Sword Art Online Progressive: Scherzo of Deep Night is the second film of Sword Art Online Progressive, and it picks up the story sometime after the end of Aria of a Starless Night. During the time skip, Kirito, Asuna, and the rest of the top players have succeeded in making it all the way to the fourth-floor boss.
Flashback to the previous film, Kirito united the top players by making himself the bad guy in their eyes as we have seen in the anime series. Kirito’s action resulted in him labelled as ‘beater’, a cheater who is also a beta test player.
In this second film, the plot centers around our heroes Kirito and Asuna trying to navigate the potential conflict happens between 2 top guilds Dragon Knights Brigade and Aincrad Liberation Squad. Both Kirito and Asuna realize the implications of what would happen if either of the two guilds ever gained a notable advantage and overtaken each other.
The story got deeper from potential conflict between top allies. By chances, when exploring dungeon, Asuna finds out the existence of PK (player killer) players who have decided to use the near-hopeless situation as an excuse to live out their darkest desires—namely, murdering other players. Finding the situation between the top guilds, the PKers would like nothing more than for the conflict between Dragon Knights Brigade and Aincrad Liberation Squad to slay each other.
Just like Aria of a Starless Night, Scherzo of Deep Night is also an Asuna’s story. We are offered with large focus on her point-of-views, from her sudden entrance to the dungeon’s basement which shows us the conversation between PKs and her rocky relationship with Mito, her only friend from real-life.
On the deepness of the story, this film dive further from the topic of clearing boss dungeon to the existence of PK players, which is also relatable to many viewers who are also gamers. But despite the deepness of the story also more exploration on the storyline, the film is kinda flat just like Aria of a Starless Night.
It is a decent movie. It is enjoyable if you are the fan of the series, but it is lack of wow for people to hook with the film. To be very honest despite many skips in the anime series, Kirito’s story is more kicking and more dynamic compared to Asuna’s point of view.
Instead of power and action that are always become the main dish for shounen anime. Asuna’s point of view has too much dialogue and some of them are pretty a little bit more melancholic. SAO progressive both the first and the second film are more like special story or OVA instead of anime movies.
The background designs are vibrant and colorful, and the animation is smooth and dynamic throughout. The action during the boss fight is actually good and still has that SAO dynamic movement and intensity. The boss fight is pretty much the highlight of this film.
Our Score (6.5/10)
Title: Sword Art Online Progressive – Scherzo of Deep Night
Production: A-1 Pictures
Director: Ayako Kouno
Screenplay: Yukito Kizawa
Voice Actors: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Haruka Tomatsu, Inori Manise