‘Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night’ Review – Asuna’s Time To Shine!


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Courtesy of Funimation, I had the opportunity to watch Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night, and I enjoyed it! As a fan of the the Sword Art Online anime, Aria of a Starless Night is a film that I needed because sometimes going back to the basics is a breath of fresh air. The film has great action, grounded storytelling, and of course the visuals is always amazing when it comes to Sword Art Online. Without further ado, here’s my spoiler-free review on the film.


Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night is directed by Ayako Kono, and based on the original story from Reki Kawahara. The film takes place where the story first began, players getting trapped in the VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online. In Aria of a Starless Night, fans get to see Asuna’s perspective with how she’s coping with her new reality being trapped in SAO and encountering Kirito for the first time. We’re also introduced to a new character, Mito, a friend of Asuna who invited her to SAO.

I enjoyed the plot of the film, especially when I believe the first arc was just so grand and changed the game. When it comes to Asuna, I felt like she always gets put aside when she’s an integral character in the SAO series, and this film does her justice. Seeing Asuna’s perspective before joining SAO and slowly becoming a badass was just awesome to see. Also, the interactions between Kirito and Asuna was cute, plus the film shows that they’re just an incredible pair together right from the jump.

The story of Aria of a Starless Night was a needed story, especially if you’re an Asuna fan and enjoy the early parts of SAO.


The voice cast did their thing for sure. I watched the film both subbed and dubbed (never watched it dubbed but decided to pull the trigger). Since the story is more focused on Asuna, both Haruka Tomatsu (JAP) and Cherami Leigh (ENG) did an incredible job! This might be one of their best performance as the character yet.

Kirito was voiced Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (JAP) and Bryce Papenbrook (ENG), and I enjoyed their performance as well. Hearing Kirito a bit less confident and shy was crazy, especially where the character is at now in the story of SAO. Definitely a solid job from both voice actors.

Mito is a brand new character voiced by Inori Minase (JAP) and Anairis Quinones (ENG). I loved their take on the character and a nice addition to the SAO franchise. Plus, I wasn’t surprised because both voice actors are known to play best girls in anime and now Mito is added on to the list.

A job well done from the whole voice cast in the film.


If you’ve seen SAO then you know when it comes to the animation and score it’s going to be good. SAO has always looked visually amazing and the film gave it a bit more flair. Even the fight choreography looked so fluid!

A lot of the score from the anime is here as well, and with some new ones. I mean, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? It just works.

You won’t be disappointed at all when watching and hearing the film.


Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night gets the job done. I know that as an SAO fan and a fan of Asuka, I was satisfied. My body is ready to watch the sequel to this film.

SAO fans should give this film a watch when it releases in theaters this Friday on December 3rd. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.



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