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Log Horizon 2 – 11

「リトライ」 (Ritorai)
“Retry”

It’s pro-level raiding time with Shiroe and Silver Sword, and a long-due turn from everyone’s favorite wrathful monk, Demigl—I mean, Demikas.

True Friends, & Comrades-in-Arms

Expanding on the themes from last week, this episode featured more than just William admitting that his guildmates were his friends. Which was touching, truthfully. I see no shame in holding the people you’ve met online as your friends. If they’re your only friends, yes, perhaps that’s something to work on. There are some things that cannot be replicated through a game, connections you can only make with those you’ve met in person. But here’s the thing—they’re in person now! They may be in what they used to think was a game, but they’re there, so there’s certainly no shame in treating these people as their friends now. I think this is one of the last vestiges of “This is a game” thinking wearing off from the members of Silver Sword. They’re becoming denizens of this world, and closer for it.

But more interesting to me was the talk of comrades-in-arms, and how there cannot be hate between them. Which is true, to a point—an incompetent comrade, even if you fight alongside them, can easily be hated. But would they really be a comrade-in-arms? Between Shiroe and Demikas, there is increasingly, if not affection—certainly not affection—at least respect. From Shiroe buffing Demikas to Demikas pulling out that Covering ability that sucked in all the AE damage, the hatred is melting away. And Demikas equipping a Shiroe to kite the Shadow Vanguards? Awesome!

The Boss Positioning To Win It All

In retrospect, the solution to their boss dilemma is pretty simple, and it’s the default tactic that I myself, in my past life as an MMORPG raid leader, used myself—if extra mobs come, offtank them! Doesn’t matter if they’re raid bosses, just shove a tank on them and lock them down. Focus fire one down, rinse and repeat, good night raid encounter. Barring any funy mechanics, it’s a solid way to go about it.

Shiroe’s plan was simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s all in the execution. Naotsugu and Dinkuron have to position the raid bosses at opposite ends of the room and then position themselves so the healers could get in range to heal them without being in attack range anymore than necessary. The support members and ranged DPS have to constantly tweak their positioning to stay out of range. And if their attack areas overlap, they’re screeeeewed. Add in the AE healing and/or attack neutralization abilities they were using to recover from Ibrahabra’s AoE attacks, and they were showing exactly how a pro guild does it—like a well-oiled machine, even when it’s the first time they’ve fought a boss this way. That doesn’t mean it’s their first time attempting something like this, not by a long shot.

Smarter Than Meets The Eye

The biggest and most interesting wrinkle was the appearance of the Shadow Vanguards. First of all, I have to ask—why aggro Luseat at all? It doesn’t seem necessary, unless they were going to have to aggro it anyway in order to get close enough to open the gate, in which case moving on.

The appearance of the Shadow Vanguards, and Shiroe’s hypothesis of how they came to be, is the latest in a long line of troubling portents about the coming death(?) of the MMORPG way of life the adventurers so love. That doesn’t feel like a mechanic—that seems like what a thinking, feeling being would do to exploit its own abilities in unique ways when someone goes through a door it can’t fit through. So the troubling question—are these raid bosses sentient? Can they be talked to? Are the adventurers, by killing them, committing murder? Heavy questions for an MMORPG anime. I wonder if we’ll get answers anytime soon.

Looking Ahead – Kinjou, and the Gold of the Kunie Clan

So if they could just run past all the bosses, why did they have to fight them at all? From a character perspective, it feels like they were trapped in MMORPG thinking once again, but from a narrative perspective, it’s a bit of a letdown to have the do all that work, and then Shiroe goes off to face the final boss alone. Note that I didn’t say fight—I don’t think Shiroe is going to fight Kinjou, or at least not much. Talk at, certainly, but not fight. But while the raiding (and the Shiroe death it caused) were almost certainly required to make Shiroe able to talk to Kinjou, him being yanked away in the middle of the battle feels frustrating. A Demi ex machina, if you will. Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

Either way, it sounds like we’re going to hear what Shiroe is really up to next week, and I could not be more excited. Log Horizon is, strangely, one of those series that’s almost better when everyone’s just talking. I’ll be interested to hear what Shiroe has to say.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s raiding time Silver Sword battles two bosses, only for a Demi ex machina to deliver Shiroe to … Kinjou!? #loghorizon s2e11

