「ひびわれる円卓」 (Hibiwareru Entaku)
“The Round Table Fractures”
What, thought the political maelstrom ended last November? Oh you sweet summer (winter?) child, it’s just getting started – after all, we haven’t had isekai politics yet! That’s right, we’re now fully into the swing of Log Horizon’s version of institutional malarkey and you best bet it’s going to get chaotic. Hard thinking otherwise when Shiroe himself has committed to the path of war. Political war.
I’m probably a broken record at this stage, but Eins keeps on doing exactly what I’ve described before while doubling down on the inevitable catastrophe. Just to reinforce the point, what Eins wants isn’t wrong; helping fellow adventurers and giving them hope and satisfaction is a reasonable goal, something Shiroe himself fully agrees with. The issue, again, is that Eins is approaching it wrong. The guy thinks he now has the power to realize his ideal, but as mentioned before, wants everyone else to implement it for him. Attempting to recruit Shiroe in is a prime example, where Eins hopes to leverage Shiroe’s talents while simultaneously containing a potential threat to himself. Eins after all is idealistic, but he also hopes to solidify his own powerbase – I guarantee he thinks he can forge an independent Akihabara with himself as the noble leader and protector of all. The one nagging issue is that will never happen. So long as Eins’ authority comes from someone else—i.e. the Saiguu family—he’ll always be at the mercy of their whims, because all it’ll take is a snap of the finger upon refusal to comply to eradicate all that power.
Coincidentally this is part of the reason for Shiroe’s rejection of Eins’ proposal. Make no mistake, Shiroe doesn’t actually believe Eins to be bad, but he certainly recognizes the danger which comes from tying Akihabara to the legitimacy of another. Such links could quickly mire Akihabara’s adventurers in incessant political bickering (think Maihama) and turn what has been a relatively stable system into just another piece on a larger gameboard. Thus positioning himself and the Round Table behind Rayneshia. While the Round Table doesn’t have the reach or power Eins’ government could have, it’s entirely grassroots and, most importantly, fully independent of other major players. Provide it a suitable figurehead linked to the People of the Land—i.e. Rayneshia—and give it the mandate needed to push for enforceable reform or social assistance—i.e. the planned vote—and you start achieving Eins’ goals without the added issues. Of course, whether or not that happens is up in the air given the base unpredictability of elections, but rest assured Shiroe has plans to ensure the Round Table has the best shot possible.
After all, running a cute face with a sincere and honest message has done wonders for public support before. Just ask Valkyrie Rayneshia.
Naturally Rayneshia’s grandfather and mother took steps to ensure whatever Rayneshia chose would see them come out victorious – you don’t stay in power long without properly playing both sides! Of course, success will ultimately depend on what happens with Crusty and whether he can be maneuvered into an engagement, but don’t worry, I think warm fuzzies will take care of the details.