The third season of Log Horizon begins by showing the audience an event that will be happening a little later in the series. After the opening credits, we see that the events the series is showing are taking place a week before what we saw at the beginning. During the opening scene, though, we get to hear Shiroe’s thoughts, and his thoughts provide the audience with some brief backstory to remind the audience of some important concepts and events that took place earlier in the series. While this was helpful, it wasn’t as helpful as it could have been due to all the years that have elapsed since the final episode of the second season initially streamed as a simulcast. But from what was shown in the opening scene, this will be the beginning of the end of the Round Table, which is an event that’s already revealed in the title of the season. Ultimately, the demise of this organizational body is being brought about by Eins, the Guild Master for Honesty. As I recall, Honesty wasn’t much of a major player in the first two seasons of the anime. I guess it would make sense that one of the less visible guilds would be provoking division. It’s also established early on that at the point we’re now at in the series, a year has now passed since the “Apocalypse,” which is the event that brought all the players into the world of Elder Tale.
There are several issues being referenced in this first episode of the new season. Crusty’s disappearance at the end of the previous season is one of the major ones. From what is shown in the episode, it appears that the actual members of the Round Table know that Crusty has been found on another Elder Tale server. However, from a conversation that Princess Rayneshia (aka Lenessia) has with Akatsuki, this fact is not known outside of the Round Table. The audience also learns in this episode that other players have disappeared but have not reappeared on any servers, so one theory is that these players found a way to return to the real world.
As this is going on, Honesty has been investigating Fairy Rings, which was a teleportation device in the game. Unfortunately, since they don’t have access to the timetables for these devices, they can’t figure out how to best utilize them. It was hoped that finding something out about the Fairy Rings would help create a way back and forth to the real world. Honesty is already facing issues from their fellow adventurers due to not having any success on their research. Also, Eins is privately facing some increased scrutiny from other members of the Round Table Conference with some of the actions that he has taken as a Guild Master. This comes to a head during a contentious meeting of the Round Table Conference.
Meanwhile, Princess Rayneshia’s mother makes a surprise appearance in Akiba, and informs Rayneshia that her engagement will be announced in two weeks. She is now engaged to the head of a noble family from the Holy Empire Westeland, which he had specifically requested. I know this territory was first introduced in the previous season of Log Horizon, but I don’t remember too much about it. But, even then, I still suspected that Rayneshia is somehow being used as a pawn. Later, after Eins declares that his guild will find its own path in Akiba, it’s revealed that Westeland has made Eins into a duke. When Shiroe hears the news, he makes a comment about this event leading to the destruction of Akiba and the Round Table. That right there seems to confirm my suspicions that Rayneshia’s engagement is part of a larger plan. Hopefully, the next episode will refresh my memory of the Holy Empire Westeland and how their interference could damage Akiba and the Round Table.
Even though I was a little lost at times, I still felt like I was being reunited with old friends as I watched this first episode of Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table. Hopefully Shiroe will provide some helpful commentary in the next couple of episodes to help the audience remember elements, such as the Holy Empire Westeland, and that would help me feel a lot less lost. I’ve been looking forward to Log Horizon‘s return for a while, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode.
The only other thing I’ll add here is that the new opening theme song isn’t bad, but it’s just not as iconic as “Database.” But then again, I don’t think anything can, so it’s probably a good thing that the new theme isn’t trying to upstage it. I’m sure the new opening will grow on me in the coming weeks as I hear it more.
Additional posts about Log Horizon: