Log Horizon 2 Ep. 3: Raiding is truly a chore

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The older I get, the less inclined I am to raid. So instead, I’ll watch others raid!

— The raid has no exit restrictions? What would an exit restriction even be? You haven’t wiped at all, so you can’t leave yet!

— Hm, I had hoped for something a little more creative than multi-colored lights as the camera panned across a bunch of uninteresting looking arches and stairs.

— Well, here’s Log Horizon‘s tried-and-tested brand of narration. Even though this is a raid, we hear mostly Shiroe’s voice as the camera now pans across a map of the dungeon they’re in. But here’s the thing… why isn’t it enough for us to hear Shiroe’s narration as we watch the raid group fight the various monsters? Why do we need to see the map as well? You can argue that the ridiculous amount of rules in Fate/stay night is a necessary evil in order for us to enjoy the rest of the story. I’m not convinced, but I can see gist of that argument. On the other hand, I just cannot understand why it is necessary for me to see the exact layout of the dungeon that these characters are in. As a diagram at the back of, say, the light novels, fine. Whatever. As a reader, you have the option to look at the map or not. As a viewer of visual media, however, I feel like this is a waste of time and resources. Anyway, I guess we can’t expect much from Studio Deen. They’re not exactly the richest studio out there. I mean, that pupa adaptation was just a joke.

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— I was also hoping for raid monsters a little more interesting than blobs of slime. Yes, blobs of slime are a JRPG convention, but in a starter zone. In a raid zone, though? Eh…

— Ooooooookay, I’m just going to zone out until something interesting happens, i.e. not this.

— They’re just fighting slimes! Nothing but slimes for the entire first section. I wanted action but…

not like this

— Nope, still nothing to comment on. They’re still just fighting slimes, and Shiroe’s still narrating. Check back later.

Finally, we come across something that isn’t a slime. It’s a one-eyed bird… in a cave. Kind of reminds me of a recent raid boss in WoW, actually. The one with all the eggs up top. I’m bad with descriptions. Clearly, I’ll never find a job as a narrator for anime. And yes, even though we’re no longer fighting slimes, Shiroe’s still narrating. Such is the Log Horizon way.

— In the middle of a raid boss’s big attack, Shiroe still has to push his glasses up. Dude’s fucking addicted. We should hold an invention for his nose. It deserves better.

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— That big attack instantly killed one person and CC’d nine others. That’s more than a third of the raid group out of commission in some form or fashion. Sounds like a whole bunch of people couldn’t get out of the fire. Even if this wasn’t the first time they’re fighting this boss, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wiped. Most raiders are pants-on-head stupid.

— I don’t get why these raiders aren’t at max level, though. They’re literally a raid guild. You’d think they’d prioritize getting to max level before anything else. I can understand Shiroe not being at max level, because he’s been busy running a city. But what’s the raid guild’s excuse? This is partly why I don’t really buy the idea that everyone has quit because raiding got too tough. Yo, you’re not even max level. Why are you trying to raid when you’re not at the level cap? No wonder you’re getting your asses kicked. Hell, most raids nowadays won’t even let you enter unless you’re at max level.

— Up the DPS! Throw more dots! MORE DOTS!

— Eventually, they get past the stupid bird, and the next boss is some giant octopus lady. Unfortunately, the episode spends less than ten seconds on her before moving on. Are you kidding me? So far, the majority of the episode has been their encounters with the trash mobs. Trash mobs that were nothing but slimes. But when it comes to the big, bad raid bosses, we’re just steamrolling through them.

— After a time skip, we see them battling slimes some more. SLIMES. FUCK. Shiroe tells us they’ve been at this for weeks now. I guess these raids don’t have a weekly reset. I wonder what the reset even is…

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— Naturally, Demikas is a hot-head who wants to Leeroy Jenkins everything. Probably shouldn’t have taken him with them. I know they were short one person, but c’mon… were they that desperate that they couldn’t spend a few more days looking for someone who isn’t an asshole?

