LiSA "Cheering song like strong and supple Asunaー" " The Movie: SAO Progressive" Event with Tomatsu Haruka & Matsuoka Yoshitsugu [Report]
On September 15, 2021, an IMAX screening event was held to announce the completion of the movie "Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night" (to be screened on October 30, 2021). Tomatsu Haruka, who plays Asuna, and Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, who plays Kirito, took the stage, and LiSA, who is in charge of the theme song that was performed for the first time along with the full-length screening, made a surprise video appearance for the audience.
■Tomatsu Haruka and Matsuoka Yoshitsugu revealed their feelings for Asuna and Kirito.
Tomatsu, who played Asuna in this work for the first time in a long time, said, "I'm honestly very happy to be able to play Asuna at that time again, and I've been working with the SAO series for about 10 years, so it's like a miracle that I've been able to be involved for so many years. And I've realized once again that this series is loved by so many people," she smiled.
Matsuoka, who played Kirito, said, "I put a lot of energy into my performance. I can't say enough about how impressed I was with how the Aincrad arc from back then turned out when it was recreated with today's technology. I’m speechless," he seemed to be full of emotion.
He continued, "Some scenes brought me back some memories, and some stories were originally made. So there is the original story, but it is Progressive that ‘no one has ever seen’. Some scenes are connected from the TV series, and what Asuna was doing at that time, which is what you wanted to know, is condensed in this film. There's a lot of Sword Art in there that you don't know!," he praised with a catchphrase.
Regarding the "SAO" series that has been running for about 10 years, Tomatsu said, "There are 97 episodes in the SAO series. I've been involved in various SAO series for the past 10 years, and I've continued to act in various contents, so I've never had a break in my career. It is fairly rare during my life as a voice actress, and I feel very fortunate," she revealed and, "It’s like it is my normal life being with Asuna…… I can't imagine my life without her. She lives in my heart like I can't live without you (Asuna)!," she shared her special feelings for the film.
Matsuoka also said, "I've spent half of my life as a voice actor with Kirito. I don't have to think about how he was like when (the work as Kirito) comes. I can switch to Kirito," he talked about how big this series is.
■What are the highlights of this work? "There are scenes where you’ll be like, 'You were there…?'"
As for the highlights of the film, Tomatsu said, "Scenes and lines from the TV series appear in a different direction, and when you see it from Asuna's point of view, you can understand why things happened the way they did, and enjoy the Aincrad arc from a different perspective. The story starts from Asuna's point of view before she started SAO, so I think it will be easy to relate to."
Matsuoka said, "Tomatsu-san has already told us everything, so... (lol). I'll tell you the highlights from a different perspective. There are scenes where you’ll be like, 'You were there…?'" (lol) Let me give you a hint: the Alicization arc," he put our hopes so high that we can’t wait for its release.
■LiSA's theme song! "Asuna wasn't strong from the beginning"
At the event, it was announced that LiSA's song "Yuke" would be the theme song, and as a complete surprise to the audience, LiSA appeared in a video for the stage greeting.
LiSA said, "The main character of this work is Asuna, and behind the strong and cool figure we've seen so far, Asuna wasn't strong from the beginning. It is a work that touches on the true strength of Asuna. I wrote the song "Yuke" with the hope of delivering a cheering song like the strong and supple Asuna."
Looking back on the time when she first got involved in the SAO series, she commented, "The first time I got involved in SAO was in the summer of 2012, when the TV anime "Aincrad" arc was released. Nine years have passed since then, and I'm looking forward to the start of the story that leads up to that. I hope you will enjoy the first story and the theme song "Yuke" that will lead us to SAO, which we have loved together."