Anime Blu-ray Review: Log Horizon Complete Collection

Log Horizon Complete Collection is a six-disc set that contains all 50 episodes for the franchise (Log Horizon and Log Horizon 2). This set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Log Horizon Complete Collection
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: October 24, 2017

Log Horizon tells the tale of what happens when players of an MMORPG game mysteriously find themselves 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: Naotsugu, Akatsuki, Marielle, and Henrietta. Marielle and Henrietta are both members of the Crescent Moon Alliance.

Shiroe and the others are 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 his.

The adventurers start learning how to make food in the world that 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, and 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. This results in 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. The rest of the series focuses on training newer players, representatives of the Round Table being invited to a conference of the lords of the People of the Land, and the things the adventurers end up doing to try to protect not only Akihabara, but the People of the Land as well. The second season expands on the story of this world, as well as the struggles and obstacles our characters face.

What I really enjoy about Log Horizon is the fact that, as the series progresses, it starts delving into aspects of being trapped in a game that other similar series rarely seem to touch on. These things included the Player Killers and the questions their existence created for the main characters, the food not having any taste until the players figured out how to expand beyond using the main game controls to create food, coming up with their own alliance and rules to govern an area in the game, coming up with technology that doesn’t already exist in the game, and having in-depth interactions with the non-player characters.

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.

There was a change in animation studios between the two seasons of the series, but Studio Deen strove to keep the character designs as similar as they possibly could to the first season. While the new designs were very close, I could still detect some minor differences. And comparing what I remembered of the backgrounds of the first season to what I saw in the second, I have to say that I thought the overall animation of the first season was better than the second season. That’s not to say that Studio Deen was producing terrible animation, though. I’m just saying that the animators for Satelight seemed to put a little more effort into the detail and look of the series in comparison to what I saw from Studio Deen.

One thing that Log Horizon 2 succeeded at was bringing back characters that had all but disappeared in the first season or bringing characters that had been hiding more in the background for most of the series out into the foreground. In both cases, the characters became integral to the story and received some needed character development.

A group of characters that includes Kanami, Coppelia, Leonardo, and Erius, was introduced in Episode 14. Unfortunately, they basically disappear from the series until right near the end of the final episode. This kind of frustrated me, because I had expected them to play a bigger role in the series than they did.

My biggest disappointment in Log Horizon 2 was the fact that Plant Hwayden and most of the characters involved in this group really weren’t very developed during this season. And for the most part, they didn’t seem to play that big of a role. But with what was seen near the end of the final episode, it appears that Plant Hwayden could play an important role later in the story. Unfortunately, as of this writing, a third season of Log Horizon has yet to be produced, so I still don’t know if Plant Hwayden has any greater purpose than what we see here.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, and the audio includes English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I have no complaints about either the video or the audio quality of this release.

As usual, Sentai Filmworks was very stingy when it came to bonus features. All that’s included in this set are textless openings and closings on discs three and six.

Even with the lack of bonus features, Log Horizon Complete Collection is a great addition to the anime home video library of any Log Horizon fan.

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