The Return of the Black Snow Princess Arc (黒雪姫の帰還編, Kuro Sekki no Kikan-hen) is the first story arc of the Accel World series. It contains the start of Haruyuki Arita and his introduction to the Brain Burst and the meeting of the one who introduced Brain Burst to him, Kuroyukihime. This arc spans the whole first novel of the Accel World series and chapter 1 until chapter 8 of the Accel World manga series. The anime begins the arc in episode 1 and ends in episode 5.

Outline[edit | edit source]

The Fat Pig and the Bully[edit | edit source]

During the middle of class, Haruyuki receives an email from Araya stating that he had to bring him lunch to the rooftop. During lunchtime, he complied with their demands, but only managed to obtain one rice bread. Araya, furious, gave him a new order, stating that it was his last chance. Locking himself in a bathroom stall, Haruyuki rages at Araya, wishing that he could say everything he wanted to say in person. He then full-dives into the school's local network to play some squash. During his squash game, he was found by his childhood friend, Chiyuri, who had been searching him. After reprimanding him for wasting his life on games, she forces him out of full-dive and offers him a homemade sandwich. Haruyuki, sick of being pitied, smashes her sandwich into the wall. Despite realizing that he had severely hurt his childhood friend, he forces himself to run away.


The meeting with Kuroyukihime[edit | edit source]

Arriving at the library, he dives back into the school's local network to resume his game of squash. However, he notices that an unknown person had reached lvl. 166, far surpassing him. Shocked to the core, he breaks down, believing that the only thing he could take pride in was once again stolen away. Suddenly, a stranger appears at the entrance and asks if he was the one who had obtained the previous high scores. Looking up, he is shocked to find the student council vice president, Kuroyukihime. Asking if he wanted to accelerate even further, she instructs him to visit the student lounge the next day at lunch.

Going with the order, Haruyuki cautiously approaches the lounge the next day, and is stopped by Megumi and another member of the student council. He tries to explain that he was looking for Kuroyukihime, but stutters too badly to explain. Kuroyukihime then intervenes, saying that he was with her.


Obtaining Brain Burst[edit | edit source]

Kuroyukihime signals Haruyuki to have the seat in front of her. She then pulls out an XSB cable and asks for Haruyuki to Direct Connect with her. As only close couples direct connected in public, both Haruyuki and the rest of the student lounge are shocked to the core. As he shakily accepts, Kuroyukihime begins to explain the topic of the meeting. Kuroyukihime explains that she was going to send a program that would shatter his current reality.

The welcome message after installing Brain Burst.

After briefly pondering the decision, Haruyuki accepts the program. As the program, titled “BB2039.exe”, was installing, Haruyuki asks Kuroyukihime what the program was about. She then tells him that she would answer all of his questions only after the program successfully installed. As the program finished installing, Haruyuki's vision was covered by a field of red flames. However, at this moment, Araya and his gang stormed into the lounge, as Haruyuki had not fulfilled their demands. Kuroyukihime interrupts their conversation and taunts Araya into attacking Haruyuki. However, before Araya could complete his punch, Kuroyukihime commands Haruyuki to shout the words “Burst Link”. Haruyuki obeys, and is abruptly sucked into a blue-tinted world. With a start, he realizes that time had seemingly frozen. Kuroyukihime soon appears beside him and explains the situation.

The Initial Acceleration Space

She explains that they had accelerated and were currently in the “Initial Acceleration Space”, a blue world created by the Social Cameras where time was accelerated a thousand times. She then tells Haruyuki that using the commands “Burst Link” and “Burst Out”, he could freely enter and exit the Initial Acceleration Space. Haruyuki realizes that with this new power, he could easily dodge Araya’s punch. However, Kuroyukihime commands him to instead take the punch and fall back into her so as to maximize the damage.

Upon exiting the Initial Acceleration Space, Haruyuki complies with Kuroyukihime’s orders, taking the punch and falling into Kuroyukihime. Immediately, police show up and arrest Araya and his gang. With Araya gone, Kuroyukihime commands Haruyuki to withhold his Global Net Connection until the next morning. With that, the school day ends and he walks back home.


