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Monday, July 16, 2012

Violation: Accel World 13

Accel World episode 13: It is the start of a new school year. Haruyuki and Takumu reluctantly agree to install the Brain Burst program into Chiyuri, who hopes that this will bring them closer together, like old times. (Source: Hulu)
About damn time, y'all. About damn time. I've been waiting for a month or so for those boys to finally let Chiyu into the world of Brain Burst and it has finally happened! And it is more awesome and adorable than I could have ever hoped or imagined. As the newest member of Nega Nebulous, I can see Chiyu is going to fit right in. Go Team Nega, go!
And we also have ourselves a new story arc that follows the dramatic and melancholy conclusion of the Chrome Disaster episodes. It's the beginning of a brand new school year and already trouble is brewing: there's a Burst Linker hidden among the freshmen, and it's up to Haru and the gang to find them. And if the series makes a point of Kuroyukihime noticing this new Brain Burst user in their midst, then that's usually a good sign that this stranger is up to no good.

For an episode that is the start of a new story arc, it spends 90% of its time on Chiyu becoming a Burst Linker and being shown the ropes of how to play. And for those involved in making sure Chiyu gets her access to the game installed properly and learns how these new world actually works, it means a variety of things. I almost wish Kuro had been present, but this was a precious moment between childhood friends and a reflection of what each other means to them.
For Haruyuki, it's a chance to show what he's learned without Kuro's guidance and prove that he's a decent Burster - and a better friend. For Taku, it's a way for him to bring his girlfriend into his cyber world and become a Guardian that people can rely on. And for Chiyu, it's her last chance to close the circle and bring her friends back to that time when they were inseperable best friends that were happy together.
If you were waiting for a perfect OT3 moment, here it is, and it's called the private linking session of Takumu, Haruyuki, and Chiyu. Their friendship has become one of the defining factors of Accel World. They clearly care about each other a lot and want to support each other, and it is wonderful. The Taku/Haru/Chiyu scenes pretty much made this episode golden.
Speaking of Haru, it seems that his punk bully from episode one still haunts him. I really hope people aren't giving him hell for dreaming about this guy. Let me tell you, viewers who have never been bullied, that shit doesn't go away. Someone like Haruyuki isn't going to lose his mental scars just because his friends love him. That kind of emotional damage stays in a person, but it's up to Haru to make this damage a strength instead of an inhibition.
I love that we now know who is behind the green flowered avatar that's been seen in the opening credits: it's Chiyu's! Chiyu's Brain Burst avatar, Lime Bell, is so adorable and skillfully designed and I think there's a lot of back story hiding behind her avatar's aesthetic. Considering avatars are born from user's traumas, it's going to be interesting to see what Chiyu has hidden inside her cheerful exterior.
But seriously, don't y'all love her design? It's marvelous! I think Lime Bell is my favorite avatar so far, second maybe to Kuroyukihime's true form as Black Lotus which is all metal and blades and refined beauty. And both avatars really fit both girl's personalities to perfection. Chiyu jumps into Brain Burst with a refreshing enthusiasm and a familiar bit of impatience that is probably familiar to a lot of MMORPG players. 
Her eagerness at trying out everything she can get her hands on and seeing how Lime Bell's special attack works was great to watch. See, I knew she would make a great Burst Linker! I can only imagine how Niko will respond to the arrival of Lime Bell. Or Aqua Current! Speaking of which, Accel World, feel free to bring back Aqua Current as soon as possible, okay? I adore her almost as much as I adore Lime Bell - and that's saying something.
So for people assuming that Chiyu's involvement in Brain Burst would be periphery at best, it probably stung to find out her status as a healer makes her one of the BB world's most wanted. Whoops! Although if we're going by Final Fantasy rules of roleplaying parties, it makes sense for Nega Nebulous to have some sort of white mage healer on board as support during long battles. Plus, did I mention how cute Lime Bell is. SO. DARN. CUTE.
And then blah blah blah, Taku's opponent in his kendo match is using accel powers but doesn't show up as an actual Brain Burst user. Sorry, show, maybe I'll care next episode. I'm too jazzed about Chiyu's entrance into Brain Burst to care terribly much about Seiji Nomi and his lack of facial expressions. Once again, whoops! And hopefully, next episode will have more of my beautiful Kuroyukihime. I can hope, right?
You can watch subbed streaming episodes of Accel World both on Hulu and on Viz's anime site.