Log Horizon: Episode 13 – “Shield and Freedom”

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.

The vast majority of episode 13 focuses on the conference of the lords. We discover that the first few scenes of this episode actually take place before the players at the party training enter the dungeon; there’s a scene when Shiroe is at a meeting of the Academic’s Guild, and he receives a call from Minori. She says at the beginning of the call that they’re just about to enter the dungeon. A couple of scenes later, we see that Minori and the others in the dungeon after where we last saw them in episode 12. There’s one more scene of the training camp on the beach for those participants who aren’t in the dungeon.

When it comes to the conference of the lords, quite a bit of this focuses on Princess Lenessia, the daughter of Sergiatte Cowen, High Lord of Eastal’s League of Freedom Cities. She’s a melancholy princess who feels unmotivated and doesn’t seem to have much freedom. One of her maids described her as a “melancholy twilight princess,” and I found myself wondering if “twilight princess” was a subtle reference to The Legend of Zelda videogame franchise.

We see the princess interacting a bit with Crusty, and their interactions are rather amusing. From the way he treats her, she gets the impression that he’s a bad guy. After Crusty wins against the knights for the honor of escorting Lenessia to the dance, some of the other ladies of the court start to swoon over Crusty.

I have to say that for a lot of the episode, I felt so certain that the story was going to lead to some kind of romantic interest between Crusty and Lenessia. However, after hearing Crusty’s explanation of why he’s been around Lenessia so much, a romantic angle would end up being rather awkward.

Right at the end of the episode 13, Akatsuki is reporting what she has overheard some of the lords saying in private conversations. During their discussion, weird things start happening, and a mage suddenly appears. After acknowledging he knows who Shiroe is, the mage introduces himself as Regan of Miral Lake. However, this is where the episode ends. I feel pretty safe in saying we’ll find out what Regan wants from Shiroe in episode 14.

Now that we’ve essentially made it to the halfway point of Log Horizon, it appears that the interactions with the People of the Land, as well as their politics, will be a major focus for the second half of the series. The appearance of the mage Regan doesn’t bode well to me, and I’m very curious as to what business he has with Shiroe and how this character’s appearance will affect the overarching storyline.

Of course, there’s still the question of how the adventurers ended up in the game and whether or not they’ll ever be able to return home. And if they do make it back home, will the changes that they have brought to the game world remain after they leave?

Log Horizon seems to have made itself stand out in a good way from other series that have a plot involving people who unexpectedly end up inside of a game. It’s become a series I look forward to watching week after week, because I have become invested in these characters and the story that they’re in.

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

One comment

  1. John Samuel · January 4, 2014

    I’m really liking Log Horizon, although right now it is the B-plot with Minori that I’m really hanging out for.

    I really want to see Minori step up into the leadership role for the juniors.

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