The Nightmare and the First Duel[edit | edit source]

While walking home, he runs into Chiyuri, who was also heading home. The two also run into their other childhood friend, Takumu and decide to all head home together. However, during their conversation, Haruyuki mistakenly comes to the conclusion that Chiyuri had told Takumu about his bullying. Ashamed, he decides to run ahead home by himself.

That night, he has the worst nightmare of his life. He dreams of all the people who he had met in his life taking turns tormenting him while Chiyuri and Takumu watched from a distance. As he was oppressed by the circle of people abusing him, he reached out towards the vast sky, where a figure was flying. As he cried out his wish to fly somewhere higher, farther, and greater, a mysterious voice asks if that was his wish.

The next morning, forgetting his promise to Kuroyukihime the day before, he turns on his Global Net Connection to obtain lunch money from his mother. However, as soon as he leaves the apartment complex, he is abruptly forcefully accelerated. His surroundings are rapidly destroyed, and an alternate world is built up around him. Greatly confused, he looks down at his body. To his surprise, he had neither his real-life appearance nor his “pink pig” virtual appearance. Instead, his body was covered by gray armor.

Haruyuki's opponent

Suddenly, he realized that they were several groups of people watching him from all directions. However, before he could comprehend the situation, another avatar appeared in the distance. This avatar, who possessed a skull-shaped helmet while riding on a large gasoline powered motorcycle, shouts out several insults and begins charging at him. Abruptly realizing that he was inside a fighting game, he tries to run. However, he is quickly run over, losing the duel.


Kuroyukihime's Explanation[edit | edit source]

Afterward, in the cafeteria, Kuroyukihime reprimands Haruyuki on his disobedience. She then challenges Haruyuki to a duel in order for her to explain the basics of Brain Burst.

Kuroyukihime going into further details of Brain Burst Duels and Avatars.

She explains the concepts of “duels”, avatar creation, Burst Points, and avatar skills. Realizing that he is still inexperienced, Haruyuki promises that he would become stronger so that he could follow and support Kuroyukihime to the very end.

After returning to the real world, the two are interrupted by Megumi, who is curious about the relationship between them. In the presence of all the members in the lounge, Kuroyukihime calmly explains that she had confessed her love, and Haruyuki had rejected her, much to Haruyuki’s chagrin. After school ended, Kuroyukihime cheered Haruyuki on, pushing him outside into the Global Network.


Rematch[edit | edit source]

With the newly gained information given by Kuroyukihime, Haruyuki challenges Ash Roller to a rematch. By ambushing Ash Roller from the top of a bridge, he manages to separate Ash Roller from his bike, gaining the upper hand. He then retreats to the safety of a high building, preparing to initiate the same attack once again.

Ash Roller on his motorcycle

However, to his surprise, Ash Roller drives up the wall of the building, ruining Haruyuki’s plan. Rapidly losing confidence, Haruyuki attempts to use his sole special move, “Headbutt”. However, the ability backfires and he is run over by Ash Roller’s bike.

Depressed at how his avatar was weak, just like his real-life persona, Haruyuki begins to cry. However, as he catches sight of Kuroyukihime’s spectator avatar far in the distance, he realizes that no matter how many times he was beaten down, he had to rise up once again. With renewed determination, he takes stock of his opponent’s weaknesses. Realizing that only the back wheel of Ash Roller’s bike could spin, he sought to take advantage of this fact. He latches on to the back end of the bike, lifting it off the ground. With the back wheel disabled, Ash Roller’s bike was completely immobilized. Forced to fight in direct hand-to-hand combat, Ash Roller charges at Haruyuki. However, Haruyuki, as a specialized close-ranged fighter, easily defeats him, thus winning the duel.

As Haruyuki bursts out, he is congratulated by Kuroyukihime. However, at this moment, Chiyuri confronts the two, demanding to know what Kuroyukihime was doing to Haruyuki. Kuroyukihime nonchalantly states that she had confessed to Haruyuki, taking advantage of the stunned silence that followed to drag Haruyuki away.


