There’s only one anime that could have closed out the 5th season of the show. DATABASE, DATABASE, Just Say WHO-O-O-OA! Stay Toon’d!
Dudes! The day is finally here! We get to talk about my favorite game anime! Oh. Rila is… away, at the moment. She’s… sick.
Yeah. Sick. SO, let’s just get right to this, yeah? This is Log-
*crashes in* AKATSUKI!
Oh, god dammit… Oi! Get back! Back, I say! Back, you squealing devil!
*uncontrollable fangirl giggling*
How the hell did she get out here? I locked her in her room and everything! God, what have I done? Oi! I said stay back! You Shall Not Pass! Dammit. Dammit! Uh, be right back, guys!
There. Ya calm, now?
Riley! We get to talk about her today, right?! We finally get to talk about her! My precious Akatsuki! Right? Right?!
Well, at least they’re words…
Also, why am I chained to a chair?
Because you’re stupidly strong and I can’t promise that if you hug me again, you won’t wake up in a stretcher.
Heeeh? Well, I’m good, so you can untie me now.
HA! No. But she’s right. Today we’re gonna talk about her favorite character, as well as the rest of the anime that character happens to be a part of.
Yes, yes, I truly am a generous god. Anyway, games. One of the greatest appeals of gaming – especially RPG – is the ability to play how you want.
Yeah! We covered that a couple episodes ago with Bofuri!
Right. But there’s another aspect to playing how you want that Bofuri never really touches on. See, Bofuri is about the joy of exploration and gaming in the more technical sense. But then there’s the ability to game who you want.
Oh yeah! The ability to be someone completely different when you play!
Right. And as many things as there are to talk about in Log Horizon, that’s where we’ll land for today. How it emphasizes the ability to completely reinvent yourself in a game. A few characters really speak to that, of course. There’s obviously Shiroe, himself, as well as Minori, Rudy, Henrietta (kinda), and-
Riiight… anyway, this is Bulletoon.
Games are amazing things. In a game you can become anyone you want. That’s part of the beauty in them. And it’s not a fact that’s lost on Shiroe, as a huge portion of the story revolves around him and this concept.
Yup! At first he’s someone who’s happy to just blend into the background and not involve himself with people.
But he quickly steps up to become the kind of person that can allow his friends to live happily and comfortably.
It makes sense! For the most part, stories are all about evolution. The whole point of most stories is watching things change. Sometimes it’s a character, sometimes it’s a world.
In this case, it’s both. And that’s what makes this story work so well. Evolution is built into the blood of its theme, which means the more change Shiroe goes through, the more we see it reflected in the world around him.
Shiroe actually changes a lot, over the course of the series! It’s not quite as obvious as something you’d expect from a Shounen, or whatever-
But that’s because action really isn’t the point of Log Horizon anyway. It’s neat when it happens, sure. But at the end of the day, it’s about how one small group comes to build an entire community – indeed, a whole society – and how games can come to feel real. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about that another time.
The point is that the way Shiroe changes is by first becoming someone who doesn’t try so hard to isolate himself. Then he steps up even further by becoming a proper leader. His strategies grow in scale with his ambitions for the people he cares about.
Another big detail is the whole “Demon In Glasses” thing. How Shiroe’s even willing to play the part of the villain if it means giving himself and his allies some kind of advantage.
Yeah, but… well… to be completely honest… I’m pretty sure another one of this series themes is that people with glasses are the devil.
Eh? But I wore glasses before I started wearing contacts.
Oh! The next really obvious one is Minori! I love her! She works so hard!
Yeah. She’s probably the clearest and most direct example. She follows a pretty straightforward change arc, really. It isn’t just her, actually. It’s really more of an arc for the entire party. But she’s basically the character used to represent the entire group.
Minori wants to become a more capable person. And in the world of the game, that’s totally possible!
She looks up to Shiroe because he helped her and her brother already when they were first starting. He offered them both advice that allowed them to reach out and become the versions of themselves they most wanted.
Seeing her evolve into the capable person she always wanted to be was one of the highlights of the first season. She took on more of a leadership role in her party, using everything Shiroe taught her. She even went out of her way to become his apprentice because she wanted to continue learning from him and growing even more.
The growth she goes through in the first season is already pretty significant. She goes from a meek kid, totally unsure of herself, to someone with some real conviction. It’s her call that allowed the party to get through the dungeon training.
It was also her call to protect the nearby towns when the demi-humans attacked.
Her resolve keeps things together when chaos descends on the Libra Festival.
Really, if there’s any character who changes themself the most across the whole first season, it’s probably her.
That’s not really to take away from other characters, though. There are plenty of other characters, actually, that really speak to this theme. On a smaller scale, Henriette is an example. Aside from being my sister’s spirit animal-
We have so much in common! Like we both Love Love LOVE Our Precious AKATSUKI!!!
