「Reincarnation; 再生」 (Saisei)

I’m usually scared for finales like Accel World because their source is still on-going and the anime seems to tie relatively well to the light novel. All things considered though, I think AW did a great job coming together for its last episode (of the season) and tied as many loose ends as it could. It’s one of those endings that leave a “to be continued” feeling. At the same time, the ending is satisfying enough to leave me with a happy ending so I’m not craving a second season. That’s right; I am not dying for a second season. It would be nice, but I also think that this season is great standalone anime and there’s no compelling reason for me to sign an angry petition for another season.

Since Noumi appeared, I was always curious of how he could go down. I have to say that his end… came in one of the most satisfying ways possible. It makes me feel a little sadistic, but I don’t care because he deserves it. He deserves being chopped up and losing his abilities. He should consider his memory loss a blessing because now he doesn’t have to remember the torments of his brother or his desire for power. He seems happy enough as he is now right? I would consider what Haruyuki did, a favor to Noumi.

I continuously bashed Chiyuri in the past few episodes, and now, I kind of regret it (although not entirely). Since her partnership with Noumi and her lack of emotions – I just could not empathize or find any positive spin to her point of view. Luckily for her, she nearly redeems herself this episode and even though I almost never find twists surprising anymore, her plan execution actually blew me away. I never thought of her as someone “clever” and cunning, but her ability to think so far ahead and know herself (clearly I didn’t know her at all), actually paid off. Hopefully with a new season, she can prove to be more useful with her ability to revert time.

There’s finally been more development between Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime as well and their reunion was sweeter than I imagined. His request truly did sound like a proposal, but I guess that’s just misinterpretation on my part. All the hugging and handholding was adorable though. Haven’t I mentioned this before? I think AW does a great job on emphasizing the relationship Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime. As many girls pop in and out of Haruyuki’s life, there’s only one that he wants to be with.

Full-length images: Final episode! I’m going to be sad now because my first 2-cour show has finally ended.

Final Impressions:

In all honesty, blogging a 2-cour show is not as difficult as it seems when there’s so much going on. Accel World is a show that has a lot going on. The premise makes it sound like a shallow, typical action series, but it’s not. There’s a lot of depth to the characters, a lot of depth (and breadth) to the Accelerated World and (although I had issues with it in the beginning), there’s always new elements to be discovered.

I know one of the major turnoffs for most of people who start watching this series is Haruyuki. He’s fat, he’s short, he has quite a few girls surrounding him, and he has no qualities that make him stand out as a protagonist. My argument for this is – I don’t think any protagonist should be “perfect”. The point of a story is to see a character grow and develop and if they’re already “perfect”, then the show just isn’t interesting or progressing anywhere. Yes, Haruyuki isn’t perfect and he does suffer a bit from “main character syndrome”, but I promise that it doesn’t last long and soon, you find out that he has many flaws (many of which aren’t easily solved).

The first half of the series, is admittedly a lot of setup. The typical scenarios are predictable and quick to jump to conclusions. There are a lot of characters introductions (for reoccurring characters) and very stereotypical reasons for things to happen. Of course, there are always going to be painful episodes to watch and for AW, the majority of them were within the first few episodes. For me, the real excitement began with the introduction of Chrome Disaster.

With all that said, I still believe that AW has a lot more redeeming points than faults. There is a deep underlying story that is waiting to be unfolded and there’s a lot of potential which I would love to see in a second season. The characters are all unique and fun to watch (my favorites being Yuniko and Sky Raker) while the story actually takes its time to unravel piece by piece. It all comes together one way or another and that’s what I can appreciate about this finale. So for anyone who hasn’t given AW a chance (whether it be because of Haruyuki or the bucket of tears spilled in this show or the seemingly general tone at the beginning), it is worth a shot and I guarantee that there are enough surprises to keep it thriving.


      1. At this point in time, calling it confirmed might be a little premature, for that I apologies.

        Two pieces of information was leaked into several Japanese forums regarding sequels for two anime series, both slated to show in October the Fall Season of 2013. One of them is Accel World Season 2 the other is To Aru Majutsu no Index Season 3. All information however, were erased within a day of appearing, someone lucky enough to catch that piece of information passed on the message to me. The very act of erasing the information seems to validate their authenticity. I can’t promise 100% accuracy of the information, at this point in time we can only hope for the best.

        Mixed Milkshake
      2. And when you consider some things that either only JUST got resolved or some things that haven’t been resolved (like Haru’s brief possession by the fragment of the Chrome Disaster armor those couple of times), it certainly wouldn’t be surprising.

      3. A whisper is better than nothing MM! Thanks for the heads up.

        Anyway we finally reached the end. I don’t feel that it finished strong, or weak. It feels just right, just like how anime supposed to end.

        Poor Noumi, all his tricks and plans came to naught and he got “killed” in the way he deserves it. But as for how peaceful he seems… Well let’s leave it at that, eh?

        Series score 9/10

        The Moondoggie
      1. Piglet still fight on heroically to combat against RC cheerleader squats!!! ….but more often his comments get buried under negs. Poor little guy.

        And no, Piglet, what the heck is wrong with you? “Ending sucked”?? No, son. Everything about “Accel World” sucked. It sucked so bad, it also stunk up SAO, which started very promising. I tell you, that Kawahara is apparently only good at setting up background premises. After first episode, the only direction his shows go is down. Often all the way to the cliché-ridden cheese ball gutter.

    1. ^^Seriously this.

      That being said, I will endure the endless cliffhangers each week, more angry/crying/nekkid Haru, RAGE INDUCING ANTAGONISTS (well not really) for more..

      FUUKO/SKY RAKER! Pic 29 was a good attempt, but no! KYH and whoever else please make way for the #1 waifu spot now!

      I am the master of my harem
      Fat is my body and cholesterol is my blood
      I have slain over a thousand nerds
      Unknown to Mom, Nor known to KYH
      Have withstood slaps to gather many waifus
      Yet, that face will never look handsome

      PS:Gif S2 soon please 🙂
      PSS: Thanks Cherrie for the coverage and grats 😀

  1. That was honestly an epic episode as an ending. Really liked the battle and how Noumi got absolutely destroyed. Everyone reunites which is always nice. I really liked the ending sequence as well; puts a good emphasis on a second season because of future cast members.

      1. nope, Chiyu’s power doesn’t work to that effect. practically the only thing she can’t revert is leveling up… but she could revert back equipping enhanced armament and other changes to avatar…

  2. Firstly, still cannot accept that everyone reconcile like nothing happened… Make Noumi look like a complete idiot after he loses Accel World since the game remove your memory. And the ending where Noumi move his hands like a bird, totally make me feel for Noumi, he is like some retarded guy with mental issue now. I feel so sad for him. Well, you reap what you sow but still this is too much.

    And the Chiyu bit, the “It is all part of the plan” part pisses me off, just pisses me off, like making the whole Noumi arc from something so interesting to a arc that is totally lame. I understand now but I still dun like Chiyu, just not so much like before.

    And where is Chrome Disaster? Trying to tease us, let it make 1 appearance and no more. Which mean there will be 2nd season?

    Overall a great show, but cliche ending about friendship(a bit of Fairy Tail) spoil it for me. Still, a better show compared to SAO in my opinion.

  3. Once again Nomi’s absolute unability to let go of anything was highly comical.

    It’s hard to be a woman.
    Chiyu’s “betrayal” was made for the greater good and without any ill will, and for that she received a lot of backlash from the audience (even from the ones who knew). She is a girl who put the bonds between her friends above her personal feelings.

    Taku’s betrayal was made out of pure jealously and selfish desire. He is a boy who put his personal feelings above his bonds with his childhood friends, betraying both of them and adding to their suffering for some years. Taku was a Nomi, people forget.

    So from here it seems that Chiyu is a “slut” and Taku is “suffering”.
    It’s hard to be a woman.

    Did Nomi reverted back to a 5 years old? No wonder he didn’t want to lose his acceleration.

    Final impressions, the concept behind AW is top shonen material, most fights were quite entertaining, the issue? Characters tend to throw far too many sappy/patronizing overlong speeches far too often.

    1. Her name is also supposed to be like her ‘nickname,’ although I don’t know if that means Black Lotus or Kuroyuki. My guess is something like Kuroi Sakura, but if that’s the case I don’t know why she would hate it so much :/

  4. So basically it was Chiyuri’s and Kuroyukihime’s plan all along. I guess that makes the guys look like incredibly incompetent chumps? But then I can’t stand any of the male cast at this point so that’s fine for me.

    I really wish I could say nicer things to this show since I was liking it at first, but everything involving Noumi put so much bile on my viewing experience. I couldn’t even feel satisfied at his defeat, just relief that this horrible arc was done. I just wish this season could have ended in a better note.

  5. Am I missing something or is there a bit of a plot hole when Noumi overheard his brother crying at the loss of his acceleration and when the audience discovers that Brain Burst removes any associated memories of itself when it gets deleted?

  6. I must say, i’m disappointed by the conclusion for the longest arc in this season (If there is any more). All the enduring of the agony didn’t payoff.

    The main reason is Chiyuri’s “betray” did not sit well with me. The idea of teaming up with the enemy just to “power up” her supposedly healing skill insanely ridiculous, the possibly of the plan goes wrong is infinitely high. Honestly, i think anyone here can think of a better plan in execution, without putting the relationship with your friends/lover at risk.

    Overall, Accel World only turn out decent as a whole in my book. Would have scored much better grade if wasn’t for the last arc. =/

    1. I think another reason why she might want to stay with Nomi is so that Nomi doesn’t have any suspicion about the true nature of her skill or sumthing like that. If Nomi realizes something is off about her skill and takes it, that’s the end of everything. One chance is better than none at all no?

    2. honestly the plan chiyu used might not be the best but look at how fast she caught up in levels to haru and taku, i beleive she is only 1-2 level below em and look at how long ago those two started. i can say haru and taku are both bad at leveling even if they aren’t weak at all.

      her goal was to get haru his wings back, she needed levels to make her reverse time stronger, and if she went to level with those 2 nomi would probabaly have got in her way and the longer the whole process takes id assume the more power she’ll need to reverse the whole thing and shes gona end up needing more levels and time will continue to go by and she might have never been able to retrieve em back.

      sometimes just doing things that are best for people around you even if it makes you look bad is just a way to show that you want whats best for the people you care about. not always the best method but it’s a good intention

    3. First, i need to come clean that i’m not here to “bash” the series. Quite the opposite, i loved it. Maybe the show just failed to live to my expectation.

      Boo’s scenario here is something everyone, including me, have thought to be one of the best we assume to be. Of course, i will agree to that there are more than zero chance of succeeding.

      Mocha’s scenario is… something i will gladly accept if the show did went and present itself that way.

      However, that is the problem here. The show did not establish enough to support that scenario to be believable. We the audience have to convince ourselves “Yeah, that should be the case”.

