In Sword Art Online, it’s been quite the running joke. Once a heroine gets her own featured arc, she would get less and less “deban” or screen time in the following stories. So far, this has been true for many heroines, from Silica to Lisbeth to Leafa to Sinon to… yes, even Asuna.
However, for the upcoming Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale movie, they seem to be finally getting their due. SAO creator Reki Kawahara recently sat down in an interview featured in Sword Art Online Magazine volume 2 and the latest Dengeki Bungo Magazine, and there, he talked about the issue.
Seeing as this story will be a movie, and it could even be said to have an all-star cast due to all the characters that will appear, will there be any characters that will be particularly featured?
Kawahara: I was not aware of this while writing the story, but Liz’s and Silica’s screentime has increased. I even had 120 minutes to work with, so their screentime increased rapidly as I fleshed out the story. Particularly, Silica became a rather important key character.
Question about the movie’s new character, Yuna, voiced by actress Sayaka Kanda:
——I have heard that you watched the post-recording; how was it?
Kawahara: It might be a thing of nuance, but I feel like there’s a difference in the performance of movie actors and anime voice actors. Maybe it’s because of the anime-like exaggerations, but it feels more vivid. Particularly, there is a scene where Kanda-san, playing the role of Yuna, sings during the movie, and it was amazing. As for the song, even I have not heard the full version yet. There is a scene in the movie where Silica sings Yuna’s song in a karaoke. I have scene the post-recording of that scene and I still feel impressed by how Hidaka Rina sang it in Silica’s voice. I am looking forward to hearing the real Yuna’s song sung by Kanda-san.
Asuna seems to have also increased in importance for the film.
—Aside from the introduction of an AR game, were there any other changes from the initial draft?
Kawahara: Asuna had a considerable increase in importance. At first, it was a story of Kirito fighting against the mastermind’s plot, but then producer Kashiwada (Shinichirou) said “more Asuna” at a meeting. Since then, Asuna’s role became bigger and we decided to depict the relationship between Kirito and Asuna in more detail.
——So, you will be delving further into the relationship between Kirito and Asuna in the SAO movie?
Kawahara: Seeing as SAO is getting a movie, I wanted to express their relationship in more detail. When I wrote about it, thinking “Will this do?”, and then saw the storyboard, I felt that it went further than expected (laughs). I am truly glad.
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Source: Dreadful Decoding via Crunchyroll