An elemental workshop.


Unfortunately, Accel World’s third episode proves a splendid remedy for insomnia as the idle chatter composed of incomprehensible jargon contained within is far more easily sleep inducing than counting sheep.

Within it’s first two episodes, Accel World had a pool of various delivery points – there were scenes of emotion, action, and much more. Indeed there was discussion, yet it wasn’t as dull as this. Lengthy conversations are by default lackluster – yet when properly executed, as per the likes of Ghost in The Shell and Nisemonogatari, it can be even more engaging than the finest battle scene. This episode consists near-exclusively of talking – and it simply utilized no techniques to make these extended moments of speech interesting.

There’s several reasons this episode as a whole simply fails to satisfy – and first of all, the topics being spoken of are ones which the series has pioneered itself and is seemingly making up as it goes along. To us, all that is being said is nonsense – a few items are being explained, a few aren’t, and considering how interdependent things seem to be within this series, that’s not something in its, or our, best interest to do. As result of the interactions revolving around alien subjects, one will find it difficult to keep their attention focused.

However, the unfamiliar topics are hardly the worst issue Accel World has when it comes to endless dialogue – a grander flaw is that unlike the many series out there known to have successfully executed scenes of such nature, Accel World’s long moments of monologue lack any activity to keep one entertained.

When properly done, this “entertainment” during lengthy periods of speech doesn’t simply give the viewer eyecandy to savor – rather, it foreshadows coming events, displays character traits, and hints at other points. In other words, as the characters speak and give information verbally, the visuals remain important as they too provide a separate story in themselves. Pictures tell a thousand words, if not more, although in the case of Accel World, they don’t say anything except the already known – the heroines are cute and the main character is overweight.

For a proper example of meaningful visuals accompanying a verbal exchange in another series of the season, look to Aquarion EVOL and take note of the character named Fudo, who even during the shorter of his ramblings, always plays with an item in hand or makes an expression which alludes to more.

As for this episode of Accel World, the camera shuffles between a few basic angles, and the characters don’t do anything aside the equivalent of twiddling their thumbs. The episode’s bulk is composed of conversation – yet the single few tidbits actually getting across are that the butterfly has apparently betrayed some group in hopes of becoming the highest power within the game which she introduced our hero to within the first episode. And secondly, she’s using him to fulfill her desire to become the top level one can be, level 10.

There’s apparently strong opposition after her – and they happen to be within the very school she and our protagonist attend, thus she needs his help. Whether she’s simply using him as a pawn, or she legitimately cares about this pig-like fellow is unclear – however what is obvious is that his energetic nekogirl friend is certainly considerate of him, yet he however isn’t nearly as so.

Being told by the butterfly that the energetic girl could be the one after her, this despicable lard of a protagonist decides to go to his childhood friend for all the wrong reasons. While she’s sincerely telling him some things on her mind, shedding tears even as she expresses her sadness over the fact that her pig of a friend is drifting away from her in favor of a random woman, he’s disgustingly just trying to check various files on her digital drive.

Essentially, he’s doing the bidding the of the butterfly – and all the while, he’s turned his relationship with the energetic girl into a hollow sphere of nothing. A friendship belittled for sake of a stranger.

Making for a conclusive twist of suspense, the chubby kid ends up finding a backdoor within his energetic female friend – a hidden entry point into a program which a third party can take advantage of to perform ill tasks, or more simply stated, a security breach. With nothing further to go on, there’s little to do but wait for next episode to see what follows with this discovery.

Intriguing indeed was the latter segment of the episode, despite being packed with actions detestable – however most of this third installment went to poorly executed scenes of speech, and that was definitely only good for getting a nap. Accel World overall hasn’t plummeted, however it’s now inching towards a danger zone which could result in calamity if not counteracted with more spectacular scenes in the episodes to come. This episode was barely around average – yet it did do well to leave on looking forward to the next.

17 Comments

  • liamash3 says:

    Bad MC, you made your friend cry. Bad!

    Haven’t watched this yet, so I only know that I have lots of talking to look forward to :(
    I wonder if the MC can use his Metal Crow avatar in the normal VR world?

    • Seven says:

      Since we’ve not seen him use it yet – I don’t think he can.

      On another note, I really dislike characters who do things as this – set aside someone they already have a strong relationship with, be it friend, family, romance, whatever, in favor of someone they hardly meet and find a little attractive.

      • eliscrubs says:

        I guess he helps out butterfly simply because he feels grateful towards her for doing what none of his friends have – actually getting rid of the bullies plaguing him, in which case it’s somewhat justified.