Random thoughts:

  • Demi-Demi has a Noto Mamiko waifu? And she’s sarcastic? Kill him. He must die right now. SLAY THE HERETIC!
  • One of my favorite things about this episode was learning (or being reminded) what all these abilities did. Fortress Stance, Covering, Force Step, Mana Channeling, Sequoia of Life, Karma Drive… what can I say? I’m a massive nerd like that.
  • Of course, the middle of a battle is when Tetora tells Naotsugu that she’s joining Log Horizon, so she can play with him. Naotsugu is living the guardian dream—a cleric on both arms!

I wrote a book! My first book, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available on Amazon now! (More information) You can also check out my personal site at stephenwgee.com. The last four posts: Sneak Peek: Wage Slave Rebellion prologue, Action Politics—a FREE short story, Wage Slave Rebellion is available NOW!, and Welcome.

 

Preview

December 14, 2014 at 12:06 am
69 comments »
  • December 14, 2014 at 12:09 ambrajt

    Tetra.. welcome!!! <3 <3 <3

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:17 amKaleRylan

    I’m curious if the book gives a better explanation on Shiroe and Naotsugu’s equipment. It seems a bit weird that part of the strategy for winning was to ACTUALLY equip their best items, since they apparently weren’t before. It’s not a huge deal but in the context it seems odd.

    Also, angel staff is really cool looking.

    • December 14, 2014 at 1:20 amlytterbug

      It’s been mentioned in passing before, but the book goes into further detail.

      Basically the new equipment are forged using real life methods, i.e. smelt the metal etc, and not through a menu, and so the repairing etc. are also done manually. There weren’t people who had the real life skill of repairing armor with them at that point, and considering that the raid went on longer than expected, the armor wouldn’t have lasted had they decided to wear them from the start.

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:02 amStilts

      I thought the new equipment was a bit odd, but I honestly breezed past it pretty quick. Nice to know the reason behind it, though. That makes a lot more sense than what most shows would do. “Oh, by the way, here’s some armor that I didn’t give you earlier because SHUT UP AND TAKE IT!” I’m glad Log Horizon doesn’t do that crap, even if sometimes the details are lost in adaptation.

    • December 14, 2014 at 3:11 amRandom Comment

      I think there’s a bit of misunderstanding here. Naotsugu’s armor is indeed the work of Akiba’s craftsmen, a prototype created from the culmination of their skills. The other items however (his shield, Shiroe’s new robe and staff) are either raid or quest rewards. To drive home the point, the shield, robe and staff are all Phantasmal-class items, which are so far only obtainable via raids and/or events.

      Mamre didn’t really give a reason why S&N had not equipped them in the first place. My guess is that they didn’t think there was a need to until the boss trio convinced them otherwise.

      • December 14, 2014 at 3:15 amKaleRylan

        That’s mildly disappointing. Knowing that they would get new equipment this season, I assumed they would get it from this raid or one of the earlier fights in this raid. having them be carrying it around but not using it because reasons is a fairy weird plot hole.

        Minor though, so whatever.

      • December 14, 2014 at 4:04 ammahoushounen

        well in case Shiroe Coat is form overseas server Raid quest.he liker not wear than because like hard find need part repair it.Naotsugu wear his new gear in the LN soon go in the raid

      • December 14, 2014 at 1:10 pmErimaki

        I wasn’t going to say anything on this, since I thought equipping the items when they did in the anime made perfect sense as well. But since the matter came up anyways, here I go.
        It’s a fairly lengthy LN-comparison, so putting it in spoilers. There’s no spoilers though.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:18 amWanderer

    Demi-Demi has a Noto Mamiko waifu? And she’s sarcastic? Kill him. He must die right now. SLAY THE HERETIC!

    That lovely lady (named Upashi, according to the credits) is in the running for most awesome thing this episode. It takes some real magnificence of character to tell a psychopath that, if he’s going to kill her he should just get on with it, and if he’s not then get out of the way so she can get on with what she’s doing.

