March 09, 2015
Everything we've seen about the empathions seems to indicate that they are some kind of mental energy, possibly produced by emotions or having feelings for others (the marriage Genius) and possibly produced by adventurer memories (the Moon thing).
OTOH, in a universe where physical laws are different, it may be something that's only tangentially related. That might explain why it's supposed to be okay to harvest in areas where the intelligences are not particularly high level, but harvesting from high level intelligences (like adventurers) is forbidden by the aliens' law.
I want Akiba to build a magic spaceship! If there's anything that would stir up the adventurers with acedia, spaceship building should be it! Of course, getting it done while still protecting the city and keeping an eye on Plant Hwyaden won't be easy. But it would be pretty darned amusing if an adventurer space race ensued.
The more we see of Nyanta, the more admirable he becomes. And for being such a showy character, he's always a model of both Japanese reserve and Western chivalrous behavior. His discussion with Serara was remarkably well done, as he managed to be encouraging for her future in general without raising any false hopes in particular. But we have seen some new hints that he's missing people back home and just not advertising it. What a guy!
I am really glad that the Minori love interest plot has been toned down so much this half of the season, and that the writers have made it fairly clear that Minori has adjusted her expectations somewhat.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 09:25:02 2015 (ZJVQ5)
A lot of people online seem to have disliked that plot. I disagreed, and thought it was moving and interesting. Possibly there are nuances I wasn't getting, but I thought it was an interesting exploration of being a bard, as well as the way our society tends to denigrate people doing music even at home if they aren't instant virtuosi.
(Witness the nasty remarks about Isuzu's voice actress, who was plainly someone who knew how to sing but was deliberately singing in a breathy, unsupported way to simulate inexperience. I don't even know how she managed to sing ever so slightly off key - not even flat or sharp enough to count, something like a quartertone off in just a few places. Maybe the voice actress sings traditional Japanese tonal music, or maybe she's just a good mimic, but it was a really good simulation of someone with solid instrumentals and not-so-solid vocal skills. Which is a fairly common situation in amateur music.)
There were also some who thought Isuzu was upset out of nowhere, but I think that was just a function of how disturbing it is to have Isuzu go off the rails. She's such a supportive and cheerful girl most of the time that people forgot she might have her own concealed issues. Apparently a passion for music without the skill level she expects of herself is her biggest issue, and now she has had to confront it head on.
The thing is, self-criticism is important, but music is also one of those gifts which are not given primarily for one's own enjoyment and use. Music exists primarily to be heard and enjoyed by other people, and it is more important that they get something out of it than that you feel satisfied with yourself. So sometimes, it's more important to do your best right now than to wait for perfection that may never happen. In a world where people have been deprived of more than just a little slice of music, even a half-baked amateur has an obligation to spread beauty.
I am a bit surprised that we haven't explicitly heard of Isuzu spreading this info to every bard in the city, and everybody who can whistle. The game-style physical laws probably make her kind of stuff difficult to do, but it would be worth some effort.
I also liked the way Rudy got some new respect from Isuzu. You can only do retriever jokes so long, and he's a great guy with hidden depths.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 09:46:26 2015 (ZJVQ5)
I do think the pacing was off in the town wyvern attack episodes. But they had a lot to put in. I do kinda wish they'd let Tohya just come out and say, "You are freaking amateurs at suffering, and I'll tell you my story straight out, and then I'll tell you when you have a right to despair." I honestly don't think the Odyssey Knights were in any condition to understand his Japanese-style implication speech, or they were deliberately trying not to hear.
The discussion between Minori and Roe-2: Yeah, that could have been better staged, but convincing a high level experienced player to help was a perfectly good use of Minori's support role, at least at the beginning of the battle. I did see some commentary about the questions Roe-2 asked being references to some kind of known philosophical theory about the common good, but I didn't really get it. Obviously something more popular in Japan than here.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 10:04:57 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Even assuming that the aliens have the power to go from universe to universe, ripping open space/time and possibly causing havoc, I don't see how they inadvertently dragged in the adventurers. I guess we need to stay tuned for that.
Of course, it would be pretty funny if it turns out that going from world to world across universes is just traveling from computer game to computer game, a la Reboot.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 10:12:14 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 10 11:12:53 2015 (ohzj1)
I actually thought they were going to have Isuzu creating a bardic teaching/overskill, because logically a brand new song in that milieu might have serious god-level power. But if that's where they're going, they're not there yet.
