Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night is set to premiere in Japan on October 22
Japanese record label SACRA MUSIC alongside Aniplex revealed tonight that Japanese singer Eir Aoi will be returning to the Sword Art Online franchise, performing the new theme song for the upcoming anime film Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night, the sequel film 2021's Aria of a Starless Night. Aniplex released a short trailer on its YouTube channel previewing the theme song "Shinzo (Guts)."
Eir Aoi previously performed the second opening theme song to the first Sword Art Online TV anime, the opening theme for the Sword Art Online EXTRA EDITION special, as well as the first opening theme to Sword Art Online II. She continued with the franchise for the 2015 video game Sword Art Online: Lost Song, of which her song "Cynthia no Hikari" was used as the theme. After some time away, Aoi returned to SAO to perform the opening to the spin-off series Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online in 2018 before having her songs used as the ending theme to Sword Art Online Alicization and the second part of Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld.
Sword Art Online -Progressive-, a retelling of the series’ Aincrad arc, was first published by author Reki Kawahara in 2012 and now spans eight volumes, with each volume generally covering a single floor in the Sword Art Online game, starting from Floor 1 in Aria of a Starless Night which was released in Japan in October 2021. "Scherzo of Deep Night" is the title of the fourth volume's storyline, which means we'll be jumping ahead to Floor 5 of Sword Art Online. Yen Press, which publishes the light novels' official English version, describes the volume as:
It's been just two months since they were trapped in the game of death that is Sword Art Online, and Kirito and Asuna continue their struggle at the vanguard of progress through the game. The fifth floor of Aincrad is a mazelike ruin, and the two dare to take pleasure in raiding it for the treasure it contains. Upon returning to the fourth floor, it's time to do some questing on behalf of the Elf Lord Yofilis--but here begins Asuna's discontent, for in doing so they will have to face her least favorite monster ever...
The main staff members from the first film return for Sword Art Online -Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night at A-1 Pictures, including Ayako Kono as director. It is scheduled to premiere in Japan on October 22.
Source: Press Release
Daryl Harding is a Senior Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.