|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
Sword Art Online The Movie -Ordinal Scale- (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール-, Gekijōban Sōdo Āto Onrain -Ōdinaru Sukēru-?) is an original animated film in the Sword Art Online series, written by Sword Art Online light novel author Kawahara Reki.. The movie spawned an original interquel story arc in the Sword Art Online series, set in-between Mother's Rosario and the Alicization Arc, which also inspired a manga adaptation of the movie's plot. The film was released in about 1,000 cinemas worldwide on February 18, 2017. The movie's ending theme song, Catch the Moment, is performed by LiSA.
The main plot of the movie centers around an Augmented Reality device called the «Augma» in a new Augmented Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (ARMMORPG) titled «Ordinal Scale» (OS). Ordinal Scale assigns each player a rank in its ordinal-number-based «Ranking System», which can be increased by gathering items that appear in various places of the real world, or by defeating monsters. Higher-ranked players are granted overwhelming power and this is commonly a major factor in deciding the outcome of Player versus Player (PvP) battles.
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Kayaba Akihiko.
In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the AmuSphere.
A next-gen wearable device, the Augma does not have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market.
The most popular game on the system is «Ordinal Scale», an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.
They’re about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn’t all fun and games…
One night in Sword Art Online, Asuna and Kirito were enjoying the night sky of Aincrad. As Asuna complained about having never seen shooting stars because her neighbourhood was too bright, Kirito remarked that there were several good places to see them in his area, and thus they made a promise to see meteor showers some day in the real world. Kirito additionally promised to have a gift for Asuna that day.
More than a year later, by April 2026, an Augmented Reality (AR) device named Augma and its games, especially Ordinal Scale, were quickly becoming popular among the masses. The game's idol YUNA had also gained a lot of popularity, resulting in her first live concert being planned at the New National Stadium in Tokyo later that month. Students of the SAO Survivor School were granted a free Augma and a ticket for the concert.
On April 24, Yuuki Asuna (Asuna), Ayano Keiko (Silica), and Shinozaki Rika (Lisbeth) played an AR Pac-Man 256-like game in co-op mode in Wagnaria Restaurant, while Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) observed their game with disinterest. By clearing the game, the girls earned free cakes; however the cake Rika ate exceeded her daily calorie limit, thus she left the restaurant for a brisk walk in the mall outside.
Moments later, Rika created a virtual stage for Keiko, compelling her to sing one of YUNA's songs in the middle of the mall. Upon finishing an excerpt from the song, Keiko rushed back to the group in embarrassment. At a reference to Sword Art Online during a following conversation, Keiko recalled a rumour about Sword Art Online bosses appearing in Ordinal Scale. As the location of the boss battles was only revealed nearly at the last minute, the girls needed a method of transportation to reach one in time. Thus, they persuaded Kazuto to drive one of them with his motorcycle.
As Asuna won a game of rock–paper–scissors to decide who would ride the motorcycle, Kazuto and Asuna drove to the location of an upcoming battle, where they met with Tsuboi Ryoutarou (Klein) and his guild members, the Fuurinkazan. The moment the clock struck 21:00, Kagachi the Samurai Lord, Aincrad's 10th Floor boss spawned. At that moment, Yuna entered the scene via a drone and, announcing the start of the battle, began singing, which provided buffs to the players attending the battle.
During the battle, a player fired a rocket at the boss; however, the boss dodged it, thus it flew towards YUNA, who was behind the boss at the time, instead. At that moment, Eiji, the second-ranked player of Ordinal Scale, joined the battle and deflected the projectile, causing it to hit the boss instead. As the fight continued, Asuna noticed an opening and assaulted the boss. The moment Asuna passed Eiji, he whispered the term «Switch», which was often used during battles in Sword Art Online. A moment later, Asuna defeated the boss, thus becoming the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the battle, which earned her a kiss from YUNA and an extra ten thousand points.
In the aftermath of the boss fight, a member of Fuurinkazan noticed a series of pop-ups, which led him to a collectible in a parking lot. Just as the man retrieved the item, he was confronted by Eiji. As Eiji was emanating hostility towards him, the man drew his sword in preparation for a fight.
Meanwhile, in Asuna and Kirito's forest house in ALfheim Online, Asuna, Klein, and Kirito told Agil, Leafa, Lisbeth, Silica, and Sinon about their Ordinal Scale boss battle. After Kirito mentioned that YUNA had come to sing at the battlefield and Klein complained about not being able to get a ticket for YUNA's live concert, Agil and Sinon revealed that they had both won a pair of tickets for it. As neither Klein nor Leafa had any tickets, Agil and Sinon offered their spares; however, at that moment, Leafa dejectedly remembered about having a kendo training camp at the time of the concert.