The Black King and Cyan Pile[edit | edit source]

The two visit a coffee shop and direct link. Kuroyukihime begins to explain the backstory behind Brain Burst, telling Haruyuki about the Six Kings of Pure Color, their Mutual Non-Aggression Pact, and how she had rebelled and killed the Red King.

Black Lotus killing the Red King

She then gives Haruyuki a choice to either follow her on her mission to attain Level 10, or to reject her philosophy and find his own path. He chooses to follow her, stating that a world ending in stagnation is the saddest thing that could happen.

Kuroyukihime then changes the topic, explaining how a Burst Linker from the school by the name of Cyan Pile was hunting her down during classes. She had tried to uncover the assailant’s real identity, but she was unable to find the attacker’s name on the matching list. Thus, she proposes to use the Guide Cursor to discover the attacker’s true identity. With two guide cursor lines, they could pinpoint the location of the attacker in the real world.  However, Kuroyukihime already has a hunch who the attacker is. She believes that the assailant is Haruyuki’s childhood friend, Chiyuri. Haruyuki, in disbelief, claims that Chiyuri would never do something like this, promising to prove her innocence by Direct Connecting with her and checking her Neurolinker storage.


The Backdoor Program[edit | edit source]

Going along with his promise, Haruyuki visits Chiyuri’s house after parting with Kuroyukihime. Upon seeing Haruyuki, Chiyuri leads him to his room to talk. Haruyuki uses the claim of apologizing to her as an excuse to Direct Connect. As they Direct Connected with a thirty-centimeter cable, Chiyuri begins to convey her feelings to him. She explains how she, Haruyuki, and Takumu had been the best of friends during childhood, but they had grown apart. She wanted things to go back to how they were before. While Chiyuri explained her inner turmoil, Haruyuki took the opportunity to check her Neurolinker storage. Surprised by the amount of lag present, he checks Chiyuri’s network connections. Finding unreasonably large packets being sent through an unidentified program, he realizes that someone had installed a Backdoor backdoor onto her Neurolinker. As whoever had installed the program was likely watching his actions at that very moment, he stops his investigation and closes the windows. Thanking Chiyuri, he disconnects the cable.

The next day, Kuroyukihime meets with him during the walk to school, apologizing for the quarrel yesterday in the café. However, Haruyuki surprises her by saying that he had succeeded in the Direct Connection with Chiyuri. When he mentions how the cable was only thirty centimeters long, Kuroyukihime storms off into the distance, and the oblivious Haruyuki couldn’t keep up.

At lunch, the newspaper club interviews Haruyuki on the claims that he was dating Kuroyukihime. When Haruyuki mentions how she was mad at him when he talked about another girl, the newspaper club members suggest that it was because Kuroyukihime was jealous.

Completely shocked at the possibility that Kuroyukihime might actually like him, Haruyuki barricades himself into his usual bathroom stall. Determined that someone that beautiful would never truly love someone as ugly as himself, he convinces himself that Kuroyukihime only pretended to like him because she wanted to deprecate herself. With this mindset, Haruyuki went on with his daily classes.


The Accident[edit | edit source]

After school, Haruyuki meets with Kuroyukihime at the school gate, and they walk together while talking about the Cyan Pile situation. Haruyuki mechanically reports his findings on the Backdoor program. Noticing that something was wrong, Kuroyukihime asks him if something had happened. Haruyuki calmly says that everything was alright, and continues in an aggressive tone. Here, he states the conclusion that he had come to during lunch. He claims that Kuroyukihime hated herself, and spoke to him only so that she could deprecate herself. He says that she should stop pretending to like him, and that she should instead just use him as a tool and throw him away when she was done. At this point, Kuroyukihime slaps him with tears in her eyes, repeatedly calling him an “idiot”. However, before she could elaborate, a car driven by Araya came speeding towards them.

On instinct, both of them “Burst Link”. In the Initial Acceleration Space, Kuroyukihime states that she is determined to protect Haruyuki. Confessing her love and bidding him farewell, she activates the Physical Full Burst command.

