Log Horizon 2: Episode 21 – “The Skylarks Take Flight”

Log Horizon 2 is the second season of the Log Horizon television 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.

Quite a bit of Episode 21 focused on the party in the aftermath of the wyverns’ attack on Saphir. Most of the members of the party are discouraged: Tohya is sad that he couldn’t make the member of the Odyssey Knights understand, Minori is disappointed that they couldn’t save Saphir, and Serara is sad that she wasn’t really useful. To add on top this, both Roe 2 and Dariella go their separate ways from the party. But before Roe 2 leaves, she gives Minori a letter to be delivered to Shiroe. As soon as I saw that letter, I suspected that it would probably contain some very important information for whatever may be coming up in the remaining episodes.

Whenever any party members express trying to help the People of the Land in Saphir clean up, Rudy keeps dissuading them and encourages them to leave as soon as possible. Later, Isuzu learns that Rudy knew the people of Saphir would probably lump them together with the Odyssey Knights and blame them for their town being ruined. But near the end of the episode, we see that the new song Isuzu sang during the battle is being sung by the townspeople as they go about cleaning up their town. At least Isuzu was able to receive comfort knowing that she introduced a 43rd song to this world.

The episode also shows that strange things are beginning to happen in Akihabara. Naotsugu notices there are more people starting to act sluggish, which reminds him of what they were like when they first arrived in the world of Elder Tale. A merchant of the People of the Land named Camus is wreaking havoc by hitting on every girl he sees and asking her to be his bride. It’s discovered that he has a weird skill that allows him to hypnotize people. Fortunately, Souji’s guild is able to beat Camus up. But Souji wonders if weirdoes like Camus are showing up because the defensive barrier around Akihabara is gone. I had a suspicion that there would be repercussions for Lenessia taking down the defensive barrier earlier on in Log Horizon 2, and it appears that my prediction was correct.

Shiroe is also troubled by Nyanta’s information concerning Londark, the Odyssey Knights, and other adventurers who can’t adapt to this world. He realizes people like this are working with People of the Land who want war, and becomes frustrated because he doesn’t know what the Round Table could do if war broke out in this world. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this aspect won’t be explored much at this point, since there are only four episodes remaining in this season.

While I was glad to see the party’s quest wrap up and their return to Akihabara, I was a little disappointed that their return was covered in a series of stills accompanied by Minori’s narration. The beginning of the episode also relied on stills instead of action, and that’s usually a sign of cutting costs, or not having enough time to animate the action, or not having enough time in the episode to show the action. In this case, I’m thinking it was due to needing the time these scenes would have taken in order to get through other important plot points that the episode needed to hit on. But with the quest over, that wraps up one of the outstanding plot threads. But with the strange things going on in Akihabara, it appears another plot thread is starting.

With four episodes remaining, there’s simply no way all of the various ongoing plot threads will be resolved. With all of Shiroe’s talk about war, it almost felt like the foundation was being laid for a third season. From what I’ve been picking up, it appears that at this point, the anime has almost caught up to the ongoing light novel series, which makes me think that if there’s a third season at some point, it may be a while before we actually see it. But I’d rather have a little bit of a wait instead of the anime studio trying to come up with their own version of how the story progresses from here.

I have to say that the earlier episodes of Log Horizon 2 were stronger than the episodes we’ve seen more recently. Even with some of the strange narrative structure going on with those early episodes, there were still a couple of stories that could be followed and were wrapped up. At this point, there are several plot threads that are out there, with at least one new one introduced in Episode 21. There’s no way these final four episodes could even begin to wrap up all of these loose plot threads satisfactorily. It’ll be interesting to see how Log Horizon 2 will ultimately end.

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

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