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Log Horizon 2 – 19

「赤き夜」 (Akaki yoru)
“The Red Night”

The Crazy Junkie Death Knights are here to save the daaaaay!

Death Knights

The imminently predictable truth of the Odyssey Knights is revealed: they’re trying to die. I say its predictable, but there are wrinkles that didn’t work out like I expected, or in some cases, feared. I’m glad that the Odyssey Knights actually do seem to be trying to kill the wyverns too, instead of just chain dying—though if their goal is to die, you have to question why they’re bothering.

It’s also nice that head crazy dude isn’t so much insane as warped, and is still able to articulate with normal human words. I was afraid they’d be reduced to slavering mutants, but no—this is still clearly a choice, and if there’s one thing Log Horizon is good at (spoiler alert: there are many), it’s giving its characters choices. Most everything that happens is a function of one choice or another, which is way better than the “Shit just happens” storytelling method so popular in the industry.

Go Big Or Go Home

I’m beginning to worry about something. At its root, Log Horizon has always been best when it was on a large nation-state socio-political scale, with advances and revelations that change the way we see the world—or change the world itself. From buying the guild hall, the truth about death, the existence of Overskills (like real food cooking), and more, there have been interesting revelations throughout the series.

But lately? The Odyssey Knights weren’t bad. Plugging People of the Land into summoned creatures to power level them is all right. But doesn’t it feel like we’ve regressed? Compared to questions that lay at the very nature of this world, it feels like we’re dealing in chump change now.

Here’s something I’ve learned in my own writing: it’s hard to shrink the scale once you’ve already raised the stakes. If the readers are used to big, grandiose events, and you dial it down to something smaller, it feels like a waste of time even if the material is good. Go big or go home. It feels like we’re being cheated when we’re piddling around with small fry events like this after watching Shiroe and co bend the world over their knees.

Also: I wish they would cut it with the incomprehensible technobabble. I didn’t understand most of what Roe2 was saying this episode, and that’s not good foreshadowing. We may understand it later on in retrospect, but without a solid frame of reference to let us guess at, it’s all going in one ear, out the other. You’re better than this, Log Horizon!

Also also: Anyone get the feeling that, no matter how good the reason why all the adventurers got sucked into this world (maybe some of the Genius/element cluster/empation mumbo jumbo Roe2 was spouting), it’s going to pale in comparison to everything that came before? In fact, I’d count on it. The reason we all enjoy this series is for the WORLD. Leaving it is beside the point.

Looking Ahead – Nyanta vs Londark, Round Two

The peril of having a large cast is that good characters don’t always get enough time to shine. Case in point: Nyanta. Anything could be improved with the addition of more Nyanta, and this arc is no exception. (Certainly not an exception.) And I guess Londark and others will be there too, but seriously, NYANTA!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The Odyssey Knights are junkie death seekers. Now if only Roe2 could stop with the incessant technobabble, GAH! #loghora s2e19

Random thoughts:

  • I wonder how much Rudy knows about where the (natural) adventurers came from? He got to listen in on the head (crazy) Odyssey Knight’s game rant. Probably he knew something about it before, from his reaction. Hmm…
  • They really didn’t need to be so heavy handed with the Tohya-is-disabled scenes. Most of them were just retreading what we already knew before, and the glimpses hurt more than the big long parade of images did. The exception? Those eyes. Go ahead, rip my heart out why don’tcha!
  • “We’re going to pick a fight with the god who only made forty-two songs in the world!” This is why Isuzu is best newbie. Rudy remains a close second.
  • I really have to question why that Minori x Roe2 conversation took place mid-battle. It really killed any sense of urgency the battle had.

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: Wasted work, Vemödalen, My lost job, and the beginning of my travels, and Feedback from family.

 

Preview

February 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm
76 comments »
  • February 15, 2015 at 10:27 pmSMinstrel

    On Tohya’s accident:

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 15, 2015 at 10:33 pmNex

    I quite liked the scenes with Tohya myself, his role felt like a major part of the episode too. Showing that he’s disabled wasn’t any kind of surprise sure, but we actually got to see him address it this time. All we’ve had before was the occasional flash or moments with him enjoying being able to walk, this let us see a little of what’s under the cheery exterior, and how being in this new world can have such drastic impacts on people.

    It probably helps that I’ve been hoping for Tohya to get a little spotlight since the first season, though. He was always super cute and brave, but with only the hints at more, this arc has been a real treat. The recent interaction with Nureha is giving us some more of her too, which was sorely needed after the first season’s ending.

