What They Say:
Haruyuki Haruyuki. A young boy whose chubby appearance and shy disposition makes him a constant target for school bullying. Ashamed of his miserable life, Haruyuki can only cope by indulging in virtual games.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by HiMA, Accel World is a new series this season that definitely goes for an interesting look at times and a modern feel with its technology, showing us where things will go easily in the next decade or two when you get down to it. The show deals with some common themes, ones that everyone knows about to varying degrees but tend to e a bit more along the “geek” lifestyle for many, in that we’re introduced to Haruyuki, a school student who is the subject of much bullying because of his chubby appearance. With the common nature of neruolink devices that allow augmented reality style perception in the everyday world, it’s overwhelming with what he gets to see and deal with. So he often deals with it by escaping into a virtual world where he can change his appearance and be something else. Like a piggie, it seems.
It’s an interesting shame spiral that gets him to be like this, since he does have a girl who appears to be interested in him on some level in the real world. But when he escapes into the virtual games, he demeans himself all on his own because of the way he feels, and that can be a terribly vicious cycle that can often require something radical to get him to break free of it. And he comes across just that within the game as there’s a beautiful raven hared young woman there that attempts to draw him out in the real world. As it turns out, she uses the same kind of appearance in both worlds and within the school she’s someone that holds some sway. Kuroyuki’s invitation in a public place at school with all the other students opens up Haruyuki to a lot, but it’s the program she shares personally with him that looks to alter everything as it gives him the chance to change his reality.
And that program is a doozy, as when he calls out the command in the real world, it shifts everything to the Accelerated World. It’s not a whole other world, but through the technology it lets their brains accelerate hugely and when connected to the cameras and such around them, they can turn a second into sixteen minutes worth of paused time in which to do what they want. It’s like being able to stop time in the nick of time and then using the situation to your advantage to, say, get revenge, which is something that Haruyuki could easily do considering the abuse he’s taken over the years. Seeing his choices in this situation says a lot about him but also Kuroyuki as she orchestrates a few things with it to achieve what her goals are, which are certainly mysterious at this point.
Accel World certainly brings some interesting ideas to the table and its use of near-future technology has some potential as a big story element. The neuro link side of it was already intriguing and fun to work with but when it added in the Accel World as well, it definitely shapes up into something else altogether. The use of Haruyuki is a character definitely is a welcome choice since he’s completely unlike other male leads that are called problematic but never really look or feel the part. Here, his internal shame is externalized at times through the virtual side and he really does feel like he’s suffering unlike so many other leads. With the opportunity that Kkuroyuki is offering him, it definitely gives him something to work with if he takes advantage of it. And if we see what her larger plans are as well. The potential for the series is strong and you can certainly see some amusing and interesting influences in it depending on where it chooses to go.
Streamed By: Viz Media
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