The wait for season 2 pains me to no end. There’s just so much left to explore! 🙂
Who knew that a single group could change the focus from virtual adventure to in-game politics while also raising the intensity? Simple; just make them interesting. While monsters and players share greater fighting power, the People of the land have more knowledge about Elder Tale than any player and have much more experience as a society. They not only bring their own set of questions and answers, but serve as an entity that has higher value as an enemy or ally.
Unlike in the first half, character drama now seamlessly mixes with the plot progression. Political meetings and explanations of in-game mechanics go hand-in-hand with budding love and running gags. Personal drama is sparse here, but the few moments they have are subtle enough to feel human and integrated in the plot to feel relevant. Princess Lenessia’s tongue-in-cheek romance with Crusty not only develops into a sweeter relationship, but leads her to convince adventurers to help fight the goblin king.
Rundelhaus already had a charming character with great chemistry with the other adventurers-in-training, but the fact he was actually a People of the Land AND was saved through Shiroe’s experiment brings more questions to explore in the story. Even Shiroe’s harem gets pretty sizable development as they play their part in the guilds, and Shiroe is never short from switching between surprised and calculated mindsets.
And that seems to be the theme that keeps this show afloat; it’s never dwelling on the past. The story continuously brings new questions to keep things intriguing. Character dynamics are constantly maintained while giving enough screen time for everyone. And even with new threats coming from almost everywhere, all our characters are dead set on progressing to their goals. Regan may reveal player deaths meaning memory loss. NPCs may nearly derail the economy. Nureha may represent a group of players that may challenge Log Horizon’s power. But that doesn’t stop the guild members from keeping their sense of enjoyment in this world.
Aside from the low production values, the only real issues I can come up with is the niche audience, a slow start, and that the show is essentially one large build-up. It may not have the great production values or a fast pace, but the mystery it’s built up and the multitude of likeable characters make this worth your time. I can’t wait to see the sequel for this and SAO face off during Fall 2014.