        On the other hand, a great quote by Homura Akemi is as follows: “Don’t confuse gratitude and responsibility”. And a follow up to that which i invented on the spot “If you do, try not to be a douche as well”

        • Seven says:

          Interestingly, it seems our pig-like protagonist has confused the two and even done so with douche credentials at that – meeting the description perfectly.

  • liamash3 says:

    “I really dislike characters who do things as this – set aside someone they already have a strong relationship with, be it friend, family, romance, whatever, in favor of someone they hardly meet and find a little attractive.”

    I agree with you completely, Seven. It’s very mean and ungrateful to ignore and turn away from someone you had a close relationship with, just because a new person has entered the scene who you might find more interesting or attractive.

  • Dusk252 says:

    Hum… I don’t think Chiyu is Cyan Pile. A backdoor is not indication that she’s hiding something (though it could be that she is using it as a mean of accessing Burst Linker from external sources or whatever) but it would actually backup my theory the Taru is the one Kuroyukihime is looking for. First of all, Chiyu had none objections for Haruyuki to cable with her and didn’t seem to worry the slightest bit about it, nor to be making any unneeded hand movements like he was, which is strange, specially if Kuroyukihime’s analysis is correct and she knows he’s working with her. As for Taru… I mean, he cables with her, and if he’s a good enough hacker to make his name disappear from the players list, he could be using that to conceal his location, redirecting the signal to Chiyu or something. His reaction towards Haruyuki’s words regarding the kendo tournament would also support that point, since kendo is a sport in which one would benefit greatly from Accelerating and Cyan Pile’s desperation for points could very much be for the sake of winning the national tournament, as it using Burst Points as a mean of excelling in your sport would imply a very high consumption.

    (Unlike Fate/Zero or SAO, I haven’t read the Accel World novels, so all of this is pure speculation.)

    That said, giving me all of this info to work with and speculate, I think this episode was actually really good. I understand that your reluctance towards it doesn’t come from the information dump but the way it was dished out. But personally, though I do agree that the episode lacked any visual enhancing techniques to make the dialog more appealing, I didn’t feel anywhere near bored, and I enjoyed it immensely.

    One point in which I totally agree with you though, is Haruyuki’s distrusting attitude towards Chiyu. I understand his suspicion based on what Kuroyukihime told him, but even if that’s the case, how is her goal any more honorable or important than Cyan Pile’s? I don’t see that much difference in ethics between getting more points or getting to level 10. If anything, I think he’d find Kuroyukihime’s actions in the past somewhat questionable (even she thought he’d despise her). She’s my favorite character so far, but I think Haruyuki was a douche in siding so faithfully with her. I thought he’d at least quit his investigation when Chiyu started speaking out from her heart, but no, he was totally cold towards it…

    • Seven says:

      “make the dialog more appealing”

      Visual techniques during scenes of dialogue are used for such, yet other and greater purposes which also were absent include using the visuals to foreshadow into coming events or simply showcase some character traits. It was basically a grand opportunity to develop the characters as they spoke and Accel World didn’t take it.

      Sharing my own thoughts on “Cyan Pile”, the series hasn’t done anything to make me feel why they’d be a “bad guy”. We simply know the butterfly wants to hunt them down for no other expressed reason than that they targeted her first – for all we know, she’s a wanted criminal of the game world.

      As for who the pile of the blue could be, I personally couldn’t get too interested in why they’re after him to begin with – thus, I couldn’t care who it turns out to be, however of the known candidates, it seems far more plausible that Taru would be it.

      • Dusk252 says:

        I don’t know if there’s much more that could have been done in that regard. This series has accomplished quite a few things with that already, like Kuroyukihime’s low self-esteem despite her popularity and apparent confidence (which is only noticeable through her face expressions whenever she talks about herself), and there were some in this episode too. Besides what was already apparent in other episodes regarding Kuroyukihime, we got Taku’s possible involvment, which was greatly foreshadowed by his reaction to Haruyuki’s cheer saying he could possibly win the nationals and the parallel established with those three kids that passed through running, which I found a really well-thought detail. There were other minor things you could grasp from the characters, but those were impacting things that one could have not understood by only reading the script.

        As for Cyan Pile, I never said there was a bad side. What I was trying to prove is exactly that there isn’t. At least not as far as we (and Haruyuki for that matter) know. And if one side isn’t better than the other, then his choice to side with Kuroyukihime rather than his childhood friend is, as you said, quite a questionable one.

