Archive for the 'accel world' Category

Accel World begins

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Unlike the case of Upotte, the ‘sphere basically got Accel World right: it’s a run of the mill shonen title. I could’ve blogged it right after the opener, the anime is very honest about itself. But since Evirus forewarned about “wall-to-wall exposition and unnecessarily long, tedious fight scenes” from ep.2, I waited to see that first. Afterwards, I think he overstated the case.

The introductory episodes are heavily dominated by the relationship of the protagonist, who I call “Mr. Porky” (Haruyuki), and “Ms. Kuro” (Kuroyukihime), a beautiful upperclassman who drags Mr. Porky in her wake towards the adventures. Since Mr. Porky is the viewpoint character, we get the unreliable narrator and the drop-in-the-pool exposition with a lot of things taken for granted or acknowledged and put aside for later. In the big picture, the purpose of Accelerated World is unknown, and in the small, Ms. Kuro intrigued everyone. Jonathan Tappan interptered her thus:

Let’s face it, the beautiful and popular Kuroyukihime is unlikely to be interested in Haruyuki for his fine manly body. All she really knows about him is that he has a talent for games, which she wants to make use of. She’s seductive and manipulative and she seems willing to go to great lengths to get what she wants.

I think there’s more to her than that, and, unlikely it may seem, she managed to fall for Mr. Porky. The reason for that is her past trauma (that manifested in a “hideous” avatar that we do not get to see) and Porky triggeding something in her head. Of course it does not preclude her from using him. I use my wife to pick me up in the airport, too. Peter S. posted some spoiler notes on the topic, based on ep.4.

Another valuable resource is the episodic blog of the translator for UTW at “8th Sin Fansubs”. Here’s about Haru making an inexplicable gesture of pretend horns:

Silver Crow could be a parody of Space Runaway Ideon, an ancient anime also produced by Sunrise. It’s not silver in color, but the glistering face/eye for special move is Ideon’s distinctive feature, and Ideon does have horn antennas too.

I saw someone twittering hate for Mr. Porky being cowardly and weak. It is understandable, but it’s a sentiment I do not share. I have a feeling that it only gives him a room to grow.

The biggest problem for me is how Accel World is going to be endless. It’s based on light novels, and people familar with the source claim that there’s no convenient endpoint anywhere near.

Fencedude on Accel World 12

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Writing for Sea Slugs, he mostly spends bytes on retelling, but there’s also this:

I wonder if Sword Art Online is one of those Online VR Games that Haruyuki has in his collection.

I saw some crazy cross-overs happen. Of course, Mave-chan was one giant ad for Stratos 4. Then, the bizarre in their shamelessness references to Sacred Blacksmith in Haganai. Things like that. I would not put it past them this time.

Overall, Accel World seems to be shaping like a blockbuster shonen thing that is there to rival best parts of Naruto in intensity. I’m wondering if it’s getting good ratings.

Schneider on SAO 01

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

He mosly contrasts Sword Art Online with Accel World for the article, and finds SAO lacking:

Make no mistake: Accel World is a pretty serious game. There are stakes, and you can be kicked out of the game permanently. But the show never forgets that it’s about game. That, for me, is more than enough.

In contrast, Sword Art Online is about a guy playing a MMORPG, which stops being a game (which people play for fun, “fun” being the operative word here) and becomes a struggle for survival instead.

Stakes in Accel World, for a little reveal, stem from the real-life powers that players gain, so they are embedded into the real world by design. And as he said, they are quite serious, although I haven’t yet seen anyone to commit a murder using Accelerated World, or gain political power. Seems like an inevitable development, however.

Note how Schneider uses his gamer positionality to his advantage:

I also love how the game empowers Haruyuki to become a better person – far too much ink has been spilled on video games negatively influencing people’s lives!

It is outside the contrast with SAO, of course: it may still enable the same development in the latter episodes. I’m just pointing out how gamer wants to perceive anime and express it in his blogging narrative.

In addition, a tidbit:

The comparison is not as farfetched as it sounds. Sword Art Online and Accel World share the same author, Reki Kawahara, and they’re both about virtual-reality MMOs.

UPDATE: J.P. tweets: “sword art online would be really awesome if it were about the outside world. instead, it’s mindbogglingly fuckin’ stupid”.

Subtitles God-Sent For Blogs

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Kuro reminded me about something: Anglophone blogs have a great advantage over Japanese anime blogs[0]: subtitled screencaps! These things add a good deal of expression or sometimes a tongue-in-cheek call-out, playing off the way readers reconstruct the material[1]. How about this one, from AKB0048, which I was saving for a retrospective post:

Pretty cute, isn’t it? The context for the quote is AKB0048 member lecturing her understudies on the importance of physical conditioning. But Kuro came up with the best one in years[2]:

For those unfamiliar with the setting, they are linked of “cabled” and the words are transmitted mind-to-mind. Yes, it’s Mr. Porky in the background. Look at the Chiyuri’s eye!

[0] Aside from subtitles, what I saw about Japanese blogs in general is rather horrifying. Some explain it with the competition from 2ch. If anyone knows any good Japanese anime blogs, please let me know. I only follow Moero Amazon, and good as she is, Aira is apparently unfamiliar with a cocept of hyperlink.