      Right now, the plot only appear to me as “cheap writing”, making a convenience entrance to a “friend-turn-foe” plot. The author, or maybe the director of the adaption, should have come up with some better background setting to further development the scenario to convince the audience, agreeing what presented maybe the best possible plan available. Enforcing a simple rule such as “Healing doesn’t work on enemies, but only team mates”, will make itself way more appealing.

      PS: Sorry, i just have to get that out. Oh, and sorry for my poor English.

  7. Well, it was a typical light novel adaptation ending, leaving just enough unresolved for a sequel. But overall, an enjoyable series.

    Also, Kuroyukihime’s made it to Round 2 of Saimoe this year and her match is on the 3rd! Now, admittedly her chances of getting the crown are very slim this year, especially with Saki pretty much destroying all other competition, but it’ll still be good to see her get a little far!

  8. Anyone got a sense of deja-vu when Kuroyukihime said she was afraid and did not know what to do if she had lost Haru…. cuz the words she spoke was an almost exact copy of what Asuna said to Kirito after he barely survived defeating the 74th floor boss in SAO. XD

    PS: Did we get a tiny hint of Kuroyukihime’s real name as well? Raker did call her “Saachan”….

    1. That’s because Haruyuki a mirror of Kirito and same with Asuna and Kuroyuki, though Kuroyuki does have a lot more Kirito traits.
      Haru Vs Kirito

      Roppongi, April 2026

      “Heh…… So this is the «4th-Generation FullDive Experimental Unit».”
      I muttered while looking up at the huge enshrined hexahedron in front of me.
      The bare aluminum surface was shining dully, with growling sounds from several of the large cooling fans that were lined up . One side of it was linked to the gel bed, the headrest was covered by a protruding crude helmet-based interface.
      “So huge, weren’t the machines used in the early days of the amusement parks smaller than this, Higa-san?”
      I turned around and said to the man at the control console. The operator raised his face, shrugged and replied,
      “Even so, Kirigaya-kun, this is already compact compared to the original estimate. Besides, the specs of the first generation at the olden days’ game centers weren’t much different from Mega Drive or Dream Cast.”
      “……I never saw either of the real machines though……”
      “Well, then let’s have life songs! This time at my apartment, it’ll be a strictly reggae camp……”
      And the man who blurted out strange things was —— Higa Takeru, the researcher responsible for the development of the world’s state-of-the-art VR machine. Looking at him from the outside, it would be hard to believe, as his hairstyle stuck out thinly like a pin holder, he wore big rounded glasses, and his T-shirt had a game character printed on it. It would be 100 times more matching for him to be in the vicinity of the shops in Akihabara[1] than this gloomy hi-tech room.
      But even though I say that, I was still in uniform after school time too.
      Why was I —— Kirigaya Kazuto, here at the harbor ward in Roppongi, in the laboratory of a certain venture company? The reason was simple, it was just a part-time job.

      From the first-generation of the large scale amusement machine, to the 2nd-generation Nerve Gear or AmuSphere, then to the 3rd-generation medical equipment, the FullDive machines have evolved. Of course, anyone can use it, but there were some with a certain degree of adaptability. That is, their brains could connect to the machine with a high efficiency rate. And in addition to the innate aptitude, the experience could be improved during a long Dive.
      Then in Japan, no, the entire world, the group of people who held the longest Dive time was without a doubt, the «Survivors» from «SAO incident» which concluded one and a half years ago.
      This 4th-generation machine has been developed under the leadership of Higa Takeru, the level of connection precision was overwhelming compared to the machines up until now. That high specs led to the unexpected problem. Because the amount of information that had to be exchanged with the brain was too great, even with all the staff including Higa-san himself, they were unable to collect data from the test Dive to a satisfactory level due to the «VR Sickness» —— was what he said.
      At that point, Higa-san used a certain connection to request one of the «Survivors», me, to be a test Diver as a part-time job, I came here to Roppongi after I confirmed the daily wages, and that was it.

      “——Anyway, I am to FullDive with this, then once in there I just move here and there, right?”
      I asked for affirmation while stroking the chilled aluminum exterior, Higa-san nodded in consent.
      “Oh, I need to warn you that I can see the graphics inside just as you do, like a voyeur. As I’m still developing the mechanism to adjust the connection depth in accordance to a Diver’s ability, someone has to dive, or else I can’t get the data, hahaha.”
      “…………Well, because I get paid, doing anything is fine……but before that, I need affirmation for one thing please.”
      I glanced at the strong headgear interface and continued,
      “Erm, there won’t be any danger during the Dive…… Is that right?”
      “Of course of course of course!”
      Higa-san nodded deeply after saying that three times.
      “Kirigaya-kun is an SAO survivor, I understand your feelings. It’s alright, danger from the machine developed by me, there’s only a little!”
      “Is that so, I’m relieved to hear tha…”
      Swallowing the words I was about to say, I looked at Higa-san again.
      “……«there’s only a little»?”
      “Nonono, It’s alright It’s alright It’s alright!”
      After saying that three times each, Higa-san continued in a rapid whisper.
      “……Just that, if the power dropped during the Dive, then ‘that’ for a moment……”
      “What is ‘that’……?”
      “Nono, no problem! We have two support power sources, and an emergency battery is already equipped too!”
      “Please explain ‘that’ instead……”
      “Nonono, no problem! There’s no real harm! It just, erm, a bit, how to say it……”
      Higa-san rolled his eyes behind the rounded glasses while stepped closer, my glance was fixed on him.
      “…………How to say it, well, it might appear, just that.”
      “…………What will appear?”
      “Hahaha, it’s not good Kirigaya-kun. There are things we must not talk about, like bonuses or toilets. In a place like this, the thing that will appear is of course ‘that’, hahaha.”
      After saying that, Higa-san hung both hands loosely in front of his chest. That behavior finally let my brain realize what ‘that’ means.
      “Hah……? G..Ghost……?”
      What is this person saying?, I thought while still staring at Higa-san, who shook his head again and said,
      “It’s real, very real, Kirigaya-kun! I actually saw it! ……Well, as you can see, this experimental unit is still the only machine in the world, so there is only a single person during the Dive. But…… the staff saw a silhouette of a person on the grass many times during the test field dive.”
      Higa-san said with an expression that should have the thin vertical lines over his forehead if this was a manga.[2]
      I had a serious look for a moment, then it was replaced by a bitter smile. I shrugged my shoulders.
      “It must be because of the VR sickness, probably the illusions from light effect? Or it could be a bug in the shader program.”
      “No―! There is no way such a bug could appear in the program this genius Higa had participated in creating!”
      For some reason, his tone suddenly changed to be like a foreigner’s, but I ignored it and moved my shoulders again.
      “Still, the ghost didn’t even come out to this room…… About ghosts appearing in the VR world, while in Aincrad when I heard rumors and went to check, it was just an NPC anyway.”
      That of course, was about the existence of the top-down[3] AI «Yui» who was my and Asuna’s «Daughter». She would get angry if I tell her that I was searching for a ghost at first.
      “……In other words, everything seen in the other side is all digital code, the existence must be written somewhere in the memory address. By examining the log of the corresponding test Diving time, you can see what the Diver saw……”
      After I said that, Higa-san made a pointed mouth like a child.
      “Of course I checked it, but there was nothing in the log. Which means, it was certainly not an object from the main program of the experimental machine. Then it was really a ghost, or……”
      “………..Err, this talk is at the level Kirigaya-kun is not supposed to know, so don’t let anyone know you heard it, alright?”
      With a strict preface, Higa-san continued,
      “At the heart of this experimental machine is «Quantum Operation Circuit», the so-called quantum computer.”
      “……That was also Higa-san’s creation?”
      “Oh yea, was what I wanted to say, but its basic foundation was actually what Kayaba-senpai left behind. Well anyway, it is possible that the quantum computer could interfere with a parallel world , well…… the Sci-Fi world.”
      “…………That..is really true?”
      The tone in my question had changed, Higa-san, half agreeing and half disagreeing, shook his head.
      “I hope I know that for certain too, but if it’s true, then it would explain the ghost phenomenon. That is, this experimental machine, for some reason……, interfered with the same kind of the machine in the past or the future from a different time flow, then it could be possible to see the shadow of another Diver……”
      “…………Somehow this is very different from a real ghost, isn’t it”
      I shrugged my shoulder again, then glanced at the clock at the wall.
      “Appearing or not, we will only know during the Dive anyway. ……Today my little sister will make something, I will be in trouble if I came back after dinner time. So let’s start……”
      “Heh, Kirigaya-kun has little sisters!? How many!?”
      Higa-san’s reaction made me feel a strange sense of déjà vu[4], I ignored the question and sat on the bed of the experimental machine. I lay my body to fit its recesses then slid my head inside the headgear.
      “OK, I’m ready.”
      I said to Higa-san, whose face still showed lingering disappointment. Closing my eyes, the sound of a motor could be heard, the final explanation reached my ears,
      “……Then, commencing connection. Avatar will be Kirigaya-kun’s «Self-image» that is automatically generated, so it won’t cause discomfort.”
      I raised my left thumb in response. At the same time, a low growl could be heard from the back of the experimental machine.