        I see. I didn’t exactly get the whole thing either, as Kuroyukihime seemed to suggest there would be danger of being attacked in the real world would the information about her identity be sold to the other level 9 players but never stated anything specific regarding it. Either way, my basis for going forward with Taku as the most probable candidate first came to mind due to his expression on that conversation, so it’s kinda ironic that you’re complaining the lack of visual foreshadowing, yet didn’t notice this.

        • Seven says:

          The complaints of the lack of visual foreshadowing are in respect mainly to the conversation between the butterfly and the protagonist which makes the bulk of the episode. And I did notice the facial expression – although again, I’ve personally not been able to find myself too interested in Accel World’s delving into RPG worlds and antagonists just yet.

          I felt I should have pointed this out when I said it, although my thoughts on Cyan Pile are just that, some contemplations which came to mind – not necessarily an answer, but an addition to what you’ve said.

          • Dusk252 says:

            Well, there weren’t much that wasn’t already revealed about them so far, though I do believe that Kuroyukihime has yet to reveal her full motivations. But yeah, on that point I can’t rebuke you, the scene was pretty plain, to be honest.
            Hum… By the way, SAO is way more interesting right of the bat, imo. On the other hand, I’ve heard some people say that Accel World gets much better later on. (Can’t say anything for myself though.) I’m still pretty interested in this so far, though. But that’s mostly personal preference.

            Oh, ok sorry, I didn’t quite understand that was your intention so thanks for pointing it out.

            • Seven says:

              I’ve heard similar and agree with the rest of what you’ve said. It seems pretty clear the butterfly has more in mind, be it valiant or evil.

              From the pre-release material, Sword Art Online does look far superior in terms of developmental action – and it’s also widely regarded as grand, so I’m fairly confident in it.

              As for the last bit, no need to apologize – I should have mentioned when I made the original statement.

  • liamash3 says:

    ^
    Agree completely with your theory. How would Kendo benefit from acceleration, though? You can’t move anything in the Accelerated World, so the only benefit I can see would be reading text without being caught (for tests). I suppose you could use it to have more time to read your opponent’s intentions, but that’s as far as I can see for the uses…

    Yeah, if I was in his shoes, I’d immediateness stop whatever I was doing and listen to Chiyu. I mean, here she is, very emotional and crying, and he’s just fiddling with his VR device…all the while when they’re in a very intimate position (him being on top of her, and all).

    Finally, anyone else want one of those VR devices? They seem very helpful :)

    • Dusk252 says:

      You know, the most difficult part is not striking or defending, but rather knowing where to strike or defend. The split seconds in which you have to decide where to place the sword, how to move, that’s the hardest part, that requires lots of mental concentration (I don’t practice kendo, but I do know from experience that it is like this in most sports). Do you remember in the first episode, when that guy was gonna punch Haruyuki and he couldn’t make up his mind on whether to dodge (because it was gonna hurt) or let himself be hit to get him caught? It’s pretty much the same here. All Taku has to do is, when finding himself in a pinch to win, accelerate when his opponent starts his motion, realize what he’s doing and plan how to counter-attack. It’s not that hard, specially since he does have good physical form. He can also change aim midway if he sees his opponent will defend properly when he strikes… The possibilities are endless but it does take lots of points to perform such stunts several times a match if needed.

      I share your position regarding the Haruyuki’s attitude. (Expect for the last sentence since, well, I’m a girl xD)

      I totally want one of those! It would be so awesome to have such a thing… Anyway, while this is not the neuro-linker, there is something really cool being developed right now, and it’s a good advancement towards such a possibility: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Google-Glass-Project-Sees-the-World-Through-AR-Tinted-Glasses-74784.html

  • liamash3 says:

    That does seem interesting, yeah. The article makes a good point on the Google Glasses, though. You’d need it to be something that wouldn’t be a problem in everyday things, which is where the neckband shown in this anime would be superior (and, apparently, waterproof).

    You’re a girl, dusk? I can never tell as to whether people are guys or girls when they have female avatars :)
    Are you a girl as well, Seven?

    • Seven says:

      I’m a digital existence manifestation.

    • Dusk252 says:

      Yep, I’m a girl, I use whatever I feel like as an avatar – boy, girl, who cares? As long as it is a character I like xD I actually had Kanba from Mawaru Penguindrum as an avatar when I first registered here.

      And I second your ‘lol’ at Seven’s comment xD

  • liamash3 says:

    ^
    lol

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