The following evening on April 25, while browsing for a gift in her bath, Asuna received an invitation from Ryoutarou to join them for a boss battle near her home. However, when Asuna arrived at the venue minutes later, she learnt that one of the members of Fuurinkazan had become unreachable, thus she proceeded to the battlefield alone while the guild decided to remain outside to wait for him.
As the battle with the boss and an impromptu YUNA concert began, another boss suddenly spawned near the members of Fuurinkazan. Although the guild was faring well against the boss, they were suddenly assaulted by Eiji, who disabled all of Ryoutarou's guildmates with martial arts. At that moment, Ryoutarou unequipped his Augma and attempted to punch him, but this resulted in his arm being caught and broken by Eiji. After putting Ryoutarou's Augma on him again, Eiji offered the injured man to the boss while holding him by the neck, thus allowing the boss to defeat him.
In the morning of April 26, while waiting at the venue of the previous boss fight for Asuna to arrive for their date, Kazuto was convinced by Yui to train for upcoming Ordinal Scale battles. While practising, he suddenly noticed a hooded girl right next to him. The girl pointed in a specific direction, murmuring something inaudible before disappearing. Based on the hooded girl's mouth movements, Yui interpreted the inaudible voice to have been a request to search a specific place. At that moment, Asuna arrived at the scene, thus the trio headed to a nearby restaurant, where Asuna shared her suspicion that Eiji could have been Nautilus, a lower-ranking member of the Knights of the Blood in Sword Art Online. In the middle of their conversation, Yui suddenly interrupted, informing them that she had discovered something.
Having gathered the majority of the group at the log house, Yui reported her finding that the spawn points of the old Aincrad bosses in the city aligned with the positions of their boss rooms in Aincrad, thus enabling them to predict that the next spawn point would be Yebisu Garden Palace. Asuna, Lisbeth, and Silica showed interest in joining the next boss battle; on the other hand, Sinon had to work at her part-time job at the time, while Kirito showed no interest in participating.
That evening, Asuna, Lisbeth, and Silica came to Yebisu Garden Palace, where the boss of Aincrad's 12th Floor, The Strict Hermit, spawned at 21:00. During the battle, Asuna noticed that Eiji was present at the battlefield, thus she approached him to confirm whether he was Nautilus. In response, Eiji requested her to stop using that name, showing her that he was currently known as Eiji.
When less than three minutes remained till the end of the battle, a dragon similar to Pina appeared on the battlefield. Thinking that Pina had come to help, Silica approached the monster; however, to her surprise the dragon suddenly transformed into Dorz'l the Chaos Drake, the boss of Aincrad's 91st Floor, and began pursuing her. Fleeing the boss's attacks, Silica accidentally collided with Eiji, who pushed her back.
Collapsed, Silica was about to be struck by the dragon, when Asuna suddenly shielded her from the attack. Thus, instead of hitting Silica, the dragon slashed Asuna, depleting all of her hit points and causing her to collapse the moment a yellow sphere was launched from her Augma. Having witnessed the incident, Kirito rushed to Asuna and attempted to confront Eiji in rage; however, in a split second, Eiji entered close range, pointing his sword at Kirito's throat. Moments later, the dragon interrupted their conflict just as the battle timer struck zero, causing both bosses to leave the battlefield.
Woken by a nightmare at around 02:00, Asuna called Kazuto, asking him to come to their log house. There, she revealed that she had been losing memories of her time in SAO, causing Kazuto to become worried. In the morning of April 27, Kazuto brought Asuna to Doctor Kurahashi at the Yokohama Kōhoku General Hospital to have her checked. Having examined Asuna's brain with the Medicuboid, the doctor revealed that he had found evidence of a scan targeting specific memories to have been performed on her brain, resulting in the loss of her SAO memories. Kurahashi also informed them that similar incidents had occurred to other people, all of whom were SAO Survivors who were playing Ordinal Scale.