    The worst part is she’ll probably never show up again! They brought in Mamiko Noto for a character who got maybe a minute of screentime, and that’s probably going to be her total for the entire season.

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:27 amKrono

    They probably need to kill most of them to actively progress at various points in the dungeon. The “run past them” thing has only worked so well here because it’s two people running past, leaving the rest of the raid to hold off the bosses. And that looks like another raid boss that Kinjou’s standing on at the end.

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:05 amStilts

      Oh yes, I wasn’t saying they should have tried to sneak (or death-zerg) past all of the bosses, just that it’s a bit narratively suspect to not show us the payout for all the raiding in favor of demi ex machinaing Shiroe to Kinjou. They definitely needed to get close enough to have running and gunning (even if it hadn’t worked) be a realistic option.

      • December 15, 2014 at 5:52 pmDave

        I don’t think they could simply just run by; the path to the next chamber was behind the dragon so Demikas takes advantage of the frost giant’s attack to get to a higher level. That’s why he goes into the attack radius and activated Lynx Tumbling – presumably an ability to negate movement impairment effects – and then runs up the giant’s club and body to bypass him.

    • December 14, 2014 at 5:08 amReverseTales

      Yeah, thanks for the explanation.

      I was thinking that it was pretty weird, since I previously thought all the bosses needed to be killed to get to the end zone. But then Demikas + Shiroe just ran all the way to the finish line.

      About the boss trio problem, Luseat is awesome. It can keep hitting itself and spawning Shadow Vanguards, making for an impossible fight.

      Random thoughts:
      1. Since the Vanguard targets Luseat, I suspect that a form of mind control is involved. In that case, given enough time and materials, Shiroe can probably create a new spell to mind-jack them and create an army. Then he can take over the world.
      2. Is there a samurai skill that chucks money for damage? Because infinite whirlpool of gold + gil toss = insane damage
      3. Is there anyone who would like to see Baka to Test’s Class F take on this raid?

      • December 14, 2014 at 7:50 amLGrey

        3. Is there anyone who would like to see Baka to Test’s Class F take on this raid?

        *takes front seat*

        They will use the pencil sketch portrait when Shiroe cs. discussing the failures.

        And they’ll definitely use that BGM for the raid. And everyone will be chibified. Unyaaa~ :D

        But perhaps the most likely scenario is that they will feed Akihisa to the three bosses, while everyone else dash to the goal room (the exact opposite of Shiroe cs.).

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:28 ambakakubi

    They way Demi-Demi’s wife whipped him into submission in less than a minute was pure awesomeness.

    • December 14, 2014 at 12:44 amGekokujou

      So she finally appears, the girl that took the pants away from Demikas.

      • December 14, 2014 at 10:35 ampagan poor

        seems like she took more away than just pants.

    • December 14, 2014 at 11:52 amL002

      Want to bet that his wife is the distant relative of Chi-chi and the Ox-king; that would explain why she is both a great cook yet a very powerful “tamer” that even super saiyans must obey.

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:30 amwoops

    i like how defenceless Shiroe is against Demikas in 1v1, he got tossed around like low level slime.
    that show how imperfect he is, despite being one of the most kickass MC ever.

    • December 14, 2014 at 5:28 amWorldwideDepp

      Well, Demikas is a Offensive Class. and He is an Supporter Class, Crow Control.

      like

      Demikas is the Front Line Saber/Berserker Class, where Shiroe is some kind of Archer class

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:31 ambakakubi

    Oh, another interesting fact was the scene where Demikas asked Shiroe to say his name. That little exchange gave us so much interaction and info on Demi-Demi’s character.

    • December 14, 2014 at 1:11 amPancakes

      Fully agree, that scene alone summed up Demikas’ character perfectly, and less than a handful of words were spoken too. Some other shows really need to take note because that’s how you efficiently handle character development.

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:10 amStilts

      Very true, very true. They led up to it a lot, so it’s not like it was the height of subtlety, but there in the moment they didn’t unnecessarily embellish it. Either the viewer drew the conclusion they were looking for, or they missed it, but they weren’t going to ruin the experience for the former group in order to explain it to the latter.