  • February 15, 2015 at 10:43 pmCorin

    …I thought it was pretty clear what Roe2′s ‘technobabble’ was implying about the world, the Catastrophe, and the changes taking place in the former as a result of the latter.

    …maybe it just wasn’t as clear from the subs.

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:06 amLonghaul

      From what I could gather out of Roe2′s technobabble

      -what we know is far less than what we don’t know

      -dying ‘donates’ empathion (whatever that is)
      -the Odyssey Knights chain deaths is helpful to Genius by speeding up empathion gathering (whatever it is they need it for)

      -large groups are more stable, but little parts of them are easily lost

      -’your words’ are inconvenient and make expressing yourself hard
      -they limit how far your minds can go
      -its primitive and isolates you from one another

      -implying that our sharing of empathion is unusual to her (again, whatever that is)

      • February 16, 2015 at 5:02 amAvatar

        The idea that human thinking is limited by the language used by humans is one that philosophy explores somewhat, but it’s kind of a hard concept precisely because it affects pretty much everybody. You trip over it sometimes in linguistics when a particular language just doesn’t have a word for a particular concept and the society that uses that language doesn’t grok that concept well. You don’t run into it so much with English because, frankly, when we run into that we pirate the word from the original language right away…

        But this is the key issue – nothing human complains about that! So if you stop in the middle of your conversation and go, essentially, “damn, it’s hard to communicate with you guys when you even do your thinking based on your mode of communication”, you’re essentially holding up a sign saying “I AM NOT HUMAN”.

        So that’s the idea. Roe2′s comments aren’t intended to explain the situation, they’re intended to explain Roe2 – or more to the point, to make sure the viewer knows that Roe2 is not the same thing as an adventurer, and that she has some kind of knowledge about the deep functioning of the world.

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:18 amCrimson7

      I think we weren’t meant to fully understand the technobabble. Remember last episode where they mentioned the auto-translator thingy? This might be why we don’t understand what the heck she’s saying.

      • February 16, 2015 at 1:26 amStilts

        Yeah, perhaps, but I have a problem with that. You can do foreshadowing well; it should hint at something you don’t quite know yet, but feel you can almost grasp. This was far enough out there that—if I had not been spoiled about certain things, so I actually know more than I’m allowing myself to react to in the post—I just stopped thinking about it. Which isn’t ideal.

        tl;dr – If we’re not meant to understand all the technobabble, I feel like someone has done something wrong. Wait to toss it out until we have the information to begin to grasp at it.

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:34 amReverseTales

        I feel that with the exception of Nyanta, everyone else is completely confused and are being vague and cryptic in order to feign a sense of competency.

        – Kazuhiko agrees, then disagrees with power-leveling People of the Land for some reason.
        – Tohya is confused by the Odyssey Knights irrationality, and lashes out violently.
        – Minori responds to Roe2′s technobabble by figuring out her life’s goals.

        Worst of all:
        – Isuzu picks a fight with the Dev team responsible for Elder Tales’ 42-song OST. Are they even in the same world?

        Unless it’s because I’m an anime-only viewer, and there’s things going on behind the scenes that I don’t know about.

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:57 amHanabira.Kage

      Yeah, it’s pretty clear I think. Though that might be because I was slightly spoiled.

      And Stilts, we’ve already met two of the Genius monsters. The word was even stated in their status windows that episode.

    • February 16, 2015 at 7:20 amWorldwideDepp

      Well, i do not understand full of her Speak. But the Infos she got of the Group, gave me a hint in the direction. Roe2 could be a Monitoring Program, or a Script. or in worse case, an GM.. She knew where the others where. I do not saw a Group window, where to location of the members are displayed. So, where did she know?

      i have a feeling, that Roe2 is somehow this
      http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20II%20-%2021%20-%20Large%2008.jpg

  • February 16, 2015 at 12:23 amLonghaul

    though if their goal is to die, you have to question why they’re bothering.

    That is actually something I liked from that scene, the Odyssey Knights leader had such a strong need to go home (for a very valid reason too) that simply seeing a glimpse of the old world while respawning was like a drug to him.

    • February 16, 2015 at 12:36 amchromenova

      I think what Stilt’s meant was that why do they bother trying to kill the wyverns when their main purpose is to just die in the first place to relive those memories.

      As for the direction Log Horizon is taking, I think I share some of those concerns. This arc is not bad at all, it actually has great character development for the younger log horizon members, but It just “feels” like it’s filler-ish material because of all the amazing, world changing developments Shiroe and company have already done. Frankly speaking, I’m not as excited with Log Horizon as of late, but I’m still enjoying the show as a whole. At the very least I’m sure we can expect bigger developments in the last half of this season.

