Log Horizon is an anime that tells the tale of what happens when players of the MMORPG game, Elder Tale, mysteriously find themselves actually inside the game after the 12th expansion, “Novasphere Pioneers,” is added. The main character of the series is Shiroe, and he is joined by his two companions Naotsugu and Akatsuki.
At the beginning of the episode, the audience is introduced to the concept of the mage class, both through Henrietta teaching Shiroe how to dance at the conference and a conversation Serara has with Nyanta. More of the explanation came through at the training camp, and it was interesting to hear characters other than Shiroe giving an explanation that sounds like it came straight out of a manual for Elder Tale.
The next day, the Round Table delegation is having a meal, and they realize that their cooking method has spread among the People of the Land. It’s asked if that means the adventurers are affecting the world, and the response is that it does, and that they need to learn more about the world in order to avoid being a destructive influence. The delegation also realizes the politics here are more complicated than they’d expected. Shiroe says he believes he has a good idea as to what the nobles are seeking; their first goal was to learn the scope of Akihabara and the Round Table’s ambitions. He believes what happened at the ball the previous night dispelled some of their concerns. He believes they’re going to try to win the Round Table to their side.
While this is going on, we see a couple of nobles having a conversation about the adventurers. In their mind, previous to the Apocalypse, the Akihabara adventurers were merely a disorganized mob, and that made them easy to deal with individually. They also exterminated monsters and guarded caravans as long as the People of the Land paid them. Now they’ve stopped coming to their territory almost entirely, and have now founded the Round Table to try to rule their city. They also marvel at the technological advances the adventurers have made, and that the nobles must get them on their side.
After this, there’s finally a focus on the training camp for the low level adventurers. When they get to the Forest of Lagranda for party training, they are divided into groups. Minori, Tohya, Isuzu, Rundel, and Serara end up in the same group. After they enter the dungeon, the remainder of the episode sees this group trying to work together as they wander through the dungeon and encounter monsters.
I was actually surprised to discover how little of this episode actually focused on the party training, since the episode is titled, “The Forest of Lagranda,” and the preview at the end of episode 11 focused on the group in the dungeon. After watching the episode, I’d have to say that at best, only about a third of it focuses on the training camp. The majority of the episode takes place at and focuses on the conference with the lords, so I’m wondering if perhaps a different title might have been more appropriate for episode 12.
Personally, I thought the conversations of the Round Table delegates and the nobles were very important. The Round Table comments that since the Apocalypse, the adventurers haven’t received any quests from the People of the Land. The nobles, meanwhile, complain that the adventurers are no longer doing quests for them. It looks like there’s a recipe for major misunderstandings between the two sides that could escalate at the conference. I’m wondering at this point if that’s where the story is headed, and if so, how this will affect the overarching story of Log Horizon.
From what we saw of the training camp in this episode, it looks like Rundel is not much of a team player, and this could become an important plot point later with his character. During the scene that took place in the dungeon, the other characters in the party seemed to work well together except for Rundel.
Overall, I still find myself more interested in the conference than I am in the training camp. Yes, the training camp is important, especially to help develop several characters in the series, but I’m just not as interested in it as I am in the conference. There’s so many ways in which the conference could go terribly wrong and become a “game changer” for the series. I’m looking forward to watching episode 13 to find out what will happen next.
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