I love Log Horizon and it’s exploration of the game world.
That being said, how is Log Horizon actually faring this season? So far I feel neutral about the story and the pacing. It’s not living up to the previous hype that I felt for the show years ago. The mechanism for the story is still the same. The story hinges on the fact that the rules are constantly changing and how to exploit those rules to your advantage.
As an MMO gamer finding exploits are part of the game that can give a competitive edge in the said game. Considering MMO’s in a traditional sense require you to attain the best gear and weapons to clear content, anything that can speed up that process must happen. Those who don’t adapt or change when the rules change will quickly find themselves behind. Whether those rule changes apply to the economy or just how you need to take a fight, it’s critical to take actions that will benefit you the most in game. That is assuming your objective for playing is to be the best.
Log Horizon is unique in that it explores what would happen in an MMO if it just became your life. To an extent Sword Art Online does the same with the Aincrad arc, but unlike SAO in Log Horizon, death is not the end of the adventure. Just like in an MMO you come back and get to keep playing, picking up where you left off. The punishment for which is a loss of memories of the real world. Log Horizon stays true to the notion that we are only playing one game, whereas in SAO Kirito bounces from game world to game world.
The rules keep changing but the story feels stagnant.
Shiroe is still the central focus of the story, but we have a few other branches that the story is pursuing. For instance there has been focus on Krusty, who is off doing his own adventure. That story does bring us interesting information, but I wasn’t absorbed by it. I just wonder if that will ever come up and be relevant in a scenario where Shiroe can use the information to exploit something in the game.
We also get the election of Rayneshia to head the round table of Akiba. The trick to get Rayneshia elected wasn’t particularly satisfying. Shiroe just brings lots of others in to vote and push the election results towards Rayneshia. The stakes for the story seemed decent but then it was a bit disappointing that the result of the win was through underhanded means.
If the point of the election was to show the People of the Land how elections could decide something, I get the feeling that it showed the opposite. The worst part was that there was no outcry by the people of the land who just meekly seemed to accept the results. In their defence how can an NPC with no power really stand up to an adventurer whose power is god-like?
Instead of taking the moment to truly empower the people of the land, we get to see a result that makes you wonder about how fair elections truly are. Instead of closer integration with the world of people of the land, we get more of the same. Adventurers running the city with advice from the people of the land.
And while I could accept the argument that both options were essentially the same for the people of the land considering Ein was also an adventurer, Ein was more willing to work with the powers that be rather than keep Akiba independent. Ein was an option that was a closer alignment to the people of the land rather than keeping power mostly in the hands of the adventurers. I feel that it was a missed storytelling opportunity.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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