OP Sequence

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

 

Preview

123 Comments

    1. I’m assuming this is a reference to his ‘unique’ physical appearance: yes, well, it is “very rare” for a reason – BECAUSE IT IS DISTRACTING.

      The series itself (the story, characters, art, etc) is very good. But the rather inexplicable decision to portray the protagonist in this quasi-superdeformed style WHEN ALL THE OTHER CHARACTERS ARE NORMAL is just very visually distracting, hinders suspension of disbelief and detracts from this otherwise great series, and stops it from being even better than it is already. The main char doesn’t have to be portrayed as a perfect physical specimen, but rather just having him in the SAME ART STYLE as all the other characters would really make a huge difference.

      This will probably get lots of hate, but can you honestly say this series wouldn’t be better if the protag wasn’t drawn in such a distractingly different style?

      askl
      1. Quote: This will probably get lots of hate, but can you honestly say this series wouldn’t be better if the protag wasn’t drawn in such a distractingly different style?

        Is sad cause I read the novel even thou his attitude change later on but his physical appearance is still a very big bother. The author really shouldn’t create such a fat pig as a main character, make him a bit chubby is fine but fat as a pig is really a distraction and tend to turn ppl again from the novel, anime, manga, I admit too if I wasn’t such a big fan of Sword Art Online, I would never bother even read this.

        mike
      2. I think it would have been a great idea to change his appearance to one that fits the other characters designs once he sees himself in a better light and gets the confidence boost which he is obviously going to get.

        It would be a welcome change.

        Kurisu Vi Britannia
  1. Erhm… I think you left behind very important about the Haru character and focused too much on his physical traits/lameness. He has a lot of interesting things going on in his head. For example: How the MC doesn’t want to be pitied by his friends (specially Takumu) or how he “gave up” on his school life.

    And it wasn’t mentioned that Takumu is dating Chiyuri or that Haru harbors romantic feelings for her. But it was obvious that he cares a lot about what Takumu thinks about him.

    And finally, the link in this line is incorrect I guess.

    who plays the role of the boyfriend

      1. The true enemies doesn’t even show up till end of volume 4 even then they don’t really start a fight till volume 9 of novel and volume 10 is when things really get intense which sadly not sure if novel even release yet. So anime probably will only cover volume 1 and 2.

        mike
      2. Hakarum what do you mean by dark?, I´ve read the first 2 volume of the light novel and I can´t find a good a good tanslation or summary for the rest, I don´t mind if you spoil me a little of the plot of the light novels.

        haseo0408
      3. Now that´s dark, Baka-Tsuki has to translate the rest of the novels, I can´t wait!. Also, I don´t know where you got that but fluffy is not a word related to Sword Art Online Suppa Tenko, at least to me the plot just gets better with every new volume.

        haseo0408
      4. There’s chinese translations of up to novel 9. but if you really want to know what happens later on Show Spoiler ▼

        Hakarum
      5. which is why I don’t understand why he return the item at end of volume 9 he should have equip the item and use it to beat up those F@@##@ just to rub it in their face for something they cause. Then return back to owner when everything is over.

        mike
      6. Show Spoiler ▼

        Benz
  2. Hey Cherrie i noticed the images you linked to your sentences were off. Please fix as soon as possible. PS. Great article. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Byakusei
  3. Liked the world very much (some call it the environment). Amazing music played at the beginning when he went to his world.

    Felt very strong for the fact that his avatar is pig. He runs from the real world, but this buta thing is so deep in him that it shapes his personality in a way that of all the amazing avatars one could choose from, he had this little one.

    For me, I don’t care much about the story as long as I’m enjoying the world of it. Still, the story seems to be good, though I have the feeling that it might have dark themes. Either way, I’m glad.

    vladrin
  4. I initially planned to only check out the first few mins tonight, but then watched the whole episode. Even for a first episode the animation quality looked impressive.

    boingman
  5. Just want to point out, since apparently a lot of people somehow don’t know, this is an adaption of a Light Novel, not a manga. There is a manga, but its an adaption as well. So using the manga as a guide may-or-may not be advisable.

