As you may or may not know, The first 2 episodes of Accel World are actually preairs, thus the quality for the screen caps will be in SD 480p since that is the actual web quality the episodes were broadcasted in. I thought of doing Accel World when it actually airs, since doing a double episode first impression seems a little out-of-place and potentially taxing, but anyway since there isn’t anything new out right now (QB why you no sub?) I’ll give this a shot. Also I haven’t read any source material at all, just the synopsis so cut me some slack if I miss out on certain details!
With no OPs or EDs present in this preair version, it didn’t take all too long before we were introduced to the protagonist
Cartman Arita Haruyuki (Kaji Yuki, damn I swear this guy is everywhere these days). Wait WHAT? I don’t even recall the last time since I’ve seen a fat main character! Similar to how reality works, bullying in school happens and the prime target for that is no other than Haruyuki himself. So what are some of the ways to make yourself feel better? The answer is toilet breaks, I mean escapism, into virtual reality to mentally divert yourself from said perceived unpleasantness.
Except that virtual reality just got real. Or at least real enough to be able to have your own avatar. It is here where we have that often too used pig-meets-princess scene, which always leads to “There’s no way she’d be interested in me.” And I don’t even need to mention what happens next. Oh reality, how cruel this world is. Feeling further discouraged, Mr Piggy goes on to do what he does best – Playing squash, like a boss.
One Game Over and a New High Score later, his friend Chiyuri (Toyosaki Aki) appears and forcibly disconnects Haru from the not-so-virtual reality. She tries to cheer him up, but perhaps using food wasn’t such a good idea after all. Haru reflects upon it later, and goes back to playing his game. Did that make little sense? Well that is exactly what escapism is ladies and gentleman. He arrives only to find his only sanctuary crushed, as clearly someone just handed him his own ass, quite literally too. But to gain a date with the popular princess of the school from that? Good deal, I will take that anytime of the day.
What do couples do when they have a date? They get connected of course, only literally in this case. I don’t know how much Haru knows about computer security but it is not wise to accept unknown files from a stranger, especially if it is an .EXE file. Even “Brain Burst” sounds awfully suspicious. In the meantime, Haru totally forgot about the bullying incident yesterday along with me and Kuroyukihime (Misawa Sachika) adds fuel to the fire, such a tease.
The origins of “Accel World” is unveiled, and it is a world activated by “Burst Linkers” through the Brain Burst program. Time is sped up 1000 times here, in other words things that happen here in normal time are slowed down to almost a standstill back in the real world. They should’ve called it time stop but I guess that isn’t cheesy enough. After explaining the basics, Hime-sama creates more drama and teasing, “Take care of me from now on” That line is dangerous. This girl is dangerous!
Haru goes home with Chi-chan, meeting Taku (Asanuma Shintaro)and finding out that he sort of got taken for a ride by the both of them, by the way the scenery here looks pretty much like modern Japan, but with that kind of technology I would think the city should look way more advanced. Haru has a nightmare along an imagery of his desire. (It means something later)
Haru connects to the Global Network the next day to get some money from his mom, which also means HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER like those fighting games you’d see at the arcade. Ever played an online game with a match-making system? Ever tried pressing some random buttons without knowing what to do or how to play, one of those buttons being a quick-match button? What was shown in the next couple of minutes is the exact result of doing so. Hilarious yes, but undoubtedly it happens at times.
Haru (yes I kept repeating) learns his lesson the hard way, like a real man would do, activates his Brain Burst to further learn about the whole thing which I’ll skip explaining in detail. To summarize it is just another fighting game with a twist, by winning said fights one gains “points”, representing the number of times he/she can use “Brain Burst” to basically stop time, reach 0 and forever lose this seductive ability forever. Hey isn’t this like feeding an addiction?
Earlier on I was wondering how Haru got pimped up from his piggy form and remember that nightmare? That was yet another explanation for how he achieved the name of Silver Crow and that duel avatar. Black Lotus cheats though and is able to customize her avatar, stating her original is too hideous. Definitely going to be a recurring plot point in the future. Before heading to get his revenge, it is time for another one of those EHHHHHHHHHH? moments. Haru rejected Hime indirectly (though he didn’t realize it himself), much to the appall of the nameless mob around her. At least he got that honour, though I wouldn’t take pride in that particular one. Such a tease.
I only have 3 points to mention about the re-confrontation between Silver Crow and Ash Roller. First up, the censoring was kinda funny simply because it feels out-of-place. Secondly I would have thought it would be easier to damage the engine instead of attempting to lift the rear wheel up. Thirdly, is he that weak so as to lack any combat expertise without his bike? Talk about who has a low-tier character. I also lol’ed at the super-move that did nothing. Happens in real fighting games too. As they celebrate their victory the a wild childhood rival appears. How will things turn out? Stay tuned
next week in the next couple of weeks to find out!
Phew, as expected doing a double episode nearly doubles the time required. As for the show itself, it lived up to its hype (for now) on being one of the more anticipated shounen shows this season for me. Nothing overly complex, best summed up as a dream come true for guys with fantasies like this. The only thing intriguing me is – Why is Hime-chan so interested in Haru? What purpose does she have? Needless to say I’m keen on knowing what her true form is as well. Going into the 4 P’s:
Girl who is way out of your league interested in you, check. Childhood friend, check. Superpowers, check. Virtual reality not so virtual, check. Fat main character, scratch that.
I remember Keima from TWGOK saying that reality is just another shitty game. Accel World begs to differ, because reality has just become awesome. The greater purpose of the show has thus far not been revealed yet though, since there is not much of a point just fighting meaninglessly.
No serious pacing problems, maybe the squash playing part is a little too long for my liking but this is just me nitpicking.
The only thing I really took note of was the sound effects, which was well done. The 3Dish CGI was also stood out for being well drawn/incorporated.
Asides from having an unusual main character in terms of looks, I liked everything else I’ve seen in Accel World so far, well not literally but still. This is one of those shows that while nothing too unique, sticks to a proven-to-work formula. If everything goes as planned I will continue coverage of this series. Coverage will resume when episode 3 airs, and in the meantime allow me to catch a breather after such a monstrous task. I jest.