In the light novel, I think they mentioned that most people who play bard characters just let the computer play for them, and so Isuzu is still one of the few bard adventurers who actually plays her instrument, instead of using bardic powers to do it. I suspect this would change big-time once people knew more.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 11:52:12 2015 (ZJVQ5)
RE: Empathions-I think you're right that this has something to do with the memory fragments lost during the 'resurrection' process. Roe-2 mentioning that she's decided they are all class 3 and therefore 'entitled to their world's resources' would seem to solve the problem...but it seems that the harvesters did not get the memo. Does this mean that Roe-2 is not being listened to? Is rogue?
RE: Unfortunate Implications- yeah I'm glad they backed off of that. I agree completely that the conversation with Nyanta really hit it out of the park.
With regard to Tohya's speech, his personal backstory wouldn't have moved the Odyssey Knights...the thing is that he is freed here, he has regained what he lost in the 'real world'. The guy who is trying to return to his fiance' has received no corresponding perk...just loss. I suspect that many of the less well adjusted were casual gamers who were conventionally successful in Japan. The only appeal to them is one of responsibility, and they were simply too far gone to be moved by that.
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 10 11:54:53 2015 (ohzj1)
But of course, refusing to feel appropriate shame is a pretty standard way to portray villainy in Japanese shows, and here in the US, it happens in real life a lot these days.
Of course, I think the show would have been a little bit easier on the selfish suicidal mode, if the Odyssey Knights hadn't also decided that even if the People of the Land were real, it was okay to get them killed and destroy their town as part of the suicide quest.
OTOH, I think it's also fair to say that the Knights got so crazy (in part) because they didn't go for any feedback from the larger adventurer community in the cities, or accept/seek any feedback from the People of the Land. I don't blame them for not wanting to do Plant Hwyaden, but they easily could have gone to Akiba for help, recruited more knights, etc.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 12:58:44 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Sorry for the wall o' text. I'm getting my friend to catch up on Log Horizon this week, but she is still more than half a season behind.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Mar 10 13:30:41 2015 (ZJVQ5)
So, question... given the opportunity, which of the main cast would go home? I'd say "Nyanta" but, well... he's kind of a hard-core role-player and he's in his role, so maybe not? The only other main cast member that I think would have any chance of going would be Minori.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Tue Mar 10 13:47:17 2015 (a38fD)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Mar 10 14:30:43 2015 (+rSRq)
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 10 15:03:14 2015 (ohzj1)
W0ot! Thanks Steven!
"Got any fixes for "being stuck in China?"
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 10 15:13:47 2015 (ohzj1)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Mar 10 17:57:17 2015 (+rSRq)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Mar 10 17:59:40 2015 (+rSRq)
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Mar 10 20:11:33 2015 (ohzj1)
All things considered, you could argue that spoilerperson is the most well-balanced adventurer whom we have met, given the exceptional challenge being faced with great cheerfulness.
Naotsugu probably does well wherever he is, although apparently he doesn't get quite as much salary back home as his talents would seem to warrant.
OTOH, people like Shiroe and Akatsuki, or Marie and Henrietta, or the West Wind crew, seem to having much more fun and doing much more good in Akiba. They get to make full use of their talents. Of course, returning to the real world would now mean having a much larger pool of friends and acquaintances and allies. (Henrietta would probably want to get a bunch of people hired, and might start her own business now that she's done it once already.)
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Mar 11 12:25:04 2015 (ZJVQ5)
Obviously if you open the door home you'd have to be careful not to have the Odyssey gang trample each other going through it. On top of that, how does that affect people like Londark? It neatly eliminates his moral justification - if you want to get home, then you go home, but if you don't want to, you can't blame the world for subjecting you to it any longer; in essence you have to take responsibility for your morals from the perspective of the world as a real world. (Well, to the extent that you did in the first place; plenty of people go through real life with the thought that they don't owe the world anything to begin with, so it's not beyond the pale that some of them would take the same outlook into the game...)
It's not likely to sap Akihabara's strength much because that moral issue doesn't really exist - the people who are the base of Akihabara's strength are there because they're fully engaging the world on its own terms already.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wed Mar 11 17:59:06 2015 (zJsIy)
Still, the siren song of the Internet would incessantly haunt even some of the worst villains. Facebook and cat videos are a drug that you can only access on one planet.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Thu Mar 12 15:27:01 2015 (ZJVQ5)
And that's it.
I feel like I'm watching Homer Simpson pitch the character of Poochie: "When Crusty's off the screen, someone should ask, 'Where's Crusty?'"
Though he'll probably be on the moon, along with So-And-So's arm.
Posted by: wahsatchmo at Thu Mar 19 11:32:18 2015 (r4uXE)
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