Accel World – 23
「Consolidation; 連結」 (Renketsu)
We are nearing the end of Accel World’s 2-cour run… and I swear, half this time has been spent on the build up to Noumi’s demise. Was it worth the wait? This episode has definitely done a great job in combining many of the previous aspects and hints into one collaborative showdown with Noumi. So yes, in a nutshell, it was worth the wait and I was not disappointed.
Even up until the second last episode, Accel World still amazes me with the new terms and characters they throw into the story. The author has created a universe in which the audience never truly understands everything and that gives him the advantage to add elements to the story however he wishes. Although it has bothered me somewhat in the past, with the introduction of Black Vice (Tobita Nobuo), I was very fascinated in who this over-powered character was. Of course, everyone seems to be over-powered these days, but like every game, it’s not interesting unless you have new bosses and levels to reach. Black Vice is definitely a villain (or maybe not?) that I’d keep my eyes open for in the future (if there is a second season). His involvement with this Acceleration Research Society proves that there is another “power” out there that is trying to improve? change? learn more? about the Accelerated World and Burst Linkers.
Noumi never ceases to surprise me though. I’m not sure if that’s because he has such a dark and twisted soul or because I keep expecting him to change and prove me wrong. His “shining” moment however, only further empathized that he is a psychopath. What a poor psychologically damaged child. Do I blame his brother for it? Well of course – but the individual is also to blame for his strong will to crush and better his brother. Noumi’s own competitive nature and pride (and greed) is what led to his present-self. His ability is indeed one that stems from his feeling of having nothing and he knows no better than to steal what others have. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s any more right… I’m just saying that he turned from a villain with no motive (and just pure hatred) to one that deserves a bit of sympathy. Just the tiniest bit. For the most part though, I still think he is way past any sort of redemption and he’s going to get what’s coming next week.
And what was Chiyuri doing this entire episode? Playing victim once again. I have mixed feelings about Chiyuri, especially at the end of this episode. She goes from annoying best friend (who may or may not love two men at once), to Noumi’s partner in crime, to victim. And I gave her the benefit of the doubt at first – she’s lost her two best friends to a virtual world and has no way of helping. Then I felt bad because she was being played by Noumi, held as hostage and only wanted to save Takumu/Haruyuki from further harm. But with her recent attitude and “I did this on my own terms” speech, I really do not feel any empathy or feelings towards her whatsoever. When she appeared at the beginning of the episode, and all was forgiven – that does not sit well with me. I am not someone who forgives and forgets easily if my friends betray me and Chiyuri’s behavior just pushed all the wrong buttons. Of course, knowing Takumu and Haruyuki, I wouldn’t expect them to hold any grudges. And obviously, that means that Chiyuri is just another tool for Noumi to hold against them.
Kuroyukihime finally returns and there’s no better way to have an entrance than on a white stallion! Right guys? ;) I was expecting her to make an entrance but to use her Mystical Reins and on a horse no doubt! Oh damn… shit’s going down. I’m not expecting a grand finale next week, but I am looking forward to the final showdown. There’s no way that the entire story can be neatly wrapped up, but I’m glad that the show’s been faithful to the LN so far (from what I’ve heard). As long as the arc ends, I’ll be satisfied and no more cliffhangers please!