Anime Blu-ray Review: Log Horizon Collection 1

Log Horizon Collection 1 includes the first 13 episodes of the Log Horizon television anime series. This release has both an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles; however, it should be noted that the subtitles on this release are different from the subtitles used for the Crunchyroll simulcast. The Blu-ray is 1080p High Definition with a 16×9 aspect ratio.

Log Horizon Collection 1
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: November 25, 2014

Log Horizon tells the tale of what happens when players of an MMORPG game mysteriously find themselves actually inside the game. The game in question is called Elder Tale, and the mysterious event takes place when its 12th expansion, “Novasphere Pioneers,” is added.

The main character is Shiroe, who the audience follows from the time he discovers that he’s in the game. During the first episode, Shiroe meets with four other players from the game: Naotsugu, Akatsuki, Marielle, and Henrietta. Marielle and Henrietta are both members of the Crescent Moon Alliance.

Shiroe and the others end up being asked by the Crescent Moon Alliance for help. A girl named Serara was sent to Susukino on the Day of the Apocalypse and hasn’t returned; they have heard that she was attacked by a Player Killer but was saved by a good player and is now protected by this good player. When they rescue Serara, Shiroe discovers the good player is Nyanta, an old friend of Shiroe’s.

The adventurers start learning how to make the food in the world that actually has flavor; they also begin interacting with the non-player characters (known in the game as “People of the Land”) and realize that the People of the Land have interesting backstories that were never revealed while they played the game.

Shiroe and his friends learn about the trouble that’s been brewing in Akihabara, the town they have been staying at. The various guilds have fallen into ranks, with bigger guilds determining the town’s feel and rules, as well as priority for the market and hunting grounds. A guild called Hamelin has been gathering new players, claiming they want to help them; instead, they take the new players’ EXP pots, items that slightly increase attack power and health regeneration and double the experience earned from combat. Hamelin is taking the EXP pots and selling them to the Black Sword Knights, a guild that’s trying to get to a level of 91, since the expansion upped the experience level cap from 90 to 100.

It turns out that two middle school kids that Shiroe had been mentoring before they ended up in the game were recruited by Hamelin, and Shiroe comes up with a plan to help the new players escape from the guild. The first step of his plan is to open a refreshment stand to sell the food with flavor that they have developed; the stand becomes an instant success. The next step involves convincing the other guilds to help provide money for the mission to rescue the adventurers from Hamelin, and holding a conference with several guilds. The end result sees the Round Table Conference being established in Akihabara and the rescue of the new players from Hamelin. Shiroe also forms his own guild called Log Horizon.

Once Shiroe’s guild is formed, the players discover other ways they can set the rules for Akihabara that weren’t already established in the game, and they gain the notice of the nobility of the People of the Land.

Log Horizon makes itself stand out from other series about characters being trapped in a game (such as Sword Art Online) because it delves into topics such as Player Killers, how to create food that actually tastes good, creating new technology that didn’t previously exist in the game, and truly interacting with the non-player characters. This series brings up a lot of moral and ethical questions, and the characters try to find ways to survive and co-inhabit the world with the non-player characters while trying to find a way back to the real world. But it’s not all serious, though, as there are plenty of humorous moments included in the series. The interplay between Akatsuki and Naotsugu is especially amusing.

Another thing that stands out to me is the fact that many of the characters don’t simply fall into the usual stereotypes associated with fantasy MMORPG games. In addition, I also appreciated that Log Horizon has several strong female characters. The females aren’t simply there to provide sex appeal or eye candy; they are just as complicated and developed as the male characters.

When it comes to the actual Blu-ray set, some of Sentai Filmworks’ choices were a little disappointing. First, it was decided to split the episodes so there would be nine episodes on the first disc, and then four episodes on the second. While the second disc also contains the set’s bonus features, the only extras included are a clean opening and a clean ending.

Even though I was a little frustrated by these choices, the Blu-ray set is still worth owning if you’re a fan of Log Horizon and have the capability to watch Blu-ray Discs. The episodes themselves make the release worth having.

The reviewer watched a copy of this release that she received as a Christmas gift from her husband

Additional posts about Log Horizon:

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