      * * *

      Feeling strange fluctuations in his field of vision, Arita Haruyuki narrowed the eyes of his pink pig avatar.
      «Burst Link» command allows one to enter the world dyed in transparent blue, the basic accelerated space «Blue World».
      Equipped in Haruyuki’s neck was the quantum communication device «Neuro Linker». And installed even deeper inside was the mystery application «Brain Burst». When FullDiving in this transparent blue field, the BB program accelerates Haruyuki’s command reactions one thousand fold.
      The basic accelerated space was for searching the matching list to find opponents, or to start external applications to do various work, the reason for Haruyuki being «Accelerated» was for the latter. That was —— for the submission of today’s homework, to be more precise, the postponed time left was fifteen real life minutes. The Japanese history class during the fifth period had given out the report homework, and of course, the storage region of his brain had forgotten about it even after he registered it in the scheduler application.
      Because this was neither mathematics nor English homework, the last resort of asking Takumu or Chiyuri for their homework photograph in order to copy it wasn’t an option —— Even though the costly loan, without a doubt, would be collected later —— it was better than having to write the essay report.
      Therefore, consuming a precious 1 burst point to «Accelerate», he battered intently at the holographic keyboard. However,
      His thoughts shook and swayed when he lifted his face due to the odd observation reflected in his field of vision, in the middle of the empty blue classroom,
      He muttered when his avatar dropped from the chair. He stared ahead a few steps between the rows of the desk, and part of the blackboard waved faintly again. It was —— like there was something transparent moving between Haruyuki and the blackboard.
      In fact, this wasn’t his first time coming in contact with such phenomenon. Recently, here —— about a month ago, sometimes during FullDive he could see the strange fluctuations as well. Moreover, it wasn’t in the normal VR world, only while «Accelerated».
      However, today’s clarity of the phenomenon was unusual. Haruyuki had forgotten about his homework, he stared intently.
      Then he immediately noticed something.
      “……A person?”
      Yes, a fluctuation at the spot in the classroom looked like the silhouette of a human, as if there was a completely transparent human standing there.
      But that shouldn’t be the case.
      The blue basic accelerated space was, as a general rule, the world only for a person who uttered the «Burst Link» command. For two or more to Dive at the same time, both sides must be using a direct connection on the Neuro Linker and use the accelerate command at the same time. But of course, at the moment, Haruyuki wasn’t directly connected to anyone.
      ……That means.
      Scared by the word he inadvertently murmured. Haruyuki tried to retreat to the back of the classroom, but at that time.
      The clear shadow started approaching him at the same time!
      Screaming, while dashing back at a high speed, he unconsciously tried to shout the acceleration halt command.
      “B-B-B-B-Burst Ou……”
      But he stopped his steps at that point.
      This is not the real world, it is the polygon world created by the image of the Neuro Linkers from the social cameras. Everything reflected in the eyes are all the digital data which could be substituted with the code. Therefore, there must be a reason for the existence of that shadow too, there is no ghost, ghost is just a lie.
      Haruyuki thought recklessly while hiding behind the last row of the desk. Something that looks like human shadow —— what is it? There must be a way to verify it. Assuming it is just other human, this is not a normal VR space but the accelerated space, I didn’t Burst Link with that «Someone». Then if I connect to the network with the same Burst Linker——
      “T-That’s right…… T-T-The name will come up from the Matching List.”
      Haruyuki murmured with dry lips. He then quickly hit the «B» icon displayed at the top left of the virtual desktop, the Brain Burst Console screen expanded, he moved the tab to open the Matching List.
      On top of the list is my name, then it should be the classmates Takumu «Cyan Pile» and Chiyuri «Lime Bell». In addition, at the lounge of the school cafeteria, is KuroyukiHime[5] «Black Lotus». These four are the only existing Burst Linkers in this Umesato middle school.
      Floating on the fifth row, the wriggled set of dots was blurred like it was written in ink.
      That spot of light, for some reason, didn’t take form of the characters immediately. Haruyuki held his breath and watched while trembling intensely, then, he blinked —— a few alphabets finally formed.
      There was a fixed form to the Duel Avatar’s name, but that name didn’t take the «Color Name» form, it was just a row of six characters.
      “K……I, R, I……, T…….O……?”
      Who is he……?
      As if to trace his thoughts, Haruyuki’s right hand automatically moved.
      He hit the mysterious Burst Linker name, «KIRITO», causing the «DUEL» option to pop through the window, then touched the «YES» affirmation dialog.
      The blue classroom melted and disappeared as if it collapsed.
      While passing through the space of darkness, Haruyuki’s pig avatar was surrounded by the light and changed its shape, The big helmet with thin limbs, silvery white Duel Avatar «Silver Crow».
      On both sides of the upper part of his vision, green stamina gauges extended, and the «1800» time count was engraved in the middle.
      And finally the flaming text «FIGHT» shone brightly before exploding.
      Once his stiff feet touched the surface of the battlefield, Haruyuki quickly raised his face.
      ‘Someone’ stood in front, slightly away from him.
      Duel Avatar —— no, that isn’t it. He thought.
      As far as Haruyuki knew, the avatar of each Burst Linker had the appearance of a robot-like hardness. While some wore cloth, there were no flesh and blood faces across the board.
      But this ‘someone’ who stood in front of him clearly had a human’s appearance.
      A male, with slightly long hair, his sharp eyes were jet black. He seemed to be slightly older than Haruyuki, wearing a black leather longcoat, thimble gloves on his hands, and boots on his feet. Then —— suspended on his back were two long swords.
      Murmuring in a hoarse voice, Haruyuki put some more distance between them.
      There was no mistake, it was familiar in the fantasy game genre, the so-called «Long Sword». The handles were black and silvery white respectively, although they were polygons, he could tell from the radiance of the texture that they would be very heavy. He felt that the presence of blades within those scabbards were genuine.
      That was not a Duel Avatar, but he didn’t think it was the harmless FullDive avatar either.
      While cautiously observing his opponent, Haruyuki took a deep breath and shouted,
      “Who are you……!? How exactly did you connect to the Umesato Local Network!?”
      The voice tinged with effect echoed throughout the field, but the black dressed swordsman was still motionless.
      Disregard that —— rather, it was as if the voice wasn’t received in the first place.
      Looking closely, the outline of the swordsman avatar was misted like smoke, was it disembodied? —— Was it just the image being sent from somewhere? Haruyuki thought that, and to verify it, he took a step closer.
      At the same moment, the swordsman made his move too. The black shiny boot made a step forward, it stepped on the small pebble on the stage ground, causing a sound.
      Not the virtual image!
      Haruyuki jumped backwards in panic again, he raised both hands in a guarding stance.
      As if being induced by that movement, tension ran through the face of the swordsman, his right hand quickly grabbed the handle of the black sword behind his back.

      * * *

      ——Where exactly is this place?
      ——And, who is that!?
      I earnestly kept repeating these two questions in my mind.
      The prior lecture from the operator, Higa-san, was that the Dive field would be a peaceful grassland, but the scenery spread around me was the complete opposite.
      The cracked ground, the concrete buildings that had partly collapsed, flames came out of their openings, And —— the starless night sky. It was just like the world after civilization had collapsed.
      If the only existence here was me, it would be just an error in the quantum circuit, which I suspected caused my consciousness to jump to the future Tokyo. But fortunately, there was a human shadow just a few meters in front of me.
      The silhouette was surely human’s, the head was like a big helmet, all of the body was covered in metal armor. The reflection from the bonfire sparkled on that silvery body, which was very slender compared to its big head. It was unthinkable that there would be a human inside it. Further more, its back was carrying something that looked like the radiating fins.
      I murmured. As I stepped closer to verify it, the sole of my boots stepped on some rubble causing a sound.
      At that moment, the silvery robot quickly jumped backwards —— both hands moved forward into a guarding position.
      It had no weapons, but the tip of its sharp fingers glittered. It would be plausible that it had some strong weapons hidden. When I thought that, my right hand moved automatically over my shoulder, grabbing the grip of the sword hung on my back.
      Then I finally realized that I wasn’t Kirigaya Kazuto, the high school student in the real world, but Kirito, the swordsman from the nostalgic SAO period.
      Higa said that when I dive, the avatar would be created from my self-image. In other word, currently I wasn’t in my own flesh and blood body, but the «Black Swordsman» which shouldn’t exist anywhere anymore, I almost made a bitter smile at this thought. However, I wasn’t in the situation to do that. Why did the mysterious robot make that stance with both hands? Right, I also grabbed the handle of my sword. I was in a somewhat dangerous situation with this robot.
      If I pulled out the sword like this, the robot would attack without a doubt. But it would be hard to prevent that while I’m standing in this awkward form anyway. The fighting spirit is emitting from it and such things don’t exist in soulless NPC or monsters. In other word, there must be a real human moving it.
      Within the intense atmosphere, I decided to take a chance with words,
      “……Um, who are you? This place is my company’s closed network. Where are you from and for what purpose are you connecting here?”
      But there was no answer, Looks as if that thing can’t hear my voice, then how about gesturing? But to do that in this situation would be difficult. If I move my right hand even slightly, the robot in front of me might jump immediately. The tension of the atmosphere in the space between us is so tense.
      ——Yeah, I was in the wrong the moment I grabbed my sword, but you are a bit too aggressive too!
      That was what I complained in my mind. The silvery robot had penetrated the company’s protective firewall into the experimental machine, it was clearly illegal hacking. Then wouldn’t it be more appropriate to be a bit more sneaky……
      When I thought to this point.
      After a long time, I finally noticed the indicators fixed at the top of my field of vision.
      At the center was the digital figure, the current [1740] had been decreased by one second. Then on both sides, the green shining bars, lined up in parallel with the thin blue bars.
      Under the left side bar was the engraved character string [KIRITO]. No matter how I look at it, it was my name —— The Login ID I passed to Higa-san before the Dive.
      Then under the right bar was the brightly shining [SILVER CROW] name.
      I soundlessly murmured that, it was no doubt the name of the silvery robot in front of me.
      The components of this ‘screen’, and this situation.
      I widened my eyes to the revelation that I suddenly realized.
      This is —— this world is clearly not the peaceful test field at all.
      It was a «Battle Field». Currently I was in a nostalgic fighting game, I Dived into the so-called KakuGē![6]
      Higa-san said there was a certain degree of possibility that the quantum circuit mounted within the experimental machine could interfere with the world on a different time flow. If so, then this place may be the world in 1990’s era when fighting games were at its peak? No, it can’t be. For that era, the ‘F’ of the FullDive didn’t even exist yet. Then is this the future? I don’t know how many years into the future, but fighting games will be back in the spotlight in the future?
      “Hey, You……Silver Crow.”
      Forgetting the fact that my voice wouldn’t reach my opponent, I continued saying,
      “Is this place within a fighting game? What is the title……?”
      While I was asking,
      I carelessly stepped forward while my hand was still on the grip of my sword.
      The reaction was —— immediate.
      The left foot of the silvery robot avatar kicked the ground, and while I was surprised, the thin body closed in on my bosom like a streak of lightning.

