「ライブがはねたら」 (Raibu ga Hanetara)
“When the Concert Ends”

Adventurers are change, whereas People of the Land aren’t fully formed people.

The People of the Land’s Forty-Two

Log Horizon’s original conceit—thousands of gamers trapped in a fantasy MMORPG—occasionally blinds us to another side of their new world’s equation. While usually we focus on how the adventurers are coping with and shaping their new reality—and rightfully so, since they’re the ones we most empathize with—there’s the other half to consider. The People of the Land have seemingly been brought to life by the Apocalypse as well, but not fully. I keep forgetting that.

Take music, and the much alluded to “forty-two”. The People of the Land were gifted by the gods with forty-two songs (the game’s soundtrack, I assume), and that’s it. That’s why, back in season one, the People of the Land orchestra was playing the Elder Tale theme at that banquet; it wasn’t a funny coincidence like when a character sings the OP or ED in most shows. They only had forty-two options, and that was probably the grandest of them all.

That’s … horrifying, when you think about it. I kept thinking that, even if the People of the Land aren’t superhumans like the adventurers, they were basically normal people, and the reasons adventurers kept doing so many awesome things were mostly societal. Compare modern Japan to a medieval-style fantasy society, and it’s no wonder that they’re more liberal (people choosing their own jobs, no nobility, etc) and more technologically advanced (recreation rather than pure invention, etc). But that’s not it, is it? The People of the Land are bound to the old shackles of the game more tightly than the adventurers apparently are, to the point that they can enjoy new music, but even after hearing it, they can’t create it. It’s not the idea, and it’s not the will, there’s just a block in the way. Perhaps that’s why Rudy couldn’t be Isuzu’s drummer. The music she had him trying to play wasn’t one of the forty-two, so he could only fail.

Though, if what we learned earlier this season about monsters beginning to train, perhaps this too could change…

Your Calling

“What do you want to do with you life?” is a question that’s been mined by plenty of fiction over the ages, which I would complain about if it weren’t such an eternal question. (At least, in our modern day where what we do with our lives isn’t predetermined by our father’s trade. Perhaps it’s not so eternal, but it’s likely here to stay.) Uncertainty isn’t one of the most attractive attributes on a character, but Isuzu had what I think was a healthy (if somewhat dishonest) view of her music: she was doing it for fun. Which is fine! Look, you know me—I like to write, and I’m relatively bad at taking things easy (blogs anime for 3+ years, wrote a book, etc). That doesn’t mean I don’t think writing (or playing music) just for fun isn’t valid, though. For some people that’s exactly where they want to be, and that’s absolutely cool.

I was struck by what Isuzu said about her father. When Rudy asked if he gave up when his debut didn’t turn into a long-lasting thing, Isuzu said no. He couldn’t stop. Mark my words: that phrasing is important. He couldn’t stop. Not that he wouldn’t, he couldn’t. Of course, technically he could have, but the hole in his life would have been profound. So he made a change. He took on a new role that would allow him to keep playing. It reminds me of a recent Zen Pencils comic, The Calling. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Sometimes there’s something you’re going to do, hell or high water.

Isuzu strikes me as the same, and when confronted with the truth of the People of the Land’s music, it brought it into stark relief. To the People of the Land, adventurers are change. Their freedom is dazzling, so much so that sometimes, they need to look away. It can be exhausting to stand beside people who are so very alive. We all know this intellectually, that we’re better off than others, but when confronted with someone right next to you who feels that way? It’s hard to lie to yourself after that. I feel like Log Horizon might be Telling instead of Showing a bit too much lately, which isn’t the best way to tell a story, but that one struck home for me.

Angry Dariella

It’s easy to mistake Tohya for a goofy kid, but he’s already experienced some shit in his life, and he appears to have as good of an eye for people as his sister does, at least from time to time. Him calling Dariella out for her fake smile was ballsy, especially given his nascent crush (probably) on her. It was also absolutely correct. I was struck by two things: how her voice immediately went from happy-happy Dariella to bone-chillingly cold, and how much taller Tohya looked after that. I don’t know, maybe I was just underestimating the boy, but how he took charge of the situation at the end was a good sign for his own future.

