|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(Watched 3 episodes)|
This series is proving too hard for me to get into and one of the major reasons for this is the male lead character looking more like a comic relief character than someone we're supposed to seriously connect with. I wouldn't mind Haruyuki being fat and plain making him a target for bullying since it would at least make him different from typical anime character designs. But making him waist-sized tall compared to his classmates and his character design not being consistent with the other characters makes it hard to seriously care for his problems. The virtual game world story element has its potential, but the reasons for Kuroyukihime wanting Haruyuki to help her in the Brain Crush game make this seem like a battle-style anime and her motives seeming pretty shallow. Guess this will be the second anime title I jump ship from for this season.
Last updated Wednesday, April 25 2012. Created Wednesday, April 25 2012.
(Rent- or Watch+)|
(All episodes watched):
My first impression of Accel World was that this seemed interesting. In the not-too-distant future you can zone out and amuse yourself in any of countless videogame-like alternate realities using technology that everyone seems to have. A new program speeds up your processing so radically that others seem to be standing still in comparison to you. If I understand it correctly, you can pretty much make time stand still while you make up your mind what to do next. And that might be only the first of numerous gimmicks which this series had to offer. The first thing to strike me about Accel World was the very not-anime style of the main character's design. Yet for all the intrigue I felt, the end of the first episode left me confused. Where was this going?
I felt a bit disappointed when I got the impression from episode two that this is largely about just playing a futuristic video game, and possibly nothing more than that. Countless opportunities for social satire leapt to mind during episode one, like, is it really a good idea to 'accelerate the world'? Will there be unforeseen consequences? But no, this show was taking a simpler route. I feared it might be nothing more than a fight-of-the-week sort of show where various video challenges come up and are defeated one by one. Thankfully, that didn't come about; Accel World was better than that, but didn't live up to its full potential either. In general, the basic premise--that you could think so fast that everybody else is basically at a standstill--was intriguing, and seemed as if it might have been employed in a myriad of ways to create fascinating stories. But I was disappointed with what was ultimately done with it. I guess the basic problem is that needing to win a fancy video game isn't all that exciting.
Around episodes five and six I find my interest in Accel World perking up again. The fights are fairly cool, and you can root for the underdog Haru and hope that the beautiful 'Snow Black' falls in love with him, in a sort of beauty-and-the-beast manner. She needs this otherwise pathetic guy because one thing he can do well is play sophisticated games. But she's not just exploiting him, no, a genuine friendship (and maybe something more) develops. Episode five ended in an almost touching manner, and six added a problem which might need an interesting solution. Exactly what the long-term goals for the protagonists are never really registered in my head, since they seemed unexciting. Why, again, is it important that Snow Black defeat each of the 'Kings'? What will happen if she fails? I forgot, or never knew to begin with. But I can watch this show in an episodic manner and get some enjoyment that way. What there should have been more of was what happened in episode ten, where the characters, especially Haru, display a little passion for the game and as a result we can take it more seriously. Up until now a reason why they were risking so much and trying so hard seemed to be lacking.
What goes on between the fights often seemed more interesting to me than the fights themselves. The bit about Haru trying to find a way to recover his avatar's lost wings had a sort of philosophical spin to it. And Nomi, a guy who is blackmailing him and Taru made my blood boil. The little side story involving Snow while she is on a school trip to Okinawa seemed amusing and interesting. I think Accel World is somewhere between an action series which firmly engages me and has an intriguing yet easy to follow plot, and those which seem to wander aimlessly about and lack continuity to the extent that I watch them on an episode-by-episode way, and abandon the main plot. Accel is not good enough to fit into the first category, but good enough to not fall into the second one. New, interesting things happen here and there and I retain at least a vague grip on the longterm plot. But with the series nearing the 24 episode mark, I had a feeling that Accel World is based on a far from complete manga and the TV series might cut off abruptly without a complete resolution of a lot of issues. I was slow to recognize the primary villain of the series; maybe his story is just an arc in the manga/short novel/whatever.
The final episode was better than I expected, though it got a bit corny at the very end. Basically the first half of the episode covers a climactic battle (which was fairly cool) while the second ties up a number of loose threads. At the climax, something inexplicable which has been going on for some time finally makes sense, which felt good. Still, I never completely understood 'Burst Link'--what's the worst that could have happened to Haru if he had lost at the end? What was at stake? But a final episode that leaves you feeling good goes a long way towards convincing you that the series as a whole was worth watching.
Last updated Monday, October 01 2012. Created Tuesday, April 10 2012.
|Domain for the franchise||http://www.accel-world.net/|
|Official Website (japanese) at nicovideo.jp||http://ch.nicovideo.jp/channel/accel-world|