Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night

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Not suitable under 11; parental guidance to 13 (violence, themes, scary scene, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night
  • a review of Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 February 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 11 Not suitable due to violence, language, scary scene and themes.
Children aged 11–13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, language, scary scene and themes.
Children aged 14 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes, animated violence and coarse language
Length: 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Following on from the previous film, Sword Art Online: Progressive – Aria of a Starless Night, the main characters, including Kirito (voice of Yoshitsugo Matsuoka) and Asuna (voice of Haruka Tomatsu), have made it to the fifth floor of an on-line game where the players are trapped inside and are not only fighting for their lives in the game but also for their real lives beyond it. There are two main guilds battling each other for leadership status; rogue individuals trying to kill off players; and virtual monsters and ghosts to fight in the dungeons and catacombs. Consequently, Kirito and Asuna work together to organise a small group to outmanoeuvre the warring guilds, destroy the floor boss and level the playing field, giving each trapped individual an equal chance at survival. The only problem is that the game is adapting and intent on destroying them all. Will Kirito and Asuna succeed or will they perish in the process?


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

On-line gaming; War; Manipulating others; Monsters; Violence as a means to solve conflict; The pursuit of power at all costs; The dangers of AI and human ego.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Asuna punches Kirito in the stomach.
  • Asuna repeatedly attacks and kills a number of rodent-like creatures with her sword.
  • One character says to another that he wants him to, “fan the flames and make them want to kill each other”.
  • A character slices a rodent-like creature with a sword. It is clearly part of the game and explodes as it dies.
  • There is discussion about PK (Play killers) who intend to purposefully kill off characters so that they will die in real life.
  • An animal is blasted with a laser and a deer with red eyes has its throat cut.
  • Asuna and another character have a duel in a forest. Asuna is knocked to the ground and it looks like she is slashed with a sword but she turns out to be fine and only her necklace is broken.
  • Rock giants try to smash and pound characters as they set foot on the floor. Giant fists try to crush them and Asuna is trapped in a staircase while two stairs attempt to crush her between them. Meanwhile, Kirito and others attack the rock creature: slicing, hitting, blasting, and searching and attempting to stab it in its weak point.
  • Characters attack a rock monster with axes, swords and chains while it shoots lasers from its eyes. Kirito and Asuna repeatedly slice and stab the monster in the face while screaming loudly. The monster’s face slices open and he explodes into what looks like thousands of shards of glass.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • When Asuna and Kirito go down into the catacombs, they are accosted by a strange, ghost-like creature. A large hand comes out of the floor, connected to a girl with demon eyes. Asuna screams and falls backwards down a deep hole, where she lands swordless and alone. There are images of mournful wraiths and shrewd, rat-like creatures with glowing red eyes that attack the players and whom the players must kill. Additionally, there is a boss level monster with huge glowing eyes that literally transforms itself into a room filled with pounding fists and feet that try to crush and kill the players. These images and scenes may be disturbing for some young viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • In an opening scene, two warring guilds must attack and kill what appears to be a large horse. The creature is repeatedly attacked, slashed and stabbed while it tries to fight back against the onslaught. Eventually, bleeding and furious, it sends a raging torrent of water rushing at the attackers. In the confusion that follows, Asuna and Kirito stab it in the chest and it explodes. The scene may be both confusing and upsetting for some children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • When Asuna secretly hides at an alleged meeting place in the catacombs, she says that if a couple comes to this spot then she is totally a, ‘Peeping Tom’.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Two girls are naked in a hot spring bath together. One bare backside is shown when she emerges from the pool. The two later have a mock sword fight in bathing suits.
  • Occasionally the camera will focus, in a suggestive manner, on a female character. For instance, when two characters embrace, the camera is at a lower angle, tilting up, appearing to centre on the female’s bottom. Though you can see her head at a distance and part of her legs, the bottom of her short skirt seems to be the main focus.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Characters drink in a restaurant.
  • Kirito and Asuna drink champagne to toast the New Year.
  • New Year’s revellers drink large mugs of beer or ale at a party.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Damn it!
  • Hell
  • Crap
  • Idiot.

In a nutshell

Sword Art Online the Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night is a Japanese anime based on the light novel series by Reki Kawahara. Featuring an action-packed, fast paced, plot and English subtitles, the film is best suited to older teen audiences and fans of the anime series.

The main messages from this movie are to be true to yourself; to find your own path in life; and, where a single sword would fail, remember that the impossible can be accomplished by working together.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Teamwork
  • Compassion
  • Determination
  • Courage.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Becoming addicted to or playing excessive games, be it video or on-line.
  • Manipulating others for personal gain.
  • The personal cost of focusing on power and ego over everything else.
  • Becoming heavily reliant on artificial intelligence.