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Log Horizon – 25 (END)

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「天秤祭」 (Tenbin-sai)
“Libra Festival”

Amid the chaos of the Libra Festival, Shiroe meets a very, very dangerous woman. It looks like Shiroe has his eyes set on something bigger than going home, and we’re getting a Season 2!

Fight Forgery With Forgery

As expected, Lord Malves got owned! His gambit was simple – show up with a bunch of cargo and some forged documents to make a big stink amid the chaos. It’s petty, yes, and there’s not much to gain – a little friction between Eastal and the Round Table, at most – but that’s politics, where you score points whenever you can. Plus there wasn’t much risk, since it was implied that Malves didn’t even bother to bring the cargo, the cheap bastard. Unfortunately, Shiroe doesn’t play fair. Not only did he bring Krusty and Michitaka along to put the squeeze on, he forged a document right back at Malves. That’s a prime example of why you shouldn’t tell such an easily verifiable lie in politics – once you start, you can’t say shit when someone does it back to you. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter, Malves. You don’t get to win when Shiroe is in evil bastard-mode.

Bad Cop Shiroe

I’ve always been curious as to whether Shiroe was intentionally playing the bad cop, or whether it was in his nature and he felt more comfortable shunting people’s attention away from him. This episode tells me the answer is both. He’s definitely playing the bad cop intentionally, like when he made Lenessia “hate” him – though I don’t think she can hate Shiroe when she seems to like a monster like Krusty – and…well, basically everything he does ever. I still think there’s a strong strain of him not being comfortable as the center of attention though, and playing the bad guy is the best way he knows how to do that.

But here’s the element of Shiroe’s personality that I find fascinating (one of them) – when Minori asked whether everyone hating him bothered him, it seemed like he had never even thought about it. That is a strength, my friends. While it can be useful to be liked, no one should let other’s opinions of them determine their self-worth, and Shiroe has taken that lesson to heart so instinctively that he doesn’t even realize that others hating him should bother him. Your opinions do not matter to Shiroe, everyone, unless you’re one of his family or closest friends. Everyone else can think whatever the hell they want.

Akatsuki’s Discontent

I imagine this will come back when the story continues later on – Season 2, woohoo! – but Akatsuki was quite the melancholy chibiko this episode, and I understand why. While Minori and Nyanta proved themselves to be perceptive and sympathetic to Shiroe’s problems and concerns, Akatsuki was beside him the whole time and didn’t notice a thing. Akatsuki is a regular gamer, someone who plays her role well but is out of her depth in the political world we’ve been swimming in. Matching her with Shiroe and pitting her against women like Minori and Henrietta is interesting because it gives us obstacles to a (hopeful) Shiroe x Akatsuki end other than the traditional the-main-character-is-as-thick-as-a-pool-full-of-cement (AKA Ichikaitus). That’s a more interesting conflict than a dense protagonist, because it’s internal and one we don’t see all the time.

The Ruler of the West

We finally have an antagonist of sorts, and her name is DariellaNureha (Saito Chiwa), a Lv 90 Fox Tail Enchanter and the guild master of the only guild in Minami, Plant Hwyaden. Whereas Shiroe shaped Akihabara into a benevolent oligarchy by buying the guild hall, Nureha used the local nobles to buy the cathedral and force everyone into her guild. She lies compulsively, she uses people without a thought, she’s powerful enough to restart the transport gates (kind of), and like Shiroe she can bend the rules of the world to her will. As is fitting for the women of Log Horizon, she’s very interesting, very intelligent, and very dangerous.

Her back story is of interest, because it’s one I’m sure a few of us can relate to. Where she felt plain and boring in real life, she found Elder Tale, hoping that here there was something where she could be special – but that turned out to be a lie as well. The real question is, what does she want now? She’s throwing out yandere vibes all over the place, and she says she wants Shiroe and will do anything for him, so the easy answer is that she’s seeking that “special” feeling in a relationship with Shiroe. I’m not sure that’s the whole answer, though. She offered Shiroe help in creating a Fraction spell that will send people back to Earth, but did she mean it? I got the impression she might have been saying that to get Shiroe to come to her side, so she could sink her teeth into him and protect the world where she’s finally become something special. But that seems too easy as well, doesn’t it?

For now, I’ll settle for “both, and also other reasons I haven’t thought of yet.” At this point I’m not even sure she’ll be the final antagonist of the series, even though she’s giving throwing out foreshadowing to that effect. She’s an enigma, and an interesting one, but you should be careful, Shiroe. The one thing I’m sure of is that she’s dangerous as hell.

Shiroe’s Reason

Yandere I-will-give-you-anything-you-want vibes aside, Nureha actually had a point. Why does Shiroe do everything he does? He does so much, and yet he’s mistrusted for it. Why? Why bother? Why does he try? It’s never been clear why Shiroe does so much work. He has a vague sense of right and wrong, but his reasons have never been made clear.

Here’s the difference between Shiroe and Nureha: while Shiroe is a liar, Nureha is a liar to her core. Shiroe will lie, trick, swindle, manipulate, forge documents, kill – buying the guild hall, the Crescent Burger recipe, Lord Malves, the negotiations with Eastal, I could go on and on… – but he has a strong core that he will not violate. He doesn’t care what most people think of him, but he does care about those closest to him, his family and friends, his guild. And you know what? It’s all for them. Shiroe is brilliant because–well, to quote the man himself:

“Being strong on your own is meaningless. To use your power, you need other people, and they need a world where they can all be at their best.”

Shiroe realized that he couldn’t just protect his own little slice of Yamato. For him and his friends to be happy, they needed a world where they could be their best. Most people are only as good as the system they’re in, so Shiroe set about changing the entire system – stabilizing Akihabara, and then making it flourish – all for his small group of friends.

Nureha, on the other hand, appears to have no such foundation. She lied about meeting Shiroe–or did she? Everything she says is instantly suspect, because she has no firm ground to stand on, nothing she believes in. Shiroe may lie about a lot of things, but it’s in the service of those he wants to protect. Nureha, from what I’ve seen so far, will discard anything in the pursuit of her latest obsession. And even then, Shiroe will be an enemy for her, whenever she finds a reason. You just can’t stop playing the bad cop, can you Shiro-bou?

Looking Ahead – Something Much Bigger

A good series needs a good ending, and Log Horizon’s first season delivers. With the news that Shiroe is close to a Fraction spell that could send people back to Earth – for now, all he knows is that it makes them disappear – it seems like the obvious way forward is that Log Horizon will work towards getting back home.

No. Shiroe has something much bigger in mind, and I have no idea what it is. All I know is that it’s bigger than returning home, it involves Shiroe and the others leaving Akihabara, and Regan might be coming along. If that isn’t enough to get you pumped up for Season 2, I don’t know what to tell you. I can’t wait for more!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – We finally meet an antagonist in the very dangerous (& possibly yandere) Ruler of the West, Nureha. Also, season 2 inc, woo! #loghorizon 25

Random thoughts:

  • Marie-nee was beautiful, Nyanta was dapper, and Rudy and Isuzu were like some kind of disco-Jetsons couple, but twintail Akatsuki was so hnnnng~!!
  • Marie-nee, you continue to be the best. As least now when you’re treated like a doll you get a hug, eh Lenessia? Ufufu~
  • “Being strong on your own is meaningless.” I’ve been trying to avoid doing this, but YA HEAR THAT, KIRITO!? *throws down*
  • Side note: Have we met or heard of this Ooshima person Shiroe was looking for before he met Nureha? I don’t remember hearing that name before.
  • They’re already planning more festivals? Screw it, I’m in. More genki Marie-nee pleeeease!
  • And just to think, it all started with a hamburger that had some flavor. Hamburgers and potatoes sure can be impressive, eh?
  • The ‘ol knee to the face. That little skit had to happen one last time before the season ended.
  • Pay attention to that coin. Something tells me it’s going to be important later on.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: The easiest to not do, Realism, cynicism, & the unreasonable man, Weak business models, and Combat scenes – Blocking & initiative order.

Full-length images: 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, 39.

Epilogue:

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Final Impressions

To date, I’ve only blogged two non-split two-cour shows: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and Log Horizon. I’m always hesitant to pick up two-cour shows, because I’m a stubborn bastard who doesn’t like to drop anything, but while I can stick through a one-cour series even if it’s not good – I’m looking at you, Gen’ei – the thought of half a year of forced posts is enough to make me turn aside. I also just like to change up what I’m blogging about after a while. I pick up two-cour series only with great reluctance.

I’m damn glad I picked up Log Horizon.

Log Horizon is epic hard fantasy the likes of which we rarely see. And by epic, I don’t mean “damn, that’s cool!”, I mean that it encompasses the entire known world, with consequences for every living being and a plot that exists on the national or world stage most of the time. (Side note: I’d call it high hard fantasy, but that just sounds dirty.) The attention to detail and the level of thought that goes into everything about Log Horizon is awe-inspiring, though for Touno-sensei it appears to be par for the course. This is fantasy so detailed it borders on sci-fi, which is exactly how I like it. Hell, that’s how I write it. I watched Log Horizon after most of my novel was finished, but I assure you it’ll be an influence on later works. There are already similarities aplenty, and I didn’t plan that.

Attention to detail truly is the name of the game here, not just in the world, but with the characters too. The big one is of course Shiroe, who, even with a strong cast, still makes this series. Seeing a support in the leading role is something you almost never see, much less one who dons a slasher smile and scary shiny glasses in the service of good. Add in all the other gloriously evil (but for the side of good) megane characters, the strong, complex female characters, and even others who started off annoying, only to become totally amazing before long (love ya, Rudy), the characters in this are all lively, detailed, and interesting. Oh, and all the OTPs. I’ll trade in a harem any day of the week for a story with a bunch of OTPs, though Shiroe’s Akatsuki / Minori / Henrietta situation is pretty strong. + Nureha? Scary.

Speaking of, one thing that especially interests me is how long this series has gone without a true antagonist – and in fact, it’s still debatable whether Nureha or anyone else will end up filling that role. I recently got one of my RL friends to start watching this series – which was quite an accomplishment, since he doesn’t traditionally like anime – and he remarked upon the series’ lack of a major antagonist. I smiled, and said that Log Horizon may get one some day, but it doesn’t need one. After all, who’s the villain in any MMORPG?

It’s the game. Log Horizon, like Maoyuu before it, has always been about the world as much as the characters. We’ve gone nearly two full seasons without a hint of a major antagonist, and it worked well. Touno-sensei’s worlds have a habit of throwing up enough obstacles all on their own.

Of course, there’s the one comparison that is inevitable when making an MMORPG anime, and it’s one I’ve been avoiding because I don’t want to kick up a bunch of hate. Well screw that, I’m talking about it now. Log Horizon is a better story than Sword Art Online in my opinion, but as far as which one is the better MMORPG story, the contest becomes inarguable. After watching SAO, Divine mentioned that some of our writers were judging it too harshly, and that it was a fine fantasy story – and he was right. If SAO were based in some made up world then it would have been totally fine. It was based on an MMORPG though, and it violated the one rule central to absolutely every MMORPG – you are not hot shit. You are not the destined hero. If you want to get anything done, you’d better gather 25-100+ of your best friends, because alone you are not worth shit, buster.

While SAO tossed that rule aside, Log Horizon worked in the best tradition of late 90′s and early 2000′s MMORPGs. Shiroe was powerful, and he even managed to break the rules of the world, but he was never the destined hero. Everything that Shiroe did and has become is because he chose to do it, and then worked hard to make it happen. Shiroe, Akatsuki, Naotsugu, Nyanta, Minori, Tohya, Rudy, Isuzu, Marielle, Henrietta, Serara, Shoryuu, Krusty, Lenessia, Misa, Michitaka, Karashin, Isaac, Rodrick, Kanami, Soujiro, Nazuna, the rest of Soujiro’s harem, the rest of the Round Table, the PK group, etc…not a single one of them had to do a thing. They all could have languished, and let Akihabara fall apart while they focused on protecting their own little slice of the world.