      • February 16, 2015 at 1:28 amStilts

        Aye, you have it right, chromenova. If the goal is to die, why bother killing the things that can give you that death? That kind of thing.

      • February 16, 2015 at 1:58 amweasl

        I’m guessing it has something to do with the arrival of the Nightshades. Until they actually arrived the Odyssey Knights were just grabbing aggro and letting themselves get killed. There’s most likely some sort of history between the two groups that makes the Knights want to start killing the Wyverns to deny the Nightshades the kills.

      • February 16, 2015 at 3:45 amSMinstrel

        What I think:

        1) A bunch of people wanted to seek death.
        2) Not everyone is Guardian, Samurai or other ‘Tanky’ class
        3) Although they are lumped into one organisation, they are essentially in a competition over “who can die the fastest”.
        4) Likely no co-orperation between these death-seekers at all aside from “bring this mobile shrine to somewhere”.
        5) Due to mobile shrine’s jamming telepathy, they can’t (and likely wouldn’t care to) communicate during combat.
        6) To compete with the aggro-generating (anchor howling)’Tank’ class, other classes will try to out-damage the Tank class and each each other.
        7) Monster got killed (somehow) as a result.

      • February 16, 2015 at 4:05 amSMinstrel

        One thing to add:

        PK-ing each others over and over again might be too slow/inefficient for them (or at least for the more tanky bunch), seeing that it took quite a while to bring down even one adventurer. (Shiroe & Co. vs PKers, Nyanta vs Demidemi etc).

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:12 amVagrant

        I think the Wyverns dying is just a simple byproduct of DPS and heals trying to out-aggro the tanks.

      • February 16, 2015 at 10:52 amSMinstrel

        I was wrong on the “no co-operation/communication” part though. The Odyssea Knights have the sense to move into the vacated city, at least.

      • February 16, 2015 at 12:52 pmStilts

        Good point, SMinstrel & Vagrant. If I’da been thinking more clearly I would have thought of that. Competing for aggro also explains why they have their gear on—they can’t strip naked (unless everyone did it) because then they’d never be able to draw aggro.

      • February 17, 2015 at 7:45 pmRob

        Yeah, killing the wyverns seemed to be just an accidental byproduct of getting aggro. That changed when the Nightshades attacked their shrine. If it was destroyed, they wouldn’t be able to die nearly as often until they could get it replaced – if it could be replaced. Since they couldn’t fight off the Nightshades effectively while being killed by wyverns, they had to get serious and destroy both enemies.

  • February 16, 2015 at 12:54 amweasl

    I’m thinking people are taking things too much at face value for the story telling. If you dig back through things there is a ton going on right now. I mean Roe2 just revealed that the Geniuses are actively trying to harvest something from the memories lost by adventurers. She also heavily implied that she was some type of AI, most likely with some ties to the Geniuses considering her knowledge of them. All that ties into what happened to Progenitors and the events from Kanami’s story where she was fighting the Geniuses.

    I think touching on what is probably the entire source of the Catastrophe is a pretty major plot point.

    On a side note have people actually figured out who Roe2 really is? It should be pretty obvious from all the clues that were left behind.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Also starting to wonder if the Adventurers are simply data about the players and not actual people. As in no matter how hard the try there’s no real world for them to go back to.

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:15 amLonghaul

      Regarding your spoiler
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • February 16, 2015 at 1:51 amweasl

        I wasn’t but I looked it up. Not quite sure what you’re getting at though.

      • February 16, 2015 at 2:30 amLonghaul

        I was just mentioning something similar from another series.

    • February 16, 2015 at 12:37 pmranma

      As for who Roe2 really is, I recently bought the first volume of the manga and…
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 16, 2015 at 1:01 amewok40k

    http://randomc.net/image/Log%20Horizon/Log%20Horizon%202%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2018.jpg
    The Plant Hwyaden guild has an interesting cast of quasi-villains (the series has definitely reserved the true villain title to Shiroe!), from mad-scientist types to glory hungry generals…
    They at the very least seem a very resorceful bunch. From magical powered trains to having Landers power-lvevel by proxy of summons… They are certainly rivals to be reckoned with.

    • February 16, 2015 at 5:00 amMonimonika

      That train… 0_0;

      No need to cut down trees or flatten land to make railroad tracks, we can just literally warp reality out of the way for a smooth ride to anywhere we damn want.

    • February 16, 2015 at 7:28 amRedRocket

      And the best kick to me is both the scientist and the red head General are People of the Land driving part of the plot. I like the General’s comment sort of looking down on Adventurers as they don’t die.

