Risa Tsukiori (月折 リサ, Tsukiori Risa) is a film-exclusive character and the protagonist of the film Accel World: Infinite∞Burst, as well as the protagonist of the two side stories Leap to Infinity (Infinite Burst prequel) and Return to Eternity (Infinite Burst sequel).
When she was eight years old, Risa witnessed an incredible act of athleticism that changed the course of her life. With her eyes riveted to the television screen on which the 2040 Olympic Games were being broadcast, she watched as a young Romanian gymnast by the name of Racovita performed a four-fold somersault on the vault — a feat that had never been accomplished before. Risa was transfixed by the Olympian’s leap, which had been done with such grace that she seemed to fly through the air with ephemeral wings. Bearing witness to this miraculous performance, Risa vowed that she too would someday learn to jump like that.
From that point on, Risa poured her entire heart and soul into gymnastics. Believing that her singular purpose was to perform Racovita’s jump — not a single other person had been able to perform the quadruple somersault since Racovita’s 2040 performance — Risa saw no meaning in anything else. Her relationships were sparse with her having almost no friends whatsoever, but this isolation didn’t bother Risa at all — her entire existence was dedicated to gymnastics.
In the sixth grade, Risa was approached by Inadate Nozomi, who gave her the Brain Burst program. In the three years that followed, Risa managed to reach Level 6 — a very distinguished level. However, Risa herself possessed very little interest in the Accelerated World, having little desire to learn more about the mysterious world and its vast secrets. In her mind, gymnastics was the only thing that mattered, the only “true” existence; Brain Burst was simply a game that she could relieve stress in without wasting time.
As such, Risa continued to train, having very little connection to the world around her, seeing only the goal of reaching the Olympics and performing Racovita’s jump.
Risa believes that her sole purpose is to reach the Olympics in gymnastics and perform the miraculous four-fold somersault called Racovita’s jump. The singularity of this goal and Risa’s determination to achieve it results in her disregarding interpersonal relationships. Having no desire to understand what her peers think of her, she can be perceived to be quite cold. In fact, her only close real-life friend is Inadate Nozomi, who is also her Brain Burst parent by the duel avatar name of Mimosa Bongo.
As such, when she injured her legs in a horrific gymnastics accident (which she believed would end her future in the sport), she completely broke down. Absolutely devasted, she sought to abandon the real world, which held no more meaning to her, and desired to stay with Nyx forever in the Unlimited Neutral Field.
Risa has brown hair pulled in a ponytail and emerald green eyes. As a top-class gymnast, she is rather slim and very physically fit.
The color scheme of Risa’s duel avatar “Nitride Uncia” is mainly white with purple and black accents. Her main body is light-gray, hence the name “Uncia” (Scientific name for snow leopard: Panthera uncia), and her head is topped with two cat-like ears. Her chest and joints are fitted with purple armor, and her fur-like dress is dotted with black pawprints.
SPOILERS for Return to Eternity. Click to show
After merging with Nyx, half of her duel avatar became pitch-black, darker than night. Furthermore, her left eye gained an emerald green glow, and two small wings emerged out of her back, sticking out like the ends of a scarf.
Leap to Infinity
In a Brain Burst duel, Risa sat together with her Parent Mimosa Bongo at the top of a huge cliff. There, Mimosa told her of the Level-9 exclusive command “Physical Full Burst”, which accelerated a Linker’s physical body by a hundred times. Hearing the incredible potential of the ability, Risa began pondering the use of it in gymnastics. Thinking out loud, she mused that she wanted to experience the fourfold somersault dubbed “Racovita’s Jump”—which she had been dreaming about ever since she was a child—no matter the cost.
At this, Mimosa, knowing the determination of her Child, began to plead for Risa not to risk her life to attempt the jump, saying that sports weren’t created to have athletes risk their lives for a single instant of glory. Hearing this, Risa reassured her Parent, who was in tears, that she would not do anything foolish. Soon afterwards, the two left the duel field.
That afternoon, Risa’s mother drove her home from school. In the car, Risa reflected on her mother’s recent behavior. Her mother had always been supportive of her gymnastics career, but recently, her overprotectiveness had gone past reasonable bounds. Furthermore, she seemed to have stopped distinguishing Risa from herself. Pondering these thoughts, Risa closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep.
After eating dinner (which had been carefully calibrated by her mother in terms of nutritional value) and performing her daily set of exercises (carefully supervised by her mother), Risa went to take a bath. There, she connected to the global net and opened the Brain Burst program. Choosing the name Comet Squeaker from the matching list, she began the duel.
