When it comes to comparison, I strongly believe that when it comes to Reki Kawahara’s works, Sword Art Online is obviously the better banana. But as much as I want to just talk about Sword Art Online and call it a day, Accel World is still not too shabby.
I have seen a lot of complaints about the main character, some even going as far as calling Haruyuki the next OH MAH SHOE. I would like to disagree. I think Haruyuki’s self-pity was intended to direct sympathy away from him instead of to him. I think that you are supposed to not feel sorry for him. At least, I know I didn’t.
I’d like to think that this aspect of our main character is an antithesis to the expected reaction to a self-demeaning behavior. For example, when he tossed aside his childhood friend’s basket of sandwiches, instead of “Man, I feel sorry for this chump for being made fun of,” the viewer is expected to think “Man, this guy is just another bastard.” For that, I think Accel World deserves some credit.
There’s also the issue of the girl getting unusually close to a chubby protagonist. I don’t see this as a problem yet since Kuroyuki does seem to have ulterior motives for giving Haruyuki the Brain Burst software. I simply just can’t see this to be another blatant wish-fulfillment anime. Maybe I’m deluding myself here, but I wouldn’t put it above the writer to be able to write good stories, as he has done so in SAO.
Production values are pretty high, with the beautiful cityscapes and overall decent use of CGI. I’m not too much of a fan of the character designs, but they serve their purpose. All in all, this is a pretty decent anime to watch if you’re looking for something to kill time.