What is anime filler? And can you avoid watching it?

I recently had a conversation where I bemoaned the inevitability of filler episodes in popular anime. After a while, it was clear that not everyone in the conversation knew what filler was and why they were often a necessary part of any long-running anime series. More importantly, most people didn’t realize there are easy ways to avoid watching filler for the most popular shows…

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[Log Horizon 2] Episode 1 – Part B: Cyborg Consciousness

(Author’s Note: this is a follow up to the preview post. Please read that first to better understand this. Also, refer to Part A for my Episode 1 reactions.)

I took the term “cyborg consciousness” from Ted Friedman’s essay on Sid Meier’s Civilization and how the game (and computer games in general) teaches us new ways of perceiving the world. He puts his argument succinctly:

“The way computer games teach structures of thought – the way they reorganize perception – is by getting you to internalize the logic of the program. To win, you can’t just do whatever you want. You have to figure out what will work within the rules of the game. You must learn to predict the consequences of each move, and anticipate the computer’s response. Eventually, your decisions become intuitive, as smooth and rapid-fire as the computer’s own machinations.”

Man = Machine

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[Log Horizon 2] Preview: Life as a Game / Game as a Life

log horizon

Here begins my thematic episode by episode review of Log Horizon season 2.
I’m a little behind on doing this coverage (I missed the first week) but I’ll make it up by covering the rest of the season faithfully.

A Little Background

This thematic review of Log Horizon 2 might not make much sense to anyone who hasn’t watched the first season as I will periodically reference events from those episodes (I think). I view Season One as a setup season — the pace was relatively slow for a “shounen” anime, especially compared to action-packed virtual reality anime Sword Art Online, and many viewers blogged about how Log Horizon could’ve functioned perfectly smoothly without 5-8 “useless” episodes. There are many explanations (excuses, if one is feeling particularly vindictive) for this:

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