“Sword Art” a must watch sequel

Film adaptation hits where the anime misses

Ray Kopf, Staff Writer

The latest installment of “Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night” in the Sword Art Online anime franchise was released and doesn’t fail to hit the nail on the head. The story follows up with the lead characters Kirito and Asuna a month after “Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night,” the previous installment in the franchise. In this film, they find themselves continuing their journey to try and escape the Aincrad death game that had trapped them two months prior. 

Kirito and Asuna slowly work their way up the 100-floor castle alongside two of the biggest guilds at the time: The Dragon Knights Brigade (DKB), and the Aincrad Liberation Squad (ALS). There seems to be obvious tension between the two guilds, but they reluctantly work together for the sake of the thousands of lives within the game that are trapped alongside them. It’s only a matter of time before internal forces threaten to create conflict between the two guilds and it is up to Kirito and Asuna to prevent this.

From the start of the movie, it was clear that the fight scenes would be carrying a significant weight of the budget. The animation would be extremely detailed in every fight scene and would be simplified in transitional sequences. However, the dialogue and chemistry between the characters were interesting enough to make the difference in animation seem trivial. 

At times the dialogue between characters, especially between Kirito and Asuna, would make you solely focus on them. The animation would become secondary to the actions of the characters and what they were saying to each other. In some instances, you would find yourself chuckling or cracking up because of the dialogue and actions. 

The film delivers stunning action sequences accompanied by fitting music to energize the viewing experience. Every action scene has its place and the flow of the movie was good. 

A-1 Pictures, the production company behind this film, doesn’t fail to deliver all of the elements that made the first season of Sword Art Online pretty good. They adapt the light novel on which the film is based and give us a great taste of the Sword Art franchise. The comedy, action, animation style, character interactions, and sense of conflict are all great representations of what the anime franchise should’ve been. 

The hint of romantic tension between Kirito and Asuna pulls your attention away from the death game at times, but that is simply one of the calling cards of the anime franchise. As far as a deeper exploration into Asuna and Kirito’s relationship in the early days of the Aincrad death game, this film doesn’t fail to deliver at all.

The film mainly covers Asuna’s point of view and does a great job of exploring her relationship with both new and recurring characters from the previous film. It excels where the anime adaptation lacked and that’s in the character interactions. 

Overall this is another step in the right direction for a franchise that has been criticized so heavily for a lack of content. This film had a good balance of action and dialogue scenes, the relationships between characters were further explored in detail, and the animation style was great when it mattered the most. “Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of the Deep Night” is a great entry into the Sword Art Franchise and is a must-watch for fans of the series, as well as newcomers who want to have a good viewing experience.