You know Tony Stark’s floating, touch-controlled hologram screens in Iron Man? What if everyone had one of those, and only they could see their own? That’s exactly what happens in this show’s version of Japan, year 2046. Let’s take a trip to the future this week with the futuristic fantasy, Accel World!
We start in a classroom, with our round hero Haru receiving a cyber bully email from a real bully in the classroom demanding snacks during lunch or else. After getting chewed out for missing some food, Haru runs to the bathroom to lock himself in a stall and escape to the virtual world.
Probably due to his low self-esteem, Haru’s avatar is a foot tall, fat piglet. He runs past all of the other students to his escape, but not before catching the attention of the famous Student Council VP, Kuroyukihime. As it turns out, Haru’s hiding place is playing squash, a game of which he holds all the high scores for. His friend Chiyuri stops by and forces him out of the game by punching his real body awake.
Chiyuri tries to get Haru to fight back against the bullies somehow, but she only frustrates him and he runs away after smacking away the lunch she made for him. When he returns to his squash court, he is devastated to find his high score broken. The record breaker reveals herself as the Vice President, and invites him to the school’s lodge for lunch the next day.
Once he arrives, Kuroyukihime uses a cord to directly connect to Haru. This allows them to communicate mentally and transfer files. She gives him an app called “Brain Burst”. But mid conversation, the bullies from before show up to demand their food. The VP lies to them, saying Haru explained how they were supposed to be on a farm, not school. Furious, the bully throws a punch at Haru.
Before the punch lands, the two call out “Burst Link,” causing them to enter the Accelerated, or Accel, World. The VP explains how time is accelerated 1000 times normal world speed, and that one second in the real world is 16min 40sec in the Accel World. Using this extra time, the two plan to let Haru get hit, and jump back into the VP so the bully will get caught and suspended.
The plan works, and the VP promises Haru will never be bothered again by them. After school, Chiyuri and her boyfriend Takumi meet up with Haru to walk home. But after being asked if he ate the lunch, Haru fears Chiyuri told Takumi about the bullies and runs off.
Before departing, the VP told Haru to never connect to the Global Link before seeing her again. But in the morning he forgets, and connects to have his mom transfer him lunch money. When he steps outside, he accidentally enters the Accel World, and finds himself in a battle with a stranger on a motorcycle. The stranger charges at him as we fade to credits.