Accel World (Part Two) is a two disc DVD set from MVM Entertainment, which contains the final twelve episodes of the anime series based on the novels written by Reki Kawahara. This second instalment continues the adventures of chubby teenager Haru Arita and his high school chums who compete in the virtual reality fighting game Brain Burst. Rather than detonate someone’s cerebrum, Brain Burst permits players to spend Burst Points (earned via winning duels) to effectively freeze time in the real world, which comes in handy for acing exams and triumphing in sporting events. Haru’s gaming prowess has earned him a spot in the Nega Nebulus guild led by student council vice-president Kuroyukihime, who also seems to have the hots for him. I guess due to Sumo’s popularity Asian women have a thing for obese guys?
The dozen episodes collected in this set commence with Haru’s childhood friend Chiyuri joining the Brain Burster ranks, in order to spend more quality time with her pals. Chiyuri’s in game persona Lime Bell has the ability to heal, which should come as no surprise to anyone who plays online role-playing games. For whatever reason the fairer sex seems to gravitate towards playing healers. In the world of Brain Burst however medics are almost as rare as Haru’s Silver Crow, who is the only known competitor with the ability to fly. It’s just as well that Haru’s in-game avatar is a skinny robot because I doubt his hefty real life body could ever get airborne.
Chiyuri’s induction into the world of Brain Burst couldn’t have come at a worse time given that it clashes with Haru meeting a devious chap named Seiji Nomi. Seiji is a fellow Brain Burst player who uses the game’s time freeze feature to cheat when competing for the school’s kendo club. What a fiend! I haven’t seen such unsporting behaviour since the days of Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately for our big boned hero, Seiji has decided to make Haru’s life a living hell both in Brain Burst and in the real world. When the two eventually clash Seiji is able to sequester Silver Crow’s flying powers for himself. Meanwhile in school Seiji plants fake evidence that implicates Haru of peeping in on the female student body (in more ways than one) via a hidden camera in the girl’s locker room.
Haru will have to overcome the threat of potentially getting expelled and the loss of Silver Crow’s wings by himself, as Kuroyukihime is presently away on a school field trip. It’s a convenient way of ratcheting up the tension by taking Haru’s usual saviour out of the picture. Kuroyukihime’s excursion is also a good excuse for some bikini clad fan service, given that her class are spending the time away at Okinawa beach (my how I wish my school did that sort of thing back when I was a student.) Kuroyukihime’s time at the seaside is chronicled in a two-part tale, which is relatively light hearted and a good counterbalance to the darker main storyline.
My rating for Accel World (Part Two) is a four out of five. Both DVD sets end up getting the same grade, as they are equally good. I had fun watching the twelve episodes on offer thanks to the humorous interactions between the cast and the flashy virtual reality fighting. Despite just being a generic bad guy, who had a rough childhood, Seiji Nomi did well in the role of antagonist as his scheming ways really ramped up the ante. Instead of being a mere video game opponent, for Haru to best, he managed to raise the stakes by taking their feud outside the online arena into the real world, were Haru’s education and relationships are on the line.
Shallow as it may sound, my only real issue with this series is Haru’s appearance. Even after watching twenty-four episodes I still find he sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the rest of the cast. Everyone in Accel World looks like a regular anime character whilst Haru resembles Eric Cartman from South Park. That would be fine if he was just a comic relief sidekick, but it’s harder to accept when he’s the lead who the beautiful Kuroyukihime is fawning over. His looks are even distracting during the action sequences, as they regularly shift from the mechanical avatars to close ups of Haru’s pudgy face. Maybe I am being jealous? I’m a short and chubby gamer too. Where’s my own smexy girlfriend?