Log Horizon Collection Two – Review

There’s always time for more Log Horizon! That said, I think I might be ready to take a slight break from Log Horizon. Pretty happy with this review, though – I think I covered the compelling stuff more gracefully than I did in the first one, and even got in a bit about Log Horizon’s politics. Having just rewatched all of season one, I think can solidly confirm that season two has just been a step up for the series – the original had highlights, but it also had plenty of slow stretches, and Log Horizon 2 has been stellar for a long time now. But who knows – we’re still in 2’s hot streak, so I might just be misremembering how interminable the Akatsuki arc in the first half was.

Anyway. My full review is available here. Notes below!

Log Horizon

Episode 14

And now we finally got to the Sage of Mirror Lake episode

The Sage knows quest requirements from among the Adventurers

Still got those ugly Sentai subs. Price of doing business, I guess

Still friction in Minori’s group

“Magician” of Mirror Lake here. Regan

He shows up in a lot of quest descriptions. Nice worldbuilding

Lots of internal monologue to explain stuff, as always

“World-Class Magics and Enchantments”

They haven’t translated any of the in-show HUD displays. A shame

Regan classifies spells by how much/many people they affect

Regan says world magic has been cast three times – “World Fraction” is the name of the spell

The Apocalypse itself is classified as one of these spells

Minori’s group explores this world on the most basic, gameplay/action-focused level while Shiroe’s narrative explores the foundations of the world

350 years ago, there was great prosperity and four major races. The Alves had great magical technology, but few numbers, and were eventually turned on by the other races

Six princesses took revenge for the Alves, and cast the first world fraction spell – the spell that brought about the demi-humans, or mobs

The surplus souls of an age of war were used to create the demi-humans

Looots of exposition, but it’s interesting stuff

“Spiritual Theory” – discussion on souls

All of the terms of games – respawns, the races, etc – are put in terms of history or lore. It’s a great idea to see the explanations of game design from the perspective of someone who sees it not as design for gaming, but as a lived experience

The Adventurers arrived 240 years ago, the second fraction

“Our history books started detailing the events of the master mage Shiroe 98 years ago.”

Five minutes of play time is an hour of the gametime clock. Another great bit of worldbuilding

Worrying about the People of the Land stealing Adventurers tech secrets

The soul is made of Psyche and Anima – Psyche is energy of the mind, called MP. Anima is the energy of the body – HP, or ki. More great worldbuilding

Your energy disperses upon death, and resurrection doesn’t gather everything back – thus you lose XP

Now we’re getting to people losing memories from dying

The real-world disconnect meant memories were safe before – now even their minds are subject to the rules of the game

Shiroe decides to sit on this information

Rudy’s training. He rarely lets others see his seriousness

Rudy still doesn’t really match his Japanese VA

Rudy and Isuzu are cute, as always

“Miss Isuzu please, my parents call me Rundel Haus. Just call me Rudy.”

Minori’s finally taking a stand on strategy

Episode 15

The sound levels seem a bit off – sound effects and music are a bit over-emphasized compared to the dialogue

Isuzu’s VA is kinda stiff

Minori saying they have to reintroduce themselves, legitimately learning about each other and what they can offer the party

“Why do you use the Orb of Lava instead of anything else? Why do you keep using it instead of any of your other attack spells?”

And Rudy finally gives her useful information – short cast time, short cooldown, high damage

Tohya talking about taunts – covering how each of them need to manage their ranges and cooldowns to make best use of their abilities and complement each other

Isuzu has a skill that lowers the aggro generated by attacks

Lol, this show’s excuse for animation

Oh hey, Tohya actually got a nice cut

Minori performs the “operator” role, managing everyone’s status and position

“Field monitor” manages the general field, making sure they don’t end up with more adds

No, it’s actually the general volume – too much distance between the low dialogue and the high action moments

Just like last time, this whole arc feels aimed at such a younger audience than Shiroe’s stuff

Shiroe working on his scribe skills

And now Minori’s going over this stuff with Shiroe. This is sloooow

“Either a hot sandwich, or a hot sandwich, or a… sandwich.” Rudy

Isuzu realizes Rudy is a golden retriever

Isuzu’s VA is nailing this bit

And the interface doesn’t let her add Rudy to her friends’ list. DUN DUN DUN

Fishmen attack!

Episode 16

“This is a dookie sandwich.” Alright writers

Lots of goblins coming

Shiroe creates a relay for conference calls to discuss the crisis

Now they explain the Goblin King’s Return. More worldbuilding resulting in natural conflict

Talking about the Izumo Knights – the alleged guardians of this land. But they don’t know if they exist

They have to fight for the sake of the People of the Land. It’s a strange power dynamic

Lenessia’s father talking about preparing for the war

Lenessia’s now been left at the conference as her father returns home

The goblins approach Naotsugu’s group!