    FYI and all that.

      1. Manga does a good job cover pretty much everything in novel 1 but it still be long wait if u goner wait for manga, novel is already up to volume 10 and manga just finish volume 1 novel material and maybe a chapter of volume 10 which is a side story.

        mike
  6. I’m actually very interested in seeing how this anime plays out. I have to say I was really excited for this after reading up on it and the first episode did not disappoint me at all. I found it odd how he made Haru the way he is, but It seems to have grown on me a little bit and I think I will enjoy his pudgy figure. Towards the end when he got some sort of Robot avatar, I really liked the design for that, really excited for next week!

    InvisibleZombie
  7. Wow it is refreshing to have a leading character be different. While it makes it a little harder to relate to him I am excited at the prospect of watching him grow.

    Bijyu
    1. It’s always beyond me why some people feel they have the obligation to express their distaste or disgust.

      Didn’t like GC, move on, actually, you should have moved on since episode three (6 months ago). Yet, six months has passed and you are still sharing the bad taste you had in your mouth back then.

      Is the word troll is familiar to you?

      vladrin
      1. Best thing I heard someone said in a while. People have a choice to drop series they don’t like but expressing their disgust continuously for such a long time is a troll that brings no good. The whining is getting so annoying.

        Neben91
      2. This is true. If you keep comparing shows to others, then first of all your expectations will make you misjudge, and secondly, you’ll never be able to actually see the show for how it is. Sometimes you might even ignore the good parts about it, because you’re so keen on looking for the negative things about it. ^.^

        End3rr
      3. You guys must understand: the comparison is not purely because of their disgust for GC. Even I, a GC fan, compares Haru to Shu because of their similarities personality-wise. You might even say that Haru is actually Shu’s prototype, seeing as AW actually came before GC.

        The Moondoggie
  8. So far so good, first episode certainly lived up to the hype concerning its jaw-dropping animation and futuristic world-view. I would be looking forward to the anime adaptation of Kawahara Reki’s other work Sword Art Online this July as well.

    It is indeed rare to have a chubby character in the lead role in anime, but at least Haruyuki was drawn in an adorable way (including his cute piggy avatar) that it’s hard not to sympathize his cause.

    It would have been harder for the author to get audience sympathy for Haru if he were drawn in the “creepy fat otaku” style. 🙂
    http://qjphotos.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/otaku1.jpg

    Kinny Riddle
  9. As someone that watched the preview (ep 1 and ep 2) I find the pace quite quick (it’s running approx. 2 manga chapters per episode)

    and the world building…we’re getting so close to what’s being shown, it’s shocking.

    info600
  10. I’m expecting this series to be good since I remember the LN won the grand prize in Dengeki Novel 2008. Hopefully Sunrise won’t screw it up but by the looks of it, its looking very good.

    Also, I just can’t help but to remember all those ads that I’ve saw when I was in Japan last month. TV, books, every bookstores I’ve been to… they advertised AW anime wherever I go. Its stuck in my head now literally.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing an anime adaptation and as a LN reader, I hope they will stick with the LN plot and not going with “anime-only” plot.

    Kanade
    1. Judging from the OP, it does look like they will be sticking close to the LN covering vol.1~4, Show Spoiler ▼

      The only uncertain factor is that we see Show Spoiler ▼

      in the OP. But I guess it’s still too early to judge.

      Seraf
  11. I like how the main character is not your typical hot idol type guy, but they should have drawn him to look more like a human. At first, I thought the guy was supposed to be a mascot or something (something like Kuma from Persona4).

    Unajuuphile
  12. Glad tht no one keep complaining about “he’s so fat and annoying” over here….

    Seriously, at least we can relate to Haru better than Shuu…. (Even though both have my sympathy’s…)

    Snow Black looks awesome and Silver Crow is….decent looking. If u r a SF fan, go watch it!!!

