen anything like SAO's animation, one of the best IMO. The sound was not too good. I hear echo sounds during fight scenes (haven't watch this on theaters when it was showing, I have a copy of Blu-Ray).
Season 3 can't wait!!!!
Kirito is not OP in the beginning of the movie......
Sword Art Online has never really been my type of anime but I can see the appeal for a lot of people. So when I was invited to see the movie, I walked in with low expectations and unfortunately lived up to them.
SAO never had the strongest of plots and this movie is no different. Kirito and friends are once again thrown into a new game which ends up another fight for their lives only this time, it takes place in the real world using augmented reality. Besides from being generic and predictable, most of it barely made any sense. SAO never fails
to impress me on how far I should suspend my disbelief but this movie takes the cake on how often I questioned the choice in writing for some parts especially towards the end. It's lazy writing at its best where things just conveniently work out.
There's also a romantic side plot between Kirito and Asuna if you're into that but it barely goes anywhere. But at least it wasn't a harem.
It's A1 Pictures and their most popular series. Of course it's going to look good for a movie. The animation team really went all out for the fight scenes making them as flashy as possible while making it easy to follow. Definitely one of the few things that is good in SAO. This would have been a 10 if they didn't use some really cheap CGI for some of the minor monsters but the main fights are beautifully animated.
SAO is also pretty decent when it comes to sound design and music. The fights sounded pretty good and voice acting suited the characters. They were able to incorporate some of the music through a new character who acts as the game's mascot/idol. It did get kinda old after the second time she appeared and sung but it's a part of the generic plot.
It's the same old cast of Kirito and his friends which are all generally shallow and one-dimensional. The movie does do a good job at showing who these characters were for people who aren't too familiar with the series. Fans will appreciate these familiar faces appearing again as they tried to cram as many as they could into the movie.
The new characters are fairly generic but my biggest gripe is with the main villain. They tried to make him seem justified in his actions but he just comes off as dick for no reason. Yet at the same time, there isn't enough to hate or love the character and ends up feeling completely useless to the plot.
All of the characters had very weak to no motive in their actions. The writers were trying to go the emotional route to connect to the audience more but I'm left feeling disconnected because the characters barely act human at all.
I enjoyed the action scenes in the movie and how ridiculous the writing got but the fact that there are more holes than swiss cheese in the plot just made it frustrating to watch. I sat there asking myself "why?" throughout the film and got to the point where I wasn't even amazed anymore with its lackluster writing. The actions scenes have been the main selling point of SAO so at least those are good.
There is a lot of small details that fans of SAO will appreciate and enjoy but fanservice can't hide these plot holes.
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale suffers the same faults as the series with its badly written story and poorly developed characters. I do think the movie is better since it's only like two hours long and they weren't able to drag things out forever. I wasn't expecting this movie to "fix" what was wrong with the series but I can't fault what makes SAO so popular. Fans will love this movie, even though it technically isn't the best. It checks out every box on how a SAO movie was suppose to be and I'd be surprised if they broke away from this.
LA will be brutally honest with the Sword Art Online series, LA saw SAO go through ALOT of shit, from LA fairly liking the Aincrad arc, utterly hating how lazy the Alfheim arc was in how they pretty much flanderized MANY of the characters, then come Gun Gale and LA gave some "liberties" to it but saw some gaping plot holes and more of that flanderization showing from Alfhiem and finally comes Mother Rosario's arc where LA saw glimpses of good writing here and there but LA still wasn't convinced by the end of it that Sword Art Online
turned out to be mediocre, this wasn't helped by the fact that LA was naive and not as experienced in showing how LA really felt about anime at the time and LA joined in the hate train of fellow reviewers. Now however Sword Art Online as a franchise has been talked about even to this day, debated against as one of the worst animes in anime history merely because it's popular for newbies or popular in general.
With that last statement however is something LA will talk into detail a bit later, but for now, we're talking about the movie Ordinal Scale, so does it outdo the anime series or will having a "movie-only" character be it's biggest detriment to it all...well uhhh LA thinks this runs MUCH deeper than the excuses LA even talked about right now.