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:21 pmAdam

        The Mad Scientist is Archmage Jerad Gan, the previous sage of Mirror Lake.

        Who Re Gan told Shiroe and Tiny Ninja was dead back at the Ice Palace last season.

        And whom Re Gan said had removed large chunks of research from the Mirror Lake.

        I’m wondering if this is the world changing magic Re Gan claimed Minami had deployed around the time Rudy became an Adventurer.

      • February 17, 2015 at 5:22 amewok40k

        ok, that makes lot of sense… what is the chance of both him and ReGan playing adventurers guilds against each other in some sort of own powerplay between archmages?

  • February 16, 2015 at 1:11 amPancakes

    I wouldn’t worry too much right now Stilts, for me it seems like the show is quietly laying out all the pieces for the first true philosophical fight: how does one actually go about getting “home”? Although ambiguous, it looks like Plant Hwyden has the intention of fighting a large scale war to see if the “life through death” hypothesis carries some weight, a strategy anathema to the morality of Shiroe and friends (as voiced by Rudy).

    I really hope this season’s climax is something along these lines because it would continue the natural expansion of LH’s boundaries while dealing with the elephant in the room: just how and why the Adventurers are now in the game. It’s a piece of the puzzle not directly explored yet which would also conveniently provide a goal for the main cast to work towards, something admittedly lacking at the moment.

    There are some fun moments watching the kids adventure around in this arc, but I can’t be the only one who misses the sociopolitical aspects delved into with a vigor earlier in the series.

    • February 16, 2015 at 11:44 amLyfe

      With regards to going home, I get the impression Shiroe, while actively interested in how they got transported to the world, would just play the game and if such a clue presented itself to him he would pursue it. There’s no sense of urgency there simply because as you’ve mentioned, where would you start?

  • February 16, 2015 at 2:29 am( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    “We’re going to pick a fight with the god who only made forty-two songs in the world!”
    yet you keep singing the ED song over and over again. get your shit together isuzu!!
    or was it budget problem strike again?

    • February 16, 2015 at 6:55 amSMinstrel

      No, they want to save it for next episode.

    • February 16, 2015 at 7:32 amRedRocket

      I had assumed from the people of the Land’s Reaction to it that the ED song was not part of the 42. Maybe even a 4th Wall grab from the anime. I assumed that it a song Isuzu learned from Japanese radio or somewhere.

      • February 16, 2015 at 12:54 pmStilts

        Rudy noted that Isuzu’s songs—that among them, which are covers of Earth songs—were not part of the forty-two. So it’s just a fourth wall nod, aye.

  • February 16, 2015 at 3:15 amKaleRylan

    I thought this was a pretty great episode all around, though obviously the middle part of the battle so no setup or conclusion, just ongoing stuff.

    - I like the expansion of Tohya’s character. In season 1 he’s just the nice samurai kid, but between his moral stance in this episode and seeing through Nureha so quickly in the last, it’s becoming very clear that Minori isn’t the only one in that family with brains.

    - While I’m not 100% sold on the depiction of the Odyssey Knights, I think they shore up a major hole in LH that people have mentioned from episode 1, which is ‘where are all the people who DESPERATELY want to go home?’ The LH cast has always been way too calm about being trapped in another world. There would be crazies. And the strong implication is that the shrine is exaggerating their psychosis.

    - I don’t think the lander/summon creature thing was ‘too small scale’ for LH. If anything it’s on a large and freakish scale, basically weaponizing a whole race. Not cool. That said, something about it didn’t quite work. Personally I think one part might be that it, and IMO Plant Hwyaden as a whole, are a bit too techy. LH is many things and has a broad setting, but at its core it’s a fantasy MMO, and something about the devices, and the train, and all of that just felt… off to me.

    - I disagree entirely on the Roe2 stuff. She is saying things we’re not meant to understand. And that’s FINE. Whole stories have been built on that premise. And while I respect that you write, I think it’s important to understand that your style of writing and others do not line up and there is no ‘rule’ to good writing. They can all be broken depending on the situation. The key to Roe2′s ‘nonsense’ for example is that (if nearly everyone hadn’t been spoiled) it was meant to be the clue that she knows WAY more than anyone else we’ve encountered so far. And that’s exactly what it did.

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:01 pmStilts

      You’re absolutely right that every rule of writing (other than “don’t waste the reader’s time”—that’s as inviolable as almost anything) has exceptions. That said, I maintain that Roe2′s pure technobabble was not done well. Think of it like this—what if they had hinted that Roe2 knew more about what was going on without throwing out the confusing phrases?

