「常蛾の眠り」 (Tsune ga no Nemuri)
“Sleep of the Eternal Moth”
Was this anime original?
One of my biggest pet peeves is convenient storytelling, and this episode was rife with it. Just when they start talking about contacting the moon, something threatens to destroy their best chance; the newbies are in the raid group because they “didn’t fall asleep”—and this is despite them being far under-leveled for the encounters—even though we all know the reason is so they would be there to help snap Shiroe out of his funk; even the fact that Shiroe was so rattled was convenient, because it opened up a chance for the others to exposit on Touno-sensei’s chosen themes, when in reality, Shiroe has enough experience to operate at 90+% no matter what.
All of this smacks of lazy writing, of shoehorning events so they go where the author wants them to go rather than where they naturally would. I get it, I really do; it’s hard to tell a long story like Log Horizon without stumbling a few times, and I fully expect for someone to eventually levy this same criticism against me on my own series. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to call it out, though. This episode was weak, enough that it felt anime original (Note: I don’t think it was), which is a shame when the overall story feels like it’s so far from over.
Don’t Waste My Time
The epiphany Shiroe has at the end of this episode is that, rather than choose between the world and their chance of going home, they should choose both. I don’t know about you, but here was my reaction:
“Uh, no shit?”
Taking the third option (trope!) is one of the most well-known tropes, so spending a full episode to make Shiroe realize that they should try to save both felt like a waste of our time. I know they were trying to raise the tension, and I actually thought Shiroe being rattled was done fairly well, but I can’t help but think that the story of this episode didn’t need to be told. Or rather, it was far inferior to the story that could have been told. Why give us a mediocre story that’s largely thanks to Shiroe holding the idiot ball (trope!) when they could have done so much more? One of the cardinal rules of storytelling is to never waste your readers’ time, and I feel like that rule was violated today.
Henietta Best Girl
Most of my criticisms of this episode are for storytelling reasons that might not annoy others. There were good things, though. One of my favorites was finally getting to see Henrietta in combat mode. I had heard she used a bow, but getting to see her finally mix it up was cool!
As for her slapping Shiroe, it honestly felt off. Yes, he needed to be snapped out of it, but a good ‘ol “Get your head out of your ass and focus!” would have been fine. The slap seemed out of proportion for his sin. What it did make clear is that, for all the strides Akatsuki has made in better understanding and becoming an equal with Shiroe, it’s still Henrietta who understands him the best. I don’t know who to ship any more, ahhhh!
Looking Ahead – The Moth Boss
It looks like this son of a gun is the boss of this new dungeon, and killing him might just despawn all of the moths. Which would be super convenient again but heeeeeey. What’s one more? Either way, next episode will be the last one of the second season, and considering how they’re already adapting material that hasn’t been officially published yet, I’d settle in for a long wait until a potential season three.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Convenient storytelling & weak drama, but Henrietta is finally in combat mode. Those kind of even out #loghora s2e24
- “Einz-san. I’ll believe that you’re a member of the Round Table, too.” That was a very odd comment by Shiroe. I feel it should have had more backing it up. It does have some, but it felt like it came out of nowhere, and even Einz was confused.
- I’m okay with Kurinon going after Minori.
- People used to suspect Regan so much, but look at him now! He’s one of the team.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Wage Slave Rebellion is officially in print, From LEGO to author, RIP Sir Terry, and The formula for achieving your dream.