      That’s a lesson many should take heed—including, occasionally, Log Horizon. It’s a hard lesson to remain consistent on, believe you me.

      • December 14, 2014 at 2:33 ambakakubi

        Oh, I believe you for sure.

        There are only a few shows, if any, in which I can think of that maybe does this right at times.

        Like you pointed out, it’s hard to remain consistent, even for Log Horizon itself. Yet, when they do get the moment right, it’s becomes a pretty enjoyable view experience. We really need more of this in today’s shows.

    • December 14, 2014 at 3:56 amSolaris

      Oh! Someone noticed it! It’s a matter of respect. Shiroe’s never addressed Delicious in a proper way, he’s always mocked him. The thing Demiglass wanted more, as a gamer and human is respect. Now you also see why he’s always all over the place running and aggoing mobs. He was not being n00b, he was kind of attention whore.

    • December 14, 2014 at 4:21 amNyast

      Was I the only one who expected Shiroe to answer “Demi-demi” ? Demikas would have raged so much..

      • December 14, 2014 at 5:30 amWorldwideDepp

        well, at last Shiroe learned to read the atmosphere. He saw Demikas “emotion” in his Eyes

      • December 14, 2014 at 8:12 amnyanlol

        for a second there, i thought shiroe had forgetten demi’s real name

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:35 amRandom Wanderer

    why aggro Luseat at all?
    If they just went straight for Ibrahabra, Luseat would have join in the fight as well making it a 3 raid boss fight.
    What they need to do was chip down Luseat’s HP so that it activates its “white” form and thus becoming immobile. After killing off the initial Shadow Vanguards, as long no one attack Luseat, no Shadow Vanguards will be produced.
    What they did not expect was Lueseat taking advantage of that mechanic and making more Shadow Vanguards by itself.

    • December 14, 2014 at 9:20 amWanderer

      Wait, now there’s someone posting here as Random Wanderer, which is my name on a large number of forums and some other blogs (because just plain Wanderer was already taken)? My identity is being stolen, no matter what I do! ;)

      Really, I’m a bit surprised to see someone else using that one.

      Ahem… To keep this on topic, I wasn’t aware that Luseat became immobile in White Knight form. I assume it must have attacks to make up for it, asside from the shadow vanguard?

  • December 14, 2014 at 12:38 amnplm

    Here is my hypothesis on why this all works.
    I think all bosses would attack directly once you enter their “zone”, so you will aggro them anyway.
    and i think it goes as follows;
    1st boss he takes couple of seconds when he changes from black to white and summon the demons (if i remember correctly), thus this was the time they moved onto the next ones. He can’t attack thus it is the safest time to give him their backs.
    2nd and 3rd boss, they were extremely focused on the others so shiroe alone can bypass them.
    In conclusion even though it may seem anti-climatic for shiroe to just move there, it is completely understandable why he couldnt just stroll in from the beginning but fight first.
    Thanks for an awesome article as usual ;)

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:04 amPancakes

    Although it’s been said several times already you know the author knows exactly what they’re doing when even Demikas of all people receives an excellent little bit of character development. If anything too Demikas’ little stunt of taking Shiroe away was his way of ensuring if the second round of the fight went to hell and gone that at least the party would be victorious by having Shiroe succeed with the actual objective; easy to see this with Demikas quickly running off dragging the Shadow Vanguards behind him.

    Interesting point too about the Adventurers actually being in the game. I cannot remember if it’s been expanded upon already but as far as we know no one is aware of just what state the Adventurers are currently in, if they have indeed been transported body and soul into the game world or if their mind (a la SAO) is the only thing with a connection to it. IMO the play out here shows even more about how well adjusted the Adventurers have become to their situation, no longer worried (overtly) how and why they are where they are and instead concerned with making the best out of an abnormal situation.

    • December 14, 2014 at 4:45 pmRedRocket

      They have been clear that players used computers, keyboards and mice to play this game. So there is no modern to us way to put people inside the game. They are in the game because of magic or alien super technology. Magic and this being another alternate reality is the simplest explanation. But alien tech that implanted their minds as code in a alien supercomputer to match the song is another possibility. SOA virtual reality is not available as Log Horizon is not set in the future.

