Fall 2014: Log Horizon 2
When Log Horizon first started airing, I watched one episode and put it away. I really wasn’t planning to watch it. “It just isn’t my thing”, I thought. One day, a few months after the anime finished airing, I suddenly felt like giving it another go. From then, I found one of my favourite anime series.
When I learned that there will be another season of this epic anime, I got excited. I immediately knew that the Fall 2014 season would be great. Even if everything else failed to impress me, there would always be Log Horizon 2. Then, after a long wait, came 4th October.
OP: Database is back! Woohoo! I really enjoyed listening to it before every episode of the first season, and will gladly do the same for the second season. I also think that if a song is successful and fits, then there isn’t an actual need to change it between seasons. Just changing the animation is enough.
ED: Re-reading my first impression of Log Horizon S1, I’m surprised. I wrote that I liked the ending song more than the opening song. Now it’s the other way around. “Wonderful Wonder World” by Yun*chi isn’t bad. It just can’t be compared to Database. On its own, it’s a solid song featuring cuteness and relaxation, accompanied by a sleeping Akatsuki.
Voice acting + sound: I have a hard time looking at this aspect from a neutral point of view, because I’ve grown to like most of the cast. I just can’t imagine anybody else voicing the characters of Log Horizon. The OSTs are just as good as they were, but compared to some recent series, it doesn’t have anything special.
Visuals: When watching the first episode of Log Horizon S2, I noticed that something was different. I didn’t give it much thought and guessed that it was just my imagination. A bit later, I saw that there was one major change in the whole anime – the second season was produced by an entirely different studio! Instead of Satelight, it’s Studio Deen now. However, the change wasn’t that big. Most characters remained the same or almost the same. Some of them received more detail which made them look better, like Nazuna (she now has hair coming from inside her ears, not being strangely attacked to the sides) or William Massachusetts. Others, like Regan and Marielle look just weird now. According to novel-readers, the new character designs are closer to the original, so the change is probably justified, even if not that necessary.
Characters: There’s nothing much to say here. It is the first episode of a second season, after all. Perhaps I should mention that there is a new side character Kinjou, who is a Person of the Land (NPC). I’m not sure if “personality” is an appropriate word for an NPC, but Log Horizon strives to prove that even People of the Land have their own emotions, lives and thoughts. So yes, Kinjou is seemingly intelligent and makes sure to follow all the right procedures, including not breaking an ancient treaty of his clan. Besides Kinjou, at the very beginning of the episode we are shown another new character, who is most likely Kanami (former leader of Debauchery Tea Party). She’s not on the character list for the season, though, so I might be wrong.
Story: As I understood, the episode begins with a sequence that is yet to come. Some kind of battle where all strong players participate. Shiroe is leading the forces? The action then shifts back to where it left off at the end of last season. Shiroe is once again thinking alone, making plans and strategies. He arrives at a conclusion – he must leave Akiba. From what I understood in the last episode of Log Horizon S1, he was going to leave with his guild, but apparently not – he is going alone. Or so he thought. Naotsugu insists to join him as a guardian protecting an enchanter. They leave together.
Some time later, Shiroe and Naotsugu are shown talking with Kinjou, a member of the Kunie Clan who distribute all the gold in the Elder Tale universe (the monster drops, the dungeon rewards, the banks etc.). Shiroe asks for an 80 trillion loan, but Kinjou refuses, referring to an ancient treaty forbidding giving loans to players. Shiroe threatens to break into the vault that stores all the gold of the Kunie clan, and that’s what they finally decide to do.
The timeline changes again, and we see modern-day Japan, with Christmas decorations and snow. Shiroe says that he failed. What did he fail at? We will learn that later on in the anime, but for now we have to make do with a scene of Akatsuki and Shiroe standing in their normal clothes, looking at the Earth from somewhere far away. A strange but powerful scene.
Conclusion: I have nothing to complain about. I got exactly what I expected and what I was looking forward to. Perhaps the character designs could have been left the same for consistency, but oh well. The jumps from one time to another bothered me a bit, but that’s not a significant problem either. Log Horizon might be not for everybody, but it truly is a great anime for those who can appreciate it. With those words, I’m confidently putting its second season into my “Watching” list and waiting for next week.