Anime Review: Accel World

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Well, it certainly has been a while, though it has been unintentional.

I had gotten a show some time ago, and because Viz seems to love releasing their series in multiple parts on iTunes, even when it is just one season, though FUNimation seems to be the only exception to this pattern, since they only have two or three shows that obviously suffer this annoyance (the third not even finishing its first season).

Because of this fact, I decided to wait until I got the other half before covering it, much like how I did not cover Sword Art Online until I had gotten the last eleven episodes.

Now that I have gotten the rest of the episodes of that show, I guess it is time cover it.

Today, I will be reviewing Accel World (volume 1, volume 2).

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Haruyuki Arita has started life in junior high, but his life has been nothing but misery thus far being bullied by fellow students and made an outcast with only one friend in his school and spending a lot of time in the virtual world.

However, after an upperclassman invites him to meet her during lunch, she gives him a program that not very many people know about and to keep it, he must fight through many difficulties that start coming his way.

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I kind of liked it. The story was not too difficult to follow and I did feel like I got to know the characters. As such, it seems like the pacing is not that bad, but I think that other shows, like A Certain Scientific Railgun, are much better in that regard. I also liked how the protagonist was a bit different from other shows. In many shows and titles I have encountered, the characters seem to be fit and live pretty good lives and have some confidence. Here, however, we have a wimp who is only confident in his gaming abilities and is overweight. While an overweight protagonist may be the only unique thing, when I take into account other titles I have experience with, the fact that he is a wimp seems to remind me of Yugi Muto from Yu Gi Oh!. Before the horrid Duel Monseters series, which focused almost exclusively on a card game, Yugi was a victim of bullying as well and only seemed to get a backbone when he was only one piece away from completing the Millennium puzzle. Even then, Yami Yugi dealt with most of Yugi’s problems, at least until the end of the Death T incident, where Yugi finally accepted Yami Yugi, and the beginning of Bakura’s tabletop RPG, though Yami Yugi seemed to only come out because Yugi was sucked into the game. I also liked how Haruyuki went through difficulties in his relationship with his two childhood friends. It seemed to be like the same kind of struggle that anyone would have problems with when two of their friends are in a serious relationship. For example, Takumu was jealous of the fact that Chiyuri seemed to be more concerned about Haruyuki even though he was her boyfriend. That is certainly understandable because people do tend to react a lot more to little things when they are in a serious relationship. After all, I have done things because of jealousy myself, though probably not to the point of getting into a physical confrontation. Of course, Haruyuki also had some uncomfortable feelings because Taku and Chiyuri were dating. I know that I would have some difficult feelings to deal with in a situation like that, if I had spent as much time with my own friends as he did with them. It was also nice to see how Haruyuki seemed to become more confident during the course of the show. This is what I think many people want to see in protagonists. After all, nothing is as much of a waste of time as a character that does not seem to grow, such as Touma from the A Certain Magical Index anime. There were also some funny scenes, but most of them were at the expense of Haruyuki. Outside of that, I cannot really think of very much else that I liked in particular. The fact that Haruyuki is different in some aspects from other protagonists I have encountered and that he does seem to grow throughout the series, as well as the fact that he goes through some hardship that some of may encounter in their own relationships with people, made this somewhat likable.

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Although there were things that I did like, there are some issues. First, the fighting was not really that exciting. Maybe they are amazing in the novels, just like Touma may actually be a better character in the Magical Index novels than in the anime, but here I just could not really feel that much excitement. Honestly, many of the fights in the Aincrad arc of Sword Art Online, which was supposedly written by the same author as the source material for this show, and the fights between Misaka and the members of ITEM in A Certain Scientific Railgun S were much more exciting than the fights that occur in this show. If this was actually better than Sword Art Online, I would be have wanted to see pretty much all of the fights again, but I do not get that feeling at all here. I also did not really like how Kuroyukihime expressed her feelings to Haruyuki after only a few episodes into the shows. While is great to finally have a girl make such a move, instead of foolishly waiting for the boy to confess, which my elders think should be the way things go, I just cannot approve of this one. Yes, Kuroyukihime and Haruyuki have been together quite a bit, but after the events of the first three episodes, it just seemed to be too soon to confess because they still barely know each other, especially since Haruyuki thought she was putting on an act. I am not sure about you guys, but a love confession just does not seem to be right at all. She definitely should have assured him though that she was not trying to use him and throw him away when he is no longer useful, so I guess the confession is understandable there. Still, I think that it was nowhere near as satisfying as when Asuna and Kirito expressed their own feelings for each other in Sword Art Online, which I thought was handled much better. Other than that, there was one one other problem, but looking back through the episodes individually, it looks like it was not that big of a deal. The fact that the fights were not that exciting and that Kuroyukihime’s confession seemed to occur too quickly seemed to have really hurt the show for me.

Despite the fact that we do have a main character that seems to become more confident and the fact that he does experience the same kind of problems we all do, the negative aspects seem to outweigh it enough to make it something to just watch in order to kill time. I recommend that those who are fans of action to find some other show to watch, because the fights were very disappointing. As for everyone else, it may be pretty decent, but do not believe the hype that this is any better than Sword Art Online because you may be disappointed.

What are your thoughts on Accel World? If you have seen Sword Art Online as well, were you as disappointed as I was? If not, were you still disappointed or did you enjoy it? Do you have anything to add to what has already been said? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.