— Finally, the trash mobs vary it up a bit. It’s still a bit of a silly dungeon, though. They’re literally lost within it. They can’t leave to replenish their supplies or repair their equipment. They literally have to camp out within the dungeon. People would get fed up with this game so quick. Yeah, Log Horizon is trying to be as real as possible, but Elder Tales is still a game that’s being played in the outside world, no? But more importantly, this is all the more reason that the raid group should’ve been at max level. I still can’t fathom a raid guild that doesn’t take itself seriously enough to even hit max level.

— The various members say they can’t just do lower raids for mats, because the guild leader doesn’t do anything half-assed. And yet… you guys are underleveled. Maybe they’d have more success otherwise, and as a result, the other guild members wouldn’t have quit. Just a thought…

— The raid group takes a breather to develop the characters a bit. Like a tiny bit. Demikas is still roid-raging. Meanwhile, Naotsugu is really spending a lot of time with Tetra. Still, they just end up talking about how Shiroe is fighting to protect his home of Akihabara (snicker). Nothing too particularly insightful here.

— Naturally, the anime now cuts to Akihabara where everyone’s getting ready to celebrate Christmas. We all know what that means: Shiroe’s going to die soon. And oh lord, even though Shiroe’s not involved, the characters are still dryly discussing MMORPG mechanics. It’s just not very compelling. To me, MMORPGs are about people from across the world coming together to play a game. So y’know, I expect there to be some interesting interpersonal relationships for the anime to focus on.

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But we cut to Shiroe’s guild members just to hear the catman talk about “The Teachings.” One problem with Log Horizon is that it’s just hard to relate to any of the characters on a personal level. The story feels rather clinical. There’s all this stuff about how an MMO works, how to run a city, etc. But the people, the one major component of any MMO, is oddly missing. And the ironic thing is that the cast is full of characters. Way too many characters, even. But we hardly know anything about them, their feelings, their worries, their concerns, their friendships, their romantic relationships, so on and so forth. Again, we literally cut to Shiroe’s guild members just to hear a short explanation on an MMO mechanics.

— The episode ends with this evil-looking dude saying mean things about the adventurers, so I guess he must be one of those People of the Land folks. Needless to say, the second season has been even less enjoyable to watch than the first season. Pretty lame.

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10 thoughts on “Log Horizon 2 Ep. 3: Raiding is truly a chore

  1. noko

    Well, time in the game world passes like 12x faster than in the real world (thus Shiroe being known for like 90 years in-game), so a week raid reset becomes like 3 months.

    Literally LOL’d at the DPS getting instagibbed. They’re seriously surprised that a boss would have AoE attacks the DPS can’t just faceroll through? Plus, Tetra can’t stay out of melee range apparently, in *front* of the mobs no less…

    Reply
  2. Waisse

    The author of Log Horizon doesn’t play MMO, because that’s impossible to fuck up basic things MMO related like not max level raid or inability to leave a raid instance.

    And fuck ! Why Demikas is mad at Shiroe for boosting his damage ? He’s freaking retarded.

    Reply
    1. Naota

      I think the part where the author plays MMO’s is actually the problem. He’s spent three episodes telling us what’s going on in Elder Tale and why we should care, rather than showing basically any of it. A lot of raiding is self-evident, and wouldn’t it be neat if the studio could just show us a raid going on with minimal narration and let us intuit from the formations and battle tactics that it was a big deal? How about following a small but experienced party who were just inducted into this raid, having never done one before, and learning the rules naturally as they would?

      What we’ve got is essentially a voice novel playing over intermittent scenes of what’s being described, except even actual books understand that paragraphs of disconnected exposition are not good form. People would rather read about something happening which teaches the rules of the world by example than read the rules of the world written out in bold, devoid of context.

      Reply
      1. LordReynolds

        Well they did try to play up the crusty guy as some sort of cunning counterpart.
        Both are depicted as shemers.

        In any case:

        Season 2 is boring. And yo uare right: why the fuck did these people not level grind?