Be warned however LA will be going to spoilers with this movie.
Ordinal Scale's plot somewhat pays homages to it's previous arcs into something rather huge and with the obvious enhanced technology the SAO world in it's real world has progressed from VR to AR mirroring OUR real life gaming progress, the parallels of Pokemon GO is quite the obvious ones for world building for Ordinal Scale's in terms of one of it's plot set pieces of Raid Bosses in AR Real Life and it's Ranking Systems and in this little world building comes our main plot of a mysterious idol singer by the name of Yuna voiced by Sayaka Kanda helping with these Raid Bosses, however when Kirito's gang wants to participate, something else brews in the darkness of past that will haunt them.
Ok, first thing first to get through all this and the one that LA found to be the most implausible would be the entire fact of since this is AR and most of the "actions" they take would feel silly of the other people looking at the Raid Area let alone the AR allowing them to do feats they couldn't exactly do in real life at times, plus some of the destroyed terrain obviously wouldn't show up in the real world would be even weirder.
With LA's defense with this is that there can be a bit of implausibility to the story a "suspension of disbelief" as it were an escapism mindset for this kind fo series as it were and this one for LA's intention is warranted if only the only annoyance being Kirito is the skin we're wearing here.
One of the most known and earliest villains of this movie is Eiji Nichizawa voiced by Yoshio Inoue who is something of a contrast to Kirito if only in AR (as Kirito got into the fad late...he's a newbie at AR), he's also one of the driving forces of the plot as he interacts with the mysterious idol Yuna which makes him somewhat important early on and the thing is his motivations and belief about SAO is somewhat warranted to the point LA was rooting for him in some cases of this movie, that of Eiji wanting to erase ALL memory of SAO from ALL the survivors, to this LA says that YES this makes sense of a sympathetic villain wanting to right the wrongs even if his ways are somewhat reckless mercenary-styled ways of doing things.
Really the main villain pulling the strings to Ordinal Scale, Tetsuhiro Shigemura voiced by Takeshi Kaga does have a similar reasoning to his motivations however gets even more desperate to reach his goals than Eiji does and has an intrinsic link to Yuna, plot-wise.
With Yuna being a movie only character, yes it was inevitable as to what would happen to her like MANY movie-only characters that's been done time and again, but since the source material is there and her inevitable outcome would be, LA actually likes how they handled her for the most part.
In terms of animation by A1-Pictures, A1-Pictures went all out with this movie, by giving us vibrant coloring and backgrounding and an utterly amazing battle choreography. What can LA say but the animation from the crisp character designs, amazing battles and choreography let alone one of the best fights shown near the end of the movie and beautiful backgrounding, A1-Picture really outdid themselves with Ordinal Scale.
In terms of voice acting, LA would say that the voice acting was great overall with most of the voice actors reprising their roles from the anime series, with special MVP to Haruka Tomatsu as Asuna and Sayaka Kanda as Yuna in which Sayaka Kanda is an actual singer which has it's added benefits when her character is an idol. Thankfully for Ordinal Scale, they gave the rest of the harem as well as minor characters not only from the movie but the entire span of 2 seasons of living characters some screentime, the voice cast is massively impressive even with their somewhat limited screentime anyways. (LA is mostly saying this because of Miyuki Sawashiro as Shino)
If there was anything LA Ordinal Scale was saying to LA the loudest wasn't Kirito or Asuna's relationship, trying to world build as much as possible or show how cool AR is (and how extreme this would be in actual real life), no if anything LA saw Ordinal Scale as a sincere apology letter for what it did in Alfhiem's arc. In a ways the main villain's goal of erasing all the memory of SAO was pretty much Ordinal Scale saying sorry for it's lazy writing and with Eiji and Shigemura being the extremes of this analogy in erasing ALL the bad deeds SAO did, Kirito, Asuna and Yuna are the ones saying, not ALL of it was SAO's faults and problems and erasing everything makes it pointless.
