Log Horizon 2: Episode 9 – “The Changing Battlefield”

Log Horizon 2 is the second season of the Log Horizon anime series. Log Horizon 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 first season progressed, Shiroe helped to establish alliances between guilds by forming the Round Table, helped to introduce commerce and new ideas to the game’s world, and he even formed his own guild called Log Horizon which included many of Shiroe’s friends as its members.

Of course, not everything went smoothly. The Round Table found itself entangled in issues involving the People of the Land and the nobles, as well as taking on goblin forces that attacked and caused chaos.

Episode Nine finally shows what happened to Shiroe and the raid party on Christmas Eve. It turns out that Shiroe wasn’t killed because of Demikas. The raid party was overwhelmed by suddenly finding themselves having to battle three raid bosses at once instead of just one. As we see in the episode, everyone in the raid party ended up dying.

The first half of the episode focuses on the raid party’s battle, while the second half focuses on Shiroe while he’s going through his death and resurrection process. There ended up being some significant differences between what was shown for Akatsuki when she went through this and what Shiroe ended up going through.

The first difference is that we got to clearly see what Shiroe looks like in the real world, whereas we only saw glimpses of Akatsuki. It was interesting to see that while there are similarities between the real Shiroe and the Shiroe in the game, there are also significant differences. For example, Shiroe has glasses with round lenses in the game, while in the real world, his lenses are rectangular. Shiroe’s facial shape and features are also noticeably different between the two versions.

Another important difference is that the audience is given backstory for Shiroe to help them better understand him as a character. There was no real backstory given for Akatsuki when she went through this process. Shiroe also spends this time ruminating over his past mistakes, as well as his actions in the game world up to this point. The audience also learns that Shiroe’s been suspecting a third party is behind them being trapped in Elder Tale, and has been having his connections in the Round Table trying to help him figure out who it is without them realizing that that’s what they’re doing. I suspect that Shiroe’s quest to find out how they ended up trapped in the game will become an important aspect of the series a little further down the line.

When Shiroe ends up on the moon, right before encountering Akatsuki, it’s also revealed that the moon is a rumored test server that’s an unofficial 14th server for Elder Tale. Once Shiroe reunites with Akatsuki, the remainder of the episode utilizes re-used footage from when Akatsuki went through her death and resurrection process. Not only did this bring this part of the story full circle, it also allowed the director to cut costs because it meant that there was a little less animating that needed to be done for this episode.

In the long run, Episode Nine provided a lot more exposition that I’d anticipated when I went into it. But it’s rather important exposition, so it’s nice to see that it was included.

From seeing the preview for Episode 10, it appears that it will focus on what happens to Shiroe and the rest of the raid party after their resurrection. If this follows the same pattern that Akatsuki’s storyline did, then the raid party’s part of the story should conclude in Episode 10. However, if it’s a more complex storyline, then it might need one more episode. But it appears that the two storylines should be joining back together sooner rather than later.

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.