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:09 amSetsuna Henry

    • December 14, 2014 at 1:34 amGinobi47

      That Lander just whipped Demi-Demi’s anarchistic ass. She deserves what little screen time she has and then some!

    • December 14, 2014 at 10:31 amiTheShirt

      They need an OVA.

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:41 amLonghaul

    So the troubling question—are these raid bosses sentient?

    Based on the Goblins starting to do things like training, I think it is safe to say that they are indeed sentient, even if its in a manner still bound by (fading) game elements. Being able to actually talk with one is probably based on how intelligent an individual mob/boss is.

    • December 14, 2014 at 1:59 pmRedRocket

      Yep I think I mentioned after the wipe that talking to the bosses might work as the bosses seamed to be thinking with their three together tactic. At least the bosses respawn like adventurers so it not a permeant death.

  • December 14, 2014 at 3:20 amLGrey

    And Demikas equipping a Shiroe to kite the Shadow Vanguards?

    I’m pretty sure Stilts have thoughts of equipping an Akatsuki. I’ll bet on it.

  • December 14, 2014 at 3:37 amyohoho

    i can understand why Demikus like that girl(because she is perfect, duh) but i can’t imagine how the girl fall in love with Demikus. :s

    • December 14, 2014 at 4:00 amSolaris

      Maybe she had a penchant for lost causes like him :D

      • December 14, 2014 at 5:50 pmMincemaker

        He kidnapped her. Then she henpecked him. Now they are married.

      • December 15, 2014 at 2:51 amSolaris

        So you say it’s a kind of revenge for having (supposedly) defiled her? :p

      • December 15, 2014 at 5:13 amMincemaker

        More like she’s already acting like a long-married wife ever since he kidnapped her and now he just couldn’t imagine a life without her around to nag at him to move his lazy arse and stop leaving crap lying around.

    • December 14, 2014 at 9:29 pmhaseo0408

      She must love challenges and there is no greater challenge than to tame Demikas into a respectable husband!.

  • December 14, 2014 at 3:56 amflCer

    Stilts: First of all, I have to ask—why aggro Luseat at all?

    Pretty sure that in the previous episode, it was noted that the 2 gates were not open before the fight started. You need to start the fight and progress to a certain point before the gates open.

    • December 14, 2014 at 5:49 amDvalinn

      They just cut a hole in the gates though, they never truly opened them fully.

      I think Stilts’ idea is right and it’s simply because the boss’ aggro range was huge (as per usual with those things) and there was no way to reach the gates without attracting his attention. Hence the simply tactic of fighting him till he roots himself and then running the hell away to the other bosses – he was never of much importance, from a raid standpoint.

      Also, Demiglas’ wife is my nominee for one-shot character of the season!

      • December 14, 2014 at 10:35 amiTheShirt

        “Also, Demiglas’ wife is my nominee for one-shot character of the season!”

        Seconded!

  • December 14, 2014 at 6:22 amalpha

    That was some nice metal playing during the fight scenes.
    Does someone know the the source?

    • December 15, 2014 at 1:39 amyohoho

      it’s mostly old soundtrack from S1. try google Log Horizon Original Soundtrack 1.

      • December 15, 2014 at 12:24 pmalpha

        Thanks. Ude ni Oboe Ari is the one that I was locking for.

  • December 14, 2014 at 6:45 amewok40k

    and so we discover the legendary place of pretty much all MMORPG
    “The Fabulous Gold Sink”
    Still waiting for Kunie clan ebnvoy to divulge us the details of how it works and why he doesnt want Shiroe to tamper with it.