    D-LaN
  13. I’m glad that you are on that show Cherrie ! Great post. I really wasn’t expecting much for this anime, but the beautiful artwork (thought not the “Makoto Shinkai’s type” mind you) and the fluidity of the animation really got me.
    I’ll be looking forward to see the next episode 🙂
    (IMHO, it’s difficult to see our protagonist as a different character, knowing him previously as Shuu in GC, who happened to be a definite looser too- We could argue about that but whatever- )

    Keep going 🙂

    maddoki
  14. I’m loving this already. Now I have to wait till July to watch Sword Art Online. A anime I’ve been anticipating to happen since I started reading the Light Novel back in 2010. And with the things that go on in SAO I’m hoping it’ll be at least 2-4 cours or at least 2-4 seasons. All the best anime are being narrowed down to 12+ or 20+ episodes now :(. It’s rare to come across a new anime that goes 50+ like Beelzebub

    SwordArt-Accel
      1. The GGO arc is one of my favorites. And chapter 16.5………I think my nosebleed says the whole story of that chapter…I don’t think they’ll animate that chapter though….Although it would be friggin awesome if they do….Kirito is one lucky guy….lucky bastard….He’s still my anime bro though :D. But I really hope there will be more than one season. Or if only one then at least 50+ or even more. I just want it to become THAT popular ! That’s how much I love this series. I saw the trailer moments ago and the animation is so damn GOOD !! The voice actors are as I expected. And the soundtrack looks like it’s gonna be awesome.

        SwordArt-Accel
  15. Reki Kawahara has my undying support and respect because his clever use of a common theme like virtual reality (whe´ve seen to death in .hack) and mixe with really original protagonists. In the case of Accel World is more than obvious, Haruyuki is not your traditional protagonist, the poor guy has everything against him and that in a way makes a lot more human, opening a door to some serious character growth and development. I´m really exited for this new series, the animation looks beautiful and the story seems like a hell of a ride, more than enough to keep me busy until july come with what I consider to be the crown jewel of 2012: Sword Art Online.

    haseo0408
  16. Wimpy antisocial kid voiced by Kaji Yuki is suddenly given an awesome and rare power by a mysterious hot girl. Except:

    -Wimpy kid isn’t a bishonen, which makes him more endearing
    -Wimpy kid actually struggles with his power instead of suddenly kicking everyones ass with it immediately after obtaining it
    -He and hot girl have actual chemistry and have witty banter, making their eventual hook up believable and likable

    This series shows promise just for those points alone.

    And I already love the story! Can’t wait for episode 3!

    Da5id
      1. Because you obviously didn’t heavily imply that you were talking about it in your post. >__>
        _
        I’m so sick of you fags bringing up GC in nearly completely irrelevant posts. Any little chance you get to bitch about it, you’ll do it. Can’t we just discuss the show we’re actually watching here and right now?

        Namae
    1. did you just say that the main character and hot girl’s eventual hook up is “believable”?

      even by the most distorted anime logic there is no way that it is even remotely approaching believable.

      in a way AW is quite strange – it seemingly seeks to subvert traditional views linking a person’s physical appearance to their capabilities, but yet makes a mockery of these virtues by having 2 very hot girls inexplicably in love with him.

      askl
  17. I love Kuroyukihime’s character! It’s a refreshing change to the usual innocent/clueless/airhead pretty girl you often see. Although I’m suspicious about how seductive she is… What’s her hidden agenda?
    On that note, I also liked the fact that Arita Haruyuki is not an airhead either. This show has nice changes to the usual anime tradition.

    Djalaal
  18. As a manga reader (till chapter 9), i’m pleasantly surprised by the good quality of this anime-adaption. Great work, Studio Sunrise!

    Looking forward to next episode!

    Random thoughts: I’m hoping the other work, Sword-Art Online, get such quality( or even better!) anime-adaption too.

    Watever
  19. So I’m here just to bitch out how awesome the pre-air was and seeing the OP just made it even more awesome.

    So Shu… er… Haru is loyally portrayed here in comparison with the manga and LN versions. Also I love the 3D and 2D combinations rampant in the show when showing the online world and the Accel World.

    My expectations had been met.

