Accel World

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What if you could escape to an accelerated world?

Faced with a Gang of Bullies and a body that is not pretty, Haruyuki often retreats from reality into a Cyberspace world maintained by his school. He loses himself in a virtual squash game that no one else plays and holds all of its high scores. One day, he visits the game only to find that his high scores were not only beaten, but beaten by a considerable amount!

This is how the Student Council Vice-President and School Idol Kuroyuki-hime (which translates as "Snow Black Princess") contacts him and offers to show him how to “accelerate to a faster world.” This Brain Burst program, downloaded directly to a neuro-link attached to the bottom of the skull, allows a person to make time appear to stand still by "accelerating" their brainwaves; this can often be used as Hyper Awareness, letting its users make decisions and strategies that would take minutes in seconds. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how many times a person can accelerate. People with the Brain Burst program take the Burst Points needed for this acceleration from others by winning in a Fighting Game. The only way to avoid being challenged to one of these fights is to not be connected to the same network which, in a world where always being connected to some network is the norm, requires being very careful and a lot of willpower.

Once in the game, Haruyuki becomes Silver Crow and, as thanks for bringing him into this world, decides to use his abilities to complete Snow Black's goal: reach Level 10 of the Brain Burst game and discover its purpose. Unfortunately for him, this requires beating the current leaders of the game: six Level 9 players who have led the world for over two years and will do anything to win because one loss at Level 9 means Brain Burst will permanently uninstall itself.

A Light Novel series from the pen of Kawahara Reki (the mind behind Sword Art Online) and Aigamo Hiroyuki, published by ASCII Media Works and serialized in Dengeki Bunko starting in 2009. It's had two manga adaptations, the first being the source for most of the examples below, and the second a Yonkoma. Needs More Love.

An anime adaptation started in the Spring 2012 Anime, and has been licensed for streaming by Viz (which is sadly locked to Americans due to their use of Hulu).

Also has a Character Page under heavy construction here.