Nice tension in this buildup

The People of the Land town on the coast is in the goblins’ targets. Once again, Minori’s narrative is the micro version of Shiroe’s narrative

Minori wants to volunteer the group to support Chousha. Rudy obviously is also fighting for that. Isuzu’s hesitant

Shiroe’s now revealing the cost of death to his council

Crusty admits he’s lost memories already, and keeps cool about it

All of Crusty’s lost memories are from the real world

“You’re talking about falling completely out of touch with the world you came from.” But that’s kind of what happens here anyway

Crusty’s VA was a very good choice. He sounds like a natural leader, and works as both scholar and warrior

“This is going to affect relationships between Adventurers and People of the Land for a long, long time.” You said it, Nyanta

So Minori’s group goes out as a scouting party

Aaand the goblins have the little girl’s doll

Minori’s a solid and unusual lead. She works very well for this show as a diplomat/strategist while still being very different from Shiroe

Episode 17

They’re gonna go on the offensive

Minori finally looks totally in control

Teamwork and camaraderie are big themes. Friendship, I guess

Shiroe articulates the truth that they can’t just act solo – they have to engage the People of the Land, and make this a politically open issue

And the People of the Land distrust the Adventurers, of course

The Izumo Knights have disappeared

The People of the Land are running into internal disagreement. Proposing a city is sacrificed in order to surround the goblins

Nice seeing the kids team totally confident in combat

A good contrast between the immediate fights of Minori’s team and the politics of Shiroe’s

Shiroe telling them they need to discuss who plays good cop and bad cop in their debates with the Adventurers

Lenessia sneakin’ on these jerkass lords

Jeeez sound mixing. These ad break music jumps are a bear

“I know, why don’t we give the offensive mage gauntlets to Rudy?” these kids

It’s cute though, even if their game understanding is lol. It’s relationship-building

Isuzu’s hesitance is partially based in her realization that Rudy is mortal. It’s nice that a conflict between them is built out of this

Shit gets heated in Shiroe’s conference

Shiroe’s combined attack has them on the ropes. Forcing honesty from the People of the Land

Their “bad cop” played so “against” that they’re actually trapped

And then Lenessia arrives!

Lenessia announces she’s going to Akihabara to raise a volunteer army

Lenessia plays the Adventurers’ fetishizing of freedom against them – they may have no sense of duty, but that makes them possible allies


Episode 18

Lenessia in Akihabara

Nice music track for Lenessia staring at the wacky Akihabarans

And now there’s an equally appropriate string piece for her being all proper

Lenessia puts on her silly adventure costume for the propaganda speech

Shiroe sets up the speech at the festival, arranges it like a quest

All the Adventurers are used to immediately accepting quests, deciding their own strategies. They’re totally independent, which has pluses and minuses. But they can be controlled in their own way

“What does that make nobles and serfs?” Lenessia seeing how the gamer cultural system is totally foreign to the world she knows, which may have dangerous consequences

Using spotlights and stagecraft to light up Lenessia. Shiroe and Crusty get out their most impressive-looking weapons

The setup is perfect. She looks fragile but determined. “I will fight. Please, help me.”

And the crowd roars

Crusty and Shiroe take the lead, bringing in their confidence and legitimacy

“A noble shouldn’t stand up in front of a bunch of people, telling everyone her weaknesses

They’re using a steamship to get the first soldiers out

Lenessia’s grandfather bringing up how the league of free cities’ other members think Lenessia’s action is a power play based in a preexisting hidden alliance. He then backhandedly makes that exact proposition, but Henrietta’s having none of it

“I understand now that the Round Table and the community of Akihabara are forces that rival the forces of Eastal.”

So he wants to make a nonaggression pact and trade treaty, as opposed to trying to incorporate them as nobles

“Lenessia can take responsibility for the negotiations moving forward.” So he essentially gets what he wants anyway – stability, and his own granddaughter as the central lever

Crusty’s dialogue simplifies his relationship with Lenessia in a really unfortunate way. He’s shifted from basically seeing her as the person he admits common grievances to to the little girl he picks on. Lenessia is supposed to bring out his own less proper side

“Where I come from, women don’t have any political power to speak of”

At least Crusty tries to comfort her at the end here

Marielle and Naotsugu talking about adjusting to the People of the Land – the kids had an easier time adjusting. This is becoming their reality more quickly

Crusty’s getting into battle mode

Episode 19

Opening with a really nice shot of Isuzu and Minori. The lighting and shot framing seems to have improved a bit in this half – shots are staged with a little more emotional flare and eye for beauty. Still not, you know, GOOD, but better