But they didn’t. Each and every one of them chose to stand up, and they’ve already changed the world for having done so. They weren’t chosen, they chose themselves. That’s one of the many reasons Log Horizon is a great story, and why I’ll be looking forward to its return in the fall of this year. Here’s to more Log Horizon! Sometimes, the good ones really do get to keep going.

March 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm
182 comments »
  • March 24, 2014 at 4:54 pmjustin

    Looking forward for Season 2!!! and it’s coming soooon!!

    • March 24, 2014 at 8:38 pmDa5id

      But there’s only 2 books left to adapt…

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:23 pmSilentCid

        There are more coming very soon. Volume 8 focuses on Isuzu.

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:50 amGlacierfairy

        Not just Isuzu I’d say, but the entire beginner’s group. I’m actually more interested in seeing Tohya’s development because he didn’t really stand out in season 1 compared to his sister and his friends.

      • March 25, 2014 at 5:44 amExukvera

        Unless Touno-sensei is already wrapping the series up, they must be working on an anime-original ending, or even considering the possibility of a season 3. Who cares! If there is a series from the current roster that demands a follow-up, is this one.

      • March 25, 2014 at 8:28 amZannafar

        Maybe season 2 will only have 13 episodes or have a much slower pacing to avoid an anime original ending or getting ahead of the novels.

      • March 25, 2014 at 2:02 pmAdam

        Plus a pair of spin off manga [They can probably get most of a recap of the situation episode out of the West Wind one.]

        And however much of Log Horizon EX there is.

        There’s enough there for a cour before hitting Vol 8+.

    • March 25, 2014 at 11:46 amDark

      Well we have a bunch of side story material to work with. They can probably do something with that.

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:35 pmKrono

        Most of the side story material overlaps chronologically with the first few episodes of the series. They’ll be hard pressed to do anything with most of it.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:13 pmmac65

    Enjoyed the series, but last ep was anti-climatic. Oh well, can’t wait for moar!

    • March 24, 2014 at 5:30 pmUngas123

      Can’t be helped, the novel isn’t finished yet. So no conclusive ending unless going for anime original.

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:14 pmStilts

        I prefer what we got. It means we can pick things up smoothly when Season 2 starts.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:16 pmhaseo0408

    This world better prepare, Shiroe finally has his eyes set beyond Akihabara, this may sound crazy but I think all the story so far was a warn up for Shiroe, now he knows this world better and what he has but in motion will never stop so we are for quite a ride. ALL HAIL THE VILLAN IN GLASSES!!!.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:17 pmDualash

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Log Horizon since it became such a detailed and ironically vibrant world. Though I would nitpick on some details and redundancies occurring with the show, it definitely delivered a kind of plot where we could see how each character played a role and why they acted during each situation.

    Now in terms of comparing the two, I don’t really care if people judge Log Horizon or Sword Art Online as the better story since both take up a different approach towards their genre; I love Sword Art Online for the kinetic action and creativity with the bosses and world, though there was not enough development with the world or the characters. For Log Horizon, Mamare Touno did a great job illustrating a world, explaining the battle mechanics, and characterizing the people in the MMORPG (though I did felt a lack of action at times of the conference, and I am still curious as to what Shiroe’s life and ambitions were before Log Horizon). In overall, both shows have their merits and flaws, but as an anime watcher I’ve enjoyed both of them and I can’t wait for their continuations.

    • March 24, 2014 at 5:25 pmhaseo0408

      You have a good point there Dualash-san, Sword Art Online is more about Kirito as Kawahara said so many now; Log Horizon is about a whole world, the misteries and the society the adveturers are creating and changing with their interactions, ideals and ambitions.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:11 pmStilts

      Ahhh, but my point wasn’t that a focus on Kirito as opposed to the world was bad. Not at all, that part is fine. My point was that a central characteristic of MMORPGs is that no one is inherently special, so the fact that Kirito inherently was violates the very basis of the story’s own world. That’s a different thing entirely.

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:37 pmKrono

        I would say that Shiroe is more inherently special than Kirito. Other people organize the raids in SAO, and lead the guilds fighting to get out, not Kirito. He could die at any point and all it would mean that it might take longer for people to get out, and more people would die along the way. The only “unique” aspect about him is something that someone else would get after his death, and it’s possible someone else who would have been more worthy than him died early on.

        For Log Horizon on the other hand, nothing happens without Shiroe being the mover behind it. Without Shiroe, Serara doesn’t get rescued. Without Shiroe, the Round Table Council never gets founded. As such they might end up never dealing with the nobles, and the goblin army doesn’t get opposed. Without Shiroe, Rudy dies. Without Shiroe, Malves succeeds. He’s the irreplaceable genius without whom they would meet disaster after disaster.

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:15 pmStilts

        But everything that Shiroe does is by his choice, effort, or skill. Nothing is handed to him, and he could have easily done nothing. Kirito, on the other hand, became the anointed hero when he was given dual wielding when no one else was.

        Yes, Shiroe isn’t a dull everyman, but he’s only special through his own efforts or through skills and abilities that are achievable within the bounds of the MMORPG concept. Kirito got skills and abilities no one else did just /because/. That’s the difference.

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:21 pmDualash

        Completely agreed with you Stilts *Buries Stilts in a pile of Akatsuki dolls*

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:39 pmSK

        To be fair, Kirito got dual-wielding because Kayaba wanted it that way. SAO had a “chosen one” because the creator of the game had that intent from the beginning, to have a hero figure to rally around after Kayaba revealed himself. It does make it feel like less of an MMO, but in-story, there is a logical reason why one player was given special abilities. This still doesn’t explain what happened at the end of the SAO arc, which really breaks the idea that it’s a game with hard-coded rules, but that’s a tangent for some other time.

        So yes, if I’m considering which one I think captures the MMORPG idea better, Log Horizon does a far better job. And though I do enjoy SAO, the game itself ended up straying from the MMO idea that it doesn’t quite live up to the billing of an MMORPG anime. Also, some of Kirito’s abilities in later arcs get kinda ridiculous, even if somewhat(?) explainable.

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:52 pmHanabira.Kage

        Volume 7 of SAO hasn’t been animated yet (that’s after the next arc), but someone even stronger than Kirito shows up. Remember how Kayaba said that the Dual Blades skill was given to the player with the fastest reflexes? This other person has even faster reflexes than Kirito; godlike even. By admission of Kirito himself, if this other person had been trapped in SAO like he was, she would have been the one to receive the skill instead of him.

        Also, it is implied that there may have been more than two unique skills, it’s just that the users either died or never showed up.

        I really don’t like how they handled the SAO anime. By cutting out Kirito’s monologues, they totally ruined his characterisation. Of course, he wasn’t the best protagonist ever (he’s pretty awesome in the Alicisation arc, but that’s still a ways off), but the anime really made a mess of things.

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:58 pmHanabira.Kage

        Sorry for the double-post.

        @SK: The only “later arc” in which Kirito has ridiculous abilities is Phantom Bullet. Show Spoiler ▼

        In Mother’s Rosario he does a pseudo dual-wielding thing, but he ends up losing anyway, and he also mentions he hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:49 pmSK

        I wasn’t referring to anything in Alicization, I was referring to both the skill you mentioned in the GGO arc, as well as what it led to when he shows up briefly in Mother’s Rosario. The latter skill depends highly on his experience with the former, and is equally as ridiculous. The reasoning behind most of his skills is that he has developed incredible reflexes in VR, so the series remains consistent in the justification of them. Even his knack for breaking weapons (duel with Kuradeel) was a byproduct of that.

        I’m gonna stop derailing the topic with any more SAO talk, but I do agree with others below about SAO being a fantasy masquerading as an MMO rather than a true representation of an MMO.

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:23 amKrono

        But everything that Shiroe does is by his choice, effort, or skill. Nothing is handed to him, and he could have easily done nothing. Kirito, on the other hand, became the anointed hero when he was given dual wielding when no one else was.

        Yes, Shiroe isn’t a dull everyman, but he’s only special through his own efforts or through skills and abilities that are achievable within the bounds of the MMORPG concept. Kirito got skills and abilities no one else did just /because/. That’s the difference.

        @Stilts

        Kirito receiving dual blades anointed him as user of dual blades, nothing more. He and Asuna could have retired from the front lines and stayed in the cabin the rest of the game, and other people would go on to unlock other unique skills (which did exist despite the anime’s omission of the mention of them), and eventually someone else, not necessarily someone with a unique skill would have defeated Kayaba. In short, Kirito is entirely replaceable. At no point was he critical to success or destined to be the only one who could defeat Kayaba. He could have easily done nothing.

        As for choices, everything Kirito does is of his own choice as well. Kirito receiving dual blades out of the blue is no different than Regun seeking out Shiroe out of the blue to tell Shiroe all about World Fractions, classes of magic, and soul theory. Both of them are cases of them receiving something of critical value unsought, based on who they are, and choices they made in the past with not a clue that it would result in that.

        Or to put it another way, Dual Blades and other unique skills are like that one of a kind Phantasmal Gear that Issac, Crusty, and Soujiro are walking around with. Kirito just happened to be the first one to find one, and the game ended before anyone else was lucky enough to find one.

      • March 25, 2014 at 2:06 amJHN

        Aww man, Mother’s Rosario had to be brought up. ;^;
        First time something actually made me cry.

      • March 25, 2014 at 8:32 amStilts

        But still, the fact remains that Shiroe’s character is not at all unique, whereas Kirito’s was because, as others pointed out, Kayaba decided he wanted someone to oppose him. Yes he could have retired – he could have refused the call, in trope terms – but the fact remains that he received a call to adventure because he was special. Shiroe did not. There was no call – he and everyone else just did their own thing because they wanted to. There’s nothing special about them whatsoever, except for everything they’ve done and everything inside their heads that makes them them.

      • March 25, 2014 at 3:33 pmCodexVII

        Correct me if I’m wrong Stilts but during Kirito’s duel with Heathcliff, didn’t Heathcliff mention that Kirito obtained his dual wield skill by being the player with the quickest reaction time in the game?

        It was a side comment which was probably why it was taken for granted and arguably why his ability isn’t justified but I thought I’d point it out.

      • March 26, 2014 at 11:56 pmSK

        @CodexVII
        The point isn’t that his abilities aren’t justified; it’s that it breaks the concept of MMORPGs that no one player is special (or EVERYONE is a hero, and therefore no single person is THE ONE). Everyone in an MMO should have the capability to be one of the top players. It will take a lot of time and effort, and I might have missed out on some limited time event items, but I can still get to the same point that someone of my class/race/profession has gotten to.
        Put it this way: let’s say I’m one of millions of players playing WoW, but I get a unique OP ability that absolutely no one else has, and will not have the ability to obtain. What would be the reaction of every other player? I’m accused of being hacker noob, and once Blizzard says it’s 100% legit, an avalanche of complaints gets sent to Blizzard whining for their own unique ability. Basically everyone (rightfully) feels screwed that I somehow got that ability, and no one else is capable of getting it. Sure, there may be things like in-game lotteries for a rare, possibly unique item, but those are usually cosmetic things, and everyone has a shot to get it. Even the ones that have tangible benefit in-game aren’t absolute game-breakers, like dual-wielding is, and will have something roughly equivalent available to obtain in some other fashion. (If you’ve read the GGO arc, Sinon gets extremely lucky as a noob in getting her Hecate, but it’s not like it wasn’t available for anyone who found it, she just happened to be the first one there)
        That inherent imbalance from one player to another is just not how an MMORPG is supposed to be, and in that way SAO fails as an MMO anime.

    • March 25, 2014 at 10:50 amVagrant

      Given that Kirito is “the chosen one” I feel that having a weak(ish) set of supporting characters, at least compared to LH, only compounds the problem(s). Add in the fact that sometimes they tossed women at the mc for harems sake. While the only interesting supporting cast members have a bad case of Kirito in the brain.

      It opens with an interesting story, system, world, characters, etc. But by the time season 2 hits, it all faded into the background and you were left with at it’s best drama, at it’s worst harem, which so to speak wasn’t what I signed up for in the first few episodes.

      The LH world felt more alive that the actions of the mc, the supporting cast, even the NPC’s affects not only the world but each other to a degree. It felt like it all mattered in the grand scheme of things. In SAO all that mattered was Kirito wanted Asuna back and the only real complications were hearts getting broken.

