Shiroe flails about, trying to figure out what game is being played, only for a friend to inadvertently give him a hand. Shiroe is back, baby. You’re all screwed now!
Destroying The Round Table
So the attacker’s plan isn’t to overrun and conquer Akihabara or anything so crass as that – as if it would even be possible – but to destroy the Round Table’s reputation and undermine the talks with Eastal. This strikes me as extremely clever. After all, the Round Table is an unelected government, and a very new one at that, so not only are they vulnerable to attacks via paperwork and organization that more established organizations would be able to handle, any perceived weaknesses in their problem-solving ability could destroy their citizen’s confidence and bring the government down. Smart, smart. There’s just one problem: Adventurers don’t think like People of the Land.
In many ways Akatsuki typifies the typical adventurer. When Shiroe mentions there’s a fight, she immediately draws her weapons and gets ready to crack some faces. I don’t blame her – when Shiroe first mentioned an attack on Akihabara, my first thought was of a martial attack as well. Adventurers are self-selected to have a certain straight-forward, no-nonsense, action-biased attitude when it comes to problem-solving within the games they play. This is what makes them uniquely suited for some tasks, but not so great at others. For example, adventurers are suited for killing NPCs, but political subterfuge aimed at toppling a government? Shiroe is right, sounds like a boring quest. That’s all People of the Land stuff, whose culture has made them a lot more suited for that boring (but potentially dangerous) stuff.
I totally lost it when Shiroe freaked the hell out! As one who personally enjoys blindsiding his adversaries with unexpected moves – it’s a devastatingly effective tactic in the corporate world, and hilarious when you one-up someone from a direction they never expected, believe you me – I laughed my ass off at his intense frustration. Shiroe is a schemer, and schemers prefer to fight against other schemers, because then they know what kind of battle they’re fighting. In this though, there’s no rhyme or reason to most of the “attacks”, the People of the Land are just winging it. It’s like a master going up against an amateur in a sword fight – yes, usually the master will win, but an amateur can be very dangerous because they don’t know what they’re not supposed to do. Unpredictability can be killer, and when no one knows what someone will do – even the person doing it – it can be frightening to be on the other side of that battle.
The Hard Worker vs The Natural
It’s no surprise that Shiroe ended up irritated at Soujirou. More than a schemer, Shiroe is a hard worker – even the things he’s good at, like scheming, require a lot of hard work. Soujirou on the other hand is a natural – he’s a natural leader, he’s a natural ladies man, and he’s a naturally nice guy, all things that he does so naturally he doesn’t even have to think about it! The hard worker vs the natural always ends up with the hard worker being irked, even when they’re on the same side. I feel you, Shiroe, I feel you. You’re still pretty scary, though. I think you’re a natural at that.
It’s Hard To Be An Ass In Front of Pretty Girls
Shiroe’s plan to fight the random was inspired. When you’re dealing with randomness, fight it with obliviousness! Though that’s a pithy oversimplification. In reality what he was doing was deploying the rare adventurers who were well-suited to deal with the problems all the other adventurers were terrible at. When you’re dealing with people who are determined to be jackasses, you can toss them out like Nyanta did, but they’ll just move on and keep doing the same thing. No, it’s better to soothe their spirits and make it so they don’t want to be such pricks, and there’s nothing better for that than pretty girls! That + the Soujirou fangirls’ love-soaked brains making them the ideal highly empathetic people to deal with domestic disputes allowed them to put out fires no one else could. Your evil plan worked Shiroe, and Soujirou still doesn’t have a clue. Well done!
Lord Marves…May I Hit Him?
As for the insane clown merchant, may I hit him? I don’t know what Lord Marves is like normally, but it was clear to me that he was trying to provoke the adventurers, both with his cargo and him acting like a total creep. His act was so good I found myself wanting to slug him as he harped on the commoner/noble thing and picked fights with the whole banquet with everything he said. All because Westelande fears the effects of an alliance between Eastal and Akihabara…clever, but also loathsome. Seriously, can I hit him?
Bonus: Lenessia mentioned something about a revolution in the west, and Westlande is in the west, as is Minami. Very interesting. I feel like we’ll be dealing with them more soon…that is, if the show wasn’t ending in one episode. D’oh!
Looking Ahead – They Need To Have Even More Fun!
Ohhh man Marves, you’re really fucked now! When Shiroe walks in that casually and then has that look on his face… Well, Lord Marves is a schemer. Maybe the random attacks can befuddle Shiroe, but against another schemer, he is the bee’s knees. I can’t wait to see Shiroe give him the smackdown with an (evil) smile on his face!
But it looks like Lord Marves isn’t the kingpin here. The coal-black queen, who is blushing as she looks at Shiroe. I have my guesses who she’ll be, but I’ll hold my tongue for now. I do know one thing, though…this season is going to end on one hell of a cliffhanger, isn’t it? Damn!
Either way, the root of Shiroe’s plan is brilliant, because it shows how well he knows his people, adventurers. If the enemy’s plan is to tear down the festival, their only recourse is to have more fun! Because as long as adventurers are having fun, you can’t tear them apart. You can believe in that.
Note: I’m going to be out of town next weekend, so expect the finale post on Sunday or Monday. Thank you for your understanding.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Shiroe has trouble with the random attacks, but with a little help from Soujirou’s fangirls, we’re back in the game! #loghorizon 24
- A rare mistake from Henrietta – there’s no way they can cancel the festival. When your competence is being called into question, you can’t fold entirely and give up. You have to press on, and outmaneuver them without most people being any the wiser.
- Akatsuki-chan’s pouty face is so kawaii!
- Customer service is the front line. It always is, and they take the damage to prove it. Healers!
- Pizza and cockroaches. I agree Shiroe… (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ Screw this noise!!
- Cakes vs girls. Is this going to replace ninjas vs pirates? Because that would be awesome.
- Nooo Shiroe, don’t add another to your harem! The girls like it now, but they’ll kill you if it goes any further!
- I liked how Lenessia prefers the awkward but honest adventurers to the two-faced nobles who treat her like a doll, and after seeing Lord Marves, who can blame her. Give me the sword-wielding nerds any day.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Realism, cynicism, & the unreasonable man, Weak business models, Combat scenes – Blocking & initiative order, and Critical flaw.
Full-length images: 26.