      * * *

      The left foot had decided due to its own reflexes, and a corner in Haruyuki’s head yelled Crap―.
      The approaching action of the opponent might not have been for attacking purposes, as the sword wasn’t pulled out, and he wasn’t even in a proper stance with his bosom wide open.
      But it was no longer possible to cancel the ultra high speed attack command set by Haruyuki’s consciousness. The Silver Crow avatar rushed in at full speed, and threw a preemptive right middle kick aimed towards the flank of the swordsman dressed in black.
      Originally, Haruyuki’s fighting style wasn’t this decisively aggressive. Looking at how he fought his early opponents, he seemed to be gradually changing based on attributes and techniques he gained over time.
      In addition, the one in front of him, the strange duel avatar without a color name and with his exposed flesh and blood face, his only feature was the black covering his entire body. If it were red or blue, he might have been controlled from somewhere close by, however, this wasn’t the case for black. He should have asked KuroyukiHime-senpai for the characteristics of «Black», but since he was already in the confrontation, it was too late now.
      Even against an opponent with unknown characteristics, Haruyuki’s preemptive attack with just an insignificant action was ——― clearly, the swordsman in black, «KIRITO»’s tremendous pressure’s fault.
      If anything, his slender physique, the still developing face that could be called a boy’s, but just how he was standing with his hand on the sword grip made Haruyuki’s throat dry from the constant feeling of intense pressure. It was likely from a level 7 or 8 High Ranker —— no, higher than that, probably the tension of facing those «Kings» one-on-one.
      If the mysterious swordsman had opened a small chance, Haruyuki would rather retreat to hide and ascertain the situation in the narrow path of the «End of the Century» stage. But there was nothing that could be called an opening from the swordsman —— «Kirito». Haruyuki was afraid that his head might fly off from a sudden attack if he tried to retreat, however slightly.
      Therefore, as soon as Kirito had taken a casual step, Haruyuki charged ahead with all of his outburst energy.
      ——But, things have already reached this point, then there’s no other choice!
      Haruyuki swallowed the depressing thought the moment he drew up the kick.
      When facing a fellow Burst Linker, do not «Battle» earnestly. That was what his teacher, and at the same time his ‘parent’, Black Lotus had taught him. If the middle right kick strikes, it would disrupt the opponent’s stance, then the rest would be just to continue rushing at close range without giving any chance for him to pull the sword from his back. And finishing him off with an aerial dive attack when the special move gauge had accumulated to the halfway point.
      The first attack loaded with those kind of intentions passed through the opponent’s abdomen like a silvery arc in the dark night——
      With a light sound, only a button of the coat went flying into the sky.
      While adjusting his balance, Haruyuki forcibly exhaled.
      It’s impossible. Given the short interval, and that he wasn’t in a proper stance, blocking should be difficult enough, but he evaded it completely.
      Haruyuki eyes wide opened in confusion. At the same time, the boy’s right arm flashed, and with a bright metallic sound, he drew out his jet black long sword.

      * * *

      It was at an amazing speed.
      The silvery white avatar «Silver Crow»’s rush with his middle right kick slipped past my abdomen, its movement was ultra smooth as if it had been repeatedly practiced thousands of times.
      However, due to its smoothness, I could feel where the first attack was aimed at.
      The one moving Silver Crow was a living human, there’s no mistake about it. Then, when the human operates the avatar, there will be the tiny bits of information exposed from its movement which didn’t exist in monsters. The significant ones are heart beats, toe direction, waist height, and gaze.
      For a duel in SAO, it would be fatal to get hit by a single strike, so it was very important to read the opponent’s movement in advance. Therefore when needing to fight with an evenly skilled person, any move fired from a long distance must be avoided at almost a hundred percent rate. Jumping moves need to be blocked, as evading might leave an opening, and a favorite special move is sure to be inserted in between the flow of continuous attacks that followed.
      From that perspective, the Silver Crow’s middle kick speed was, without a doubt, marvelous. But its movements gave out too much information at the initial moments, I could feel the intention to hit my left flank, so I dashed backwards with all my strength. Settling it with just a single coat button sent flying was already considered lucky.
      It seemed like Crow didn’t expect the attack to be evaded, the swing caused the upper part of the body to lose its balance. That was a good opportunity, because, even though I positively thought it wasn’t a situation I should fight in, my right hand automatically moved to pull out one of my beloved swords —— «Elucidator».
      While feeling the nostalgic weight in my hand, I quickly swung down the sword. With a thin band of blue light, the blade cut into Silver Crow’s right shoulder.

      * * *

      Haruyuki let leak a weak sound, staring at the looming sharp edge.
      Unable to evade, and it couldn’t be blocked with an arm either. Kirito’s motion from drawing the sword until slashing didn’t look powerful at all, it looked so natural, yet the enormous amount of power that was put on the blade made Haruyuki feel like receiving an electric shock through his avatar.
      The metallic colors, like Silver Crow, had some resistance to slashing attacks. But he felt it was of no use against this sword, so in that case, he had to make sure to take minimal damage from it.
      Although the battle had just begun, Haruyuki’s consciousness had started to «Hyper Accelerate» as if he was already at the edge of the jaws of death. The closing blade seemed to slow down slightly, Haruyuki bent his knees, dropping his avatar down at the same time as the incoming slashing vector. The black shiny blade touched his right shoulder’s armor, causing pretty orange sparks to fly in all directions. As he had expected, the sword wouldn’t stop there, the crack ripped apart Haruyuki’s silver armor faster than the speed at which he descended, one centimeter, two centimeters was cut by the blade. At this rate even if he fell down to the ground, the sword wouldn’t stop and his right arm would surely be cut off. ——But,
      The HP gauge was reduced by the damage to the shoulder, and a similar proportion of the special move gauge had filled up with a shiny glow. Haruyuki then converted it to flying force, the silver wings took shape in the form of commas on his back.
      At that time, the falling posture gained backwards thrust——
      Silver Crow body had only slid by fifty centimeters, but the sword had separated from the cut in the right shoulder.
      Roaring, Haruyuki kicked the ground with all his might, and jumped a large distance back.

      * * *

      ——What happened!?
      Feeling the impact from the point of sword biting into empty ground, I held my breath.
      The black blade of the Elucidator had caught the shoulder of Silver Crow, there was no mistake about it. It hit the seams of the armor I aimed at, and I was sure just a breath more and it would have been cut off. But the silvery robot suddenly gained backwards momentum and fled away with a cut wound about two centimeters deep.
      Such behavior wouldn’t be possible in that situation. That completely different movement, it was as if it was being pulled from the back with some wires.
      I looked up quickly, staring at the more than ten meters in distance the avatar took in just the blink of an eye.
      Of course, there were no wires attached to its body, and I couldn’t see any opening Jet holes either.
      Folded on the back of Crow were thin metal fins. Did they tremble a split second before the back dash?
      If the secret behind the impossible maneuver was those fins, then my initial assumption that they were radiating fins was incorrect —— It must be some sort of propulsion system. But if that was the case, why didn’t it use them from the start?
      When I thought up to that point, I noticed a slight change from all sorts of information displayed in my field of vision.
      First, the Silver Crow’s stamina gauge on the upper right had decreased a little, around three percent.
      Then, my stamina gauge on the upper left was still full, and the thin blue gauge beneath it had slightly emitted light.
      So this field was in compliance with those antique fighting games like I expected, the meaning of the blue gauge was obvious. The «Special Move», no doubt about it. Then this gauge probably charges based on the amount of damage taken. In other word, when Silver Crow was damaged by my sword, the gauge began to accumulate at the same moment, I suspect consuming it created a driving force from the fins on its back. Conversely, if it couldn’t charge the special move gauge, Silver Crow wouldn’t be able to use those fins anymore.
      ——But, in that case, what was my «Special Move» when I didn’t have that kind of equipment on my back?
      Now that I was using the avatar of «Dual Blades» Kirito and with the two beloved swords, my self-image —— In other words, it was created from my memory. If they worked in this fighting game’s system, the special moves should be awakened from my memory as well. Then, asking what I will take as special move, I can promptly reply. It’s nothing other than «Sword Skill».
      I put my right foot forward, set the sword behind, and assumed a basic one-handed straight sword skill «Sonic Leap» stance. Doing so caused the sword to growl faintly, at the same time the shining part of the special move gauge blinked, and then abruptly stopped. This meant the gauge wasn’t enough to use the move.
      “……I get it now.”
      I murmured while looking again at the opponent in front of me.
      From the reaction of Silver Crow, and from the scene composition, I was apparently the trespasser in this situation……no, «Intruder» was a more suitable term. It seemed Crow played in this game stage daily, and I, no, the 4th-generation experimental machine’s quantum circuit had interfered. I wanted to immediately log out and complain a great deal to Higa for making such a dangerous thing, but there was no log out button in the field of vision, and I didn’t know any commands for those purposes either.
      But since this was inside a fighting game, once the «Battle» had ended, the connection should be cut off.
      If that was the case, it wasn’t my hobby to stand still eating the attacks until my stamina gauge was completely depleted either.
      Why? I was the «Intruder». It is an appropriate manner to break through using my full power, isn’t it?
      Since I have been thrown out into this stage, my mouth made a faint smile for the first time.
      The switch inside my head made a ‘click’ changing sound.

      * * *

      The moment the unknown identity Burst Linker «Kirito» made a little smile, Haruyuki felt goosebumps on his virtual skin. The pain from his right shoulder’s wound suddenly disappeared.
      Holding his ground against the intense pressure that blew by, the desire to retreat rose up within him.
      Kirito had intruded the Umesato Local Network, but it was Haruyuki who saw the name in the matching list and applied the duel mode. Picking the fight then retreating wasn’t an option for him, as a member of the legion «Nega Nebulas».
      ——This is not a situation to be scared of! If we can’t talk, then the only way to collect information from him is to use fists directly —— but since that side has a sword —— is there any other way?
      At the same time he heard himself saying that, he felt something burning deep inside him.
      Kirito’s reaction to avoid his full speed middle kick was the fastest he had ever seen fighting with duel avatars up until this point. Wanting to see that movement again, and then surpassing it.
      Clenching both his fists hard, Haruyuki decided to rush in again while lowering his body.
      The big moves from long distances absolutely wouldn’t hit. In addition, the sword had the advantage in reach. If he could slip into the zero distance, he could use small moves to disrupt the opponent’s stance.
      The sword which looked very heavy shouldn’t be able to be swung consecutively. There should be a chance to close in if he could avoid its attack and match it with a counter.
      ——Keep focusing. Prepare to evade the attack coming from the point of the sword.
      The gear in Haruyuki consciousness stepped up, at the same time, his field of vision narrowed down to focus on just the center. All his senses focused onto the tip of the shiny black long sword.
      Yelling, Haruyuki kicked the ground.
      Lowering his posture to the limit, he shortened the ten meters distance at once.
      Kirito’s sword slid down halfway from the beginning middle position.
      From the bottom. The point of the sword sent sparks flying over the ground while it slashed upwards to intercept Haruyuki, who was leaning forward. It was like the lethal fangs of the jet black snake——
      Haruyuki opened only his left wing, causing his body to rotate almost 90 degrees and avoiding the attack. Even without the gauge, he can still use it to control his posture.
      The sword groaned as it was raised, as it made a shallow cut on Silver Crow’s chest armor. Heat and light that were at the tip of the sword disappeared shortly. At that moment Haruyuki stepped using his right foot with all his strength, his body raised for a right uppercut, a silvery light covered fist went straight for Kirito’s abdomen——
      It was parried just before it could strike. The right fist flowed to the outside, only grazing the shoulder.
      But that was still within the calculations. Now both Kirito’s hands couldn’t return in time. The left short hook was thrown into the body that was left wide open. ‘Don’, he felt positive feedback. The body wrapped by the coat had stopped.
      ——It hit!
      Now rush!!
      Haruyuki shouted and at the same time attacked using his right knee, which also hit. The damage wasn’t good as the result of the distance which was too short, but it was good enough. Judging the conditions using consecutive moves while the opponent’s movement was sealed, then deciding with a blow.
      Pinning opponent’s left arm with his right, and aiming short strikes with his left. The long sword was useless at this close range, in other words, the opponent’s right arm was already considered dead.
      At least, that was how it was supposed to be.
      The smashing sensation that came from his left fist had dissipated because something pushed it from above. It was Kirito’s open right hand, with all his fingers spread.
      W-Where is the sword!?
      When that question arose, the next phenomenon had already happened.
      The smooth, but terribly fast movement of Kirito’s right fist, now touched Haruyuki’s chest, suddenly emitting an orange light.
      But, without a weapon——!?
      The development was far beyond his expectations, his reaction was just a moment late. But it was too slow in the ultra speed battle.
      Don!! With a great impact against the chest, Haruyuki was repelled backward.
      However, there the damage was no big deal. It was probably just a move to create some distance. Just to use this, he chose to drop the sword? Then, I won’t give him a chance to pick it back up.
      To Haruyuki, who was hastily closing the distance back in, a further unexpected development happened in front of his eyes.
      The empty handed Kirito made a big jump forward. While in the air, Kirito’s right hand brandished over his head.
      He is trying to pull another sword from his back? No, there is not enough time for that. Then he’s going to attack using his hand to chop? Such an attack won’t be able to pierce my armor……
      The light which wrapped the right hand still didn’t disappear. It meant the special move was still ongoing——
      Both Haruyuki’s legs went stiff, stopping the retreat he succeeded in earlier. In front of Haruyuki’s eyes, Kirito’s right hand grabbed on to something.
      It was the sword grip. He didn’t drop the sword on the ground. He threw it up above.
      By the time Haruyuki realized it, the long sword was already wrapped in the color of blinding flame, and it cut down in a straight line.
      He couldn’t avoid or guard this time. A huge shock went through his chest from the attack on the left shoulder, Haruyuki was swallowed by a light effect and an explosion, then flew diagonally to the back and right.