      “Them dying continually is playing right into their hands.” “Whose hands?”, we ask, and it piques our interest. There are ways to say more or less the exact things they did without tossing out the terminology we were ill-prepared to absorb, which is wise because when you do that, people gloss over the important details instead of being intrigued.

      Of course, it may work for other people more than me. It’s just that, in light of how much better Log Horizon has done this very thing previously, it felt jarring and amateurish to me.

      A bump in the road, though, and easily fixed in upcoming episodes, if’n they put their minds to it / it’s time for more reveals. Which I hope it is!

      • February 16, 2015 at 11:44 pmCorin

        Eh. That comment would be true, in the case that your only purpose is to drop a cryptic hint. If you’re trying to achieve something else at the same time, then… like, say, give an idea of the character’s actual personality and motivations, then of course you’d do something different.

        So, from Roe2′s ‘technobabble’, what can be fairly easily inferred? That whatever she is in ‘body’, she’s no adventurer; that she’s not actually interested in keeping secrets, but equally uninterested in taking sides; that whatever she knows has less to do with local politics and adventurer power plays and more directly with whatever is happening with the laws of the world; and that she’s at least pretty interested in what Minori does with whatever she chooses to spill.

        Just saying, there’s a fair difference between Roe2 here and, say, Yuri Kuma Arashi’s constant keyword dropping.

      • February 17, 2015 at 10:34 amSMinstrel

        I think the technobabble part is where the author (Mamare Touno) plan to expanding into something REALLY big…like, world-shattering big, that span into multiple volumes of novel, even tying up the whole series.

        I expect to not seeing any resolution or even explanation of this technobabble issue anytime soon, not in this season of anime, at least.

      • February 18, 2015 at 6:45 amsv-san

        Full agreement there about the technobabble. The episode is so dialogue heavy I give kudos to the subbing group translators who did this. Also ultimately people watch anime for entertainment which is a bit different from the experience one wants to get from book reading. I think the director failed at adapting this.

        Generally I’ve found season 2 to be less enjoyable than 1 for the above reason. Just TMI on world building sometimes coupled with character development. They should just focus on one at a time and not do too much otherwise the story seems to stagnate. Like this eps, we have character dev for Isuzu, then for Tohya, and then the whole technobabble.

  • February 16, 2015 at 3:52 amrandompasserby

    Completely agree that the episode could’ve done without the Roe2′s scenes. Easily.
    I don’t know if that’s supposed to be some kind of revelation, foreshadowing or whatever but most of the time she’s on screen the end result is just a cryptic profound-sounding meaningless babble that I’d expect to see in more straight shonen series, not Log Horizon.

    Minori’s part in the conversation isn’t helping it become much more bearable either, beating around the bush so much instead of talking straight and get to the point.

    God, how I miss Shiroe’s no nonsense approach.

    I’m still left somewhat indifferent to Isuzu’s arc but it’s growing on me. I like the overall theme and the message but the execution since the previous episode just doesn’t have the impact it should’ve. Here’s to hoping at least the conclusion is handled satisfactorily… perhaps getting a better singer and a new song would help, though maybe it won’t fit so well with her being a self-admitted mediocre musician/singer.

    The threat of Plant Hwayden and the Lander general’s callousness to catch up with the Adventurers by whatever means necessary seems to me is getting way too little attention relative to it’s significance to the world, another thing that I think is handled very poorly recently. Thankfully next week should remedy that a little, yay more Chief Nyanta!

    Tohya’s scenes with that poor soon-to-be-married Odyssey Knight are the definite highlights of the episode, hands down.

  • February 16, 2015 at 4:19 amtoti

    another good episode, but i think if they had not rushed that only one episode, this one would be better.

  • February 16, 2015 at 7:30 amjhpace1

    No spoilers because I haven’t read any of the light novels, but Roe 2 is either acting like a 1.) ancient or 2.) GM/the people behind the Apocalypse. From the technobabble she used, to outright denying she has any connection at all to Shiroe, who (for purists) Show Spoiler ▼

    Which goes to ask, Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 16, 2015 at 7:57 amRandom Comment

    Also: I wish they would cut it with the incomprehensible technobabble. I didn’t understand most of what Roe2 was saying this episode, and that’s not good foreshadowing. We may understand it later on in retrospect, but without a solid frame of reference to let us guess at, it’s all going in one ear, out the other.

    There’s a reason for her saying what she said. To give a hint without spoiling anything, note that she mentioned how difficult it is for her to convert her thoughts into our words due to physical differences. Also note how common everyday things like the different kind of sauces seems so very refreshing to her, as if this is the first time she has come across them.

