The elaborately titled Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Aria of a Starless Night will premiere in theaters and IMAX in the United States and Canada before the end of the year.
Distributor Funimation released the first details about the movie's international release, revealing that it will give the highly anticipated SAO movie a limited theatrical run in the United States and Canada on Dec. 3. Tickets for the movie will be available for preorder on Nov. 5. The movie will also be released in Australia and New Zealand on Dec. 9, with preorders beginning on Nov. 9. The company also plans to release the movie in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and throughout Latin America at an unspecified later date. Aria of a Starless Night will host screenings for both subtitled and English dubbed versions of the film. A new, English-subtitled trailer has also been released to accompany the announcement.
Aria of a Starless Night takes place in the same continuity as the Sword Art Online anime series and presents the events from the beginning of the show through the perspective of Asuna, the series' main heroine. A previously released trailer for the movie also showcased a new character to the series, Minori Ayase, who goes by the name of Mito within the show's virtual MMORPG. Inase is Asuna's classmate in real life, and introduces her to the eponymous game that they eventually become trapped in. When the game starts killing its players, Mito dedicates herself to protecting Asuna, shortly before they meet the series' main protagonist, the swordsman Kirito.
Asuna's original voice actor, Haruka Tomatsu, will return to reprise the role, as will Kirito's voice actor, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka. Aria of a Starless Night is directed by Ayako Kohno, who previously worked on other shonen hits such as Seven Deadly Sins The Movie and the Bleach franchise. Yuki Kajiura, a veteran anime and video game composer who previously worked on the Sword Art Online TV series, as well as Demon Slayer and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, will provide new music for the movie. Singer LiSA, who is best known for performing Demon Slayer's original theme song "Gurenge," will also perform on the new theme for the movie, entitled "Yuke."
The original Sword Art Online anime and its Gun Gale spinoff are available for streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll, Hulu and Netflix.