      That said, I do wish LH had higher production values behind it, and maybe targeted a slightly older demographic so it wasn’t sanitized(?) too much, and a studio known for doing a lot more “sakuga” worthy scenes (Bones, or Trigger com to mind).

      • March 26, 2014 at 3:53 amRandom Comment

        I.G for me =3

      • March 26, 2014 at 3:24 pmAggron

        @Dualash Considering Stilts profile pic shouldn’t he be buried in Isuzu dolls instead? :3

      • March 26, 2014 at 4:10 pmStilts

        I prefer Akatsuki dolls. While Rudy is indeed awesome, I only have him as my avatar to pay tribute to that + because I always try to pick blond male avatars (because I too am blond and male). Akatsuki-chwan is love <3

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:23 pmUngas123

    Thank you, Stilts, for blogging this wonderful anime. I hope you can still blog the next season.

    And I thought Log Horizon has few materials regarding 2nd Season(currentlt 2 Arcs + 1 incoming), till I remember there’s Honey Moon Logs, Nishikaze no Ryodan and Overseas to animate.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:15 pmStilts

      I don’t like to make promises, but as long as I’m around, it’s damn likely I’ll blog it. And I plan to be around. So take that as you will : )

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:26 pmVsAllGaming

    Im so glad this series is getting a season 2. I honestly cant wait for it
    I did enjoy the final episode a lot and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Nureha since she seems to be the major villain for season 2.
    Not sure if anyone else will agree but I actually enjoyed Log Horizon more then I did SAO.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:31 pmMichael Chandra

    I think that in the episode where Dariella was first introduced, Shiroe had a quick chat by Telepathy with Ooshima? Not entirely sure. I remember seeing such a scene and going “ah, so they’re foreshadowing him a bit so it’s not entirely out of the blue when the guy doesn’t show”.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:31 pmhaseo0408

    You took the words right out of my mouth, who needs the approval of the world when you have unconditional love of your family. When it really counts that´s a man needs, in the words of historian Chistopher Lasch:

    “Family is a haven in a heartless world”

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:32 pmstarss

    Oh boy! The last episode! I can’t WAIT to see stills on them getting back to the real world.

    *does look, and does NOT see stills on them getting back to the real world*

    *then reads the part in the text that says we’re getting a Season 2*

    … Oh.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:16 pmStilts

      I…were you not watching the show? It’s been public knowledge that they weren’t adapting all of the light novels this season. They all haven’t even been written yet.

      Plus Log Horizon isn’t really a get-out-of-the-MMORPG story. It’s something far bigger.

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:29 pmwxiagz

        Yes, something far bigger as in a harem ending for Shiroe. I mean he already has most of the components: Akatsuki(loli type), Midori(imouto type), Henrietta(Onee-san type) and he just got the yandere type(Nureha). Seriously, all he really needs is maybe a Childhood friend or trap character.

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:15 pmpahlavi5312

        You forgot the Tsundere :)

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:33 pmoliviaven

    Need a Seiyu for an eccentric female character? Saito Chiwa.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:33 pmXacual

    Stilts I encourage you to read the light novel bit with Nureha. It was toned down quite a bit for the anime and really sort of changed one’s perception of her. Well understandable given the station and time slot but still somewhat a waste.

    Anyway thanks for blogging it, I looked forward to seeing your takes on the episodes every week.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:18 pmStilts

      Honestly, can you go ahead and tell me what they changed? Nothing spoilery please, just whatever would have gone on in that scene in the original version. I know myself well enough to know I’ll never go read the light novels. Not enough time, lol

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:16 pmhx37

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Kinda puts her yandere tendencies in a whole different perspective without that line.

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:53 pmKrono

        It’s longish, but here’s the gist of what the anime omitted:

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:30 pmRandom Comment

        To be more exact…
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:55 pmRandom Comment

        Ahhh, what Krono said =3. Feel free to ignore my previous post =3

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:07 amCorin

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 25, 2014 at 8:37 amStilts

        Iiiiinteresting, very interesting. Generally I’ve had few problems with how NHK has all ages’d the story because it has never taken away from the essential character of Log Horizon – I don’t need to have read the light novels to know that, though most of you seem to have corroborated – though this + perhaps some of the…darker consequences of the pretty much slavery that went on earlier in the story are two of the areas that seemed to be a definite loss. This one mostly though, because it’s far more interesting.

        Ah well. For what we got + the season that’s coming, I’ll take a few sub-optimal tweaks. Thanks for the info!

      • March 26, 2014 at 4:02 amRandom Comment

        A bit late, but another part that was left out of this scene is a rare tender moment between the two:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        For me, this rang “OTP!” alarms in my head before I read volume six and seven, even though my preferred pair is HenriettaXShiroe =3

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:33 pmUngas123

    • March 24, 2014 at 5:54 pmCTT

      You know it’s a great anime when the hero makes a face like that. That’s a great slasher face

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:36 pmewok40k

      Announcer:
      “There will be season 2 in Autumn”
      Le Moi:
      “in Palpatine’s voice/making Shiroe’s Megane Villain Face”
      “Good…Good!”
      Plus Nureha is such a great REAL villain to take on!

    • March 28, 2014 at 5:25 pmthe terror of death

      thats what i look like when my family finds out i ate all the cookies i the house lol

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:43 pmCatsrofl

    Its about time a series I really liked actually got a continuation, and so soon no less! Being a huge lover of any good fantasy or sci-fi as well, I just ate up this series (along with maoyuu, though mostly the manga). He just writes such damn good stories in opinion,that,just…what..
    Its a good thing this is getting a season 2 because, while good( Shiroe owning, Akatsuki and Marie-nee looking cute) would have obviously left me with that “I want more” feeling which I have a love/hate thing for. Anyway, I want to say that I love Shiroe and Rudy the most but, every other character is so great in their own right that just… GAHHHH.
    Anyways, season 2, we’re all nice and happy, so now to play the waiting game for a bit.
    Thanks for the good coverage as always.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:44 pmKrono

    The anime had to cut a lot from the Nureha scene, partly for time, and partly for content. One somewhat important thing that did get lost is that Nureha and Shiroe have met before. High level enchanters aren’t a dime a dozen on the server, so between checking out the builds of other enchanters, various parties doing things that call for enchanters etc, Shiroe and Nureha have met in passing a few times. The only thing that’s in question is whether or not Shiroe actually complimented Nureha’s skill.

    but as far as which one is the better fantasy MMORPG story, the contest becomes inarguable.

    See, the thing here is there is no comparison as to which is the better fantasy MMORPG. Not because one is inarguably better than the other, but because Log Horizon is a fantasy MMORPG story, and Sword Art Online is a science fiction MMORPG story. They’re doing entirely almost entirely different things. Not going to argue the rest of it here, but suffice to say I disagree with you.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:23 pmStilts

      Edited the post to clarify. My point wasn’t to quibble over genre, it was to focus on the MMORPG part, where I think Log Horizon is unarguably better than its more popular counterpart.

      • March 24, 2014 at 11:49 pmKrono

        Even if you want to focus on that, I wouldn’t say it’s inarguable. Sure Log Horizon spends more time emphasizing the importance of parties, and is built around more traditional classes.

        However, it starts discarding it’s MMORPG elements the moment that Nyanta reveals that food with taste can be cooked normally. It starts becoming about what they can do outside of the MMO restrictions, and in what ways the MMO restrictions can now be bent, cumulating with Shiroe creating a new subclass out of whole cloth to save Rudy. In short, as time goes on, the MMORPG elements become more and more vestigal, and it becomes more and more of a straight fantasy series masquerading as an MMORPG series. Really, there isn’t much separating it from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

        SAO on the other hand, while it spent more time on Kirito doing stuff largely on his own, remained an MMORPG throughout, and with just a couple of exceptions, bound to the rules of them. While it’s a different MMORPG than people are used to, it’s really no worse an offender in that regard than The World of the .hack franchise has been at times. Indeed, it’s in many respects better that what .hack manages at many times.

      • March 25, 2014 at 8:46 amStilts

        I disagree. While Log Horizon has strayed from being a straight-MMORPG – because it has become clear that the world they’re in is not a game, which is entirely valid and does make it a fantasy story with MMORPG trappings – it has remained faithful to the spirit of an MMORPG, which is that there are no heroes, only a lot of individuals who must work together to accomplish anything of worth. To once again quote Shiroe:

        “Being strong on your own is meaningless. To use your power, you need other people, and they need a world where they can all be at their best.”

        THAT’S the essence of an MMORPG, the central pillar which makes them unique, especially the late 90′s / early 2000′s MMOs that Elder Tale descends from. SAO discarded that, so while Kirito is always playing MMOs, they’re MMOs only in name – they’re basically single-player games where Kirito is the protagonist + a lot of other people playing the role of secondary/minor characters.

        An MMORPG is more like the infinite universe, where each player is a planet or a star, none better than the other. SAO, on the other hand, was an Earth-centric solar system with Kirito at the center. Sorry, I’ve been watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s new Cosmos series, I’ll stop now.

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:45 pmRasen

    So I’ve said it before, but I am genuinely apprehensive about the 2nd season. Unless it’s a 13-episode season, they just don’t have the material for it. The only thing I can think of is that maybe they dip into the stories of West Wind Brigade and Honey Moon Logs, retelling the earlier events of Log Horizon from the perspective of Soujirou’s and Maryele’s guilds.

    Otherwise, we have to home Mamire comes up with new anime-only material. And not go off onto their own, anime-original stuff.

    Also, I am bizarrely irritated that I think more effort went into animating Re Gan’s fingers at the end, than into the rest of the show.

    That being said, Kudos to the director on their adaptation of the written material. Maybe they sacrificed the animation to worry more about the script and direction.

    • March 24, 2014 at 5:50 pmRasen

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to hear when something I like is successful.

      But past history with anime-original stuff makes me cringe.

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:52 pms_w

        Vols. 6 and 7 are out there, published, with a lot of material yet uncovered in the anime. 7 is pretty big for a LN. (But not Horizon big. That’s a whole rank higher.) It’s still pretty dense. Those two should get you 12 eps easily. 7 came out in December, so figure on 8 sometime this summer, and maybe 9 around Christmas, and a 2-cour becomes more do-able, and a one-cour is a slam dunk. (I’m leaning towards a one-cour.)

        Mamare has said that LH is planned for around 15 volumes (I think it was one of the 4chan events?), so we’re about 1/3rd through the story.

        He has also said that the overseas trip short stories have licensing problems that could prevent them from being published, let alone animated.

        Maybe the wild and unexpected success of LH could help push the publishers and producers to do something about those licensing problems, and/or fix things to add that material. It’s about 2-3 episodes’ worth as it stands right now. The character in question does a lot of narrating, so it would be impossible to remove him.

        Anyway, I loved the hell out of this series. First one since Horizon to get me excited about watching something on a regular basis like this. I’m looking forward to the fall season. (And more Nakata Jouji!)

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:26 pmStilts

      I don’t disagree. Since the series length hasn’t been released yet, I’m thinking it will probably be one-cour, or at least I’m hoping so. It’s still a bit quick to animate more, but so far the staff have been pretty faithful, so maybe NHK is trying to use Log Horizon to pull in more viewers as much as they can before a lack of source material forces them to stop for a while.

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:34 pmKrono

        I don’t disagree. Since the series length hasn’t been released yet, I’m thinking it will probably be one-cour, or at least I’m hoping so. It’s still a bit quick to animate more, but so far the staff have been pretty faithful, so maybe NHK is trying to use Log Horizon to pull in more viewers as much as they can before a lack of source material forces them to stop for a while.

        A couple things should probably be noted about that.

        First, NHK doesn’t seem too found of doing only one cour series. So while they might do a second season that’s only one cour, odds are better it’ll be two cour again.

