Saturday, April 28, 2012

Accel World - 04

[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_10.16_[2012.04.27_21.44.11] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_14.56_[2012.04.27_21.48.52] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_20.49_[2012.04.27_21.55.36]

Wow – that sure got down to business pretty quick.

I’m not at all sure what I make of the events of this episode of Accel World.  We start off where we left off, with Haru exploring Chiyuri’s backdoor (stop that).  His cable may not be as long as Taku’s, but it’s what you do with the cable that counts – and I must say, Haru managed to get an awful lot of productivity out of those 30 CM.  That scene finished out like it started, i.e. pretty effectively.  Not knowing where Chiyuri stood with regards to the Cyan Pile situation colored the interaction a bit, but she certainly seemed sincere in her regard for Haru and there was a melancholy air to the entire sequence that was quite involving.

So – all well and good so far.  But that’s where things took what struck me as a very strange turn.  I wasn’t too surprised that Haru took the tone he did with Kuroyukihime, as he had plenty of reason to suspect she might be using him.  But the scene itself – both before and after the random revenge attack by Araya (the bully from episode one) felt almost surreal.  First of all I confess I find Haru’s relentless self-loathing to be a little tiresome, and I have no problem with Snow Black getting upset with him for his tone – in demeaning himself like that he was extremely insulting to her.  But everything that follows made me wonder if I was being trolled by the second dream sequence of the episode – it just felt off, somehow.   Kuroyukihime making such a long and dramatic speech declaring her undying love, with orchestral music rising in the background…  I don’t know, it felt too early in the story and it felt too over the top.  These are middle schoolers, not the Royal Shakespeare Company!

It’s hard for me to get past that moment, because it was so  obviously the heart of the episode – and when you’re wondering if a scene you’re watching is really happening, that’s a bad sign in terms of credibility.  Perhaps if her confession hadn’t been so total, or her self-sacrifice so selfless and heroic, it might have sat a little better.  In defending it in my mind, I suppose the answer is that Snow Black is as royally screwed up as Haru, and that’s not such a stretch I suppose.  And I suppose it isn’t a total stretch that she might be attracted to someone who’s genuine and not interested in her for public persona, both inside the Burst Link and out – if this is designed to play as an otaku fantasy, at least.  But between his grandiose self-hatred and her martyrdom, it never managed to feel real to me.

In terms of the big reveal, not a huge surprise – I said here last week that I got skeevy vibes from Taku but that hardly required an address on Baker Street to figure out.  With Snow Black 99% down on points and her physical body near death due to her “Physical Full Burst” sacrifice, it falls on Haru to Burst Link and defend her from Taku A.K.A. Cyan – but what happens then?  Does he tell Chiyuri what he knows?  Surely she won’t end up with the baddie and equally surely Kuroyukihime won’t die, so we would seem to have two very legitimate love interests for Haru – who can’t bring himself to believe any girl would cross the street to pee on him if he were on fire.  It’s a pretty unconventional love triangle, I’ll give you that, and Accel World remains a pretty interesting series.  I just to move beyond what felt like pretty outlandish developments this week.

[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_05.56_[2012.04.27_21.39.52] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_05.57_[2012.04.27_21.39.53] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_09.27_[2012.04.27_21.43.22]
[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_09.46_[2012.04.27_21.43.41] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_10.13_[2012.04.27_21.44.09] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_10.55_[2012.04.27_21.44.50]
[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_11.34_[2012.04.27_21.45.30] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_14.27_[2012.04.27_21.48.23] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_14.47_[2012.04.27_21.48.43]
[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_16.02_[2012.04.27_21.49.58] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_17.00_[2012.04.27_21.51.20] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_17.01_[2012.04.27_21.50.57]
[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_17.37_[2012.04.27_21.51.57] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_17.56_[2012.04.27_21.52.16] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_19.42_[2012.04.27_21.54.02]
[Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_20.28_[2012.04.27_21.55.15] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_20.49_[2012.04.27_21.55.36] [Commie] Accel World - 04 [48581D7D].mkv_snapshot_21.23_[2012.04.27_21.56.10]


10 comments:

  1. What made you think the whole scene was fake? When I saw it in the context of her getting her "last words" in I thought it seemed pretty believable. In fact I was rather moved despite knowing how the scene went. Maybe because I already knew the authenticity of her confession, I could accept the dramatic nature of it? It's a rare case where spoilers improved the viewing for me haha.

