DVD Review: Accel World Volume One (2012)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Sunday, June 1, 2014 0 comments

"Accel World Volume One" is an animated science fiction action show about a short fat kid named Haruyuki Arita who looks like a mixture between "Michal J. Fox" ("Back To The Future (1985)", "Frighteners (1996)") and "The Fat Controller" ("Thomas The Tank Engine (1984 - Ongoing)").  Arita isn't very popular and he is always getting picked on at school by a gang of delinquents. All of the constant bullying really gets to him and what he does to calm himself down is hook up to a virtual reality game and plays "Super Squash". I should mention that this show is set in the future where all the children have virtual projectors inserted into them at birth (creepy if you ask me). One day after being bullied he jumps into the virtual world only to find out that someone has beaten his score on "Super Squash" and this gets him even more depressed.

While moping he meets up with another player who goes under the name "Kuroyukihime" and she ends up inventing him to meet up with her in the lounge where older students hang out.  Arita takes her up on that offer and meets up with her and she makes him an offer that he can't refuse. She offers him a special software named "Brain Burst" that will give him the ability to tamper with speed. The only warning she gives him is that he should not connect to the Internet while he has that software. The next day Arita asks his mother for money but he has to be online for her to transfer funds into his bank and as soon as he knows it he finds out that this "special software" is actually a fighting game.  Arita gets dragged into a virtual world and now he has to fight to keep his powers (I wonder if "Brain burst" has "Steam Trading Cards"). (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

The story in this show is actually quite simple and they did their best to avoid overly complicated story-lines and that is great thing. But is the story itself good? Yeah it's alright as you will find it to be interesting and it'll draw you in. The drama in this show is a mixed bag as sometimes it can be quite good and will pull you in deeper into the show but other times it can be very melodramatic and whiny to where you'll doubt the direction that the show is going in (just like the real Internet). Another problem with this show is that it is very predictable to where you will see the twists coming a mile away. This show was a really easy watch as you'll be drawn in and the time will just speed past like a cop chasing a rolling donut.

The action in this show is great as it is full of exciting fights. An odd thing about this show is that in one story-arc it turns from "science fiction action show" to "harem" and I wouldn't say it's bad or good but just weird although it was handled well and wasn't overdone. Most of the characters in this series were pretty decent with some nice interesting personalities but with the main character you will find yourself both liking and hating him at the same time as he can be both charming and an annoying piece of shit... But mainly nice and charming.

Artwork in this show looks pretty decent with some nice strong coloring. Character designs are mostly good but you will see a very generic looking character popping up every now and then. Backgrounds in this show are very nice with good detailing and I like how they used the coloring to tell what time of day it is as they did it well. The virtual worlds also look quite good in this show with a nice variety of locations ranging from fields of flowers to cities that will remind you of the MMO PC game "Champions Online (2009)". The character designs for the virtual world have a very old school anime robot look to them and it looked decent but nothing all that special to be honest.

The English dub in this show was pretty good with voices that worked really well with the characters. The voices can get annoying during the scenes where the characters are being overly melodramatic. They surprisingly say the word "fuck" quite a bit in this show and I was not expecting that and the way they use it is laughably bad as every time they say it's in such a weird way as if it was done for comedic purposes. The soundtrack in this show was good and did help set the mood of the show.

Nothing much going on in the special features as you only have text-less opening and closing credit sequences. Opening credits weren't bad with some nice visuals and a really crazy electronic techno tune to go along with it. I can say the same about the closing credits minus that the visuals weren't as exciting as it was mainly static images. Listening to the music during the credits sure did give me a huge craving to play some "Dance Dance Revolution (1998)" and "Beatmania (1997)".

Overall this show was decent and while it does have it's problems the good outweighs the bad and I ended up liking it. This is the kind of show that you watch while all your favorite shows are on break. I'm looking forward to seeing the second volume. Decent viewing.

Title: Accel World Volume One
Animation Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Animation/Anime, Cyberlife, Science Fiction, Action, Drama, Comedy, Harem, Romance
Running Time: 288 Minutes (12 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment (http://www.hanabee.com.au/)
Rating: M15+ (Animated violence, coarse language)
Price: $59.99
Recommended: Yes


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