Sword Art Online has dropped new release details for its next big movie release, Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night! Following the end of the massive third season of the series, the anime had essentially caught up to where the light novels are currently as it is getting ready to tackle whatever the Unital Ring arc following the Alicization saga prepares to be. But rather than wait for the future, the anime franchise is taking a step back and fleshing out some of the events that had come before during the very first outing for the series.
Sword Art Online Progressive is series creator Reki Kawahara's official companion piece to the series that shows much of the Aincrad arc at a slower pace than Asuna and Kirito had gone through those floors in the original series. The first arc of this series, Aria of a Starless Night, will be the focus of this first film, and has been confirmed during a special event for the film that Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night will be making its debut in 40 different countries and territories around the world. Premiering in Japan on October 30th, check out the newest teaser trailer with the news below:
As for fans outside of Japan, some of those 40 territories and countries have been spoken for. Funimation is releasing Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night in theaters and on IMAX screens on December 3 for fans in the United States and Canada (with tickets going on sale November 5), December 9 in Australia and New Zealand (with tickets going on sale November 9), and will also be coming soon to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Latin America. They describe the film as such:
"This is a tale of the time before "Lightning Flash" and "The Black Swordsman" were known by those names…The day that she happened to don the NerveGear, Asuna Yuuki was a third-year middle school student who'd never even touched an online game before. On November 6, 2022, the world's first VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online, is officially launched. But the players, still euphoric over having logged in, suddenly find themselves trapped inside the game when the Game Master deprives them of any way to log out.
The Game Master then gives them this warning 'This may be a game, but it's not something you play.' If a player dies in-game, they die in the real world. Hearing this, all of the players panic, and pandemonium reigns. One of those players is Asuna, but despite not yet knowing the rules of this world, she sets off to conquer the floating iron castle, Aincrad, whose peak is too high to be seen. As the days go by in this world where death is never very far away, she has a fateful encounter. And then, a parting…Though she's at the mercy of the reality before her eyes, Asuna fights on with all her might until someone appears before her: the aloof swordsman, Kirito…"
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