So, what would you have chosen? The red pill or the blue pill?
|Here it comes! An actual anime with a protagonist that’s overweight! Again I ask, has this even ever happened before? Anyways, abnormality aside, I’m excited to see an anime about an MMORPG that isn’t based on a game for once (.hack aside).|
|Accel World! The virtual treat of this season! Somehow summary reminds me of .hack, but I’m sure it won’t be like that. And look at that main character. SO CUTE de geso! My god I am soo getting a plushie of him if such thing exists. Anyway, let’s hope that it’s as promising as it sounds. Let’s go, tag team!|
|Accel World is about a pig who was rejected from Polar Bear Cafe and given his own anime about jumping into virtual reality games and kicking ass. His goal is to become a more famous pig than the 3 little pigs and Babe combined. Introducing Haruyuki, everyone. Let’s see this baconator in action!|
|Hello folks and welcome to this all-girls tag review for a very interesting and talked about series. There have been haters and likers of this title along with decrying similarities with Guilty Crown and literally it doean’t end at OH MA SHOE. But that’s for later and without any further ado, let’s get this review started.
piggy, shounen, I gots cookies.
The story is set some time in future when everyone’s connected to a neural network of a VR (Virtual Realty) world via Neuro-Link, constituting different environments and customized avatars. The story centers around Haruyuki, a plump shouta, who has always been looked down upon because of his obesity. Easy target to bullying and sometimes even sympathy, his only sanctuary is the virtual world where he can achieve speedy feats that are impossible with his real body and thus, his top scores of an advanced squash game. I should add, his pig and real form are quite kawaiii and his faces can actually give Ika a run for her money.
Kuroyukihime, “C’mon, let me hear your thoughts.” Haru, “Nooooo! I was not thinking about x-ray vision!”
However, his life changes when his gaming overzealousness is noticed by the school’s beauty, Kuroyukihime, who has some secrets of her own. She tops his score in a jiffy (I sure would like to know her skill points), and promises to change his concept of reality by installing an application called Brain Burst to his system. Of course, this has repercussions but Haru doesn’t take much time to think and installs it anyway. Apparently, due to his brain potential, Brain Burst gives him the means to accelerate 1000 times per second, making him a Burst Linker and a new resident of the Accel World.
Silver Crow, “Isn’t my Yuno pose ftw?” Ash Roller, ‘Wtf are YOU smoking?!’
Kuroyukihime gives him a first-hand experience of this accelerated speed to lock up his bully, but I’m sure this is not the last we have seen of him. Being Haru’s guide, she also advices him not to connect to the Global Network outside school/home; however, he does the next day, only to discover that the Brain Burst program is actually an MMORPG game. I’m sure you went DOH at this point. But, it’s not as useless as it sounds because not everyone can be a Burst Linker. From what I surmised, it’s all about having an overactive/genius brain to be a Burst Linker along with having the ability to continuously fight to increase and maintain the burst points because it’s srs bsns yo! A player can gain/lose ten points in every same-level game (the stakes are higher if there’s a level difference between players). If burst points ever reach zero, the player will lose the ability to accelerate forever. Yes, no more cheating on your tests, peeping on hot girls, hit jackpots, win fights, full hour sleeps and forever gaming for our protag-kun if his burst points ever reach zero.
Haru, “STOP TOUCHING MEEEEEEEEEE!”
Rather than being afraid for his life and sulking in a corner, Haru decides to take his own destiny in hand write his own fate (too many puns I know, but I can’t help it). Kuroyukihime has her own axe to grind (facing a boss-level opponent for an old grudge or something more than that?), but is clear that she wants his help for that. Without even knowing the reason or batting an eyelash on concealing her ugly avatar, Haru accepts her offer of partnership and vows to become a better fighter. He challenges Ash Roller (who whooped his ass in his first Brain Burst fight), again and wins against him through wits and perseverance. The audience is awed by his resourcefulness and some even vow their patronage for his upcoming fights. Is there any betting involved like C here? It should be interesting if there is. So, we have an audience everyone and Haru better be entertaining each week because it’s going to be a long haul.
All is good in the Brain Burst World but what about the real one? Well, Haru’s friend Chiyu is more than suspicious of him hanging around with the school’s hottie. It’s still to be discovered that she’s the older-sister type or the obsessive to-be-girlfriend type; both these possibilities currently have weight. Also, we have another dude-friend called Taka, who’s supposedly the god for Haru. Will this bromance sell?! Not to mention, will this series have a harem end. Stay tuned for the next episode!
Haru, “I will NOT think about groping simulation!”