      * * *

      “Body-sword composite sword skill, «Meteor Fall». ……But even saying so, he wouldn’t hear it anyway.”
      I muttered while rubbing my abdomen which was hit earlier.
      While it wasn’t at the same level as if it happened in real world, the strength of the feedback from the pain should be enough to be considered illegal. Just from this pain alone proved this place wasn’t in any game operated in year 2026 Japan.
      But, with the big move finally making a clean hit, Silver Crow who was blown away in a flashy fashion and whose body was currently half buried under the rubble should have felt more pain. Of course, if a nervous system existed under that metal armor, that is.
      Confirming with a glance at the stamina gauge, eating the punch and the knee at that close range took about 15 percent, and Crow’s was reduced by nearly 30 percent. Even though it looked like a metal robot, its defense wasn’t that high, just like how fighting games were supposed to be.
      Then for the fighting game, this difference in damage isn’t enough to decide the outcome of the battle. It is not the situation I can relax in just after I got an attack in. Once I decided that, I kicked the ground to follow up with a sneak attack.
      Suddenly the silvery body trembled——
      The round metal helmet quickly lifted.
      I could feel the strong light emitting from both eyes inside it.
      Immediately after that, the rubble which buried half the silvery avatar had scattered violently in all directions.
      Curling clouds of dust blown up by the wind covered the surroundings. I corrected my sword stance at this distance, waiting for my vision to clear up.
      The chilled wind from the bottom of the stage carried the dust away.
      Several seconds later, the trace of collapsed buildings appeared again —— but there was no trace of Silver Crow.
      I quickly looked left and right, my sides and my back was a huge open space, in front of me was the wide three-storey building. If it wasn’t so tattered and decayed, this could be seen as a small scale school.
      All the windows and entrances of the building were blocked with the metal plates, there were no stairs at the outer walls, so I’d notice if Crow cut across my left or right side. In other words, there should be nowhere to go during the brief moment my vision was blocked by the dust. In that case, where exactly did that silvery robot hide?
      It isn’t hidden. The special move gauge below Silver Crow’s stamina gauge is around 30% charged, and even now it’s still slowly decreasing. It means he’s using the special move. I guess it was the reason he disappeared from my vision. Probably the power to go under the ground? Or the power of transparency?……
      I tensed up all my senses from below my feet, front, back, left, and right. Lowering my waist, softly setting up my sword, I readied my stance to intercept an attack from any direction, waiting for an action.
      Where Silver Crow appeared from was beyond my expectations.
      Noticing something shining above my head, I quickly looked up
      Then I saw it, the protruding sharp right toe, swooping down as if it was a spear from the silvery white avatar, with the big metal fins expanded to the left and right, shining dazzlingly on its back.
      So that was really its propulsion equipment. But it shouldn’t have the high-speed mobility to move its body above the ground to that degree.
      Then those fins are —— wings!
      I kicked the ground with as much force as possible to jump to the right.
      But the Crow diving in a straight line used the stabilizers on both arms to change its angle, perfectly matching my movement.
      While I let leak the voice, the sword in my right hand tried to parry the sharp toe.
      But, defending against the attack with that degree of weight wasn’t possible. Just like when receiving a heavy rush from the Salamander in ALO[7] —— No, with greater force than the sword at that time, the dive kick directly hit my right shoulder.

      * * *

      For Silver Crow, who spent all of his level-up bonuses on expanding his flying ability, his greatest weapon is a swooping attack from high altitudes.
      Just that would allow it to hit? Over the long period of time, Haruyuki had earnestly researched the technique for the half a year since becoming a Burst Linker. Although it was still too soon to be considered complete, it had become a very important asset of his.
      Power, or descending speed, and accuracy, or homing capability, both present together.
      All the power of the wings was used for acceleration, while the arms and body did the orbit adjustment. To get the hang of it, he couldn’t count how many times he had bitten the ground in vain.
      However, the effort wasn’t fruitless. He was able to capture Kirito, despite his formidable reaction speed.
      Haruyuki shook the head in his mind. The dive kick directly hit the right shoulder, while on the ground, unable to escape, but his eyes could still follow Haruyuki’s action.
      Apparently, Kirito didn’t know Silver Crow was an aerial type Duel Avatar. For those Burst Linkers he fought on a daily basis, the moment they lost sight of Haruyuki in the cloud of dust, they would be cautious above their heads, rather than the surroundings. But Kirito did the opposite, which opened the opportunity for Haruyuki’s kick to hit. Thinking about it, the reaction ability to attempt to step and parry at that moment was really frightening.
      Glancing at the HP gauge to confirm, Kirito’s HP was just below 50 percent and had changed to yellow. Although the amount of damage had reversed the situation, but because the opponent already knows of his flying ability, it would be difficult for Haruyuki’s kick to get a clean hit again. If that was the case, then he couldn’t stop his hand now.
      Haruyuki spread his wings for the second time, he started a low altitude dash towards the shadow crouching on the ground.
      Kirito’s sword manipulating arm was hit with the big move. The shock reverbrating in his nerves should remain for at least ten more seconds, he wouldn’t be able to swing the sword at full speed till then. Then, with this rush, the result of this battle will be decided!
      With a short roar, Haruyuki got close to Kirito, then swung a big roundhouse kick diagonally upwards.
      The method of using wings wasn’t just swooping from high altitudes. At short range melee, the three dimensional actions, ignoring the gravity and inertia, was possible. This kick was also impossible to deal with.
      The growl released from his right feet, which looked like a laser cutting across the space.
      Of course, Kirito’s right hand didn’t move.
      Sure hit——!!
      While Haruyuki felt confident, at that moment,
      Both of Kirito’s eyes behind his long bangs shone brightly.
      The left hand wrapped behind the black leather coat became hazy and disappeared.
      KIAaan!! The high-pitched crashing sound. The blinding spark. Then the searing heat sensation.
      The mid-air kick was repelled, then Haruyuki slapped down to the ground due to the returning momentum. He understood what had happened at that point.
      In Kirito’s left hand, which was still on his knee, raised high with the bright white shining like cat’s eye[8], was a second sword.
      The swordsman dressed in black stood up while still swaying, in both of his hands were the white and black long swords moving in an arc——
      With a JyaKiiin!, Both hands let out the clear sound.

      * * *

      I must admit.
      I just had witnessed the opponent, Silver Crow’s, endless power.
      That name was so suitable with its meaning, the avatar’s potential was mostly based on its flying ability. In other word, in ALO, it was what allowed me to press my advantage over the air raid ability specialists, Sylphs, in the aerial combat.
      If that was the case, I would like to settle this battle with a mid-air combat. However, now my avatar isn’t the Spriggan Kirito in ALO, but the SAO’s Dual Blades Kirito. There were no wings on my back, and of course I couldn’t fly.
      In that case, if I don’t squeeze all I have to use in this fight, there would be no chance of winning.
      Thoughts about this battle being the result from the abnormality of the quantum circuit had disappeared from my mind. My whole body was wrapped around with the tension I’ve tasted dueling with truly formidable foes.
      It had been one and a half years since feeling the trustworthy weight of the Elucidator in my right hand, and the Dark Repulser in my left. I slowly stood and stared wordlessly to the silvery white avatar.
      The pale sparks scattered all over the deep wounds at its chest and left foot, around 40 percent of its HP bar remained. Thin smoke smoldered from the right shoulder, my bar had a similar amount.
      However, there were still some tricks under the sleeves on both sides, the victor shall be decided by the following clash.
      The wings on the back of Silver Crow stretched wide.

      * * *

      Watching the mild silhouette of «Kirito», who was carrying two swords in standing position, Haruyuki finally realized the true identity of the pressure he felt since the beginning of the battle.
      It was similar.
      To the pressure from the Black King, «Black Lotus».
      More than the form of both swords, or wearing color on the whole body, the most similarity was the «Immeasurable».
      Truthfully, Haruyuki almost never watched KuroyukiHime fighting at her full power. From his memories, once conducted in the unlimited neutral field, in the battle against the similarly level 9 Yellow King[9], that time had left him with the impression that both sides still had spare energy left.
      That feeling of bottomless strength. If this person had become seriously serious, just what kind of fury would be unleashed?
      The same thing could be felt here, what this Burst Linker Kirito had behind his back.
      ——What if this guy really is as strong as KuroyukiHime-senpai, I won’t have any chance to win.
      Haruyuki’s mind was so determined.
      But why was the inside of his chest armor full of wounds burning hot? It wouldn’t cool down at all. Far from that, it even blazed more and more, sending heat to the tip of his limbs.
      I want to fight. Burn all of Silver Crow and then all of Arita Haruyuki to the exhausting limit, I want to beat this strong foe.
      Recalling the moment when the slowly walking figure of the dual blades swordsman caused him to unintentionally shout Burst Out in fear, a subtle smile floated under the silver mask.
      It might seemed like the difference in numerical potential of avatars was big, but he was bad at manipulating his consciousness efficiently. Kirito was one step ahead in the ability to analyse situation and ability to react. Even though it was just their first meeting, Haruyuki had ended up behind on everything.
      In that case, the only way was to bet on the cornerstone of his humble self-confidence, his «Speed».
      Believe in the wings on the back, produced from the craving for speed. Concentrate.
      “……Cross it. Go beyond it.”
      Just as he murmured, the hue of his field of vision had shifted slightly.
      The background noise disappeared, and the movement of the sparks drifting in the air became gradually slower.
      However, he didn’t sense these changes, as all of Haruyuki’s spirit was focused on his dual bladed opponent.