        Second, the series being pretty faithful to the light novel thing can probably be mostly attributed to the director Shinji Ishihira. He did basically the same thing with Log Horizon that he did with Fairy Tail. Namely get as much information as he could on the series, be as true to the source material as he could, use the additional information to improve on the source material or fill in plot holes. And when anime original material is called for, try and make it fit in, better explain things, fill plot holes, etc. That’s just the sort of direction he seems to prefer given he’s gotten the same result with two different lead writers on two different series.

        The end result being that we get stuff like Nyanta and Shiroe talking in Shiroe’s office and Shiroe explaining that he’s testing what he can do with his scribe skills. Or Shiroe meeting with Regun again after the battle with the goblins. Or “Dariella” floating around for a few episodes before Nureha reveals herself.

        I bring all this up because Shinji Ishihira will be returning to directing Fairy Tail which starts airing again in just a couple weeks. While the length of Fairy Tail’s next run is unknown, the Saturday morning time slot it’s in usually sell for a year at a time, and between that and the amount of hype Kodansha is giving it, it’s likely to run for at least a year. Which means that unless Shinji Ishihira is capable of directing two series at once, we will likely end up with a different director for season 2.

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:41 pmPancakes

      Very surprised about the one season hiatus, seriously thought they would take at least one year off. Agreed with Stilts that we are likely to see only one new cour before a hiatus takes place; there’s simply not enough time for the source material to provide the story needed.

      Unlikely that an anime-original storyline will occur here as well, Log Horizon is simply too popular to end like that, they’re going to want to milk this as much as possible. After all, Shingeki no Kyojin never got that treatment and it’s if anything even more popular.

      • March 24, 2014 at 8:09 pmXacual

        It’s a two season hiatus, 6 months. We’re finishing winter season now, then we have spring and summer seasons before fall obviously.

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:46 pmPancakes

        Yeah I realized my mistake after submitting the comment, no reason to get snarky about it.

        Either way it’s still an incredibly short window to generate the material needed for even one cour.

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:08 pmdaikama

        @Pancakes: “Either way it’s still an incredibly short window to generate the material needed for even one cour.”

        1-cour (2 1/2 volumes) is no problem. Already have 2 volumes (06 & 07) out so just need one more and the author stated he was working on that in late December last year.

        Question is the second half of a 2-cour run. Assuming same pacing and # of episodes (i.e. 5 LN volumes covered in 25 episodes), a 2-cour run is possible as long as volume 08 is near completion/release. If it’s out by the end of next month (no clue if that will happen), that would leave 5 months until the start of Season 2 for the remaining two required volumes (09 & 10). Guess on my part, but I would think the last volume (10) would not need to be finished for anime scripting/production until the start of Winter 2015 (start of 2nd half of 2-cour run) = 3 more months.

        So my guesstimate is that if volume 08 is released at the end of next month , that would leave about 8 months to finish two more LN volumes. A tight schedule, but feasible one IMO. If volume 08 is released much past the end of next month… not sure what will happen. Maybe season 2 will be 1-cour. IDK.

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:42 pmRandom Comment

        Mamare usually releases new chapters on the web novel page before the publisher does its stuff and so far there has been nothing of the sort. Unless he was told not to do so this time, but I doubt this is the case.

        I suspect he might have been busy juggling research for the new novel (in the 2nd Q&A he mentioned that he was looking into music theory or the such for Isuzu), re-working the troublesome parts in the Dragonhowl Mountains side-story (we’re looking at you, Leonardo =_=), going through the submissions for the class localisation project (poll’s out btw until end of March) and ironing out the fine stuff in the TTRPG.

        Hmmm, yup, I don’t think volume eight would come out soon. Definitely not by this month. Six came out in March last year (in Japan) while seven was published nine months later in December. So eight could take around that amount of time too.

        In any case, I wouldn’t want Mamare to rush his work. May he write in peace and give us yet another fine volume =3

  • March 24, 2014 at 5:45 pmzztop

    Mamare Touno, the LN author, says he intends to start writing the next LN volume soon and intends to end it at 15 volumes.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:01 pmCTT

    I was actually hoping the villain would destroy the guild’s reputation to the point where Shiroe would need to offer himself up as a scapegoat, because whether Shiroe thinks so or not, having a bad public reputation when you’re a member of the governing council is not a good thing. It makes it difficult for your allies to defend you, easy for your enemies to frame or smear you, and difficult for you to defend yourself.

    • March 24, 2014 at 8:13 pmRedRocket

      It can be a bad thing in a democracy but this is an oligarchy with dictator underpinning. Having someone in this form of government be feared as the bad guy is useful as it removes from the public face of the leadership (Krusty and other guild leaders) the negative opinions formed by necessary but unpopular actions the government takes. Yes being the bad guy in non democratic governments can be a weakness during power changes but being feared often can balance that out. And as long as the public faces of the government support actions the bad guy takes public opinion is not a problem. Sort of a good cop, bad cop act on a grand scale. Plus in non democratic government it is best to be loved and feared but if you have to take one feared is way better.

      • March 24, 2014 at 8:25 pmdaikama

        @RedRocket: “Plus in non democratic government it is best to be loved and feared but if you have to take one feared is way better.”

        O.o Not sure how one can be loved and feared at the same time as they seem contradictory (“M types” excluded). IMO, beloved leader >> feared leader.

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:19 pmSK

        Being a loved leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have power; plenty of figurehead leaders are beloved, but not feared. Being loved, by itself, does not make you a good leader. If you are feared, however, you can get the people to move as you command. Even at the beginning of the Round Table, if Shiroe hadn’t bought the guild building, the others would have had nothing to fear, and no reason to agree to anything. He already had at least cordial relations with some, if not all, of the invitees as a famous strategist/member of the Tea Party. If Shiroe wasn’t feared, he may have been able to form some kind of agreement based simply on his prior relationships, but there would have been nothing preventing the more powerful guilds from ignoring it and continuing as they were.

        I would argue it makes it easier for the Round Table if one person draws all the aggro. If an outside group wants to try and splinter them, they have an obvious target, but everyone on the Round Table knows how important and valuable Shiroe is, so they wouldn’t just toss him aside. It also leaves the other members free to do their own thing without having to focus as much on public opinion, since they can be themselves while still appearing better than the bad cop, Shiroe. And most of the others are unfit for the role (Soujirou and Marie are too nice, Krusty and Isaac would seem like they were abusing the power of their combat guilds, ditto for the crafting guild leaders with the economy, dunno anything about the other small guild rep). As Shiroe doesn’t seem bothered by having a bad rep, and he has proven worthy of his rep as a strategist, he should be able to deal with any malicious plots against him relatively easily.

      • March 24, 2014 at 11:35 pmdaikama

        @SK: Sure, loved =/= good leader by default, but same goes for fear =/= good leader (at least as how I define “good”).

        - If you are feared, however, you can get the people to move as you command.

        Not necessarily. That might be true if you constantly have sufficient power over them AND watch them, but you better be wary of a “knife in the back”. Take some RL history examples. Troops under commanders they loved (e.g. WWII Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cole) would go through hell and high water for them to the point of risking their lives time and time again. Troops bound by fear (e.g. WWII POW OST troops), looked for a way to escape and/or surrender, sometimes by killing their German commanders. Feared Roman Emperors Domitian and Caligula were assassinated. Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were despised and feared by the public (the king could arbitrarily order people’s death), and things didn’t turn out very well for them.

        - I would argue it makes it easier for the Round Table if one person draws all the aggro.

        Problem I have with that is that you’re trying to apply MMORPG tactics to politics. There’s no need to “draw aggro” if “aggro” doesn’t exist. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent “aggro” in the first place for this type of situation? IMO voluntary cooperation > forced servitude. Keep in mind that the Round Table is NOT some sort of royalty/ruling class. The anime/LN at times even commented upon how Adventurers voluntarily follow the Round Table’s orders.

      • March 25, 2014 at 7:50 amSK

        I’m assuming RedRocket was taking the idea from Machiavelli, whose original point was that if you are feared but not loved, you can always relax your grip and make yourself seem more benevolent. If you are loved but not feared, it is much harder to instill that fear later on when you need to grab the people’s attention. If you must choose one, pick fear, since it is easier to make the people love you rather than fear you later on.

        True, being a beloved leader generally leads to better morale with your followers, that’s obvious. People are generally better at doing stuff when they want to, rather than being forced into it.

        Assassination isn’t a permanent solution in this setting, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that in Shiroe’s case. If this were RL, sure, dictators can be and often are assassinated. However, I think part of being a good ruler is knowing how far is too far, and stopping before you ever hit that point. The ideal ruler would be feared and loved; the people are willing to give their lives for him, but also know that the ruler will come down with an iron fist if push comes to shove. My point is less of fear > love, but more it is easier to go from feared to feared + loved than it is to go from loved to feared + loved.

        Preventing aggro is a nice idea in theory, but it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely from any large group of humans. Aggro may not be the right word, but I’m referring to any negativity (annoyance, aggravation, frustration, etc.) that people want to vent somewhere. You are not going to have everyone agree with the Round Table on every decision. If you just maintain the status quo indefinitely, someone will want more. If you change something, someone will feel like they got shafted. No matter what actions and decisions are made, some people will be dissatisfied and upset, that’s just human nature. People generally like having something concrete and external to blame, even if it is not the true source of their gripe (e.g. Republicans blaming Obama, Democrats blaming Bush). Even if Shiroe isn’t actually responsible for whatever bothers them, rather than letting it fester as murmurs of discontent towards the entire Round Table, they can voice their vitriol towards the unpopular Shiroe without fearing backlash.

        Even if you can have the internal group in harmony, giving outsiders an obvious target makes it easier to deal with, particularly for Shiroe. We’ve seen that Shiroe handles clever schemes much better than he does random chaos over the course of the last couple of episodes.

        I’m not advocating for the entire Round Table to become villains overnight. What they have going is perfectly fine, gathering adventurers on a voluntary basis as needed for operations. However, you can’t get through everything with everyone playing the hero all the time. When they need someone to do the dirty work, someone to play the role of the villain, they already have someone designated for the role, without worrying about destroying his reputation or changing the public perception.

        Forgot to address your point about being both loved and feared, but have you ever had a tough parent/coach/older sibling/authority figure who you knew wouldn’t take any BS from you, but you loved them anyway? Or a more political example would be Kim Jong Il, of North Korea. Through indoctrination and brainwashing, his people loved him like a god; however, they also feared the consequences if any family member was caught escaping or otherwise going against their government.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:02 pmAnonymosity

    What a wonderful ride it has been, both with Log Horizon and with stilts’ bloggings of it. Both have been among my top 5 anticipated things of the week for half a year, and them ending (momentarily) left some very bigs boots for other series to fill. Kudos to two amazing writers and great anime staff!

    This final episode, while definitely not packed with flashy, breathtaking action, massive thrills or awesome politics/economics, was a very nice finish to the series and preview for the next season (all the foreshadowing!).
    I really liked the scene with all the Log Horizon members eating together and telling Shiroe they would be with him.

    Also, Nureha gave us some nice thrills while the fashion show was simply breathtaking, so I can’t understand what some people are complaining about (on other forums, at least).
    (Chiwa Saito is perfect cast for Nureha!)

    My only complaint is that Nureha’s backstory had to be changed (to fit all ages), but that was expected, and doesn’t change her character as much as some people (on other forums) seem to imply.

    Unrelated to the episode itself, but mamare-sensei was doing a Q&A on 4-chan some time after the episode. While there weren’t any spoilers there, one of his answers is simply too funny to not quote:
    “Japanese fans are aware of overseas communities.
    There are many sites that translate reactions about current events and anime news, like bulletin boards in Japan.
    It is like being worried about what students in the other class think about the cute girl in your class.
    The world is becoming smaller thanks to the Internet.”

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:06 pmRasen

      To be fair, Nureha’s story was a bit dark, and wouldn’t add too much at the moment (since there is limited interaction with her)

      But to answer Stilts’ question, Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:13 pmStilts

        Edited for spoiler tags.

        In the future, any question I ask in a post isn’t meant to be answered with knowledge from the source material, and if you decide to do so, please add spoiler tags. Thank you.

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:18 pmRasen

        Sorry, didn’t think it was that significant of a spoiler. Also, it was revealed in their first meeting in the novels, they just cut it out for the anime.