[1] See also the famous ad for Canal+ where incorrect reconstruction is the main point of the video.

[2] Of course, the creators came up with it first, but how do you capture it in the raw?! A clip on Youtube is nowhere as effective.

Run-list for 2012 Summer

Monday, July 16th, 2012

I read the “in-progress” lists with a certain interest if the descriptions are short. Steven and Chris do it about right. At Ani-nouto, these things are uncommon, because I prefer to lag the season. For example, AKB0048 is the most fascinating series in the current run list. I want to marathon it badly, but I put brakes on it on purpose. Otherwise I would catch up quickly, and waiting is just no fun. Also, I’d be invested into a possible bad ending without a freedom to maneuver shows. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to batch. And then, I only run one or two shows at once. Following broadcast makes the watchlist swell.

Running (not had that many in months!):

  • AKB0048: Seen 5. It’s great, everyone is great. Chieri is not overpowering or nasty, Nagisa is not whiny or clumsy. It’s like Miki Hoshii and Haruka Amami, remember those? Only instead of P-san, they fight for the love of the ghost octopus. The shadow of the real AKB48 is not as opressing as I expected. Omo threw off a comment about Oba Nobuna: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken an interest in the gender-flipping historical-re-enactment genre or not, good show is good.” It applies here fully as well.
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X / Nazo no Kanojo X: Seen 6. This is starting to get good when it was demonstrated that all-knowing Urabe is only human. I know that it ends in a no-ending, but I’m gobbing it up. It’s a wonderful love story for teenagers of all ages.
  • Tari Tari: Seen 1, on “free” legal streaming. PA Works batted it out of the park (is this what they say? hope the spirit of Evirus forgives me). It remains to be seen how well they follow up, but so far the only concern is that one of the characters, Sawa, may come dominate the proceedings. She is that much better than the rest of the 2+3 group, and she’s not the notional leader even.
  • Joshiraku: Seen 2. Basically the same as Kill Me Baby, only funnier and vastly more educational.
  • Oba Nobuna: Seen 0. Supposedly it’s one of “strong servant protagonist” versions, and we’re not to be served the whiny passive-aggresstive of Saito of ZnT. But we’ll see.

Recent postponements:

  • Sankarea: Seen 0. Supposed to be a cute undead; Aroduc says that “Rea’s father sucks”, whatever that means. This is probably a sight-unseen cancellation in fact.
  • Accel World: Seen 3. For a shounen, it’s quite good. But for my anime, the pace is uneven, characters are oddly constructed and their backgrounds appear poorly thought out. Actually, it’s possible that more thought was given to those than to backgrounds of AKB0048 understudies, but the emphasis on their motivations is too great for their depths. Porky is no Naruto, truly. I think I should drag it along for 3 more episodes for the arc to complete, then drop.
  • Chihayafuru: Seen 5. It was not Nodame, alas. Masterpiece of a sports anime, maybe. Animation is astonishing. But the story background is so stilted, I could not stand it. Also, everyone in the show is a bit unpleasant, even our muda-bijin Chihaya. Suspending, because it looks too masterpiec-y to drop outright and did not peeve me enough like Denno Coil.
  • Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku: Seen 6.5. Marika’s bad day in the office did me in. I thought it would be a fun series to see with other bloggers, like the original Dog Days, but actually it’s a torture of uncomfortable and uninteresting. Also, Tatsuo Sato is losing it. He was not afraid of romance in Shingu, was he? This is a de-facto cancellation. Really did not want to cancel, so maybe one day… I know that ending was okay.
  • Dog Days Dash (as DiGi reminds us, there’s a serviceable pronounceation): Seen 1. Well, what can I say… Just not feeling it. It’s like K-ON2. That was a great anime on the merits, too, but it was only too obvious that it was a derivative. Saving for a rainy day.

Recent cancellations:

  • Shining Hearts: Seen 6. Everything about it is awful, the story is most of all. The art is supposed to be beautiful, but it’s not, absolutely not. People just have no taste, I guess. Steven tried to entice me with Rouna’s chest. Seriously! Do I look like a furry?

UPDATE: Omo on Summer 2012.

UPDATE: Zyl, too. Note the injection of interest into the pirate show:

Mouretsu Pirates was an odd kind of series for me because there wasn’t that much pirating. Or bodaciousness either. Until I read somewhere (likely via Ani-Nouto but I can’t remember) that the director wanted this series to be about how someone decides to be a leader. Marika has talent, luck, support etc. But what fascinates me most about her is her overwhelming need to be free, to be herself. The two flashes of her closely guarded inner self – the only time she calls Ririka “Mom” after the first Yacht Club cruise and allowing herself a small smile when Chiaki says she believes in her – accentuate her indomitable, independent streak.

Emphasis mine.

Tappan on the finale of Accel World S1

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

In short, he liked it, somewhat unexpectedly.

As I said earlier, this isn’t Shakespeare. It follows the conventions of a fighting anime quite closely. However so far this is turning out to be one of the finest examples of the genre with a much higher level of plotting and characterization than we usually get.

I thought it was about as good as early Naruto. Unfortunately, extensions of that one are not universally praised, which makes one somewhat concerned about the future of Accel World. Jonathan shares that concern.