It’s kind of interesting that even though the title of the episode is “The Oldest Ancients,” the characters referenced here don’t become important until later in the episode. Instead, there’s an emphasis on relationships between characters early on.
The main relationships focused on in this episode have the characters who are interested in Shiroe. Tetra comes out with the Kanami puppet and asks Naotsugu if Kanami was really Shiroe’s girlfriend when he was with the Debauchery Tea Party. The answer comes from both Naotsugu and Nyanta. While Naotsugu replies that they weren’t an item, Nyanta adds that he believes that Shiroe had been in love with Kanami. Surprisingly, Akatsuki takes this news rather well. Later, while out on a trip for supplies, Akatsuki suggests that the two of them get red bean buns. The scene of these two eating the buns together was interesting. In Shiroe’s thoughts, we hear him think about how comfortable he feels just sitting next to Akatsuki and eating the red bean buns, and how the pause in conversation doesn’t bother him as much as it used to. While a part of me really wants to believe that this scene makes a Shiroe and Akatsuki ship more possible than it had been, the fact remains that this could simply mean that Shiroe has just become more comfortable around people in general. Only time will tell on this point, though.
We also see Minori trying to help Shiroe out while he’s going through various requests from the villagers, all while trying to build up the new Round Table. Shiroe looks at her at one point and thinks that Minori has gotten stronger since he rescued her and the others from Hamelin. The only other thing we see in regards to Minori are some of the other younger members of Log Horizon coming up with ideas to help Minori get closer to Shiroe. Isuzu brings up the idea of a shopping trip together, and from what we see in the preview for the next episode, it looks like this shopping trip between the two will happen. We can’t forget that Isuzu’s interest in Rudy is mentioned, although she tries to brush it off. Again, from the preview, it looks like there will be some kind of focus on these two characters as well.
And then there’s Rayneshia. She has volunteered to go pick up Krusty (and I’m assuming Kanami and her group as well, although that part is never mentioned in the dialogue), and is trying to figure out how to accommodate this around her responsibilities in Akiba. Shiroe suggests using a boat she has at her disposal to take a cruise for a vacation, since she’s been working so hard… and that she can pick up Krusty while she’s on her cruise. She approves of this idea. What we find out is that after Rayneshia rejected the arranged marriage, the relationship with Minami is a little strained, so in Shiroe’s mind, it would be better for Rayneshia to be gone for a little while so work can be done to repair the relationship with Minami.
OK, now we’ll finally touch on the characters that are referenced in the episode’s title. There’s a party of the younger Log Horizon members out hunting, which consists of Rudy, Isuzu, and Toya. Serara from the Crescent Moon Alliance has also joined them. They encounter the two ancients referenced in the title, a pair of Wolf Fang Druid-Collector sisters named Litaka Mofur and Lelia Mofur. They are down on their luck, and the hunting party shares their food. The sisters stealthily follow the party back to Akiba, and when they’re discovered, they ask for assistance. Once the group realizes that they’re ancients, they decide to ask Shiroe for advice. Minori asks Shiroe if he’s had a pet and then asks if he likes dogs, he says dogs are fine, but not wolves. The characters who have played the game longer are accurately guessing what Minori is referring to. She decides to try to couch this as wanting to bring friends over, and the older members of Log Horizon are overjoyed to hear they’ve made friends and want to invite them over. Of course, this leads to an awkward situation when the sisters show up.
But thanks to this situation, the audience is given background on the sisters, and we find out that the newer players of the game don’t know about them because the cavern they lived in was sealed off. The sisters had a reputation for being annoying, especially for some of the clunky quests that the early players of the game had to accomplish and how these characters would mess things up. But it turns out the sisters have come to Akiba to deliver a warning about a Genius that is on its way. Even though there is resentment against these characters from some of the players about these sisters, the younger members of Log Horizon still ask Shiroe to let them stay with them. He agrees, using a phrase we hear at least two or three times in the episode: “The past is the past.”
Even though this episode focused more on exposition, it was still enjoyable. To me, the best part was the scene of Akatsuki and Shiroe eating the red bean buns. Between that scene and the earlier scene of Tetra asking about Kanami and Shiroe, Akatsuki seemed to show that she’s started maturing a little more when it comes to Shiroe. When it comes to other aspects and relationships, though, I think we’ll still see the quirks we’re used to from her that have endeared her to the audience.
Additional posts about Log Horizon: