January 18, 2015

How Limited

...is the budget of Log Horizon?

Well, besides the mediocre animation, there's the fact that they couldn't pony up the cash to commission a new song for the bard to sing....

"I didn't write it, it's just a cover of something I heard....somewhere."

I must say, though that her version of the closing credits is better. 

Of course, if you're still watching this show, you are not doing so to be wowed by the amazing visual effects or score, both of which, while not incompetent, are mediocre at best. Rather, you're watching this show because the story and characterizations transcend all that. 

I must confess that the dungeon crawl arc a few weeks back worried me. In their zeal to capture what it is like to do a multiplayer quest in a video RPG they were beginning to convey more of the tedium than the rewarding teamwork. 

The flashbacks that took place during the cour were actually quite interesting, developing a couple of characters very well, and their difficulties in their endeavor conveyed a larger plot point, but it did begin to drag...However, at the very point I began to realize..."I'm sitting here watching someone else play a video game."...the show wrapped that whole plotline up. That they did so both unexpectedly and satisfyingly is a testament to how skill in storytelling can overcome material shortcomings.

Since then the show has been moving a mile a minute...in different directions simultaneously. 

The sinister political and military machinations continue in Minami and our heroes in Akihabara are dealing with the fact that their city is now far less physically defensible (an unavoidable consequence of Akizuki and Lenessia saving everybody back in December). 

At the same time, we also are introduced to an utterly new band of characters who are having a completely separate adventure from the main protagonists, but it can be assumed they are important....

"How 'bout we call ourselves...Checkov's Gunmen!"


This motley band of Knights errant are ambling from one adventure town to another with the stated goal of going to the same part of the world where most of the series takes place. 

Meanwhile, those kids from the first season (that we had completely forgotten about) have reached character levels where, in order to level up farther, they really need to go on a particular quest*. 

So... off they go, on a whole different storyline in a multicolored wagon going from village to village where they will be supporting themselves by having their bards sing for the locals. No doubt there will be mysteries to be solved...

"I Know! We'll name the band Those Meddling Kids!"

Saturday mornings are back!

So...Log Horizon has gotten rather schizophrenic in tone but it is meshing quite well in a three (or possibly 4) ring circus that I am enjoying the hell out of. The humanity of this show is truly refreshing. 

The larger story that is coming together is looking to be pretty interesting to boot. 

With at least 10 episodes to go, there is plenty of time for this to fall apart, but at the 40 episode mark Log Horizon has maintained a remarkably enjoyable run.  

  * They need a magic bag to cary their stuff, otherwise they can't really carry all their high level equipment. If you play video games you understand this perfectly and give the authors points for actually dealing with encumbrance...If you don't play video games, it's a neat McGuffin... just trust us on this.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:39 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 407 words, total size 9 kb.

1 I'm still wondering if we will learn more about the "Apocalypse" that stranded the players in the game.  Shiro has hinted that

Posted by: Siergen at Sun Jan 18 21:59:07 2015 (r3+4f)

2 Part of the difference is that players were "trapped" in SAO, and explicitly told "if you die here, you really die"; they aren't just stuck, they've been told their actual lives are on the line.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Mon Jan 19 00:52:14 2015 (zJsIy)


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Jan 19 09:23:20 2015 (DnAJl)

4 It cracks me up that she "modified" the lute to be strung and held more like an electric guitar. I'm not clear on how she managed to preserve and increase resonance with all that extra wood and extra neck, but I'm sure that bardic magic helps.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Jan 21 19:04:57 2015 (ZJVQ5)

5 I am watching the first series right now. Many questions have been (not) answered above, but the main point is that there was no prequel series called "Elder Tale" that sets this whole thing up. It was just a game that this world was based on.

Glad I did not waste any time searching for it.

No, really, I didn't.

Did NOT!

Posted by: topmaker at Wed Jan 21 22:30:54 2015 (2yZsg)

6 Man, these Japanese programmers have real problems.  It's like there isn't a single Immersive MMORPG that doesn't eventually permanently entrap its players.

Posted by: Mauser at Thu Jan 22 03:24:13 2015 (TJ7ih)

7 Mauser,

The sales division said they needed to "capture the market", and that is exactly what the programmers did!

Posted by: Siergen at Thu Jan 22 17:20:25 2015 (r3+4f)

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