SAO: Ordinal Scale slashes past expectations

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Ever since its anime premiere, gamers and anime-lovers alike have been drawn into the story and universe of Sword Art Online. While some viewers stopped watching after an abrupt and unsatisfying end to the series, most continued to watch as Kirito and Asuna tried to return their life to normalcy.

SAO: Ordinal Scale is the latest addition to the franchise after Sword Art Online II, one that managed to surprise even novel readers such as myself.

We are reintroduced to the world of SAO. In 2026, after the disastrous effects of the NerveGear that resulted in the Death Game: Sword Art Online, people have diverted their attention from VR to AR.

The latest fad in Japan is the Augma, where Augmented Reality is deemed a safer choice as it does not require a Full-Dive which disconnects the mind with the body. With the Augma, comes the most popular AR game: Ordinal Scale. Which features bosses from Aincrad.

Needless to say, Kirito and gang are fully immersed in this new fad. Well, except Kirito, who still prefers VR, since he doesn’t like exercise.

From then on, the story spirals into a roller-coaster ride as we’re taken on a journey through the possibilities of AR technology in the future but also the possible repercussions of over-reliance on technology. The graphics are gorgeous and in combination with the audio, draw you into the ARMMORPG.

While I did have some complaints about some of the slower parts of the film, I believe those were also necessary to build up to some of the more impactful moments in the movie. Even if some moments were simply plot-device no jutsu.

Ordinal Scale makes you laugh, cry and grab the edge of your seat all within the span of 2 hours. There is no lack of action while weaving in the narrative, something I wish Digimon Tri would do more of. And the final payoff was something all SAO fans had been waiting for since day 1.

If you are an SAO fan, you will definitely want to check this movie out. This was assuredly much better than that of Sword Art Online I’s latter half.

Ordinal Scale gets a solid 8.5/10

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