「真昼の吸血鬼」 (Mahiru no Kyuuketsuki)
“The Midday Vampire”

It’s a lighthearted journey full of gags and setbacks that are met only with excitement, until they come across a troublesome vampire. Then it’s all that, but with more glasses adjustments.

A Lighthearted, Carefree Adventure

Sometimes I think people take life too seriously. We’re not going to get out of it alive anyway, so why not enjoy it while we’re here? On a journey (vacation), too many people are stressed out rather than enjoying it—though granted, our five mid-level friends have the luxury of not being in a rush. What Tohya finally realizes—though it was delivered heavy-handedly, as narration instead of an organic epiphany—is that sometimes, it’s the twists and turns that make the trip. The destination is overrated, while the scenic route makes the journey into something to remember.

What I loved was the lighthearted, carefree way they approached any setbacks. Their horses running off wasn’t a disaster to be angry about, but something to laugh about before having an exciting time camping! Which is great to see. Sometimes fiction is best when it shows you how others approach the same situations you face—and perhaps, how you ought to deal with them yourself. Wouldn’t you prefer to have a journey like this rather than the rushing-about-trying-to-do-everything vacations that we busy modern humans so “enjoy”? As someone who’s about to be flying around the world for a few months—don’t worry, I should still be blogging while I’m away—I intend to do exactly that, minus the obstinate horses. It’s something to think about.

When Did This Become A Gag Anime?

My favorite gags where the young group imitating the older players (“Nyanta” Tohya, “Shiroe” Rudy, “Akatsuki” Minori, and “Naotsugu” Isuzu HAH!), and Henrietta’s latest outburst about the glory of cute. (Good diversion, Akatsuki!) And to be clear, I still enjoy the slower pace and more comedic tone we’ve got going. Yet I run up on the same concern that I feel some have had and more may be having now.

If I were to be given unlimited Log Horizon—don’t think about that too much, Stilts, that’s a dream that can never be—I would revel in this wholeheartedly, with no regrets. But this isn’t why most of us watch Log Horizon, is it? Slower episodes like 75+% of this episode, where the jokes and smiles are built off our relationships with the characters, are great … and yet we all want to see Log Horizon do the things only Log Horizon can do. So I won’t complain, not really. I’m not unhappy with what we’re given, but a part of me wishes it was something more along Log Horizon’s traditional strengths. Which is what the latter part of the episode gets into.

Organizational Politics

The talk of problems among D.D.D. and Honesty are pure organizational politics, and they’re an illustration in contrasts. To anyone who is ever going to work in any kind of organization, especially a large-scale one, pay attention! The difference between the two is a long-term view versus a short-term view. D.D.D., even before Krusty’s disappearance, seems to have focused on building a strong guild, which is why it’s more or less holding on even though Krusty is out of action. It’s losing people, to be fair, but most other guilds would have imploded by now, and a dearth of the guild doing what they all joined up (pre-Apocalypse) to do—raid—is certain to draw some people away. Yet they built a strong guild, complete with people like Misa and Rieze to pick up the slack if Krusty isn’t around, so it soldiers on.

Honesty, on the other hand, is exchanging long-term stability and stakeholder satisfaction (their stakeholders being: guild members, the citizens of Akihabara) for short-term influence. They’re ballooning in size in order to maintain their position on the Round Table, which is fine for now, but if they don’t control the bloat, they’re going to explode—which will be much more problematic for Honesty and the city as a whole. There are a hundred ways for an organization to perish, and slipping quality is high among them. That could be a problem soon.

Looking Ahead – The Troublesome Vampire

Like I said last week, I’ve been spoiled on what Roe2 (Fujimura Ayumi) is up to, so I can’t theorize much. (Use and mark your spoilers, people.) What I can say is that I was afraid she was going to come in all antagonistic, but I’m glad to see that she’s both friendly with Minori’s group and silly. And her apparent being-called-onee-san fetish? I get it! I totally get it! Everyone call me onii-chan, dammit!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s a carefree, lighthearted journey, with a dash of organizational politics & a goofy vampire #loghora s2e16

Random thoughts:

  • Danish and Croissant got tired of their shit. That was less dramatic than I was expecting from last week’s preview.
  • D’aaawww, sibling love. (Not that kind, you perverts!)
  • Krusty is gone, and everyone thinks Shiroe will fix it somehow. That’s a lot of weight to put on the guy’s shoulders. Maybe you should do something too, Henrietta. Or at least include a few more names. Shiroe is going to have a nervous breakdown at this rate.
  • Henrietta’s lunacy is kind of heartwarming, in a crazy-for-the-cute kind of way.
  • Actually, the best part of Henrietta’s outburst? Embarrassed Marie. So adorable!
  • Who wouldn’t want to hug Rudy and rub his hair?
  • You could have used a barrier instead of cringing like a fool, Minori. I know it worked out, but c’mon!

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info) I also published a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Feedback from family, Be the best you can be, Watch your reaction, and The miracle of sitting quietly.

Full-length images: 12, 34.

