Funimation and Aniplex of America Bringing Sword Art Online The Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night to Theaters

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Nicholas Friedman
Nicholas Friedman is a career pop culture journalist and Sr. Managing Editor at Funimation. You'll likely find him talking about Mob Psycho 100.

The brand-new Sword Art Online film is coming! We’re excited to announce, along with our partners at Aniplex of America, that Sword Art Online The Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night will officially arrive in theaters this December.

That’s right, the highly anticipated film will hit theaters in the United States and Canada on December 3, Australia and New Zealand on December 9, and coming soon in the United Kingdom and Ireland. That means the film arrives just two months after its October debut in Japan!

Sword Art Online The Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night sees a return to Aincrad for a retelling of the story we know and love. The Japanese voice cast includes returning actors Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Haruka Tomatsu, along with the arrival of Inori Minasa as an anime-original character named Mito.

Sword Art Online Progressive Key Visual

From studio A-1 Pictures, the film’s staff includes:

  • Original Illustration & Character Design Concept: abec
  • Director: Ayako Kono
  • Action Director & Monster Design: Yasuyuki Kai
  • Character Design & Chief Animation Director: Kento Toya
  • Sub Character Design: Aya Akizuki, Tomomi Ishikawa and Keisuke Watanabe
  • Prop Design: Hisashi Higashijima
  • Art Director: Yusa Ito
  • Art Setting: Akihiro Hirasawa
  • Color Setting: Naomi Nakano
  • Director of Photography: Yuki Oshima
  • CG Directors: Kengo Oda, Hiroshi Nakajima
  • 2D Works: Yohei Miyahara, Kaori Seki
  • Editing: Kyoshi Hirose
  • Music: Yuki Kaijura
  • Sound Director: Yoshikazu Iwanami
  • Sound Effects: Yasumasa Koyama
  • Sound Production: sonilude

Official synopsis:

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…


Keep it locked to Funimation for info to come, including ticket on-sale dates and more! Are you excited for the next chapter of the Sword Art Online anime? Share this post and let us know! And be sure to catch up on all things Kirito, Aincrad and more, right here on Funimation.

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