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.
— 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…
— 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.
— 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…
— 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.
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.