Tropes used in Accel World include:
  • Absolute Cleavage: Snow Black's net avatar does this. Not that it, or she, has much cleavage to show.
  • Adults Are Useless: Enforced twice over
    • First off Haruyuki would not tell any adult about his bullying, so none of them interceded.
    • Secondly no adult can Accelerate because one has to have the link installed since birth and the technology only came out around 15 years ago so the oldest persons who can accelerate are 15.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Aqua Current; she looks to be female, but the person in question won't confirm or deny that suspicion. Their duel avatar apparently makes it impossible to feel her gender.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Snow Black is treated as the highest criminal in the Brain Burst world for trying to reach level 10 and disrupting the Balance of Power. Haruyuki tells her reaching for that goal is only normal.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Snow Black and Haruyuki right before she uses Physical Full Burst to prevent him from getting hit by a car.
  • Anti-Hero: Haruyuki is a loser at the start.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: A large battle royale that's taking place stops fighting to watch Black Lotus fight Yellow Radio. Justified in that said fight is the first time two level 9s fought each other.
  • Balance of Power: Because of the risks involved with getting to level 10, the top players of Accel World have signed a peace treaty with each other and are perfectly happy to not try and "complete" the game.
    • Snow Black and now Haruyuki do not play by these rules and plan on upsetting the balance.
  • Batman Gambit: Snow Black pulls one to get Araya expelled.
  • Battle Couple: Taku and Chiyuri, somewhat. Also Snow Black and Haruyuki, but this one is almost obvious.
  • Be Yourself: Snow Black and Chiyuri both try and convince Haruyuki that he has good points, and that he is not complete trash. He isn't buying it yet but only time will tell.
  • Blatant Lies: When Haruyuki is asked by the School Newspaper Newshound if he is dating Black Snow. He says he was just fixing her Nerulink OS. Not a bad lie, but they see through it with further questioning.
  • Blessed with Suck: When Haru becomes the 6th Generation Chrome Disaster. However, each subsequent generation from the first seems to be easier to defeat.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Justified in that it's a game and they apparently didn't want to animate realistic blood from the fighters.
    • Averted in the real world though when people are hurt they bleed. Not to unrealistic levels though.
  • Bridal Carry: Silver Crow carries Black Lotus like this once.
  • Bullet Time: An ability granted to all Burst Players. By spending burst points, one can speed up their thoughts in the real world so that 30 minutes can pass mentally in a few seconds. Normally, one cannot move during this period, and the program uses the brain's memory to extrapolate their surroundings; but this does give a distinct advantage to tests, stock market choices, strategies, etc. (Which is why most players don't want to finish the game.)
  • Calling Your Attacks: Cyan Pile's SPLASH STINGER. Happens a few other times.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Chiyuri is interesting in that she obviously has feelings for Haruyuki, but is dating someone else.
  • Car Fu: How the leader of the gang of bullies tries to murder Snow Black and Haruyuki
  • Cassandra Truth: Inverted; Haruyuki has positive traits, but he will not believe it when people tell him that.
  • Catgirl: Chiruyi's net avatar.
  • Character Level: Pretty much like any RPG style manga.
  • Chest Blaster: Cyan Pile has missiles in his chest.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Haruyuki, Taku, and Chiyuri grew up in the same apartment complex. Chiyuri and Taku are dating, but Taku feels jealous and threatened by how close Chiyuri and Haruyuki still are. It's implied that this is another reason for his Start of Darkness and his use of Accel in his sports and academics to make himself that much better than Haruyuki.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Snow Black shows signs of this.
  • Code Name: Being about a game world, most people use "user names" to refer each other.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: You can have a basic idea of what strengths your opponent has by the color included in their user name. The closer to a "pure" color, the more focus is given on a particular fighting style.
    • The "kings" of the game are pure blue, red, yellow, green, purple, white, and black.
    • Haru's avatar is silver, and his fighting style is centred on his unique ability to fly.
  • Continuity Nod: It is implied that Snow Black is actually Kirito's daughter.
  • Cool Bike: Haruyuki's first fight pits him against a Ghost Rider wannabe, Ash Roller.
  • The Corruption: Taku got it from using Brain Burst too much for his academics and sports.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Silver Crow vs Ash Roller round one. Haruyuki didn't know how to play yet, and was crushed because of it.
  • Cyberspace: Which doubles as an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Physical Full Burst
  • David Versus Goliath: Silver Crow vs Cyan Pile Level 1 vs Level 4.
    • The Red King (the best long range lv 9) vs Silver Crow (lv 4)
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: Every game that has been seen thus far, but specifically the Brain Burst Fighting Game. They even seem to feel pain while fighting.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With the promise of admitting their mistake, and trying to atone for them.
  • Determinator: Haruyuki will not give up a net fight after he learned how. He got his arm and leg blown off fighting someone three levels higher than him and he would not back down.
  • Disproportionate Restitution: When Snow Black gets the Gang of Bullies expelled their leader tries to murder her and Haruyuki
  • Diving Save: Haruyuki is saved by Snow Black
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Haruyuki does not like the idea at all that his friends are pitying him.
  • Erotic Dream: Haruyuki is glad he does not have the app that records dreams after this.
  • Eyelid-Pull Taunt: Chiruyi being adorable.
  • Hair Decorations: Chiyuri has her little cat pin on one side and hair clips on the other.
  • Heel Face Turn: Cyan Pile.
  • Eureka Moment: Haruyuki figures out who Cyan Pile is.
  • Fetish: Snow Black seemed worried that Haruyuki might check out her feet during their first use of Brain Burst.
  • Flight: A big deal in the Accel World. Haruyuki is the first to have a flying avatar.
  • Foreshadowing: "I want to fly up."
  • The Four Loves: Chiyuri basically agreed to return Haku's romantic love in order to keep his friendship, and only when Haruyuki promised not to leave.
  • Gang of Bullies: Haruyuki is tormented by these everyday until Snow Black gets them arrested with a Batman Gambit.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Snow Black tries to slap the Angst and self hatred out of Haruyuki.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The only way to get to level 10 is to Player Kill all other level 9s. (Thus permanently uninstalling Brain Burst from them.)
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Snow Black does not appreciate the closeness that Haruyuki and Chiyuri share. Not that Haruyuki could understand that until someone flat out told him she was jealous. Even then he was confused and he literally looked up the word.
    • Haruyuki and Chiyuri's relationship is a sore point with Taku as well.
    • Chiyuri is jealous that Snow Black and Haruyuki had a direct connection among other things.
