Seriously - - I’ve run into enough “user friendly” cyberpunk series set in colorful virtual worlds lately, I feel like they should all be grouped under some identified-and-categorized genre label. Between this, .HACK/QUANTUM, CHAOS HEAD and SUMMER WARS (just off the top of the my head,) it’s clear we’ve got something of a movement going on, right now - - albeit one that admittedly repackages a 20-30 year old literary movement into something cuter. If classifications can get specific enough to make “harem” part of the trade speak, than there’s no reason that “I-Dystopia” can’t be coined.
I feel that term’s appropriate (even though none of these story’s have been especially grim) because I honestly dread the birthday of the wretched, unavoidable spawn that social networking sites and MMO’s are inevitably going to conceive. You know it’s coming. It’s going to grossly turn every conceivable facet of your life into something that can be parlayed into online self-promotion or marketing…
…and damn if ACCEL WORLD doesn’t present that horrible vision of the future in a fun fashion with appealing characters and slick animation.
Most of the times I review I-Dystopia titles, I say I found it entertaining despite my initially-profound disinterest in the premise - - and this is no exception. I fell right into the studio’s trap and sympathized with Piggy (my name for the main character) almost immediately. I found the whole concept of an accelerated pocket of time to be an intriguing one, and I enjoyed how it was introduced by taking something of an Aikido approach to a bullying predicament. Countless, helplessly-nerdy kids have vied for our empathy on screen - - none have seized on as crafty a solution as Piggy does here.
Once again, in spite of myself, the latter day, feel-good virtual reality intrigue has hooked my interest. I'll be back for more episodes.
Watch this episode, "Accelerate” here and decide for yourself.