    It’s like someone visiting a new place where everything’s a first experience to that person and, unused to the foreign language, what would have come out fluently in her native tongue encounters bumps in translation.

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:05 amWorldwideDepp

      Nah, i think her Conversation AI needs an Upgrade, it has its limits.

      I speculate she is not Human

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:14 amWorldwideDepp

        I think i got it. Roe2 nearly wanted to say the Yin and Yan theory

        everything has 2 sides

    • February 16, 2015 at 1:06 pmStilts

      As I noted previously, I’ve been spoiled on who/what Roe2 is, so I know what you’re referring too. But … well, spoiler tags, just in case:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • February 18, 2015 at 11:25 pmRandom Comment

        I’m not sure how far you’ve been spoilered so you might want to ignore my post here since it contains stuff from the latest novel chapters =3:

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 16, 2015 at 8:15 amlegwkio

    I feel for the Odyssey Knights.

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:18 amWorldwideDepp

      ah yes, i forgotten to write about them

      Someone should tell them the Open Secret of Dying. While Dying you lose a pieces of memories, and someday you also lose the “Faces of your Families”. So chain dying to see the other Life, is over when thought dying you lose this memories

      • February 17, 2015 at 12:21 pmDave

        That is a point: in a certain sense they leave this world for the old one when they can no longer remember anything about the latter. So, what they’re doing has the opposite effect to what they want yet you could make an argument that they’re so addicted to the glimpses of the world they wish to return to that they’d likely wipe themselves blank before they’d give that up.

        I find it a kinda interesting application of Zerg tactics to the plot in that it takes the concept of an overwhelming quickly replicating mass attack force and adds a consequence to it. .

  • February 16, 2015 at 8:26 amRedRocket

    I wanted Tohya to ask his crazed to be married death junky what his girls name was or what she looked like and all of a sudden the Knight goes I can’t remember. (or gets first name but can’t recall last) It’s hard to erase a narrative in small pieces the person can just fill in the holes without realizing it. But with the amount of dying I’m fairly sure some key details are now gone.

    I loved this episode as it tied several of the earlier episodes together and added in some major detail and things to think about. But as the episode deviated from what we expected I can see how it did not please others. Minori and Roe2 did not have anything key to do at the moment of their chat but there was a pressure to get it done before Minori wanted Roe2 getting involved. But I think the let down of the Knights stealing all the Wyvern battle from out hero’s is what throws people.

    “it’s hard to shrink the scale once you’ve already raised the stakes” Stilts. I agree but it’s something I have learned to live with to enjoy it in these multi book series as you can’t go real long and keep the stakes high all the time. This often something a fan must adjust to as well when an Author is convinced to continue what was a stand alone book because we the fans want more details of that world and more adventures in that world. If Log Horizon had continued at first season pace of change the story would be over or nearing it’s end now. Maybe the movie version will be more in our liking. ;)

    Maybe it’s good Tolken never got around to the Lord of the Rings sequel he wrote a chapter to (Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy just a long book broke up by publisher), although Tolken did masterfully overcome this problem by making the Scouring of the Shire great even though the Ring was already destroyed. I love a long denouement done well and glad Tolken violated the writing rules in major way with his.

    I got most of Roe 2′s technobabble so love it. But I love prophecy that is hard to impossible to understand in fantasy stories as long as it’s done well so to me full understanding not required. I rather get it so love it or it’s a teaser and I like that.

    The thing I love the most, a moment of true awesome, was Isuzu’s no everyone is real declaration in response to the Knight’s comments. Dang right Isuzu, I don’t care if they were not real before or if everyone is a artificial intelligence program everyone is real now and has a soul.

    Speculation off technobabble not spoilers follow.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:31 amWorldwideDepp

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      • February 16, 2015 at 9:04 amRedRocket

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      • February 16, 2015 at 10:22 amWorldwideDepp

        i am sorry, if i understood it wrong. But this kind of Level talking is hitting on my Highest Cloud of understanding.

        So there is no ill meaning to it, really

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:09 pmRedRocket

        No problem I wrote it poor so it’s good you pointed out how you interpreted my writing so I could clarify.

    • February 16, 2015 at 10:58 amBigFire

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    • February 16, 2015 at 1:15 pmStilts

      @ RedRocket

      I didn’t have a great way to say my shrinking-the-scale comment, so let me elaborate. Think of it like Log Horizon’s levels of magic. Say the story is centered around the National Level, which is about where Log Horizon is. You can go up to Global Level, or down to Strategic Level, and people will more or less follow along. If you try to dip down to Action Level for long, people will get dissatisfied.