    • After Snow Black lost her connection cable which she used to connect with Haruyuki, she bought the shortest one she could find. Supposedly because she didn't have money for a longer one, but it's very probable that she did so because she was jealous about Haruyuki connecting with Chiyuri through an even shorter cable.
  • Gonk: Haruyuki, and it is played for drama with his very low self esteem and bullying at the series start. Of course, to the viewer or reader though, he's drawn more cartoonishly, so he doesn't look particularly ugly at all.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In the fight Haruyuki vs Cyan Pile after Haruyuki loses An Arm and a Leg he crawls over to Snow Black's bed where she is fighting for her life after her Diving Save, and he won't back down which helps him unlock more of his power.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Haruyuki hates himself and this causes much confusion and problems because of how this messes up his relationships.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Red King's combat form
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Haruyuki to anyone. The kid has self esteem in the negative numbers because of his physical appearance and all the bullying he has endured.
  • Idiot Hair: Snow Black has one or two depending on the angle of the shot.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Haruyuki to Taku.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Chiyuri is upset but willing to let Haruyuki go when she thinks that only Snow Black can help him.
    • Haruyuki counseled Chiyuri to accept Haku's love confession because he honestly thought they would be happy together, and well his self esteem problems.
      • She only accepted his acceptance because he promised he would continue to be their friend and nothing would change.
  • I Will Definitely Protect You: Said by Snow Black to Haruyuki before the Diving Save from a car.
  • Jumped At the Call: Haruyuki accepted Brain Burst much faster than Snow Black anticipated.
  • Kendo Team Captain: Taku
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Haruyuki has never shown any hesitation to jump on and pummel his opponents while they are down in the game if he can manage it. This back fired in his fight against Cyan Pile though.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Aqua Current induces this on Haruyuki regarding her? identity and how she? helped him.
  • Losing Your Head: How the first Red King died.
  • Love At First Sight: Snow Black proclaims this to Haruyuki just before the accident.
  • Love Confession: Snow Black claims that Haruyuki turned down her confession in the third chapter and onward. Even if Haruyuki was able to get over his personal problems her "confession" wasn't exactly obvious.
  • Luminescent Blush: Chiyuri here
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Red King's missile spam.
  • Mooks: Haruyuki complains that his Brain Burst Avatar looks like a mook.
    • His moveset is also; Punch. Kick. And a Headbutt as a finisher.
      • Though it makes sense later on when it's revealed that these moves are supposed to be used in conjunction with his ability to fly, which makes them far more powerful.
  • Nanomachines: Apparently they use these in the field of medicine - the story takes place in 2140's.
  • Not So Different: Haruyuki gives one to Cyan Pile.
  • Oblivious to Love: Haruyuki because of his low self esteem. He takes to a new level by finding signs that she does like him and refusing point blank to even consider it.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The Legion Nega Nebulus declares war against the rest of the Accel players and vows to reach level 10. It has four people in it thus far.
    • It will, however, have slightly more members in the future, most of them with very rare abilities or avatars of unique design, like Aqua Current or Graphite Edge.
  • Ojou: Snow Black
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Snow Black Princess. Even after she tells Haruyuki her name and tells him to call her by name from that point (the readers don't get to hear the name), he doesn't use it because it's embarrassing to.
  • Panty Shot: Chiyuri here and possibly on purpose.
  • Parental Neglect: When Snow Black is in the hospital after she was hit by the car her parents never showed up. Instead they sent over a lawyer, and you know that makes everything better.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: Taku accuses Haruyuki of invoking this in regards to Chiyuri. While this dynamic can easily be seen in their relationship, Chiyuri is dating Taku. It's complicated.
  • Point Build System: There is some sort of build point system in Brain Burst, and you can select at least some additional abilities such as being able to walk/drive on walls.
  • Power Perversion Potential: There is some mischief one can get into using Brain Burst, but slowing down time to to look up a girl's skirt is specifically mentioned not to work, unless it's been seen by your eyes or a camera.
    • Taku when he used a virus to spy on his girlfriend's sight and hearing. Haruyuki does not mess with it because that might alert Cyan Pile that he knows.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Foreshadowed in Haruyuki's user name: Silver Crow
  • Psychic Link: Kind of. A device is installed at the back of people's heads that acts like a small modem, which lets them link to network just like in real life.
  • Red Baron: Everyone goes by a nickname in Brain Burst and protecting your identity is rule number one.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Haruyuki's net avatar is a cute little piggy. He does not like it though seeing as it was forced on him as part of his ongoing humiliation and more specifically he's over weight and it's a pig. But he never replaces it, even after the bullies are gone, because Snow Black finds it cute.
  • Sempai-Kohai: Snow Black is Haruyuki's sempai in school and in Brain Burst matters.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: Two of them, in charge of the gossip section no less, give Haruyuki surprisingly accurate advice and even turned off the camera beforehand. Nice people.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 8 upon noticing his cousin Haruyuki says verbatim: Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai! [1]
  • Slasher Smile: The Red King seems to have been takng lessons in expression from Beatrice.
  • Theme Naming: Nick names of players are generated by the system, which always start with a keyword related to a color or a kind of material. A few key characters are named after famous cards in Magic: The Gathering. Snow Black herself is named after the top card of the Power Nine - Black.Lotus. The key villain of the story is named Black.Vise, and there is a player named Ivory.Tower who's intentions have not been revealed yet. An interesting fact is that the cards Black Vise and Ivory Tower are exact counterparts of each other.
  • Time Stands Still: The Burst Link, which amplifies the speed of human thought to the point where time seems to crawl to a halt.
  • Training from Hell: At least in the anime, Haru trains himself to dodge bullets...by having a virtual revolver shoot at his pig avatar from a few meters away. And, given his reactions to being hit they hurt about as much as real ones.
  • Triang Relations: Might be Class 10(Taku, Chiyuri, Haruyuki) and/or Class 12(Snow Black, Chiyuri and Haruyuki).
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Red King has one.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Taku, a.k.a. Cyan Pile, and Haruyuki.
    • Their friendship gets rekindled after their fight.
  • Winged Humanoid: Silver Crow.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Haruyuki declares that the Accel World is infinite The first time he flies.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Chiyuri wears this along with her school uniform.
  1. There is no way my little sister is this cute.