“Counteraction rising. Yeah, we’re ready for the punchline. There’s no use with all your gimmicks, so check this out!” – Log Horizon truly knows how to start an episode. It’s with these lyrics that the series unlocks the part of your brain that prepares you for awesomeness to come and while the series itself isn’t as hardcore as this minute and a half, it does indeed capture the overall essence of the story being told. Why start off by referencing the opening? Maybe because it’s so damn catch and I can’t stop listening to it or maybe because, like an episode of Log Horizon, I feel as though everything should begin with what sounds like a Japanese version of a Rage Against The Machine song.
How did I miss out on Log Horizon when it first began streaming? I have no idea! Madman Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading Anime and Manga publishers, gave me the chance to review the first half of the series when it got released not too long ago and I absolutely loved it. You can read my review of it by Clicking Here. When Madman offered a review copy of the second season, as you can imagine, I jumped on it as quickly as possible. It’d be crazy not to want to watch the rest of the first season, and so here we are!
Part One followed the very beginning of Shiroe and his crew’s adventure in this new world. It showed Log Horizon’s creation and rise to glory, becoming one of the most popular and more formidable guilds around. Part Two is a little different; now that the guild is indeed quite powerful and Shiroe is seen as a fearsome leader, it’s up to him to organise a world that has been cast into chaos thanks to the apocalypse. It also doesn’t help that there’s a goblin army on the literal horizon, a sea full of bipedal aquatic warriors who want a piece of the action, and NPCs who have developed sentience and decided that they’re not really fans of these Adventurers. It may be daunting for the characters in the story but these events make for one hell of an interesting arc!
Even as Shiroe slowly learns the secrets behind the creation of the World Fraction spell, the origin of the Demi-humans, and how his own actions in the Real World have affected the world in which he now dwells, the seeds of thought he’s planted in the minds of others begin to bear fruit. Game strategy and tactics may have been intended for amusement, but their origins were pulled from actual war planning and stratagems. As others begin to accept and implement those theories on their own, the existing alliances and balance of power begin to shift.
Those changes can’t possibly come quickly enough, as the adventurers’ preoccupations have allowed the Goblins to unite and amass a giant army. Now the Goblins are on the march, and as the Estal Lords debate their course of action, Minori makes a dangerous gamble and initiates action on her own. In the midst of this MMORPG turned real, an unassuming princess may prove to be the key to ultimate victory.
– Madman Entertainment
What I liked about Part One of Log Horizon has thankfully remained the same in Part Two: The level headedness of most, if not all, of the characters throughout the story. Bar those who are actually written to be programs of the game, a majority of the actual Players look at their situation in a mostly realistic manner. Instead of worrying about certain things that actually don’t effect them, which is something the characters from Sword Art Online did far too often, the characters were instead written to look at their new environment in more of a practical way.
The series ends on a nice cliffhanger that isn’t so vague that it left me dangerously hanging as an audience member but enough that it has me intrigued as to what the second season has in store for me. Some series choose to go for the full cut and run after dropping a big bombshell, Log Horizon does this tastefully. There wasn’t too much action in this half of the season which actually wasn’t too detrimental seeing as, in lieu of that combat, the audience was given actual character and story development.
A lot of the second half focused on the younger members of the main crew and how they are training to essentially mirror certain members of the older crew like Shiroe and Naotsugu. I enjoy when series’ show a generational gap and the difference between one and the other. These characters aren’t played off as kids who know everything and instead don’t need the help of their elders, in fact, they openly search for guidance and, once given it, work with it. Once again, it’s just so nice to see some actual realism in an Anime series, especially one of this kind that features what are essentially normal human beings.
Like the first half of the series, Volume Two was given to me by Madman Entertainment in its Blu-Ray format which is, like most Anime nowadays, the perfect way to experience a series with such a high quality level of animation. Produced by Studio Satelight, Log Horizon is a wonderfully vibrant series that uses standard colours much to its advantage.
The vibrance doesn’t come in the form of fluorescent or unrealistically bright tones, it instead comes from the more realistic view of two world coming together; the man made and the natural. As I mentioned in my last review; the world of Elder Tale isn’t simply a fantasy world, at least, not in the way that you’d imagine. Most landscapes, while very much in the realm of high fantasy, show signs that what once laid beneath the moss and dirt was none other than asphalt streets and concrete pathways reminiscent of the world we all live in.
In saying that, there are still your standard towering castles, perilous mountain ranges and so many more fantasy mainstays. The fluidity of the animation is still at an all time high with it only dipping when it comes to things like gag scenes are general dialogue. Still, even then, the team has done their best to make the series as engaging as possible. Even while watching through a dialogue-heavy scene, you’re still given the chance to appreciate how crisp and clear the animation is as well as the environments these characters are in.
Backing up those high quality visuals is that of the series’ soundtrack which is pushed heavily to the forefront thanks to just how well composed and well suited each and every track is to the series. If you’ve read my reviews in the past you’ll recall that, when I talk about soundtracks, I usually make reference to action scenes and the addition of music that makes them all the better.
Well with Log Horizon it wasn’t these particular sequences that featured the good music, it was instead everything else! When I say “everything else”, I do mean it. Since this half of the season does feature more talking and less fighting, I feel as though the music come through the greatest during a heated conversation rather than in the heat of battle.
It still had the same effect at the end of it all so it just goes to show that, as long as the music is there and it’s good, people will hear it and people will appreciate it. Once again the voice acting was fantastic with all of the voice talents really bringing their bests to their respective roles and making sure that nothing was said too over the top and nothing came across as silly or lame. Log Horizon is just another example of how good voice acting can really perfect a series.
Part Two of Log Horizon does exactly what I was hoping it would do and that’s end the first season in a way that, while having me hooked in for what’s to come, doesn’t leave me hanging to the point where I just no longer care for it at all. As of right now…I’m pretty much content with what I’ve seen of the series. This is probably because I know that there is a second season and that there’s more to be explained, but the way it ended was unlike a lot of other series.
It gave you just enough to keep you interested without assaulting your brain with things to think about between now and the release of the newer episodes. The key word you would have noticed throughout this review is “realism”, which is something that Log Horizon does well in its entirety and it’s the same something that makes me really enjoy what this series has to offer.
I constantly complain about the unrealistic nature of Anime characters, stating that although they’re present in this incredibly crazy situations there is a level of realism that simply needs to be present for one to truly be able to enjoy…Log Horizon has this and that’s why it has quickly become one of my more enjoyed Anime series’ of recent times.
Log in and grab yourself a copy of Log Horizon Part Two from Madman Entertainment’s online store: Click Here