Annnd, with this post, I’ll be back on track with the anime episodes! *whew* Writing 5 posts in the past 5 days (all on Log Horizon) is not quite something I would care to experience again…
Read last episode’s review here.
But on to reactions for Episode Two:
Overall. Very happy to report that Episode 2 is so much smoother and coherent than Episode 1. Additionally, Season 2 is shaping up to be a faster pace, more action-packed storyline than Season 1, which is great. I feel that Season 1 would have taken at least 5 episodes to cover the content shown in Season 2’s first two episodes.
Art. Scouring through the Internet has unveiled that perhaps I was too hasty with my harsh censure of Studio Deen’s animation for Season 2. Log Horizon Fun Facts has performed an in-depth comparison of all the art styles of the various Log Horizon adaptations and revealed that Season 2 animation is the closest to the original — the character artwork for the light novel. So, despite looking terrible, Deen animation is true to form, if that’s any consolation…
Informative Introduction. Out of everything that changed from Season 1 to Season 2, I’m very glad that Deen continued giving a game mechanics explanation (narrated by Shiroe) to start off each episode. It provides important context to non-gamers and serves as a good foreshadowing for the rest of the episode.
- Episode 2 introduces the “Full Raid,” a large-scale battle version of a normal raid that cannot be completed with your usual 6-person party. A full raid requires the participation of 24 players (or four 6-person parties), and success depends as much on team cohesion as individual skills.
With that said, the rest of the episode focuses on Shiroe trying to build his team of 24 players in preparation for a Full Raid. However, he needs to keep the South (Plant Hwyaden) unaware of his actions, so he’s forced to recruit outside of his home base Akihabara to avoid attention. Where does he go instead? SUSUKINO.
I’m absurdly pleased with this development because Susukino was one of the first not-Akihabara locations introduced in Season 1, but aside from serving as an introduction to battle in Log Horizon—one of those arcs that exist only to show readers how awesome the main characters are—Susukino disappeared from the anime. We’re finally exploring the Elder Tale world outside of Akihabara!
Also, it’s unbelievable how much Susukino changed. The city used to be an example of anarchy under Demikas’ rule in Season 1; now it just looks like some rustic Northern Viking establishment (think Winterfell from Game of Thrones). However, both images are drastically different from real-life Susukino, which is the biggest red-light district in Sapporo, Japan. Compare the two:
Yeah, I’m getting pretty different vibes here.
I cannot believe someone picked William Massachusetts as a screen name in a game, but here he is.
He’s also the leader of the Silver Swords, who decided that he’s too cool for Akihabara’s Round Table in Season One and disappeared into the wilderness. Now we learned that the wilderness is Susukino.
The best part about Silver Swords taking control in Susukino: leashing Demikas. The idea of Demikas being in control of anything is a joke.
Humor. One great thing about Episode Two is the humor. First, we see the birth of a brilliant bromance between Naotsugu and Regan based on a mutual love of panties and terrible wit.
Then, we witness Shiroe simultaneously dissing Demikas’ entire existence and showing off his creativity — “democracy” / “demi-glace” / “demarcation.”
But all of Shiroe’s nicknames for Demikas can’t compare to Tetora’s “Demi-Demi,” which completely emasculated the poor man, not that he has much grounds to stand on after we learned that he’s whipped by his NPC wife.
Tetora. The first new character to be introduced in Season 2, Tetora is a super self-absorbed girl who thinks that she should be the center of the universe. She refers to herself as a “Galaxy Idol,” and would be super annoying, except her attitude is 100% hilarious. She matches incredibly well with Naotsugu and supplies the kind of comic relief only a delusional “Magical Girl” embodies just by existing.
Undoubtedly, her likeability comes from her skill. She is a level 93 cleric, proving that despite her looks and her fluff, she is no mere cannon fodder or damsel in distress.
NAOTSUGU X MARIE. Unbelievably, this comedic pairing in Season 1 is turning serious and canon. I thought that Log Horizon, like most “shounen” anime, was just going to have “potential” romance—love triangles, crushes, etc. that will never be fulfilled—and no real relationships. I am so, so happy to be wrong. From this one pairing, I can see that Log Horizon handles romance expertly.
The development of Naotsugu and Marie is natural and realistic. They are not “love at first sight” or suddenly going from “0 to 360” with no time in between. Instead, their relationship is developing steadily through “nightly chats” for “strategic purposes”—like anyone is buying that excuse (Henrietta certainly isn’t). It’s disgustingly cute…especially since they’re late-20s people behaving like school kids in love.
Mithril Eyes? Ok, I might be missing something here, but since the title of this episode is “The Outlaw and the Mithril Eyes,” I was actually expecting to see those two things. Maybe the outlaw is William Massachusetts (?) but what are the mithril eyes? I swear nobody even mentioned it this episode?!
Finally: I am super excited about Episode 3 XD. Season 2 is definitely blowing my expectations out of the water. Peace out, folks.
Continue on to Episode 3 Review.