The episode begins with Akatsuki, Minori, and the other lower level members of Log Horizon fighting the raid monsters in the guild hall. They are joined be Serara and the other lower level members of the Crescent Moon alliance. Together, they are able to take down the monsters that are in the room they’re in. Once the fighting is done, Minori relays the information that she gathered between Rieze’s notebook and any messages from Shiroe that were to her by Lelia and Litka.
Between everyone who is present, they have just enough members for a raid party. Many of those assembled are frightened to do the raid in order to get to where Ereinus, the Despair Genius, is. Minori does her best to try to encourage the others, but she’s struggling to find the right words. Toya, however, jumps in and understands how to motivate the others. The majority of the members of this raid party were all captives of Hamelin, so Toya understands what he needs to say and do to motivate the others. Minori has already been acting like a leader this whole time, but she only declares herself the leader of the raid party after Akatsuki gives her encouragement.
It turns out the “date” between Shiroe and Minori was helpful, because it meant they had the raid supplies they needed in order to participate in this raid battle. Once the supplies are gathered and the teams set, the remainder of the episode focuses on these 24 characters and their raid. The only exceptions are a couple of scenes where Shiroe and some of the others are standing outside the guild building, waiting for Minori and the others to take down Ereinus and bring an end to the “Instance.”
Overall, Minori proves herself to be a competent leader. It’s a good thing that she’s been Shiroe’s student and has listened intently to things he’s told her over time. As we see from her thoughts, what she’s learned from Shiroe are helping her get through the raid. At first, it seems like things are going too easily, but that all changes once they encounter Ereinus.
At one point, when it looks hopeless, Litka release a monster that she calls a snake… but it looks more like a dinosaur that’s made out of scales. Personally, I thought it kind of looked like a white version of Reptar from Rugrats. It also sounded like “Mr. Lizard” (what Minori refers to this creature as) mooed like a cow. LOL! Mr. Lizard is helpful for a little while and is pretty cool, but sadly, Ereinus defeats him. Poor Mr. Lizard.
But then Ereinus does something. He starts demanding to know if the raid party has objects of veneration. As he senses each person’s object of veneration, memories of that person appear before them in crystals that shatter. With most of the raid party being kids, seeing this happen affects their emotions deeply, and causes them to slow down their thoughts and movements. Toya and Minori try to resist this, but both end up caught up in it. And poor Toya is grabbed by Ereinus and slammed onto the ground… and his HP is gone. It’s no wonder Ereinus is called the “Despair Genius.”
But just as things seem hopeless, Minori gets unexpected help from Akatsuki, who isn’t affected by Ereinus’ power. As she says at the end, Shiroe isn’t a hero. In her own words, “My lord is… my lord!” Since Akatsuki is older than the others, it makes sense that she doesn’t idolize him like the kids idolize their objects of veneration. However, the one thing nagging at me is one of the scenes in the opening credits, where we see Akatsuki with the memory of Shiroe in front of her, and it shatters. Will her will be broken as well, or was this shot in the opening credits to throw us off? Hmmm. It’ll be interesting to see how this raid battle continues next week.
Additional posts about Log Horizon: