17 Apr 2013

Accel World

I never managed to finish this Anime, so my article might be slightly inaccurate. Accel World is a typical shounen. Kid gets bullied, he is given power by a mysterious girl that he has to fight for, and suddenly women all over the world are dropping their pants for him. Even though it's easy to shun this anime for playing the stereotype, it's not a bad watch. The action is nothing special, but the story and dialogue is entertaining enough.  If your list of shows to watch is getting short you might want to toss Accel World in there.

Kuroyukihime is adorable, but she uses Arita like a tool.

The setting is 2046, where the world is essentially the same as now; aside from one huge piece of technology. Neuro-linkers have spread throughout the world, a computer that interacts with the brain allowing you to access the virtual world. Neuro-links have all the functions of a mobile phone, MP3 player, computer, or gaming console. In other words, Neuro-links are used for everything. Work and play.

Accel World is about a young student named Arita, who is bullied for being under height and over weight. He spends his time playing games on his Neuro-link, because of his fast reflexes and desire to avoid confrontation. One day, a girl beats his highest scores with ease. She is Kuroyukihime, one of the most popular and attractive students in school. She introduces Brain Burst to Arita, a program that allows you to boost the functions of the brain to temporarily stop time. Brain Burst is not only a great tool for success in the real world, but also a virtual reality game that involves battling other players for points. If your account runs out of points, Brain Burst uninstalls itself from your Neuro-link and disappears forever, so some of the players value it as high as their lives.

Arita feels indebted to Kuroyukihime, so he follows her on the quest to complete Brain Burst, and put the game to an end. However, with an army of people to stop them, that's no easy task. The Six kings of pure color are all determined to stop them, and keep the game running. Luckily, Arita has a rare avatar, the Silver Crow. It's a shame he's hilariously afraid of everything and anything. So the anime consists of Arita, hopping between the real world and the game world. He makes friends and enemies on the journey, and it starts to change his outlook on life for the better.

Arita plays as the Silver Crow when he's on Brain Burst, a special avatar that can fly.

The art is pretty standard for modern anime. Nothing stands out, but the visuals are acceptable. It's common practice for people to use the same frames repeatedly in a cartoon or anime to save time and money. When this effect is used too often, it can ruin an entire fight scene. In Accel World this is definitely an issue. It feels lazy. Especially when there isn't much action going on in the first place. The sounds and music are mediocre at best, but they hold up in court.

I think the biggest letdown of Accel World is the characters. You always get to see the same type in every anime. There's tsundere, yandere, the perveted guy, and many others. Accel World has many generic characters, they don't stand out in any way. They obey the rules of their stereotype, and don't do anything unexpected. It makes most of the plot too predictable. I liked listening to some of the dialogue, it was inspiring. But it wasn't good enough to keep me addicted until the end, like every good anime should.

This is Arita, the protagonist. He's the reason I couldn't finish it.

Personally, I have no attraction to any anime with a short fat kid as the protagonist. Hell, I have no idea what got me to Accel World in the first place. As I said earlier, it's not a bad anime. But I can't quite place it in the good category. As far as shounen goes, there are better shows to watch. Try Gintama or Bleach first. Although Accel World has a more direct storyline, I still enjoyed watching many other shounen more.

Accel World is worth watching if you really love anime. But it shouldn't be on the top of any list. There's a lack of character development, some lazy animation, and lack of real motivation. I don't want to offend anyone, but this anime just feels lazy. Seems like it's trying to ride on the coattails of Sword Art, which wasn't anything special either. To summarize, watch it if you can tell you would like it. If not, just give Accel World a pass.

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