In the evening, Kazuto came to the site of the next Ordinal Scale battle, where Yui promised to look for leads for the memory loss incident during the fight. At that moment, the two were joined by Asada Shino (Sinon), who had decided to help Kazuto in the battle, arguing that there was no risk of her memories being scanned due to not being a former SAO player. Moments later, the Ordinal Scale event began; however, the monster that appeared was The Dire Tusk, the boss of the 18th Floor of Aincrad, rather than the expected 13th Floor boss. As Kirito expressed surprise at this change, Yui reported that several bosses had appeared in various areas of the city simultaneously, while their positions were shuffled.
At that moment, the timer began ticking and the boss attempted to assault the players, but its attack was stopped by a chain binding it to a wall. Just as some players were about to reach the boss, the boar managed to extract the chain from the wall and hit an SAO Survivor with it, depleting the players hit points to zero and causing the brain scan to engage. Noticing a piece of data being launched from the player's Augma, Yui followed it to find its destination but her attempt was blocked by a barrier midway. Meanwhile, on the battlefield, Kirito recklessly attempted to defeat the boss himself but was forced into defence when the boss began chaining attacks with its chains. At that moment, Sinon sniped the chain and then the boss itself, allowing Kirito to deal the final blow.
In the aftermath of the battle, Kirito noticed the hooded girl again, but by the time he reached her, the girl disappeared, pointing at some location in the distance. While getting a drink from a nearby vending machine in disappointment, Kazuto suddenly recalled that the girl had asked him to search the place she pointed at during their first meeting. Upon asking Yui to analyze this, he discovered that the location the girl pointed at was the Touto Institute of Technology, where the developer of the Augma, Professor Shigemura Tetsuhiro, worked.
The following day, Kazuto participated in a lecture by Professor Shigemura on the advantages of Augmented Reality as compared to Virtual Reality. At the end of the lecture, Kazuto asked for Professor Shigemura's opinion on the potential dangers of Augmented Reality, prompting the professor to conclude the lecture. The two continued the conversation in the professor's office, where Kazuto questioned him about Eiji, and the Augma's ability to scan and damage the user's brain. Implying that such a scan was impossible, the professor questioned what issue was there with people losing their memories of SAO, presuming that the survivors wished to forget them.
After noting the presence of various parts in the room at the end of the conversation, Kazuto noticed a photo of a girl on the professor's desk just as he was leaving the room. Outside, Kazuto called Kikuoka Seijirou to enquire about the girl, and thus discovered that the professor had a daughter named Shigemura Yuuna, who had lost her life to the SAO Incident. After the conversation with Seijirou, Kazuto received a call from Asuna, with whom he then arranged a visit at her house, as it was relatively close to the institute.
In Asuna's room, Kazuto accidentally came across her diary while she was preparing some tea. By reading the last entry, he learnt the extent to which the memory loss incident had affected Asuna. When the girl returned to the room, Kazuto, overwhelmed by emotion, embraced her, the momentum causing them to fall onto the bed. After confessing their love for each other, leading to an intimate kiss, Kazuto promised to retrieve Asuna's memories for her.
In the evening, while walking through a park, Kazuto was approached by the hooded girl from behind and suddenly transported to a mysterious place in his Ordinal Scale outfit. There, Kirito encountered the girl, whom he now recognised as Yuuna. After the girl informed him that he needed to increase his ranking in Ordinal Scale if he wished to retrieve Asuna's memories, Kazuto awoke in the park. Following this revelation, Kirito began defeating boss after boss, until he reached rank nine upon defeating Waheela the Black Wolf. At that moment, he was approached by Eiji, who invited him to come to YUNA's live concert for Asuna's memories.
On April 29, 2026, YUNA's live concert was about to be held at the New National Stadium. Having left his friends at their seats by using a bathroom excuse, Kazuto headed to the stadium's underground parking lot to confront Eiji. Meanwhile, observing the concert, Professor Shigemura lamented how his decision to get Yuuna a NerveGear and a copy of Sword Art Online led to the loss of his daughter. He explained to a vision of Kayaba Akihiko that Yuuna had suffered irreparable brain damage because of the NerveGear, but claimed that if he could gather memories of her from other Sword Art Online players and fuse the fragments together, he would be able to revive Yuuna as an artificial intelligence.
In the meantime, during his battle with Eiji, Kirito deduced that the piece of equipment on Eiji's nape was the source of his battle skills, and thus used the first opening he had to remove it. Once Eiji was easily defeated moments later, Kirito was informed that Eiji and Professor Shigemura were planning to scan the memories of all the SAO survivors gathered at the concert venue to revive Yuuna. Having learnt this, Kazuto rushed into to the concert area, where numerous SAO bosses had spawned after YUNA's concert while he had been fighting Eiji.
