6 Anime Movies Like Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale [Recommendations]

Time has passed for the survivors of the Sword Art Online incident. The commercial release of full dive virtual reality tech and its impact on the market is now four years old. A new technology is now vying for supremacy: the Augma. The Augma is a device that uses augmented reality. The appeal is that compared to the full dive system you remain conscious while you use it, making it seem much safer to the average user. You can use it for almost anything, from getting discounts on food to it analyzing the amount of calories that food will contain. A role playing game called Ordinal Scale has become one of the most popular apps for the Augma. You fight monsters and go on quests in a virtual environment superimposed on the real world making every swing, step, and sweat drop real since you have to physically move your body to participate.

Kirito, the hero of Sword Art Online, and his friends begin to take part in the near-real-world adventures. Yet, despite the apparent harmlessness of the game, it appears to hold a sinister secret. That secret is what Kirito is on a quest to discover. The story is interwoven with a look at where Kirito and the other SAO survivors are in their lives four years removed from the SAO death game incident. A theme of mistrust of the people who develop technology and the power that grants them seems to be a consistent theme in the SAO stories and other anime films. We now count down the top 6 Anime Movies Like Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale.

Similar Anime to Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale

6. Rakuen Tsuihou (Expelled from Paradise)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Nov. 2014

The Earth as we know it is gone. The devastated landscape is home to only the hardest people. The vast majority of the human population have shed the mortal coil and become digital. A massive space station/computer called DEVA sits in orbit and holds the multitude of consciousness of humanity. The population in the digital existence is free form death, hunger, and the toils of the human condition. A hacker from earth eventually penetrates the DEVA matrix and starts to spread subversive messages. The command matrix considers it a threat and dispatches a member of the security force, Angela Balzac, to Earth in a forced-grown clone to end the threat. She partners with a natural human named Dingo and begins to slowly unravel the mysteries of the DEVA and discovers the world her people abandoned.

Expelled from Paradise is a sleekly animated post-apocalyptic adventure with a fast pace and compelling characters. You don’t even need to watch a series beforehand to understand the plot, because there isn’t one. The movie is a stand-alone. Expelled from Paradise does share some traits with Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale. The people living in the DEVA are in essence in a full-dive virtual world with the exception that they don’t have bodies to return to. You live your life every day without fear of death in the DEVA. The population has turned most of the control over their lives to the network and that theme of trusting in the machine and the machine betraying you is the main element the two films have in common. DEVA, which became the savoir of the human race, has become the race’s prison even though most if not all of the residents are there willingly. The people on the DEVA don’t really have a choice to leave and the idea that life on the outside might be better is considered subversive. The trust in the machine leads to the betrayal of what makes us human. We have a similar theme in Sword Art Online and in the movie Ordinal Scale. The game Ordinal Scale is fun and adventure but for some players it can come at a sinister price. We even have Kirito question in the film -- if we interacted with the virtual world in the real world, what does that do to the human psyche? How do we differentiate real from fantasy? You can put all this heavier stuff aside and know that Expelled from Paradise is an amazing film and one worth watching.

Rakuen Tsuihou Trailer

5.Eden of The East the Movie I: The King of Eden [Higashi no Eden Movie I: The King of Eden]

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Nov. 2009

Akira Takizawa saved Japan from destruction in a very public way and then disappeared. The person that is most concerned about his disappearance is Saki Morimi. Saki is a girl who just graduated from high school whom Akira saved and led on a life-or-death adventure. The search for the nation’s and her personal savior continues for six months until she sees report that he may be in New York. She travels to NYC and finds she isn’t the only person searching for Akira and not all of them have benevolent intentions. Saki finds herself once again caught up with Akira in a game of cloak and dagger with the fate of her nation on the line.

Eden of the East the Movie I: The King of Eden and Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale in many ways are very different movies yet have a few surface-level similarities. First, they aren’t very good as stand-alone movies. You should probably take a look at both of the series first before watching the films in order to understand the rules of their respective worlds. A confident hero is another thing that both stories have in common. Akira and Kirito are both tossed into death games and despite seemingly overwhelming obstacles thrive with the kind of confidence that makes you think they can do anything. We also have a male and female lead characters you feel have such an insoluble bond they would give their lives to protect each other. The two stories give the characters just enough setbacks and create just enough drama that they leave you in suspense as to how the story will eventually end.

Eden of the East Trailer

4. Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Nov. 2013

Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth

The Dark Hour is a strange and dangerous time that happens at the stroke of midnight. You are probably not aware but you could be in danger by just being awake at midnight. We find that if you are conscious during this witching hour you may fall prey to creatures called Shadows and they will likely kill you in a gruesome way. Your best chance of survival is to run and hide unless you have the power to wield Persona. A school club called the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad or SEES have made it their mission to unravel the mystery of the Dark Hour and defeat the Shadows. Makoto Yuuki, the protagonist, moves into Iwatodai Dorm at the exact time of an attack by the Shadows. He unknowingly wields the power of Persona, survives the attack and is quickly recruited by the SEES. He then finds himself fighting for his life against the Shadows as the SEES try to bring an end to the Dark Hour.

Persona 3 The Movie 1: Spring of Birth and Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale don’t have a lot in common, but they do have a few specific commonalities. The two films are both dealing with a group of students that find themselves fighting for their lives. The protagonists start their stories as loners who don’t seem to want to make a real connection with people. We have several heroines in the story but only one you’d describe as the main heroine. She is also a love interest for the protagonist. You have both groups fighting their enemies at predetermined times, for Ordinal Scale it’s when the battle events take place and midnight for Persona. The two films also blend an action and a fantasy element to give you battle after unbelievable battle.

Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth Trailer

Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth Trailer

Any Anime Like Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale ?

3. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Movie: Hoshi wo Yobu Shoujo (The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie - The Girl Who Summons The Stars)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Jun. 2017

The world is filled with magic yet the world may not be magical. A 21st century breakthrough in magic science has broken down the mystical forces into its elements and re-coded them as a science. The anime of the Irregular at Magical High School, the prequel to the movie, follows Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, siblings, as they enroll in First High School, a magic academy. The course of the series follows Tatsuya’s journey for respect as a mage. He seems to have to earn that respect again and again because he has less innate magical power than most and is looked down upon by many. He does have a towering intellect and unmatched physical abilities. The movie takes place after the anime ends and has the Shibas on vacation with their friends. A young girl is caught sneaking onto their private plane and has a terrible story to tell. Tatsuya, Miyuki and their friends bring their talents and considerable resources to bear in order to rectify a terrible injustice.

Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale and The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie- The Girl Who Summons the Stars are both based on very successful anime series. You probably should watch both series before watching the movies to fully understand the action. The second is they are both set in near futures where the idea of what is possible and magical is made more obtainable through science. You also get more than a few epic battles where series regulars get to show their talents as well as major slugfests at the end. We also have a modest hero who is mainly driven by what he thinks is right even if it means going up against a vast conspiracy. We lastly have the harem element including a little sister that wants to be the main priority in her brother’s eyes. The animation also felt like it was taken up a notch in quality with the film version so if you enjoyed the show check out the film.

The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie - The Girl Who Summons The Stars Trailer

2. To Aru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki (A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion)

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Feb. 2013

The academic and scientific heart of the world is Academy City. The shining beacon of logic and science is home to the most cutting-edge technology and ESPERS, people that have telekinetic or other special abilities that can be explained by science. We also find that magic hides in the shadows as if it’s some sort of secret to be kept from the rational world. The story starts off with a bang -- the crash and miraculous survival of passengers of a space plane crashing in Academy City. We then fast-forward four years to the Academy City we know populated by the characters from the original series A Certain Magical Index. Touma Kamijou, a high school student, and his friend Index, a magical nun, run into Arisa Meigo, a singer who was just given the chance to sing at the unveiling of the space elevator. The simple, cute, slice-of-life story quickly gets complicated as the world around them seems to go nuts as the worlds of science and magic collide over this special pop idol.

A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion and Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale have a very similar art style and feel. The character design is from the same school of thought, too. You get high-quality animation with attention to detail even in the backgrounds. The worlds they build have a good combination of the familiar world we live in and a sense of a very possible future. The continuing theme of trusting computers and technology and where that line between faith in tech and faith in the unseen is featured in both stories. The lead characters of Kirito and Touma are both rather average guys unless particular circumstances arise. For Kirito that means dealing with life and death in a virtual world and for Touma when he’s defending himself and others. The final connection we’ll draw is both have a harem element, though SAO’s harem element is a bit more established because the story doesn’t move at quite the frenetic pace as A Certain Magical Index the Movie: The Miracle of Endymion.

To Aru Majutsu no Index: Endymion no Kiseki Trailer

1.Summer Wars

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: Aug. 2009

We find ourselves in a future with one virtual application that pretty much connects us to everything from commerce to government to our social networks. The platform is called OZ. The application allows you to do everything from applying for a marriage license to getting married in a virtual church with your custom avatars representing you and your spouse-to-be. The system isn’t a deep dive VR system, your avatar is controlled by some sort of manual interface like a keyboard, game controller, or phone. The system also possesses an almost impenetrable amount of security to protect all the user data and backdoor access to government computers, like the ones controlling the unmanned asteroid explorer Arawashi. The story centers around Kenji Koiso, a math wiz who gets suckered in by his crush Natsuki Shinohara to pose as her fiancé at a family reunion. The poor boy is quickly enveloped by her large extended family as they descend on the family estate. The real action begins when an AI program begins to take over OZ and the world’s interconnectivity gets inconsistent and inoperable. We won’t disclose how, or why, but Kenji and the Shinohara family are integral to saving the world from the internet’s end.

Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale and Summer Wars have a lot in common. The protagonist Kirito in SAO is a skilled programmer and Kenji is a math genius and programmer as well. Kenji and Kirito do have some distinct personality differences; Kenji is a nerd, quiet and self-conscious and Kirito has an air of confidence about him. The two heroes both have some smart women in their lives who seem to love them an awful lot, too. Asuna from SAO and Natsuki are both dealing with the pressures of family expectations, especially when it comes to education and marriage. We also have a virtual world that is having a life-or-death impact on the real world and needs to be brought under control. Summer Wars and SAO also have climatic battle scenes with a multitude of characters attempting to put a stop to a computer program. The villains are also both doing it for a sympathetic cause but in the end are still wrong. You will probably enjoy Summers Wars if you enjoyed SAO: Ordinal Scale.

Summer Wars Trailer

Final Thoughts

Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale is as much a swashbuckling adventure as it is a commentary on technology. In many ways the story shows us the intrusion we allow technology to have in our lives with augmented reality. It seems to pose the question: what if we let that demon, now confined to the virtual world, out into our own? How would we handle the idea of blending the world of fantasy with reality? The other films listed here touch on this theme of technology’s intrusion into our daily lives and the blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy. We also get high-quality animation with vivid colors and no key frames skipped for cost. We firmly believe if you enjoyed SAO you’ll find immense enjoyment in at least one of the shows listed above.

Sword-Art-Online-The-Movie-Ordinal-Scale-dvd-300x377 6 Anime Movies Like Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale [Recommendations]


Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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