Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table
Episode 8

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table ?

While this episode, which is basically a transition piece between storylines, has a fair amount of interesting bits and pieces, I have to say that one thing I'm particularly pleased about is that Tetora's annoyance factor goes down quite a bit. Apart from the confirmation that they do not, in fact, live in Naotsugu's shirt, they also serve a very specific purpose this time: apart from Shiroe, they're pretty much the only person who has been playing Elder Tale from the beginning, so when the younger guildmembers bring home a couple of stray Ancients, Tetora is in a position to contribute some actually useful information.

And wow, is it ever obvious why neither Tetora nor Shiroe are all that keen on Lelia and Litka. Apparently, early quests from when the game was first released had what I can only assume were gag effects, and the wolf fang sisters were definitely part of that. Poor Tetora had to try four times to complete a quest which required gathering 3000 lizard scales because Lelia and Litoka were created to “humorously” muck things up as the people who delivered the items to the blacksmith. This makes Tetora very leery of their sudden presence in Akiba, because they haven't exactly been Elias in players' experiences.

But even if Lelia and Litka hadn't come bearing news of a potential Genius coming for Akiba (one who looks vaguely like a ghostly Cernunnos, which I like), their sudden appearance on the main stage reveals another way in which the Ancients have basically been screwed over by the transition from game to reality. Last week we (kind of) saw Elias having to grapple with what it means to have been an NPC hero when things take a turn for the real, and Lelia and Litka aren't much better off, although they lack the character depth of Elias. When the game updated, which for them was fifty years ago, the girls' dungeon was disabled and their quests removed from the main storyline – or any storyline. All that they knew, however, was that one day they could no longer leave their cave, with the entrance having been blocked. They didn't know why or what was really going on in the rest of the world; they were essentially walled in as vestigial code and forgotten about, deemed as uselessly annoying by players and removed by developers.

How they managed to get out isn't explained (but they had clearly run out of food), but the advent of the Geniuses seems to have triggered something, and now they're trying desperately to play the role they were intended to…with, unfortunately, the obnoxious bits of their original characters left in. To the younger members of Log Horizon, they seem like pets (something the sisters are definitely working to promote); it's the older ones who aren't so sure about all of this until Shiroe and Nyanta realize what the threat the girls are talking about likely is.

There's one more person who may not be sold on the whole pet thing, but for a very different reason. Rudy, who has had a thing for Isuzu almost from the very beginning, is clearly starting to resent the whole “he's my puppy” line she keeps singing. The wolf-fang sisters are at least half of the last straw for him, with everyone calling them “pets,” but it's listening to Isuzu talk about how she's encouraging Minori to keep trying her luck at romancing Shiroe that seems to really push him closer to the edge. Every time Isuzu is talking about it to Serara or Minori, we see Toya trying to laugh it off (or just not getting it; I'm not sure), but Rudy is always stonily staring ahead, plainly irritated by her words. She may think of him as her golden retriever, but he's not a dog, and if the preview for next week's episode is any indication, he's about fed up with all of that. Isuzu doesn't need to return his feelings, but she does need to understand that calling him her pet is hurting him, and that could be a much bigger explosion than anything Log Horizon as a guild has seen before.

It'll be interesting to see if Shiroe is able to defuse the situation. Nyanta or even Tetora seem more likely bets, but he did manage to play Reyneshia like a fiddle this week, after all.

Rating:

Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.


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