Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table
Episode 9

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 9 of
Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table ?

This episode seems to me to be the calm before the storm. It primarily focuses on the older Log Horizon guild members training the younger ones, on Midori's crush on Shiroe, and on Rudy's increasing discomfort with how Izumi is encouraging that crush while still largely treating Rudy like her beloved dog. While all of it is important – or will be, come next week – I can't help but feel like the last is the biggest piece of character development we're getting this season (apart from the sadly truncated Elias storyline), and also maybe the least likely one to be explored.

In part that's because of who Rudy and Izumi are at their base: he's a former Person of the Land and she's an Adventurer. While those distinctions have been growing dimmer as the series progresses, it still means that Izumi may unconsciously think of Rudy as an NPC. Although she claims to think of him like her Golden Retriever, that view of him as something less human than herself could have its roots in his Person of the Land past. Certainly she's also perfectly within her rights (and age) to be deliberately thinking of him as more pet than person because of her own fears and uncertainties about romance, but that doesn't make it hurt Rudy any less, and I think that's what we're starting to see in this season. This week when he asks her if maybe she shouldn't stop encouraging Minori's pursuit of Shiroe quite so much, he's likely mostly basing it on the fact that Shiroe is clearly way too old for her and also leaning towards Akatsuki if he has any romantic inclinations. But maybe he's hurting as well, and getting tired of being treated like a dog (really, can “tugging on your ears calms me down” be seen as the kind of treatment people get?), and Izumi's relentless “support” of Minori is just rubbing salt in the wound.

Or he could just be annoyed by an obnoxious and stereotypical teen girl behavior. I'm guessing there's more than that, though.

Speaking of obnoxious – my, doesn't Tetora have a very different teaching style than Naotsugu and Akatsuki! Talk about throwing their students in at the deep end. Actually, seeing all three upper-level members' teaching styles is a very nice way of capturing a snapshot of their personalities, from Akatsuki's hyper-preparedness to Tetora's total lack of concern, with Naotsugu falling somewhere in the middle. This may be a bit of foreshadowing for the fight against the Genius the Mofur sisters previously warned against, because the preview lets us know that this Genius lowers player abilities, or at least upper level player abilities. Naotsugu and Akatsuki have recently been fighting at those lower levels thanks to their use of the Teacher System while training the lower-level players, and additionally Akatsuki has recently been familiarizing herself with how dropping levels affects her movements. But Tetora didn't use the system, and that may put them at a disadvantage in the coming fight, although I'm half expecting them to spend more time complaining about their lack of “sparkle.” (Cue flashback to Kira Kira Pretty Cure a la Mode!) In any event, the Genius' attack seems designed to let the younger members of Log Horizon show off their newly-won skills and strategies, which may put them on more equal footing in general with the older guildies. Not that anyone has been subservient or anything, but such a change could have an effect on the Minori/Shiroe storyline, if only by forcing him to say something. That assumes that he's aware of what's going on, which is a toss-up, but it'll be something to pay attention to regardless.

Rating:

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


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