Log Horizon - Reviews

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RoyalOss's avatar
Aug 17, 2014

Another players stuck inside a game anime. Similar to Sword Art Online but at the same time also very different. SAO is very popular and this show gets compared to SAO alot, so I will reference alot to that show aswell.

 

Concept
Thirty thousands Japanese players are suddenly trapper inside a MMORPG with several hundreds of thousands trapped worldwide. But where Sword Art Online focus on the action part of completing the game and trying to survive Log Horizon focusses more on the comedy and daily life of the players. Log Horizon explores the MMORPG aspects much more as SAO does and unlike SAO players can resurect after their death but they dont know why they are trapped and how to escape the game. So people get bored and get depressed or start to cause trouble for others. In Log Horizon the NPC`s inside the game have multiplied and act and feel like normal humans so in order to live a peacefull life the players will need to try to co-operate with each other.

Animation/sound
The animation is decent and so is the music, the background songs did not draw my attention to them often but the opening song was rather refreshing with a somewhat hard rock song.

Characters
Log Horizon is a shounen, focussed on a younger audience as SAO and contains some humour and the typical characters, the childish, the tsundere, the food obsessed, the love obsessed, the oblivious etc etc. This isnt a bad thing as the characters are very likeable and enjoyable. Personally I like evilish characters more as the comical but luckily Shiroe has a 'dark' side aswell.

Story
The story revolves around the players making their life enjoyable, trying to find a purpose, trying to avoid bullies and trying to understand and co-operate with the NPC characters. The reason why they are trapped and how to escape has not been explored yet but that probally will happen in season 2.

Overall
A very enjoyable anime, compared to SAO it contains not as much action, but more strategy, slife of life and comedy. Log Horizon uses the MMORPG aspect also alot more as SAO does which is very nice to see, at least for me who also played several MMORPG`s.
It starts out the same as SAO but takes a totally different route and succeeds in this instead of trying to copy SAO. I would definitely recommend this anime if you like, hate or dont even know SAO.

8/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.3/10 overall
bentobox's avatar
Jul 28, 2014

After being turned off to Log Horizon by some of the "moe" aspects in the first few episodes and the striking resemblance to other anime titles like .Hack and Sword Art Online, I listened to a good friend who told me to stick it out until at least episode 7.  So I did.  And it was worth it.

Log Horizon has its moments of nice animation, solid character development, and gripping plot.  But it struggles to find its pacing.  Shifting back and forth between the more sinister plots, the subplots, and all the gimmicks that make Log Horizon so interesting, it leaves the viewer wanting more.  A lot more.  

I've heard this show compared to Sword Art Online a lot.  And understandably so.  But there's a lot more to Log Horizon than meets the eye.  Unlike Sword Art, this anime feels like an MMO.  From the commraderie to game mechanics to economics, nothing isn't addressed in this anime.  It's really impressive, actually.

The political and economic webs that are woven early in the series continue building until the end of the season with a clear segway into a second season.

My biggest complaint is that there are so many characters that they're trying to develop at the same time that I feel like my favorite characters aren't given much screen time.  Akatsuki, who appeared to be the lead female, is given so little development in the first season and that was very disappointing.  She is supposedly an amazing fighter, but we rarely see her do anything at all. Instead, we get fan service of her wearing cute clothing.  While that's fun and all, I wanted a lot more from her story in the first season.  I'm hoping that's something that will be addressed in season 2.  

Rudy, however, was very well developed.  I came to love his story and the subplots of his backstory that gradually melded with the main plot of the story.  His and Izumi's stories felt as if they were lovingly and carefully crafted.  I'm looking forward to a lot more of them in season 2 as well.

Another plus to the series is that it isn't afraid to make fun of itself.  Shiroe, the main character, constantly adjusts his glasses.  Around episode 8, I remember thinking that it was getting excessive to the point of being obnoxious.  It was addressed almost immediately with other characters in the show teasing him about his glasses obsession.  I really enjoyed that aspect of Log Horizon.

All things considered (especially the pending second season), Log Horizon is a solid watch.   While Sword Art had a substantially better initial ending, Log Horizon offers a lot more to the MMO Anime genre. Just prepare yourself for the cliff hanger.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Oct 26, 2013

Notice: This review covers both seasons.

Many say that a show should be judged based only on its own merits and not how it compares with others of its kind. Nothing can be more far away from this concept that Log Horizon, which will forever be compared to Sword Art Online. And rightfully so, since it came out so close to it, just to cash in on its fame and get money out of the starving for more SAOtards who couldn’t wait for another sequel full of harem, deus ex machinas, and super perfect anti-social gamers.

