Sword Art Online stars Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ayana Taketatsu, and Hiroki Yasumoto participated in the opening ceremonies for the Yomiuri Giants versus Yokohama DeNA BayStars baseball game on October 2. Matsuoka, Taketatsu, and Yasumoto were all wearing custom Giants jerseys with their characters’ (Kirito, Leafa, and Agil) names on the back. Matsuoka started the game with the opening pitch with Yasumoto taking on the role as catcher. Taketasu took on her role as as head cheerleader.
Comic Natalie reported that Matsuoka was able to land impressive pitches during practice for the game’s lead-up, but that all three voice actors appeared nervous when they arrived on the mound. In the end, Matsuoka was able to relax and deliver a pitch to Yasumoto after initially making a balk. Matsuoka later commented that he was so nervous he hadn’t been able to sleep the night before the game. Yasumoto is a baseball fan and also admitted to having the jitters.
That nervousness didn’t affect the Giants who managed to pull ahead of the BayStars with a 5-4 win.
The event was part of an overall campaign between the Giants and the Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of a Starless Night anime film that opens in Japan on October 30. Funimation will screen the movie in both standard and IMAX theaters in the United States and Canada on December 3 and in Australia and New Zealand on December 9. The movie will also screen soon in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Latin America. Tickets go on sale in the U.S. and Canada on November 5 and in Australia and New Zealand on November 9.
Source: Comic Natalie