LA is getting somewhere with this analogy and to that it's yes, Sword Art Online is mainstream popular and because it's popular many people bash it, or love it, it's divisive as possible even now. But is it the worst anime ever made, pfffffttt are you kidding LA?, this is hardly the worst anime franchise let alone series, anime as a medium has churned out for itself, so what if SAO has gaping holes in it's plot, doesn't makes any sense of one huge fault leads it to be the worst anime ever. If there was one little belief LA had about the SAO franchise as a whole by the end of it's second season run is that, yes it had it's major problems but LA cannot for the life of LA say it's the worst anime ever made...seriously you NEED TO LOOK DEEP in finding the worst and SAO being the target of being extremely popular backfired on some people because of one little fault and made it the worst?...it's insane what kind of logic it turned into and guess what LA had that mindset long ago, but now...it's mediocre at best nothing too horrible but nothing too great either, SAO for the anime community changed for both the better and worse and to that that's ok to LA, it got anime exposure and helped gather more fans of anime together. If there was one little thing wrong with every anime ever, anime let alone media in general wouldn't be booming as it is now, so crying foul over one petty fault is just sounding pretentious, entitled and annoying for the sake of "being popular must be punished"...LA just finds this mentality baffling, if you like it, you like, be it ironically or not, if you don't...you don't. Yeah fine call LA a hypocrite for giving SAO's first season a 4 and LA's second season a 6, but is it worth a 1 for the sake of it being overly popular and that LA found Alfhiem and Gun Gale to be subpar?...well uhhh one, being overly popular doesn't even factor into it for LA so LA wouldn't do it in the first place and with Arc Fatigue of Alfheim and Gun Gale, LA can point out the faults of any anime like everyone else and put that into consideration like anyone else would but LA would not go to the point of condemning the series because of it.
This is what LA sees Kirito, Asuna and Yuna's belief about the "memory of SAO" to be, sure it had it's faults but is it to the point of erasing ALL of it...well then we wouldn't have Kirito and Asuna's relationship grow in Ordinal Scale and have some level of tension with Kirito wanting to bring Asuna's SAO's memories back (both the bad and good of it), hell without the memory of SAO, Asuna and Kirito's relationship would die out, so yeah Kirito has a reason to fight this time.
And to reiterate LA's point of LA's nitpick about Ordinal Scale's AR being implausible or "wrongly done in real life", no LA would not condemn Ordinal Scale because it wasn't "realistic enough". Ordinal Scale if anything gave us lots of world building of Sword Art Online through it's technology, gave us lots of character interactions and lots of growth to Kirito and Asuna's character individually by it's plot structure and growing relationship, the villains have legitimate purpose in the plot and aren't half-baked villains, they for one contrast Kirito back in his SAO days and two they are sympathetic just with the wrong methods. Heck they even did the entire "movie-only" character right without LA being annoyed this time.
Ordinal Scale for LA only now has shown that Sword Art Online as battered and bruised the franchise has turned into can swing back and give us, no convince us that it's trying to pardon it's wrongs and it did it amazingly even if Ordinal Scale itself as a movie has it's own problems which can be for LA be given grace for a pretty good solid story, growing cast of characters and gorgeously and amazing animation to it all.
Do you recall how you felt when the Sword Art Online series first begin to air? That fascination you had towards the entire concept of being trapped within a virtual reality; where death in the virtual world meant death in reality as well? Where you got to experience that unique sense of adventure, romance, and fantasy? If you do; then be well prepared to have this movie, Sword Art Online: OS, reintroduce that long-lost feeling to you.
As a fair prerequisite to this review I'll note that I watched this movie last night in the theater during the special "One Night Only!" showing promotion that seems
to be the standard for most anime movies in the U.S. So, my opinions and feelings about the movie as a whole are still quite fresh.
I came to write this review with two intentions: to give my honest thoughts on the movie and to detail my feelings about such; but also to make sure the all too prevalent incentive to knock down the S.A.O series doesn't misconstrue the reviews and/or depictions of this movie.
To begin this review it'd be best for me to give my honest opinion: I thought this movie was really "cool," for lack of a better term. It's a movie which invokes the giddy young-child-esque feeling inside of you; the same feeling we all had with the start of the original Sword Art Online series.
