Accel World is an anime series based on a light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by HiMA. As of this writing, streams of subtitled episodes are available at Hulu and at Viz Media's website.
Accel World is set in the year 2040. In this time, a technology called Neuro-synchronization is being used; it allows humans to manipulate their five senses. This technology has become so widespread that people can access the Internet and enter virtual worlds.
The main character of the series is Haruyuki "Haru" Arita. He's a high school boy who is short, overweight, and is constantly being bullied. Haru has low self-esteem, and he logs into his school's virtual world network in order to escape the torment of his real life. He usually plays a game of squash alone in the virtual world, where he always gets the highest score.
One day, he comes into the game and finds that someone has beaten his high score. He discovers he was beaten by Kuroyukihime, the Student Council Vice-President. She offers to let him join a secret program called Brain Burst; the program allows a person to make time appear to stand still in their surroundings by "accelerating" their brainwaves.
Haru quickly learns there's a limit to how many times a person can accelerate, and that acceleration uses Brain Burst points. The primary way to get more points is to fight other Brain Burst users in a virtual reality massive multiplayer fighting game, and defeat them.
When I read the promotional description for Accel World at Viz Media's website, I was left with the impression that it was a setup for yet another shonen action show that revolves around fighting in a game. It turns out that my initial thoughts were correct. The main "twist" to this series is the fact that the fighting game takes place in a virtual world in a time where virtual worlds are extremely common. However, I'm not really convinced that it's enough of a twist to really make Accel World differentiate itself from similar anime series.
The animation used in Accel World is rather standard, with nothing to really make it stand out from the typical anime style. When it comes to visual content, the worst thing I saw in the first episode was a small trickle of blood going down the side of a character's face.
Viz Media has given Accel World a rating of TV-14. From viewing the first episode of the series, I would personally recommend it to anime viewers who are 13 or 14 years of age and older.
|Accel World||24||2012||Masakazu Obara||Sunrise||Viz Media|