I would have split season one and season two up had I know there was such a big difference in quality between the two seasons but I didn’t know and here we are.
Hey! Now that I’m done this, maybe I’ll actually start watching airing anime again? Don’t wanna tho.
Since it is 50 episodes and a lot of content covered, it was a bit difficult getting my thoughts in order. Because I really, really liked this show. A lot. I’m glad that I did get around to watching it and I’m glad I did so right as the light novel was released here in North America.
I did like S1 more than S2 but let me clarify my thoughts on this because when I’ve tried to explain why before, I feel like I erroneously blamed DEEN for everything. And that’s wrong. The second season definitely suffers in the animation department. It’s a damn shame.
I will give DEEN credit for one thing though. Thought kind of jarring and not very nice to look at, the change in art stlye to something less cartoon-y and more realistic for the scenes that take place in the real was an interesting touch.
It really showed the divide between the world, helping us to to see them as two separate places. The game world must look very different from how our world does, after all. Having the animation reflect that fact was nice.
I found that while the show was still good, it wasn’t as good. And the reason is that it doesn’t seem to utilize it’s giant cast as well as it did in the first season.
This is mostly evident with there being three separate arcs with Akatsuki dealing with the serial killer, Shiroe doing his raid and then the young Log Horizon members off to get the ingredients for the magic bag. These arcs are largely made up specifically of these characters with the others not interacting much at all.
Granted, they all have good reason for this (Akatsuki’s arc taking place at the same time as Shiroe’s arc, for instance) but it makes the series feel disjointed and doesn’t flow as well. I thought this would improve after Shiroe finished the raid and returned to Akihabahara but then shortly after, the young members set off and there was a lot of focus on them with Shiroe and co being a little less important. Still there but not as much as I’d like.
The last little arc at the end with a big raid party going to the tower in Shibuya was nice and more of what I wanted.
I heard, midway through my big watch of the series, that the second season adapted nearly right up to the current chapter so I can understand if there was some pressure there.
And I can see the way some of the open plotlines being handled in season two being a big let down for some people. I will definitely be reading the light novels because they’re available to us now but if you don’t want to do that, it must have been a disappointing season.
You’re set up with this threat of war which is waved away in the last episode, that Crusty is ok but in China somehow and with Kanami, that Aliens Did It, and there’s a new, strange and unknown enemy wrecking everything. I know it’ll take a few years 1 before we get to where the anime ended in the light novels, but I can wait to find out and experience again those mysteries which are perhaps laid out better in the novel.
As for a season three… well there isn’t enough source material right now. And the staff that worked on this (who did both S1 and S2, only thing that changed in season two was DEEN doing the animation) has dispersed. Not to mention Mamare Touno’s tax problems.
Let’s just say I’m thinking it’s real unlikely. I’d love it. Oh my god would I ever love another season. But just like Chihayafuru S3, I’m not holding my breath.
That was a lot of season two talk. Let’s look at the big picture.
I feel so bad for ever comparing this to SAO. It’s an easy mistake to make. Except Log Horizon is good and Sword Art Online is bad. There you go.
The biggest reason would be the characters. Every character in Log Horizon is fantastic and great. Except the ones that are kind of evil and douchey. But god, I’m sure this series could make them likable too.
Every single character that I didn’t think I liked or cared about got a little attention and screen time and was suddenly endearing and I liked them. Crusty? Isaac? Minori? William Massachusetts? Regan? Demikas? William Massachusetts again? I like everyone.
god I love William goddamn Massachusetts
Shiroe isn’t The Most Powerful Badass Ever. He’s just really smart. He’s not that strong. He’s just good at what he does. Which is super good! Because he isn’t at the front of every battle, pulling out unknown moves never seen before that make him even more stronger than everyone else.
No, he’s coordinating the battle. He’s letting him corades do the fighting. And in doing so, they get to showcase how cool they are and how competent they are and it does a lot for their characters to.
Having something that feels so shounen-y early on (very shortly, mind you) have their main character take a back seat and do little fighting, having his brain and sharpness be his strongest asset, is really interesting!
One thing I will criticize the show for is it has a bit of a harem element that it could really, really do with out. It does come into focus a lot more than it should and it was at it’s most eye-rolling-inducing when Henrietta is also in love with Shiroe because of course.
I’d like to see Minori eventually accept that she doesn’t have a chance and gracefully bow out, keeping her resolve to be like Shiroe even if it means she’s not with him.