      What Log Horizon did well the last times they were seriously dicking with Action-and-Battle-Level magics (the raid early this season, and especially the newbies’ battle in Choushi last season) was having National Level or greater events going on at the same time. We could enjoy the newbie’s straight MMO-style battle when there’s this huge goblin-murdering raid going on, or when Shiroe is flying in and breaking the world. They moonlighted on a smaller scale, but didn’t really settle there.

      Lately it seems like we’re at a Battle Level, maaaaybe Tactical. There are hints of things with farther reaching implications, but because they’re not resonating like previous ones, it isn’t working well.

      So you can shrink the scale. In fact, you should—keeping it at a fever pitch all the time would be exhausting. You just can’t shrink (or even enlarge) the scale too much. That’s what throws people off.

      • February 16, 2015 at 8:53 pmRedRocket

        Thanks for further response. Guess I was not clear enough in that I agree shrinking the scale this much does lower the intensity and yes it will make people dissatisfied. Even first season many were turned off by the adventures of the younger set being included even though it was made more acceptable by the switching back and forth to the higher level more frequently.

        But I was trying to say that in works trying for huge detail and great length fans almost always have to accept these drop offs even if not fully stratifying in order to have the greater detail story. Here some higher level issues are being brought forward by the B team, the issues have to be brought up by the B team so the A team can react but to have a full B team arc the story had to dip down in level. So not ideal by any means and maybe handled better in the novel with different sequencing but I take this as an enjoyable just not as enjoyable part as others of a massive work.
        In short to have a better story intensity the story would have to be significatly shorter most of the time for most writers. (In example here dumping the secondary minor characters from the story for the most part and some would love that)

        This reminds me of one of my favorite space opera book series on Honor Harrington. (basically a rift off the Hornblower sailing series) There you have huge things going on in one book and then the next whole book or two will drop off to a more minor sector actions while your dying for more movement on the main action. But there are 20 books so it’s unavoidable if you want to know what is happening to all of a huge cast of characters. Plus what is happening in the more minor areas sometimes might turn out to be more important than you expected at first. Many more books and a movie sure to come.

        (don’t know if I like the movie they working on as the combat in the Honor universe is the most realistic space combat in a novel series I’ve came across, that is ships that can only see other ships in their formation as small dots and can’t see the enemy ships at all are firing weapons beams at 500,000 kilometers so no you can’t see the target even for those and missiles 6 million kilometers plus so far away that there is a time lag in minutes sometimes in seeing the effects, can’t see how a movie can handle fire missiles and wait minutes for them to hit and then even longer to get the results back. It can take hours of maneuvering and if both side pass each other hours more to turn around and go back because physics says so. And the same design but bigger ships of the books have to be movefied so audiences can tell them apart.)

      • February 16, 2015 at 9:39 pmStilts

        You’re not wrong, but to me that’s an argument for shorter series more than anything else. I’d rather have more Full Metal Alchemist and Mirai Nikki, less bloated everything else … even if some of those bloated series I still enjoy.

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:38 amLyfe

    I’m happy that we’re back to acceptable levels of animation again. It’s not perfect but this episode was done alright. Hopefully Light novel 11 onwards is covered by a capable studio for Season 3.

  • February 16, 2015 at 1:25 pmHochmeister

    Here’s something I’ve learned in my own writing: it’s hard to shrink the scale once you’ve already raised the stakes. If the readers are used to big, grandiose events, and you dial it down to something smaller, it feels like a waste of time even if the material is good. Go big or go home. It feels like we’re being cheated when we’re piddling around with small fry events like this after watching Shiroe and co bend the world over their knees.

    This is my problem with Log Horizon 2 in a nutshell. After the focus of the first season on establishing the Round Table and dealing with the People of the land, this season has felt aimless. There was the raid arc which netted some character development, but didn’t change the feel of the world. Akatsuki’s arc removed the NPK zone from Akihabara, but so far there’s not much visible difference. There’s been some good character development, but the scale of the plot and worldbuilding is not what I want or expected from the show.

    • February 16, 2015 at 2:34 pmLyfe

      @but the scale of the plot and worldbuilding is not what I want or expected from the show.

      It will take time for that. Log Horizon is a long drawn out affair that could go on for years. I would hate to predict how long the author intends to continue the series for, but it’s clear that he’s building towards something big.

