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Accel World Vol. #03 Novel Review

4 min read

Accel World Volume 3 CoverThe road to becoming the best burst linker as clear as a bell.

Creative Staff:
Reki Kawahara

What They Say:
With Kuroyukihime away on a field trip for the ninth grade class, this new member of the student body, in the guise of a warped duel avatar called Dusk Taker, steals “something precious” from Haruyuki with overwhelming force. Cast once again to the bottom rungs of the school-hierarchy ladder, Haruyuki is driven into a corner, and his only course of action is–?!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Six months ago, Haruyuki entered the accelerated world.  Now, he’s bringing on Chiyuri for the ride as new students enter the school.  As with new students, comes the threat of new burst linkers and the threat couldn’t be more dangerous.  Seiji Nomi, uses his burst points for his kendo matches and more, but needs a way to get back the points he uses.  He turns to Haru with extortion and stealing tactics to paralyze Haru’s confidence and force Haru to play to his game.  Will Haru recover what he lost and take down Nomi before its too late?

Reki Kawahara is able to answer this question more successfully than in his past volumes.  True, we get a sense of slower and more relaxful pacing, almost to a weird stroll pace.  But, for those taking notice, this is Kawahara’s attempt to build up suspense.  It’s not necessarily perfect, but it does work better than expected.  As the story deepens in the volume, Kawahara kicks up the pace by having Haru go through a training arc.  Unlike in other scenarios, it actually heightens the urgency of the story knowing that Haru has to complete this training or else face failure.  These build ups should pay off, should being the key word, but Kawahara has other plans.

Kawahara did one particular plot device that really was commendable. Bring it in Ash Roler to the story and introducing him to Sky Raker  shows the depth of the series. It shows that first linkers have a sense of respect for each other and rivalries rather than pure hate can be a major thing in the world.

One aspect of the plot I did not like is the bathroom mechanic.  However, it feels like it was built with a more fan service shot in mind.  True we Nomi’s cunningness but it could have been done with anything.  It’s disappointing that Kawahara went that route when there could be other ways and even the most interesting of aspects to take it.

That aside, his writing for the most part, maintains a sense of quality.  There are still some choice dialogue issues that I take issue, like length of getting ideas across.  However, it seems toned down for this volume.  Instead we get better dialogue for quips, and a better sense of directed interaction between characters.   I assume its because of what lies next, but let’s hope it’s actually a permanent move between him and his editors.

Hiwa didn’t necessarily tone down the amount of cheesecake/fan service in the volume.  However, he opted for broadening the scope by including scenes that needed drawing.  We get to see a decent view of a fight scene as well as the new area Haru approaches in this volume.  These drawings help get a sense of what Haru is dealing with in magnitude while keeping things to the imagination.

In Summary:
Kawahra seems to be improving, if slightly, with this volume.  Faster pacing, better intrigue with developed character, he creates a page turner for fans who will want more after the cliffhanger.   While his writings deal could improve, and the plot devices could be better, it’s nice to know that he finally has a direction for this particular series. It’s also good to know that he’s willing to deep in the involvement of many characters, as well as keep a court consisting of characters for use. It means a better, tighter, storyline allowing people to truly appreciate these characters and their actions.   For those fans who have stuck around these two volumes he’s done more than enough to convince them to keep reading and for those skeptical of his previous works, it may start to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
MSRP: $13.00

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