In the theater I had two young children behind me who couldn't help themselves; they talked constantly and were clearly excited. In most situations this would be an offensive gesture; but to better clarify the feeling this movie evoked I couldn't help but relate to their youth-bound wonder and almost wanted to join in on the conversation.
The Sword Art Online Movie: OS almost seems to be a culmination of everything people have asked for from the S.A.O series. It's a production which I would imagine would occur if the studio looked at a S.A.O forum; read everything the audience said they wanted to see from the series, and then created a movie with those thoughts in mind.
The art and sound for the movie were very, very well done. The animation was clearly top-notch and the sound was something that not only fit the fight scenes very well (given their general context of a fantasy setting), but also sounded very impressive in the surround-sound theater. The only complaint I had with the art and sound were that the background characters (such as people walking in the background) were done through CGI, or an animation style that didn't seem to fit the animation style of the lead characters, but this wasn't enough to knock down my overall opinion of the art.
The story was an interesting one; and made for a story which felt worth following. It wasn't, in my opinion, the high point of the movie; but it also didn't hold it back. In my opinion the overall aesthetic of the movie, the absolutely amazing fight scenes, and the presence of everything a S.A.O fan could ask for was the reason to see the movie; more so than the presented story-line.
The characters I don't feel I need to detail, as we likely already know them well and it wouldn't serve me much to review them. However with that in mind this movie almost requires that you've prior seen the Sword Art Online series; otherwise a lot of it will not make sense. Before watching this movie I strongly recommend you watch through the first three season of S.A.O, so that any references and/or other points in the movie won't be overlooked due to lack of prior knowledge.
This movie is simply, in my best means of describing it: fun and exciting. If you watched S.A.O and ever thought "I wonder ---" then that wonder may be well fulfilled in this movie. There's a sense of realism in the movie that I've not seen in many animes; there's a clear respect for the wants of the fans, and whilst there were plot holes and other elements which could be negatively focused on; I don't think they did much to make the movie any less enjoyable. The same way you can take almost any series and focus on the negatives to make it a "bad" series, you can do to S.A.O - the problem being people have picked out S.A.O as one of the series that is common place to only look at in a negative light. This is why I wanted to write this review; I don't want this movie to be criticized to the bone like all other seasons of S.A.O have; I wanted to stand up and let anime fans know : If you like S.A.O, then this movie is, without a doubt in my mind, something you should see.
Enjoy your time at the movies! (Or on your couch at home watching the Blu-ray / DVD)
[I will be referencing a few other anime; they might be not on the same level as SAO and that depends on your own perspective of SAO and the other animes. I’m not saying that they are as same as SAO nor SAO OS copying them, it’s just in my opinion that OS reminds me of them. Forgive me as I like to reference. Speaking of which, Wagnaria Café from WWW.Working! cameos in the movie.]
[I will not be talking about the characters as it will causes me to spoil everything from the movie]
Ordinal Scale starts off explaining briefly
about the Sword Art Online (SAO) anime-verse, it helps a little bit for the people who never had watched SAO. It shows some parts from the first season; Aincrad Arc, Fairy Dance Arc and second season; Phantom Bullet Arc, Calibre Arc and Mother’s Rosario Arc. After that, it went to the main focus of the movie; Augmented Reality (AR) with the help of the Augma device, the headphone-like device that is worn on the left ear that bridges the user to the virtual projected world. By that, users are still in the Real World yet connected to the digital grid that is AR. It is further explained in the movie.
OS is not plot heavy; instead it focuses more to action. And believe me; watching the fight scenes almost makes me feel on the edge of my seat. The movie starts off slow but it gets even faster and even more until it reaches its peak and then slows down until the end. Don’t worry; there is breathing room in between the action. The story is not all over the place and frankly, better than any Arcs in the anime in my opinion. I’ll admit that there are plot holes and a few things that seem very lacklustre on the story. But I’m not watching this movie because only of the story, I watch it for my enjoyment.
Let’s talk about the quality of the animation shall we? I’ve seen [Your Name (Kimi no Nawa)] before and it was a beautiful movie in its own right. But Ordinal Scale, an action packed Anime made by A-1 Pictures? It looks very stunning and lively! Fight scenes looks very aggressive. The colours are vivid and it also captures the emotion of the movie. Visually, it feels like you’re there with them without the need for 3D glasses or AR (insert topical joke)!