  • February 16, 2015 at 2:36 pmrandom viewer

  • February 16, 2015 at 5:36 pmr3dking

    @Stilts: I think you understate the degree of linkage between the small-scale focus we see directly and the world-level ramifications that are, I guess, in the offing. The immediate events motivate Isuzu to declare her intention to change the way the world works. Minori does the same. Isuzu’s introduction of music for the masses will surely be at least as world-changing an Nyanta’s ryori-for-all. I have no clue what Minori may come up with, but she’s explicitly inspired by Shiroe’s world-level contract magic innovations.

    @Anyone: I can’t work out the mechanics or intent of the summoned nightshade operation. So many question! Do monsters (e.g. the nightshades) normally gain EXP when they kill each other? When they kill adventurers? Regardless of whether ‘normal’ monsters do, what about summoned monsters? If you summon a level 40 whatsit and it kills a whole mob of newbie adventurers, does it level up on the spot? Or does this only happen if it is possessed (for lack of a better word) by someone else as in the current case. Who gets the experience? I thought I understood from the dialog that it went to the Summoner. But some of the comments up-thread implied that the EXP went to the people-of-the-land who were possessing the nightshades. So those POLs strapped into bunks in the train are volunteers rather than conscripts?

    • February 16, 2015 at 8:14 pmAdam

      As far as I could tell the widgets on the train were enabling the people in the bunks to summon and possess the Nightmares without being Summoners. The Summoning they might be able to do with something like the whistles that summon horses, but the possession thing is IIRC from KR usually a high level Summoner class ability.

      So they could get the XP and Power level safely.

      I think XP from Summons killing has to go to the Summoner or the Summoner class wouldn’t be able to level since it is their main contribution to a fight.

      Kazuiko was objecting to injecting them with EXP Potions since apparently that has health risks.

  • February 16, 2015 at 11:33 pmBlood_X

    This anime honestly gets more and more boring every episode.
    I got so excited when the wyverns attacked because I thought something interesting might finally happen.
    But nope.
    Definitely thinking of dropping this anime at this point.
    It’s seriously becoming a chore to watch.

    I don’t hate you Log Horizon! I just expected more :[
    I think I just need to go into it not expecting action or intense intellectual drama and just view it as a slice of life video game anime now…

    • February 18, 2015 at 6:38 pmDjalaal

      I completely agree. It started happening to me ever since Minori’s group left Shiro. I find season 2 deals too much with slice of life (even though it’s a game!) and petty problems. I find it much more boring than the first season. Shiro’s team is way more interesting. Just like you, my willingness to drop this series increases by the episode…

  • February 21, 2015 at 6:11 amWorldwideDepp

    Ep 20:

    i think you begin to get complicated Log Horizon-chan. Your Story of understanding, has rise in a Level, that i am afraid that most will not keep up

    • February 21, 2015 at 6:12 amWorldwideDepp

      oh forgotten

      i give it this time a 6/10

      You began to use the “children” of Log Horizon. But you touched themes for greater Adults…

  • February 21, 2015 at 8:25 pmRyan Ashfyre

    Warning: Excessively self-satisfying rant incoming. Proceed at your own discretion. You have been warned.

    As soon as it became apparent that Minori and co. and their little “side-quest” were going to be the focus for however long, I just subconsciously decided that I was going to skip watching Log Horizon for a while and just slog through what was, I was fairly sure, was going to be a boring and unimaginative filler arc.

    This is a filler arc… right?

    But yes, boy am I glad I did that,

    Look, I’ve nothing personal against Minori and the rest of our aspiring young Adventurers, but they’re exactly like children irl; all well and good in small doses, but for the love of Madoka, too much of them is annoying and we’re fast approaching that point. Anything and everything I’ve learned about them could’ve been condensed into one or two episodes and been a hell of a lot more entertaining. Instead, we see it being stretched out into a five or six episode slog that has you banging your head against the computer screen, echoing Bart Simpson’s timeless “Are we there yet?”

    Plus, Roe 2? Shiroe 2? Real inventive, guys. -___-

    ALSO, the monologues. Lots and LOTS of internal monologues, many of which are filled with gibberish trying to come off as more emotional than it actually is and blatantly obvious crap that just bores you to death (Isuzu and Minori, I’m looking at you two).

    Sorry guys, but Yuuichi Nakamura, you are not. Don’t try to be.

    Look, I understand that with source material in short supply, there was a need for some filler here. In all seriousness though, you guys can do better than this. How about a flashback to the good ol’ days with the Debauchery Tea Party? Or hell, play to the lowest common denominator and give us the requisite beach episode with swimsuits and lots of PLOT. Heck, go the distance, push the envelope and make a whole festival out of it! Just make it fun.

    But this…? Ugh.

    In all honesty, the only good choice here was bringing Nureha in, ’cause it sure as hell aren’t the kids that are carrying this arc.