「イースタルからの招待状」 (Isutaru Kara no Joutaijou)
“An Invitation from Eastal”
A summer training camp means swimsuits and dungeon crawling for the newbies, while a messenger from Eastal leads to Shiroe & co fighting a political skirmish in suits and party dresses.
Marie-nee’s Summer Training Camp
Marie-nee, you’re the best kind of useless! I’m a big fan of relaxation as a way to actually increase productivity, so I for one heartily endorse Shiroe’s summer training camp idea, and not just because it led to swimsuits and hilarity. (Akatsuki wasn’t there and Marie-nee pulled her punches, but it was still funny!). This also promises to lead to a little more proper MMO-style adventuring next week, which like I said last time I’m looking forward to. I truly love the economic and political angles of this show, and I want them to stay in the forefront, but what can I say, I want to see MMORPG mechanics in an anime done right. Soon, soon!
Heading to Eastal
The possibility of war with the People of the Land has been raised, but Shiroe dismissed it as unlikely. The adventurers are (generally) far more powerful than the People of the Land for one, and they also die when they’re killed, unlike adventurers. Shiroe’s point is good though, in that there’s a lot they don’t know about the People of the Land. What if they can level up now? What if there were new NPCs in the expansion that now aren’t NPCs? But those are all secondary considerations, as the biggest one is still what Shiroe said – quests. The People of the Land hold the keys to some very powerful items, or at least they used to, but if they can’t provide those anymore – or won’t – then that could put newer players at a serious disadvantage. There’s also the question of where they get these quest rewards (assuming they still do). There are a lot of questions that need answering.
Which is why they had to accept the invitation from Eastal. One critique of Shiroe: his analysis of the two sides being “We could get information and make connections with the People of the Land” vs “we could get sucked into their politics” ignores another angle – insult. If they rejected the invitation from Eastal they would be insulting the People of the Land (unless Krusty could smooth that over, which I wouldn’t put past him), which could directly lead to war. Yes the adventurers would probably win, but they’d have to kill a lot of people to do it, which they don’t want to do. Onwards to Eastal, young adventurers!
The Scent of Romance Is In the Air
It ought to be no surprise that I love stories where there are multiple, non-intersecting couples (Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo) to most harem shows, and that’s yet another reason I’m enjoying Log Horizon. Some pairing updates: I love how Marie-nee always glomps Naotsugu for the flimsiest of reasons. Do I smell the scent of love? Ufufu~
Another is Serara x Nyanta, which is still going strong…from one direction. Which brings me to a quick argument – not all dense male love interests are bad. Nyanta shows absolutely no awareness of Serara’s crush on him, but with him it’s good rather than annoying like a certain other show. Why is that? Well, it serves his character – Nyanta is a gentleman, and also much older than Serara (we assume), which means it wouldn’t be good for anything to develop between them. It would be very awkward for Serara if he nipped her crush in the bud though, so the best thing for him to do is to ignore it and hope it peters out on its own. I’m not saying he necessarily realizes, by the way – he could be incapable of considering such a thing because she’s so young and he’s a gentleman, or he could have a blind spot to love. It works because we can pick our own reason, all of them enhance his character, and because they’re not the main couple, which means it doesn’t crop up enough to get annoying. Being dense can work, it just has to be used right.
The best relationship is still Shiroe x Akatsuki of course, but this episode raised an interesting possibility…what about Shiroe x Akatsuki x Henrietta? When the guys were making jokes about Shiroe having a pretty woman on each arm, neither Akatsuki or Henrietta said anything. I know Akatsuki probably doesn’t mind and Henrietta is too much of an adult to care about a bunch of guys joking around (especially when she’s focused on Akatsuki), but still…commence the 3P shipping!! It feels like Akatsuki might be in the middle of this one rather than Shiroe, but that’s okay with me – having her around to call him “Dark Shiroe-sama” and “Dark Kuroe-sama” is plenty entertaining for me!
Looking Ahead – Politics & Negotiation
Despite Shiroe’s fears they became involved in Eastal’s politics as soon as that messenger arrived. Now they’ve got to fight through the political morass, and it looks like Krusty is going to be leading the charge. It’s a delicate dance, trying to extract more information out of your opposite than they want to reveal without giving away as much of your own information as you might, but it can be lucrative if you can pull it off. Coming from the original author of Maoyuu and taking place in a much better adapted anime, I have a feeling these negotiations are going to be a treat to see.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – While the newbies are training at the beach, Shiroe & co are off to Eastal for politics, dancing & Akatsuki in a summer dress #loghorizon 11
- They really did make a boat with a steam engine. Science and engineering are way easier when you can skip hundreds of years of development in a single bound.
- Akatsuki sure does love to hang from the ceiling. I approve; I’d totally do the same thing if I were an Assassin!
- Where are all the high level players that are young, by the way? I know how MMORPGs work, some of the best equipped and highest level players are high school kids with too much free time on their hands. The young ones aren’t always going to be newbies.
- Standing on a rooftop, looking out over the city…look at that badass megane style right there. If those two get into politics together when they get out of this world, Japan (and the rest of the world) is totally fucked.
- “No, I’d like to have one more.” *Everyone stares at Shiroe* “Desuyone~” Hah!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Don’t reject feedback rashly, Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy, What I’m thankful for, and On writing fast, writing well.