Log Horizon: Episode 16 – “Return of the Goblin King”

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 end of episode 15, we saw that a swarm of Sahuagin, which look like fishmen, were coming onto the beach where some of the participants for the party training were doing their training. Episode 16 shows that Naotsugu and the others still by the dungeon have been fighting off goblins, and it’s remarked that that the encounter rate for goblins in this area shouldn’t be so high. Nyanta goes up into the air on his griffon and reports that he saw a few thousand goblins on the move just beyond the next ridge. Naotsugu contacts Shiroe to let him know what’s going on.

Shiroe conducts a telepathic conference of the members of the Round Table Alliance, since they’re so spread out. He hypothesizes that the sudden swarms of goblins and demons is due to the “Goblin King’s Return.” He explains that this was an event that happened quite regularly in the Elder Tale game. Twice a year, the Goblin King is crowned. Before that happens, players are given a week to slay him; if they defeat the king before the coronation, they can acquire rare items. Since these items were very powerful, and it was an easy event for regular players, it was one of the game’s most popular events. If they failed to defeat the Goblin King during that week, the king was crowned. This unified the surrounding clans, making the goblins several times more numerous than they’d previously been. They realize that since the Apocalypse, they were so busy trying to make the world livable for themselves, and that they had been so preoccupied with raising their levels, they hadn’t taken any quests from the People of the Land. They come to realize that the blame for what’s going on falls on them and the other adventurers.

After the telepathic conference is over, the members of the alliance at the lords’ conference talk amongst themselves. Shiroe divulges to the others that after getting information from Regan of Miral Lake that each time they die in the game world, each death steals a small portion of their memories. Crusty says he’s convinced that there’s something to the theory, because he feels he’s lost some memories since dying a couple of times after the Apocalypse.

Near the end of the episode, the party training group sees a goblin army off in the distance, and determines the army is headed to Choushi. Minori and her party want to go and protect the village, but Marielle and the other adults tell them no. When Minori suggests that they serve as an advance party, the adults end up agreeing.

There was definitely a lot more exposition in this episode than there had been recently, due in large part with having to introduce the “Goblin King’s Return” event in the game. While the exposition did bog the episode down a little, it was very important in order to understand what was going on.

One thing I’m really interested in seeing is how the People of Land look at this situation. Will they place the blame on the adventurers, and cause what progress the adventurers have made at the lords’ conference to be destroyed?

I was glad to see Minori showing that her being a leader in the previous episode wasn’t a fluke. She really has come into her own as a character; not only can she lead others, but she can also stand up for herself. She’s no longer the timid girl she was when we first met her earlier in Log Horizon.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing how the story of Log Horizon has built since it was started.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in episode 17 to see how the situation with the goblins will continue, and how this will impact the characters we know and have come to love.

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

One comment

  1. John Samuel · January 25, 2014

    MInori’s development has been awesome, and that sort of development seems to be a major theme for Log Horizon.

    If you recall Shiroe had issues of his own to overcome before he could found his guild, and there’s more coming.

    It is rare to see even one character develop as well as Minori has, to see it spread out over multiple characters is one of the highlights of Log Horizon for me.

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