Looking Ahead – Telepathy Bye-Bye

My first instinct upon hearing that Shiroe wasn’t hearing from Nyanta anymore (once I was done giggling at Akatsuki’s feminine skills), was “Something got the best of Nyanta!?” But then he would have just reappeared in Akihabara, so that wouldn’t have done it. Minori’s guess that the mobile shrines have something to do with cutting off their telepathy is probably right. On the Odyssey Knights, this is all I have to say: just because they’re doing good doesn’t mean they’re right, nor does it mean they’re doing it for good reasons. I expect next week will bear that out.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – People of the Land aren’t complete people like Adventurers are. While Isuzu begins writing music, WYVERN ATTACK! #loghora s2e18

Random thoughts:

  • I really like the idea of the auto-translator, and of some things being lost in translation. It’s like the translation rings from Outbreak Company—not only does it tackle and neatly solve a common inconsistency in fantasy of this sort, but they actually consider how it could work in use.
  • When Isuzu told Rudy he could go back to his room, I was screaming “HUG HER RUDY, I SWEAR TO GOD!” Which he shouldn’t have done, to be honest. He should have respected her wishes, exactly like he did. But it would have been sweet maaaan let me dream ;_;
  • Let’s talk more about Akatsuki’s feminine skills, ufufu~
  • Stilts note: Expect next week’s post to appear on Sunday or Monday again. Thanks for your understanding.

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: Vemödalen, My lost job, and the beginning of my travels, Feedback from family, and Be the best you can be.




  1. Hum will have to rematch. I thought the People of the Lands 42 limitation was just till the apocalypse. But the People of the Lands had no template and a conservative medical society that limits new creations in our history let alone theirs. That why I thought it was great that young People of the Land were flocking to adventurers cities in order to learn new things and how to be creative. There might also be a skill and secondary skill limitation People of the Land will have to take skills that they had not taken or were able to take before. Once the cooking secret was out the People of the Land had no problem inventing their own recipes now that they knew food could actually taste good.
    Our younger adventurers hit their own self imposed mental limit worrying about the what will I be in the future when they are already living their future careers as adventurers. Isuzu doubly so as she has already shown she is a musician that can entertain a room but is keeping her fathers talents as an illogical reason she can’t already be a musician.

    Going back to Earth probably not going to happen way to many changes to most players for them to actually want to go back except for the misfits who are jealous of those who are succeeding. Plus we have all the intelligent now real people formally NPC’s who we don’t want to stop existing not to mention adventurer to People of the Land marriages. I think this is our culture mental limitation hitting our young adventurers that they think they can’t be adults yet even though to the People of the Land and there new world they are adults who are young not kids in abilities. Sort of a reset to 99% of human history children play with toys once your past that your a young adult not a child and treated as such.

    1. I don’t necessarily disagree with any of this, but I do think you’re kind of jumping the gun. I think this is, in the end, what the whole series is kind of about. What is this world? Is it real? How do they get home? Even if they can will they want to? Even if they want to what happens to the People of the Land?

      I don’t think any of those questions have answers yet, just personal opinions.

      1. Yep just guesses based on things in the story. I have preferences on how things end but not knowing the full details of how it will end is a good thing to me.
        All go home this was just a game is a total tragedy with all the self aware People of the Land and other non players dying in effect and people losing the persons they love. A Japanese love of tragedy ending so possible but I hope we not going there.

        If not an all go home ending this was fake ending if the story stays logical we have situation similar to historical events where people for various reasons got stranded in a foreign land with a foreign culture. In these historical cases a large number of the people choose to stay in their new location even when returning home was possible. And for the most part historically this was a place the people stranded had no intention to move to. In Log Horizon the people actually came to this world as a game voluntarily and thus had at least some interest in this life as a fantasy and clearly most of our main characters have thrived in their new world. Add in that those who have been active in this world and died a lot have lost a lot of their memories of Earth how could they want to return to a world they don’t even remember that well.
        Players like me at 51 who have in effect gained at least 30 years of life in the new world are not likely to want to go home, excepting someone who left their true love behind and so have avoided dying and not adapted well. (they might want their true love to move to this new world though if possible)
        So interested in what the true nature of things are, a far in the future computer AI existence that is basically real anyway, or the actual future of Earth they avoided the end of civilization, or an alternate reality somehow accused by the programers or a mage in Log Horizon world realizing his world was poorly copying a game deciding to link them. I would hope a way to communicating home might be found but am interested in what ever the reality is except the tragedy ending.

      2. Agreed, I don’t really think a ‘they all go home’ ending would work for this story. I hope they go another route. Though that would be a brave move. Not many of these stories end with people choosing to stay and leave their old lives behind. I really am not sure what he’ll do.

  2. Actually, I think they (People of the Land) can (make new music). Just that this idea never occurred to them before the adventurers came along.

