Log Horizon – Season 2

Log Horizon – Season 2

IMG_1612.PNGVeteran gamer Shiroe and his fellow MMORPG players and teammates have been trapped in the online world of Elder Tale for six months now. The once chaotic city of Akihabara has regained its order and busy streets following the formation of The Round Table – a self-governing organisation lead by Shiroe and his fellow guild heads. The People of the Land, a race native to the world of Elder Tale, now trust the Adventurers after the war against the Goblins in Zantleaf. As a result, Princess Lenessia of the Cowen family, a high-ranking aristocrat and Person of the Land, now lives in Akihabara alongside the Adventurers.

Winter is fast approaching, and the Adventurers are debating about what they’re going to do next, what they need to do to progress, and what new goals and developments are becoming available in this virtual world. Will they remain in Akihabara or travel West to other cities? Should they go North and extend their knowledge of other realms? Things that were once constant in Elder Tale seem to be evolving into something new – bosses are becoming stronger and moving to different areas, as if they are developing their own awareness. As a result, high-level raid battles are becoming a real difficulty for the veteran players, and the less-experienced players are being encouraged to branch out and go on their own quests to obtain items that will help them gain new and useful abilities.

IMG_1614.PNGThe stories within the second arc of this successful gaming anime certainly do not disappoint. The story splits into several different perspectives and we get to see different aspects of MMORPG gaming from several different character perspectives: Akatsuki is determined to track down a Player Killer, Shiroe leads a raid in the North in order to get more funds to ensure The Round Table are able to keep a hold of important buildings within the city, and the lower-level members of Log Horizon are sent off on their first unsupervised quest to achieve important items to help them become seasons Adventurers.

IMG_1609.PNGThis is where we begin to see the differences between the anime and the light novel. In the light novel, these things are all addressed separately whilst the anime seeks to combine several elements in an attempt at real-time storytelling. It is a different type of aesthetic, but I think it works well for the purpose of the anime. There are two climaxes building at the same time, so the payout is definitely worth of a certain degree of detail in these two stories. It really seems to have found its feet and is exploring lots of different avenues at the same time. Though this often means that detail is sacrificed, it’s not something that it terrible noticeable as there is plenty of entertainment through the episodes as they switch from one perspective to another.

IMG_1613.PNGDue to its immense popularity, Man with a Mission feat. Takuma’s ‘Database’ remains as this anime’s opening theme. I’m pleased, as this song is immensely catchy. The background music remains pretty much the same as the first series, and the end credits song has quickly grown on me. I like the way the song is used as one of Isuzu’s Bard songs – it’s a nice touch.

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Character development is easily one of Log Horizon‘s strong points and this sets it apart from other shows. This anime has gone on for a while, starting with quite a big cast of supporting characters, which is only expanding as these characters move off in different directions and meet new players. Akatsuki gets a lot more character development this time, and we get an insight into what truly motivates her as well as some extra details about her complicated relationship with Shiroe. This is a good thing, as I was concerned that Akatsuki, who started off as an interesting character, was becoming too reliant on Shiroe, always following him around and not really doing anything of note apart from giving him cow-eyes from afar. I’m also pleased that I get to see lots more of Rudy, Isuzu and the rest of the low-level team. They aren’t the all-powerful, highly-skilled tacticians the veteran gamers are, who are all Level 70+, but they are still getting to grips with the game, training, learning new skills and adapting to living in a virtual world and getting along with one another – their story is one of my favourites so far.

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Log Horizon has been a firm favourite of mine ever since the introduction of the first series almost a year ago. It combines a lot of elements that I enjoy from an anime: character development, comedy, plot direction, magic, battles, fantasy and a fresh perspective. It also has the added bonus of being set in a virtual environment, and I am a firm fan of anime with a similar setting such as Sword Art Online and .hack franchises. I am really looking forward to what this second series brings, and if there is a probability of having a third series to enjoy in the future.