Hey folks, apologies for being MIA for past 4 episodes as traveling took the month out of me. I’m back now though and ready to give a heartfelt review for episode 10.
Overall. Unlike Episode 9, an action-packed episode that gave us all the Shiroe action we were missing while Akatsuki wrapped up the Akihabara murder arc, Episode 10 is the sort that haters refer to when they point out how slow the anime pacing is. The entire episode is basically a 22 minute motivational speech. Yeah I get that their whole party died, but half of episode 9 was basically Shiroe resolving his personal issues, which led me to optimistically believe that episode 10 will be when Shiroe reveals his awesome plan, do the impossible, and whoop the butts of the three raid bosses. Tragically, the rest of the party has issues as well, and William Massachusetts’ low self-esteem (“I just accidentally became guild master, but I really suck and don’t deserve it”) rears its head again. Damn. Guess the asskicking is postponed for another episode.
The Korean Drama Sea of Tears. If you’ve ever watched any Korean romantic tragedies, you’ll know that there’s at least a couple of episodes where literally every single character just screams and cries over how their lives suck for the entire hour. The good guy cries, the bad guy cries, and the angst is just out of control. That perfectly describes the beginning of Episode 10. Literally every member of Silver Sword gets their chance to shine by bemoaning about how life has lost all meaning. Their catchy one-liners range from the unoriginal “It’s not fair!” to the unnecessarily dramatic “The game has abandoned us!” After a minute of watching Silver Sword turn into emo teenagers, I’m about ready to start crying myself.
Chicken Soup for the Gamer Soul. But wait, don’t give up hope! Big Bro’ Will is ready to cure your emo-ness with his inspirational speech! *cue dramatic music* He starts monologuing about how he grew up without any ability to get along with people. As a result, he can’t function in normal society and has no friends. He only started making friends when he joined a raiding guild in Elder Tale, and through the game, learned to develop friendship, trust and leadership. Elder Tale made him human! Wow. Way to go, video game.
Stand Up for Gamers. Aside from the fact that absolutely nothing happened in Episode 10, I am pleased that the message is so positive, and that the anime took the time to develop the growth of a minor character. Admittedly, I first started crying because the angst was getting a bit hard to swallow and Big Bro Will way overdramatized his human metamorphosis via video game, but after a while, I’m starting to tear up because of true content. I’m not a hardcore MMO player and I wasn’t a part of any raid party, but nevertheless, the community of gamers is one of the best part about gaming. Sure, some arrogant douchebags will always be trolling the forums but at the core, we’re all people who’ve dedicated a horrendous amount of hours to something we love and something society marginalizes us for. And even if you’re not a gamer, the whole speech/episode is like giving a giant middle finger to real life, which I’m sure every human being has felt like doing sometime in his or her life.
Prince of Tennis Ripoff. So just as I was just shedding tears at Big Bro Will’s heartwarming speech, Demikas (now firmly on the redemption-from-idiocy path) had his moment to shine by playing the role of fake challenger and posing the very logical question, “it’s all fine and good when we were having fun raiding, but why should we literally die again and again for a stupid game?” And Big Bro’ Will’s answer? Let’s be children, remember the fun times, and we’ll magically win!! I’m sorry, what? Methinks the inspirational speech has gone on way too long if you’re resorting to the mystical powers of nostalgia.
This situation should be very familiar to any Prince of Tennis fans as that same copout answer was how Ryoma nonsensically beat Child of God Yukimura in the final death match. But that’s ok for Prince of Tennis because the whole show was nonsensical anyways—if you follow the show, you would know that tennis was responsible for the Big Bang, wiping out the dinosaurs and other physics-bending shenanigans. But for Log Horizon?! Thus far, the anime has made living in a magical alternate reality superbly realistic and logical, touching the hearts of gamers worldwide. Everyone levels up sensibly and stuff don’t happen just because animes need plots. I am … kind of disappointed at how this speech is ending.
Shiroe trolls. Which means, it’s time for Shiroe, the go-to guy for rationality. Once you look at him, you are reassured once more that 1+1=2, E=MC^2 and that Shiroe actually means God. No kidding, the guy knows everything and he never tells anyone anything. Dude Shiroe, I thought we got over your whole secrecy spiel last episode?! Aren’t you now the friendly neighborhood “I will share everything with everyone type?” I’ve been on the brink of my seat the entire episode after he said last time that he’ll finally share his grand plan with everyone…but of course, we just happen to run out of time and the revelation is pushed back to Episode 11. Apparently, his enlightenment means he will share with everyone, … just not the viewers of the anime. Why am I not surprised.