This show was a lot better than I expected it to be. By the end I found myself being very disappointed that the anime was only one season long and didn’t get a chance to follow the world beyond that. Between Manga, Anime, and Light Novels the latter is definitely my least favorite. I just have a hard time following them and am not a great reader as far as reading for speed. But that being said, I’d consider picking this one up just based on the anime.
Haruyuki “Haru” Arita is a short, overweight boy who is constantly bullied at the Umesato Junior High School which results in him having exceptionally low self-esteem. To escape the torment of real life, he logs onto the school’s Local Network where he always plays squash by himself, and his innate skills bring him the attention of Kuroyukihime (literally meaning “Black Snow Princess”), the school’s popular and attractive female Student Council Vice-President.
After helping him against some bullies, Kuroyukihime introduces Haruyuki to Brain Burst, a secret program that is able to accelerate the human cognitive process to the point at which time appears to stop. Haruyuki soon learns that Brain Burst is more than just a program, but an Augmented Reality Massively Multiplayer Online (ARMMO) Fighting Game where people fight each other in fierce duels in order to obtain Burst Points which can be spent for acceleration abilities in the real world.
Kuroyukihime then enlists Haruyuki’s help in reaching Level 10 within Brain Burst by defeating the “Six Kings of Pure Colour” and ultimately meet the creator of Brain Burst to learn its true purpose. With every challenge they face in the Accelerated World, Haru and Kuroyukihime, under their aliases “Silver Crow” and “Black Lotus”, gather trusted allies, confront treacherous enemies and their bond grows stronger while working to attain their ultimate objective; To reach the highest in-game level and meet the game creator.
— source: Wikipedia (sorry guys, this was an old write-up I did before landing on my current style. So, I had to borrow an actual summary)
Even though the online game has been done, done, and done again. I did enjoy that this one happened to be a kind of action/fighting game as much or more than a RPG, which most of these kinds of shows tend to be. I also enjoyed the concept that the game was exclusive and that playing and succeeding in the game world had benefits and effects in the real world. That coupled with the social aspects of the game world and the fact that there’s a kind of government and hierarchy of players that’s completely self instigated and maintained makes for a potentially deep world and a lot of interesting possibilities for the story. The best part is that even though the world and it’s characters are pretty expansive, the storyline is centralized and they don’t over saturate you by trying to develop a bunch of different characters all at the same time. You get a small central team of characters that you can get attached to and follow.
The other part that I enjoyed were the fight scenes. The mechanics of the game they’re playing are in some ways complex, but also pretty simple to explain. In short, it’s like the first matrix (before things got kind of crazy), everything works the way it does in real life, unless you “open your mind” and find a way to work outside of the realm of normal physics (or at least at the extremes of it). Because of that the fight scenes aren’t totally overblown, there characters have basic abilities and a set of parameters and they find a way to fight and win within those parameters. In the later episodes some characters have more powerful abilities than others, but they constantly make for interesting fight scenes.
You do have to bear in mind that the characters are pretty young and, in some ways, act like it. So the problems that they have in real life range from internal struggles about the nature of their individual existence to just relationship issues that are awkward because they seem like they’re at an age were they don’t really have real relationships. The strange juxtaposition of issues of characters who are kids in one world and kings in another can feel a little annoying at certain times, but it doesn’t take away from the show too much. It’s just the only negative thing I could think of.
Overall, I definitely recommend watching this series. The only thing that disappointed me is that I don’t know if there will be a 2nd season.