Aside from being my sister’s spirit animal, there are some really small details throughout the first season that make it pretty clear Henrietta is someone who acts in a way that isn’t entirely like how she was in the real world. While her base personality is the same, her uncontrollable love for Akatsuki’s cuteness is definitely something that comes from a place of not being able to express that side of herself in the real world.
I can relate! So much!
Like hell you can! You don’t suppress a damn thing!
Hmph. Well ya don’t have to be so mean about it…
Tch. Sure. Anyway, that’s not all with her, either. There are things that seem like throwaway gags – for example, her hating it when Marie mentions her real name, for one. And her bard sub-class comes off as pretty weird, considering what her overall role is in her guild, and the series overall.
Oh! But she hasn’t totally reinvented herself, either! There’s actually a lot that’s carried over from her original self. Like how she can’t bring herself to tell Shiroe how she feels.There’s also the more obvious thing. Her real world skillset carries over pretty much perfectly with her role in the guild and beyond. So she’s definitely not dedicated to totally reshaping herself.
There’s also the more obvious thing. Her real world skillset carries over pretty much perfectly with her role in the guild and beyond. So she’s definitely not dedicated to totally reshaping herself.
There’s also a pretty minor example in Nyanta. But his thing is pretty much just fully dedicated to doing the cat-person roleplay bit.
And dedicated, he is. Some other characters don’t have many shades of this at all, at least not in the first season. Naotsugu and Isuzu come to mind. But the cool thing about the story is that it even lets the “NPCs” contribute to this theme. On the one hand, there’s Rudy. And on the other, there’s Princess Rayneshia.
Rudy is the best example, right? The NPCs of the world are called the People of the Land. He’s one of them, but he dreams of being an Adventurer – something that only Players could be.
And he pushes himself in service of that dream. The guy might be a clown-
Or an energetic lil puppy!
Right. That. Point is, he’s eccentric, but he’s noble. He isn’t actually in it for the glory, despite how you might read his personality. He genuinely wants to help people. But as a person of the land, he’s weak. Still, he doesn’t care. He wants to become an adventurer. And he achieves that in the end by accepting what that means – ultimately a sort of denial of the fatalism that tends to be associated with aspirations of heroism.
This idea of laying your life on the line isn’t what makes adventurers… well… adventurers. It’s resolve and a will to push through, no matter what. It’s an interesting inversion of the usual arc. But “Adventurer” and “Hero” aren’t exactly synonymous, as the series goes well out of its way to state, several times.
The Princess is another example, and one of the slower arcs to develop. But she’s not happy with the royal lifestyle and reaches out to find something more fulfilling, even if it isn’t exactly in the place she expects. And her arc is probably one of the more impactful ones because it’s slower and feels really natural with how she’s gradually stumbling into the person she wants to be.
But… let’s just get this out of the way.
Yup. There it is. Whatever. She can just stay like that for a while. So the thing with Akatsuki is that her arc is… not extremely prominent in the first season. It’s definitely set up. And there are some hints of the theme even early on, like her extremely dedicated roleplaying. But the real movement for her will come later.
Even so, Akatsuki stands to have one of the stronger arcs since she’s the character throughout the first season who has a clear desire to change, but doesn’t really know how to do that, or even what her form of change looks like. Akatsuki only wants to stand beside Shiroe and be useful to him.
It isn’t like she’s weak. So getting stronger isn’t the issue. But she feels bad for not being able to help Shiroe with the things he’s doing because it doesn’t suit her skillset. He assures her that she’s done nothing but help him, and yet she still can’t shake the feeling that she’s not being useful enough to him.
Frankly, this episode is getting lengthy. But sis would never forgive me if we didn’t discuss this further, sooo… I guess we’ll just give Akatsuki her own episode, sometime in the near future.
Gods, what have I done, now? The point is that Log Horizon is all about the gaming experience. And as much as it’s about being able to craft that experience for yourself, it’s also just as much about how you define “yourself” in the fluid worlds of games.
Anyway, that’s it. Hey. Another Season, out of the way.
Yeah! It was fun!
Hmm. We haven’t asked a question in a while. OH! Here’s a good one! Which game world from which game anime would you guys most like to visit? Let us know, down below! And don’t forget to give that like button a zap while you’re down there.
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Two videos on the tail end of the month, and two written posts. And this time, instead of splitting it up, we’re makin’ it all about one thing.
Yup! A whole month of Symphogear! Starting with a written post on the site that’s up right now! Go on and check it out!
In the meantime, though, this has been Bulletoon.
I’m Rila, signing off!
I’m Riley, bowin’ out.
Thanks for Watching!
Keep up the Awesome! And-
Ah. Riley. You can let me up from this chair now…
Ahaha, veeery funny, Riley, making me think you’re gonna leave me here like this…
R-Riley? Hey, you’re not seriously gonna leave me here, are you?! Rileyyyy!
Rila – Mocha Vampire
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