Accel World – 16

Haru begins his training with Sky Raker, who tells him the secret to his powers of flight weren’t his wings (they were just for show), it was his willpower, overwriting the reality of the virtual world. Raker nudges him off the pillar of stone, making him climb up, but after a transition it becomes solid metal, so he must use the “incarnate system” to slice handholds and footholds into the metal. On the seventh day, he reaches the top. Sky Raker tells him how she became wheelchair-bound, and lends him her “gale thruster” to help him get back into the habit of flying, in hopes he won’t follow her path.

Obsession is a dangerous thing. Sky Raker (not Laker) developed one when she could never jump high enough; she wanted to fly. So she took the drastic step of having her legs cut off – and she made her only friend – Black Lotus – do it for her (perhaps to make her avatar more like the real-life Raker, who has artificial legs). Even two legs lighter, she could still only jump, and not fly. Haru’s different. Hime knew it when she recruited him, and Raker seems to sense it too. He can fly, wings or no. And so she gives him a crash course in Neo-like “hacking” of the virtual reality of Accel World. It’s a program with rules that can be bent..and broken.

In training to restore some semblance of his flight ability, Haru has the advantage of Accel World’s extreme time differential – since one  real world day equals three Accel World years. We wish there’d been a more clear indication of how brief a time his seven Accel days actually were when he logs out and meets the real Raker, because Nomi wasn’t around to bother him. In any case, it’ll be his willpower – and Chiyu’s – against Nomi’s sly trickery. We’re looking forward to Nomi getting his comeuppance!


Rating: 6 (Good)

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Accel World – 15

While dueling, Nomi uses his avatar Dusk Taker’s special move, Demonic Command, to steal Haru’s wings, then his points, leaving Haru and Chiyu devastated in the real world. With Hime gone and Haru unable to tell Taku anything, he considers erasing the game from his brain. Entering the “Bitter/Rough Valley” to duel someone, who ends up being Ash. When he can’t defeat him, he asks Ash to finish him, but instead Ash takes him to see his guardian Sky Laker, the closest avatar to flying prior to Haru.

Nomi Seiji’s reign of terror commences this week, and his words and actions leave Haru and Chiyu sobbing into each others’ shoulders in the dirt. He’s a trickster who steals other avatars’ abilities, and when he so quickly and easily takes Silver Crow’s wings away, it’s a pretty big shock. Just when you thought Haru was starting to get over his confidence issues, Nomi destroys all the progress he made and got him into a hopeless state of mind, to the point he considers simply ending it all by erasing brain burst from his nuero link.

This reiterates that being a burst linker isn’t something that is forced on anyone; it’s a choice. Linkers like Hime, Niko, and perhaps Nomi, the Accel World has become more important to them than the real world, but that’s not yet the case for Haru. He can walk away and still have a good life. He has friends who care about him. Of course, we wouldn’t have much of a show if he erased it, so instead he bumps into the ever-optimistic, chipper Ash, who helpfully gets Haru access to his guardian, who may be able to get Haru out of his funk and teach him some new tricks. We hope. We also hope Hime gets back soon, before everything is destroyed!


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Accel World – 14

Taku relays to Haru and Chiyu that Nomi is using the “physical burst” command to excel at kendo, like he used to do. Haru follows him and determines he truly is a burst linker somehow masking his signature. However, Nomi knows he’s being followed and uses electron visual masking to trick Haru into entering the girl’s shower room. Chiyu covers for him, but when Nomi later corners Haru, Nomi reports that he planted a hidden camera in the showers. With this leverage over them, he declares them his slaves. He then challenges Silver Link to a duel.

You have to hand it to Accel World, they’ve really outdone themselves creating a character we take an instant hating to. Seriously, this guy’s a Grade A PRICK. For a moment we feel sorry for him when his Kendo partners pick on him, but it’s only a brief moment, as he uses his burst skill to catch a thrown sword and merely gloats. But while he’s a piece of work who is not above cheating, blackmail, and all manner of deceptions and feints, he’s also a pretty sharp adversary; something we can’t quite say about Haru or any of his foes up to this point.