    Like the tasteless food from season 1, after Nyanta (and adventurers of Akiba) discover the way to prepare ‘real food’, People of the Land start making real food too.

      1. These imply though that they had little to no self awareness before the apocalypse. Which begs the question of how far he’s going to take all of this. If this WAS just a game world that now due to reasons we don’t know is becoming real, what happens to this world when it’s all done? Whether the adventurers stay or not. Is this going to end with diplomatic relations being opened between Earth and this new world that somehow popped into being? Will they be fused somehow?

        Frankly the whole series seems to be setting up an unsolvable problem.

  3. I agree with what has been said before. The game shackles certainly have limited them, and the People of the Land are now growing because of the Adventurers. However, as you also say, they realize that the life that they have been living is so dull in comparison, yet it has been the way they have lived for so long, how can they betray it.

    In a way, the People of the Land are just children in society and creativity terms to the “adults” known as Adventurers. The adults always look so full of life when they do something you don’t actually have the knowledge or knowhow to do.

    1. This occurred to me as well. When they first showed hints of Tohya having a crush I thought it would be a fairly by the numbers thing that they do in lots of anime. This one threw me for a loop though with him seeing through her so quickly and calling her on it.

      It not only increased my respect for Tohya, it once again increased my respect for the writer as he continues to defy anime conventions. And it did make me wonder if Tohya will be the key to getting through to Nureha as opposed to Shiroe (who really has bigger problems). Especially since we know now that Nureha herself is basically a victim of horrific psychological abuse. So someone that cuts through all her crap and ‘likes her for her’ might be the answer to that.

      1. I agree. Shiroe is great in many ways, but he’s always playing an angle, and that doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that is going to help Nureha since elements of that logic (people are just acting this way cause they want something, etc) is basically what has been used to abuse her.

      2. The question is, does Tohya like Nureha for her, or just the image he holds in his mind of who she is? I mean, obviously the latter is the answer to a certain degree; that’s true for all human relationships. But I meant that Tohya’s conception of who Nureha (Dariella) is might be so far from who she truly is to make him not really know her at all. Combined with him being a middle school boy, and chances don’t look good to me.

        Honestly, Nureha doesn’t need a man to save her any more than Isuzu needed Rudy to hug her to get through her self-recrimination (though I would have been fine if the latter happened. Dammit! ;_;). She needs to get over her own issues for herself, in her own way, not depend on someone else. Tohya could help with that at least, even in his naivety.

      3. I don’t really have any shipping goggles on in this matter. I’m not clear on their ages but they do seem far apart. I wasn’t really talking about who’d got to sleep with her. I mean who’s going to get through to her. Nureha is a ‘villain’ and a ‘victim’ at the same time, so which way she falls in the plot is still up in the air. And I just felt following this episode that maybe Tohya will be the one to form a connection with her.

        Also, I disapprove of the ‘she doesn’t need a man to save her’ crap. I think people try WAY too hard to be not sexist on occasion. Humans are imperfect, and lots of us need to people to save us, to help us, and to believe in us all the freaking time. And if that’s a man for a woman or a woman for a man then so be it. And love can be an INCREDIBLY good tool for saving people that are hurt.

        It’s all well and good to believe in self-actualization and independence, but people need to stop acting like love saving someone is some kind of sexist crime. Nureha needs help and understanding, and if Tohya’s love is what does that, there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think that’s the story and that’s not what I was going for, but if that is the story it’s fine.

  4. The Akatsuki skit ended me, especially once you consider those “feminine skills” equate pretty nicely to master level stalking 😛

    Also I thought towns (NPC and Adventurer both) were basically off limits to monster attacks. Barring removal of the magic shield, didn’t think anyone residing in them would ever be at risk. Unless of course I missed something on the little info popup concerning the town’s status on combat.

    1. I wouldn’t call gossiping with her friends stalking.

      Which is where she said she got the information through “feminine wiles”.

      Stiles is wrong about NPC training, we saw tht back in Season 1 with both the guards at the Ice palace and Rudy. What is new is Monsters training.

    2. Actually, it’s only the player cities like Akiba and Minami that have those barriers. Season 1 showed us goblins and Sahuagin attacking a Lander town, remember? There was also a destroyed village.
      The biggest Lander cities and similar places, like the Ice Palace from season 1, might have them. My memory’s hazy on that though.

      I would guess Towns would have been under relatively small risk back when Elder Tales was a games though.