In the duel field, which was currently in the Factory stage, Risa changed into her snow leopard form and began running to meet her opponent. Suddenly, a large, squeaky toy hammer fell from the sky, just barely missing Risa. Leaping up onto the roof of a nearby building, she came face-to-face with Comet Squeaker, who was slightly disappointed that her Enhanced Armament had missed.
Curious about how she had been detected, Risa questioned Comet. After a moment of hesitation, Comet responded that she had recently chosen her Level 6 bonus. At this, a small animal that looked like a cross between a squirrel, and monkey, and a rabbit appeared on Comet’s shoulder, introducing itself as “Boleri”. Comet explained that as her Level 6 bonus, she had chosen the “Enhancement of Accessory” option, which had resulted in the creation of Boleri. One of the functions of the pet was that it could act as a “scout”—it was this that had revealed Risa’s location to Comet.
After this exchange, Risa asked Comet if she could talk to her about something. Happily agreeing, Comet led her to a peaceful rooftop above a quiet mansion. There, Risa explained that recently, she had begun to develop a fear of the gymnastics horse—the apparatus used in the vaulting event. When running up to the horse, Risa could not bring herself to run fast enough; her body naturally limited itself to only eighty-percent of her top speed. As such, she could not build up enough momentum to complete the Produnova’s Jump—a high difficulty triple-somersault that she wished to perform at the national championships taking place in two months, which was her only ticket to the 2048 Olympic Games.
Hearing her troubles, Comet suggested that she could train in the Unlimited Neutral Field. As time passed a thousand times slower there, Risa would have all the time she needed to prepare.
The next day, Risa asked Mimosa Bongo, who in real life was called Inadate Nozomi, to accompany her to the Unlimited Neutral Field. Nozomi agreed, and gave Risa a set of instructions to dive into the Unlimited Neutral Field.
That night at ten o’clock p.m., Risa dove into the Unlimited Neutral Field, which was currently in the “Sacred Ground” stage, and met with Nozomi. Although Nozomi was supportive of Risa’s plan to train in the Unlimited Neutral Field, she was also slightly worried—her parent had done the same thing, diving into the Field for years at a time to train for gymnastics. In the end, she had been mysteriously deprived of all her Burst Points during a long dive in the Unlimited Neutral Field, and was robbed of all her memories of Nozomi. The next time Nozomi saw her, she didn’t seem to recognize her at all.
At this point, Nozomi began to cry. After being cheered up by Risa, she made her promise to not stay in the Unlimited Neutral Field for more than eighty-three days (two hours in the real world) at a time.
Soon afterwards, the two travelled to the Yoyogi stadium. Before she left Risa to her own devices, however, Nozomi gave her one final warning to not enter Yoyogi park. In the early days of Brain Burst, the park had been the home to a labyrinth known as the Fifth Great Dungeon. However, this one was far more dangerous that the other four—in the very first raid, many Burst Linkers were trapped in an Infinite Enemy Kill by the powerful Enemy that ruled the dungeon. As such, it had been deemed to be too dangerous and was forever sealed. With this cryptic warning, Nozomi left the Unlimited Neutral Field.
Right before she was about to enter the stadium, however, Risa felt as if someone had called out to her . . .
Two months later, Risa competed at the 101st National Qualifying Championships. When it was her turn to vault, Risa calmly ran towards the horse at full speed, with each step performed flawlessly—the countless months of training she had done in the Unlimited Neutral Field had paid off. Right as she leapt onto the springboard, however, a terrible crunch reverberated throughout her being—the springboard had snapped. Launched by the broken springboard, Risa flew uncontrollably through the air. In those terrifying instants, Risa realized that an impact at such a speed would do severe damage to her spine; in the worst case scenario, she would never be able to do gymnastics again. She could almost hear her future shattering to pieces.
Right then, she heard someone’s voice calling to her—the same one that had called out to her right before she had entered Yoyogi stadium two months ago. In the instant before she crashed into the ground, Risa called out a single command: Unlimited Burst.
Launched off the malfunctioning springboard, Risa crashed into the ground, suffering great injury, and was immediately transported to the hospital. All the while, she remained in a sort of comatose state—she had stayed within the Unlimited Neutral Field.
