|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
Hey, it’s time I wrote my thoughts on Ordinal Scale down too, before I forget them. This could and probably will contain spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
I watched the movie in Japanese with German subtitles in a cinema. The plot ties in flawlessly to the main story after the end of SAO II (Mother’s Rosario), there is no hint that the movie was originally planned as a story after Alicization ended.
The animations were of an amazing quality. Sadly, that is also the reason scenes from the anime are distinctly discovered as flashbacks, as their quality is a huge drop compared to all new visuals.
The subtitles were great, no spelling or grammar errors to be found. One or two times throughout the movie, Leafa was misspelled Leefa and Lyfa, though she was correctly written as Leafa in all other instances. For all other characters, peppermint-anime used the official spellings as far as I noticed. The music not only fit in really well, but sounds awesome independent of the movie scenes.
There were a lot of goodies for novel readers and fans of the wider franchise, which I really liked. You do not miss anything if you didn’t catch any of them, but they give the atmosphere a special charm. For example, Dyne is speaking of Fukaziroh and her grenade launchers during the MMO Today Stream. Fukaziroh is one of the main protagonists of the spin-off novel series SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online, written by Sigsawa Keichi. Some hints to the first season were added, the talk guests in the first TV show about the Augma are the two boys from the first Episode (“you’re not a guy/you’re not 17”). Asuna got treated in the same hospital and by the same doctor who treated Yuuki in Mother’s Rosario / Season II.
There were a lot more references I could write about, and a lot more I missed. Tomohiko Ito for example stated that you would need to go through the movie frame by frame to notice certain things. All major characters from the main and Progressive novels supposedly made an appearance, and stated Lind as an example. While I tried to find him in the relevant scene, I was unsuccessful, which indeed sets my hope high to find more goodies and references analyzing Ordinal Scale frame by frame.
The audience applauded and laughed at certain scenes, which gave the whole situation a nice and friendly atmosphere.
If the movie would be shown near me with subtitles again, I would probably have bought the next ticket already. Unfortunately subbed screenings are rare, and I had to travel to the next major city. My local cinema only showed the dub version.
I can recommend the movie to every fan of the SAO franchise, it’s worth it. If you have the chance, watch it in theatres. If not, you will have to settle for the Blu-Ray.