    The Moondoggie
  20. I’m surprised by how well this is adapted, considering the fact that the anime left out numerous things -especially details- from the manga.
    Oh and you probably already knew but, episode 2 is out too, both episodes were already subbed earlier this week (Tuesday I believe)

    Crook
      1. In the manga (though the anime is adapted to be like the light novel, not the manga) Haru often had these thoughts about Hime when she touched him etc. It made it more obvious that Haru is pretty much into her, but it’s not something that really matters to the overall thought, which the anime will create anyway. And it seems some scenes were slightly rushed, but once again, not to the point where it really matters.

        Crook
    1. I have watched both pre-released episodes already. However, since they’re still only airing an episode each week, I wasn’t going to make a double post =X Waiting for episode 3 now…!

      Cherrie
    1. Heh. Short fat guys can lose weight. Not that it’s going to happen here though.

      I originally thought I wasn’t going to watch this show but on a whim decided to. I thought I couldn’ t bring myself to watch a protagonist like Arita. The last thing I wanted to watch was a whiny little fat kid.

      Well- Arita ended up being a sympathetic character. I felt for the little guy since that was me over 25 years ago. So I’ll be watching and cheering for Arita. Here’s hoping for his success and growth.

      1. short, you say? Clearly the writers were aiming for the chibi market. Clearly! They are pushing for the new boundary by introducing a chibi MALE character who barely reaches other character’s waistline. Did I also mention that he’s fat, wimpy, jerkish, and voiced by Shu from GC? Man, you can’t make this stuff up!

        RC fan56
      2. Yeah being fat, he can easily lose weight but being that short, he can’t exactly have a growth spurt unless its in virtual mode.

        But maybe his character design is kind of like Sunako’s chibi form from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge, a purposely done distortion from what he would realistically look like. I’m rooting for him to be with Kuroyukihime but he just looks silly and ridiculous standing next to her. This kind of character design isn’t the best for things like fanart, doujins, etc since you can’t really take it seriously.

        kira
    2. yes and he ALSO has another hot girl as a childhood friend who makes him food and put up with him being a jerk. It’s like religion; just dial up your Suspension of disbelief/reason way way way up and watch. Or if you can’t do that, drop the show. It’s simple.

      RC fan56
    3. agreed. i’ll give them credit for *actually* making him so unfortunate, but starting off with 2 very attractive girls that are inexplicably in love with him throws what originally appeared to be a genuine attempt to tackle issues of inferiority out of the window

      asdf
    4. You shouldn´t judge people because their apearance, that´s te main issue here and it doesn´t only apply to Haruyuki, Kuroyukihime is not what it seems at all.

      haseo0408
  21. Pretty nice episode, feeling some TTGL vibes coming from Haru here. Would be quite interesting as the series goes on he matures mentally and psychically but hey if it doesn’t happen it’s cool just hope it can continue to entertain.

    Essence
  22. At first, i thought that the fat-short guy appearance was a virtual body of the protagonist or something and not the real body… but… I’m wrong…~I guess

    Concoction
  23. A character that need a lot of growth – a very interesting plot device.
    This has good potential as long as it’s not a Mortal Combat-like series.

    I don’t know if I’ve seen this in Anime before; characters change their
    appearance depending on what they’re doing (Tomoki in Sora no Otoshimono
    is an example). But I wonder if (and I hope), as this character grows,
    will his appearance change. It’d be hard for me to imagine this character
    (further in the series) having more confidence and less self pity looking
    like a roly-poly guy…

    Anyway, this looks like a few more episodes for me.

    mac65
  24. It’s a very rare to find some of the main protagonist as a short-fat. Seriously Haru look like me in the real world since I’m so fat & short =_=” , Urgh Im so jealous of Haru meeting a beautiful girl known as Kuroyukihime. Ahh I wish my life was like haru :s

    Death2411
  25. The good: an GitS-esque world which is also merged with a .hack-esque secondary world that have plenty of potential. Secondary characters that look and feel real for a change in the beginning of a story and the animation (kudos for Sunrise’s C Team)

    The really bad: Fat-Pig Shu Ouma Beyond with a new contract and cosmic surgery. Why Japan insist with this beta-type characters that have no self-respect for themselves and nobody likes is something I still don’t understand. The series would be better if we had an average joe with mid-to-high abilities that will grow up gradually. Instead we have an on-line over-the-top character that is an even bigger failure than one Shinji Ikari (tv series) or another Shu Ouma in the real world.

