「Investigation； 探索」 (Tensaku)
We finally get a brand new episode this week and it was packed full with information and revelations. Kuroyukihime explains the leveling system and the “leaders” of Accel World, while also going into the issues she’s experiencing at school. We see more of Takumu while Haruyuki is on his way to visit Chiyuri. When we finally get to Chiyuri’s house, Haruyuki and Chiyuri have a heartfelt conversation over their relationship.
To start… wait, so they’re dating now?! Kuroyukihime confuses me every time she’s overly friendly with Haruyuki. This includes the hand holding too, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt right now and assume she’s just lonely. After all, it’s always in situations like these that the protagonist somehow fills the void in her heart right? That’s probably why Haruyuki offers to help Kuroyukihime fulfill her goals of reaching Level 10. I admit that I think her motive is very shallow and selfish… she doesn’t dive too deeply into her own history, but she explains enough to set the stage for what our characters will have to overcome in the future. I wish I was a bit more sympathetic towards her cause, but I’m not and I think she had it coming by decapitating another leader in the middle of a truce. No wonder she has a bounty on her head.
Then we see Kuroyukihime assign Haruyuki on his first “big” assignment, which involves his own best friend, Chiyuri. I’m surprised by how unbothered Haruyuki seemed with the idea of deceiving Chiyuri into direct-linking with him. He’s actually violating her privacy trying to hunt for clues to question Chiyuri’s motives (in a not-so-uncomfortable position?). Here we have Chiyuri basically bawling her eyes out, while explaining why she feels so distant towards her best friend. She’s vulnerable, she’s hurt and she wants reassurance that Haruyuki still trusts her. Then we have Haruyuki, (not-so-secretly) digging through her files and completely ignoring her almost-confession. I understand that he feels inferior compared to Chiyuri and Takumu, but this does not justify the way he neglects his friends (who seem to genuinely care for his well-being). This is what bothered me the most… not the fact that Chiyuri may or may not be a Burst Linker, but the idea that Haruyuki could actually doubt Chiyuri and take advantage of her in this situation.
I really shouldn’t be defending Chiyuri so much though; if she does end up being Cyan Pile, I’ll have to eat my words.
Takumu also makes a small appearance in this episode. I still can’t really gauge his character, although he seems like your normal and average, boy-next-door type of character. I assume he’s going to have a material role later on, so it’s only a question of when and why.
I also have a technical question involving the direct link between characters. It was implied back in episode one that this would be considered an “intimate activity” between two parties. I get the impression that your thoughts are simply transferred from one to another without actually having to speak. So why can’t Chiyuri read Haruyuki’s thoughts in that final scene? Not to mention the overly obvious tapping and sliding of fingers… if she can technically read his thoughts, she should know what he’s searching for or his intentions. From the audiences’ point of view, it’s obvious when Haruyuki’s keeping his thoughts to himself, but how does this link distinguish these thoughts apart? Am I over-analyzing?
Ignoring all the technicalities though, I’m hoping to find out who Cyan Pile is next week. There haven’t been a large range of characters introduced yet, so I’m banking on it being someone we already know.