C’mon, you have to say, he’s cute in both forms!
Kuroyukihime, “Will you be my knight, shounen?!” Haru, “Tell me about my salary and benefits first!”
Oh my god, I’m extremely jealous at all of the technology these people have. I would be soooo much easier to blog in class (er, not that I do anything like that in the first place, honest!) if I had an entire computer system with me like that. Arg, I’m jealous. Anyways, I actually found Haruyuki’s character design adorable. Hell, I’m not even sad that his avatar isn’t a bishie (like I thought it would be) since that pig is so cute. The story did get me feeling sorry for him too since Gammon’s (more) evil (and less fabulous) twin brother (…I’m not going to bother learning his real name unless he shows up again) was a complete jerk to him. The whole loser kid to princess’ knight thing is a cliché enough plot, but I think this show can make it work. …I’m not sure how I feel about Kuroyukihime yet, but she has plenty of time to develop (…and I already like her better than that cat girl). Obviously her whole hidden ‘other self’ is going to be a plot point later, but let’s see how she develops first.
Okay, setting and characters aside, I was impressed by the animation. IT WAS PRETTY. I don’t know if it was just because of it was the first episode or not, but the animation seems solid enough. The whole CG thing Sunrise seems to do now would have seemed out of place if I hadn’t seen Tiger & Bunny, but I have, so it was a nice division of the real world vs. the …whatever world that was. Maybe this won’t have the same production money behind it since this isn’t one big and elaborate advertising campaign disguised as an anime, but hopefully it stays this level of quality. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, but this boosted my standards. …In a good way.
…This felt a lot like C to be honest. Maybe it’s just the whole Player 1 vs. Player 2 in a battle to keep their special power thing, but that’s what it was for me. Instead of futures, the player’s inner fears and such are what battle (I wonder what Haru becoming the Silver Crow means). Actually, I quite like this concept, though I hope this doesn’t get more complicated than what’s good for it. C completely lost me towards the end. But yeah, my first impressions about this as EXTREMELY positive and I can’t wait for more!!
This. This kind of anime is the one I don’t like the most. Not that it’s bad, but it’s because of how few little factors never fail to annoy me right when I was in the middle of enjoying the episode. For example, the freaking main character. He’s cute, super cute. The noises every time the main character falls/bounces/anything that make him cute are not helping me either because the anime crew decided to this kind of bouncing noise that makes the main character 1000x cuter. Man, if this guy just doesn’t remind me of freaking OH MA SHOE every time he goes into the depression mode, I would love him. Every piece of him is like a replica of OH MA SHOE, except the amount of body fat. Brown hair with similar style? Check. Emo? Check. Like to escape to the virtual world (here by virtual game, GC by watching Inori’s videos yada yada)? Check. Easily suspicious of others? Check. The main character makes me feel conflicted. I want to like the first two episodes, but I can’t because of the main character. What the hell is his name I don’t even know.
The Link Buster thingy is interesting, but I can’t help thinking how weird it is at the same time. The problem I have with it is how it’s somehow involved with the inferior feeling each player has. I thought Link Buster is just a game where the players have to beat each other but not to death just to keep them accelerated. So what’s up with the inferior complex thingy? That makes it sound more like a virtual therapy session instead of a game. And of course, stupid. I mean, of course that is a factor that is necessary for the main character’s development, but still… It’s a game, damn it!
I just realized that I don’t like two primary things of this anime. This is a problem for me. How can I enjoy it when I don’t even like two of the most important things in Accel World? The high-tech setting of the anime is cool, but it wasn’t enough to make me ignore the main character and the weirdness of Link Buster. Not to mention the annoying female characters… Anyway, I’ll see whether the series is worth it to be watched or not. There better be something that can make me like it. And please, anime god, give the main character a proper character development or else I’ll hate him more later on. Don’t turn him into a weirdo like OH MA SHOE. He’s too cute to be like OH MA SHOE.
Accel World originally caught my eye because I liked the idea of having a game world that the characters slip in and out of, much like .hack. The anime delivered on that front, even adding in nice touches such as icons on the screen, menu screens and a built-in computer system for pretty much everything you need to do in the real world. The virtual world is constantly running parallel to the real world, to the point where the two are almost indistinguishable. This setting has a lot of potential…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a body-implanted computer system used as such a primary feature of an anime. I’m starting to want one too! One minor issue is that sometimes all the menus and HP bars especially can be distracting to the main event. I don’t want to see cuts to an HP bar during an exciting match. What do you think I’d rather watch – a moving blue bar, or manly men beating the tar out of each other? I like the gamer stuff being thrown in, but I don’t need to see it every second as a reminder that we’re in a game. Tone down the imagery and tutorials juuuust a bit, and we’re golden.
