Video games and anime have always seemed to have this awkward relationship. They are both great on their own and thrive in their own sense. However, when we go to where the lines overlap with these two mediums, there hasn’t been any real satisfaction to be found. There doesn’t seem to be any real sense of priority in the said show/game. Its like they really want to be their counterpart but don’t want to waste what they have. I guess a way to put it is like a schizophrenic who is self confident. Recent examples of this is Tales of Xillia and the infamous Sword Art Online. So, when I heard that there was an anime set in a game world airing this Autumn/Fall, I immediately checked the forecast for any caution in the coming winds and started preparing my grains of salt. I thought I would come away with a list of flaws to shun the anime. However, I finished watching and, oddly enough, I kinda enjoyed it. What is even happening anymore?
I generally had no faults with Log Horizon. Characters were nice, setting was cool, soundtrack was awesome (dat OP man) and the actual mechanics and knowledge of MMOs was smartly done. I realise that it has only been one episode and there is plenty enough time for this ship to sink so I might as well sing my praise while I still can. Also, I WILL make comparisons to SAO because its near impossible to not think of that show while watching this. Its a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless
Shiro, the protagonist, actually seems like a cool guy. He has friends, people know of him and generally he’s not a socially awkward twat like Kirito (Yes, we are starting with it already). I was glad to see that he immediately searched for his friend through voice chat (A service not provided in SAO, for whatever reasons) to see if he is OK and such. This may seem like a null point but since the friend is actually a guy, I think that is worth a mention. He takes the role of a mage/wizard in the MMO. A nice choice in my opinion. Glad to see that there is no “Lone, black swordsman of the south” or some shit going on. He has a reluctance to joining a guild. I found this rather interesting. This guy actually has friends and even knows other people in guilds (Marie and Henrietta) so it must be some history he has with guilds rather than just “HURR MUH EDGYNESS”. Could it of been a betrayal? Bullying? Blackmail? Who the hell knows, and that’s what I like about it.
Next on our roster that I would like to mention is our heroine, Akatsuki. She takes the role of the love interest in the show and overall female badass. The problem I have with heroines like this (Namely Asuna) is that they don’t seem to have a backbone without their husbando. They wouldn’t be able to survive if their hero wasn’t there. We are yet to see whether this is true with Akatsuki but I didn’t really get any hints of it with her. She just seems to be a good player with a crush, like how it should be. She plays the class of the Assassin and since I usually play those roles in MMOs, she is without a doubt the best and smartest character in the show. She is also the cutest.
The setting in the show is rather mysterious. We aren’t really given much information on the world. This, in itself, is a good thing and a bad thing. Its a good thing because it lets the viewer use his/her imagination to theorise what are the rules and features of this world, The game mechanics that were given were pretty neat, if not simplistic. Voice chat, status bars, attack commands and tasteless food were all shown to the viewer. A decent amount of pondering can come out of this. Being told everything about a world from the get go isn’t something that should be a given. I prefer establishing characters and Log Horizon did it well while managing to creep these mechanics in. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to say that it is perfect. While everything shouldn’t be forced down the viewers throat from the start, some extra information would be nice. What time period are they in, what society is like, what are the characters like in the outside world and how did all this become to be are all questions that arise from this. While I’m trusting that these questions will be answered throughout the shows progression, some are just too jarring to simply be brushed over.
Soundtrack was cool as well. Some of the battle scenes music was great and really got the blood pumping while the dialogue music was nice when it needed to be but those music pieces didn’t really stand out. Now, the OP. Its fucking amazing. I remember listening to it in the PV and I thought it was quite OTT. However, now that I’ve heard it as it aired, I just can’t stop listening to it, hell I’m listening to it right now. Visuals used are great and it shows plenty of promise as to what is to come. I’m just hoping that they don’t change it even though that is inevitable. Well, I guess I will enjoy it while I still can.
Well that’s it for this post. Wasn’t even planning on it being this long. but Log Horizon probably was the show that left the biggest impact on me from this season starters. While there is a tremendous amount of room for this show to fail, I greatly hope it doesn’t. Here’s hoping I won’t be writing “Log Horizon – Who said this show would be better than SAO?” in 25 weeks time.