A 15-second “Battle” trailer for Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night was released ahead of the film’s Japanese premiere on October 30. The brief trailer offers a glimpse of Asuna, Mito, and Kirito in action.
Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night is inspired by Aria on a starless night, one of the stories of the Sword Art Online: Progressive first volume of light novels. However, the film features an original character in the form of Mito and seems to focus on the heroine of the series Asuna.
The Progressive The series spans the ‘Aincrad Arc’ of the original and still ongoing Sword Art Online series. The first volume was published in 2012, while the eighth and final volume was published in June 2021. The main and the Progressive the series are written by Reki Kawahara with illustrations from abec.
Aniplex of America describes the movie as:
It’s a story from before “Lightning Flash” and “The Black Swordsman” were known by these names …
The day she donned the NerveGear, Asuna Yuuki was a third year college student who had never touched an online game before. On November 6, 2022, the world’s first VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online, officially launched. But players, still euphoric for logging in, suddenly find themselves trapped inside the game when the Game Master deprives them of any means to log out.
The Game Master then gives them this warning “This may be a game, but it is not something you are playing.” If a player dies in the game, they die in the real world.
Hearing this, all players panic and pandemonium reigns. One of those players is Asuna, but although she does not yet know the rules of this world, she sets out to conquer the floating iron castle, Aincrad, whose summit is too high to be seen. Over the days in this world where death is never far away, she makes a fateful encounter. And then, a separation …
Despite being at the mercy of the reality in front of her eyes, Asuna fights with all her might until someone appears in front of her: the distant swordsman, Kirito…
Sword Art Online the movie -Progressive-the staff understand Ayako Kōnō (86 EIGHTY-SIX storyboarder) as a director, Kento Toya (Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld co-character designer and co-chief animation director) as character designer and chief animation director, and Yasuyuki Kai (My Hero Academia: Mission of the Heroes of the World key facilitator, Haikyu! The film: the battle of concepts co-action animation director) as action director.
Other staff include Yusa Itō (Peaks Detective Office) as artistic director, Naomi Nakano (Aquatope on white sand) as a colourist, Yuki Ōshima (Cells at work !!) as director of photography, Kengo Oda (Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld Final season) and Hiroshi Nakajima (Destiny / Apocrypha) as CG directors, and Yuki kajiura (Vanitas case study) as a music composer.
Besides, Aya Akizuki (Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld co-sub-designer), Tomomi ishikawa (PERSONA5 Animation character designer), and Keisuke Watanabe (Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Chief Animation Director) are the supporting character designers. A-1 Photos is the animation production studio.
Meanwhile, the cast includes Yoshitsugu Matsuoka like Kirito, Haruka Tomatsu like Asuna, and Inori Minase like Mito.
Funimation and Aniplex of America bring Sword Art Online the movie -Progressive- in North America on December 3 and in Australia and New Zealand on December 9. Odex is bringing the film to Southeast Asia, with Singapore being screened by a fan on November 20.
Source: Aniplex YouTube channel