As much as I love the game world and think it has the potential to be something bordering on unique, the execution of the show often makes it feel more like an average “loser kid gets superpowers then becomes cool” scenario. First of all, Haruyuki actually has friends and probably a decent life too, but he’s just miserable. A completely cynical human being whose life would be 100x better if he realized he has an attractive friend who makes lunch for him and watches his back. Haruyuki really only feels like a loveable loser when he’s in pig form because that pig is just too. damn. cute. At all other times, I just think he’s too whiny. That leads to the next point…of having the prettiest girl in the school seduce him. She’s probably just using him, but seeing so many wonderful things fall into his lap so conveniently when all he does is whine is a bit annoying. Especially considering the only consequence is not being able to use the program anymore instead of…I don’t know..DYING? The thing that usually happens when you’re killed? Anyways, I expected to like Haruyuki as a sort of unlucky fat kid whose life was really down in the dumps, but he’s just a coward who gets upset about someone beating his high score in cyber squash. Lame. Now that he has powers, he seems to be slightly less pathetic though, so I should be able to stomach his poor attitude.
Thankfully, Haruyuki is much more amusing in his Silver Crow form (and pig form! Soo…cute…want to pet…) and the action is fun to watch. I like that because he’s essentially weaker than everyone that he has to employ some strategy in order to win. That fight turned out to be pretty entertaining! I can see myself enjoying the fights and virtual world segments immensely, but getting bored every time Haruyuki has to interact in everyday, highschool life. He just has no clue how to act decently around people. I find it eerie that the prettiest girl in the school is so friendly with him too, so that’s another thing to NOT look forward to. All in all, Accel World has some originality and pizzazz in its favour, so let’s hope Haruyuki and the butterfly bitch don’t squander it all away. I’ll definitely keep watching this to see how it goes!
As I joked in our Spring Review, this is an Alternate Reality for OH MA SHOE, where he’s fat and chased by a different loli-character. Though, you can’t really call Kuroyukihime loli by definition but just because she’s taller than our protag-kun, doesn’t mean she isn’t sue me. If you felt a Guilty Crown déjà vu while watching this, don’t worry, you are still sane because some of the staff members do share their profiles with both titles. To name, the series composition and 3D/CG is done by Hiroyuki Yoshino and Eiji Inomoto respectively for both, while Yukiko Aikei was the 3D Director for Guilty Crown but Accel World’s Director of Photography. The characters designs have similarity too but have different designers.
I’m sure some of you went, “Too much information?” and I won’t blame you. This is usually the downside of airing two episodes for a plot- and term-filled series. However, it was still pretty exciting because who doesn’t like VR (virtual reality), huh?! Anime fandom is notorious to overlap with the gaming community and I’m sure the gamers are going to jump on this series like fanboys. I think along with Sword Art Online, this is already getting adapted to games.
Personally, I’m just glad the protagonist is not a whiny emo-kid (bonus points for being cuuuute). Sure, he got issues but he’s a quick adapter than just standing there thinking about what should be his next step. It also helps that the main protagonist literally breaks the anime convention of not being a bishie, which makes me like him even more. He knows his short-comings and has been a scaredy cat. He had been that loser kid who is skirted by most but now with the right opportunity given, he’s willing to give his all rather than shying away from it. You have to like such a character, who is completely opposite of OH MA SHOE, who took two-cours to realize he was supposed to be badass. The metallic mecha form is quite interesting and I’m really looking forward to the development of his skills and power levels.
This series has a good start even with the squishing in of too much information. The pre-air animation is not of quality but still, at least gives you an idea about what to expect (remember Lagrange pre-air and how beautiful the real thing turned out?). The avatar design for Haru is ironman-ish but still shiny; also, I love the CG of game scores and how the announcement text just flair up on the screen with the right music cue. You can say, this has enough potential for anybody to take notice and seriously, you should not be turned off by the premise. On characters’ point of view, this is too early to say anything but I would like to know more about what’s the deal of Kuroyukihime and hopefully, she’s not just using Haru to reach her own end. Taka and Chiyu seem okay and most probably the only real friends of Haru; I just hope it’s not another dose of Gai or even Yahiro. The reason I’m not being too overly enthusiastic about this as this is going to be a two-cour series and unless it keeps up the momentum, we might have another fail-whale performance decried by the twitterverse. But still, let’s keep our fingers crossed for a good run and no more OH MA SHOE jokes.
Bitches trying to enter my harem *strikes a pose*