「盾と自由」 (Tate to Jiyuu)
“Shield and Freedom”
A lazy, spoiled, can’t-be-bothered NEET princess is the best princess.
The Lazy Princess
Princess Lenessia (Ise Mariya) instantly catapulted herself to the ranks of my favorite Log Horizon characters, just as I know some of you predicted. First of all, I have to say what a good casting choice Ise Mariya was for this role. She does lazy, spoiled, and mildly petulant really well, all without coming across as unlikable. Mainly this was Lenessia rather than Mariyan though, because I can’t blame her for not wanting to deal with all the nonsense a princess has to put up with. It really seems like a bother.
All the points go to Krusty though, for spending the whole episode screwing with Lenessia’s head. Really there’s not much to say other than to say how hilarious it was! I loved how quickly Krusty saw through to Lenessia’s true nature even as she did the same back to him. Really though, it was just her reactions to all of Krusty’s bullshit that made her such a treat to watch. She can’t (yet) deal with someone like Krusty, so seeing her try was just fun.
My question is, how much is Krusty lying and using her? When he was talking about his imouto in particular, I couldn’t get a bead on whether he was telling the truth or making it all up. Personally I tend to lean towards “both” – Krusty probably has an imouto and she’s probably even lazy, but the stuff about him being able to deal with girls like her best is verifiable bullshit, because he has shown himself as able to deal with pretty much anyone well. As for whether he’s using her, I’m almost certain he is, but there’s nothing wrong with that; we all use one another all the time, and as long as it’s not for nefarious ends it’s perfectly natural. (Though nefarious ends are pretty natural too, so perhaps I should switch that to say “it’s alright.”) I’m sure Krusty is using her, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be to her benefit, nor that he won’t let her make that choice herself. I bet he will.
Bonus points go to Krusty for the handshake. Lenessia isn’t used to it, but he’s treating her like an equal rather than a fragile lady. That’s something I think she may come to like.
Barbarians, & The Difficulty of Freedom
I love how this show so frequently brushes up against deep psychological and sociological subjects that I find so interesting. For example, Krusty’s comment about how a barbarian like him could just lay down in the middle of the day brings to mind how powerful the cages we put ourselves in can be. There’s no reason the princess can’t do the same – or continue to do it even if someone walks by, that is – but she has put herself in a box that the “barbarian” Krusty doesn’t have to pay a damn bit of attention to. People expect less of him because of who he is, but that makes him free. Tell me, what boxes have you put yourself in that make you less free? What pointless boundaries based on duty or pride could you shove aside for a better life?
Along the same lines, there’s the idea of freedom. Krusty mentions that adventurers are free, but that freedom takes strength. I don’t think the strength he was talking about was in their level of equipment – no, it’s mental strength that’s required. To be free is to deal with uncertainty, and to be willing to do what you want to do (or feel is necessary to do), no matter what anyone else thinks. Adventurers are like entrepreneurs and freelancers – they might not always know where their next paycheck will come from, but they’re doing what they want and accepting the hardships that requires. That’s something Lenessia hasn’t had to do, but I have a feeling she may want.
I liked that the newbie interlude was short, and not just because I didn’t jive with it as much as I expected last week. The point of the scene was to check in with them, show that they’re still having trouble, and show that Minori still hasn’t stood up to become their strategist. They did all that without wasting time, and then we got back to where things were actually happening. In fact, Marie-nee’s conversation with Naotsugu was probably gilding the lily a bit, but even that didn’t take long, and I enjoyed Nyanta’s crab comment + Naotsugu’s face enough that it seemed well worth it. Also it made me hungry. I want Nakata Jouji to cook crab for me!
One thing of note though, and it’s about Rudy. He tried to blame Minori and the other healers for their continual failure, but to me it sounded like he was confused, and he at least in part blamed himself as well. He’s got some growing to do, but he’s not a total loss quite yet.
Looking Ahead – Regan of Miral Lake, the Mage of Answers
Looks like we’re finally going to get some more answers about how this world really works. The mage Regan of Miral Lake (Fujiwara Keiji) had one hell of an entrance, but it was in the preview that I got really pumped about his appearance. I can’t wait to find out more, and to see what Shiroe, Akatsuki, and all the others do with the information.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Lazy NEET princess is harassed by the barbarian Krusty while the newbies struggle & Akatsuki dances below the stars #loghorizon 13
- The intro about goblins reminded me of Tucker’s Kobolds. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, give that a read. It’s a reminder of how power isn’t everything, and how the most frightening foes are often clever and prepared rather than powerful. Unspeakable power is nothing against a lot of damn kobolds scurrying around side corridors and hurling molotov cocktails at your face.
- I want an Akatsuki to pat!
- “What does progress even mean? Isn’t that where we should start?” Kill me now. Have fun with that, Shiroe.
- The People of the Land were ballsy to try to get Michiaka’s steam ship technology from him, but I hope he blows them off. Why sell them the technology when he can get paid to ship their cargo instead? Other than diplomacy and politics and bullshit like that.
- Lenessia is so bad at smiling.
- Krusty makes all the girls squee, except the one he’s troubling so much.
- An Akatsuki dancing beneath the stars is a beautiful thing. A cute one too, when Shiroe catches her in the act. D’aaawww she is jealous!
- Akatsuki finds Shiroe’s rightward hair swirl to be cute? Well, I guess she doesn’t get to see the top of his head very often. Also, D’AAAAWWWW!!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Mix it up, Look for execution, Why I don’t write fanfiction, and Don’t reject feedback rashly.