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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Imagination: Accel World 16

Accel World Episode 16: Ash Roller takes Silver Crow to meet his master Sky Raker, previously known as the Burst Linker who came closest to flying in Accel World. Sky Raker explains the “Incarnate System,” which allows Burst Linkers access to their hidden powers. (Source: Hulu)
Spoiler alert: Spoilers for Accel World's sixteenth episode beyond this point. Read on with caution!
This episode was actually a pretty fascinating look into a major segment of how the Brain Burst/Accel World verse works, the Incarnate System, which manages to be both new and yet fit seamlessly into the word-building already present. As an added bonus, Haruyuki isn't the insufferable jerk he was last episode; it seems losing his wings has given him some much needed humility.
You can read the rest of my review after the jump!

Imagination is the most 'shonen'-y episode of Accel World yet; it's both a training episode and a power-up episode, like Naruto's sage training crunched into twenty-four minutes. Plus, the Incarnate System is pretty much based on will power and believing in tapping into one's innermost abilities. That's the epitome of the dattebayo spirit, y'all. Someone give this chibi fat ninja a headband and some Day-Glow jackets.
I really hope the Incarnate System stays a permanent thing in Accel World; it seems like a pretty major component of the Brain Burst machinations to drop after the end of the story arc. Does Seiji even know about IS? Perhaps his overconfidence and single-minded reliance on stealing other people's techniques has left him ignorant in that area. He would rather use theft than inner skill to win; he probably doesn't have any innate skill in him to begin with, thus the overuse of Demonic Command.
Sky Raker better not end up like Aqua Current, one episode in which to teach Haruyuki something meaningful and then disappear forever. They should both be series regulars! I found Sky Raker's Spartan training to be rather effective, and that she herself is pretty awesome. 
Plus, her dress and hat are gorgeous, as is her will powered and wonderfully decorated wheelchair; anyone wanna cosplay her? Misa On Wheels? Come on!
I was ready to write her off when she revealed she cut off her own legs in order to fly; that seemed like a pretty gross appropriation of a disabled body in order to receive more and better powers. But then after the night-time story and Haruyuki meeting her in real life, it becomes evident that Sky Raker is much more complicated and legit than that. Also, Haru must be pretty savvy to realize her legs are artificial; I would have never guessed without his hint.
There's something immensely fascinating about Sky Raker's story; she came to the world of Acceleration and tried to fly, something she could never do in real life. In the game, she even ends up sacrificing her cyber legs to gain that advantage, although it did not work. 
The fact that she has artificial functioning legs in the real world but a wheelchair and no functioning legs in Brain Burst is an interesting parallel, but I'd rather leave that kind of PWD meta to someone more intimately in tune with her disability.
In the end, Sky Raker shows Haruyuki how the Incarnate System can make him 'fly' without his wings and she also gives Haruyuki her armament, Gale Thruster, which had allowed her to jump upwards at amazing heights. And now that Haru/Silver Crow has mastered the Incarnate System, added to the fact that Silver Crow is the fastest avatar in the verse, Gale Thruster will only get more powerful from here on.
It may seem odd that Sky Raker would give someone she just met her ultimate armament, but consider Silver Crow's current reputation in Brain Burst and the fact that Ash Roller, of all players, is vouching for him, it makes sense. Plus, I have a feeling that Sky Raker's own handling of her Incarnate System leaves her more than capable to defend herself, with or without the Gale Thruster.
The last little tidbit that had me curious is the night-time story Sky Raker tells Silver Crow, and the fact that she and Black Lotus/Kuroyukihime were in the same legion together - and that Black Lotus was the one whose sword cut through Raker's legs, effectively ending their friendship. 
I hope we hear more about this story! Especially if Haruyuki brings up Sky Raker to Kuro next time they meet - which looks to be next episode. I missed you, Kuroyukihime!
You can always watch subbed streaming episodes of Accel World on both Hulu and Viz Anime's website. Note: the eighteenth episode will not air in Japan until the seventeenth. Probably the same reason NakaImo has been on hiatus; the Olympics is throwing everyone's airing schedule off.