Blu-Ray Review: Accel World - Volume Two (2012)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Thursday, October 9, 2014 0 comments

"Accel World - Volume Two" is an animated science fiction, action, drama series about a short fat boy named Haruyuki and his adventures in a game called "Brain Burst" (read my review of the "first volume" for a deeper understanding of Haruyuki and his role in Brain Burst). This volume starts off with a new school year and we see that Haruyuki and Takumu (one of Haruyuki's childhood friends) successfully install Brain Burst on Chiyuri's (Haruyuki's other childhood friend and is also Takumu's girlfriend) system. That's not all as there's also a new type of player that is starting to take over the entire world of Brain Burst and this has our heroes a bit scared due to this new type of player being a very dangerous foe. While bracing to protect their territory we see that our heroes will have to fight without the aid of Kuroyukihime (Haruyuki's girlfriend and leader of the group) as she'll be going on a school trip to Okinawa (real place in Japan) and won't be back for a little bit.  Kuroyukihime's departure has left the group vulnerable to attacks and that's exactly what happens as they are targeted by a new kid at school. This kid doesn't play by the rules as he uses illegal methods to not only winning online but he also uses illegal methods to beating his opponents offline too (danger, danger Will Robinson). How will our heroes defeat such a monster that plays this game? Also, how will Haruyuku live without his love? Will Kuroyukihime be safe on her trip? All these will be answered in this second half of Accel World. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

I both liked and disliked the story in this volume and while that might sound confusing, let me explain starting with what I liked about the story.  What I liked about the story was the sci-fi future setting as it not only felt cool but it also seems to be very reachable and could be "science fact" in the next one-hundred years.  I also liked the situation the characters were in as it had a very exciting and intense feeling and it had some decent potential.  What I didn't like about the story was some of the choices they chose to take the story as those choices could've been executed a lot better.  I also found some of the plot twists to be very predictable and frustrating to where it wasn't fun to watch as they were going for a "biggest bulls**t in bulls**t history" vibe and it paid off terribly.

The action in this show was pretty decent to where it was fun and exciting to watch with battles that are mostly well paced and choreographed but you will see a pretty dull fight sometimes but not dull enough to make you want to skip it.  Speaking of "action" and "story", you'll see some pretty weird typos during the "Training Scene" to where it says stuff like: "Day 1th", "Day 2th", and "Day 3th". You'd think that something like that would've been fixed up for the English release as this is not a small thing that can easily be ignored. There could be a chance that it was purposely done and if that's the case then it was a horrible choice that was made.

Drama in this show suffers the same problem as the story as there's something to be found that you'll both like and dislike about it.  I did like the romance part of the drama as it felt very natural and that is an improvement over the romance scenes found in the first volume.  The problems you will find with the drama has all got to do with the characters as the characters in this show can get very whiny and over dramatic to the point of making this show hard to watch.  When the characters weren't being whiny and over dramatic I enjoyed them as they were very likable with some good but unoriginal personalities.  One thing I can give this show some great credit for is that it has barely any filler and when you do get filler you'll actually find it to be pretty enjoyable.  There was this one filler episode titled "Revolution" (AKA "Episode 19") that had more of a style that can be seen in shows like "Mazinger Z (1972 - 1974)" and "Gigantor (1963 - 1966)" to which made me a little sad as it made me wished that this entire show could've been done in that style as opposed to the melodrama filth we get in this show.

Artwork in this show is pretty solid and I did enjoy how they made the "real world" and "cyber world" have two different styles as it helps give you an "in another world" feeling.  Artwork for "real world" has some very beautiful and detailed scenery that uses shades and tones really well.  Sadly the "real world" scenery isn't always this great looking as there are some episodes where it's little cheap looking but not cheap looking enough to where it will put you off.  Character designs are weird as you have some clashing of designs where some characters have more of an realistic design while other characters have a very cartoony design and it did bug me a little due to the serious tone of the show.  Animation during the "real world" scenes are decent and I didn't see anything wrong with it.

Artwork for the "cyber world" contains many styles in one as you'll see styles like: "Science fiction", "Fantasy", "Kaiju (Big Monsters that are like "Godzilla")", "Sentai (Just think "Power Rangers" and you'll have a great idea on what that's about)", plus many more.  The backgrounds don't have as much detailing as the "real world" backgrounds but it still looks pretty good to where some of them amazed me.  Character designs are pretty cool and crazy looking and I did like most of them but I wouldn't say that there was anything unique about them at the same time.  Unlike the scenes that took place during the "real world", the mixture of cartoony and serious make much more sense being part of this environment and it didn't feel weird or clashing at all.  Animation varies as it looked decent during some parts but in other scenes it looked really choppy and weird to where it looked like they rushed the animation.

The English dub in this show is very weird as while the voices suit the characters I found it to be very cartoony and it was in a way where it didn't match up with the serious situation of the show at all.  The English dub can also get a bit much during the scenes where the characters whine to where I wanted to fast-forward the show a little bit.  There were also some characters that had voices and dialogue that's just plain laughable as they sounded very forced and it was just bad and not in a "so bad that it's good" way either.  I liked the music in this show as it had a techno theme that worked very well with the cyber and sci-fi themes of this show.

Nothing much going on in terms of special features as you just get the text-less versions of the opening and closing credit sequences.  I enjoyed them as both credit sequences not only had some fun techno/electronic music but they also had some fun visuals that went along with them.  One complaint I have about the closing credits is that there is one part that got a little creepy but the furry fan-base might get a kick out of it, other than that it was fine and I do recommend giving the special features a watch...  Although I'm sure a good chunk of you readers at home are turned off by that "furry" comment, I don't know why as I was sure that'd you'd be turned off from the show during the paragraph where I was giving my thoughts on the story.

Overall this show has a lot of bad in it but it also has a decent amount of good also.  Sadly this is not something I am going to recommend you all go buy this and put it in your DVD/Blu-Ray player as this volume isn't worth putting money into.  I'm not saying that you should avoid this show in general as I recommend checking out this show if you can find a free stream of this show (a legal stream mind you).  Alright but could've been a lot better.

Added note:  Speaking of "legal streams", Hanabee has the entire show up on their website for free.  Check it out "here".

Title: Accel World - Volume Two
Animation Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Drama, Science Fiction
Running Time: 288 Minutes (12 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment
Rating: M15+ (Animated violence, coarse language)
Price: $64.99
Recommended: No


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