「Temptation; 誘惑」 (Yuuwaku)
And the story finally starts getting interesting…
Not that it wasn’t already captivating, but I thought the first 7 episodes were really devoted to build-up. They were focused on introducing characters and the universe that Accel World is revolved around. Now that the audience has a better understanding of the technicalities and character motives, we get to meet new rivals and goals for the main cast.
Most obvious addition is Scarlet Rain (Rina Hidaka) who is portrayed as this innocent cute “imouto” of Haruyuki’s. Am I the only naiive one here? I actually thought she was just going to be eye-candy and a side character who adds no value to the story. Clearly I was so very wrong… It was an intriguing twist in character though. She went from being overly clingy and annoying to crazy and trigger-happy. Severe case of multi-personality disorder and I’ll never know the appeal of these girls… she can be very adorable though. I wish she kept up with the sister act.
The battle was short, but well animated in my opinion and probably the first battle that Haruyuki lost (since Ash Roller) on screen. I complained in earlier episodes that Haruyuki seems to always just skim by and by luck, pulls out on top. This battle wasn’t the case and even with the ability to fly, Haruyuki lost by a wide margin. Scarlet Rain is a smart one, and I wouldn’t write her off anytime soon. She seems to have her own issues though and I think it has something to do with her own protégé. Is this why she demands an audience with Kuroyukihime? We see a quick glimpse of this crazy ripper – with Scarlet Rain watching over him/her, perhaps Scarlet is his/her master. Seems like there are more issues than just gaining points and leveling up.
We end off with a conversation between Kuroyukihime and Haruyuki… and to be honest, up until now, I feel like their conversations have always been very forced. Their relationship seems very circumstantial (not that it’s a bad thing), but that’s why I wasn’t feeling the whole romance and confession scene. Since then, I’ve warmed up the idea of Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime. They’ve had a lot of trials between them and I’m beginning to see the connection. When Haruyuki reassures his “master” and he will never leave her, I was really touched. For once, I actually felt like Haruyuki was living up to the image of a strong male protagonist. The real question though is… what kind of relationship did Kuroyukihime and Red Rider have? Was it romantic or something else? Perhaps this is something that won’t get answered till after the resolution with Scarlet Rain though.