Accel World: First Impression

Haruyuki Arita is super self conscious of his appearance and stature and suffers from very low self-esteem. Despite that, he possesses elite speed and reflexes on the global net and is scouted by Kuroyukihime to join a meta-world game, Brain Burst, which takes place in the Accel World. I personally think of it as Matrix meets shounen fighter, only instead of Morpheus, it's a high school ojou-sama.

First Impression: What's most surprising to me is how I was drawn in immediately, considering I was expecting very little from this one. The world is nicely imagined and the motives of everyone involved actually make sense. You usually don't see self-deprecating attitudes and enormous levels of jealousy in something animated in such a kid-like fashion; but I guess it's part of the whole trend of moefying even serious societal issues.

That's not to say that Accel World should be taken 100% seriously, though I think it's very conscious of teenage concerns like bullying, popularity, and physical attractiveness. On the flip side, it's what inside that counts right? Hence the Brain Burst world, where Haryuki takes the form of "Silver Crow", a fighter endowed with a metallic trait (which is supposedly higher grade and rare), a proverbial knight in shining armor of sorts. He also has the notoriety of being the first flight capable avatar.

Sadly, it's the whole fighting system where things seem to fall apart for this anime though; I think it's pretty substandard fare. There's still room to improve, but I wouldn't even peg this at pokemon level. I could rattle off a list of recent fighters that don't have near the potential and immersiveness in terms of world building, but nail down solid mechanics for their respective systems. The scoring system in Accel World seems very, very arbitrary.

I think this anime's concept has very high potential, but as fun as it is to watch, the battle system and sequences seem like an afterthought. Given that handicap, it's hard to label Accel World as a complete package.