Season 3 lacked the excitement of the first two seasons.
While the third season of Log Horizon had some good moments, I was disappointed with the third season of the anime. Overall it lacked the same presence of the first two seasons. There were three arcs of the third season: the vote over the future of Akihabara, the side-show of what had been going on with Krusty, and the development of Minori into someone capable of leading a raid. Each had its own struggles.
While the staged take over of Akihabara was an interesting move in terms of story-telling, the show just ended up cheating the election and itself out of what could have been a very cool story. While obviously the adventurers want some say in how the future of the city would be run, it would have been a more interesting outcome if Ein had won the election as the duke of Akihabara and the city had become incorporated as part of the people of the land.
It would have made for a more interesting story because this is obviously the unthinkable. The adventurers being replaced by the people of the land in terms of power, people they looked down on in the past, would have caused a serious rethink for the characters in the story. Having the shift of power dramatically alter the rules of the world in which they lived would have forced a more interesting discussion on the future of adventurers in this world.
I wonder if there would have been those, after losing the vote, wanting to reclaim the city by force and expel the people of the land by force. I also wonder if that would have freed Shiroe from leading the city, allowing Shiroe and the audience to pursue adventures and quests that are an integral part of MMO’s. While consolidating power in the hands of adventurers was perhaps inevitable, it was also the most boring outcome for the show.
Let’s pretend like the Krusty Arc didn’t happen; Minori’s development was great.
But it did happen. The puppets were great. And it could have been condensed into a 5 or 10 minute retelling instead of two episodes. Krusty isn’t a main character or someone that I am overly concerned with. He didn’t need that much stage time.
If there was something that I felt was pretty well done was exploring Minori develop as a leader in the Log Horizon universe. Shiroe had been shouldering a large burden in running the city as the de facto leader of Akihabara. Having someone that could be relied on or depended on would have been a great help for Shiroe.
Minori has slowly been developed by Shiroe to be able to handle the role of leadership. Of course Shiroe couldn’t have known but Minori in the process had been developing feelings for Shiroe. And why not? He is dependable and kind. He is the type of guy that you can trust. Shiroe isn’t the most emotionally aware of characters, and Minori hasn’t been making it super obvious.
When she does lead the raid of the junior adventurers to a successful conclusion it’s a huge accomplishment. But the success of the raid doesn’t translate to her success in romancing Shiroe. And of course when people get rejected, it’s because the other character is already in love with someone else (even though Shiroe and Akatsuki has gone nowhere in a relationship).
The arc did capture the essence of Log Horizon with the adventurers trying to cope with the unknown and overcome the events that the game threw at them. When Log Horizon stays true to its focus on the game and gameplay it shines the most. When Log Horizon takes side trips and focuses on the politics of the game it’s less interesting.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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