Type: VR’s a thing right?
Synopsis: This short pudgy kid, perhaps the only short pudgy kid in a genre filled with slim and beautiful young people with fantastic hair, gets bullied and plays a lot of video games. Like any short pudgy kid that plays a lot of video games, he naturally grabs the attention of prettiest girl in school. She is of course an avid gamer herself, and recruits our round hero in her quest to conquer the leader boards. All kidding aside, that VR stuff looked pretty stellar right? Can’t wait to get my own!
Pros: Top notch animation, specifically in the character and background design. Accel World had three sets of character models for each character: the real world human, virtual avatar, and Burst Link fighter. The fact that they used all three, plus different background for game stages, shows that they put effort into making an anime that centers on video game rules and logic. I liked the idea that each person’s Burst Link fighter was designed to compensate for their specific fears and weaknesses (because what person creates a game character that’s not an idealized version of themselves?). The variety of fighting styles and attacks made for excellent fight scenes as well. Haru was also a daring character to use. While his cartoony design put me off at first, I actually found it easier to sympathize with him that more traditional looking leads. It also made it funnier when girls seemingly fell for him. This held true for his pig avatar as well, because I really liked the image of the brave little pig and Butterfly princess. That’s fairy tale stuff right there.
Cons: Haru’s unusual design may turn people off. Like I said, it’s very cartoony and sometimes looks silly during dramatic scenes (like in the opening). The series can be divided in half. The first 12 episodes introduce the basic concepts, characters, and backstory. In an impressive turn of events, the anime mentions that the game has 7 Kings that rule the game and actually introduce most of them. Why “7 kings” when half are clearly women is a tad confusing. On that note, the terms “Mother” and “Child” to describe when someone invites other players into the game became creepy when used by Haru and Princess Black Snow. Also, why that hell couldn’t PBS get a real name (her damn initial are PBS!!) The last 12 episodes are one full story focusing on Dusk Taker, the slimiest little jerk that you just want to throttle. I’m not sure if that’s a negative or a positive, which allowed him to carry such a long story arc. The series has an open-ended finale, which is a shame because I really want to know how it all plays out.
Watch it?: I got into this way more than I thought I would (4/5)
MVP: Ash Roller
Best Episode: Ep. 14-17 Dusk Taker Arc Part 1 (loss, betrayal, redemption, it had it all!)