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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reincarnation: Accel World 24

Episode 24 (Season One Finale): Silver Crow is determined to settle his score with Dusk Taker once and for all. (Source: Hulu)
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for episode 24 and all episodes leading up to it. It's a series finale, folks! Read with caution!
Here it is: the finale for Accel World. And it's just as explosive, dramatic, and wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. It's a gem of an episode that covers all of the series' strength, including its battle scenes, humor, and impressive characters. This is Silver Crow versus Dusk Taker, the one battle I think everyone has been waiting for, mainly to see Nomi get socked in the face hardcore. And those folks will not be disappointed.
Read my lengthy review on Accel World's finale after the jump:

The fight itself between Silver Crow and Dusk Taker, setting aside all the drama and sudden revelations that came with it, was visually spectacular and emotionally satisfying to all who think Nomi is a worthless ferret-face. Silver Crow in full power is an impressive blur of lights and speed and shonen feelings; he literally powers up through picturing his weapons coming alive in his head, letting them come to life on his avatar.
I certainly loved his 'killing blow' on Nomi's avatar, slicing the poor kid in half through both his avatar and his soul. Actually, that whole scene was terrifying and nerve-wracking. I almost thought for a moment Haruyuki would spare Nomi on the basis on some undeserved pity. After all, the image of Dusk Taker crawling across the floor, begging for his life, is one I wouldn't wish on any other character. But it's Nomi so screw it. Besides, he has done absolutely nothing to redeem himself - so bye-bye Dusk Taker, Brain Burst, and cheating in kendo with acceleration. The last great villain of Accel World: done.
As for the true star of this duel: I've been saying for weeks that Chiyu teaming up with Nomi didn't make sense, and now I've been proven right - she was planning something the whole time! Chiyu was never a healing type after all; her ability was to control time. She only obeyed Dust Taker in order to level up her ability, thus making it easier to reverse time back to when Silver Crow still had his legendary wings.
Of all the special attacks in Accel World, this one being attributed to Chiyu makes the most sense. She has always wanted to go back to that time when she and her friends were closer than anything else, before Brain Burst changed all of that - and Nomi ruined it. But now she can see herself co-existing in both the real world and the accelerated world while keeping her precious people close to her, and this is why Lime Bell can manipulate time.
Also, how badass is it that Chiyu has had this plan going for sometime now and managed to not reveal a bit of it to either Taku or Haruyuki? Answer: it is incredibly badass. And she even got Kuroyukihime into it, which allowed for her fabulous entrance as Black Lotus onto the battlefield. Dear haters of Chiyu: suck it. She had everything in hand the whole time and managed to beast Nomi's punk self and give Haruyuki back his wings all in one go. And she's even besties with Kuroyukihime now! It couldn't get better than this, y'all.
The most hilarious bit of this episode is when two male students present their guilty noggins to Haruyuki for a beating as an apology for accusing Haru of being a camera-assisted shower pervert. Haruyuki is too damn nice for this world; I know many people would have gladly knocked their heads around for putting them through hell. But that is one of the bright points of Haru's personality; he's been bullied before so he would never return the favor, deserved or not.
And then Haru runs into Nomi on the stairwell. You know what's so side-achingly adorable it's disturbing? Post-Brain Burst Nomi, complete with dimpled cheeks and cutesy finger pointing. Even his voice is brighter and more upbeat. Yes, the idea of a computer program rewriting one's memories is morally awkward and very questionable, but Nomi seems to be doing a lot better without it. Even Kuroyukihime thinks the memory bit is a question better left unanswered until they've reached level ten and can ask BB's head honcho themselves.
After discussing this nefarious aspect of Brain Burst, Kuro confesses the following to Haru: "Even if I lost all my memories of Accel World, I wouldn't forget you." Now, why would Kuroyukihime make a point of saying this? It's romantic, yes, especially when Haruyuki returns the sentiment - but I think it is foreshadowing for the end. I think Kuroyukihime might actually lose her access to Brain Burst before Haruyuki reaches level ten. It's an odd and depressing hunch but who knows? It seems like something Accel World would do in the future.
And let us talk about the Sky Raker/Kuroyukihime scene, because it was beautiful and WHO THE HELL IS SACHAN. K-Kuro-sempai is Sachan? I'm supposing that is her nickname, because it's not much of a first or last name. But it's wonderful that these two young ladies have been able to reconnect and be friends again. Which means more Sky Raker in Nega Nebulous and Accel World as a whole, right? Awesome.
It's almost as beautiful as Kuroyukihime hugging Haruyuki and him asking her to stay by his side together. Gosh, that was lovely. As someone who has kept to herself for so long for a multitude of reasons, Kuro is not even close to being the best at letting out her emotions - so when she does it surprises everyone but she's certainly getting better. Kuroyukihime's relationship with Haruyuki is one of the driving forces of this series, and it has developed so nicely I can't wait to see how it continues in future episodes.
Overall, it was a hell of a finale to a series that despite its bumps and skips in quality has always been entertaining. I certainly don't regret following it to its end, or blogging the whole way there. Now, second season for 2013 please? It would certainly be something to look forward to!
You can watch subbed streaming episodes of all twenty-four parts of Accel World at both Hulu and Viz Anime's website.
And as a tiny treat, let us appreciate the following screen cap from the scene in which Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime meet up in real life after months of being separated physically. Take a look at Kuro's best friend Megumi through the train window. Ah, Megumi. Never change. Haruyuki, make sure you don't treat Kuroyukihime bad or Megumi will probably kill you in your sleep. That's love for you!

It's been fun but it's the end of the line for blogging about new episodes of Accel World in 2012. See y'all later for the OVAs and hopefully a second season!