Anime Movie Review: Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

Details: Released in 2017. Around two hours long.

I first watched the anime Sword Art Online as it was airing a very long time ago. I really liked as there were no other shows at the time quite like it. Since then, countless animes hoping to profit off the success of Sword Art Online have copied the general plot aspects of this show and turned it into a whole genre, drowning anime watchers in a sea of shows where the protagonist is transported/reborn into a fantasy world where they can level up as if in a video game. As someone watching this movie in this context, I can say that the movie was not great, with the best part of the movie being the after credits scene.

Ordinal Scale takes place some time after the last season of Sword Art Online. The popularity of virtual reality games is waning as augmented reality games are growing in popularity. Unlike the virtual reality games that you play lying down and mostly in your mind, augmented reality games take place in real life and instead just re-skin reality, laying an overlay over structures in reality. The main game everyone is playing is called Ordinal Scale. As the movie progresses, Kirito (the protagonist) and his crew discover something that is endangering players of Ordinal Scale and seek to discover and defeat than danger.

Firstly, this plot is crap. I mean it made zero sense and character motivations didn’t make any sense. It’s nice to see the old characters back and interacting with each other again, but nothing made that much sense nor was any of it that compelling. Plot points just seem to happen with no build up or reason.

Visually, this movie is great to look at and has plenty of beautifully animated action scenes. The final battle scene in particular was a feast for the eyes and, despite the overall bad plot, I enjoyed watching a final battle that drew from every prior season of Sword Art Online. I enjoyed the series and I enjoyed seeing references to it as well as some closure.

The music was good and had some good Japanese pop music.

There is also some pointless nudity which adds nothing except… boobs. Although, as a watcher of Game of Thrones, it’s hard to argue against pointless nudity when it is seemingly essential to success.

Overall, this was a bad movie with some good action scenes. The best part was the after credits scene that hints at a third season, which would be nice to me since I’m a fan of the series. Otherwise, I don’t recommend the movie as it is pretty bad. If you loved the show, then maybe give it a chance.

Score: 5/10

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