Accel World 1 and 2 ~ I don’t need reality anymore!

April 3, 2012

Kuroyukihime-sama and Haruyuki.

This is a first impression post of Accel World, based upon the first two episodes.  Just as I stated in my season preview, this show turned out to be glorious eye candy. I love the colors and the character designs, and the whole show has a great sense of clean graphic composition. There was also some good use of odd (and active) camera angles to help create emotional effect.

For those who don’t know this is a love story between a pig who wants to “go faster” and a butterfly. Well, it’s more complicated than that. But seriously, this show is worth checking out just to see how good it looks. It also has a Science Fiction story about virtual death matches and stuff.

Our hero, Haruyuki Arita, is one bad ass pig, with a squash racquet.

Our heroine, Kuroyukihime-sama, is a butterfly.

This show is built upon the classic implausible relationship: the most popular girl in school takes an interest in the short, fat kid who is always getting bullied. Needless to say, the short, fat kid (Haruyuki) turns out to have some incredible skill that makes him the genius of the virtual world.

The heroine has a very cool name: Kuroyukihime, which means “Black Snow Princess”.

The virtual world is based, in part, upon the Neuro-link. A collar that connects humans to a cyber-reality.

Like everything else in this show, the technology that supports this story is very elegantly designed. Instead of augmenting reality by projecting the virtual layer on a device in the personal environment, such as the Dennou glasses, in Dennou Coil, Accel World presents a future in which the virtual world is incorporated into human sensations by direct neural interface.

Windows and dialog boxes are super-imposed in the sensations as experienced by the brain. Here a dialog box is manipulated, and several other windows are seen floating nearby, with the "real" world visible in the distance.

Here, in a scene that has nothing to do with the virtual world, virtual elements are still visible in the periphery of Haruyuki's vision.

Not only is the design of the virtual interface interesting, it was a pretty interesting idea to include it in the corners of scenes throughout the show. It gives one a good idea of what the experience of the characters is supposed to be like, and really gives you the idea that you are seeing some scenes from Haruyuki’s perspective.

Kuroyukihime-sama gives Haruyuki Brain Burst by direct link. Notice Kuroyukihime's double ahoge (hairlicks) look like butterfly antennae.

Kuroyukihime gives Haruyuki an application called Brain Burst, that gives him access to a special level of virtual reality. This is probably the most fantastical element of the show. The application enables it’s users to “accelerate their thought processes”. They also can project themselves out of their physical bodies, by use of the Neuro-link, mentioned earlier, and the “social cameras” that have been embedded all around them. Kuroyukihime describes this as “crushing reality”. Haruyuki is eager to crush the reality in which he is a short, fat kid, so he jumps at the chance.

The interface controls within Brain Burst are much flashier.

Of course Kuroyukihime-sama’s application comes with a down-side. Haruyuki must now fight other “accelerated” people, as the Silver Crow.

I guess here is where I haven’t been completely sold on the show. It will have battles, and our shounen hero will get stronger, and Kuroyukihime-sama obviously has a dark secret of some sort. Story-wise I still don’t see this as being particularly original.

We even have something that looks like a love triangle.

But, honestly I enjoyed the first two episodes. In particular, I thought it LOOKED GREAT. I am looking forward to seeing more, but I fear it will stick pretty close to the standard story devices we all know already. If it manages to tell a somewhat clichéd story competently, and LOOKS THIS GOOD doing it, I would say it would be worth watching. If Accel World surprises me, by delivering a better story than I anticipate, it could be a very good series. If the show looks good, but we have a predictable story that is poorly told, I’ll end up dropping it.

Bonus Service (Pigs and Butterflies)

Go ahead, make my day.

Kuroyukihime-sama. This is an excellent example of the design sense that Accel World displays. The composition includes large patches of flat colors very effectively.

Kuroyukihime-sama X Haruyuki. The pig and the butterfly.

10 Responses to “Accel World 1 and 2 ~ I don’t need reality anymore!”

  1. Cratex Says:

    I really like the presentation of the neuro links and virtual interfaces as a constant part of a person’s visual awareness, and the graphics and animation are good. However, like you I’m a little unsure about the story itself. In particular, the show has already scored a negative with me by having Haruyuki act much like so many other lame male leads when he hurts Chiyuri, who was just trying to Be There for him, and never apologizes.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      “when he hurts Chiyuri”:
      YES. This bothered me a lot as well. The appropriate thing to do was to apologize immediately. He didn’t, and then he saw her crying, and he didn’t apologize. Later he thought about it and didn’t apologize. He did try the day after, but then never apologized. That is pretty damned lame.

  2. elior1 Says:

    oh my i just checked about the stuff that made this anime and i dont belive it.the guy who did mai hime which had a half point that turned all around 180 degrees is the dir­ector of this anime and the guy who made The guy made GC and Seikon no Qwaser.and also was Com­posed series such as Dance in the Vam­pire Bund, Fractale, Sora no Woto, Macross Fron­tier and Denpa no Teki Kan­ojo is the Com­posed of accel world Not to men­tion he did some Darker than Black .by those stuff it sound like a dark anime

    • Joojoobees Says:

      It doesn’t show sign of being “Dark” yet, although your point about shows turning around in later episodes is a good one. We’ll have to see how it goes. I loved the sound direction in the first PV, which was very intense. The show’s soundtrack has been a bit tamer, but we have really just gotten started. Again, we’ll have to see how things develop now that several of the main characters have been introduced.

  3. overcooled Says:

    Definitely enjoying Accel World thus far. I’m a little cautious about the story too (what was up with that pseudo-love triangle?), but it’s doing a lot of things right. My biggest gripe is that Haruyuki complains that he has no friends when he clearly does, which makes him come across as a huge jerk. It’s hard to feel bad for a guy like that.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yeah, the Kendo guy… what is his relationship to Haruyuki? At one point I thought, maybe he was Haruyuki’s big brother, and that is why Haruyuki didn’t want that guy to know he was being bullied. I suppose there will be some clarification about all that when the next episode airs, else they wouldn’t have put him into the first episode.

      Only problem with this being a Pre-Air is we might have to wait a month for episode 3.

  4. crisisdestriX Says:

    I kinda wish the male antagonist was more good-looking… It kinda ruined the whole series for me.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Protagonist or Antagonist? The antagonist would be the redheaded bully, or the motorbiker, or possibly the protagonist’s friend that competes in Kendo.

      Assuming for the moment that you are talking about the protagonist, I don’t mind that he is short and fat. They are clearly going for an ugly duckling type of story, in which he may look like that when we first meet him, but when we get to see what he can do as a “Burst Linker”, we are supposed to think higher of him. Or were you talking about how he looks as the “Silver Crow”? I am not particularly fond of that design either. I think they were going for a real contrast to short and fat, so they came up with tall and thin.


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