「バースデイ・ソング」 (Baasudei Songu)
We’re finally dealing with people who don’t want to be in this new world, but there aren’t any easy answers.
Questions Without Answers
Lately it feels like Log Horizon is asking a lot of questions, and isn’t providing a lot of answers. Largely that’s because there aren’t any easy answers, or any at all. Take Londark and his rebellion against the world. Nyanta is right about how no one chose to be in this world, or in the one before it; no one chooses the cards they’re dealt, they just have to play with them. Londark’s nihilist, mercenary attitude isn’t very helpful, but it’s as understandable as the Odyssey Knights wanting to go back home.
A better example is probably death. It feels like Nyanta, Tohya, and the others are all trying to invest death with a kind of gravity that, for adventurers, it truly does not have. Tohya is right to rebel against the Odyssey Knight’s attitude, at least in so far that anyone is right for butting into someone else’s choices (they can chain die if they want to, but Tohya can hope for better for them, and they ought to take it out of the city), but Londark’s death really was an inconvenience instead of a tragedy. A little memory loss is nothing next to an actual demise. If death is more than that for adventurers, we’re going to need more answers about this world, and we don’t have them.
I appreciate that Nyanta didn’t totally pass judgement on Kazuhiko. He said it looked to him that Kazuhiko had lost his goodness, but I’m not so sure, and neither, it would appear, is Nyanta. Personally, I don’t think Kazuhiko has. He has struck me time and time again—such as when he didn’t want them to use the EXP pots on the People of the Land, for fear of it damaging them—as someone trying to make good of a shitty situation. The problem is that he’s walking on the dark side, and when you walk in the darkness for too long, it becomes hard to see the light. I’m pretty sure he’s not bad, but he might be lost. I’m not sure he’s doing the right thing to save Mizufa and try to change Plant Hwyaden from the inside, but I’m not sure. Once again, we need more answers to our many questions.
Isuzu’s and the Forty-Third Song
The conclusion of the episode, where Isuzu was singing her new song on the roof of a ruined city, was unfulfilling. I’m just not sure whether that’s because we’re not quite at the end of this arc, or if that was the point. It was a love song, of sorts, but to the world, to this world where she has traveled with her friends. Yet while she was singing, the Odyssey Knights were still dying, and all of Tohya’s protests to try to save them amounted to nothing. Is that the point? To show that they can’t change everything, they aren’t the heroes, and people will make their own choices, even if you think they’re wrong? Perhaps, and that’s a good lesson to keep in mind. If that was the intent, this episode drove it home. If not … well, we’ll find out more next week.
Looking Ahead – A Letter For Shiroe
Roe2, who proved herself to be scary powerful in this episode, is sending the young’uns back with a letter for Shiroe. Once again, I’ve been spoiled on parts of this (use those spoiler tags, people), so I can’t say much, but I can say that I’ll miss Roe2. She’s a lot of fun, with her onee-san fetish and her goofy vampire weaknesses. But more importantly, we’re heading back to Akiba and SHIROE! I’ve enjoyed parts of this arc and its old school adventuring vibe, but Log Horizon is at its best on a national (or larger) scale. Shiroe ought to give us that.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The first overt dust up between Log Horizon & Plant Hwyaden ends in a complex tie, while Isuzu sings as the city burns #loghora s2e20
- Nyanta is Lv 92 Swashbuckler, while Londark is a finger wiggling caster and Mizufa is Lv 68. MMORPG logic would dictate that Nyanta should have easily cleaned both of their clocks—Londark because Nyanta got into melee range, and Mizufa because of straight level. Yet, he said that Mizufa is strong. I wonder, is this another instance of my operating on MMORPG logic when the world of Log Horizon isn’t quite an MMO anymore? Level may be a proxy for power, but perhaps it’s not everything.
- D’aawwwww, Nyanta thought of Serara. When he was talking about children, granted, but at least he’s fond of her. You’ve still got a shot, Seraracchi!
- I wish Nureha had realized that Tohya’s comment was all him, rather than something taught by Shiroe. I feel like Captain Obvious saying this, but her “Shiro-sama” fixation isn’t healthy. Maybe Tohya will be a factor in her redemption later on. We can hope.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info) Sign up for my email list for 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.