Because I need stupid puns in my writing!
More school hijinks this episode. I find it cool how Vice-president and Haru can potentially have all these experiences without any time passing. In this case the entire storyline taking place within a short amount of time will actually make sense! As far as vice-president and Haru are concerned, this episode throws a wrench into things, since it’s heavily implied that Chiyu, Haru’s childhood BFF, also likes him to some degree. And here I was hoping for a simple tale about a school idol and the fat kid going on the internet together. Ah well.
Afterward we get into super exposition time. Something that might throw people off is that since people are speaking through their internet connections in this show, they don’t have to use their voice. Basically, thought speak, with them staring at each other and reacting in real time despite not actually talking. It’s pretty crazy.
What we learn is that leveling in Brain Burst is really difficult. Like worse than DnD. The game is apparently capped at level ten, where you get to meet the developer and throw a party or something. However, no one has been able to do this. Vice-president used to be one of the seven badasses in the burst linker program who reached level nine. Most of the level nines decided to maintain a truce, since getting to level ten would require beating five other level nines without losing once, risking the loss of the brain burst program if they did. Basically, it’s so ridiculously harsh that they all stopped playing, with the exception of vice-president, who wanted to throw a giant level ten party or something. She killed the red king with a surprise attack, then was forced to retreat when the others teamed up on her.
Another interesting thing to note is some history about Accel World. It’s been 15 years since people installed Neuro-Linkers, the devices that allow people to enjoy the matrix lifestyle. As a result however, the only people who have literally had them their entire lives are kids. A prerequisite for the brain burst program, other than hating social life, is to have one of these permanent models. In other words, all Brain Burst players are kids. I suppose that could explain their behavior.
Finally, we get to the plotline of the next story arc. Someone in school is after the vice president. They know her identity and want all her points. If she uses her full shonen power however, that person will run away screaming and altert every other burst linker in brain burst to her location. And so Haru, the newly christened “lackey #1” agrees to help with next to no hesitation.
Only problem is, the culprit might be Chiyu. Of course, being the protagonist Haru has a heart of gold, so he’s very troubled by this decision and goes off to confront it head-on, much to vice-president’s annoyance. Fortunately Taku, who is also Haru’s childhood BFF and Chiyu’s boyfriend, shows up and reassures him vaguely using a half-assed socratic method, thus leading Haru to go and do the intimate cable connection with her to read her memories. Because he’s her FRIEND, DAMMIT and that’s totally OKAY! I’m sure that’s exactly what Taku had in mind. What follows is an awkward, extended sexual metaphor. Granted they did state right out that such a connection is something only lovers typically do, however it’s hard to justify Haru’s position in this case even though he does find something suspicious.
I think Haru’s characterization is consistent and though out pretty well, since despite his generally nice personality he’s also extremely unsure of himself when he’s not gaming. Real life circumstances are challenging his morals and frankly he doesn’t have the backbone to back them up. Hopefully we’ll see some consequences to this and some positive changes in Haru’s character. Or they could just play video games online. That’d be cool too.