Log Horizon II – Episode 9

We jumped over to Shiroe’s camp this week, where things aren’t going terribly well. I was legitimately surprised by how solid Shiroe’s central death-reflection monologue was – after a long arc with Akatsuki that’s been about as kid-friendly as possible, I definitely wasn’t expecting a long sequence predicated on being old enough to feel embarrassed about the ways youthful insularity is actually a kind of selfishness. That by itself would have made this one of the best episodes this season, but that last repeat of the Ash Lake sequence was just too egregious of a cost-cutting measure for me to let slide. Still, I’m looking forward to where Shiroe’s arc takes us from here.

Incidentally, I’m including my actual during-episode notes below the cut for this one. They’re notes for me, not for any audience, so they’re far less “performative” than the time stamp posts, but I’ve had people ask me to post them a few times, so I’m including them anyway. Hope you enjoy!

Log Horizon

The raiding is always pretty fun

“That move is far stronger than before.” “Time from motion to activation is far less, too.” Great detail. More of these shows should mention animation tells

Nice. They adapted for the second time, and got the timer as well.

I also liked them briefly thinking another skill was the same one, and then realizing the animation is different. I’m not sure how engaging this is to an outsider, but I appreciate seeing very classic gaming moments articulated so accurately here

“This is what I call a raid!” Oh William Massachusetts

The execution of the boss’s mysterious new attack is pretty well done

The boss changes modes – its dark armor falls off and becomes a bunch of monsters

They just keep referencing Demikas’ grudge against Shiroe

I like Shiroe figuring out how to manage the mob numbers – the show is very clearly articulating “raid intelligence,” where you assess all the variables of the dungeon to see how the boss is programmed, and how you can abuse that programming

Three raid bosses at the same time!

“Was this designed to be impossible? We can’t beat this…”

And we get to see real-life Shiroe!

And he actually witnesses a lost memory

He was a loner as a child, unsurprisingly

“I made a lot of mistakes. I mocked the kindness of others. When people stretched out their hands to me, I smacked them away. When I needed to stand and fight, I ran away. I didn’t understand how hard my parents were working, or how they felt. They were all small failures, but ones that I couldn’t fix.”

Wow, that note from his parent ending with “sorry about everything” is a punch in the gut

I like how he vaguely references small tragedies of his childhood in ways that are evocative without telling everything

“In this world, there is something besides Adventurers and People of the Land. The third party, who brought us here.”

The music here is helping drive this scene nicely

Shiroe again realizing he can’t take all the weight on his shoulders. I like this, though – this is central to his character, this is who he is, it’s not something that’s just going to go away with one resolution

I like how Shiroe’s first instinct at the lake is to raise his UI and try to gain information on it. Very unlike Akatsuki

Repeating the last lake content pretty much verbatim

5 thoughts on “Log Horizon II – Episode 9

  1. I really, really loved the level of detail during the first half of the episode. It felt exactly like an actual MMO progression boss fight.

  2. I’m actually surprised you did not like the repetition of the lake scene. I felt it had a lot more weight behind it the second time when we understood Shiroe’s state of mind as well. I think it was the right decision not to cut it out, and reanimating it when it literally is the same events seems silly. I think just putting it in as is was the best choice, and I’m glad they did that.

    • Eh, I just don’t think the context really changed anything. The lake scene still felt more like Akatsuki’s moment, and I don’t think Shiroe’s perspective fundamentally altered the mood of the piece.

  3. Truth to be told, i was wondering how they would handle the ‘repetition’. I assumed Shiroe died during the raid and that we will see that happen from his point of view, thus leading us to the lake scene once again.

    Im ambivalent about this to be honest. The scene and the whole Shiroe-kid part are relatively strong scenes (since the show does not normally focus on this kind of thing) so i was glad we got to see more of this stuff. On the other hand, the lake part was mostly a painful recap and Shiroe’s events this season are definitely short already even without reiterating the points over and over.

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