The upcoming Sword Art Online: Progressive adaptation will be a movie based on Aria on a Starless Night, one of the stories from the light novels’ first volume. It is set to release in 2021.
A new trailer and key visual were also uploaded.
Ayako Kawano (surname romanized as Kouno according to Sakuga Blog and MyAnimeList, Kawano according to Anime News Network) is directing the movie. Kento Toya is in charge of character designs, while Yasuyuki Kai and Yuki Kajiura are the action director and music composer respectively. A-1 Pictures is in charge of animation production.
The above tweet describes the movie as, “The story of the encounter between the ‘Flash’ and the ‘Black Swordsman’.”
Yen Press is publishing the English version of the Sword Art Online: Progressive light novels and describes the first volume as:
“There’s no way to beat this game. The only difference is when and where you die…”
One month has passed since Akihiko Kayaba’s deadly game began, and the body count continues to rise. Two thousand players are already dead.
Kirito and Asuna are two very different people, but they both desire to fight alone. Nonetheless, they find themselves drawn together to face challenges from both within and without. Given that the entire virtual world they now live in has been created as a deathtrap, the surviving players of Sword Art Online are starting to get desperate, and desperation makes them dangerous to loners like Kirito and Asuna. As it becomes clear that solitude equals suicide, will the two be able to overcome their differences to find the strength to believe in each other, and in so doing survive?
Sword Art Online: Progressive is a new version of the Sword Art Online tale that starts at the beginning of Kirito and Asuna’s epic adventure–on the very first level of the deadly world of Aincrad!
Unlike the main Sword Art Online series’ Aincrad arc, which was told entirely through Kirito’s perspective, Aria on a Starless Night features several chapters told from the perspective of Asuna, albeit using a third-person point of view instead of the first-person point of view found in Kirito’s chapters.
Based on the new trailer, as well as the previous promotional image and teaser, the Sword Art Online: Progressive movie seems to place a much larger emphasis on Asuna’s perspective of events than the light novel. One of the on-screen sentences in the trailer even describes the movie as, “The story of a girl who decides to fight.”
You can check out the previously-released teaser trailer and promotional image here.
Source: Sword Art Online Twitter page, Sword Art Online: Progressive official anime website