      * * *

      «Silver Crow»’s spirit’s state had changed, I felt that fact.
      Probably, the opponent also determined this as the climax of the battle. The wings on the back opened wide, but he didn’t take off, just slowly lowering his waist and setting up both his hands, a natural posture to receive my attack.
      Betting everything on the line, where all hope was placed.
      I finally noticed I made a blurred thin smile on my mouth.
      I really longed for this kind of battle. I might have been in many serious battles in ALO or GGO, and even have trouble surviving in a few of those, but up until now there was never a time I tasted the pain from the sense of tension before.
      It was really strange. I wasn’t sure why Silver Crow and I were fighting in the first place. It was only the experimental machine’s troubles that had led to the accidental encounter with him but——
      That is why, how to say it? The battle wasn’t in the well known game, and everything was wrapped under mysterious circumstances, causing me to feel excited.
      It wasn’t just that. Carrying the [KIRITO] name tag, holding my beloved swords in both hands, being half hearted was not allowed.
      “……From here on, you’d better go all out.”
      I uttered in a low whisper——
      My right foot made a big step forward, readying the sword skill motion.
      Both swords were bathed in a vivid orange light.
      At the next moment, I started a long distance charge, aiming at Silver Crow like a bullet fired from a cannon.
      Dual blades rush sword skill, «Double Circular».

      * * *

      The shape of Kirito, who was controlling the trajectory of the twin shining swords which penetrated the depth of the darkness, like a flame from a fire dragon.
      He kicked his fear of wanting to flee to the sky away, Haruyuki just waited.
      His consciousness had been geared up to the limit, but it all happened in just the blink of an eye.
      In front of Haruyuki, Kirito’s body rotated upward. The black sword in his right hand pulled the helix of the flame from below and slashed straight up furiously.
      The point of the sword split Haruyuki’s left hand’s armor open and bounced it upwards.
      Silver Crow’s wrist armor possessed the highest strength of the entire body. Despite that, the sword ripped the arm apart in the middle, the pretty sparks from the slash wound flowed into the night sky.
      Haruyuki leaked a voice that came from his throat through his mouth, but the lethal attack would be the following strike.
      Following right behind the slashing trail remaining in mid-air, the white sword in Kirito’s left hand thrust in a straight line. The tip was aimed with fearful accuracy at his neck, it was much faster than the attacks from any previous confrontation with Burst Linkers —— be it bullets or laser.
      Haruyuki’s aim was to catch hold of that blade.
      However, he couldn’t see any possibility of success at all. Even avoiding it wasn’t allowed, it would be accurate to say it was an attack at the speed of god.
      Therefore, Haruyuki decided to spread his palm, at the risk of losing his right hand —— used the center of his palm to catch the tip of the sword.
      He felt all the resistance of the sword piercing his hand, but continued stretching. The speed of the thrust dropped just slightly, however, it gave Haruyuki a moment of opportunity to twist his neck away. The weak vibration transmitted from the right side of his neck, the blade deeply cut there and split out at the back.

      Stamina gauge is, 10 percent remaining.
      This bet is——
      My win!!
      As his consciousness shouted, Haruyuki used his right palm which was penetrated by the sword to grab Kirito’s left hand.
      Yelling, both feet kicked the ground, both wings slapped the air, Haruyuki’s fully charged special move gauge was burnt to exhaustion to let him fly into the night sky.
      In the midst of full acceleration, he turned his body around. The momentum of inertia was still positive, he then threw Kirito’s body above down with all his might.
      The sword was extracted from the palm, along with a thin line of sparks. Without the violently built up momentum, the dual blades swordsman without wings was no longer ascending.
      In that situation, what surprised him was, there was no sign of struggle from the swordsman at all. His limbs weren’t twirling, both hands and feet were spread out, trying to control his posture.
      Once this happened, there was nothing he could do.
      Most Burst Linkers might not be aware of the basic rule governing physical attacks, which was the reaction to the action.
      Be it a punch or kick, sword or blunt weapon, the foot must be firmly planted, without a ground of mass to place a foot onto, power wouldn’t arise. This was the reason melee attacks were weak in the «Ice and Snow» stage, where the ground under the feet was abnormally slippery.
      Then in mid-air, there was no ground.
      Even if Kirito swings the sword, the blade will not have that formidable power anymore.
      On the other hand, Haruyuki could use driving force from the wings to kick the air. So even if both strike each other, he should be able to do a lot more damage.
      Losing the ascending momentum, staring at Kirito’s silhouette once it reached the topmost point, Haruyuki yelled.
      “Is the endddddddddd!!”
      Douuu, the sound of air rang in the ears.
      He put his right foot as the pivot point for the rushing momentum, and shot off a long ranged roundhouse kick.
      Kirito tried to intercept it using his left sword, however his defence was abruptly bounced back with a high-pitched sound, the kicked pierced deeply into his flank.
      Haruyuki then dashed after the black dressed figure which flowed down through the air like a bullet. His next attack was deflected by the crossing hands, he then headbutt using his helmet. Along with a heavy impact, it violently hit the center of Kirito’s chest.
      At this point, the stamina gauge of both sides had 10 percent remaining.
      The aerial gauge had less remaining. But it was just enough to spend on the next decisive attack.
      Exerting as much power as possible in his right fist, Haruyuki began the final rush.
      At that moment——
      Both Kirito’s eyes suddenly widened. Haruyuki noticed his longcoat which was streaming violently over the entire body, wrapped in a thin red aura.
      The black long sword in the right hand was enveloped in a blood-like crimson light.
      ——Special move!
      ——I don’t fear it!!
      Haruyuki clenched his teeth, and continued straight in. That was just a long range thrusting attack, but during mid-air with no ground to step on, with the body flowing backwards. That kind of move wouldn’t go through Silver Crow’s armor!
      Haruyuki roared. In front of his vision,
      Kirito’s body turned around.
      Giiiin! With a loud jet engine-like sound, the tremendous power could be felt vividly from the straight thrusting move fired from the right hand, brightly penetrating the night sky.
      ——Approaching Haruyuki, in exactly the opposite direction.
      Kirito’s body received reaction from the strong thrusting attack and retorted ferociously towards a gasping Haruyuki.
      The sword in his left hand glazed the glistening pallid crescent moon in Haruyuki’s vision——
      Cut into the center of the chest. Haruyuki could feel both hot and cold at the same time where the point of the sword touched.
      ————What’s with this guy.
      All the remaining special gauge was used not on the attack but to get the driving force for a single moment.
      Admiration crossed his mind. But at the same time, Haruyuki’s consciousness attempted a final counterattack.
      The right fist pushed straight across the sword trail. But the reach wasn’t enough. He then reflexively stretching his fingertips, making the shape of a hand-knife. The sharp fingers lined up, glistening white like a sword.
      ————Reach it!! At least, I’ll convey my final struggle until the end!!
      The white sword pierced through Silver Crow’s chest.
      Silvery fingertips touched Kirito’s coat.
      At that moment, Kirito’s avatar soundlessly changed into white light particles.
      The sword which lost its substance went past Haruyuki’s body, Haruyuki’s right hand also passed through Kirito’s body.
      Both of them made contact in mid-air, the bodies blended together.
      In the passing moment, Haruyuki felt a sound within his head. A soft, yet dignified, and comfortable voice resounded.
      『It was a good duel. Someday —— let’s fight again.』
      Then, the mysterious Burst Linker «Kirito» body vanished from the imagination field.
      In Haruyuki’s center of vision, for the first time he sees, the system message [DISCONNECTION] blinking.

      * * *

      “……iichan. Onii-chan!”
      I raised my gaze to the source of the voice, on the other side of the table, from the sharp lips of Suguha.
      “Ah, s-sorry. What was it again?”
      “Since just now that your hand hasn’t moved much at all, isn’t the food good? That was what I asked!”
      To Suguha who made a sully look once more, I quickly shook my head.
      “T-That’s not it. It’s delicious, this oden.[10]”
      I filled my large open mouth with a potato, and showed a nodding gesture, but Suguha’s mood wasn’t getting better.
      “……This isn’t oden though, it’s Pot-au-feu.[11]”
      ——Pot-au-feu with whole eggs only, huh, of course that thought didn’t leave my mouth. I quickly emptied the plate and asked for a refill, trying to settle the mood.
      Our mother was late as usual, so today’s dinner was just me and Suguha. At that point I went back into silence, causing the table to be quiet again. But while eating seconds of the french-style oden, my thoughts were pulled back to the experience of the strange incident which occurred this afternoon once more.
      It was about four hours ago, at the mysterious battle game field, the serious battle with the unknown avatar «Silver Crow» had unfolded, but regrettably just before the result would be decided, my connection was cut off.
      I told Higa Takeru about what happened after jumping out of the experimental machine.
      However, Higa had a doubtful face about the fact, so I connected back into that game, this time for the exchanging of information rather than sword and fist.
      What I saw in the second Dive was —— as described in the beginning, just a scene of a lovely forest. There was no stamina gauge nor time count on the field of vision, the battle opponent also wasn’t present. After we took the data as planned, Higa and the other staff also Dived just in case, but no one saw the mysterious human shadow at all.
      So, the quantum circuit of the experimental machine was somehow «Fixed». It could be said that the machine was thoroughly satisfied from my battle with Crow……
      That battle was probably just a dream I had from FullDiving in the 4th-generation machine for the first time. And for now, the part-time job was over, Higa told me that just as I was about to leave the laboratory.
      However, I couldn’t believe such explanation, from the Silver Crow’s splendid movements, the flame of fighting spirit burning at an ultra-high temperature, to the duel which was like to burn each other down, it couldn’t be just a dream.
      “What are you thinking of for a while now?”
      I woke up from my thoughts after hearing Suguha’s voice.
      So as not to offend her again, and also to get her involved in what was in my mind, I used my fork to pick a Vienna into my mouth, and said,
      “Hmm…… Today, I dueled with an amazing opponent. But due to circuit irregularity, I can’t say I won……”
      “Heh? Onii-chan’s battle with an unknown player ended up in a draw? Does such a person exist?”
      Attracted to my story, Suguha’s body leaned forward. Apparently she thought it had happened in ALO, I left it that way in order to keep the contract I made to not disclose information about the experimental machine.
      “How to say it…… Amazing, naturally flying. It was like seeing a real voluntary flight.”
      “……? What do you mean?”
      Suguha tilted her head, while still holding her fork.
      “Well, for the voluntary flight in ALO, you really don’t just use thoughts to control the wings, it actually requires the use of shoulder blade movement too. During acceleration would be like this……”
      I pulled both arms backward, causing both shoulder blades to get closer.
      “Then, during deceleration.”
      This time the arms was stretched out in front, the gap between shoulder blades opened wider.
      “With experience, the actual movement can be minimized, but I don’t mean it can be completely eliminated. That’s why it interfered with the attack during the air raid.”
      Suguha gave a big nod at my words.
      “That’s right. When swinging the sword, stretching the arm cannot be avoided and at the same time, it acts as a brake command to the wings too. The attack which completely kills the momentum of a full speed flight, only the lance type weapon is an exception due to its stance being based on the waist. But that can’t be helped anyway, because humans don’t have real wings, so we have to substitute it with some part of the body.”
      “Yeah…… But that guy could move his limbs without causing any conflict with the wings at all. Even during the fierce full speed dash, he could still accelerate while throwing the fist forward.”
      “Ehh―, something like that can’t be possible.”
      I show a slight smile to Suguha who made the rounded eyes.
      “Yeah, it’s not possible. Maybe it was too fast to notice…… Or he wasn’t human but a birdman so he could operate the wings separately, something like that……”
      ————In that world, something exceeding my understanding of a man-machine interface existed.
      Yes…… Perhaps, unlike the AmuSphere which picked up the body’s movement commands from the medulla oblongata[12], it read the image directly from the brain, no, the consciousness.
      It couldn’t be possible. Consciousness, or rather, to access such things as the soul itself.
      But without thinking that way, Silver Crow’s movements couldn’t be understood.
      Changing the image power, that is the human mind, into data, which was the actual power in the real word. Yes, if we think about it, hadn’t that experimental machine read my «Self-image» and created the swordsman Kirito’s avatar? In other words, Higa’s 4th-generation FullDive machine communicated with the soul rather than the brain cell…… It could be said that, in that world, there’s the possibility that the Diver can pull out and use the ultimate kind of power, which is the