    It will be a complicated life now for Naotsugu now between Marie and Tetra-chan…

    • December 14, 2014 at 9:31 pmhaseo0408

      You call it complicated, I call it a hell of fun for us to enjoy!. XD

      • December 15, 2014 at 12:07 amewok40k

        for Naostusgu it will be same, but with emphasis on HELL :P

  • December 14, 2014 at 9:52 amtoti

    I have to say, Log Horizon doesn’t have the same budget as SAO, but the raid fights are light years ahead

    • December 14, 2014 at 10:34 amiTheShirt

      It’s like they are telling us to merge Dragon’s Dogma, Dragon Age, and Final Fantasy. One day. Log Horizon MMO on PS5

  • December 14, 2014 at 9:59 amRyan Ashfyre

    http://randomc.net/image/Log%20Horizon/Log%20Horizon%202%20-%2011%20-%2012.jpg

    “We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July Christmas Day will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

    http://randomc.net/image/Log%20Horizon/Log%20Horizon%202%20-%2011%20-%2023.jpg

    “HELL YEAH!”

  • December 14, 2014 at 10:40 amiTheShirt

    I can’t wait to see Marielle’s reaction to Tetora and Naotsugu. I think she’ll run away or something. Mmm.. Can’t wait. >//<

    • December 14, 2014 at 9:26 pmhaseo0408

      Oh my dear God! I forgot all about Marielle! She´s going to have a heart attack in the spot!.

  • December 14, 2014 at 1:22 pmErimaki

    Boy, seeing this battle animated sure felt awesome. It was great to read it, but visuals brought it to yet another level!
    I’ll admit right away that with my (very lacking) knowledge of raiding, I didn’t realize back when reading this that these tactics were actual raid tactics. Shame on me.

    Shiroe one-shotting Luseat’s minions was pretty weird though.

    One of my favorite things about this episode was learning (or being reminded) what all these abilities did. Fortress Stance, Covering, Force Step, Mana Channeling, Sequoia of Life, Karma Drive… what can I say? I’m a massive nerd like that.

    You’re not alone.
    Imagine the pure happiness I felt when I found the Log Horizon wiki (the one that’s listed after the other ones in almost any google search leading to the wikis). Pages and pages of out-of-LNs information about the skills of the various classes.

    Also, seeing support spells that aren’t just “stat +X” was really nice. I don’t remember seeing too many of those, in real or fictional MMOs.

    • December 14, 2014 at 2:06 pmRedRocket

      Shiroe one shooting the minions was because the minions were only in the high 70′s level wise. At somewhere 92 plus, have not caught his level lately, Shiro can take the minions, now something closer to his level Shiro has to have help. Shiro’s class can solo adventure but only several levels below other classes from what I have seen. But combined with others Shiro’s class can do way more than just adding one more front line class could do.

      • December 14, 2014 at 7:18 pmArtrion

        Actually I don’t think they died and if you look at them they just get knocked away. Its just that all the skills he was using delays the vanguards.

        If you recall their effects:
        Mind bolt = mini stun
        Mind shock = paralysis
        Astral bind = bind

      • December 15, 2014 at 4:14 amErimaki

        @Artrion: I missed them being knocked away, thanks for pointing it out. That makes much more sense.

        @Redrocket: Even then, one-shotting enemies that classes with much more DPS presumably couldn’t one-shot wouldn’t make sense. Not that he was one-shotting them though, as it turned out.

  • December 14, 2014 at 8:56 pmhaseo0408

    Yo know, from Demikas flashback you could say he hates Shiroe not only for the destruction of his guild or the death experience that brings horrible memories, it´s the fact Shiroe showed him that this new world they are living now it´s not a game, it´s REAL with all that entails, consequences for his actions, shame for what he has become, no easy way to glory or victory.

  • December 14, 2014 at 9:13 pmrandom viewer

  • December 15, 2014 at 5:37 pmRick Anime

    I wish someone would teach me how they attach images to their posts. I am actually familiar with HTML so I’d learn quick. I’m assuming I just need to point the image url to the site. LEt’s try:

    So the troubling question—are these raid bosses sentient? Can they be talked to? Are the adventurers, by killing them, committing murder? Heavy questions for an MMORPG anime. I wonder if we’ll get answers anytime soon.

    I don’t think they are self-aware but it does bring up an interesting question since all the other NPCs are apparently. But even if they are, I believe they have the ability to respawn. Since it is their job to die over and over like the demons which also respawn I believe

  • December 17, 2014 at 10:43 amdrzero7

    Why did they waste a talented VA like Mamiko Noto on Demi-demi’s wife? (i.e. a minor role)