DVD Review: Accel World – Part 2

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We go further down the rabbit hole to explore what MVM Entertainment’s DVD release of Accel World – Part 2 has instore, but what did we discover? Find out in our review.

Synopsis:

Haruyuki Arita has come a long way since his days as the helpless bullied kid in school. Reborn as Silver Crow, he now fights to realize his master Kuroyukihime’s dream of uncovering the secrets of the Accelerated World. But after suffering a humiliating defeat from Nomi Seiji, a new kid who misuses the power of Brain Burst for personal gain, Haruyuki faces the risk of losing everything dear to him, including his friends and even Kuroyukihime. Guided by the wisdom of a legendary Burst Linker, Haruyuki must now acquire new powers to stop Nomi before his malice can bring an end to the Accelerated World.

Our View:

Burst Link! A phrase we hear all too often within Accel World, fortunately for us it’s a phrase that brings drama, emotion and action packed fight scenes into a series that gets more interesting with every passing episode. With the first half of the series ending on a high what can the second half do differently? Well quite a lot actually and in more ways than you can imagine.

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With Kuroyukihime off on a school trip in Okinawa; Haruyuki and Takumu are left to protect the Black Legion’s territory in the ongoing territory wars, however shortly after the new school year starts both Haruyuki and Takumu discover an odd presence around 1st year student Nomi Seji. Attempting to uncover the truth surrounding Nomi both Haruyuki and Chiyuri are caught in his vile trap, with Haruyuki losing his flying abilities and Chiyuri becoming his personal assistant within the game.

Upon losing everything that was dear to him and with Kuroyukihime no-where in sight the emotionally unstable Haruyuki attempts to solve the problem by himself, but after seeking guidance from friends he soon uncovers new abilities and in the process a counter-attack against Nomi is formed. This is Accel World – Part 2’s main talking point, a long emotional struggle that sees weaker characters attempting to over-power a power hungry nomi. At the same time Kuroyukihime is having her own adventures in Okinawa by meeting local Burst Linkers and helping them in their time of need. Amusingly despite seeming ‘off-topic’ at the time this side-story actually flows within the Nomi storyline and ultimately leads to one decisive battle between the players.

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In hindsight it is a completely different experience to what the previous set of episodes contained, as the first set offered a storyline which introduced the brain burst program and the difficulties it can bring, as here within this second set we have a common enemy and an ultimate objective. Unfortunately despite this ‘new direction’ a lot of the ‘talking points’ from the first half of the series are lost, for example the demonic avatar which pinned part of itself on Haruyuki is only seen once within this second half, after which it never appears again. The same can be said for the ‘territory wars’ they are brought up in conversation but you never see the characters taking place in them as they are instead focused on defeating Nomi.

While these can be considered as ‘disappointing’ factors there are lots of positives to be had, for instance the iconic comical (and emotional) banter between characters is still present, not to mention the fight scenes are still brutally enjoyable, but for me the most enjoyment I had from this set was the amount of cameo’s that appeared. For example during Haruyuki’s research on Nomi we see the Nerve gear, the head gear used in Sword Art Online to play VR games, and when Haruyuki enters the arcades in a later episode we see a close-up shot of the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 arcade cabinet with ‘actual’ gameplay footage. These are just some of my personal favourites, but if you keep your eyes open you may notice even more.

Extras:

Those hoping for an improved list of bonus features will surely be disappointed, as yet again the only additional content comes in the form of text less opening and ending songs as well as a brief selection of trailers.

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Yet again MVM Entertainment opted to share their ‘disc authoring’ with Hanabee, which means that we receive the same release as that in Australia, because of this we miss out on the extra features which are included on the US release, such as character artwork, but this aside its still nice to see some ‘useful’ content being included, especially the list of trailers as some (if not all) are being released by MVM Entertainment in the near future.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:16:30 (Disc 1 & 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

In short nine episodes within this twelve episode set depict the events of Haruyuki and Takumu attempting to come up with a plan to defeat Nomi and his ‘seemingly’ unbeatable avatar. This includes various training activities with the red king, a recon operation in a mysterious brain burst battling zone and, more importantly for haruyuki, a way to retrieve his wings. Amusingly while all of this is taking place Kuroyukihime (Black Lotus) is off on a school trip in Okinawa, whereby she encounters some local brain burst users and assists them in their own troubles, troubles which tie-back to Haruyuki and Takumu in Tokyo.

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Everything that we learned within the first half of the series is ‘kind of’ put on hold or thrown out the window, for instance more brain burst users pop-up, new ‘powerful attacks’ are uncovered and more importantly the so called ‘territory wars’ are no-where to be seen, though they are occasionally brought up in conversation. What the episodes within Accel World – Part 2 bring is one long struggle, with plenty of surprises and cameos thrown in, that ends in a rather climactic, but emotional, battle and in hindsight that’s what Accel World is in a nutshell, an emotional action packed series.

Whether you like or hate this new direction of the story what is to be commended is the English Dub audio quality, which continues to be strong (if not stronger) than the first half of the series as well as it’s adequate visual quality. Being a DVD release you can only expect so much, and fortunately this release ticks all of the ‘YES’ boxes (such as smooth visuals, clear audio, clear subtitles and so forth), but I’d still recommend getting the Blu-ray for the ultimate experience. Despite all of the positives it’s not all good news, as the “non-dialogue” subtitle options does NOT present the subtitles for the opening and closing songs – it’s not really an ‘issue’ but its common knowledge that non-dialogue subtitles would bring up the subtitles for the songs during the opening and closing credits. On the plus side there is less text on screen so we can actually see the opening and closing videos.

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So what do we get with MVM Entertainment’s DVD release of Accel World – Part 2? well it is twelve episodes of worth of futuristic ‘accelerated’ action that has an emotional story to tell, and despite it being a continuation of a series there are plenty of surprises in-store for both fans and newcomers.

Score: review-stars-5

Accel World – Part 2 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 21st July

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to DVD Review: Accel World – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Unboxing: Accel World – Part 2 (Blu-ray) [UK] | AnimeBlurayUK

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