Log Horizon: Episode 22 – “Swallow and Young Starling”

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. As the series progresses, they are joined by other characters as they figure out how to live within the world of the game.

The entirety of episode 22 focuses on the Scale Festival, which was the festival that Marielle proposed at the end of episode 21. A flyer is being distributed to advertise an all-you-can-eat cake buffet if you go in as part of a couple, you get in free. There’s a contest involved where the couple that successfully eats the most cake will win two tickets to the Twilight Banquet with Princess Lenessia that takes place the day after the contest.

Akatsuki and Minori decide they both want to ask Shiroe to the cake buffet. Shiroe decides that he’ll go with both of them, and even makes arrangements with the guild that’s running the buffet; however, in order to qualify for a chance to win the tickets, they have to eat 12 cakes. When they get there, they find that instead of the small cakes that the couples have to eat, they’re expected to eat 12 whole cakes. Akatsuki and Minori start competing over feeding cake to Shiroe; at the same time, Shiroe can hear the other guys complaining about the fact that he has two girls with him and he can just sense their resentment toward him. Poor Shiroe feels trapped.

Later, we see that Shiroe is stuffed, and learn that they didn’t qualify to compete for the prize. Minori goes off on her own to buy some dandelion barley tea to give to Shiroe to help with his digestion. When Shiroe goes home to rest, he begins wondering whether or not he should be the guild master for Log Horizon. Akatsuki suddenly appears, and the two have a conversation which ends with Akatsuki stroking Shiroe’s face. Minori walks in on this scene with the tea, and is in such disbelief that she leaves the tea behind and leaves. At the end of the episode, Minori comes the realization that she likes Shiroe.

For the most part, episode 22 was pretty much a light-hearted episode, with the exception of the last scene, when Minori realizes her feelings for Shiroe. The main thing of importance here is that a love triangle has officially been introduced into the series; while Akatsuki and Minori’s feelings had been hinted at earlier, this episode makes it blatantly clear that this dynamic has been here. I also got the feeling from the episode that perhaps Henrietta may also be interested in Shiroe, so it could potentially become more than a simple love triangle.

But with the overall light-hearted nature of the episode, I have a feeling that this is the “calm before the storm.” I’ve seen other series do this near the end of story, where a light-hearted episode is shown, and then the remaining episodes have a rather intense story arc that covers the remaining episodes of the season. I’m guessing that’s the case here, too.  I’m going to guess at this point that the remaining episodes of Log Horizon will address the incidents in Minami that were referenced in episode 21. I’m looking forward to seeing episode 23 in order to find out whether or not I was right about this guess.

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

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