World Building in Log Horizon

Since the appearance of Log Horizon Season 3 is coming, I finally watched the second season of Log Horizon recently. Finally, after who knows how long since I’ve watched the first season, I have finally done it. Like a certain Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood related post, I couldn’t watch it and not at least say something about it. This is not a review and everyone who says that it is is wrong. A quick opinion? It’s good. Not as strong as the first season, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought it would based on it’s reputation. There, opinion done. The show itself has some great world building to it that only adds to the experience of watching the show in my opinion.

The main thing that makes Log Horizon feel alive is how so many things happen at one time. The world of Elder Tale is busy. Lots of characters all over the place, a main crew that somehow gets a lot of focus, adventurer guilds with their own internal politics, people of the land slowly losing patience with adventures villains with hidden plans out in the distance, adventurers wanting to make it home, and some small things that seem disconnected but really aren’t. Any fantasy series can account for a lot of these things, but not every series feels as developed as Log Horizon.

A major question I could ask is how does Log Horizon just do so many things. Not at the same time to be sure, but it does a lot. A lot of things are perpetrated by small background events that a watcher can and possibly not notice in the background. The slums of Akihabara with its growing sadness, the costumes that characters wear, and giving each minor character with a small speaking role at least a small arc that continues on when the focus isn’t on them. There are a number of those in Log Horizon. Not to mention how many people have only one line in the show but only need one line to tell you who they are. Somehow Shirou and Log Horizon get a lot of screen time on top of everything else.

To top things off a bit more and a way that many readers didn’t expect, Log Horizon’s character building is very kink based as well. It’s very pg and kid friendly in how they are presented, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of kinks at play still. This is brought into a lot of aspects in the show from its character designs to characters themselves. Think about it, each character is created by a person who wanted to have an extension of their personal interests online. Could be sexy, could be not, doesn’t really matter. That one character in the Silver Swords in the maid outfit comes to mind here. I don’t know her name, but she was still very memorable because she wore that maid outfit.

And this extends to a lot of things. A lot of Akatsuki and Princess clothing dress up scenes that connect characters together. What about Kanami and her outfit? Or we could talk about how a random stranger by the name of Roe 2, a wandering vampire sorcerer, who asked the younger members of Log Horizon to call her older sister during their mission. It’s something that just feels a throw away joke of a small kink that it puts in your face until the turn around moment. The moment with Roe 2 asks Shiroe to call her younger sister in a letter. It means something and it’s memorable because of the kink attachment to it.

Finally, that’s how Log Horizon’s world works in my mind. Small attention to detail, giving characters that aren’t as much in focus through their smaller arcs, and a little bit of kinks here and there. These are a lot of short cuts, but they are effective. In the fifty episodes of Log Horizon that are out as of this moment, it’s one of the most living and non-convoluted worlds I’ve seen in anime. A living, breathing city based around a fictional society is hard to create in a medium like anime, but Log Horizon does it well. The writer, despite tax fraud, is a genius.

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