OP: 「Chase the world」 by May’n
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「Acceleration; 加速」 (Kasoku)
Accel World starts off by introducing our protagonist as a short, chubby boy who has captured the attention of the most popular girl in school. Clearly nothing is hotter than seeing high virtual squash scores. Maybe I should pick up squash too…
Luckily, that’s not the focal point of the story. Granted, Arita Haruyuki (Kaji Yuuki) is not the most exciting hero to watch. He gets bullied, he’s a pig (quite literally) and he chooses to escape reality rather than face it. In fact, I started to feel extremely bad for him when he lost his high score. You usually read about/watch protagonists who “claim” to be outsiders and loners, but for the author to go as far as drawing him so disproportionate compared to his peers, is rare. I highly respect the author for doing that. In that sense, I’m more intrigued as to how he’s going to appear later on when he grows a backbone (and turns into a prince?). Maybe then I’ll get over the fact that he’s short and fat (I feel so shallow!).
The story itself actually centers around a future universe where people can enter a virtual world in the form of an avatar. This is where we meet our heroine Kuroyukihime (Misawa Sachika) (not sure if the reference to Snow White is intentional… maybe that’s just me) and she introduces Haruyuki to a new program that slows down the present by speeding up the minds of whoever possesses “Brain Burst”. All-in-all, if I don’t pick apart at all the details, the story can turn out to be a very interesting sci-fi and action story. There is no real “issue” or dilemma at the moment, but I guess that will develop soon enough. This first episode gives a solid background as to the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of the settings, and I pray that it does not get too technical (I would be so lost then).
The series also introduces Kurashima Chiyuri (Toyosaki Aki), who adds to Haruyuki’s harem. Pretty much self-explanatory — they are childhood friends and to some degree I can understand why Chiyuri is so attached to him. There is a lot of criticism for Haruyuki’s lack of appeal, but I always think the “best-friend turned girlfriend” spin is more likely than the hottest girl in school suddenly taking notice of you. Unfortunately, Chiyuri already has Mayuzumi Takumu (Asanuma Shintarou) who plays the role of the boyfriend. He has not played a significant role in the anime thus far, but it’ll be interesting to see how things develop in this love-square. I thought it was really awkward when Haruyuki suddenly ran away after an epiphany that happened all in his head (why would he be so quick to judge his best friends?) This only led to further nightmares, which I believe are explained in the next episode.
I’ve read a
few pages several chapters of the manga after finding out that I was going to blog Accel World. So far the adaptation is fairly well done; a few scenes are prolonged or altered to make it easier to understand, however, the first episode is a great setup for the story. I actually prefer the anime since the animation is amazing while the manga artwork is nothing to be jumping around for. As for the novel – I haven’t read it. I understand that people praise the author and his other novel (Sword Art Online), however I prefer to enjoy the anime as it is, regardless if it’ll turn out to have an anime original ending. I hope everyone will understand and keep spoilers to themselves. With that said, I won’t end my post with a disclaimer; instead, everyone should go out and watch episode two now! (Or three in 2 weeks time…)
* The OP was used as the ending sequence this week