- Titles: Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table
- Genre: Isekai, action, adventure, fantasy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Studio DEEN
It’s already been a year since it happened. Since that strange event trapped players of Elder Tales within the game. And a lot more has happened since. The round table managed to secure Akiba, turning it into a safe haven for players (also known as heroes and adventurers) and the native people of the land alike. In that time the city has thrived, developing an ingrown economy and establishing trade routes. But you know how it goes, all good things… Perhaps the round table has run its course. The very nature of Elder Tales has changed and it’s time for Akiba to change as well. But what does that mean for Shiroe and Log Horizon? And what will it mean for Akiba itself when a new powerful enemy appears, threatening Akiba and all its inhabitants. Also, where is Crusty during all this. Lazy bum!
Some of you might recall that I have watched the two first seasons of Log Horizon and enjoyed them. For what it is, I find Log Horizon to be one of the video games isekais most suited to my tastes. So I was pretty excited to find out a new season had been announced after all this time. Excited and a bit worried.
I would need to see them side by side to be sure but I had that constant slightly nagging impression that the character models had been tweaked in an undefined way. I recognized everyone, I wouldn’t say art quality has gone down or that the level of detail isn’t there but they just looked a bit different to me. And that kept bugging me.
It is entirely possible that it’s all in my head. And by possible I mean, it’s in my head. I went over my screencaps of all seasons on Pinterest and they look the same. If I mixed them all up, you wouldn’t be able to tell which image is from which season.
What I’m saying is that I should judge visuals anymore. I had a good run…
Oh, the production is fine. I always liked the animation in Log Horizon and this season is no exception and the voice acting was great (in Japanese). I saw one episode in English and it sounded like some of the main characters were just reading the script for the very first time. In Japanese, the actors are reprising their roles and the chemistry is obvious. Heck, it even made me root for some romances. Now that’s good chemistry!
Story & Characters
If you’ve never seen Log Horizon, don’t start at season 3. There’s no point. season 3 is a sequel and it relies on the audience knowing the story up until now. There are returning characters that don’t get an introduction and references to past events that aren’t explained. So a newcomer will have a tough time following along and likely won’t have much fun.
Same with this post. I’m going to talk as if you dear readers have at least a general notion of Log Horizon and go from there.
The two first seasons of Log Horizon are generally well-liked by fans and it’s one of the bigger and most well-known anime of its type. Often compared to SAO because the basic premise is more or less the same (just like .hack before it), Log Horizon is considered the more talkie, speculative fiction if you will, due to its emphasis on fantasy politics rather than hack and slash, not that there isn’t plenty of that as well.
Judging from the ratings, the third season was not as well received and I think there’s one big reason for that: momentum. It took me a few episodes to get into this third season of Log Horizon. I liked it from the start but I would say I only got into it after episode 3 or 4. However, having watched the whole thing, I think it’s a very consistent story arc that could easily have fit into the original seasons. The tone and storytelling really haven’t changed at all. And that may be the problem.
I watched Log Horizon not that long ago compared to a lot of the audience. It was easy for me to slip back into that grove, to comfortably reaccess the connections I had with the characters and orient myself within the plot. And once I did that, I had a great time. In the mid-season, when we see Crusty again and the Debauchery Tea Party, I was all in. I was having fun and ooohhing and aaahing at the glimpses behind some characters we’ve been hearing about for so long. The final arc is an all-out battle for Akihabara, by that time I was fully invested. I cared about who won and how, I cheered and worried and even squealed a bit.
However, if you can’t just put yourself back into the story, as if you had just watched the previous seasons, then I have a feeling you won’t get swept up by the third season as I did. Because it really builds on the momentum of what came before it, and without that momentum, it’s likely going to fail.
Personally, I still think it’s a great isekai. The third season does insist even more on the politics and world-building in the first half which may get some viewers and a little impatient but it caps it off with some solid revelations and action in the second half.
It’s not a completely cohesive season. Like I said, it sort of relies on the previous seasons for set-up and build-up and although it’s written in a way where it gives the audience a good sense of closure, it’s also not a complete story. A lot of elements are set up and characters are introduced, that have no payoff in the season and it’s obvious that the story isn’t over. This could leave some people a bit frustrated with no further seasons announced.
However, if you’re a fan of the series, the season is worth your time and if you’re thinking about watching Log Horizon someday, don’t forget about season 3.
You might like this anime if:
You liked the first seasons and you might like the first season if you want a more speculative isekai. This of it as a Star Trek to SAO’s Star Wars… Does that make sense?
My favourite character:
Naotsugu, it took three seasons but he really grew on me.
- Every time memebers of the round table argue with each other – take a sip
- Every time anyone drinks – join them
- Every time we see Nureha – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentoins the “tea party” – take a sip
- Every time we see casual Shiroe – relax
- Every time anything is reflected in Shiroe’s glasses – take a sip
- Every time anyone metions Crusty – grrrrr
- Every time the Queen shows up – Bow…. or take a sip. That’s standrad royal etiquette
- Every time anyone makes a speech – slow clap
- Every time we see a “raid boss” – take a sip
- Every time Master cat shows up – get some snacks
- Every time there’s a new quest – take a sip
- Every time a well known NPC shows up – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.