      Suppa Tenko
  9. When people disliked this show because of the fat and pig-like protagonist, I actually couldn’t prefer it any other way. Aside from the fact that this is almost the first time that an anime protagonist isn’t impossibly proportional, it also shows that even fat people could be cool, in his own way.

    Really hoping for a 2nd season and if possible to progress Haru and Kuroyukihime’s relationship.

    1. I know what you mean. I did think that Haru, as different from the norm as he was, was a refreshing main character.

      Usually, it’s the guys that look like Taku or Noumi who are the main characters; bishi-looking guys who, even if they have NO huge personality flaws, are somehow at the bottom of the food chain in their social standings (primarily with girls, of course). On the contrary, they are near-“perfect” with usually being so kind, sensitive, caring, etc. The only real flaw many of them have is usually being (extremely) dense, yet that only makes the girls want him more and try harder to get his attention.

      Development with such main characters, while cute at times, still doesn’t feel believable and/or relatable because they tend to always look so good together. It’s really just a way to give a bit of eye-candy to female viewers in a primarily male audience for such harem(-like/-style) anime.

  10. If you paid attention near the end, you’ll notice two characters you have not seen before. One of them is a young girl in a room wearing traditional Japanese clothing, the other is on a bus carrying a fruits basket. (Well strictly speaking everyone should have already seen the second girl…) Both will play important roles in the second season.
    Haruyuki’s harem grows…

    Mixed Milkshake
  11. That flying nekkid Haru surrounded by Raker and KYH. What the hell? 😀

    Considering how much I hated Noumi, he got away too lightly in my book. Since he turned into some shota moe chara, the gang should have put him in girls clothes and started bullying him every single day. 😉 Though it was very pleasant seeing him crawling on the floor like the bug that he is.
    On the plus side, it was good to see that the guy that had hit Haru in an earlier episode apologized to Haru.
    Overall I enjoyed the anime enough I guess, even with that horrible Noumi arc, so I’d welcome a 2nd season. Animationwise it certainly was a job well done by Sunrise.

  12. I dunno which is more WTFLOLDIDTHEYJUSTDIDTHT….

    -Furious Jealous Megumi
    -Cherub Haru
    -Moe moe Noumi (D:)

    Now I can finally marathon the series. I don mind a S2 but I hope it comes out after I done with F/Z and Jormungand lol.

  13. All that I can say is that I’m rather happy with this finale more than what I anticipated. I was actually hope for something worst for Noumi, but doesn’t matter now as I’m very please to see how he met his end. Can’t remember when was the last time I had the most satisfying smile on my face.

    I wouldn’t waiting for a year or 2, as long as we get season 2. Come on, Sunrise. You have to be a real idiot for not making that happen.

    PS: Anyone else notice how “evil” Megumi looks when Haru arrive to see our beloved Kuroyukihime?

  14. Memory loss is weird. At any point if any of them lost all their points they will have their memories removed. But how does that specifically work. It doesn’t. To what degree should the memories be removed. Only the ingame ones?
    The real life when talking about the game?
    The interactions with other brainbursters?
    Being in class with other brainbursters?

    It just doesn’t work without losing vital memories.

    1. it kind of work like this, all memory associated with the game are wiped (yes, the RL memory associate with the game are also wiped), but even this game can’t detect ALL related memory, so for instance that Noumi can vaguely remember who Haru is and that they were playing a game together, but couldn’t remember anything else about the whole incident.

      and there is definitely more to it than this, but since the LN haven’t reveal how this works, we can only speculate…

  15. Fuck the hell yes….All I gotta say is I felt no sympathy for Noumi, bitch got what he deserved….but I just don’t get why he had to “convert” if you know what I mean, after losing Brain Burst.

    I spotted 1 or 2 characters that weren’t introduced until just now in this epilogue. Something tells me their gonna pull a Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka type of ending cliffhanger on us. They introduce a new character or 2 then have another season fully introducing them.

    I think Accel World is set out to do that too. I wouldn’t mind a season 2 either. But I’m not gonna go crazy with it because some people want other seasons when a series ended off on such a great note that another season would just ruin it -_-

    1. He didn’t “convert”, he just lost his memory of the whole thing since he first got it as that’s what Brain Burst does to the user if it gets uninstalled, whether forcibly or willingly. So the person themself is pretty much “reset”, so in his mind (barring any sort of Megumi-style moments), none of the torment at the hands of his brother ever happened (and his brother also wouldn’t remember doing any of it to Noumi), so he was “never” traumatized or influenced by it or by the temptation of power Brain Burst gave him in real life, so he never ended up going down the dark path he did.

      Basically, this is how Noumi always was before he got involved with Brain Burst and Accel World.

  16. Cherrie, thanks a lot of for the post to completion! I loved reading all of them… even though I tend to get ahead of myself and might spoil stuff xD

    the final was satisfying in the sense that Noumi is finally taken care of… I have to say that he felt even more annoying in the anime than in the LN (should give credit to anime staff?) Chiyu, on the other hand, received more bashing than I have imagined… but I guess that is intentional too… (the LN did the same thing). Now that her time reversal ability is finally revealed, it will be awesome to see her in action in season 2! (and no, she can’t revert an avatar’s level)

    As Mixed Milkshake mentioned above, the new characters introduced at the end are going to be significant in the new arcs… and don’t forget about chrome disaster… things are far from over in this series! now I just need to see a season 2 confirmed message…

    1. Thank you! And thanks again for always answering comments/questions when I couldn’t =X I enjoyed it from a non-LN-reader’s standpoint. I almost never read LN or mangas so when I watch an anime as it is, I guess I have a different opinion of the story. Glad to know that they adapted this well and I’ll catch you later if there’s a S2 =)

      1. it is all good 🙂 I knew you weren’t reading the LN, so it is actually really good thing to have a person with no prior opinion on a show to express rather objective opinion xD and I enjoy doing constructive discussion here, so it works out perfectly 🙂 and of course I will continue to support once we get a season 2! Good luck with everything from RL to the life as RC writer xD

  17. Accel World ends on a high note with an awesome and satisfying final fight between Silver Crow and Dust Taker.

    Silver Crow regaining his wings and then piercing through Dust Taker was almost… therapeutic I think. I question why Silver Crow’s mask had to open up for him to do it, but that little quibble doesn’t belie how awesome the scene was. Whatever rage I may have had against Noumi, that did not ruin my enjoyment of the show, went away immediately when Silver Crow killed him like the pathetic human being that he was.

    But all things considered, Haruyuki ultimately saved Noumi by killing “Dust Taker.” Getting a glimpse at what Noumi was like before Brain Burst, I now see how much his brother and the game ruined him and changed him into the power-hungry maniac that we knew him as. It just goes to show how the Accelerated World can create entirely new personas for those who use it and become dependent on it to the point where the original real world self of the person ceases to exist. For the King’s it appears to be especially true, as I think we only get to see the true Kuryoukhime and Niko when they’re interacting with Haruyuki but I’m sure it’s a fine line.

    So Chiyu manages to help save the day, and to be honest, considering how thorough Noumi was at the beginning, I doubt I’d take my chances with him either. So I can forgive some of her actions in the past few episodes, even if the whole undressing for Haru thing was more of just her desire for him than actually helping, but she came through in the end and I think that’s what counts. And now she’s officially joined Nega Nebulous, putting the team at a great advantage against the other Legions and giving her a chance to get closer to and help mend the relationship with her childhood friends. Wait… now she’s working with her ex who wants nothing more than to be with her again, the boy who she actually wants to be her boyfriend, and the girl who she’s rivals with for said boys affection. I think joining Nega Nebulous just might make things more complicated! Interesting, but complicated.

    I found it hilarious when Megumi realized that, in the grand scheme of things, Haruyuki is much more important to her beloved Hime. And after all those yuri moments from the Okinawan arc! I’m not complaining, especially since I love the interactions between the main couple. Haruyuki is utterly devoted to Kuryoukhime, and in her own way Kuryoukhime is the same to him. Without Haruyuki, I’d think Kuryoukhime would give up on the game and life in general, since he’s the one who got her to come back and gave her something special to look forward to everyday in the real life she once abandoned. And even if Haruyuki’s request didn’t carry the exact connotation Kuryoukhime expected, I very much believe her words did.

    Along with Lime Bell, Nega Nebulous now has a 5’th member in Sky Raker. I’m glad Haruyuki was able to help Kuryoukhime and Fuuko restore their friendship by acting as an instigator of sorts. It definitely did wonders for the two emotionally. And with a level 8, nega Nebulous is well on their way to finally challenging the Kings. Of course, it could be a double-edged sword of sorts, especially if Fuuko officially joins Haruyuki’s harem…

    In terms of importance to Kuryoukhime I think it goes Megumi -> Fuuko -> Haruyuki. Poor Megumi… I can’t help but think she’s the only one of the three who doesn’t know Kuryoukhime’s actual name. Speaking of which, Fuuko’s nickname for her is probably the closest we’ll ever get to knowing it either, though I can’t help but notice the correlation to the nickname, Sacchan, with Kuryoukhime’s voice actress Sachika Misawa.