      • March 24, 2014 at 6:21 pmStilts

        Oh, okay. No problemo then! I thought since they purposefully obfuscated it in the episode, it was supposed to remain uncertain for a while.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:08 pmDobinz

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:28 pmStilts

      That looks more like Demikas is going to get another ass whooping to me.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:39 pmRasen

      I was actually rather pleased with that scene. Demikas is apparently getting past the chuunibyou phase of this new wonderland, and maybe coming to the realization that what he had been doing so far had just been unproductive and meaningless.

      On the flip-side, it could be leading into some horrible conspiracy. But I fall back on Mamare’s original assertion that the guilds who were invited to be part of the Round Table were the respectable kind that would not go down the PK route.

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:19 pmGlacierfairy

        Ah, that scene with Silver Sword and Demikas. Suffice to say, that was a spoiler (or perhaps just a tease?) for events that was covered in volume 7 of the light novels and will appear in season 2. Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 25, 2014 at 12:10 amKrono

        Rather than a spoiler or a tease, I’d call it yet another case of the anime adding foreshadowing that the novel lacked.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:35 pmPickled Cucumber

    TWINTAIL AKATSUKI!!!!! :3 :3 :3

    Will be waiting eagerly for the next season. Hopefully Akatsuki’s character starts to bloom since here in the first season, it seems that her character was the most underdeveloped and was mostly used as a comic relief (with Naotsugu).

    • March 25, 2014 at 5:30 amExis

      twintail akatsuki is moe !!!

      i agree with you akatsuki’s char has been the most underdeveloped
      (because she was overshadowed by the char development of minori =_____= which is too much on my opinion … yup too much)
      but i guess we’ll get what we want in season 2

      • March 26, 2014 at 9:14 pmPickled Cucumber

        And I agree with you too! It’s okay to develop Minori’s character but it’s too much. I mean, I get the feeling that the other characters especially Akatsuki and Naotsugu, are being neglected for most of the episodes. Even Touya whom I think grew to be a very good tank for their guild doesn’t have much development.

        Viva Season 2!!! Let’s all look forward to future TWINTAIL AKATSUKIs!!!

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:36 pmChioneDyrken

    “YA HEAR THAT, KIRITO!? *throws down*”

    you know, one of the reasons why I enjoy reading your reviews is because damn you’re hilarious XD haha!
    Thank you for reviewing this series! I always look forward to them every week (too bad you missed reviewing the cakii ep :3)
    I never expected to love this series because the premise looked weak when I first read its synopsis 6 months ago, especially since, as you mentioned “have a support in the leading role”, but I’m so glad I did. There’s rarely a series that leaves me so overwhelmed and dumbfounded simply because the way it’s executed is brilliant of sorts. I can’t wait for season 2! (pretty scared that many has said that there’s only so much of material available, but we’ll see how it goes when the time comes)

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:06 pmpahlavi5312

      “Being strong on your own is meaningless.” I’ve been trying to avoid doing this, but YA HEAR THAT, KIRITO!? *throws down*

      Lalalalalala…
      I’ve been pointing that out the whole season. :) It feels SO good to see that I’m not the only one thinking about that.

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:09 pmStilts

      Thank you kindly : )

    • March 25, 2014 at 8:21 ampahlavi5312

      Indeed he was strong, but he still failed to protect the one he loved the most. Goes to show how right Shiroe is in this quote.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:37 pmTheLastIdiot

    LOG HORIZON has better story and GREATER THAN SAO?

    well, if you talk of which one is the real deal MMORPG anime DEFINITELY it would go to LOG HORIZON. aside from the fact that there’s a major focus on the “MMORPG” features like, the UIs, skills and related, party, guild and the hall and so many other things. it also got a variety of JOBS and subclasses (some subclasses are explained) that REAL MMORPG HAVE. and NO, as a player of MMORPG for 18 years, i would never call an anime MMORPG a real deal MMORPG story without the complete emphasis on PARTY and GUILD… LOG HORIZON, explained those, use it, complete with the UI and other features… SAO, SADLY DID NOT. SAO never expanded the information on those two important factors of MMORPG and instead GO ON WITH THE ONE MAN SHOW… they do on certain “scripts” but it was never explained well at all they just say, there’s a guild or talks about party but never explained that’s it…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 26, 2014 at 9:23 pmPickled Cucumber

      I agree with you on that. Just like you, I’m also a MMORPG player and SAO really disappoint me. That thing only focus with Kirito being a bad-ass and all plus the unusual harem around him. LOG HORIZON practically gave me what I was searching in SAO. It even has explanation of cool downs and cast times. It’s basically all about the gamers who played the Elder Tale and was trapped in it, trying to live and get out of it – not, a game focused on one guy trying to be savior of all the trapped players.

  • March 24, 2014 at 6:57 pmLonghaul

    When looking into the upcoming 2013 fall season I did what a lot of folks probably did and dismissed Log Horizon as something that was riding on SAO’s coattails.

    After watching the first episode and being amazed at how much it felt like the author actually knew what MMO’s were like, I was completely hooked.

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:01 pmLonghaul

      Show Spoiler ▼

      As others have mentioned, this season covered 5 of the 7 current novels and I do not see another 3 being finished in half a year. If the second season is another two cours I think Kanami’s side story would be great to use as ‘filler’.

      • March 24, 2014 at 7:32 pmGlacierfairy

        Show Spoiler ▼

        On a side note, based on Touno-sensei’s recent Q&A session, it seemed to imply that he is close to completing volume 8. One can only hope I guess….

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:06 pmEcho

    As much as I enjoyed Log Horizon, I feel there’s something missing here. I guess it feels all too lighthearted is my main problem with this series as whole. As a western the current trend in literature and film is darker and edgier, realism and human are bastards theme that this whole show lacks. Maybe lack isn’t a such a good word, it’s much more idealistic than I would think in that situation.

    Morality and Ethics seem to rely on mortality, religious experiences and societal consequences for them to function. But in this world you can’t die, while sure you are prevented from doing violence within city limits from the insta kill guardians, but what about violence against the people of the land? We saw a taste of it when the gang went to Hokkaido but even then that seems tame what could happen. It these questions and demand for thing that equate to something off balance, in a show that would be ok.

    In Sword Art Online, the first book this was fine, the psychological effects were plain to see, society was driven by only escape and politics though barely scratched at were intriguing to say the least. And the fact that people can die, seems to make the situation all the more fitting. And humans in that series were bastards, plain bastards until the author veered straight from this line in subsequent books into a pseudo optimistic-pessimistic harem fantasy book series. Yuck.

    While in Log Horizon, the fact that you are immortal is a little off putting. It makes many bastardly things we can do to each other in real life, pointless to say the least. You can’t eliminate a political enemy, you can’t destroy an enemy army without it respawning nearby. The whole situation remind me of Eve Online, though instead of a grim dark scenario that relies more on politics, strategy and general bastardy it’s missing here. The politics are too tame, too polite, and maybe it’s too Asian. I think that’s my biggest problem is that this maybe is an Asian perspective, while I’m looking at it from a very much Western or really American perspective.

    But enough of that, the show was good, not the best but it was pretty good. I hope to see the next season soon enough.

    • March 24, 2014 at 8:24 pmRedRocket

      Part of your feeling is the fact that Log Horizon was aired on a children’s network and censored.

      Although there is no death in some ways things are worse as you do feel pain like in the real world and you can be tortured to death more than once. The anime did show slavery was in action. In the books rape and sexual slavery comes in. (I figured out they were happening from clues in the anime even before I heard of the books) In fact all major dark acts happen it just that you recover from a horrible death to remember it. And of course the people of the land are real people who do die and are killed by players so you got lots of dark to go around.

      This was a very rich story heavily involved with politics.

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:08 pmEcho

        Oh thank you very much for this, I hadn’t noticed that this was made from book materials something I have to add to my extensive backlog. Though I am a little surprised to hear that there are actual kid networks left in Japan, I thought most of them shifted there focus to more adult or teen focus because how few children there are in Japan.

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:12 pmWanderer

    I seem to recall hearing that Nureha played Elder Tale as an escape, not because it was a world where she could feel special, but because her real life was… bad. As in the kind of thing NHK doesn’t like to admit exists so they censor the crap out of it and just make it seem like her life was boring rather than showing the hell she was going through kind of bad. Suddenly having her only escape from real life turn into real life kind of… broke her.

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:16 pmStilts

      Ohhh, okay, very interesting. Yeah, some of the intent was lost in translation there. They could have still stuck with that while only implying rather than saying what happened to her, but I guess even implying was too much. A shame.

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:20 pmmagoiichi

    What an end to a great first season without any incest loving cousins wearing short shorts in the middle of winter in sight. Oh yeah, I went there :)

    Initially, I had my expectations a decent level, then the first episode came out and I was sold. The ride just got better and better with each episode. The fact that you actually learn more about the world in detail is part of what makes Log Horizon great. A decent cast of characters definitely helped out too. The action and music set off all the right notes.

    Telling the audience that there is a season 2 coming is just icing on the cake.

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:27 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pmmagoiichi

      Hey this ain’t Sailor Moon brah, go back to your own canon!

    • March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pmRasen

      HOLY GOD OF BED AND BREAKFAST!

      THAT’S who Shiroe reminded me of! That’s been bugging me for months!

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:34 pmDvalinn

    And so the show kept capturing my attention right up until the very end. I’m glad we’re getting a second season, because this final episode and Nureha in particular managed to throw so many interesting revelations into the mix that I’d go crazy mad if this is all we’d ever get. Kind of awesome that they managed to have a character leave so much of an impact in a single episode. Usually, the ‘last episode new character’ phenomenon is kind of a bad thing, but here it works. Furthermore we’re given more development for Shiroe, some good moments with the rest of the cast and that annoying noble got demolished. And Shady Mage is going to join them now, yay!

    Man, I enjoyed Log Horizon. This, far more than that other show, managed to really capture the feeling of an MMORPG. The game mechanics, the working together to achieve a common goal, the tactics. That’s what I hoped for starting out with this show, and Log Horizon delivered. What I didn’t expect, however, was that it went above and beyond with its concept and managed to create a magnificently well-developed world out of it. A story that could’ve easily featured the protagonists curbstomping evil players or whatever for the entire show, went in a far more epic direction with them creating a new civilization inside of it. A show where the game mechanics could’ve been dress-up, ended up featuring them as key parts of the world to be used and subverted by working around loopholes. A world that didn’t just revolve around one group of heroes saving the world, but a whole legion of competent characters who all going through interesting growth. Not to mention lots of different romances amongs all these characters, not just one main couple/harem.

    This show really managed to exceed my expectations, and it’s not like those were low to begin with. The only world that I’ve enjoyed basking myself in recently that comes even close is Shin Sekai Yori’s – and given how good that one was in building its world, that is high praise. Ah, if only Maoyuu could’ve gottan an adaptation half as good as this one.

    It’s going to be a long wait for the second season…

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pmH0chmeister

    Well, it’s been one helluva ride with Shiroe & co… I’ll definitely miss this show until the next season comes around (praise be!).

    This final episode was rather representative of the series as a whole; based not upon flashy action sequences but rather intrigue, compelling characters, and a wide and varied world. While it may be somewhat slow or overly-expositional at times, Log Horizon is of the best (and only) shows in recent memory at exploring these themes.

    Hopefully the author will crank out a few more books in the meantime so that we can get another 2 cour series without any anime-only content!

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:39 pminfo600

    2 main points for me to rant about (or add oil to) here:

    1. Nureha – Her back-story makes her actions here sensible (if you’re the evil take-over-the-world genius kind) as she WANTS to be special. Still, she would either self destruct because she got everything that is obtainable (improbable, as she just failed to lie to a fellow schemer), or she’s going to get killed somewhere in the future (how ever it may be done, I won’t know).

    2. (I should get a flame suit for this) the SAO and Elder Tales (ET in short) comparison. It just gotten stupid after 25% of us realized that ET is more old-school-hardcore and group oriented than SAO, which is more “modern” and solo-oriented (and no, I’m not going to compare alfhiem online here). So why the bashing over the argument that one of the 2 show (and the 2 games in relation) is better than the other when the games they’re based in are just as different?

