One of the many advantages of living in London is being within distance of a cinema that screens relatively obscure films.
While Sword Art Online isn’t exactly obscure in Asia, it is not common for cinemas in the UK to screen anime films. Fortunately the Prince Charles Cinema is one of those rare beauties that frequently screens it, as well as a whole bunch of other films that are loved by their fans.
Having watched the series of Sword Art Online on Netflix last year, I was both surprised and thrilled when I saw the PCC advertising a screening of a movie called Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. I didn’t even know they’d made a movie out of it!
The PCC isnt far from my office so I went after work to check it out. I didn’t expect it to be very busy but the screen was packed. There were clearly lots of Sword Art Online fans around as I overheard some interesting snippets of conversation as I took my seat.
As for the film, I really enjoyed it 🙂 I’m not an SAO fan but I do love the concept.
The film’s pace was pretty much perfect… which isn’t something I can say about a lot of anime. The action scenes were exciting and very well animated. They never felt pointless and were spaced apart well enough to give the characters room. The characterisation was nominal, but as I’ve seen the series I’m already familiar with everyone.
What I really liked was the story’s take on how AR (augmented reality) would work in the context of SAO, a world where VR has been the central theme of the series. It’s especially interesting after seeing how Pokemon Go took the world by storm.
This commentary is only minimal, though, and mainly serves as a platform for the story and action scenes. It wouldn’t be unfair to call Ordinal Scale an action movie, as there is plenty of it. The final encounter was particularly thrilling and is great for people who watched the series (in a way I won’t spoil).
Even though the film takes place after the series, the story is told coherently enough that I think a newcomer would still be able to follow it. If nothing else, the concept is intriguing and executed in a fun way. I would definitely watch this film again and am already planning to buy it when it is released on DVD… or at least rent it out on a streaming platform.
So what are the negatives with the film? Well… boobs. There are occasional shots of boobs in the film that are completely unnecessary in the scene other than to attract your attention. Although this has long been a convention of anime (and Hollywood to be fair), I feel its a convention that should just fade away and die. It’s 2017 and we should be able to have strong female characters without them also being sexualised.
As I saw the movie directly after work, I decided to get an early dinner at a nearby Gourmet Burger Kitchen… whose latest speciality is a ninja burger!
Oh GBK… you had me at ninja 😛
This burger consists of panko chicken, katsu sauce, Tokyo coleslaw, salad, miso ketchup and a charcoal bun. It was delicious! 😀 The flavours really worked well and I could even taste the black sesame in the Tokyo slaw. Its only a shame they didn’t have any Japanese beer to go with it. A Kirin Ichiban wold have been perfect 🙂
After eating, I had a little time to kill so I wandered through Chinatown as it’s next to the PCC. There’s a great patisserie that sells all manner of sweet bakery goods, and I couldn’t resist picking up some Totoro shaped custard buns 🙂
And now I’m suddenly in the mood to watch My Neighbour Totoro again 😛 Anyway that’s all for now. Thanks for reading, folks!