Latest Sword Art Online Movie Perfectly Explores Origins of Asuna

Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night allows fans to dive deeper into the origins of Asuna.
sword art online progressive

Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night allows fans to dive deeper into the origins of Asuna.

The latest Sword Art Online movie takes viewers back to the beginning of the series as players are trapped within the VRMMO and try to survive. The story brilliantly answers how Asuna ends up being stuck within the game and the fateful encounter that follows. This article may contain spoilers regarding story and characters.


Based on the original story from Reki Kawahara (Dengeki Bunko), Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night travels back to the beginning of the saga where players find themselves trapped inside the world’s first VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online, with no way out. The film introduces the story through Asuna’s perspective as she struggles to cope with the realities of her new world and her fateful encounter with Kirito. The film also introduces a new mysterious character, Mito, a classmate who invites Asuna into the world of SAO.

Sword Art Online Goes Back To Asuna

sword art online movie

The film, released by Funimation, along with partner Aniplex of America, is directed by Ayako Kono with animation production from A-1 Pictures.

Movie 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…

It was always curious to find out exactly what caused Asuna to get involved with Sword Art Online. This was mainly due to her background of her workaholic parents, which even feature in the story later on in the series. We discover that her classmate that draw her towards videos game, which leads to her curiosity.

sword art online anime

The official cast for the movie:

Kirito: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese voice); Bryce Papenbrook (English voice)

Asuna: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese voice); Cherami Leigh (English voice)

Mito: Inori Minase (Japanese voice); Anairis Quinones (English voice)

Mito is a key character that fans clearly needed to know about as she was vital in Asuna development. Since she was the classmate of Asuna, it has allowed fans to connect the dots to find out how they both ended up in the game. She may also seem relatable to many as she struggles to share her interests with others and has a distinct taste for less stereotypical avatars.

This film also explores the lores of the franchise with greater magnification. Such as how a newbie Gamer like Asuna is able to surpass expectations in video games with her athletic abilities she utilised in school. It also touches on the horror and torment the game master’s rules had on both Asuna and Mito, as events were a devastating hurdle.

The whole film demonstrates that a heroine such as Asuna isn’t always confident and brave in the beginning. That it is their determination and willpower that sets one on the path to become strong, as well as a pro-gamer in VR. The twists and choices that Asuna makes definitely helps fans see her in a different light and provides a background that makes her a greater character more than before.

Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night will be released in theatres, including IMAX, December 3rd. The movie will have a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. Tickets for the science fiction action-adventure film, Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night, are on sale at For more information on Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night, visit and follow the official Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think of seeing the origins of Asuna? Are you interesting in seeing the beginning from another perspective? Is Sword Art Online one of your favorite anime franchises? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more anime.



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Bryn Darby

Long time fan of Tokusatsu fan since Power Rangers was first released in the 90s. Whereas most Superhero fans grew up with DC Comics and Marvel, my childhood was surrounded by releases from Saban Entertainment such as Beetleborgs, along with anime, and other various fads of the generation. Anime is also a great passion with Digimon, That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime, and Demon Slayer being significant favorites. It was the love of both Power Rangers and Digimon that led to the path of becoming a Senior Writer for The Illuminerdi.