At the same time, it is also considered to be the anti-SAO series, for focusing on completely different aspects. Yeah, the premise where people are trapped in a videogame is the same, but that doesn’t mean much. Right now Overlord is a show with that happening all over again, and yet it’s just a comedy. SAO is fantasy empowerment, and LG is more about world building. Since death is not permanent, there is nothing of grave importance, as SAO pretended to have before throwing in tentacle fan service. The conflict is as light as it gets, with the trapped players simply trying to get along. This is what makes the show to be slice of life instead of action / survival.

It’s not like there aren’t any battles in this show; it’s just that with the penalty of death removed, and no apparent way to escape, people don’t do something out of necessity, as they do it out of boredom. Stuff like looting and pseudo-killing are done just to break the monotony. As for our main heroes, they want to stop all that, because… um, they are good people. Yeah, that is what the conflict is all about. Later on they try to make it seem more intriguing by mentioning how you lose some of your memories every time you respawn, or how the NPCs actually have personality and are not drones. Despite those attempts, the whole thing remains a light comical adventure about the micromanagement of a society within an MMO.

Coming from the same guy who made Maoyuu Maou Yuusa, everything is about economy, and a satire of fantasy tropes. Some would go as far as calling it a subversion, but that would be incorrect, since the plot is way too easy-going and doesn’t do much with what it makes fun of. Even if it’s decent in the characterization of the cast and in the immersion to its setting, it doesn’t do a particularly good job with the material at hand. To the most part it feels like a slapstick comedy with harem flavor, the two things that ruin all good ideas, any light novel ever had.

Of course very few anime fans will notice that, since they will be too preoccupied with laughing at said humor and shenanigans, as well as fangasming over the MMO terminologies. Even though the battles are meaningless, if you are a gamer the familiar concepts will shut off your suspension of disbelief. You probably won’t even notice how sloppy the exposition is, such as many of the players not knowing very fundamental powers, even if they are at maximum level, and have been part of this world for years. Everything is explained when it happens for the first time in the series, which means we get the classic case of someone standing still and explaining what he just did in the middle of a heated battle, even if it’s supposed to be something the characters should already know of.

It is cheaply manipulative when the show attempts to pass as strategic by explaining skills and spells that are used for the first time. We, as the audience, never knew a character could do all that up until that moment, essentially making every strategy to be an asspull. It does make sense after they explain it to you but it is by no stretch of the word smart; the author is making up stuff as he goes along, based on the demands of the plot.

The characters are not deep or complex in any way; they are easily defined by a few quirks and a simple mentality, which is usually there just for laughs. Thus we have the assassin chick acting like a slave to a bookworm mage, who is friends with a pervert paladin (talk about acting out-of-character). They are fairly cartoony and goofy, defined by very familiar archetypes and fetishes, so you never feel like they are real people, even when they are supposed to be. Which is another proof of why the show is not a subversion. It also feels out of character when some act scared if a bad guy is looting or killing them. Such acts means absolutely nothing if you can’t really die or you just lose a few trinkets.

With all that said, the first season looks ok and has a very catchy opening song. It is a decent job coming from an average in budgets studio like Satelight. The second season on the other hand is inferior in almost everything, so it’s no surprise that very few liked it. DEEN is notorious for its terrible budgets and bad animation, so it made everything to look run down. Plus, the already simple storyline was further simplified by becoming nothing but minor missions and meaningless training sessions. None of its interesting concepts were developed in any way, leaving the viewer with nothing of interest to look forward to. Plus, the pacing became a snail, because they had to adapt far less novels with the exact same number of episodes as the first season. Plus the focus moved away, from the interesting characters, to some minor unimportant ones, some of which were annoying kids doing nothing but talking on a wagon. And as if the in-series problems weren’t enough, the second season of SAO began airing along with the second season of LG. With a worn off novelty, and the content being crap, it lost its reputation as the SAO killer.

It is fun if you want to see online communities working in an easy going way, and how social skills and strategies are more important than grinding monsters out of screen, and then having time skips every 20 minutes just for the heck of it. Log Horizon is honest about what it is. It doesn’t promise you to be a scary action survival before soon turning to a harem with tentacles, rape, and incest. It is also not exciting because there is no tension, and loses steam as it goes on. Unless you are in for the comedy and the gaming terminology, you will get bored of it very fast.

In other news, the best “trapped in a videogame” anime, is still Hack//sign for NOT being about videogames but rather about isolation and a critique on escapism through a fake persona. It might not have been funny or exciting, but it was serious and moody throughout its run.