 

Preview

37 Comments

      1. I haven’t read the LNs covering this story arc, but I think we’ve been given a clue for a long time.
        Roe2 has been in Show Spoiler ▼

        Techim
  1. Funny, I never thought that the round table guilds would have ploys like this to maintain power though in hindsight i guess it was to be expected. Honestly, I am wondering whether or not Honesty may turn hostile towards the group though I have a feeling that this will not happen.

    As someone who has some knowledge on the light novel, something came up this episode that was brought up last episode which will become significant later. For now i will put it in spoilers and let you guys guess.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    FL
  2. Those things you do not notice until a character is in motion, on Minori’s new robes the pattern on the sleeves make a circle when her hands are together. Fitting being a ‘shrine maiden’.

    Longhaul
  3. Couple of things

    1. My niece got into watching log horizon and is currently watching the newbie arc of season 1 on the other TV. It’s really neat to see how far they’ve come between then and now.

    2. I don’t necessarily mind the fact that this season has been slower except for the fact that we may never get an anime conclusion since we’ve outpaced the source material and while this was popular enough to get season 2, will it be popular enough to get season 3 in 2 years?

    3. I blame the generally slower pace on the material rather than the anime. From what I can tell (I haven’t actually read them but I kind of vaguely looked them up) it seems like Mamare (is that right?) fell into the same kind of trap as George R.R. Martin. After a fairly quick moving first third of his story, he let the second part of his story move laterally into ‘world-building’ that broadens the plot but doesn’t really move it forward any. Not that nothing cool happens, but much like with A song of Ice and Fire, there is a definite feeling of wheel-spinning (where’s that ice-zombie invasion again?)

    KaleRylan
    1. On #3, it’s definitely a source material thing. I don’t think Touno-sensei is spinning his wheels, though. Not really. There’s a tendency among writers of these large, expansive stories to want to explore as much of it as we possibly can—and I absolutely include myself among that number, because I’m doing that now. It’s not even because we want to stretch out a winning formula, it’s because, when done well, there’s just so much you want to tell the reader about that you end up taking your time and telling these smaller stories.

      Which is great for someone who finds the books (or anime, or whatever) when it’s done, but what more stands the test of time? Something that goes off into diversions, or something tightly wound like Fullmetal Alchemist or Mirai Nikki?

      I still think Touno-sensei is going somewhere here, I just think he has so many developed characters that he can spend a little time with all of them and it doesn’t feel like we’re going anywhere. We are, we’re just taking our time.

      1. Personally, (as both an avid reader and writer) I think the best writing finds a way to expand the world without sacrificing plot momentum, something that I don’t think Touno-sensei has quite managed and I firmly believe Martin failed on.

        That’s not to say that Log Horizon is not one of my favorite stories of recent years or even possibly ever because it most certainly is (which is why I got my niece into it; she loved it), but I do think there are ways this particular feel could have been avoiding. Bouncing between the different POVs a bit more rather than dividing them by volume perhaps.

        And I very much hope they find a way to plug away at this along with him, because frankly, I tried reading the books once and wasn’t a huge fan. He gets REALLY into what the characters are thinking and it was a bit much for me. However, while it’s not my cup of tea, I think it’s a huge boon for the adaptation since it gives the creative team a very good picture of who these characters are and what makes them tick which I think has given rise to a large cast of fairly well-realized characters.

        KaleRylan
      2. oops, forgot a few words which arguably change the meaning, when I said ‘find a way to plug away at this’ I meant as in continue making seasons of the anime at whatever rate is possible in tandem with the book releases.

        KaleRylan
    2. I think we’ll get a Season 3 personally. I don’t think the length of time between seasons matters much anymore. I could see it being 13 episodes instead of waiting for enough material to do 25 again. I suspect they may ask the author how long he intends to keep the series going for and plan things from there.

      Lyfe
  4. Random side note, I kind of hope they don’t hold back on Roe2 that long since from the (lack of) comments it seems like a ton of posters were spoiled about her in one way or another so none of us can talk about her despite the fact that she’s an immediately interesting character in just her first appearance.

    KaleRylan
    1. Becoming physically weak in sunlight instead of turning to ash/bursting into flames was an interesting take on vampirism.

      That said just about anything is better than sparkling.

      Longhaul
      1. Considering Vampire is apparently an actual sub-class players can pick in Elder Tales, it really makes sense.
        I mean, imagine the rage if your character went poof in sunlight. Or shone.

        Erimaki
  5. random viewer
  6. Their journey seems such fun!
    Serara’s natural “they look tasty” was hilarious. As were the impressions of their sempais, although I was hoping for Serara to go all Galactic Idol on them at the end ^^”

    That scene with Honesty was anime-original, as far as I’m aware, but it’s nice to see those guys getting some development. Honesty has just been kind of there all this time.

    And wow Isaac, thinking of power-leveling the Landers.

    Erimaki
  7. On Roe2:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Stilts edit: Mark your spoilers as well, please. People need to know whether they should click on them or not.

    ewok40k
    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      BigFire
  8. This is IMO of what Roe2 is (Possible spoilers, but I didn’t read the LN so I don’t know if this is right.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    drzero7

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