Also hand it to Accel World to make Haru ending up in the girl’s shower (and in the arms of a naked Chiyu) not descend into farce: rather than screaming and kicking Haru, Chiyu hides him: being found in the girls shower means expulsion, and she’s not about to let her modesty and indignation get her dear friend expelled. Her observations about the game being too intense are quite astute; especially in the case of people like Nomi and hell, Kuroyukihime; the game just means way too much for them.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

P.S. We take exception to Chiyu’s judging of Haru’s pizza as “not real food”. That looked like good pizza…with prawns and broccoli and everything! Not everyone has a pro chef for a mom, kiddo.

Accel World – 06

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.

Accel World – 05

Haru’s duel with Cyan Pile starts badly, as Silver Crow quickly loses an arm and a foot, negating his speed advantage. Taku knows about Haru linking with Chiyu, and is tired of competing with him for her affections, and wants to defeat Haru to prove his usefulness to the Blue Legion. He Spiral Gravity Drives Haru deep underground, where Haru finds Kuroyukihime. Silver Crow is repaired and spreads wings, and flies Taku high into the sky, but doesn’t defeat him, as he wants him as his ally. Kuroyukihime arrives and reveals her true Black Lotus form to everyone. In the real world, Haru visits her in the hospital, where she prepares to tell him her real name.

This episode paints Taku as an underhanded, calculating, coward, who has used his accelerating abilities to get ahead at school and in life. He was glad when Chiyu chose him, the “practical” choice, but he’d admit that he knows Chiyu also likes Haru, and not just as a friend. Haru may have snooped around Chiyu’s files too, but that’s because it was possible she was Cyan Pile. So Haru is always in the right this week, and even though there’s a point when his avatar is literally bowing before Taku, in the end, he’s the one in control. In true Haru fashion, he chooses to forgive his friend, despite the fact he’s been a colossal jerk.

We see Haru and Taku’s relationship as similar to Shuu and Yahiro’s in Guilty Crown; they’d always had their differences, but they’re friends and they always work them out. Only here, there’s a girl between them, even though Haru seems to be in good standing with Kuroyukihime, who is magically unscathed despite getting punted by a car last week. With her identity revealed to the other linkers, and her legion Nego Nebulus (silly name) mobilized, it seems she’ll be commanding both Haru and Taku in future virtual campaigns.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Accel World – 03

Chiyu is upset by Haru’s association with Kuroyukihime. Hime sits in a cafe with Haru and explains the hierarchy in the Accelerated World: she was one of seven “Kings of Pure Color” who had attained Level 9, who ruled their own realms. Wanting to reach Level 10, meet the game’s creator and learn its purpose, she opposed a peace treaty and killed the Red King. She’s now a fugitive with a price on her head, both in the Accelerated and real worlds. She now has someone threatening her from the local school network, and wants Haru to help her learn the foe’s identity. Hime suspects Chiyu may be this “Cyan Pyle”, and Haru direct links with her and discovers back doors.

It’s been a while since we watched the first two episodes, but we already see a pattern: first episode, explanation; second, action; third, more explanation. This episode seems to be setting up a more action-oriented fourth episode. Regardless, there was a lot discussed about who Kuroyukihime is, what she wants, and where Haru fits in. She even reveals things to him about Chiyu he didn’t know before – surprising considering how far back they go – namely, that she is a burst linker like them. Hime believes Chiyu wanted to recruit Haru, but she got to him first. Their conversation takes up nearly three-quarters of the episode, and its mostly via direct link, so any bystander would just see a guy and a girl sitting in a cafe staring at each other in silence, which is pretty funny.

Chiyu, for her part, keeps her cards close. When Haru comes to her house to apologize “properly” via a direct link, it quickly becomes a very awkward, intimate, and surprisingly touching scene. As the only available cord is so short, Haru essentially has to lie on top of Chiyu during the link. Chiyu clearly harbors feelings for him and doesn’t understand his self-hatred, but Haru has been uncomfortable around Chiyu and Taku ever since they’ve become a couple. It’s interesting how Chiyu isn’t aware Haru is looking through her files while talking with her, ultimately coming across suspicious back doors. So far the dynamics between characters are well-executed and interesting, and despite this being mostly people blabbing without moving their mouths, the episode was surprisingly entertaining, and backed up by a good soundtrack. Haru was a lot less pathetic  in this episode, and we find ourselves liking him more and more. So he’s a dwarf. So what?


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameos: Many cars stream past as Haru and Hime stroll down the city streets, including a Mitsubishi Colt Plus, a lilac Toyota Estima, and a partially-obscured but still easily-identifiable Nissan March.