In the instant before she had hit the ground, Risa had dived into the Unlimited Neutral Field. Knowing that her body would surely be crashing into the ground at that very moment—shattering her dreams with it—and having all the time to ponder upon it, yet being absolutely powerless to do anything, Risa wandered the Field, completely broken. Near Yoyogi park, she was taken in by Nyx, who empathized with her. There, she expressed her one wish: to stay within the Unlimited Neutral Field forever, never returning to the real world—a world that held no more meaning now that her dreams had been shattered. Nyx granted her wish, allowing her eternal sleep in her castle. Furthermore she used a superpowered form of her Black Cloud ability to nullify the Social Security Cameras, the nodes of the Accelerated World, blocking all other Burst Linkers from entering Brain Burst in order to ensure that no one could disturb Risa from her sleep.
However, Silver Crow and Black Lotus, aided by the other five Kings, managed to break through the Black Cloud and Nyx’s defense. Meeting Risa in the Highest Level, they managed to convince her to return to the real world. Bidding farewell to Nyx, she exited the Unlimited Neutral Field after several weeks of continuous diving. A few days later, after she had recovered a bit, she was visited by the two Nega Nebulus members who had saved her along with other members of the legion.
Return to Eternity
After Risa was visited by Nega Nebulus, she spent some time with Nozomi in her hospital room. Eating the fruit-jelly cups that Nozomi had brought, the two talked about the events that had transpired recently—namely, the infamous black-cloud incident. Risa could not understand why Nyx had done so much to help her. After all, she was a Super-Class Enemy with power on par with that of the Four Gods; why had she gone to such great lengths for someone as insignificant as Risa?
Harboring unresolved confusion, Risa explained to Nozomi that she had unfinished business in the Unlimited Neutral Field. Without dealing with it, she would not be able to return to gymnastics. Nozomi, expecting this, agreed under one condition: she was coming with her. After a bit of argument, Risa agreed for Nozomi to come with her to the Unlimited Neutral Field. Realizing that they may encounter powerful Enemies in the Field, the two decided to invite Comet Squeaker and members of the Black Legion to come with them. Agreeing to meet at half past ten at Shimotakaido Station in the Unlimited Neutral Field, Nozomi left the hospital. After she left, Risa sent an email to Haruyuki requesting a dive call.
Haruyuki, who had just woken up, received the email and accepted the request, initiating a dive call with Risa. After a brief greeting, Risa began sharing what had been troubling her recently. Prefacing that what she would say was very strange, she explained that, throughout her life, she felt that only Nyx had been able to truly reach her deep down. However, contrary to her expectations, Haruyuki was not surprised. He understood immediately what she was trying to say—after all, he himself had ties with Metatron. Guessing the purpose of the meeting, he asked if Risa wanted to see Nyx again. A bit shaken, Risa confirmed that that was indeed correct. Haruyuki agreed to help her and explained that he would contact his Nega Nebulus comrades to assist them.
At half past ten, Risa dived into the Unlimited Neutral Field, which was currently in the spooky “Sabbath” stage. Immediately, she was greeted by Nozomi and Comet, who began to banter. Suddenly, a silvery light shot down from the sky, and Haruyuki arrived, carrying Ardor Maiden and Black Lotus. Shocked by the appearance of the famed “World End” and “Testarossa,” Nozomi and Comet stood motionless. Meanwhile, Boleri, Comet’s rabbit-squirrel-monkey accessory, took advantage of the moment of shock and introduced himself. In response, Metatron commented that the accessory had a rather functional language module, which only added to the shock once Nozomi and Comet realized who she was.
Work in Progress
Her "Brain Burst" Character is Nitride Uncia, whose appearance is a feline humanoid avatar based on the snow leopard. She has cat ears, with long hair down to her backside. Has violet color inner cat-like ears and eyes, and chest pas on a light violet belly frame. She also appears to wear a heel-style at the bottom of her feet. She also has a silver-black string headband, and her outfit comes with a backless dress style attach to her avatar's fury theme.
- Her Duel Avatar appears as an extra character in Accel World VS. Sword Art Online where she reveals hints about meeting the Burst Linkers in the film
- Although Risa's duel avatar was named "Nitride Uncia" by the Brain Burst system, she insists on being called "Nitride Unica", believing it to sound better
- Leap to Infinity: “[Risa] could not imagine how she would meet with someone, get married, and give birth to a child . . . There was no such desire within her . . . but deep down, Risa still believed that if she went to the Olympics and performed Racovita's jump, the rest would not matter . . . Risa did not want anything more — she had trained for seven years solely for this purpose.”
- Return to Eternity: “Half of [Risa’s] light gray avatar had turned darker than night. Furthermore, her left eye now shone with a clear emerald light, and behind it grew two small wings sticking out like the ends of a scarf.”