    • March 24, 2014 at 9:41 pmTheLastIdiot

      its not all about being old school (LH) and more modern (SAO)… they are still both using the plot “TRAPPED IN MMORPG WORLD”…

      the point here is, LOG HORIZON IS A MORE REALISTIC RENDITION OF a REAL MMORPG… you get to see what you always see in a MMORPG. and also, MMORPG is always GROUP ORIENTED… even you go solo, one way or another you will NEED PARTY MATES to do a quest, dungeon runs and such. SAO, on the other hand is a VERY ONE MAN SHOW… KIRITO? most of the moments like boss bashing, he does it ALONE… which is a way way different to what a real MMORPG bosses and what REAL MMORPG should… that is, it requires a party or a strategy to be killed.

      thus as someone said, “SAO is not MMORPG anime, its a fantasy anime pretending to be an MMORPG. You could transplant the setting to a high-fantasy world and change nothing about it. Even .hack// felt more MMO than SAO, and that was mostly dialogue and navel gazing. LH on the other hand, is the MMORPG show that I always wanted.”

      • March 24, 2014 at 10:32 pmfragb85

        To add what the TheLastIdiot said, I have to say that SAO is a crap game. No classes or magic system? A Party combat system that is essentially an elaborate Tag Team match against raid bosses? The only thing it has right is the role-playing aspect of its crafting skills. If this was based of old school MMORPG, I’d laugh.

        This was the game that thousands were lining up for? At least when Alfheim came around, it actually looked like a good game with interesting mechanics but by then its pretty clear that the setting is just window dressing for the adventures of Kirito, our Lord and Savior. I’m actually convinced that Kawahara didn’t care about the MMO setting, he just tossed that detail in to trick his audience into thinking that SAO caters to the gamer audience.

        Mamare on the other hand, clearly wrote a setting with a knowledge and passion of how an MMO works. Its clear he knows his stuff, and made full use of it to explore the setting.

      • March 25, 2014 at 7:59 amKrono

        SAO, on the other hand is a VERY ONE MAN SHOW… KIRITO? most of the moments like boss bashing, he does it ALONE… which is a way way different to what a real MMORPG bosses and what REAL MMORPG should… that is, it requires a party or a strategy to be killed.

        Do tell, which boss bashing moments does he do alone? Illfang, Gleam Eyes, and The Skull Reaper all involve other people, and Kirito could take none of them alone. The christmas boss, or the dragon for the raw materials? He was insanely over leveled for both, you see the same thing a couple times in Log Horizon where a level 90 stops what’s clearly intended as a boss type monster for people that are appropriately leveled for the area.

        thus as someone said, “SAO is not MMORPG anime, its a fantasy anime pretending to be an MMORPG. You could transplant the setting to a high-fantasy world and change nothing about it. Even .hack// felt more MMO than SAO, and that was mostly dialogue and navel gazing. LH on the other hand, is the MMORPG show that I always wanted.”

        And they and therefore you have it completely backwards. Being in virtual reality is part and parcel of Sword Art Online, it cannot be separated from it. Numerous aspect rely on them being in a fake world bound by rules of a game. Log Horizon on the other hand is a game transplanted to a high-fantasy world.

      • March 25, 2014 at 6:38 pmTheLastIdiot

        1. i think you are missing the point… WHO ALWAYS DEAL THE FINISHING BLOW? its always KIRITO except in the case of skull reaper which requires yui to do the job… as simple as that… a real MMORPG anime must focus on the winning party and not just the main hero alone because they (other party) chip in some effort to beat the boss thus making it easier for the main party to defeat, but sadly, in case of SAO, not only the story killed some members of the other parties, the show also focuses only on kirito and glorify him only after the boss is defeated. THUS MAKING THE BOSS BASHING look like a ONE MAN SHOW. on gleam eyes boss where kirito almost died yet still won? THAT shows how the game is a very one man show.

        LOG HORIZON on the other hand, did shiroe deal the finishing blow on a boss? I BELIEVE IT WAS AKATSUKI… on the goblin king boss event, did the show glorify crusty alone for striking that big monster alone? (NOTE: its just the goblin general (a miniboss) not the king) I BELIEVE NO. LH also focuses on the parties involved before and after the general was defeated.

        2. you missed once again the point… between the two anime, which one of them has more feel of being in a MMORPG world? the answer is unarguably, LOG HORIZON. SAO? what? how many times did they explain the features of the game where they are trapped inside? how many times the UIs showed up per episode? and many others… i’m pretty sure its incomparable because, in LOG HORIZON, almost every episode got an explanation on such said game features. thus giving you THAT FEEL OF WHAT IS THE GAME THEY ARE TRAPPED INSIDE WITH… SAO? I DONT GET THAT FEELING to the point i forgot, that they are inside a game like in alfheim online.

        now you also say, LH is just a fantasy world if you remove the UI and the related elements… BUT, if i removed the fact they need to wear VR helmets to get to the world and get trapped, isn’t that would make SAO a FANTASY WORLD too?… your point doesnt make sense.

      • March 26, 2014 at 10:23 pmPickled Cucumber

        I know a lot of people would want to defend SAO about this one-man thing. But let’s face it, the only character with god-like abilities is Kirito (of course, minus the main villain). Plus Kirito’s the only character with a well-developed and well-explained set of skills and abilities. Did the anime ever present any skills for Klein or Asuna that is on the same level as Kirito? All of them are max players but how come only Kirito has such skills which can give a final blow on the monsters? I am not being bias here.

        That’s the main reason why I think Log Horizon should have more credit over SAO especially on the terms that they’re both under the genre of MMORPG anime. Log Horizon isn’t just developing one character.

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:46 pmKo-Gil

    no more “DATABASE, DATABASE! JUST SAY WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!” T-T I’m gonna miss this opening…and all the gifs that it created.

  • March 24, 2014 at 7:49 pmdaikama

    Perhaps stating the obvious, but this was a good show, and overall, a solid, if not quite ideal, adaptation IMO. The anime benefited from Mamare Touno’s strong writing. As Stilts’ notes, the worlds he creates have a great deal of detail which pays large dividends in terms of depth and realism. Yet like other good authors, he doesn’t stop there. The characters have depth and personality as well – not just likeable, but in many cases, identifiable which add more to the overall realism and appeal of the story.

    Despite the large number of characters, I really can’t think of more than a few which I dislike (Creepy Insane Clown Noble (Mavis) and Demikas at the top of that list). Shiroe might be the “MC”, but true to its MMORPG roots, many characters have their own important parts to play in the story as well (in contrast to another MMORPG based anime). Naotsugu wasn’t in the spotlight much this season, but he’s still one of my favorite characters. JMO, but this is a very much a character driven story and benefits from that.

    This could have been a more one dimensional story about a bunch of gamers trapped in a game world and how they get out. In other words, the story could revolve elusively around their actions to escape with little about the characters themselves. Of course returning to “RL” is a central theme of the story, but Log Horizon also contains the stories of the people themselves and how they relate to each other. How Shiroe came to realize that he’s better off being part of the right guild rather than remaining the consummate solo player. How Minori and Tahyo found their inner strength – their confidence to not only rely upon others, but have others rely upon them as well. There is a LOT of nice character and relationship development (including even political) throughout.

    I do have a few minor complaints. As noted way back in the early episodes, the anime took a more “G rated” approach to the story by toning down (or cutting) the darker elements. I’m sure there are reasons for that, but for me such a decision took away a bit from the overall serious tone of the initial situation. The anime also added a few scenes which I thought were unnecessary. The overall pacing was pretty good, but that time could have been used for a better purpose (i.e. less omitted info from the LN).

    Then there’s Lord Mavis, a.k.a. Creepy Insane Clown Noble. He’s described in the LN as pasty (like clay) white while wearing perfume and lipstick which was typical of the nobles from his country/region. That description reminds me of fashion during the Renaissance era. JMO, but the anime version resembles something more out of Stephen King’s IT. Could have done without the over-the-top exaggeration (hair sniffing included). Pretty easy to figure out he’s a “bad guy”.

    Still, as noted, those issues were relatively minor when considering all that the anime does right. Whoever made the decision to make this a 2-cour/25 episode run deserves a raise IMO. It just wouldn’t work as a single core 12 or 13 episode season. The more I watch adaptations of LNs I have read, the more I’m convinced that 5 or even 6 episodes is the right pace for adaptation (for typical length LNs).

    Definitely up for a well deserved Season 2. A LOT of the story left to tell. Oh, one last thing. Opinions may vary, but for me, Akatsuki is still best girl. :D 1000% behind shipping her with Shiroe. Do your best Akatsuki!

    • March 24, 2014 at 8:21 pmdaikama

      >_< Typo in third paragraph. "the story could revolve exclusively around…”, not “elusively”.

      • March 24, 2014 at 11:48 pmdaikama

        Clarification to above main post (sorry, proofing fail :<). 2nd to last paragraph is missing text. Should read "…5 or even 6 episodes per LN volume is the right pace…”

    • March 24, 2014 at 9:07 pmRedRocket

      I’m thinking one reason desire to return to the real world is underplayed is I don’t think the Japanise like some other cultures like to worry about the hard to control out loud in public.

      Plus one thing (not many) Sword Art got right is that after awhile a majority of players don’t even want to go back to the real world. For many their lives were nothing special grinding away at work or school not looking forward to anything special about their lives. Here is a world where they can be useful and important doing something new even if dangerous.

      Plus many find they actually have skills in a dangerous world that needs leadership and battle skills that civilian life does not have. This is why many veterans have trouble returning to civilian life and many go back to the battle field over and over. In war they are good at it and at peaceful tasks they lack the same abilities plus the knowledge you do well and sort of enjoy as well as hate the killing part. Don’t get that wrong soldiers are often the most strongest pushers of peace as they really know how bad war is. But some of those soldiers also realize that battle is where they belong and will return to it if available. (probably a survival trait of primitive societies where for most tribes it not a matter of if there will be another war just when.)

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:45 pmdaikama

        @RedRocket: FWIW, I definitely agree that not all would want to back to “RL” (posted as much before). That’s especially true (IMO) here given the vast disparity between Adventurers and PoTL. Not only that, there’s no real risk of death for Adventurers. Just respawn in the cathedral. Yeah, you might lose your memories of “RL”, but if you’re willing to give up going back to “RL” anyway… There are potential negatives (ex. Hamelin, Demikas), but a lot of positive aspects to staying as well

        So go back to perhaps an unsatisfying “RL”, or be a hero who stands above the vast majority (e.g. PotL)? Frankly, I’d be more surprised if everyone DID want to go back to “RL”, and I hope the series explores this issue at some point in the future.

  • March 24, 2014 at 8:17 pmdaikama

    @Stilts: “I’m always hesitant to pick up two-cour shows, because I’m a stubborn bastard who doesn’t like to drop anything… I also just like to change up what I’m blogging about after a while. I pick up two-cour series only with great reluctance.”

    I can certainly understand your reluctance to get “trapped” into blogging something, but as I noted in my post above, there are benefits to such an approach – namely pacing/retaining content. 2-cour runs seem to be an increasing trend. Next season’s Mahouka no Koukou Rettousei, according to MAL, is set for a 2-cour, 26 episode run. As with Log Horizon, I don’t think a 1-cour adaptation would work for that series. That’s just not enough time.

    Forgot to say thanks for taking the time to blog Log Horizon in my above post. I enjoyed reading your reviews and look forward to your coverage of next season.

    • March 24, 2014 at 9:23 pmStilts

      Oh, I agree. I prefer to watch 2-cour shows, but when the time commitment grows from 12 hours (to watch it) to ~72 hours (to blog it), the math changes some what. Fortunately I have so far hit it on the head.

  • March 24, 2014 at 8:37 pmBakapooru

    Question: Did Shiroe create forged documents (as a scribe) or did Minori find it in that huge stack of paperwork?

    • March 25, 2014 at 11:00 pmChioneDyrken

      Should be Shiroe forging that document. Minori wasn’t aware of the Westlander. Plus, Marvis’ facial expression showed that he never DID write any letter in the first place (basis for attacking the Princess in the beginning). He was shocked that a letter from him existed (given his signature as well). that’s why he stormed off because with that letter, he would have to surrender the huge amount of cargo he promised (which he didn’t have)

      • March 26, 2014 at 7:54 amMichael Chandra

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 24, 2014 at 8:39 pmRedRocket

    The end of the first season of a story I loved. Glad to know a new season coming fast. Good to help fill the gap between season for a similar rich in detail political driven tale that has the luxury of going full dark by being on HBO, Game of Thrones. This is world building done well with a strong understanding that war is just politics by different means.

    I love having lots of couples in a tail just like stilts. But I also got to root for the harem and hope Shiro gets all his girls in time. (of course with a few years wait for one of them) Of course it might actually be an Henrietta harem as she wants Shiro and Akatsuki.

  • March 24, 2014 at 8:54 pmfragb85

    Stilts pretty much reflected what I had felt when I compared SAO to LH. LH is written like it actually cares about its setting. The mechanics, how the world works, how the characters interact. By the end of the series, I knew the character classes, I knew almost who every named character even the minor ones, I knew what they are about and how they work in the world. That’s the kind of investment I expect and got when a show promises an in-depth world. I spent 25 episodes on SAO and didn’t know (nor cared) about anything about its side-characters, world, and mechanics.

    I’ll say it again, SAO is not MMORPG anime, its a fantasy anime pretending to be an MMORPG. You could transplant the setting to a high-fantasy world and change nothing about it. Even .hack// felt more MMO than SAO, and that was mostly dialogue and navel gazing. LH on the other hand, is the MMORPG show that I always wanted.

    • March 24, 2014 at 9:26 pmStilts

      Indeed. That’s why Divine’s comment was actually a revelation for me – as a fantasy show, overpowered Kirito is no worse than, let’s say, Ousawa Akatsuki of Hagure Yuusha no Estetica. Ousawa’s overpoweredness never bothered me because it was another world, and if you treat SAO like that, it doesn’t enrage as much (at least to me). That doesn’t mean it didn’t fail as an MMO anime, though.

      Fortunately, Log Horizon succeeded swimmingly, and I could not be happier : )

    • March 25, 2014 at 8:38 amKrono

      I’ll say it again, SAO is not MMORPG anime, its a fantasy anime pretending to be an MMORPG. You could transplant the setting to a high-fantasy world and change nothing about it. Even .hack// felt more MMO than SAO, and that was mostly dialogue and navel gazing. LH on the other hand, is the MMORPG show that I always wanted.

      You have that completely backworks. Numerous aspects of SAO rely on them being in virtual reality, and the story starts to crash and burn pretty quickly if you try and transplant it to a fantasy world. PKers that justify their actions on the basis that there isn’t proof anyone actually dies? No longer makes sense. Suggesting sacrificing NPCs to beat a boss because they’re just NPCs who will respawn? No longer makes sense. A murder mystery whose solution relies on the game having unbreakable rules? No longer makes sense. People who are having trouble enjoying themselves because they know they’re in a fake world and losing time in the real world? No longer makes sense. An AI that’s become sentient? No longer makes sense. In particular the claim you could transplant the setting completely and utterly breaks down after the Aincrad arc. People still trapped and being used for experiments? No longer makes sense. Playing a game with your sibling unaware? No longer makes sense. And so on, and so forth. In short SAO is basically traditional science fiction. It posits a change in science or technology and does some examining of the possible effects on people. Attempting to transplant it to a fantasy setting would require basically everything to be changed and rewritten.

      Log Horizon on the other hand is already a high fantasy masquerading as an MMORPG. The whole focus of the series is that the world they are in is no longer a game, but a real world they must live in. A fact that doesn’t seem to bother the players. If you remove the menus, the levels, and the numeric HP and MP, you basically end up with Fairy Tail with a more defined combat/magic system.

      • March 25, 2014 at 9:23 amfragb85

        Expect those aspects and depth you claim SAO has are irrelevant. They are given lip service, and completely tossed aside because the narrative is nothing more than about a story Kirito . Any other plot points you point out can be easily changed to supernatural equivalent. PK can use magic to hide evidence of murders. Debates against using common troops instead of NPC’s to fight monsters. AI can just be magical spirits. I can go on with this. But you know what changes on this story? Nothing.

        My point still stands, SAO is nothing more than a fantasy story about one man going from point A to point B, meeting people, thumping bad guys, having women fall for him, and everyone else praising how great he is. It’s by far its most aggravating aspect because there is so much that can be done we its setting and Kawahara chooses to tell the most amateur one.

        Besides, .hack// did all these Sci-fi concepts and did it better. Sentient AI, the nature of reality, disassociation with the game, commentary on internet culture and how a networked world affect lives. It helps that .hack// is a multi-media franchise that encompass many stories of different people as opposed to SAO shackling itself to a narrative of just one character.

      • March 26, 2014 at 10:53 pmPickled Cucumber

        I think you have the wrong idea what MMORPG is. Have you ever played one? The reason why people are seeing Log Horizon as a better depiction of what an anime MMORPG is because it entails the things MMORPG should have. The focus of Log Horizon was the development of the player within the game as they were trapped in it. The skills of a player, job classes, quests for items, leveling method and things like that which if in case you didn’t know are the necessities when playing an MMORPG. In other words, Log Horizon has more of the ‘feel’ of a true MMORPG game.

        On the other hand, SAO claims to be focusing on the solution on how to get out and not get killed while trap. Again, CLAIMS. If you watch SAO (which I assume you have), you should already realized now that SAO’s plot is not about developing the MMORPG of the story but it focuses on how deadly the game that trapped them. Therefore, it is NOT an MMORPG anime. More like love story fantasy masquerading as MMORPG. Yes, a love story and not an MMORPG.

  • March 24, 2014 at 8:57 pmNetto

    The story concluded on an interesting point. Sadly they toned down much of the rougher points which kinda detracted from the seriousness of the story overall. But alas its NHK hence its toned down. Anyways Nureha showed herself, and another part of Shiroe’s harem popped up. Can’t wait for season 2 :D

    • March 24, 2014 at 9:04 pmNetto

      Also it seems you have touched on the plot points of the next season. Akatsuki still needs character development, and it seems the coins/gold that functions as currency in Elder Tales is manufactured in some area. Very interesting.

      • March 25, 2014 at 8:57 amStilts

        Agreed on the Akatsuki development. They’ve been weaving some in, but she’s a harder one to develop because she’s fairly one-dimensional in her approach to life (she doesn’t have as many interests and her fingers in as many pies as Shiroe, Minori, Lenessia, and many others do). We’ll get there, hopefully.

      • March 26, 2014 at 11:11 pmUngas123

        Akatsuki will get a development along with Lenessia’s Tea Party members at the next arc (Murderer Arc). And has the explanation on the part of the OP song where a hair gets blown away and has like bubble background. And you’ll see how bad ass Soujirou Seta can be when a member of his harem guild gets hurt.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 24, 2014 at 9:16 pmSerRompalot

    I dunno, the ending was amazing for me. Akatsuki’s attack animation, what seems to be the game’s guardians gaining free-will, a mysterious character amidst golden fountains, and Shiroe leaving Akiba with Regan… It just screamed awesomeness.

    Now if only we’d get more Hataraku Maousama.

    • March 25, 2014 at 8:57 amStilts

      Agreed. Season 2 for that too, pleeease T__T

  • March 24, 2014 at 9:23 pmZangkin

    I love this series. I just wished they did more with the expansion pack. Maybe I missed it somewhere along the way but I still haven’t seen a character above level 90. Can’t wait for the second season though and the epicness that is sure to come with it.

    • March 25, 2014 at 8:59 amStilts

      Hah, I had forgotten about that. True, I would have expected some of the Lv 90′s to have leveled up by now. Maybe not a lot – it was a LOT harder to level in late 90′s / early 2000′s MMOs – and they’ve been busy with other things, but I’d have expected some to be Lv 91 by now at least. Maybe that’s part of what Shiroe and co will be working on now.

  • March 24, 2014 at 10:50 pmRandom Comment

    You know fun is in the air when Akiba’s Three Scheming Glasses gather, lens glinting =D

  • March 24, 2014 at 11:45 pmBenigmatica

    A nice ending to this great series by Mamare Touno. Despite being lighter and softer thanks to NHK’s broadcasting rules, it doesn’t hamper the experience.

    And lastly, I can’t wait for another batch of fan wars between Sword Art Online and Log Horizon next fall.

    In any case, see ya Shiroe and co., I wanna see Nureha go down!

  • March 25, 2014 at 12:19 amnyaa

    the story do have antagonist, you can find them in the oversea’s sidestory. pretty sure they will come to yamato server as well *or already did come…who knows

  • March 25, 2014 at 1:09 amGinobi47

    Truth be told, I watched the final episode with very heavy heart…. but then they announced season 2! I was so happy that I unintentionally did an air-megane!

    • March 25, 2014 at 9:00 amStilts

      Unintentional air-megane? This needs to be a thing. In fact, I may have done a purposeful air-megane in response to this comment.

      (I totally did, nishishi~)

  • March 25, 2014 at 3:22 amTheMoondoggie

    So hyped already for season 2 guys? Let’s hope they keep up the quality.

  • March 25, 2014 at 5:18 amExis

    a fitting end for a good anime that will be given a second season … that is fitting

    personally i don’t like minori … spare me the hate … but I’ll thank her today because finally akatsuki pondered herself, i think we’ll be seeing her character development that we are all waiting for on season 2
    although I’m questioning if NHK will be the one airing season 2 … i think it will be pretty much dark and gore seeing demikas and william again + that armored dude + the gold coins and especially Nureha …
    ahhh … nureha … she suddenly jump to my top 2 best female char

  • March 25, 2014 at 5:59 amOwaranai

    I was expecting some super juiced up finale scene with a nice battle, but no, Log Horizon just had to throw me off with that partial cliffhanger that just leaves me wanting MOAR.

    And I love it. Having a support character as the main lead is pretty unconventional, and more so when he’s a ‘behind the scenes’ person than the one that charges straight into the fray. The huge positive we got from this series is a greater spectrum of focus on individual characters and their groups. And how well the writers executed it too, coupled with huge amounts of character development and badassery all around.

    What Stilts said made a lot of sense there – Now that I see SAO in a different light, it probably isn’t all that bad as general opinion makes it out to be. We’ve had our fair share of OPed main leads in countless animes. Adding on an MMO label does bring with it certain expectations and when those aren’t met, it would seem like the entire series is a failure. I might even rewatch parts of it to see the flow of the story.

    I’d say LH is arguably one of the best shows this season. Can’t wait for more, or at the very least a good fantasy/MMO based anime to take its place while the writers prepare us for another season of LH goodness.

    • March 25, 2014 at 9:04 amStilts

      Credit Divine for the different light, I was totally bashing it (and still do, as an MMO story) before he pointed that out. As a straight sci-fi/fantasy though, it’s alright. Not great, but as good as many others (though that whole second arc was still kind of fail).

  • March 25, 2014 at 8:44 amjhpace1

    I’m not sure as to what is going on with Elder Tale’s world. In Log Horizon’s city, Akihabara, Shiroe established order by buying the property rights to the Guild Hall and disallowing any guild he didn’t like from their rooms or their money. This pacified the guilds using lower members, Player-Killers, or other negative policies. The result is that Akihabara was actually able to turn to the problem of living-and-breathing People of the Land.

    In the north, the Lvl.90 Monk tried to rule with an iron fist, a “might makes right” and plunder society. From the 25th episode’s epilogue we see that elves (playes? People of the Land?) may have given the Monk an ultimatum.

    To the West, the city of Minami had guild “Plant Hwyaden” buy the cathedral, much like Shiroe buying the Guild Hall. Unlike Shiroe, Plant Hwyaden forced the other guilds to disband by using their control over resurrection at the cathedral to control them. Thus Plant Hwyaden is the only guild in the West.