Really, there’s a lot of cute couples in Log Horizon but any involving Shiroe are all super boring.
Crusty/Lenessia and Rudy/Isuzu are both super great, get lots of focus without being super romance based so ifyou aren’t into that, it’s not very distracting. But if you are, it’s totally there and savor every moment 2.
Those two examples (instead of say, Naotsugu/Marie or Nyanta/Serara) are particularly striking because those couples feature one character being a Person of the Land (NPC) and the other an Adventurer. So the whole time I couldn’t get it out of my head that the inevitable answer will be that they’ll leave this world and be seperated.
Before we get to more on that and the hope presented in the last episode, continuing with something that again makes it better than that other show. At least in my opinion.
While I find the harem aspect (though small, it still exists) annoying, I did appreciate Akatsuki’s arc in season two.
Akatsuki herself points out that she’s been relying on Shiroe to the point where that now that she’s alone, she can’t function at all. She shuts down and is in a restless daze, thinking it’s because she’s weak that he left her behind. Despite her best attempts, she cannot seem to get stronger.
The arc progresses with her accepting friendship from Lenessia eventually and help from the West Wind Brigade, a guild made of women who adore Souji. And Souji, as a side note, was so incredibly cool and badass from this arc on. I simply could not believe.
Akatsuki eventually finds her new power through the help of these other women who lead a full scale attack raid style against the serieal killer who had killed Akatsuki prior. On her own, Akatsuki finds her strength and resolve.
She does so with friends she might not have made had she continued to keep her eyes only on Shiroe. These women band together and save Akihabara and it’s totally rad and cool.
It was an end to an arc I had originally found exasperating and it improved her character so much in my eyes.
and we get Tetra from his arc
Shiroe’s arc that followed (leading up to their deaths that coincided) was more exciting than I thought it would be and I still can’t believe I came to really like a character named William goddamn Massachusetts.
Plant Hwyaden was kinda boring and lame but that’s because they were always given screentime when cooler stuff was supposed to be happening. Cause I bet they’re super interesting and I’m sure the novel will handle them better.
Though Nureha just suddenly brushing off her abuser seemed pretty rushed and anticlimactic. Especially because we saw so little of them.
Likewise, I heard that the Go West episode was really condensed. Which was a shame. Was it? I don’t know how I feel actually. Well Kanami ended up being cool. Especially at the end where it’s revealed she has a daughter in the real world. She provides Shiroe with the revelation he needed.
There’s also the chinese farming bot which was an interesting touch and the only American player who is a goddamn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. These are interesting characters in theory but when compared to Log Horizon and the other Akiba characters, I’d much rather see them than these new character who are travelling with Kanami.
And that revelation. The hope of Log Horizon. I mentioned dreaded those two pairs who would be split up. I figured the same as Shiroe. It was one or the other. Return home or stay in the world of Elder Tale. The thought of having both seemed ludicrous until Kanami mentioned it like it wasn’t even nothing.
I wonder how they’ll manage it. The ability to go from one to the other as you please? Merging the two worlds would be impossible, especially when only a few Adventurers cause the People of the Land so much trouble.
But since apparently aliens did it, I’m sure aliens can do anything they want them to do. Well, if it means a happy world where they can return and go as they please, I’ll accept it.
ok but look at this perfect precious angel
Granted, I do kind of hope we’re far away from that answer. It’s a bit dumb but Log Horizon is the first series since, like, Pokemon when I was a little girl where I’ve felt like “yeah, I totally want to be there! I wish this was real!”. It’s a world where gamers aren’t complete scumbags, can be reasoned with and lead. Where you go on fun adventures or carve a name for yourself just doing what you can. Death isn’t an end all but danger is still there. Without the angst and “2 gritty an hardcore 4 u” mentality of SAO. It’s a fun place, all things considered.
So I don’t want to reach the end yet. I want to go on more adventures with Log Horizon and the round table and everyone in the world of Elder Tale. Hopefully Touno hasn’t gotten himself in too much trouble and can keep on keeping on.
(P.S Don’t forget! Make sure to support the light novels and manga in North America!)
(P.P.S Also don’t forget it doesn’t even matter if there is no hope just say Wow Wow Wow Wow)
- At the time of writing, the first volume of the light novel came out last month and volume two comes out in two more. If Yen Press keeps up this pace (doubtful), we’ll be caught in in no time! ↩
- Especially because season two had next to no Crusty/Lenessia because Crusty was MIA for most of the season. ↩