Press release as follows:
Sword Art Online
Previews Nationwide on 19th April, in selected cinemas from the 21st April.
Distributor: Anime Ltd
In Cinemas: 19th April, 2017
Release date: 19th April, 2017
Running time: 120 minutes
An animated action fantasy for the Pokemon Go generation! A new game hits Japan, promising to "augment reality" for its legions of fans... but it's not just a game, and will have the youngsters battling for their lives. This is the brand-new cinema instalment of one of Japan's biggest franchises, complete and uncensored.
Reki Kawhara (original creator of the Sword Art Online and Accel World franchises)
A-1 Pictures (Blue Exorcist, Fairy Tale, Black Butler, Aldnoah.Zero, Anthem of the Heart, Welcome to the Space Show, Your Lie in April)
Tomohiko Ito (Sword Art Online, Sword Art Online II, Erased, Silver Spoon)
LiSa, aka Risa Oribe (Sword Art Online, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Nisekoi, Angel Beats)
The film is set a decade in the future, in 2026. Games technology has advanced in astonishing ways, allowing players to immerse themselves in epic scenarios. True, there were abuses of the technology in its early years, and some terrible tragedies, but the advance of the games industry is unstoppable
Now, a new games machine has hit the market, called the Augma. It's a 'next gen wearable device' that allows you to conjure up a raptor in your lap, or transform your local neighbourhood into a battlezone where only you can save the world. But what if the impossible happened... If the game was no longer just a game, and allthe 'virtual' monsters and perils were suddenly real? Luckily some of the players enmeshed in this situation have experienced the dark side of VR gaming before... Let battle commence!
We Like It Because:
It's the cinema debut of one of Japan's most innovative and popular multimedia franchises of the twenty-first century. First originating as an online story, written for love not money, Sword Art Online has broadened into a worldwide bestseller. The books by Reki Kawahara have sold over nineteen million copies worldwide. They've also been turned into a TV anime series, along with manga strips and video games. Last August, it was announced a live-action American TV series is planned as well! The reason for this success is simple. In a world where so much of pop culture is tied into gaming, Sword Art Online has global appeal.
It's a show where the heroes (and villains!) are gamers, where gaming isn't a lifestyle but a life. The franchise combines mystery, action and adventure, and imagines a future where gaming is conquering society and culture... plus it has giant battles with endless monster bosses!
As the first Sword Art Online for the cinema, the film is poised to bring another generation of newbies into the franchise. It also caters to the fanbase by bringing back the favourite characters from the earlier stories, including the franchise's central couple, Kirito and Asuna. The film also keeps the talent from the popular Sword Art Online TV anime, including the same director (Tomohiko Ito) and character designer (Shingo Adachi, who adapted the original book illustrations by the artist abec). Crucially, the film story is created by franchise father Rekki Kawahara, making this a true, canonical continuation of Sword Art Online.