Aqua Current teams up with Haru to help him get back above fifty burst points by entering a tag duel with higher-leveled linkers: Nickel Doll and Sand Duct. After their victory, Aqua threatens to take all of Haru’s points, but he won’t fight her, and she admits she wasn’t serious. She then wipes all memory of her from his mind and disappears. Meanwhile, Kuroyukihime challenges Taku to a duel and calls him out for refusing to face his crimes by simply over-atoning for them. He convinces him not to throw away the possibilities of the Brain Burst game. Back in the real world, he transfers to the same school as Chiyu and Haru.
There were some nice ideas in this episode: how to survive against superior foe in a tag match; how to work together properly in a team, a bodyguard-for-hire who wipes your memory when her business with you is done, and, of course, the idea of Taku quitting everything, throwing away one’s accomplishments, and uninstalling the game from one’s head, all as self-inflicted punishment for betraying Haru and hurting Chiyu. Unlike Haru, we weren’t ready to unquestionably trust Taku, but this week seems to confirm he’s redeemed himself in the eyes of those closest to him, so it’s good enough for us.
As for Haru’s duel, while the ideas are nice, the execution is somewhat uninspired. Every time the action picks up, it grinds to a screeching halt so what’s happening can be explained in detail. We don’t mind the talky scenes of this series, but we wish there wasn’t so much real-time explanation and self-critique during the duels…plus Haru and Aqua’s opponents were kinda dull, as foes-of-the-week are wont to be. But all’s well that ends well, as Taku stays in the game, the rough patch between the trio of friends is behind them, and Kuroyukihime is out of the hospital and ready to continue her crusade.
Rating: 5 (Average)
While tag-teaming with Taku, Haru earns enough burst points to move up to Level 2; however, in his excitement, he does so immediately, spending all but eight of his points. Now a sitting duck to an attack, Taku offers to give him some of his points by letting him win, but Haru doesn’t feel right about that, so Taku tells him about Aqua Current, a bodyguard of sorts for linkers with low points. After buying Chiyu ice cream as an apology, Haru seeks Aqua Current out, and is surprised to find she’s a girl. Meanwhile, Kuroyukihime is about to be discharged from the hospital when Taku pays her a visit…
Fool us once, shame on Accel World…fool us twice, shame on us. Sorry, but we’re just not ready to start trusting Taku like nothing ever happened. What he did to Chiyu and Haru was seriously messed up, and there’s one scene this week that suggests he’s not quite done with the treachery. Oh sure, he’s helped Haru train, and even offers to help sacrifice some of his points so Haru isn’t so vulnerable post-leveling-up (in Haru’s stupid mistake of the week). But somehow we doubt his former pals in the Blue Legion are just going to let him off with a slap on the wrist. They “stay his execution”, but likely in exchange for something. Our guess his he’s their mole in Nega Nebulous.
The other question is what he’s doing in Kuroyukihime’s hospital room in the cliffhanger. His body language doesn’t suggrest he’s about to attack her, so it’s odd that she’s the one who yells “Burst Link!” Isn’t she almost out of points too? And what was that Kendo bracket all about? Was Taku forced to withdrawal from the competition? Finally, we’re introduced to a potentially interesting new burst linker in the skinny jeans-donning Aqua Current, who takes numerous steps to protect her identity…only to have Haru trip over them.
Rating: 6 (Good)
Car Cameo: There’s a Mitsubishi Lancer illegally(?) parked right outside the hospital.