Log Horizon 2
Episode 25

by Nick Creamer,

And Log Horizon comes to an end. Temporarily, I hope. Pretty please? Well, it ended strong while leaving plenty of threads open for an eventual third season, so I'm fine with calling this “goodbye for now.”

We started this week on the verge of the raid's boss fight, a battle that ended up consuming the first half of the episode. And what a fight it was! Continuing last week's trend of significantly improved production, we got all sorts of nice cuts of animation, as Log Horizon temporarily pretended to be a show that looks nice all of the time. It felt like the best kind of fanservice - we know and like these characters, we know they're going to win, so let's just let them show off in actual full animation for a little while. There were plenty of “now it's my turn” side character moments, nice one-two combos from pairs like Rudy and Isuzu or Akatsuki and Naotsugu, and not even too much of the classic Log Horizon “now we'll collectively explain this fight to the audience” exposition.

Having at this point thoroughly explained the fundamentals of both party and raid combat, this fight was able to feel both true to MMO gameplay and legitimately exciting. It started off with kiting and feints to draw away the boss's minions, and then moved through three distinct stages as the many characters rotated skills and acquired new information. Everyone got a small moment in the sun (minori took command of two parties in the last stage, Rieze finally got to see the “Full-Raid Encounter” she'd been hoping for, etc), Akatsuki made a corny speech about turning her memories into the power to continue, and Shiroe got to be the big hero. “We're greedy. We want to take everything we can. We have people waiting for us,” he monologued as the fight reached a climax. And with the battle ending in both the defeat of the Genius Taliktan and rescue of the communication tower, the episode's second half demonstrated the truth of those words.

With the immediate threat defeated (complete with a wonderful cut to Demikas crying about his fiance waking up), Shiroe then attempted to establish contact with the moon, and instead found himself talking to his old friend Kanami. Apparently Kanami had just sort of stumbled across a TV station and decided to fiddle with the equipment, which did seem like a perfectly Kanami sequence of events. After a little bit of catching up, Kanami casually mentioned that her daughter (!) was now three years old. The existence of a daughter likely explains why Kanami left Elder Tale in the first place, but the following exchange put a great deal of Log Horizon's recent ideas into focus.

Though Shiroe took this to mean Kanami was implying she needed to leave Elder Tale, Kanami was quick to correct him. “I want to show this world to my daughter. It's so big and pretty and wonderful!” Kanami isn't thinking of Elder Tale as a place either to escape or remain trapped in - she wants to share this world. As the kids made clear last week, it doesn't matter that the Adventurers being here complicates things - this is a home to them too, and they are determined to protect it. As the one who always drove Shiroe forward, Kanami was the perfect character to remind him that Elder Tale is a wonderful place, and one he has a responsibility to protect. “We're greedy. We want to take everything we can. We have people waiting for us” Shiroe said, and his final decision put that declaration into practice. He's not going to give up on this world or the old one - he has promises to keep in both, and so he will make a bridge between the two.

And then Kanami just casually tossed off that Crusty's with her over on the Chinese server, heralding the “tying up loose ends” segment of the episode. We learned that Crusty's doing perfectly fine, and will likely just need a pickup at some point from one of his panicked guildmates. We stopped by Manami, where Kazuhiko and Nureha joined forces to finally end Indicus's power trip and finally shift Plant Hwyaden towards actually engaging with the Round Table. And we got one more meal, because how could you possibly end Log Horizon without at least one food scene? Overall, this episode was a solid combination of immediate entertainment, arc resolutions, and new adventures. You better come back, Log Horizon. We've still got a lot of work to do.

Rating: A-

Log Horizon 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.

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