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“Sword Art Online: The Movie Ordinal Scale ” is set in 2026 and begins by explaining the paradigm shift in the gaming world in terms of virtual reality and augmented reality. To Asuna’s delight and Kirito’s dismay, VR games are becoming obsolete as more people are using a new AR device, the Augma, which transforms the world around them. Asuna is advancing while Kirito still prefers VR. An unexpected chain of events take place when players realize that the game affects their realities more than they bargained for.

The story is original, but has elements of the anime series based upon the “trapped in a game” premise. Asuna and Kirito alternated strengths and weaknesses throughout the film which made it very entertaining. The concerts were great and so were the AR transformations. Nonfans of the anime will be able to follow along as there is a brief summary of previous events of the first two seasons.