Kuroyukihime under Physical Full Burst

This command, only available to Level 9 Burst Linkers, allowed one to move their physical body at a hundred times the normal speed at the cost of 99% of their Burst Points. Kuroyukihime manages to push Haruyuki away from Araya’s car, saving him. However, she herself was caught in the direct path of the car, sustaining heavy injuries.

The next few minutes was a blur to Haruyuki. An ambulance arrived, sending Kuroyukihime to the hospital with him as a passenger. At the hospital, Haruyuki could only stare at the red “In Operation” light while pondering what he could have done to prevent what had happened. After a duration, a nurse came out to explain Kuroyukihime’s status. The nurse explains that they were doing their best to treat her condition. The nurse asks if he was Kuroyukihime’s boyfriend. Shocked, Haruyuki questioned how she had come to that conclusion. The nurse flips Kuroyukihime’s student handbook to the last page and hands it to him. There, right next to her own face-shot, was a photo of Haruyuki’s surprised expression taken from the day before. Overwhelmed with emotion, Haruyuki began to cry.

A few hours later, the doctor in charge once again reported Kuroyukihime’s condition. They had managed to stop the bleeding, but many of her organs were severely damaged. Thus, she had to remain in a capsule for twelve hours. Noticing that her Neurolinker was still connected, Haruyuki asks the nurse about it. The nurse explains that the Neurolinker was equipped to monitor her brainwaves. Realizing that Cyan Pile might take advantage of the situation to attack the unconscious Black Lotus, he decides to guard the entrance of the hospital, challenging any person who entered. Staring at the entrance hall, he remained in that position all night long.


The Fight with Cyan Pile[edit | edit source]

When the hospital finally opened at 8:30, Haruyuki repeatedly accelerated to check the matching list as people walked by. At around 8:45, Haruyuki saw his childhood friend Takumu enter the hospital. Raising his hand to greet him, Haruyuki suddenly felt a sense of unease. Seeing Takumu cover his mouth and whisper silent words, Haruyuki realized that Takumu was a likely candidate for the real identity of Cyan Pile. Accelerating and operating his menu as fast as he could, he confirmed the appearance of the name “Cyan Pile” on the hospital’s matching list. Without hesitation, he pressed the duel button.

Haruyuki finds himself in the Purgatory stage, facing towards his long-time childhood friend and current opponent: Takumu, a.k.a. Cyan Pile. Haruyuki is intimidated by Takumu’s muscular duel avatar, which he describes as a “blue giant”. Meanwhile, Takumu also expresses his surprise at the revelation of Haruyuki being a Burst Linker.

Cyan Pile

He explains how, seeking Chiyuri’s approval, he had begun using Acceleration to earn good grades and win Kendo competitions. However, no matter how much he achieved, Chiyuri always seemed to yearn to spend time with Haruyuki instead. Out of his depression and disappointment, he began to despise Haruyuki. The breaking point came the previous night, when Haruyuki had Direct Connected to Chiyuri on her own bed while Takumu was watching through the Backdoor program. Haruyuki wanted to resolve the misunderstanding, but he realized that he had no choice but to defeat his former friend and guard Kuroyukihime, who was still in a coma.

As the fight begins, Haruyuki plans to flank Takumu and move to a more spacious area, but his left arm was immediately pierced from a distance by Cyan Pile’s pile-driver Enhanced Armament, which he had mistakenly judged to be a melee type armament. However, undaunted, he stood up and ran to the elevator leading up to the roof.

When both of them arrive on the roof, Haruyuki takes advantage of his speed and manages to chip Takumu’s health gauge to 60%. He manages to beat Takumu to the ground, relentless pounding him while explaining Chiyuri’s true wishes. However, Takumu activates his special technique, «Splash Stinger», heavily damaging Haruyuki and forcing him off. Haruyuki once again tries to perform his previous combo attack, but his right leg breaks off, removing his ability to move. Seeing this, Takumu walks up to the disabled Haruyuki, and proclaims that he should disappear. Pressing his pile-driver onto Haruyuki’s chest, he activates «Spiral Gravity Driver», impaling Haruyuki all the way down to the first floor.

