Log Horizon – Episodes 8 & 9

Episode 8 Impression:

Episode 8 introduces a new concept – the battle without weapons. As Marie and Henrietta, with the help of Shiroe, initiate the next stage in ‘Shiroe’s Heroic Plan‘, we begin to see how this new world works and also just how clever Shiroe is. In an attempt to quickly raise the funds required for whatever he has planned, Shiroe plans a meeting between Shopping Street 8, Roderic Merchant Guild and the Marine Agency.

Before the central plot of the episode is even introduced, we’re told that it’s becoming less and less frequent for guilds to leave Akihabara in search of items. This ties in well with Crescent Moon’s (or, should I say, Shiroe’s) first proposal which they put to Karashin of Shopping Street 8 – help us get ingredients and we’ll pay you. Simple enough, isn’t it? But, of course, Shiroe had another card up his sleeve. Honestly, I thought that Karashin would outplay them, that business face unsettling me more than I’d like to admit… but, of course, Shiroe was prepared. The counter-offensive begins when a deal of 60,000 gold is struck, Marie then revealing to Karashin that his two biggest rivals are also coming to play (forcing down the price by half!). And it is here that the economic manipulation begins. They lure them in with a simple misconception, that is, the rewarding quest, they hook them with the level 85 ingredient in the pudding and the mention of Shiroe’s name, and then they reel them in with the promise of their ‘secret recipe‘… well played. This heavily one-sided battle had me intrigued from the get go. They didn’t lie (per say) to get to their goal; they simply baited them with half-truths. It was riveting to watch Marie and Henrietta in action, Henrietta leading the charge with her glasses wit and Shiroe’s tactics. 5 million gold has been raised… who would’ve thought they’d do it so quickly, eh?

Tohya and Minori… with every passing episode we’re learning more and more about them, and in episode 8 we’re given their ‘back story’ of sorts. If there’s something I’m learning about in this show, it’s that it’s full to the brim with foreshadowing. We saw Tohya and Minori in episode 1, we saw Shiroe react to their presence. But now we’ve been introduced to the aforementioned scene from a new perspective – their perspective. It’s interesting to see two children react to being trapped in a new world – one of them being noticeable more inclined towards it than the other. We’re becoming more and more attached to these two children and I can’t wait to see how their situation is resolved… that said, I’m sure it’ll work out just fine for them.

And, lastly, the scene has now been set for the The Council of Akihabara’s meeting. It’s going to be an interesting episode, episode 9, and I can’t wait to see how Shiroe deals with everything face to face with some of the cities strongest guild leaders. That said, I’m still not really feeling Log Horizon and I don’t know why. Hell, I even found Maoyuu Maou Yuusha more compelling… you know what it is? Log Horizon is missing a good ol’ romance…

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Episode 9 Impression:

The Round Table assembles and Shiroe’s plan is finally revealed… and what a plan it is. By purchasing the entirety of the Akihabara Guild Building, Shiroe has effectively become the Despot – an almost dictator like figure… and like it. Shiroe is not a great warrior (yet), he doesn’t rule over entire armies (yet) and his guild is not (arguably) the strongest in the entire the world… put simply, Shiroe is Hitler… allow me to explain. Ignoring the whole ‘antisemitism’ side of things, Shiroe, like Hitler, was not born a great leader. Hitler, like Lenin and Mussolini, was an opportunist. Their respective countries were in states of great turmoil and they required leaders with the voice of guidance – a light to lead them out of the darkness. Whilst Henrietta does indeed allude to Shiroe’s ‘demonic’ nature, he is obviously in no way as bad as those three asshole’s and so I’m going to stop drawing comparisons between them, but you get the point. Shiroe is what Akihabara needs and he knows that. Sure, buying the Guild Building may has been a bit over the top, but it was necessary if he wanted to get any of the stronger leaders to act – and they know that as well. Almost all of them have played straight into Shiroe’s hands and I can’t wait to see where everything goes from here… Shiroe for president!

Before we move on however, I’d first like to talk about Isaac, the leader of the Black Sword Knights. When Shiroe threatens to endanger his supply of EXP Pots, I found it interesting to see how he reacted. Now obviously Isaac is someone who is not often told what to do and Shiroe is playing a dangerous ball game by trying to control him. I’m almost certain that this will backfire in the future, but until then we’re just going to have to keep watching… that said, did Isaac threaten to start a war? A bit extreme don’t you think? I mean, seriously, all Shiroe is trying to do is bring peace to the region… I suppose you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get those EXP Pots, you know?

The Rescue. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for folks and now it’s finally here. In episode 9, both Tohya and Minori escape from Hamelin with the help of Akatsuki and Naotsugu. I almost thought, just for a moment, that Tohya and Minori wouldn’t get out and that Shiroe would have to go and rescue them… thank God that cliche wasn’t utilized. Isaac’s reaction to Shiroe’s smirks whenever such success were taking place were the best part about the escape (from my perspective), Isaac being one of the main benefactors of the EXP Pot trade. Will Isaac react to Shiroe’s intervention? I certainly hope so… come on big battles! Come and face me!

Speaking of Tohya and Minori… did Minori have a flashback? Now if what I’ve interpreted from said flashback is true, then was Tohya in a wheelchair before the game became real life? If so, that would explain why he was so content with running around and testing out his feet back in episode 8. And, if so, then this would add yet another layer to an already multiplex series. I mean, imagine if they found a way out of the game? Would Tohya want to leave? Would Minori even want to see her now happy brother leave? It’s an interesting thought, regardless…

Ultimately though, episode 9 was all about Law and Order. Can Shiroe bring law and order to Akihabara, or will there be hindrances in his plans? So far, everything Shiroe has done has gone off without a hitch, and, honestly, I’d like to see Shiroe struggle for once. The always calm and composed ‘Villain in Glasses’ needs to be put under some major stress before I can truly call him a great protagonist… so here’s to episode 10! May Shiroe’s plans for Log Horizon be spectacular.

Chris.

Chris

I'm just a normal guy, chillin' on the internet in search of a place that I can call my sacred hang. What more can I say?

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2 Responses

  1. master of chem says:

    I see the reviews for log horizon are a bit late. its is indeed a very griping 2 episodes wish I could get the opinions from episode 10 but I will wait. I highly doubt that adding a romance other then the VERY subtle one between Akatsuki and shiroe (if you haven’t noticed it I don’t think it will be that big of a deal at least in this season, PLEASE OH GOD MAKE A SECOND) because quite frankly I feel its doing well as it is and its already running out of room for this season with what it has already decided to take on. They provided a perfect first hand account of shiro’s amazing strategies that made him famous, I would have liked a little more struggle from the guilty parties he was fighting as well but again with time factor I understand why they didn’t. that’s about all I can say now without spoiling some of the impact of the next episode. the only thing I can say is that with every episode I feel more and more like this anime NEEDS a second season. if it gets that second season I might actually call this a master piece of animation brilliance but that’s too far in the future for me to honestly say right now.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, sorry about the review’s lateness, things just kept getting in the way and piling up, and before I knew it two weeks had passed… But I digress. And yeah, you’re right – there’s no space for any real romance in this season – that’s just my own little selfish desire, however I do think it’d be nice to see some in the future.

      Log Horizon fixes all of the problems from Mamare Touno’s last work, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, but it still lacks a certain finesse required for it to be “a master piece of animation brilliance”. They’re slight niggles is all, the OST, for example, being rather lackluster, and the design itself appearing bland. In my personal opinion, it’s not the most compelling show, but there is still some potential just waiting to be unlocked and I know that… but again, that’s just my personal opinion.

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