Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table ?
Although it isn't perfect, this final episode of Log Horizon's third season is about as final as it can be while still making it clear that the story is far from over. Mostly this is achieved by wrapping up the romantic subplot that's been brewing for quite a while now by having Minori be soundly (but kindly) rejected by Shiroe while getting confirmation that he returns Akatsuki's affections. That's not because it was the most important piece of this season, but rather that it's one of several long-running plot threads, and in many ways the one that feels like it got its due, unlike the whole Kanami and Krusty bit, which saw its novel pared down and crammed into two measly episodes. (Me? Bitter? Never.) But it was also one of the major ties holding Minori back as a character, and we could argue that it was also keeping Isuzu from her own character growth as she used Minori's “romance” to cover her own feelings for Rudy. With Minori freed from carrying her crush around like an emotional boulder, not only is Isuzu forced to think about herself, but Minori is also able to move on and become her own person. Yes, who that person is will be shaped by what she learned from Shiroe, but she's no longer bound by her feelings for him. That's more important than any romantic subplot in a world where her skills as a leader will likely determine her future.
It's those skills that help to decide the battle against Ereinus, although it's fair to say that everyone played a part. The beauty of the final fight this week is the way that everyone comes together: Akatsuki breaks the Genius' hold on everyone's psyches, the healers keep the fighters able to function, Minori turns into mini-Shiroe and directs the action like a champ, and Isuzu figures out where that fight needs to focus – her musical skills allow her to sort through the sounds made by the Genius to realize that what they're hearing are two voices speaking in stereo, not the reverberation of a single voice. That she has the time to put that together is really thanks to the least likely of the group's allies, the Mofur sisters.
I have to hand it to Log Horizon – it not only manages to make quasi-joke characters serious and relevant, but it also does so with a nod to the (criminally underused) Elias storyline. Elias' problem, as you may recall, was that he felt worthless as a hero once the Adventurers became real members of his world, believing himself to be powerless because he was programmed to never be able to make the killing blow. His entire life was regulated by his interactions with the player characters, and when it was no longer a matter of PC vs NPC, he was at a loss. That's similar to what happened to the Mofur sisters, with the added horror that they were removed from the game with an update, forced out of the world while being aware that their roles in it was poorly planned, making them (non)persona non grata. They may not be able to level up, or to overcome their initially programmed personalities, but being included in Minori's raid party gives them the strength to overcome their issues, with Lelia leading the way when Akatsuki's in trouble. They are, Lelia reminds Litka, meant to be the bridge between the Adventurers and the People of the Land. They have a role and a place in the world. All they have to do is step up and take it.
If anything has been a theme this season, that may be it: the idea that you need to grab hold of what you want if any progress is to be made. It might not work – Minori's risk with Shiroe doesn't pay off the way she hopes it will – but it helps Krusty to overcome his curse, Leonardo to reach Elias, and the Mofurs to find their place. Reyneshia stands up for herself and becomes a leader, even while Eins' bid for the same power fails. But the link here is that they all tried.
That's what Shiroe's next step is – to try to form some sort of relationship with the city-state of Minami. Hopefully we'll get to see that play out onscreen sometime in the future or at least read it in the release of later novels, because while this is a good ending point, it's obvious that the story is far from over.
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