        They are whining that they do not have the money to pay for their city, thats why they want to go to the source of money (!) and hijack(!) it.
        You know, instead of putting on the man pants and just level the fck up to level cap. In mosr mmos i have ever played, money gained is raised with your level (as are costs).

        I think the reason they run out of money for their city is because they laze around there all day instead of rampaging through the worlds dungeons.

        And what of all the “dungeons and events noone ever goes too because they suck/are tedious?” that every mmo has?
        They said last season that they kinda forgot giving the goblins their annual population reduction and as a result, the goblins threw a large scale invasion party.

        What about the annual demon lord (theres always some demonlord somewhere)?
        The Traitor in out midst event?
        Dragons from the mountain dungeon people do not like hihking to?

        I mean wtf?
        Should the world not be overflowing with monsters by now? How can you hav money problems in a world where moeny literally is just a mob kill away, and anything in the worlds is there to assist you in killing mobs and you have no life to otherwise occupy your time?

        And apparently the sensation of touch is there too, so you can even find some buxom lady or strapping lad to basically fuck around with while takign a break from murdering the local mob population.

        How does anybody get so moody, worn out and dreary in a world that is exactly giving the lifestyle that you previously paid some company for just to experience a computer representation of it?!

        This is what irks me most. Noone there is having FUN being in the world that they presumably liked enough to pay money for.

        Heck i wonder why the focus of the story is not on the people who would go apeshit in such a world.

        Reply
        1. Dog

          Big rant you got there, so I’ll only answer your last sentence since I’m too lazy to write more.
          Log Horizon did go into the consequences of people who would go apeshit in such a world, as part of what you ask. The first three episodes or so, where you have bored gamers PKing others for the lulz, and Demikas, that asshat.
          But in Elder Tales, apparently in LH people ARE having fun, contrary to what you claim to be their supposed unhappiness in Akihabara. I will never spell that name consistently, but moving on, apparently the lack of players doing quests or raids or mob hunting is a result of their preoccupation with internal growth in Ahkihabara. I could say that players have lost interest in the monster-killing aspect of this game as a result of the new shit they’ve been developing in the city–lots of players just want to get absorbed into the world they’re playing, in any way possible that is most convenient or engaging, which does not include playing siege with mutated chickens or lethargic slimes, sadly.
          The gaming system is awfully detrimental to its own appeal, and coupled with the parceling of high-level training grounds in LH to the big-shot guilds, and Akihabara attractions competing for player, attention, no one is particularly content to find fun when it’s already on their doorstep.
          As to your question concerning monetary issues, “why don’t they kill mobs for it,” it’s already been addressed by our Ever-Glorious-Leader Shiroe–even with 30,000 players ransacking the globe for digital riches, Shiroe says the costs for running Akihabara amount to 80trillion, or fuck if i know where the creators got their ideas from.
          I’ve answered more than one sentence, so this is a self-contradicting argument. You can’t hurt me. bruh

  3. Anonymous

    Honestly if we could combine the strengths of Log Horizon with SAO’s we could probably eek out a watchable show.

    Reply
    1. Dog

      SAO’s conflict is pretty intense if you consider the world outside of Kirito’s limited perspective. His is pretty doped. We know that Kirito can’t die, but at least SAO has somewhat relatable conflict in the form of real risks to people within that world
      (people can die-die, there are murderers, thieves, crooks, sociopathic gamers, Kirito, etc it’s dangerous to live in). It’s personal, biches.

      LH, meanwhile, it’s conflict is not as blood-pumping because our MC’s haven’t shown any risks of dying, for the most part. Conflict is centered around a city and its inhabitants (Akihabara), not necessarily an individual we can relate or insert ourselves into.
      Shiroe isn’t a self-insert like Kirito, but Shiroe is also somewhat distant in that we don’t really know what makes him tick, as with other characters in LH. It’s just business.

      LH is passive yet passable, so SAO must be the exact opposite.

      Reply

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