Still no animation at all, of course

CG goblins look like… well, like videogame goblins

Crusty gets an okay cut

Synthy battle music for Crusty! Good stuff

Love that shot of Crusty directing the lasers

Explaining their communication network. Only leaders of squads talk to the larger groups

Chousha becomes strategically important because a loss there could destroy their larger formation. Keeping the kids relevant

Another great shot – Rudy and Isuzu separated by boxes and shadows

The atmosphere’s great for this ominous moment as well

And there’s way too many enemies approaching


Yeah, this episode specifically has solid framing and animation

Minori’s doing the Shiroe thing now

Shiroe fights by looking thirty seconds into the future


Minori’s confident now. Maybe too confident

“You’ve got an hour until the Okapyte gets over to you”

Shit, here it is. The bridge scene

Rain starts falling. They’re setting it up so well

Then you hear the wolf cry

Good sound design here. Some well-chosen silence, the heavy rain

Music’s gone for Rudy’s counter

Revives aren’t working

Great Isuzu work

And the call to Shiroe goes out

Episode 20

This is the first time Minori’s really asked for help

Decent animation on Shiroe’s gryphon-call

Keeping Rudy’s anima in the area by continuously casting revival spells

He’s still unconscious, meaning his psyche is dispersing

Shiroe’s flashing back to his old guild master again

Now thinking of world-class magic. You can do it, Shiroe!

Aw jeez Crustyservice

Wow, the water looks so bad

Crusty lookin’ pretty bloodthirsty

“I’m going to cast a new magic spell. Tell no one about this.”

He used a spell to redistribute MP in order to return some MP to Rudy. Classic MMO skills applied to the worldbuilding fundamentals they’ve established

Now he brings him back to life as a zombie temporarily, abusing another item he possesses

“Please don’t blame Isuzu” RUDYYYY

Shiroe’s VA’s delivery here is… ehhh

Shiroe offers a contract – sign it and he’ll become a member of Log Horizon, complete their missions in a manner befitting his status, and become an Adventurer

As Shiroe articulates, this is an elaboration on what Nyanta discovers – treating the world as an actual world results in true world manipulation

“I don’t want the glory, I want to help people.” Ruuuudy

And the Sage even sees it. Shit’s changing

Crusty’s crushing

Not much drama to the Crusty sequences. I get the feeling some nuance was lost in the transition to anime here

Aw, Isuzu

These two

These two are one of the best parts of this show

“Give me your paw” lol

Episode 21

Everyone’s back at the capitol for a ball, with Shiroe avoiding the dance and Akatsuki trying to prod him into it. Catching up with everyone’s status. Silly Lenessia faces etc

A little more awkward exposition

Crusty’s the social charmer

Nureha gets an early preview moment here

Nureha somehow knows about Rudy

“Soon after, something happened to the wizard.” Nureha trolling

The Sage reveals he also knows about the new magic

Someone in the West has also created new magic. More Nureha baiting

The show has definitely slowed down now. It’s starting to lay threads for the next season

William still hasn’t taken over Susukino

First mention of Manami

“They call me the dishwashing fox of high society” Rudy you’re amazing

“This was Elder Tale’s theme song when it was a game.” Really sad given what we know from season two

Lenessia’s grandfather states that it was her, not Eastal, that requested help from the Adventurers. And now he assigns her to be their ambassador in Akihabara

Crusty and Lenessia get a nice moment

Shiroe’s apparently got a pretty evil reputation

The lack of animation is occasionally distracting

Shiroe consoling Akatsuki on her feelings of uselessness

So much of the voice acting is just slightly stiff. The leads are actually sometimes worse – Shiroe is still awkward, Akatsuki has issues. Crusty and the kids are better

The memory announcement apparently goes off okay

This episode’s just a bunch of stuff happening

Episode 22

Festival time

Oh god, this is one of those derp episodes, isn’t it

Henrietta keeping an eye on Shiroe

I feel like the dub has just lost key character points – Henrietta’s relationship with Shiroe, the mid-level merchant guild dude’s importance, etc

Shiroe’s outfit is so dorky. What the hell is his belt-jumpsuit?

