Log Horizon is a fairly unique series in what has quickly become it’s own sub-genre. The concept of “Being Trapped in a Videogame” has been pretty thoroughly explored through Sword Art Online and the .Hack series. So what makes it different in a series that has already been given the magnifying glass? The answer is quite a bit actually.
The first season of Log Horizon did an excellent job of setting up the world and the shows name sake group. The world is the game of Elder Tale, full of kingdoms, monsters, the people of the land, and our heroes “The Adventurers”. The tale of Log Horizon follows Shiro and his titular guild members as they continue to learn about the world they inhabit and find a way home. We have seen several of their adventures now and we’re now on more of a story focused path in the series.Sword Art Online’s Second Seasondid this as well but in truth, I feel a much stronger connection to Horizon. The reasoning is this….It’s not just “The Shiro Show”. Every character that has relevance to this current arc gets to participate, add things at an individual level, one of the series greatest boons. There aren’t really any characters in Log Horizon that I dislike. Everyone has a back story worth hearing and nothing that is really over the top or implausible.
Log Horizon does a great job in caring for the characters and manifesting their personalities. Most characters have a quirk of some kind, some loveable some more on the annoying side, and these are either boosted or offset because each character has writing that was clearly crafted to match them. The feeling you get from the cast is a feeling of them being very real, if not a bit trope inspired.
The overall story also had some serious thought put into it. In season 2, Log Horizon explored the plot even deeper like how the Adventurers being there effects the People of the Land, their politics and economy. There is also a heavy theme that pertains to one of my favorite things in Massive Multi-Player Online Games, Raids. Raids require that the participants be of a higher level, have stronger gear and are capable of working in large groups. Because most of our characters have been playing the game for a long time, they meet these requirements and can do some really cool stuff. The set pieces used for the raids are cool both in the location and the monsters. I felt absolutely thrilled when they win, and totally crushed when they lost. It’s very involved, but still, easy enough to follow that even some one without experience in the genre can follow.
Log Horizion is not without it’s flaws however, it’s biggest flaw is in its animation. It seems there was a studio change between seasons. The current anime is being done By Studio Deen (Rave Master, Fruits Basket).I’m pretty disappointed with it, it’s a considerable downgrade from the earlier season. Some characters facial definition has been radically simplified to the point where they look generic. It becomes passable, nothing particularly stands out.
The entire vocal cast from the original show have all made a return. I say that with a large smile on my face because I’ve really grown to like the voice casting for each of the characters. I am especially fond of Akatsuki (voiced by Emiri Kato), her delivery of her more comedic lines are so serious and dead pan it just makes it that much better. I also very much enjoyed the soundtrack, which was composed by Yasaharu Takanashi (Fairy Tail, Naruto Shippuden). Bringing his mix of woodwinds, guitars drums and various other elements he brings the intensity when the fights flare up, and intensifies moments of self thought and mystery. There’s even nice pieces for the nice “every day” moments. Lastly I mus say that the combination of the opening and ending are really great. The opening from the previous show “Database” by “MAN WITH A MISSION Feat. TAKUMA” is still just as infectious and rousing as it was before, while Yun*Chis “Wonderful World” is a very cute tune that ends up being a great way to wind down the episodes.