Once again, we have Shiroe introducing a novel concept to the world of Elder Tale: allowing the People of the Land to vote and help shape their future. Shiroe puts forward the idea of Rayneshia (aka Lenessia) running for the New Round Table, since one of the ideas is to have participation from the People of the Land in its new incarnation. At first, she protests. But even when he convinces her, he says there’s still something she needs to overcome… which, of course, is her mother. As we saw previously, her mother is shrewd.
Rayneshia appears at a meeting with her mother and her grandfather, and she is accompanied by Calasin and her maid. At first, Rayneshia’s mother wonders about her effectiveness in her role. Calasin vouches for her and what she’s done. Then, her mother questions how Rayneshia will finance things, since choosing this path would cut her off from the Cowen family. Her maid orders other servants to bring in a chest to show that they haven’t even touched any of the Cowen riches that they were given. Poor Rayneshia had assumed that her manor in Akiba was poor, and was working a part-time job to help fund things. At least she was able to hide her surprise from her mother. The final test that Rayneshia’s mother puts before her is to convince her and her grandfather that this is a good idea. I applauded Rayneshia’s tactics with this. Instead of lashing out like a rebellious teenager, she stood up with grace and calmly admitted that she may not be able to persuade them, but that she can root for herself. By the end of the meeting, Rayneshia is given blessings by both her mother and her grandfather to pursue being the candidate for the New Round Table.
We get a great scene of Rudy explaining the concept of an election to the People of the Land, since this idea of one vote per person is a new idea to them. At one point, he does fall back into an old routine of his, but it seems he did this to sell the concept of the election. We also get a scene of Naotsugu overhearing a couple of adventurers complaining that the election doesn’t really mean anything and wonder aloud if their vote is even worth anything. Naotsugu asks them if they felt the same way in their old world, and starts lecturing them about not having a right to complain if they don’t vote… but the adventurers walk away before he’s finished. Considering what happened recently in the wake of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Naotsugu’s scene here hit me a little harder than it probably would have otherwise.
We see that Eins and the Saiguu family are taking the election seriously. Eins, along with Honesty, work at providing food for the displaced people of the land that have come to Akiba. Malves just sees it as a way to “buy votes,” but Eins sees it differently. To him, it’s not only helping the people, it’s helping his Guild members as well. After their recent failure, this act of helping the People of the Land has boosted his Guild Members’ morale.
Rayneshia’s campaign runs into complications, though, because her refusal of the engagement proposal from the Saiguu family is working as a black mark against her. In the most recent polling, Eins’ campaign is clearly in the lead. Shiroe notices a small pink sliver on the pie chart and asks about it. It’s an unauthorized “third party” candidate, who turns out to be Tetora trying to use this as a way to build up a reputation as an idol. Let’s just say that Shiroe and others shut that down real quick. Another group is giving away free treats with Rayneshia’s face on it, which is looked down on by those behind Rayneshia’s campaign. Even Akatsuki admits to doing something that could be seen as questionable. It’s starting to look like that Eins’ win is a foregone conclusion.
However, it appears that Shiroe has something up his sleeve. Which shouldn’t be surprising to viewers of Log Horizon, though. The episode ends the night before the election, so next week’s episode will focus on the election itself. I thought this episode did a great job of advancing Rayneshia’s character, as well as building up the anticipation for the election. I think next week’s episode will be interesting, and I have a feeling that Shiroe will find a way to turn things around in a grand manner.
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