For most of the episode, everyone’s hunting for the serial killer, but Enheart is proving to be quite elusive. And as expected, he’s a People of the Land character. More specifically, he’s a rogue member of the Kunie Clan, and he’s somehow gotten his hands on a set of Royal Guard armor. Hell, there’s certainly more to Enheart than this. His actions don’t alert the Royal Guards one bit, his HP never drops, and his status bar is even all messed up and shit. Maybe Enheart is just an indictment on the players’ complacency. It’s crazy to me that no one has bothered to hit max level. Keep in mind, Enheart is only level 94. Sure, his armor makes him invincible, but nevertheless, you don’t give yourself a fighting chance when you don’t even bother to hit max level. And that’s the part that really puzzles me about these players. In almost every MMO I’ve ever played, people are in a mad rush to hit the max level. Here, however, no one seems to care all that much about this achievement. Why? You can perhaps convince me that the majority of the players don’t care, but you can’t convince me that not a single person out there is doing everything he or she can to hit max level. Oh well.
Anyway, this is the episode where Shiroe and Akatsuki both die. We briefly see Shiroe’s group fight a rather troublesome raid boss, and, well, that’s problem. Maybe William Massachusetts should’ve made his raid group grind to max level. But on a more serious note, I think the fact that we barely saw the wipe is a total waste. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see more of this encounter. In fact, we barely see any of it. At one point, Shiroe and Naotsugu simply get engulfed by flames, and we’re supposed to assume that they died. Well, it’s a safe assumption, but nevertheless, the impact isn’t there. I know players will eventually respawn in Elder Tale, but I still don’t think it’s the right idea to avoid showing death to such an extent. Maybe we’ll see more of this failed encounter in next week’s episode, but I doubt it. Point is, we barely even saw what the raid boss could do. Wouldn’t it have been exciting to see Shiroe’s group struggle? Well, I think so, but if the previews for next week’s episode are anything to go by, Studio Deen disagrees.
We also see Enheart take Akatsuki down. Like with Shiroe, we don’t actually see the killing blow. One minute she’s jumping at the serial killer, the next minute she’s on the ground, ready to die. I really don’t understand why the show is shying away from the violence. It’s MMO violence, after all, so they can always gussy it up with digital effects or whatnot. Point is, it doesn’t actually have to be gory or brutal. There’s just no impact when you don’t actually see any of the blows connect. Can we not handle seeing Enheart stab Akatsuki or something? Anyway, not only is Akatsuki on the ground and about to die, she also shed tears as she wonders how Shiroe is doing. Some commenters seem to think I was too harsh on Akatsuki in last week’s post. Sure, she’s lonely, and sure, she hasn’t made any friends. Her problems aren’t all about Shiroe. Nevertheless, her portrayal has not only been one note, but it’s been heavy-handed as well. Her last words in the episode are literally, “I miss you, my lord….” Those same words would’ve had so much more impact if her pining for Shiroe had been less obvious.
For the most part, the fights in this week’s episode is just more of the same Log Horizon formula that you either love or hate. For me, I hate it. Just let Souji fight the damn guy. Nevertheless, the peanut gallery has to stand on the sidelines and prattle on and on about his special abilities and powers. This is not a book. This is an anime adaptation. Let the visual narrative do the storytelling, goddamn. I mean, it’s fine to narrate in a book. I can’t actually see the fight with my own eyes if I’m reading a book, so we can forgive the incessant narration somewhat. In an anime adaptation, however, this is wholly unnecessary. How dumb would it be if someone was watching the duel between Vader and Luke the entire time, and telling the audience how and what Luke should be doing? This isn’t necessarily Log Horizon’s fault, of course. This is Deen’s fault. They took the path of least resistance when they adapted the source material. Oh, is the book full of narration? Shit, let’s just lift it straight from the pages and onto the TV screen!
Anyway, the latter half of the episode wasn’t super boring… so there’s that.