It would be hard to get any closer to the edge for me with Koichoco in terms of blogging. It’s just barely interesting enough to keep going for the moment, and Fridays are a pretty slow day for the most part. But it’s a near thing, and if next week’s ep doesn’t do a bit to raise the bar for me, it might slip back to “watching” status.
So why, then, is this formula VN adaptation interesting enough to consider blogging? If I had to pin it down, the number one factor is that it manages to do one or two things every episode that completely surprise me – and do so more or less in context rather than just pulling something random out of its ass. That makes me interested to see what it comes up with next week, which is a good talent for a show to have. A good example this week was the scene between Yuuichi and Hazuki-sensei. To say it came out of left field is accurate, but no more so than propellers and masks that only the male lead can see. Koichoco doesn’t bother explaining any of this sort of thing yet, which seems like a good practice. I knew Hazuki was Shinonome-san’s sister, but there’s obviously a backstory with Yuuichi – making her dinner and then burying his head between her breasts? Let’s put it this way – I sure hope there’s a backstory.
I’m a political junkie so the “Election” wing of the story is interesting too, with the dynamics of the various power groups in the school slowly being revealed. It makes perfect sense for the outgoing President and the Public Safety Commission to back Yuuichi over his more dangerous rivals, and a “strange bedfellows” political story is always intriguing. But of course any dating sim is eventually going to stand or fall on the relationships, and in the “Love” sense I don’t really have much stake yet. None of the characters is really making much of an impact for me – Chisato seems like the obvious choice for main girl but Mashifony did prove that can be a ruse. Problem is I don’t have strong feelings for any of them yet – apart from Chisato and Shinonome (my fave so far) they’re either comic relief or eye candy (other than the hors categorie Yume of course). Michiru is going to be the next to get her exposition, apparently, which could be interesting as she’s voiced by the very talented Imai Asami.
Accel World – 15
I confess this episode of AW annoyed me as much as any for quite a while. Funny thing is though, it wasn’t the much-loathed “Dusk Taker” Noumi that did it, it was everybody else. Noumi might be an unscrupulous little prick but at least he didn’t spend the entire episode breaking down in tears at the slightest provocation. If people were all as easy to cow as these three, I’d be tempted to live my accelerated life the way Noumi does too.
I don’t know quite what to might of Haru’s descent into simpering loser here – either his entire character arc to this point has been a mirage, or it’s merely sloppy writing and he’s going to have just a miraculous a turnaround and snap out of it. I guess I can sort of understand Chiyu’s reaction, as she’s new to Brain Burst and frankly a bit of a spoiled princess to begin with and Noumi was certainly unkind to her. But even here I would have hoped for better, and from Taku too, who joined the crying brigade when Haru said some nasty things to him about their odd three-way relationship with Chiyu. On the plus side, at least he publicly acknowledged the elephant in the room, that Chiyu obviously prefers Haru – though judging by Haru’s reaction I’d say he’s squarely in Kuroyukihime’s clutches.
I suppose the table is set for an inspirational return to form for Haru, and the vehicle (pun intended) for that seems likely to be Ash Roller and his guardian, Sky Raker (Endou Aya). Endou-san is just about incapable of giving a bad performance, but there’s a pretty high burden of proof for this miracle turnaround with me, because the descent into character oblivion this week was pretty unappealing. I’m certainly not going to turn on Accel World because of one unfortunate episode, but undercutting the entire character arc for the lead seems like an unfortunate choice, and I don’t see any easy way out of the box the series has written itself into – not without some lasting damage to the show’s credibility, anyway.