      1. Back then (MMO-era) there was more adventurers venture out to questing/farming/leveling thanks to the teleportation gate, so safety isn’t a concern even for small villages.

        Now most adventurers congregate into major player-run hubs, and travelling has become a pain in the a*s, and not all players are blinked into the world, so monsters run rampant.

      2. Plus the People of the land had more powerful than player NPC’s sometimes in large numbers available to protect them. These powerful NPC”s except for just one we know of have disappeared.

      3. Being able to attack in cities reminds me of the old days in EQ, killing city guards and major NPCs—or more frequently, dying horribly to them, lol. There were always people using the zone lines in Freeport for that kinda thing. Ahhhh, memories…

  5. Stilits on your comment on how Tohya having a good eye for people, I might be selling him short but I think that the main reason he is able to see through Darielle/Nureha’s facade is because he has put up facade’s before. I imagine that after his accident, Tohya either out of courtesy or denial has put up facades and fake smiles for people to show them that he was okay despite the fact that he felt a good deal of turmoil inside (hinted in the earlier talk with Isuzu a few episodes back). Maybe in his own way, seeing someone else clearly putting on another facade, he is trying to say that it is okay to drop it. Granted all of this is my own personal thoughts on the matter.

    On a side note regarding Nureha (I’ll put it in spoilers)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Either he, or someone close to him (immediate family or Minori) went through it or he was on the receiving end of it because of the condition he suffers from irl.

      Really curious as to how his insight will affect Nureha.

  6. The whole deal with the 42 songs proves just why I love this show. Because it’s yet another case of using something relatively innocuous about games (the limitations of the soundtrack) and build something far bigger around it. A more average show would’ve just used that as a one-off joke, but here? We get an exploration of what it actually means for the People of the Land involved, and it is horrific. Damn, imagine if our world was like that? And Rudy proves again to be one of the more valuable characters here, being able to explain in concise terms what influence the adventurers had on his people. It gives us yet another different viewpoint in the complex relationship between the two groups.

    Bonus points for Tohya too. It seems to me the show’s not going to attempt a ‘he likes her, so he’ll defend her suspicious actions to his comrades till they’re convinced, only to be betrayed in the end’ storyline here, because he already (partially) saw through her despite his crush. That kind of throws a wrench into things, and it makes me wonder where it’s going to go from there. It could create some interesting situations in the future.

    And Akatsuki was hilarious. Never change, little ceiling ninja.

    But first, dragons! You want a wyvern for your bag? You get them! Thousands of them! The storyline’s ramping up already.

  7. Isuzu’s scene struck home for a lot of crafters at heart watching (myself included).

    Isuzu being brought to tears upon the realization that she’s been making excuses for herself (perhaps out of fear) from pursuing her passion. While the severely disadvantaged PotL were powering through fear and uncertainty to pursue and find their passions with help from the incredible opportunities opened up by the cataclysm.

    So much feels~

  8. I got the impression that the reason Isuzu was so resistant to being called a good musician was that she was afraid of going pro and failing like her father had.

    Her talk with Rudy made her realize how immature she had been behaving, which leads to us seeing Isuzu appear to be (attempting to) write her own music.

    1. Could be. It sounded to me more like a self-esteem problem. She kept talking about how she didn’t have “talent”, this mystical talent which makes everything better … when most artists know that talent is just a lot of hard work spliced with some luck. Yes, there is talent, and like luck it is useful, but if you work hard, and work smart, people will assume you were always talented even as you find yourself getting luckier.

      1. There is a great range of talent how much you are going to work at that talent is key. The key is do you enjoy your art and entertaining people enough to accept the life results that occur wether a merger life or any level of stardom. If you enjoy it as I’m sure Izuzu does and you can entertain an audience to the point that they want more you are a success and you should keep doing what you love. Keep working hard at it for the love of it and let the chips fall as they may. You can look back at your life and say I made many peoples lives more pleasant I am content as I tried my best.

        The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, unfortunately unfinished in anime form, does deal with what does an artist do when confronted with super genius artist that is also obsessed to becoming better to the exultation of all else guaranteeing that they will be famous world wide forever (all ready are too) and no matter how good you become you will at best be a footnote in their life. (many great artists work in a large number of mediums during their lives I get a kick out of the stories around worry about the great painter doing manga when she’s still painting too) Unlikely the anime to finish but I hope the hero finally accepts that their best being successful is good enough even though it will not go down in history.

  9. This was perhaps the most mature, most thought-provoking episode or anime episode I’ve ever seen. Rudy’s revelation about the “forty-two”, as well as Isuzu’s “lack of talent” being epic because there are no other songs was quite the eye-opener.

