Accel World First Impressions – The Digital adventures of Lard Boy

Out of all the animes in the spring season list, Accel world caught my eye because, obviously of this girl right here. Not to mention that the plot blurb made it seem quite promising.

Service to the fans

For the benefit of those who don’t know, Accel World is about this guy, Haru, who is the typical loser in school with a flair for gaming, even setting the global high scores for games. One day, he is approached by Black Snow, the most popular girl in school and model student, probably also a model who gives him an ability that practically stops time. In order to continue using the ability, Haru must beat others in simulated fights where players turn into their avatars. This all takes place in a world where everybody has a device linked with their brain that allows them to have a personal virtual computer.

Sounds weird? Well it is.

I’m not sure what I expected from Accel World, but I definitely did not expect the main character to be an obese midget. I’m not exaggerating when I say everyone is at least a head taller than him and half his width. He is easily the roundest character I’ve ever seen. Another thing I didn’t expect is for him to have a friend like Chiriyu. She looks, well, good. Too good to be associated with someone like him. Judging from her overly concerned behavior, I can only guess that she hangs around him because she feels sorry for him, but it doesn’t come across that way.

He's part British too?

A third surprise was how bold Black Snow is. I expected her to be more like Ayanami Rei (Neon Genesis Evangelion), delicate but firm. Instead she’s a total player. Haru is good at playing games, but Black Snow is good at toying with people. And since Haru is a loser, he’s even easier for her to play with. She also happens to be Haru’s mentor for using his ability and defeating others, giving advice about believing in oneself and persevering. This result is a Moe yet manipulative and enigmatic character. Hopefully there’s some deep original backstory behind her because she’s the main reason I’m waiting for episode 3.

Stir, then leave the meat to stiffen

The biggest disappointment was Haru’s personality. I knew that he had to be pathetic, but not as pathetic as a certain Evangelion pilot *ahem* Shinji Ikari *ahem*.

First of all, he’s a complete douche to Chiyuri.

Second, he doesn’t have the balls to apologize to her or stand up to the bullying that she tried to alleviate. That said, he’s not an idiot. In fact, he realizes that he’s being used by Black Snow, but chooses to let himself be used so he can be close to her.

And I don't blame him

Third, its annoying that an ungrateful ball of lard is flanked by two striking girls. Insert self deprecating comment about luck with ladies

The presentation and style was more generic than I’d have liked. The two-episode bloc featured mediocre action scenes and zero impact. For a show whose plot is driven by battles, I would’ve expected some creativity in them rather than the standard almost win, almost loss and eventual victory.

However, I have to credit the series for its intriguing concept. This show could’ve easily been made into a deeper, darker show that explores the risks of possessing great power, but instead it’s a typical lighthearted action comedy.

And because it is so typical, Accel World is very likely going to be just another average anime. Even a small Chekhov’s gun was spoiled by the show, highlighting that Haru’s awkward word use has some deeper meaning behind it that is significant later. I hope that the show doesn’t continue to deliver all the content at face value, but I have a feeling that they it will disappoint in this aspect.

Reason to watch the show right here

That’s my impressions for Accel World. Feel free to comment and as always, thanks for reading!

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Posted on April 8, 2012, in Anime, Otaku-ism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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