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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Review: ‘Ordinal Scale ‘ brings beauty and quality to ‘Sword Art Online’


A still from “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale,” an anime movie based off of the book series “Sword Art Online.” 

“Sword Art Online” is a popular Japanese novel by Reki Kawahara that was turned into a television show and is the basis for a new movie, “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale.”

This show had two seasons and four arcs from the novel. This gained billions of views in Japan and the United States.

The show takes place in 2022, where Sword Art Online is the hottest thing in Japan.  Game developer Akihiko Kayaba , creator of the NerveGear and Atmosphere rig, allows players to dive in mentally into the game and experience and control it in real life.

In the television show, all the players of a game find out that they can’t leave the game because Kayaba, the creator, decides to hold them as hostages until they beat his game. The players have to beat the final boss to get out. There’s one catch; if they die in the game, they die in real life. Kazuto Kirigaya is one of the few players with experience, and his goal is to survive,  beat the game and go home.


Kirigaya is later able to have a peaceful life for two years but is then called to fight the rest of the bosses in the game. At the very end, Kirito finds out that the leader of the best group of players is Kayaba and challenges him to escape the game.

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The movie then follows what happens after the finale of the show’s second season. The focus of the movie was interesting. The plot went on a unique path. This time, the game comes to the real world, but it’s not just a game anymore. Everything changed for the best.

You would think the plot was about beating the game of Ordinal Scale like it was in the television series. Ironically, most of the focus is on Kirigaya and his relationship with his girlfriend Asuna. About 25 percent of it was focused on the actual game.

It had the old cast and came with three new characters. Yuna is a pop singer and is a being of AI (artificial intelligence) that controls most of the game. There was character development for the cast, especially for Asuna. She went through a lot mentally and emotionally.

The animation was amazing and breath-taking. Unlike the television series, you can see the high quality of all the battles in the film, especially the final battle in the Ruby Castle.

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The music was catchy and emotional with great beats, especially by Yuna, a Malaysian singer-songwriter. There were four different songs by Yuna that gave the movie scenes emotion. You could feel the atmosphere of the movie scenes. My favorite was the theme song “Catch This Moment” by LiSA. It is the perfect theme song with a catchy beat.

If you watch anime and you’re a fan of SAO, you are going to love the movie and enjoy it as much as I did. If you’re a fan of virtual games I recommend it because this time the game comes to the real world with a vengeance. So, enjoy the movie in theaters both subtitled and dubbed.  


As the players in the game say, “time to link up.”

Grade: A

Follow Mike Gonzalez on Twitter.

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