Shiroe’s VA seems to do the best in his random asides. The big lines are more awkward

Yeeeaaaah, Akatsuki-Minori nonsense

Minori’s thinking about Shiroe’s reputation

Akatsuki being silly

Merchant dude is managing everything

“Man, that is a lot of crap” nice line

“I must acquire fashion” nice, Akatsuki

Their banter is pretty great

All these goddamn cakes

Shiroe’s VA is owning this scene

Getting all strategic on the cake nonsense

This scene is actually better in english

“For the love of god, stop the cake”

Shiroe just fucking with Soujiro now

The idea of romance in this world has a bit of actual intrigue because the world feels like a legitimately real and alternate place

“It’s not like you give me a lot to work with, Akatsuki.” This is definitely a situation

Ono Minori saw random drama onooooo

This is some dumb crap

It’s pretty obvious the show has little interest in exploring the internal lives of these characters in any way beyond “she likes him, I like him,” and so this just comes across as the transparent nonsense it is

Episode 23

Looks like it’s a Minori solo drama episode. Great

Naotsugu handling disputes while doing food inspections

Gotta visit stands to fill out your stamp card. Man, these last few episodes really have nothing going on

Nureha randomly showing up at the festival for one shot. Lol

Shiroe is oblivious to Akatsuki’s nice new hairpin

Kerashin (the mid-level merchant guy) is swamped. Minori offers to help, demonstrating her strengths

More disputes between Adventurers and People of the Land. Building it up over time

“You’re only being such a jerk because…” said by a middle-aged Person of the Land. Not the best script

Even Henrietta’s into Shiroe now

Henrietta using everyone’s crushes to keep them working

Crusty and Lenessia have a nice moment

Minori’s subclass is “Apprentice” – Shiroe suggested it. It allows her to become a student of other people and copy their skills

Minori shredding those documents

People of the Land getting into status disputes in the wrong neighborhood

Nyanta tosses the noble out of the bar. Don’t give a fuck

“Is the guy a strategist, or is he just a gambler? I don’t know if he feels dead or alive in this world.”

Crusty thinks Shiroe’s at his best when forced into action. Which is true

Shiroe’s finally sensing something wrong. Too many small-scale disputes, too many People of the Land starting pointless trouble

Again, Shiroe’s emotional intonation just isn’t quite there. He undersells the wrong lines

Episode 24

They’re trying to destroy the reputation of the Round Table, apparently

They deliberately turned in faulty paperwork to confuse Akihabara

Lord Malvis is approaching

The danger of the West is again being highlighted. More Nureha foreshadowing

“Let’s give them a counterattack.” Akatsuki takes out her knives. Oh Akatsuki

Minori taking control of the paperwork into her own hands, applying the lessons of party combat to city management

Talking about the flow of battle

“It’s almost like Shiroe himself is here with us.” More bits of awkward, on-the-nose dialogue

Shiroe can’t see any strategy in their random attacks

“To be honest, relationships… well, gamers aren’t very good at dealing with that sort of stuff.” Nyanta calls it like he sees it

Shiroe finally realizes their attacks are just random nonsense

“He fought them off by bringing in a bunch of girls?”

“In reality, that might have been the perfect counterattack to the cake girl’s sinister plans.” Quite a sentence

“I’ve got a bunch of obliviousness that can beat their randomness”

Malvis has Adventurers guarding him

Malvis just being a general asshole

“Soujiro is currently in the town square on a hot date with ten different girls, sir.” ahaha

“Straight pimpin’.” “Could you please not put it that way.” Goddamnit

Episode 25

Shiroe arrives to rescue Lenessia

And then Mishitaka and Crusty also arrive

The Round Table crushes Malvis as expected

And now a fashion show! Hurray filler episodes

Akatsuki in twintails

Lenessia meets her adoring public

Minori pushing Shiroe to greet the princess, but Shiroe wants to hide away

Shiroe’s deliberately souring his own reputation for political reasons. Minori’s not a fan

“Being strong on your own is meaningless. You need people around you.” Yeah, there’s one of the themes

Akatsuki was snooping, and now realizes she doesn’t really know anything about him

And Nureha arrives!

Nureha’s disguise spell is unknown to Shiroe, but he sees through it

“Overlay” is the power

Plant Hwyaden gets introduced

Shiroe monologuing her exposition

She bought the cathedral, dang

Trying to convince Shiroe to join her

“In Elder Tale, someone might need me. But it was no different here.”

“Is it not true that you’re on the verge of finding it? Finding the fraction. Finding a way home.”

“A means of going back to our own world has indeed been discovered.”

A nice detail of lip animation for Nureha

This episode’s aesthetics in general are great

“Make me your reason to achieve all your desires. Make me your excuse” daaaang

Shiroe is held back by his thought of his friends. Frieeends

“If I were to do that, it would make everything I’ve done a lie.”

“I can give you what you want more effectively as a foe than as a friend.”

“Now I think I want you even more.” Oh Nureha

And it ends with Shiroe hanging out with his friends and eating. Classic Log Horizon

And everyone’s on his side. Fuzzy times for everyone

And we get a silly montage of everyone attacking a monster

“But now, this is our world. It is our reality. And we will change it however we want.” Also a big one