Anime I Watched in 2012 #1: Accel World

For this year, I’ve opted to write about entire shows rather than just one moment out of them. Yes, I know, this post series will spill over to 2013. We’ll be fine. Note the name of the series carefully: I’m also including shows I watched that did not air in 2012. Best to get that out of the way now.

The first time I read about Accel World, I laughed at it, because of the wish-fulfillment premise and the unnamed heroine. She doesn’t actually have a name, which has to be the clunkiest thing in writing, but somehow she skirts by with the monicker PRINCESS SNOW BLACK.

It is also a hilariously chuunibyou name and I won’t mention it again.

I never planned on seriously watching it, but it wasn’t bad. The show meticulously paints a picture of a community of gamers, fighting and squabbling and teaming up and making friends. I really like that part of the show. Haru is an outcast in the real world, but he finds himself fitting in just right in the world of Brain Burst, where teenagers all have deep psychological problems going on. It’s pretty serious business, but doesn’t quite cross that line where you just roll your eyes and wonder why these kids can’t calm the fuck down regarding their video games.

My biggest gripe about Accel World, is, well, the second half blows. It’s a complete pain to watch, and I had to drag myself up to the last one. The villain in the storyline, Noumi, is so unlikeable that he makes me cringe. He’s an utterly evil person introduced in a show without any prior villains. He sticks out like a sore thumb, and he his reason for villainy is only expounded by the time the show is over, and it’s too late.

It’s also clear that the story is unfinished by the end of the anime. Apparently, the novels aren’t finished or are in hiatus, but it seems like Reki Kawahara purposely made the world of Brain Burst incomplete so that he could introduce new elements whenever he pleased. I don’t dislike the Incarnation System that features heavily in the second half, but I’m afraid that coherence might fall apart if more stuff like that gets introduced. It’s like making another special group within a special group, composed those who could use the Incarnation System inside Brain Burst. And with the Black King’s goal of beating all the other Kings, who are interesting beings in their own right, how would the story conclude?

The fights are really good, though. And there’s a robot (see top) that seemed to have ran away from a Brave show. In the end, I guess I still like it.

Which is why it’s here and Sword Art Online isn’t.

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2 Responses to Anime I Watched in 2012 #1: Accel World

  1. MAGICAL☆BIRDY says:

    Yeah. I hated that Incarnation System thing. Reminds me of how most of the DC Comics-verse heroes all have the same set of generic superpowers. Same applies to the Big 3 and what-not. Also, I didn’t like how the show just seemed to struggle to hook you in. All that really interested me in the show was the fight against Yellow Radio’s guild and also that one blue haired Okinawan loli. Why is she so lewd?

  2. Reid says:

    I loved Accel World. It’s probably my favorite show from 2012. I see a lot of myself in Haru as far as dealing with the body image thing, even if I’m more of a Silver Crow now than a little piggy guy 🙂 The avatar designs were pure genius.

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