Log Horizon Season 2 – Thoughts on episodes 1-12

I jumped straight into the next season because, why not? It turns out season 2 of Log Horizon has many of the same issues that stopped season 1 from being a top-tier show. Mainly a tendency to focus on side characters doing things the viewer doesn’t care about and which are only marginally important to the rest of the show as a whole. All the while when something far more interesting is going on with Shiroe and his main party.

This time the problem was a long arc focusing on Akatsuki’s crisis of confidence and her attempts to deal with a “serial killer” on the loose in Akihabara. This would have been okay if it lasted for only an episode or two, but episode after episode after episode of Akatsuki angsting about her own inabilities and her (forced, unconvincing) feelings for Shiroe grew tiresome very quickly. The resulting “girl power!” showdown that was supposed to give the female eye candy of the show something to do might have been interesting if the guys weren’t also having a far more epic and monumental showdown right around the same time. If you want to give characters a day in the limelight, make sure the spotlight is on them, don’t make them a sideshow distraction from ‘the real thing.’

log-horizon-season-2-imageSo anyway, that was pretty boring. The whole first half of season 2 has been pretty boring, actually. The best part was the revelation of how much it cost to maintain all those buildings and the resulting plan to find the source of the gold. I enjoy Log Horizon best when it’s focusing on things like basic economics and less when it’s doing generic MMORPG battles, though the battles against the raid monsters were pretty intense. The shock resolution of the whole gold arc is also interesting and unusual and I look forward to finding out the implications.

First, though, it appears I’m going to have to sit through a Valentine’s Day episode… ugh… I’ve been watching anime for almost 20 years at this point and I have never, I repeat never seen a good Valentine’s Day episode. In fact, I’m very tempted to just skip episode 13 and go straight to 14. Why are they doing lovey-dovey hijinks when Rusty has gone missing, his aide has lost an arm and the West is up to shady shenanigans that need attention pronto? It’s this tendency to wander and insert fanservice and slice of life elements at the most inappropriate times that keeps Log Horizon from being the 5-star show it could have been.

Still I just have to suffer through episode 13 and then I’ll be treated to all the action and intrigue and world-building I could ever ask for, riiiiight? Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath, but the rest of the show should at least be decent. I’ll get round to finishing it one day.

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