Log Horizon II – Episode 19

The kids are killing it! This week’s episode easily topped last week’s already great conversations, with Tohya’s feelings on his place in Elder Tale being sharply highlighted by the fatalistic philosophy of the Odyssey Knights. Grim revelations and big character shifts and at least four contrasting parties (the kids, the knights, the Minami faction, and Roe 2) made for a heavy and solidly rewarding episode. My writeup ran long without even really digging into a full contrast of Log Horizon’s competing philosophies on the value of gaming and validity of this world in a personal sense – this show is now competing directly on SAO’s turf, and that’s always an interesting conversation. Much that was built up was resolved this week, but I’m still excited to see whatever next episode brings. We might even get some actual animation!

Nah, just kidding. But there’s definitely plenty to look forward to anyway.

My full ANN post is available here. Notes below!

Log Horizon

“I doubt even Shiroe predicted this. Looks like I won’t be able to watch them from hiding anymore.” So Nyanta was their backup

Apparently Shiroe explained the process of defending cities to Minori and Akatsuki at some point. Important information!

“The Red Night” hoo boy. This is gonna be an episode

The Odyssey Knights are preparing to fight, so the townspeople aren’t panicking

Rudy doing his best to cheer up Isuzu and take her thoughts away from the previous night is wonderful. From his first expression here (rueful fondness, seemingly impressed but also unsurprised by her strength) through his making a bit of a fool of himself and casting the haste spell on her. Rudy’s understanding of people is sometimes clumsy, but it’s also sometimes very sharp, and his heart could not be more in the right place

“There’s no plan, no teamwork, nothing. What are they doing?” The Odyssey Knights just throw themselves at the monsters indiscriminately, laughing and dying and throwing themselves back again. Crazy battle-lust

“I’m jealous of your paper-thin armor!” It’s like they want to die

“It’s not insane at all. It’s completely in line with this world’s laws.”

“It’s probably a big help to Genius.” What’s that, Roe 2?

“They seem quite willing to die. Their life flashing before their eyes, like a drug.”

And the doom-train keeps powering on

“We summon nightshade servants that act as vessels for the minds of the People of the Land.” “And the experience points they gain go to the summoner”

“In other words, we’re giving People of the Land temporary immortality.” Well, you’re making them summoners, at least

“They’re adventurers. We’re People of the Land. What do immortals know of war?”

So the doom train is controlled by People of the Land

And the nightshade servants are attacking the shrine

Minori is now even more suspicious about Roe 2

Tohya confronts the leader of the Knights on what they’re doing

“We want to go back. We’re going home. When you die, you can see your family. You can see a bit of the old world. If we die and die and die, we can go home. I was supposed to get married in the summer. I was going to quit this game. I’m going to have a wife. I can’t keep playing around with this nonsense. When my lease is up, I’m going to move. You understand. You also hate this stupid farce, don’t you?”

“It’s because people like you keep living that we can’t leave this world!”

Tohya’s of course fiercely defending the fact that this is a real world. “There are many people here I care about,” he says, but obviously he has other reasons for wanting to believe in this place. Nice continuation of what last episode started

Flash back to Tohya’s car crash. Not holding anything back. “Did you ever die in the old world? Were you ever so close to death that you may as well have been dead?”

“If you have a problem with me, call the GMs.” The Knights obviously refuse to see this as a real world

“Even after he couldn’t walk anymore, Tohya was always smiling. But that was because he knew he was powerless. The world was just too big, too unfair. And there was nothing we could do. That’s why he tried so hard.”

“We’re going to pick a fight with the god who only made forty-two songs in the world!” Isuzu’s resolved. Hearing Tohya’s declarations helps her appreciate her duties here even more

“A song? That’s Isuzu’s wish. Then my wish is…” Tying in all the stuff about finding your life goals

“This limited protocol even limits the upper bounds of your thinking organs.” So is Roe 2 an in-system GM or something? She can go to the moon, she talks about “Genius,” she’s clearly part of the actual mechanical system

And then Nyanta shows up right at the end, bringing the fight to the westerners. Damnit

2 thoughts on “Log Horizon II – Episode 19

  1. I agree that this episode made it’s points well from a conversation perspective, but the actual execution in terms of what the characters were doing was quite poor. The moment the Odyssey Knights moved the battle into the city the characters should have been too busy trying to save the people of the land from being slaughtered to have time to monologue. At the very least monologueing while fighting would have been acceptable, but seeing every character stand around and talk while the city was being destroyed kind of ruined the episode for me. It’s great if you come to personal realizations in a tense moment and all, but letting the articulation of those realizations come in the way of actually acting on them is pretty terrible.

    • I dunno – I feel like that’s an accusation you could throw at a tremendous number of shows. I agree that more successfully revealing the human cost of the Knights’ actions would have led to an episode with more emotional punch, but that seems like it’d require a standard of aesthetic execution that I frankly never really hold Log Horizon to.

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