    I’m not sure if I like that. While I can see disbanding negative guilds, by forcing everyone into the same guild you’re taking away a lot of freedom, both from 1-2 person guilds and soloists. Also, I’ve played in City of Heroes/Villains where being a low-ranking member of a guild didn’t mean squat. You couldn’t store more than your own money in the guild – no special items, no workshop items, because the high-ranking members owned the furniture that let you store special items. If Plant Hwydaden is the same, where non-Inner-Circle members can not do much else than pay dues to the guild, then life in the West would degrade. And if they die and resurrect at the cathedral, then they would owe an “exit tax”. I would do whatever it took to get out of Minami’s range and go to Akihabara at that point.

    There’s also the “Dariella–Nureha got the transportation gates working again – for her”. After communication, the power of transportation is key. Maybe the city portals take an extraordinary amount of power to activate now? Like 99% of the magic points from a Level 90 user?

    And did I miss the episode where Shiroe made someone disappear? I remember Rudy and the subclass of Adventurer, but not making someone disappear.

    • March 25, 2014 at 9:08 amStilts

      That elf was William Massachusetts, guild master of Silver Sword, the guild that walked out on the Round Table and left Akihabara itself sometime after.

      I don’t think Plant Hwyaden is that crass in their ruling strategy. Yes they forced everyone to join them, and that’s kind of a dick move, but as with the Round Table you don’t make tyrant-like moves and then keep being a Demikas-style dick about it unless you eventually want someone to overthrow your stupid ass. I don’t think they would charge an “exit tax” or anything, though I could be wrong.

      And I don’t think we ever saw Shiroe make anyone disappear. I think that was the foreshadowing for stuff that will come up again later on.

    • March 25, 2014 at 9:20 amKrono

      In the north, the Lvl.90 Monk tried to rule with an iron fist, a “might makes right” and plunder society. From the 25th episode’s epilogue we see that elves (playes? People of the Land?) may have given the Monk an ultimatum.

      Those “elves” were William, the guy that walked out of the meeting Shiroe called that became the Round Table Council, and his followers. We haven’t seen him since then, and that scene was an update on where he was now.

      There’s also the “Dariella–Nureha got the transportation gates working again – for her”.

      Her name is just Nureha. Dariella is just an alias she was using while traveling in disguise.

      And did I miss the episode where Shiroe made someone disappear? I remember Rudy and the subclass of Adventurer, but not making someone disappear.

      No, Shiroe was just reasoning things out, possibly using Nureha’s actions as a basis for his reasoning. He himself hasn’t made anyone disappear as a risky sort of thing to experiment with.

      • March 31, 2014 at 3:14 pmayami123

        since the anime won’t tell you anything about what happen in susukino. i’ll tell you
        he kinda regret that he didn’t help in the making of Akibahara though he still stand that he agree to the principle but not to joining the round table

        after the forming of round table and the akibahara. he kinda regretted his action and self exile himself to susukino and reforming it to make another akibahara.

    • March 26, 2014 at 7:58 amMichael Chandra

      I should note that while they did walk out on the Round Table, he did say he still supported the idea, if they managed to reach an agreement, he just didn’t feel like dealing with politics.

  • March 25, 2014 at 10:04 amThe Atomic Dwarf

    If Shiroe gets his hands on this, the second season might end fast. Long live the Infinite Gold Bug!
    http://randomc.net/image/Log%20Horizon/Log%20Horizon%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2048.jpg

    • March 25, 2014 at 12:27 pmGlacierfairy

      Funny you should mention that, because in the Chinese forums, fans who are privy to the events of volume 7 have jokingly referred to Shiroe’s next plan as Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 26, 2014 at 4:09 amRandom Comment

      Blasphemous as it may seem, money in Mamare’s works brings forth many miracles but is still not the cure for every problem =3

  • March 25, 2014 at 2:31 pmrandom viewer

    http://randomc.net/image/Log%20Horizon/Log%20Horizon%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    This anime definitely gets my stamp of approval and I very much enjoyed it with Stilts’ reviews/thoughts about it. For them to leave the news of a second season until the very end is just a cliffhanger in itself. Not that I mind, it’s one of the greater news I got about anime but still have to wait. Looking forward to more of good times and Kuro Shiroe, until then database database database~ ♫ ♩ ♬

  • March 25, 2014 at 5:53 pmAndré

    Simply the best anime I’ve ever seen in years.

    • March 25, 2014 at 5:54 pmAndré

      I don’t think that “ever” should be there. LOL.

  • March 25, 2014 at 6:24 pmIwastherewithMamareon4Chan

    If I recall the discussion with Mamare, a guidebook for a tabletop RPG style game based on Log Horizon is coming out, complete with rules and character creation.

  • March 25, 2014 at 10:22 pmLGrey

    Question:

    Aside from several quick flashbacks, we haven’t get anything major about the girl with the paddy hat, have we? IIRC, they didn’t even say her name – I have to look up the character list on MAL to learn her name.

    “Here’s someone who was also in Debauchery Tea Party. She’s important. No, we won’t tell you anything more about her in this first season. You’ll have to wait.” Is it something like that, or did I pay not enough attention?

    • March 25, 2014 at 11:08 pmKrono

      No, that’s accurate, we learn more or less nothing about her other than those quick flashbacks. The novels have even less on her than that, all those flashback scenes with her were anime original.

    • March 25, 2014 at 11:51 pmUngas123

      You’re referring to Kanami. She’s doing a Journey to the West style adventure except it’s going to the east. Her companions are:

      An assassin from America, called Leonardo, that always shouts “Cowabunga!” before battle.
      An Ancient Hero, named Elias Hackblade, was sealed and was rescued by Kanami.
      And a farming cleric bot, named Coppelia.

      If Kanami is Xuanzang/Sanzo, then Leonardo is Sha Wujing/Cho Hakkai, Coppelia is Zhu Bajie/Sha Gojyo, and Elias Hackblade is Sun Wukong/Son Goku.

    • March 26, 2014 at 12:14 amDobinz

      Kanami has her own story, just like Soujiro.

    • March 26, 2014 at 8:01 amMichael Chandra

      I recall she was referenced to as “Her” once in the novel, so yeah, the novels pretty much tease her and never really show her. The flashback scenes (or at least some, didn’t really pay attention to the exact locations) did somewhat match with references in the novel (think-backs about the Tea Party), but she’s indeed never really named or properly discussed. She IS, however, a BIG driving force from behind, influencing not only Shiroe but also others. Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 26, 2014 at 5:17 amDyrean

    SAO is all about Kirito while Log Horizon is all about the whole cast and the world itself.
    I say Log Horizon surpass all SAO aspects from story to characters hell even the game mechanics of MMORPG of Log Horizon has better explanation of rules while SAO is like Kirito the hero. Can’t wait for season two I hope they animated the other side stories as well.

  • March 26, 2014 at 9:25 amiki

    anybody know the names song of themes in log horizon?
    especially music when about to end for exciting event or conclusion

  • March 26, 2014 at 10:06 amDark

    I just found out that NHK altered Nureha’s back story as in left some really graphic stuff out for good reason.

  • March 26, 2014 at 2:12 pmmoridin84

    It was based on an MMORPG though, and it violated the one rule central to absolutely every MMORPG – you are not hot shit. You are not the destined hero. If you want to get anything done, you’d better gather 25-100+ of your best friends, because alone you are not worth shit, buster.

    Umm no.

    SAO feels like my early days of World of Warcraft, whereas Log Horizon feels like END GAME of World of Warcraft. This is why SAO starts with everyone at level 1, instead of level 90 like Log Horizon.

    • March 26, 2014 at 4:19 pmStilts

      But SAO continues to have Kirito be the one badass who solves all the problems (mostly…there were a few nice boss battles in there) throughout, even when they reach the high levels. That plus how he is “chosen” and receives a special ability within the game – something which never happens in an MMORPG, because it would piss off all the other players – is why it violates that one rule.

      No one is special, and every player character can be duplicated. That’s within the very essence of an MMORPG, where the only thing unique is the human behind the keyboard. That applies for Log Horizon, where it’s the abilities and personalities of the humans behind the characters (even if they’ve now become those characters as well) that drives their success or failure. Kirito, on the other hand, has a player character that no one else can obtain, making him intrinsically special.

      That’s the failing. You are right that I was focusing more on the high end stuff though. Much of the early stuff of SAO isn’t objectionable at all, in fact. It’s only when they get into the higher levels that it all goes to crap, MMORPG-wise.

  • March 26, 2014 at 4:34 pmAggron

    So Stilts any idea if you will blog the second season?

  • March 26, 2014 at 9:49 pmTrippwire

    Shiroe-sama is Hachiman 2.0, aka Batman 3.0! “Because he’s the hero [Elder Tale] deserves, but not the one it needs right now. He’ll be the enemy because he can take it… but he actually does have a circle of wonderful friends, despite what he may say or think.

    This show was so good, and I couldn’t be more excited about season 2! Also, Nureha was all sorts of creepy. Like, the good, effective kind of creepy that makes her extremely intriguing. I really want to know more about her now.

  • March 27, 2014 at 12:14 amSynic

    that last epic scene starting with the glasses flare and ending with akatsuki’s killing pose…. i’m so pumped for season 2. This show had me on the fence for a while but as soon as things started picking up i just went with the flow or as Shiroe says, “became the flow.” and holy hell did i enjoy the ride.

    I’m just gonna put this out there, i usually play priests / support characters in mmorpgs. I like being able to control the flow of battle, help my party, and have power over who lives and who doesn’t *evil grin*. Shiroe definitely resonated with me the entire time. POWER TO THE PRIESTS.

  • March 27, 2014 at 1:19 amKuroichi

    YAY!! SEASON 2!!!!!!! Sadly no translation yet on the Light Novel for the next season T_T but its really coming!!! SEASON TWO!!!!!!

  • March 29, 2014 at 3:37 amOasis

    she’s dangerous as hell for sure.. but i dont think she main bad guy. but yeah she doesnt want to go back to other world. i think your right about that. but you didnt write..how she..like..pyshco crazy for him.. in the whole is only one who made comment to her radnomly one day. which had impact on her.. to become so powerful..but also sadly become obsive about obtaining power and having shiroe to her self.

    forgive my bad typing =p

  • March 30, 2014 at 1:09 amiron2000

    Nureha reminds me of that kid in Flamenco :P

    Anyway Log Horizon is a damn fine show!
    Didn’t regret spending time watching it :)

    All the trickery reminds me of Spice and Wolf, but less hardcore.

    Ooshima?
    Restart of teleport gates?
    An experimental way to return?
    Certainly quite some stuff going on in the background.

    What if the westerners want to adapt Log Horizon into a live-action drama, lol.
    Game of Thrones mmo style or something :P
    Wild thoughts.

    Anyway looking forward to dive into the database again!!
    (Man! the op is just so catchy. What will we have for season 2?)

  • March 31, 2014 at 2:11 pmayami123

    damn I wish they didn’t tone down the anime tsk =_= bring the 18+ above content of Log Horizon hehehe >:) anyway Nureha has a backstory too bad just as Shiroe is a Strategist to Krusty so is #$%^&* to Nureha hehe >:) spoilers >:)

    I wonder how many content it will release i mean the any takes Vol 1 to Vol 4 and plus 35 pages of Vol 5. wonder how many Anime Only Content they will make.

    and PLZ DON”T MAKE ANY NHK PRODUCTION PLZ put it on other Studios NHK is an EDUCATIONAL channel and WILL ATTEMPT to CENSOR 18+ CONTENT tsk

  • April 11, 2014 at 8:31 ams_w

    Log Horizon web radio starts 4/12, starring 4/5 of the lowbie party (minus Rudy.) Youtube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxT7X-mOc4g

    Audio will be on famitsu’s website. Of course, you’ll need to know Japanese for any of this to make any sense, but for those of you who do, enjoy! (And those who don’t, well, it’s never too late to start.)

  • April 24, 2014 at 4:34 pmLyfe

    I finished this recently, anyway I was looking at the light novel titles and find them utterly confusing as nothing remotely resembled the title of books 3 and 4 ‘The End of the Game Parts 1 and 2′. The game didn’t end..

    Maybe I’m taking the title literally but I didn’t get the impression from any of the episodes that the game was ending lol

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