2022 will see the release of Sword Art Online -Progressive- Kuraki Yuuyami no Scherzo (Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night), another anime movie based on the Sword Art Online Progressive light novels. The announcement comes after the October 30 premiere of Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night in Japan.
Scherzo of Deep Night is the title of the story in Sword Art Online Progressive‘s fourth volume. Yen Press describes the volume as:
It’s been just two months since they were trapped in the game of death that is Sword Art Online, and Kirito and Asuna continue their struggle at the vanguard of progress through the game. The fifth floor of Aincrad is a mazelike ruin, and the two dare to take pleasure in raiding it for the treasure it contains. Upon returning to the fourth floor, it’s time to do some questing on behalf of the Elf Lord Yofilis–but here begins Asuna’s discontent, for in doing so they will have to face her least favorite monster ever…
The Progressive series expands on the “Aincrad arc” of the original and still ongoing Sword Art Online series. Both the main and Progressive Sword Art Online series are written by Reki Kawahara with illustrations by abec. The first volume of Progressive was published in 2012, while the eighth and latest volume was published in June 2021. A manga adaptation began in 2014.
The Aria of a Starless Night movie, the first adaptation of the Progressive series, is inspired by one of the stories in the first light novel volume. However, the film features an original character called Mito and focuses on series heroine Asuna.
The staff of Aria of a Starless Night includes Ayako Kounou (86 EIGHTY-SIX storyboarder) as director, Kento Toya (Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld co-character designer and co-chief animation director) as character designer and chief animation director, and Yasuyuki Kai (My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission key animator, Haikyu! The Movie: Battle of Concepts co-action animation director) as action director and monster designer. A-1 Pictures is the animation production studio.