4/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
4/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
hylton2009's avatar
Dec 29, 2014

   *Limited Spoilers*

This is my first review, so please be patient with me.

   I watched this anime after having already been exposed (gladly, I might add) to Sword Art Online (SAO).  It has been my observation that many people compare this anime to SAO, so I will focus there.

   It is true that the premise in Log Horizon (LogH) is very similar to that of SAO; real world people trapped in their favorite pastime of a video game.  Therefore, it may seem natural to compare the two.  I think that that's slightly unfair.

   SAO and LogH have similar premises, but different executions, or rather different feels.  In comparison to SAO, which has many dark, drama-type elements due in part to the risk of death in the real world, LogH is much lighter-hearted in comparison.  This DOES NOT dim the anime in my opinion.  The fact is that this anime has the perfect feel to it for the situation, and an air of mystery resides over it throughout the series (How did they end up there?  What or who brought them there?  Why does this work this way and not that way?  Questions like these that are not answered but still add to that air of mystery).  Not only that, but with a few minor (and barely noticeable) exceptions, this world they are in really feels like an MMO, while at the same time the overall show holds onto a nearly fantasy-style atmosphere.  It is warmhearted, funny, and quite loveable, and I think appropriate for younger audiences as well as older.  The fact that Atkatsuki is always round-house kicking Noatsugo, while repetative, is not so that it is annoying (I still get a laugh out of it). 

   (Characters) My only real issues with this anime are the characters themselves.  Many of them are quite stereotypical, though not enough to distract from the story itself.  There are also a lot of characters introduced very early on; as a result, while there is decent character development, there is not as much as I would like.  My only serious complaint comes from the recent English Dub; Marielle's english actor is someone I cannot get used to, though that is my own interesting opinion.

   (Sound) The music is good, especially the ending credits. I suppose it could be better, but it never distracts from the story or plot, so I have no real complaints there.

   (Story) The story to me is where this show happens.  Over the course of several episodes, I would find myself getting chills as I would realize what Shiro was really doing.  Very few animes have done that for me, which is the main reason I enjoyed this anime so much.  I only took away 0.3 of a star because near the end series, the pacing speeds up a little to the point where it feels uncomfortable (I am watching the second season though, and that doesn't carry over.  So no worries there).

   (Animation) Most people that I've seen have commented that the animation is not very good.  However, (especially after watching the second season) I feel that this is slightly intentional.  There seems to be a noticeable difference in the quality of animation whenever the show shows us a brief clip of the "real world".  The animation for the real world is generally better, sharper, yet duller, as if in reflection of the difference between reality and fantasy.  This becomes even more apparent in Season 2, so I am not as concerned about the animation as a result.  (It should be noted that in moments like fight scenes, the animation is decently applied, and rarely "skimps out")

   (Overall) If you are looking for a nice, clean anime, with an awesome storyline, lots of action, devious plotting, and great character development, then you will love Log Horizon.

9.7/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
9.3/10 overall
noname0302's avatar
Jul 23, 2014

Lets start with: I am a fan of SAO.

Log Horizon starts up a bit slow. Everyone will compare it to SAO and the verdict will usually be: its not as good. Its stranger, also the animation is not as good. 

There is much less action and also the action scenes are much weaker. In SAO we have at least some nice sword fighting, and its more or less straight forward. Here, you dont know what abilities the main characters have, so the fights will be chaotic, ununderstandable.

Some of the characters are annyoing sometimes. The story is a bit slow, but it depends on the current state youre in.

And those are all the negatives.

The atmosphere is just great. The characters are pretty well built.The story is not the best, but still pretty good. We probably need to watch LH2 to judge the story. The animation is really good, the sounds are good.

And the most important thing: the lead character. He is great! The scene where he creates the round table with(spoiler!!!!) pure blackmail is the highlight of the whole series. Shiroe is perfect to carry the series on his back, and he also gets a lot of support. Even the characters who look really useless at the start find their place as the story evolves. 

The first season is a great start to the series and im hoping that the continuation will be of the same quality.

I highly recommend this to anyone who liked SAO! But even to people who didnt. This is different from SAO in many ways, for example the main character is closer to guys like Lelouch or Yagami Light then Kirito. Also there is barely any love story in Log Horizon. 

In SAOs case you either like it really much or you hate, in Log Horizons case, I dont think you can hate it. It is for everyone, the single exceptions being the people who want to see a lot of action. 

Have fun!

8/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.5/10 overall