What They Say:
It’s been six months since the events that trapped thousands of players in the online game world of Elder Tales and the situation is far from secure. The People of the Land are engaged in open warfare against the Goblin armies of Zantleaf. Minami spies are infiltrating the populace. And even with the support and guidance of the Round Table Alliance, the cost of sustaining the city of Akihabara is causing the entire infrastructure to teeter on the brink of collapse. With winter coming, Shiroe and his companions are forced to consider their options. Should they stay in Akihabara and attempt to weather the oncoming storm? Or should they gamble on missions to other portions of the world in search of new sources of valuable treasure? The launce of another series of raids will test old alliances while new ones are forged, as the adventure continues in the second season of Log Horizon – Collection 1!
The audio sounds fine. The music doesn’t overpower the voices, and I’m able to watch the show at some reasonable level of volume.
The video looks fine for a DVD. I can’t really complain about anything.
This is packed in those cheap cases with a middle thing that’s liable to break at the slightest breath. It works though, and nothing fell out in transit, so no huge complaints.
The menus are standard Sentai fare with music playing over each menu. I don’t usually mess with menus a bunch, but I switched the language to Japanese with subtitles from English and it restarted the music, which should probably be easily…not doing that? But I dunno how authoring discs works.
Nothing to see here except the clean opening and closing.
Log Horizon’s first season was so focused on establishing the world of Elder Tale (which I’m only just now realizing is probably a reference to Elder Scrolls, jeez me) that little thought it given to their past lives. Unlike Sword Art Online, which I will likely not stop comparing this show to, no thought is given to why they are stuck in the game nor what is going on with their real world bodies. Instead, the focus is on the world of Elder Tale, and the franchise is probably better off for it.
In this season though, it gives reference back to their real world lives. It’s been a long time (at least months) since they’ve been trapped in this game, and some remember that time as worse off than their life now.
Games are amazing this way. Games, unlike books or comics or anime, create a community in the world of the media itself by way of MMORPGs where you’re communicating with your fellow players in real time. Books, comics, and anime (and other franchises) can’t really do that by their very makeup. The closest a passive media can do is movies where you share a theater experience with several others. But games you’re playing with everyone else. Games you can have friends in the world of the game itself. Games can make you feel as if the life you live is worth something, even if your real life feels stuck in so many ways. Games, specifically the friends you have and the guilds you belong to, can make you feel a sense of community you could be missing in real life.
This is the concern, both real life and in-game, of William Massachusetts. William’s whole life was this game. He found life (figuratively, but perhaps more literally than I imply) in playing the game and being part of Silver Sword, the guild he founded. He found purpose in the game. And, now that he’s stuck living in the game, he wants to experience that feeling of victory again after failing so many times in Shiroe’s dungeon raid.
This is another great part about games. You can gain more understanding or reach a catharsis / “a-ha moment” when reading or watching something again and again. But in games, you can fail so many times over and feel great accomplishment at finally defeating what was giving you trouble. Nothing else can give you this feeling of victory, except playing actual sports I guess. William Massachusetts wants to feel this again with Shiroe’s dungeon, and he knows this party can do it despite their consistent failure.
But their failure brings up the fear everyone feels again. No one dies in the real world if they die in this world, but they will lose their memories. And after so many deaths, memories do not exactly stay intact as much as anyone would like. Shiroe is beginning to lose memories of his hometown, like the local ramen shop’s name. For others who have died more, I’m sure much more may be lost.
The season itself focuses on two fronts: 1. Shiroe defeating a high level raid dungeon with a group of largely ragtag adventurers, and 2. Akatsuki and the rest of the Round Table holding down Akihabara in Shiroe’s absence. The second is largely focused on Akatsuki’s insecurities at being relatively high level, but also very inexperienced. She wants to add some skills to her repertoire to be useful to Shiroe. It’s nice to see this kind of character development, especially while the former is focused on more world building and character development unrelated to the ones we’ve already spent the first season with.
The former’s story takes up a majority of the second season’s first half’s episodes. It results in a lot of fighting because of the inherent nature of a raid dungeon, but it’s by no means uninteresting for the aforementioned reasons. Its purpose is to give freedom back to Akihabara given its financial state. The problem being he needs more money than is held by all adventurers, but certainly not by this ridiculous raid dungeon, which can provide the, like, 15 trillion he needs. It just needed a large group of adventurers to take it down. And all for the sake of the life they’ve carved out for themselves.
This is more good Log Horizon, not that any of it has been bad thus far. I think this season really dug well into the consequences of all these real life people living in a video game world without really sacrificing the integrity of the game world they live in by doing so. Instead, it helped inform both their state of mind from their real world perspective as well as how they view this new world they live in.
Features: Clean Opening & Closing Animation, Sentai trailers
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Running Time: 325 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Review Equipment: Xbox One, LG 47LB5800 47” 1080p LED TV, LG NB3530A Sound Bar