    I think Haruyuki’s speech at the end perfectly encapsulated the main message of the show along with Silver Crow’s development and what he’s done for the rest of the cast. Silver Crow has helped both himself and others to move on, or accelerate, from their issues and insecurities and to become overall better and stronger people. Like the bird that Haruyuki took inspiration from, he’s worked to soar above his limits and doubts and all throughout the series has helped his friends and even his enemies do the same.

    So in the end Haruyuki’s harem came down to just three people: Kuryoukhime, Niko, and Chiyu. But there were many potentials members introduced throughout the show, including the new characters glimpsed at during the ending.

    The only fault I can find with this finale is that Ash Roller wasn’t in it… or was he?

    All in all a very satisfying end to a very entertaining and enjoyable series. Of course, there are still some lingering plot threads with Chrome Disaster and the Acceleration Research Group, and as such I am very much hoping for a second season. I think there’s a good chance for the show having one, so I’ll be optimistic for the future of Accel World. And Cherrie, congratulations and kudos to you first blogging of a 2-course show! If there is a season 2, which I’m quite hopeful for, I’ll be looking forward to your coverage of that. Though there are the OVA’s coming out, so you could cover those if you wanted to.

    Also my Yuri Googles exploded at that finale. DAT SCENE. DAT LINE. “I NEED YOU”.
    Best finale ever. Nice job AW. Looking forward the next season.

  19. Geh.. Finally it ended.. I watched ep16-24 in marathon because I really hated the cliffhangers in the Noumi arc.
    I think the worst part of it is, it could be much much worse. Unlike SAO which has happy/light tones all over, this one has sadder/rage tones..

    I too am optimistic for a second season. Looking forward to it and hopefully it’s much happier o.o (Though I agree we could use some rage once in a while)
    Congratulations for your first 2-cour show~

  20. I think the show wrapped up pretty nicely. About Chiyu, I never really liked her (not that I hate her, she’s my least favorite character), so her “betrayal” didn’t affect me much. I think her plan was pretty clever, I was thinking her reasons would be something much more stupid plot wise. I was really surprised that she came up with this plan, just like Haru. And now Sky Raker and Kuroyuki senpai are together again! Yaaaaay!! I was waiting for this. That scene was touching.

    Back when AW started, I only wanted to watch it because I like Haru’s character design, (he reminds me of Sarutobi from Sasuga no Sarutobi) and also because I’m a fan of SAO. Now that it’s over, I like it way more than SAO. It would be awesome if Kawahara san decided to use all of the earnings from SAO’s anime to make more seasons of AW instead. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have this kind of authority over his adaptations though.

    Thanks Cherrie for covering.

  21. Hate me if you want but I fear I will never get used to Haru as protagonist. Somehow he’s just too whiny and unhandsome, still he gets the hottest chick(s) in town. I can’t watch Haruyuki x Kuryoukhime without feeling kind of awkward. They have no chemistry whatsoever imho.
    Best nerd in an anime = still Keima Katsuragi :B
    BUT = Accel World is still a good anime. Enjoyed it.

    1. I did find it touching… but not the focal point of the episode. It was a great final scene I agree and it leads to much bigger things in S2 (if they announce one). In all honesty, I was very tired at 3am when I wrote this post and that’s why I could not touch on every pivotal shot. I did not want to drag out my post for another 1000 words lol
      But I mean, if people rather read longer posts, then I might do that for KC’s last episode…

  22. The thing about Nomi is all he got as a punishment is memory loss but that does not change who he is inside or his attitude, I can almost bet he still the spoil rotten bastard that he is, it just now he can’t use BB as a tool for being an ass, But he can still be just as much of an ass as before in some other way. Thats why overall I am just not satisfied with his punishment, he just need more suffering like a few broken bones, kick out of school( which should be a given since he cheated to get enrolled in the first place) and get beaten in a sword fight against taku in front of everyone this time fair and square.

    Some of you might think is harsh, but I just don’t believe he deserve to stay in a school he cheated to get in, and the honor of winning a fight that he cheated. So yea he got his memory lost but he still need to repay these things being memory lost or not, this is like saying I rob a bank and during the time of my escape I crash my car hit my head and memory lost, so now am I allow to keep all the money I rob and a get out of jailfree card just for not remembering what I did before, no right so in the end I still have to give back the money I rob. Same cases here he did not enrolled in the school fairly so why shouldn’t he be kick out memory lost or not.

    1. I see your case, but remember, BIC dissolved… so there is no way to prove that Noumi cheated on his exams or that he cheated during the kendo match… so how do you punish someone when 1. you can’t prove he cheated, 2. you can’t show the whole brain burst related stuff to general public, 3. the person himself doesn’t even remember?

      I think this is a fitting punishment, since Noumi is “saved” by his memory loss after all…

      1. To look at it one way, the Noumi that Nega Nebulous had to deal with wasn’t necessarily the real Noumi. He was Dust Taker, the persona that resulted from Noumi’s excessive use of Brain Burst and his brothers constant torment that took over his whole being and . The real Noumi only came back when Silver Crow effectively “killed” Dust Taker and erased all the horrible memories that changed him.

        In no way does this justify what Noumi has done, but it does show that his situation isn’t just one of clear cut villainy. His life was messed up and he was given a power that messed it up even more, creating Dust Taker.

  23. The only reason the ending did not suck was because Sky Raker showed up.
    Gee, there should be an Accel world Alternative anime where Sky Raker and Hime change roles so we see more of her.
    This anime like many others have the potential to be very very long like one piece.
    anime series feel too short in general for me.
    And I have no clue why the pacing in short series (let’s call short series anime with less than 100 episodes which is most of them) is always slow in the first episodes as if the anime is going to have hundreds of episodes and then somehow in the last episode(s) time accelerates (like in accel world) in the ending (ending being too fast).

  24. Hello Cherrie-sama, of course I like your first 2-cour series. Your posts were great and I hope to see more in the next season, I hope you publish another series to appear in the fall season.

    Accel World was great, I will miss to Kuroyuki and Haru, is a very special couple. Mostly will miss their avatars and fighting in accel world. I now wish to give us an official notice of the second season, I want to see more of Silver Crow, Black Lotus, Ash roller, Scarlet Rain and Blood leopard, Sky reaker and all Nega nebulous, Crimson kingbolt and their sirens students, are all great avatars XD.

      1. But the first time chiyu didn’t know that healing noumi would return the wings,she just helped him because she wanted/was forced and then she discovered the truth… right? So she did betray her friends …

      2. well, chiyu has been questioning why she is given the power to “heal” ever since she used it on Haru when she first battled… and she must have figured it out before the first Noumi battle… the LN hinted more on this slightly than the anime did… but then again, anime dropped more visual hints at her power…

  25. (Good thing I copied and pasted this on a notepad prior to RC crashing last night)

    F*** yeah, seeing Noumi squirm in misery and begging for mercy which was ruthlessly denied prior to his “execution” has got to be the most satisfying 5 minutes of my anime watching ever. lol

    I know he loses his memory as a result, but dammit, Kawahara Reki, must you make him so “un-hateable” to the point he’s attempting to look “moe”? Still, I agree Haru is doing Noumi a favour by exorcising/expunging the evil within him completely.

    This means poor Megumi must also had lost all her BL points before and could only subconsciously remember being in a “different world”. Compared to the rather sadistic Kayaba of SAO, the Accel World developer is rather quite generous in allowing kids who lose their BL points the mercy of a memory wipe.

    Chiyu’s machinations more or less redeemed her somewhat, but perhaps Kawahara overdid it as her character was previously set to a more klutzy nature, making it somewhat difficult to believe she could have planned so far ahead in double-crossing Noumi at the crucial moment with her Bleach Orihime-like time-reversing ability.

    BTW, this last episode is so much more viewable with Kuroyukihime back and blushing to boot. I died from moe-overdose.

    Besides KYH looking cute, there’s also quite an endless supply of suggested KYH yuri-shipping:

    First there’s Megumi going yandere upon Haru interfering between her and KYH’s “quality time”. XD

    Then, of course, there’s Fuuko (Raker) and KYH’s tearful embrace after KYH declaring that she “needs” Fuuko. (Cue epic game ending-like BGM. )

    I shall certainly look forward to a second season, and I look forward to Cherrie covering that on RC as well.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. there is another possibility that you haven’t considered… a person can willingly uninstall brain burst… although not confirmed whether they lose their memory of brain burst as well… I have a feeling that Megumi uninstalled by herself… the reason being her ability is overpowered, and thus all the big legion will fight over her to death. Given her generally nice personality (except when come to KYH matters), I can see her as someone who would uninstall the program by herself… and maybe that is why she could temporarily return to the game? The LN did mention one healing character who have quit brain burst willingly after all…

    1. it is not that simple…
      Show Spoiler ▼

  26. I watched this series mainly for Kuroyukihime fanservice and I wasn’t disappointed. On the contrary, Chiyuri, Yuniko turned out to be sweet characters, as well. The Okinawa girls were cute. And I don’t mind Haruyuki being fat at all. I think’s it’s something different from the usual bland average male lead. Kuroyukihime falling in love with him out of the blue was somewhat hard to believe for me, though.

    I didn’t watch the series for the fighting so the second half was less interesting for me than the first one. The creators also pulled a lot of cards out of their a… But like you, Cherrie, Noumi’s end put a smile on my face. He was more sadistic than the average antagonist and his end was more gory than I had expected. Black Vice was a really cool antagonist, in any case!

    Thanks for blogging this series, Cherrie!

  27. The date release for season 2 of Accel World is rumored by the end of Sword Art Online, Which currently is on Episode 13 of there 25 episode long season meaning 12 episodes to 12 weeks which would be the end of December to the beginning of January, which wont release spring but most likely summer or fall so i have high hopes that Accel World would probably release next October like Mixed milkshake stated.

  28. aw… so many ppl commented negative comments on AW cant we just forget all those things like haru was a chubby and noumi was idiot at the end or chiyu was a slut… tats bad 🙂 someone made an anime by hardworking and u all cant just support it without negative comments?
    i love kuroyukihime so mch ^^ she’s hot,pretty and gentle ^-^ so i hope for season 2 as soon as possible 🙂

  29. ” the ending is satisfying enough to leave me with a happy ending so I’m not craving a second season.”
    “There is a deep underlying story that is waiting to be unfolded and there’s a lot of potential which I would love to see in a second season.”
    haha So which one is it?


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