Explained: Is Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Canon?

With Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night making its debut in theaters, the age-old anime question of “is the movie canon” has popped back up. The answer is, as is often the case, complicated. Let’s dive in.

Sword Art Online The Movie -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Gets U.S. Release Date

What is Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Based On

Both Scherzo of Deep Night and Aria of a Starless Night are based on the Sword Art Online Progressive series of light novels. The books are an expanded retelling of the series’ Aincrad story — the first arc in the series — from the perspective of Asuna rather than Kirito.

The first of the Progressive movies, Aria of a Starless Night, adapted the beginning of the story — specifically, from when everyone logs into the game for the first time to when Kirito and Asuna decide to team up on the second floor and exchange names.

When Does Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Take Place?

Scherzo of Deep Night starts approximately two months after everybody became trapped in Sword Art Online (which was on November 6, 2022). During the film, the characters celebrate New Years Day 2023, so it takes place from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023.

Is Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Canon?

There’s a bit of confusion as to the canonicity of the Progressive films. While the Sword Art Online Progressive light novels that this follows are canon, these movies have added in a non-canon character named Tozawa Misumi, or Mito.

Since Mito appears only in these movies and not in the light novels, her presence means these movies cannot be fully canon, instead serving as a retelling of the story on a different timeline of sorts. Reki Kawahara, the creator of Sword Art Online, reportedly has no plans to retroactively add Mito to the canon of the Progressive novels, meaning she is a firmly non-canon character and thus muddying the waters.

So, technically, Scherzo of Deep Night is not canon, although you can expect most of the experience to be true to the light novels. Just know that Mito is not canon and her contributions didn’t happen in the source material.


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