Next up, I will be talking about the soundtrack for OS. Yuki Kajiura, the person who made the soundtrack for the SAO anime, and also [Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)] (Yes, that anime about magical girls bounded by a contract for the exchange of their desires) and countless others that I don’t know of her involvement. I swear she could have been listening to the OST of Madoka Magica and then tried to combine them with the OST of SAO while making the soundtracks for OS; I could definitely feel the tone and atmosphere of those pieces. Listening to Delete, made the strands of hair on my body erect and chilling my spine because it reminds me of memories from Madoka Magica. While listening to Longing reminds me of Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works. Basically, it’s great.
Watching this, it will make you think,” Is VR or AR really needed in this world of ours? Does it not separate us between the Reality and the Virtual but yet combines both into a blurry mess?” I admit it does have its own good, to an extent. But it also brings repercussions. Technology is a dangerous thing if it’s not used for the benefit of everyone.
I strongly believe this is the anime and movie for all SAO fans. The enjoyment value of the movie is over the roof.
*Note to everyone who have not watched OS or will be watching it soon; please, stay until the end credits. Sit down and wait and you’ll understand why I ask you to do so.
Let me frame this review before dropping into it full-throttle. I had never seen any Sword Art Online until tonight. I was invited to the March 9 one-showing select theaters event by a co-worker and decided to accept. That being said, I obviously "know" SAO and its infamous polarized reputation (what anime fan in the past five years hasn't?). I have seen enough reviews, reactions, and analytical diatribes to know the gist of the first season of SAO. I have not watched any reviews or material about Gun Gale Online (SAO II) and only know smattering of what takes place.
That being said, I fully understood this movie and believe only first season knowledge is required to fully "get" it.
The story begins after the events of SAO II in the year 2026 (a few months after Gun Gale). A new creation known as the Augmented Reality device (AR) has been released on the market and is all the rage with the general population in Japan. Many have adopted the AR for exercise purposes and its enhancement to general daily living. Gamers have begun to leave the total-emersion VR games of ALfheim and Gun Gale in droves to pursue the Augma, as it melds virtual reality in a stunning new way by allowing you to see digital imaging in the real world. Players have become immersed in the freshly-released Ordinal Scale game on the AR and are all engaging in the new global ranking system in order to reach the top of the charts in their play skill. Kirito, Asuna, and company are once again thrown into a new system that is advertised to avoid the dangers and not repeat the tragedy of the original SAO server world: Aincrad. However, we all know this is not the case and soon strange things start happening to SAO veterans and survivors in OS after bosses from the original Aincrad server start appearing in the new game at special location events.
The characters of this anime are good, but basic with nothing to make them stand out amongst other shōnen anime. Kirito has become "out of touch" with the latest and greatest regarding Ordinal Scale and ultimately has to regain his mojo once again as the story goes on forcing him to adapt to the new game format. His relationship with Asuna has grown deeper in real life, but the duo still spend time at their ALfheim home when they aren't engaged in the new AR tech. The rest of the characters are returnees from SAO including their fairy AI "daughter" Yui. As a fan, I'm sure the weight of connection would have been greater if I had seen these characters throughout the progressing episodes, but for what it was, I can tell why fans have gotten attached to the OP Kirito and his company. They aren't bad, but you could copy and paste most of them into other troupe characters we've all seen before.
The sound and art of the film was good and standard fare for the enhanced budget I'm sure the movie was given. Seeing it in a theater didn't hurt the "epic" nature of the effects either.
All in all, my personal enjoyment of the film was a standard "good." I'm kind of glad I was able to see this first after these last five years of hearing nothing but ultra-love/hate for this anime. It was just fair at best. I enjoyed my time and may actually watch the show. Was the plot or characters stand-out among the anime I've seen? No, not really....but that doesn't mean you can't have a good time with this. Sure it's not a masterpiece, but it definitely isn't the lowest-most trash it is made out to be by some otakus. Take it as you will, but this film was a simple, fun romp.