Due to the recent start of the second series of Log Horizon, I felt compelled to re-watch it and give it a review as I believe anyone with a keen interest in MMO’s (Massively Multiplayer Online games) or videogames in general would love to watch an anime about gamers being trapped within a virtual world.
“But Angel, surely there’s already an anime like that called Sword Art Online??”
Indeed there is! Which is also a brilliant and much more serious anime, however there is a vast difference in the two shows and both have their own unique spin on people being stuck in a virtual game. Log Horizon is definitely a warmer and more heavily detailed anime when focusing on the game aspect of the show. The show revolves around our main group of protagonists, firstly beginning with Shiroe, Naotsugu and Akatsuki, and then slowly expanding to a huge amount of people with so many fantastic personalities. A strong element of it is definitely because it didn’t feel centric and focused on an individual character. In comparison to its rival SAO, which always focuses on Kirito and (eventually) Asuna. The reason why I believe there is a rivalry is due to LH viewers believing that its better than SAO when focusing on the main aspect of the game and story. While SAO viewers think that their characters have much more depth, deliver a darker side of the game and its fantastic fight scenes. After watching both (SAO first, then LH), its clear that they are both very different animes, and both are great for different reasons, apart from the similarity that players have become trapped in a videogame world (SAO breaks off from this later and focuses on other games, but it was the original driving force behind the show). okay
Season 1 of LH itself feels like its heavily building up to something after every episode, with it never getting dull. Its a very strong recommendation for anyone interested in virtual worlds. The combat within the anime and the fight scenes are pretty good and naturally have a lot of cool magic abilities thrown about. Depending on the kind of anime you prefer, it’s full of dialogue and when it comes to conflict between characters and the AI within the show, a lot of it is resolved throughout discussion. As said before this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s so well written that you can’t help but admire the characters resolve. The visuals of the anime arn’t the most fascinating, yet they do enough justice for the show, alongside the characters clothes and everything they wear is incredibly MMO based, depending on their classes. e.g. Shiroe being a mage has a massive cloak and carries a staff, alongside Akatsuki who is an assassin, therfore she wears a ninja-esque outfit while using daggers. The soundtrack for the anime is fantastic to listen to. The opening alone provides an incredible song which fits the layouts of the anime perfectly, alongside a great ending after every episode.
The anime itself does take some very interesting turns when it originally focuses the gathering of the main characters, followed by the interaction with the NPC’s (People of the land) of the game that they’ve found themselves stuck with in this videogame world, and the quests which come about. You’d think that this show would be heavily action based, being structured within a game, however this isn’t the case (Now don’t be scared off because of that!). It’s a genuine anime with a well structured story and always something to leave you wanting more.
Log Horizon carries itself as a brilliantly written and diverse anime. Its full of comprehensive characters, a great world, and tries to win the hearts of both gamers and non-gamers alike. Once you finish Season 1, it will leave you wanting so much more, and with the recent start of Season 2, you will be able to satisfy those cravings.
Some may compare it to SAO as better/worse, or even say its how SAO should have been. But I believe that it is a completely different anime which goes off on a different and much more depth-filled tangent. It deserves its own spotlight and shouldn’t be forgotten. It has a good art style, but nothing special, as the show seems slightly scared to stray too far from its MMO roots, while bringing an incredible soundtrack which should definitely be downloaded.