Sanae KobayashiRina HidakaYuuki KajiSword Art Online
Accel World (OVAs and movie)
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2012-16
Director: Masakazu Obara
Original creator: Reki Kawahara
Actor: Aki Toyosaki, Aya Endo, Ayako Kawasumi, Haruka Tomatsu, Kenichi Suzumura, Rina Hidaka, Sachika Misawa, Sanae Kobayashi, Shintaro Asanuma, Yuuki Kaji
Keywords: Sword Art Online, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 2 OVA episodes and an 82-minute movie
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=13857
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 15 December 2023
accel world
They're interesting glimpses of how the series progressed later, after the TV series stopped. SPOILER 1 has joined Nega Nebulus and even seems to acquire a new protege. SPOILER 2 is hanging out with them too, which I'd never have expected. Our heroes have a new occasional base in what looks like an Alice in Wonderland themed rest area. (I think it's the Umesato Junior High School local network.) In there, Taku becomes the Tin Woodman from the Wizard of Oz, while Chiyu becomes a catgirl with giant pink paws.
They're more fanservicey, especially the OVAs. The first OVA has a baddie who goes around stripping her victims and I don't think we even learn why. The second OVA has a hot spring. But it's all harmless and they never show actual naughty bits, though, which in the movie means Barbie doll anti-nudity.
I didn't always get the impression that they quite fitted the TV series. Haru in the first episode has regressed in his ability to accept his relationship with Kuroyukihime, to an OH MY GOD extent that I thought he'd grown out of. This hurts her, but her self-aware reaction's interesting. "Am I really that oppressive? Do I make people nervous?" And of course they ultimately get over it, which is nice.
Then, in the movie, they simply rewrite the past. The year is brought in line with the light novels, while the movie's Niko really is Haru's sister or cousin, instead of just having been pretending all along. (The movie's first half is just a compilation of the TV series's first cour, mostly skipping over the second cour, and they simplify the odd plot point that would have taken too much explanation to convey properly.)
Are they good? Not consistently. They go downhill a bit.
1. The first OVA is pretty good. It has an interesting, sympathetic anti-villain and a decent character journey for Haru and Kuroyukihime (even if the character regression to get back there for Haru is a bit forehead-slapping).
2. The second OVA is okay, but it's based on Haru having to lose weight to get through the school physical examination in order to be able to keep playing Accel World with everyone else. (Nonsense. You can fit an hour's worth of accelerated game play into four seconds. He could play it on and off all day and his physical trainers would never know.) We all know that's all doomed and that the status quo will win, although Kuroyukihime's body insecurity was amusing (although of course very understated because of how stoic she is).
3. The movie's second half (since the first half is just a compilation movie) is mostly just fight scenes and fan-favourite characters. (The OVAs are a bit of an old face parade too, but at least those had more of a storyline.) Metatron's cameo was surreal, since I had no idea who she was. The antagonists are okay, though, and once again sympathetic. I also laughed at everyone standing and watching the Haru-Kuroyukihime romantic byplay.
Overall, I still like this series. I'd be happy to get a second season.