Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of a Starless Night, the upcoming film adaptation of the novel series, has released a new trailer ahead of its October 30, 2021 release in Japan. Rather than focusing on franchise protagonist Kirito, the new film focuses on Asuna in its early days at the start of Sword art onlinethe original story arc “Aincrad”. [Thanks, Comic Natalie!]
The Sword Art Online: Progressive trailer begins with Asuna in the real world, first auditioning for the impending launch of SAO of her friend Misumi. A new character created for the series of novels, Misumi is called Mito in the game and is voiced by actress Inori Minase. Minase previously expressed Hestia in Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? and Queens of Lord El-Melloi II files. Mito invites Asuna to join her for the launch of SAO, a “Full-Dive” online virtual reality game. The two find themselves trapped in the game together when its creator Akihiko Kayaba turns around SAO in a game of death, challenging captive players to step into the game world of Aincrad to escape. As in the original story, Kayaba arranged things so that if a player dies in the game, they die in the real world. Mito, however, vows not to let Asuna die, comforting Asuna as they face the now deadly dangers of the game. Kirito also appears briefly, showing off his appearance before donning his iconic black cloak.
As the original novel and its subsequent adaptations focused on Kirito’s story and perspective, Asuna’s exploits before the couple met were relatively unknown. One of the goals of Sword Art Online: Progressive was to refine and expand the history of this period. It puts more emphasis on how Asuna, Kirito, and other key characters from SAO walked through the first floors of the game tower. In 2021, eight volumes of the series of novels were published. The film adaptation is produced by studio A-1 Pictures, which also hosted the Destiny / Apocrypha animated series, the Sword art online anime adaptations, and the Ordinary scale movie.
Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of A Starless Night – will be released in Japan on October 30, 2021. The film is licensed under Aniplex of America. However, international release dates have yet to be detailed.