Air date: 6/4/2012 Episode: 24 / 24 Status: completed
I have to say this anime became a surprising hit when it first aired in April 2012. And here’s why.
Accel world is based off a light novel written by Reki Kawahara, who also wrote Sword Art Online. Accel world can be seen as its sister story since both works are set in the same world, with accel world being set much further in to the future.
The accel world populous are wearing a device called a neuro-linker. This device acts like a personal computer and is installed around the neck. The device is gestured controlled (bit like touch screen) or voice activated. It also allows them to enter a virtual world or networks to communicate with each other along with other various things. And they get to create their own personal avatars with in the virtual world.
Our protagonist is a short, over weight, boy called Haruyuki Arita or Haru for short. He gets picked on by others because of his weight, which in turn drives his already fragile self-esteem even lower than it already is. Haru is exceptionally good at video games and constantly gets the highest scores. His high scoring in games eventually attracts the attention of the school idol Kuriyukihime. She introduces him to a program called Brain-burst. A program that can help the user to accelerate in the real world via their cognitive process, they can think and move faster than normal – hence its known as “accelerating”. In order to do this they must spend something called burst points. Essentially brain burst is: a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online (VRMMO) fighting game. In order to gain points the burst linkers must fight with each other in the game. If any of the users lose all their points, the game un-installs itself and the user will have no memory of it.
By fighting & gaining points they’ll eventually level up. The first one to get to level 10 will meet the creator of the program. Which is why Kuriyukihime introduces the programme to Haru. Since she wants to achieve it. And Haru wanting to replay her.
As you can see that Accel World is a action, shounen anime. And it follows a typical shounen story line where the main characters are facing tough opponent(s) in order to level up. The battles take place primary in the virtual world. Since that is the only way to acquire points and use the burst points in the real world. The story also splits between the virtual world and their daily school lives.
The action sequences can be clichéd. Like the fight between Taku and Haru’s. Haru talks about them being good friends and sees him as a mentor – whilst pulling out silver crow’s special skill, being the first avatar to fly. However Haru’s first battle didn’t require such a cliché moment. He used strategy rather than pulling out or “discovering” the special skill right from the go.
The school life has an interesting approach. Rather than having rivals at first, it has bullies – who then become rivals. As seen in the second half of the series. His confidence grows substantially in the second half of the series – this being attributed to his own growth in Brain burst, in comparison to the first half where he had such a low level of self-esteem and confidence issue. However there is a love triangle brewing up for Haru: involving two of the hottest girls in school. The main complaint of this “love triangle” is that most consider Haru to be beneath the two girls, since they are judging Haru for his appearance. And the whole thing seems unbelievable or unrealistic.
The first half of the series started off strongly, it did a good job of setting up the main characters. In terms of his situation, personality and his encounter with the school beauty. However the story kind of meanders mid-way through the series: from wanting to help Kuriyukihime reach level 10, to helping out his buddies, to having minor battles. By the second half of the series, it has meandered considerably – even with the introduction of the new school bully and antagonist called Nomi. What made it watch able was to see Nomi getting his just desserts by Haru. It has been hinted that there will be a second season.
The animation was handled by Sunrise and Genco. And they made sure it was of high quality. Can’t complain about the action scenes: they were visually stunning, attractive and fluid. One of the biggest complaint people had about Accel world was Harus character design. What people don’t get is that it was intentional and it makes Haru look like the ugly ducking. And it works. The whole premises of the show is: to be fully accepted.
If you like a series with good action, school drama with music from artists like Kotoko. Then accel world will be an enjoyable series to watch.