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  2. Snow Black's feelings and actions do make some sense. I want to say "oh, that'd never happen in real life", but I knew an over-weight, crippled guy that got a pretty cute girl via a MMO. (Pays to be good at things in life) Their relationship lasted several years. So as outlandish as it seems on the face, given what we know of Snow Black and her likely take on what impresses her (Link Speed), it makes some sense. She's mostly infatuated with his potential, but those feelings could be very real.

    What still doesn't feel real is Haru. That's this series' problem. Haru is pathetic to be pathetic, not to be a realistic character. Our pathetic MC wouldn't have shown up to the lounge in the first place. That's what causes the dislocation. We never got any scenes with Haru being giddy as a school girl about the validation that Snow Black was giving him. Even if he was trying to be guarded about her motives, he'd have still, at some level, been really, really, REALLY happy about the attention. If his self-loathing is so complete as to never get there, he'd be several steps closer to suicide than he's portrayed to be.

    So the real problem is Haru simply doesn't work. That takes you out of the series. I'd be down for an interesting Shounen fighting series, but Haru is just really, really hard to shift. I don't think he'll get any better for a while, either.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah Haru's self loathing even made me twitch, and I have a huge tolerance for whining so that's saying something. I almost face palm'd when he called his dream a nightmare.

      Don't worry though, he'll start getting better next episode. He's at rock bottom so the only place to go is up. At least the whole "I'm so fail!" will stop.

      Heh I can see why they decided to animate Accel World before Sword Art Online though. Accel World is good, but SAO is GREAT. Especially the main character. They'll animate the slightly less entertaining series first then blow the audience away with a better one. Or at least that's how I'm envisioning things happening.

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  3. I really want to explain why Snow Black was talking like that, but that may be spoiler for the next half for this season...

    ...and the fact that we still have no clue of the name "Accel World" 's true meaning (in-anime form anyway)

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  4. Call it love at first sight I guess. Snow Black has been on the run for two years and is the most wanted person in the Accel World. She must feel lonely. She scouted people and saw Haru's highscore. Plus she's seen the honesty and determination of Haru to help her. She thinks he's someone that can be very strong and also someone to protect as his self-esteem is so low.
    So yeah, it might be weird reasoning for her sudden confession but at least I've said my part to defend it. And you can chalk it up to hormones I guess since they're middle schoolers in the middle of puberty so yeah.
    About Haru, he does need some work with his...well all of him, but with this turn of events he'll have to work hard to meet Snow Black's expectations.
    And someone said above that he's at the very bottom now so the only way to go is up. And I mean up, considering the preview.

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  5. I actually didn't have a huge problem with the episode.

    ...until the attack via car. That scene was way too forced for its own good. I could literally feel the show trying to manipulate me with the overly emotional dialog (way too early for something like that to even hope to have an actual impact) and the blatant "instant-move-plot-forward-button" device in the form of some special ability that felt like it was pulled out of thin air.

    Still, the scenes following that were well done, so it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. But man, I thought that was just terrible. The whole self-esteem conflict I thought was handled properly, though.

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  6. It was an amazing episode, but some development was too sudden. And that car accident was a bit forced. Haru is annoying and pathetic, but his chara development is the most interesting. And Taku's evil face was really good and assuring.

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  7. Hmm the bit with the car was too much too soon, I agree, but not egregious enough to ruin the episode. Personally I think Haru's self esteem issues are being handled fine. It's overstated, yes, but this is anime, everything is overstated, and it's honestly not THAT far off. Here to tell you from experience that it is 100% possible to have such low self esteem that you would believe, and I'll quote you because you said it perfectly, "can’t bring himself to believe any girl would cross the street to pee on him if he were on fire." It gets better with time and life experience, but Haru is only in middle school, he hasn't had that time yet. His behavior seems as believable to me as anything else in a show like this, overdone but with a hard nugget of truth at it's center.

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  8. Haru isn't really that annoying - anyone who had a serious self-esteem problem knows that this kind of talking about yourself isn't really rational, and is very sincere (mostly). I will agree that haru starts looking like a parody of a low-esteem fat person more than as an actual person, though. XD

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  9. Read the manga, it's better. Much better. Then say all the crap about it.

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