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Accel World Episode 1 — Acceleration

Published April 2, 2012
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Haruyuki "Haru" Arita is a short, fat boy with low self-esteem who is bullied by a bully named Araya and his gang. To vent his frustration, he enters the school's virtual world where he always gets high scores in squash. Haru's childhood friend, Chiyuri Kurashima, suggest he should report the bullying to the school and have lunch with her but he refuses her pity and pushes her away. As he return to play squash again, he discovers his high scores has been beaten by Kuroyukihime, the popular Student Council Vice-President who invites him for lunch tomorrow to "change his reality". The next day at lunch, Kuroyukihime introduces Haru to Brain Burst, a program that allows users to "accelerate" their brain waves to make time appear to stand still. But Araya and his gang arrives which Kuroyukihime provokes him to hit Haru before both of them log into Brain Burst. While in accelerated mode, Kuroyukihime advises Haru to let Araya punch him and throw himself at her so that the school's cameras and nearby witnesses will catch Araya violently attacking them, ending Haru's bullying. Haru does so which ends with Araya and his gang detained by security. As Haru and Chiyuri heads home, they meetup with Takumu Mayuzumi, Haru's other childhood friend and Chiyuri's boyfriend. But Haru runs away when he thinks he Chiyuri told Takumu about the bullying. Later that night, Haru has a nightmare of being bullied and Chiyuri and Takumu pitying him which he wishes to fly free from his torment before waking up. Despite being told by Kuroyukihime not to go online, Haru forgets and steps out of his home where he is transported into a war-torn world with a new robotic avatar body.