As the chaos continued in the concert venue, Yuuna approached Professor Shigemura in an attempt to dissuade him from continuing with his plan, as the high-frequency scan that Shigemura intended to conduct would likely result in the deaths of the victims. However, Shigemura Tetsuhiro, willing to even follow the same path as Kayaba Akihiko if it would revive his daughter, refused to comply. Hearing this, Yuuna disappeared from the control room.
Back at the stage, moments after defeating The Gleam Eyes, Kirito was assaulted by The Fatal Scythe. Just as the monster was about to deal a blow to the defenceless Kirito, Yuuna appeared, creating a barrier to intercept the attack. While blocking the monster's attack, Yuuna informed Kirito that a brain-damaging scan would be performed when the emotive counter displayed on a screen in the venue reached ten thousand. As the other players were too occupied with the bosses to respond to requests to remove their Augmas, Yuuna pleaded Kirito to enter the Ruby Palace and defeat the final boss of Aincrad, explaining that the Augma had a hidden FullDive capability due to actually being a NerveGear with a limiter. Just before entering FullDive with Agil, Lisbeth, Silica and Sinon, Kirito gave Asuna the ring he had bought as a present for her as a promise to return safely.
In FullDive, the group reached the Ruby Palace on the 100th Floor of Aincrad, where the original final boss of Sword Art Online, «An Incarnation of the Radius», immediately engaged them in battle. Just when all of them were immobilised by the boss and Kirito was about to struck by the boss's beam attack, the boss was abruptly staggered by Asuna, who had just reached the battlefield.
Before the boss could begin another attack, Yui and Leafa suddenly entered the field, bringing players from both ALfheim Online and Gun Gale Online as reinforcements. Before Kirito's group returned to battle, Yui loaded their saved game data from the SAO server, as well as Sinon's GGO save data as a bonus, allowing them to fight the boss in their old equipment. With all the players attacking the boss simultaneously, it was eventually defeated, with Kirito dealing the last attack. Moments after the boss was vanquished, a sword that formed in the air landed into Kirito's palms.
Back at the stadium, just as Yuuna was about to be struck by The Fatal Scythe, a virtual projection of Kirito, now having become the top-ranked player of Ordinal Scale, used the sword he had obtained from the battle in FullDive to easily dispatch the monster. At that moment, Yuuna took the stage to sing, thus encouraging the players, while Kirito used his new sword to help them dispatch the remaining monsters. As the emotive counter began decreasing, Shigemura Tetsuhiro saw an image of his daughter, telling him that she would always be with him in his memories, just before Kikuoka Seijirou and his men found Professor Shigemura in the server room at Argus's headquarters.
In the aftermath of the battle, Yuuna revealed that the data for her body was based on the resources of SAO's final boss, whose saved data was reset upon its defeat, thus meaning that she would have to say farewell to them. Before disappearing, Yuuna returned Asuna's memories.
On May 4, 2026, Asuna and Kazuto, accompanied by Yui through her probe, fulfilled their promise to see a meteor shower together. There, Asuna gave her own gift to Kazuto, before returning the ring to have him to put it properly on her ring finger this time. Just as the two were about to have a kiss, Yui interrupted them by noting the beginning of the meteor shower. After enjoying the sight for a moment, Asuna and Kazuto kissed each other.
Meanwhile, rather than having Professor Shigemura charged for his crime, Kikuoka Seijirou, interested in the professor's Artificial Intelligence system, took him to Rath's base to help them with their own project.