    We’re up for another Guilty Crown in here, and with Sunrise negative record with the development of their latest stories sans T&B (yes, i’m looking at you, Gundam franchise for TV), the whole thing looks bleak.

    SeedStriker
    1. The thing is, however, is that he does have not only “mid-to-high” but a rather distinctive quality and that is his game-breaking mental reflex, which plays an important role is later encounters. That and the fact that he… ehhh if I say more it’d be spoiler.

      Second of all, unlike GC or any other Gundam franchise, Accel World is an adaptation based on an existing LN series (10 volumes as of now.) Unless Sunrise is dumb enough to alter the script, I can assure you that it won’t be a train wreck disaster like GC.

      And lastly this is just me bitching… why are people comparing this to GC? The two series have nothing in common except for the cast for just one guy… if this reason alone deters half the audience from a decent if not great entertainment, I’d be a sad panda…

      Seraf
    2. Too early for you to talk bro: Haru will eventually grow out of it. Also Accel World is different from Guilty Crown in many ways, like the protagonist’s struggle.

      The Moondoggie
  26. Maybe it’s the fact that I like fighting games, but this anime’s plot seems to be pretty straightforward. I’m quite shocked at Kuroyukihime’s seiyu. Incredible talent, and yet having done almost zero main cast roles.

    Dal
  27. I like the protagonist, he’s cute. He’s a bit pathetic atm but I’m sure that’ll change.
    I liked the first episode so much I ran off to read the manga straight afterwards..

    Yukiru
  28. I’m cheering for the anime, depending on how well they pull it off it will only make Sword Art Online more badass. Shout out to the light novel readers here! First timers keep an open mind, especially if perturbed by the MC, if the animation and atmosphere delivers in the fights we are in for a real treat.

    Satoshi
  29. I actually think the visual is no more distracting than hearing oh my shoe ‘s voice in another wimpy character.

    By the way, from the was the op is going, I see love triangle coming…

    suff
  30. I’ve finally seen the first episode (was waiting for my brother to come home because we’re watching it together). I must say that this was much better than I had expected and I’m clearly hooked.

    And that pig reminds me of P-chan…

    Also, nice post, keep up the good work. :]

    Stereoman
  31. I promised myself to cover this series until the end mainly because I have too many expectations for this…story-wise, this is amazing with the fact that we do not give a too structured storyline…character-wise, I’m easily in love with kuroyukihime…I believe she is strong and fragile at the same time…Haruyuki arita is also a cute underdog…I’m looking forward to a deeper Kuroyukihime ’cause I know that there is a deeper sense as to her real motives for inviting Haru to join Brain Burst….This has to be a good series… 🙂

  32. The story is very good not up to Sword Art Online standard but still better than most, the only time I stop reading the novel and felt a bit bore was novel 3 & 4 with Dust Taker arc, but the rest especially volume 7 with the past was very beautifully done.

    Benz
  33. I am tired of pitiful, helpless, lack of spine bone MC. Haru is an exception thought because his weakness feels so real, it even surprised me that I could sympathize with his every negative thoughts so kudos to the writer for that. Perhaps another reason is that, by Vol. 2 of the novel, he kinda spined up a lot. Oh, and it helps too that…most people who surround him kinda have this low-esteem issues in someway or another but they just try to conceal it. When their problems were exposed, though, I started to felt like Haru is actually the one with the highest self-esteem among the main characters…

    So basically the opposite of SAO which goes from dark to fluffy to milk chocolate to cakes.== Couldn’t agree more. Well, later volumes were dark too but nothing can be compared with the first arc…

    JelJel

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