After his apparent victory, Cyan Pile boasts to the spectators, saying that they should forgive him for wasting a few points. Meanwhile, Haruyuki, still alive with a bare minimum of health, finds himself in the same room as Kuroyukihime, who had been transferred to the duel as a spectator. Crawling to her capsule, he laments his inability to protect her.

However, he begins to hear Kuroyukihime’s heartbeat. Realizing that this was the manifestation of her will to keep going, he realizes that the true meaning of strength was to look up to the sky even after being cruelly thrown to the ground. His renewed will to persevere crystallized itself into a pair of silver wings that burst out of his back. Looking up to the distant sky that he had always reached towards, Haruyuki shoots upward with his new wings.

Lightning Cyan Spike

The spectators, in awe, proclaim Silver Crow as the first avatar in the history of the Accelerated World who possessed the ability to fly. Cyan Pile, livid with rage at his opponent’s rebirth, shoots his long-ranged Lightning Cyan Spike at the flying Crow. Haruyuki easily dodges the projectile and punches deep into Cyan Pile’s body, lifting him high into the sky.

In the sky, Takumu begs Haruyuki to surrender the match, since his point deficiency meant that losing would rob him of Brain Burst itself. In response, Haruyuki forces his childhood friend to admit that he would always be inferior to himself in a virtual battleground. Depressed, Takumu admits as such, and Haruyuki explains that because of this, for the first time since they were born, they were equals. Therefore, he proposes for them to work together in Nega Nebulus instead of fighting each other. Takumu abruptly begins to feel the weight of his many sins weighing on his back, and with a new paradigm, accepts Haruyuki’s offer.


The Return of Black Lotus[edit | edit source]

The two childhood friends descend together onto the ground of the Purgatory stage. Suddenly, Kuroyukihime, now awakened from her coma, ascended the elevator and arrived at the roof. Ecstatic, Haruyuki ran towards her, and the two embraced in a hug. Stroking Haruyuki’s newfound wings, she proclaims that Haruyuki was the fastest Burst Linker across the Accelerated World. She then thanks Haruyuki for all of his struggles in protecting her.

Black Lotus

After apologizing to Cyan Pile for running away during their duels, she decides to end her two-year recluse and restore her sealed Duel Avatar. Stripping away her dummy avatar, she reveals her true form to the Accelerated World for the first time in two years, and asks Haruyuki to carry her into the sky. High in the air, the resurrected Black Lotus, head of Nega Nebulus, declares war on the Six Great Legions.


After the battle, he and Takumu both visited Chiyuri’s house to explain everything. Chiyuri was initially furious, but gradually forgave them after being treated to various parfaits.


Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Kuroyukihime in the hospital

Three weeks later, Haruyuki visited Kuroyukihime in the general recovery ward, bringing a bouquet of black lotuses as a gift. He reports to her that Brain Burst had fixed the Backdoor program exploit with a new update and that Takumu’s parent, who had given the program to Takumu, had been executed by the Blue King. He also explains that the newly born Nega Nebulus now occupied Suginami III and IV.

Here, Haruyuki remembers that he still had Kuroyukihime’s student handbook. Seeing that it was in Haruyuki’s possession, Kuroyukihime gets flustered and snatches it back. After realizing that Haruyuki had never looked inside it, Kuroyukihime calms down and tells Haruyuki her real name.

Episodes[edit | edit source]

No. Title Japanese Airdate English Airdate
1 Acceleration (Kasoku 加速) April 6, 2012 April 19, 2013
2 Transformation (Hen'i 変移) April 11, 2012 April 26, 2013
3 Investigation (Chōsa 調査) April 20, 2012 May 3, 2013
4 Declaration (Sengen 宣言) April 27, 2012 May 10, 2013
5 Aviation (Hishō 飛翔) May 4, 2012 May 18, 2013
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