- Kagachi the Samurai Lord (10th Floor Boss)
- The Storm Griffin (11th Floor Boss)
- Zehghi the Flame Caller (11th Floor Field Boss)
- The Strict Hermit (12th Floor Boss)
- Dorz'l the Chaos Drake (91st Floor Boss)
- The Dire Tusk (18th Floor Boss)
- Waheela the Black Wolf (28th Floor Boss)
- Xodera the Merciless Razor
- BuuRaa the Vile Flesh
- Z'y the Brutal Demolitionr
- Armadillon the Burly Blaster
- Barlon the Barbarous Barber
- Igor the One-armed Squelcher
- Gosirsa the Bullheaded Tormentor
- Asvasirsa the Horseheaded Tormentor
- The Flameeyes[† 1]
- The Fatal Scythe
- The Gleam Eyes (74th Floor Boss)
- The Skull Reaper (75th Floor Boss)
- An Incarnation of the Radius (100th Floor Boss)
- 22nd Floor of Aincrad
- Yuuki family residence
- Argus office
- Akihabara Urban Development X (UDX)
- Forest House K4
- Kirigaya Residence
- Yoyogi Park
- Yebisu Garden Palace
- Yokohama Kōhoku General Hospital
- Touto Institute of Technology
- Saitama mountain
- New National Stadium
- Rath's base
International Release Date
|Brunei||April 20, 2017|
|China||September 9, 2017 (Prescreening)
September 15, 2017
|Official site, Official social network account|
|Hong Kong||March 30, 2017||Official fanpage|
|Indonesia||March 4, 2017 (Event)
March 22, 2017 (Roadshow)
|Korea||February 23, 2017||Official site|
|Macau||March 30, 2017|
|Malaysia||February 18, 2017|
|Philippines||February 18, 2017 (Premiere)
February 22, 2017 (Roadshow)
|Singapore||February 18, 2017 (Premiere)
February 23, 2017 (Roadshow)
|Taiwan||February 24, 2017 (Screening)
October, 2017 (Dub airing)
|Thailand||February 18, 2017 (Premiere)
February 23, 2017 (Roadshow)
|Vietnam||May 23, 2017|
|Austria||Official Site, Tickets, Regular screening Tickets|
|Belgium||May 17, 2017|
|Denmark||May 10, 2017 (Event)|
|France||February 19, 2017 (Event)
||Official Site, Official News Announcement Page,|
|Germany||February 18, 2017 (Event)
||Official Site, Tickets, Regular Screening Tickets|
|Iceland||April 1, 2017 (Event)|
|Ireland||April 19, 2017|
|Italy||June 13, 2017 (Event)
July (Italian dub screeening)
|Official News Announcement Page|
|Luxembourg||May 17, 2017|
|Norway||April 8, 2017 (Event)|
|United Kingdom||April 19, 2017||Official Blog|
|Canada||March 17, 2017||Tickets|
|Mexico||March 4, 2017||Official site|
March 1, 2017 (Event)
|Australia||March 4, 2017 (Event)
March 9, 2017(Public release)
|Official News Announcement Page, Official Site|
|New Zealand||March 9, 2017 (Public release)||Official News Announcement Page|
- Many of the products featured in the movie actually exist. Examples include Pac-Man 256, Sony's "h.ear on™ Wireless NC MDR-100ABN (CINNABAR RED)" headset, and Sony's "MDR-1000X (BEIGE)" headset..
- An "SAO will return" teaser was shown at the end of the movie after its post-credit scenes.
- Despite Kazuto's statement that he had never visited Asuna's residence in Volume 9, which takes place after the movie, he visited her residence twice in the movie.
- A red-colored version of the Gleam Eyes
- Interview with Kawahara Reki published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE volume 46
- Statement from Kadokawa[Clarification needed]
- Theme song announcement on the official movie site
- Dengeki Online
- Official movie site
- Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE volume 52
- Full Record of SAO the Movie "Behind-the-Scenes" (8th week Ordinal Scale movie bonus)
- Tokyo map displayed by Yui
- Prescreening page on the official site
- Dengeki Online article
- Cinema facebook page opening announcement
- Release date media report[Clarification needed]
- Neofilms announcement
- Jive Movie special screening announcement
- Jive Movie announcing the general release of the movie
- Official tweet by Aniplus TV
- Distributor site listing Macau City Town as a screening venue
- The cinema's site lists the regular and special editions to both be released on the same day.
- General release announcement by SM cinema
- Official comment: Road Show is 23 Feb in 6 GV cinema locations.
- TV channel announcement
- DexClub event sessions announcement
- Thailand Major Cineplex Ordinal Scale Ticketing Site
- Local media report
- Peppermint list of cities with dates for regular screenings in Germany and Austria
- Peppermint's post on Facebook mentioning that the theater release of SAO OS in Austria and Germany will take place in Spring 2017 dubbed, with certain cinemas going to hold a subbed screening
- German news site reporting the confirmation
- Cinema introduction page
- Dengeki Online overseas release report
- Cinemaxx page about Kommende Film.
- Wakanim news article
- Tweet by Wakanim
- Official French Official News page announcing the postponement of the French release
- Event homepage
- Cinema introduction page
- Event Site
- Announcement by the official United Kingdom distributor
- Announcement by Aniplex USA
- Mexican screening date announcement
- The movie's end credits
- Sony's headset advertisement YouTube video