「Retribution; 応報」 (Ouhou)
There seems to be a small time skip from last week’s to this week’s episode, especially with developments between Haruyuki, Takumu and Chiyuri. Although I was a slightly confused at Chiyuri’s behavior in the beginning, I’m glad they chose to skim over the scenes they thought weren’t pivotal to be animated. It’s obvious that Chiyuri would be pissed at her friends, but in the long run, it seems that she’s not one to hold a grudge. What a great girlfriend! All she needs are sweets and a few books to relieve some anger and stress. I’ve chucked a book at someone before – not in the head but in a more sensitive area. You can imagine the rest.
The remainder of the episode focused on Haruyuki’s mistake of using up his Burst points to level up. I love how the anime keeps throwing in different elements and “rules” of the game to keep it interesting. At the same time though, I don’t like how these rules are introduced; it’s almost like a cheap plot device to keep the story moving forward. Every time Haruyuki overcomes an obstacle, the author throws in another one just to keep it challenging for the poor guy. The thing is Takumu (or Kuroyukihime) should have explained the usage of Burst points to begin with before throwing Haruyuki blindly into the game. I understand that they’re not deliberately holding information from Haruyuki (hopefully?), but the guy can never catch a break and there’s a lot more that he needs to learn. I know that I bash on Haruyuki a lot… but he’s actually beginning to grow on me every week. His character isn’t all that self-loathing anymore and he’s starting to confront issues on his own without relying on others.
When Takumu offered Haruyuki the chance to defeat him countless times – I actually did not think of it as a set up at all. Maybe I’m just ignorant and naïve (and have no sense of pride at all), but if a friend offered me that chance, I would probably take it. Not to the extent of taking half his points, but enough to keep my point level sustainable. On the other hand, Haruyuki flat out rejected the idea, and maybe that’s because he doesn’t want to take advantage of Takumu or feel anymore indebted to others… but asking The Bouncer for help, isn’t that the same idea? He’s still asking for help from others in the end. Perhaps it’s because The Bouncer does this for a “living” and it’s an excuse for Haruyuki to try new things on his own without relying on his friends anymore. Regardless of the motive, we’re introduced to a new character who reminds Haruyuki a lot of Kuroyukihime. Another strong female player with a demanding aura and knows what she’s doing. I’m not exactly sure of the role she’s intended to play (another girl to add to his harem perhaps?) but I like her idea of “payment”. Capturing a photo of a Burst Linker seems like a great way to gather a portfolio of your competition; if anything, at least you know what people look like outside Accel World.
The scene that caught my attention was actually the final discussions involving Takumu. Did he withdraw from school? And why is he challenging Black Lotus? I thought they were on even grounds now! This whole episode simply seemed like a set up for the battles we’ll be seeing next episode…which evidently features Black Lotus. I’m super excited to see her avatar in action; the OP makes her look pretty amazing.
Note: Thank you Divine for doing my screen caps and full-lengths again. I swear I’m not this lazy… I think Divine just misses blogging.