「ラグランダの杜」 (Raguranda no Mori)
“The Forest of Lagranda”
A beautiful dance leads to a lover’s quarrel, while across the world the newbies dive into some proper dungeon crawling fun.
A Beautiful Bard’s Dance
That cinches it, I’m officially shipping Henrietta x Shiroe x Akatsuki. How could I not after that dance? Henrietta is so cool! Plus Shiroe called her sensei OH MY! They’re flirting they’re so flirting SQUEEE!!
Honestly, I’m surprised by how much Henrietta has come alive as a character. Log Horizon does a good job of fleshing out its supporting cast as well as its main protagonists, and Henrietta is an excellent example of this. She could have been nothing more than Marie-nee’s second-in-command, but between her playing dress up with Akatsuki, her business savvy we saw back when she was negotiating with the crafting guilds, and her political acumen seen her in how she admonished Shiroe to not show weakness, she has proven herself to be so much more. And she was right – that wasn’t the time to show weakness by letting Shiroe be himself. Plus Henrietta is so cool, and it added more fuel to my 3P (trope!) shipping fire, so woohoo!
Everquest and the Bard’s Role
Okay, shameless squeeing time. After the Bard’s role was explained, I said to myself “Elder Tales bards are so EQ bards. I swear Touno-sensei played EQ.” Sure enough, I unearthed some (hopefully accurate) evidence that he did just that! (Ctrl+F for “EQ” to find it.) Maybe this only entertains me, but as an old school Everquest player – that was the MMORPG I cut my teeth on – it’s awesome to see someone who played it as well telling a great story in a similar world. Plus it adds credence to how I keep saying Elder Tales is a late 90’s / early 2000’s-style MMO, and I do so love being right.
Jealous Akatsuki & A Lover’s Quarrel
Aside from sending me into a frenzy, Henrietta and Shiroe’s dance had another amazing effect – jealous Akatsuki. Normally she would have been angry at being mistaken for a kid, but the children’s offer of playing Hide & Seek gave her exactly the prompt to do what she wanted to do at the time. A jealous Akatsuki is fine too.
Needless to say, obviously grumpy Akatsuki the next morning was another of my favorite moments. Pardon my fangirling, but her lover’s quarrel with Shiroe was weapon’s grade adorable! Which just goes to show you what I’ve been saying for a while – that stories are better when they take subplots from a bunch of different genres to make a better united story. 100% Shiroe x Akatsuki would only be fun for so long, as soon I’d be clambering for some resolution, but as a garnish to a story with a lot of other interesting things going on it’s a delicious addition.
Bonus: I love Akatsuki’s subtle smile when Shiroe asked her to do recon. To me that was her being happy that Shiroe still needed her. Am I reading too much into it? Maybe. But it’s friggin’ adorable #%^&$%@$!!!
Into the Dungeon With Rudy
I could write an entire post about Rundel Haus “Rudy” Code (Kakihara Tetsuya) and how hilarious he is! Actually, he walks a fine line – he’s annoying, but he’s so over-the-top about it that it’s funny rather than aggravating. Mostly…I did want to smack him when he was getting on Minori’s case for her level (even though he’s only two levels higher), but other than that he was funny nearly every time he spoke. I can’t help but like a bullshitter, if only because I’m one professionally.
What I didn’t expect was the dungeon crawl to be not as entertaining as I hoped. It wasn’t bad, I still enjoyed it, but it was nothing next to previous action scenes. I think the reason was the stakes, in that there weren’t any. If they die then oh well, who cares. Back when they were rescuing Serara from Susukino there were stakes. Many of the political and diplomatic clashes have had significant stakes. Even the time they fought the boss mob trying to get Susukino had stakes. This? Not so much. If they all failed and/or died they would be embarrassed, but not much else. That’s probably the reason most MMORPG anime have some variant of the “trapped in a game” theme, because that provides stakes. Without it, it’s all just…a game, really.
That said, I did enjoy seeing the MMORPG tropes I’m so used to being properly animated. They paid good fidelity to the MMORPG experience, and I loved getting to see a DPS caster in action. Mainly because I tend to play DPS casters, so Rudy burning down a bunch of trash mobs and then drawing aggro was deeply familiar. Wait until the tank has aggro, you idiot! And/or stick next to Isuzu (Matsui Eriko). She seem more competent than you anyway.
Looking Ahead – The People of Land Are Scared, & Krusty After the Princess
It’s deeply believable that the People of the Land should be afraid of the adventurers. Where once they were disorganized and easily controlled, now they’re organized, engaged with the world, and their technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. Just like any nation-state the people of Eastal will try to get them on their side or extinguish them, and it’s to the Round Table and Akihabara’s benefit that a war not break out.
Which is likely why Krusty is targeting Princess Lenessia. Krusty, you magnificent bastard you! (trope!) Between going after the princess and shoving Shiroe out onto the dance floor, he’s another supporting character who’s increasingly coming into his own. I can’t wait to see what he has in mind.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Between dancing Henrietta, jealous Akatsuki, & ridiculous Rudy, this was an episode to remember! #loghorizon 12
- I don’t know why, but the fact that the band at the ball was playing the Elder Tales opening song is deeply interesting to me. You’ve got to enjoy the little things, eh?
- She’s only a little taller than him when he’s sitting down. Welcome to my love life.
- I enjoyed how Shiroe is planning to get even at Krusty for making him dance with Henrietta, because A) it proves he truly is evil, and B) shouldn’t dancing with Henrietta be a reward? Shiroe no baka.
- Akatsuki can find a Japanese-style tea cup no matter where she is. No matter where.
- Anyone else amused by how the Forest of Lagranda is a cave?
- These two boys are totally, totally baka. Just total bakas. Don’t get taken in by Rudy’s bullshit, Tohya!
- “My light is better than your light!” Wait a second… Yeah, I don’t think you’re doing it right. Protip: Don’t get into a dick waving competition with a girl. Nobody wins, but you’ll lose.
- He actually caught an arrow in his fingers? Rudy’s bullshit grandstanding is too stronk. He needs to never stop being a pompous jackass or get his comeuppance quickly and become legitimately useful. I’m not sure which I’d prefer.
- All. Those. SPARKLES!! Don’t lie Isuzu, you know you love it.
- This was the most hilarious retreat since the last time I drew aggro off my tank and everyone left me behind to die while they ran away. Fuck me!
- Author’s note: Apologies for the late posts recently. I pride myself on being punctual, but the holidays have a way of wreaking havoc on that. Next week’s post should be out in a more timely manner. Related: Log Horizon is not taking a year end break like other 2-cour shows, so expect Episode 13 next Saturday!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Look for execution, Why I don’t write fanfiction, Don’t reject feedback rashly, and Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy.
Full-length images: 02.