Aniplex of America announced during a livestream event on Friday that it will premiere the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale anime film in North America in a premiere event at the Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 1. Tickets to the event will go on sale on November 15 at noon PST.
Aniplex of America additionally stated that it will release the film in a wider theatrical release across North America. The company will reveal theatrical locations and dates for the wider release at a later date. All screenings will be with Japanese audio and English subtitles, and Aniplex of America is partnering with Eleven Arts for the release.
Kadokawa had announced in October that the film would be “simultaneously released worldwide on February 18, 2017.” The announcement didn’t offer details on how the film would be released, but the film’s staff previously confirmed that the film will screen in about 1,000 theaters worldwide.
The film will open in Japan on February 18 in 150 theaters. Aniplex of America describes the movie’s story:
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba, called NerveGear. It was the first full-dive system, and with it, came endless possibilities to VRMMORPGs.
In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the Amusphere. A next-gen wearable device, the Augma doesn’t have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality (AR) to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market. The most popular game on the system is “Ordinal Scale” (aka: OS), an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.
Asuna and the gang have already been playing OS for a while, by the time Kirito decides to join them. They’re about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn’t all fun and games…
The film will feature a returning cast from the previous two anime series, including:
- Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kirito
- Haruka Tomatsu as Asuna
- Rina Hidaka as Silica/Keiko
- Ayahi Takagaki as Lisbeth/Rika
- Miyuki Sawashiro as Sinon/Shino
- Hiroaki Hirata as Klein/Ryotaro
- Kanae Itō as Yui
- Ayana Taketatsu as Leafa/Suguha
- Hiroki Yasumoto as Agil/Andrew
- Kouichi Yamadera as Akihiko Kayaba
The film’s all-new original story takes place after the Mother’s Rosario arc, which was the final arc depicted in the TV anime’s second season. Original light novel author Reki Kawahara is writing the new story for the film. Tomohiko Ito is returning from the two TV anime series and the anime special to direct the film at A-1 Pictures. Shingo Adachi is also returning from the TV anime to design the characters based on abec’s original character designs, and Yuki Kajiura is returning to score the music.