    I’ve had a long discussion with my real life roleplaying group about what would happen if we all were translated into the past of Earth, or into a game world. Everything from the “What character am I?” surveys on the Web to historical discussions. This episode of Log Horizon brought the concept home better than any “main character in Edo Japan” series ever did. The adventurers in Elder’s Tale come from 20th-21st Century Japan, with the advanced schooling, millions of songs available, thousands of jobs and careers available, and gamers’ attitudes of “try, try again, do the grind until you’re max level”. Elder’s Tale might be 600 years in the past, technologically speaking, but the adventurers have the advantage nobody else does. Higher learning.

    But to learn from Rudy that only 42 songs ever existed in the world, and that certain People of the Land (NPCs) know what is going on with the adventurers, they’re just 1.) milking them for all they’re worth, and 2.) hoping to change the feudal status quo for the current and next generation, is quite the bombshell. Rudy grew as a character this episode, he’s no longer just Isuzu’s pet dog, a NPC who got lucky enough to get adventurer powers like cathedral resurrection.

    I think it’s quite obvious what Isuzu is doing – she’s writing down songsheets to hand out to the crowds, so they can copy her music. The same happened in L.E. Modesitt’s “The Soprano Sorceress”, where a translated woman from Earth had to leave behind hints to her successors on thermonuclear reactions and other weapons for when she died of battle or old age. I don’t think the adventurers are going back to Earth. Maybe one or two might make it, but not the whole crowd. Rudy is a cripple back on Earth, remember.

    1. Tohya is a cripple back on Earth. Rudy back on Earth is, at best, a quest NPC in a quest with a title along the lines of “The boy who wants to be an adventurer”. Who probably dies at the end contented to have gotten to spend a little bit of time as an adventurer.

  10. I know, but i play the party pooper on full mode to prevent more

    /Party pooper mode on

    Is this now, how spoil us the Beans what the Secret is with Tohya?
    If its one explain better or not, the finish line is the same.

    /Party pooper mode off

    1. ups.. where did the last line go?


      at last use spoiler tags to be sure

      If one explain it better or not as the others, the finish line is the same

      would be correct.. Mysterious PC…

  11. Tohya did not fall into the deep Darkness, because he has his Sister. He play the Strong Brother to protect her. in a way or other, both are helping each other out. because the Sister trust him. So Tohya get the emotion to be needed. That helps to forget his Secret and stay strong

  12. People keep saying that People of the Land only have bland food, but when was that mentioned?
    I think I need to rewatch the episodes relating to that point again.
    Well there goes my weekend.

    1. The people of the land mention in season 1 that they learned how to make new food from the adventurers. I don’t believe they specifically say they had bland food, they say they learned the new cooking technique (which we know gives taste) from the adventurers if I remember right.

    2. Not sure about the novel, but I am pretty sure this is mentioned in one of the side-story manga (that features Nyanta as the protagonist).

      That said, it is quite easy to come to this conclusion from anime alone. If NPC-foodstuff has taste, adventurer will simply buy food from the People of the Land instead of making their own, Nyanta’s discovery will not be groundbreaking, and Round Table of Akiba will never happens.

      1. That relies on the assumption that NPCs experience everything identically to the adventurers. While it is becoming more and more clear that they do, that was not known at the beginning. And it still is unclear exactly what those experiences mean to the NPCs, such as the situation with the music.

  13. “Take music, and the much alluded to “forty-two”. The People of the Land were gifted by the gods with forty-two songs (the game’s soundtrack, I assume)…”
    I propose another theory, maybe the 42 are skills or spell, the 42 songs a bard could learn in the original game, not the game’s soundtrack

  14. Ep 19:

    I give it a 7/10

    Let me say this. I could follow a bit of Roe2, then when she got her Summon out i understand nothing anymore.. and i am a Adult with free mind. You guys put her speech above the highest Clouds i know. You got me lost in translation…

    So, if you also got ???? in you mind, when she is starting her Speech. You are not alone. the Script writer put to heavy stuff on us

    more when Episode is alive

    1. Leave it for next episode. In short I don’t think you are supposed to understand every thing Roe2 said. She is hinting at her true nature but the story is leaving it as a puzzle that will be solved later.

  15. This show is really getting boring, and Rudy is still as annoying as ever, really really needs to show him less, cuz that way the show gets interesting. When will the stupid kids arc be over and go back to the round table issues? Screw their boring melodrama


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