The Log Horizon anime series which premiered in 2013 is based off of the Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. Originally the manga series was released as a light novel series in web format.
The 25 episode anime adaptation ran from October 2013 to March 2014. It has also been rumored and anticipated that season 3 will be released in October 2020 with 12 episodes. It is centered around the mass popularity of the online multiplayer game, Elder Tale, which has a base of millions of players.
However, during the release of its twelfth extension pack, Homesteading the Noosphere, thirty two thousand players who are logged on find themselves virtually transported to the virtual gaming reality fantasy world of sorcery and swords as their gaming avatars.
The main character is a male named Shiroe, and he works together with his friend Naotsugu and an assassin named Akatsuki as they try to survive in this new world. Their hobby turns into the battle and adventure of a lifetime.
Detached from the real world of their everyday lives, they have to tackle a new landscape of monsters, flavorless food and the inability to die!
Initially, players flee to the largest city in Tokyo, Akiba and this is where Shiroe commands and creates the guild Log Horizon with both Naotsugu and Akatsuki. Together they set out to have other joins and save the world.
Although, perhaps there are parts of this series that are formulaic or operate upon a cliche, there are unique elements such as the character development and the fantasy sphere that allows the story to build since it has a strong foundation.
The Characters Gaming for Their Survival!
Shiroe in real life is a 23-year-old engineering graduate student named Kei Shirogane. Previously we was a member of the Abyssal Shaft Raid Party and then in the future went onto lead the Shibuya Raid Team.
His Overskill is Contract Art Ceremony, which affords him the ability to create dynamics that can change the laws of the world. For instance, he was able to change a Lander’s class to allot them privileges of a certain adventure including revival.
Naotsugu is Shiroe’s friend and another player who is trapped in Elder Tale. His avatar is a Human Guardian–Border Patrol and is a vital part of Shiroe’s team. In the real world he is 25 years old and was previously a part of the Abyssal Shaft Raid Party and of the Shibuya Raid Team. He became acquainted with Shiroe in college and lives near Tokyo with a dog.
Akatsuki is one player who is also trapped in Elder Tale. She is a Human Assassin–Tracker who joins Shiroe and Naotsugu on their quest to find resolution and get back to the real world. She was a member of the Akiba Raid Party, the Shibuya Raid Team, and the Akiba Guild Hall Raid Party.
Her Overskill is Shadow Lurk. Throughout the series and working together with Shiroe and Naotsugu, she goes through her own internal battle of confidence, doubt and self esteem. However, after participating in the Akiba Raid Party and defeating Enbart Nelles, her confidence comes back and she begins to value her short stature as a tool rather than a weakness.
Nyanta is a Werecat Swashbuckler–Chef and was a chief member of the Debauchery Tea Party and also the Shibuya Raid Team. He is the first real person to discover real food preparation, which was a huge value considering the food is flavorless. In real life he is in his 40s and in the game he is a calm ‘cool cat’ that responds in phonetic meows. He is a true gentleman and believes in dressing well and treating everyone with respect.
Log Horizon consists of four maga adaptations all written by Mamare Touno. The first one is illustrated by Motoya Matsu and is titled Log Horizon Gaiden: Honey Moon Logs. It was serialized in January 2012 and published with ASCII Media Works in the Dengeki Daioh magazine. The second one is illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara and titled Log Horizon. It was serialized in May 2012 and published with Enterbrain in the Famitsu Comic Clear web magazine, which was eventually obtained by Yen Press for an English release. The third release is illustrated by Koyuki and is titled Log Horizon: The West Wind Brigade. It was serialized in July 2012 and published with Fujimi Shobo in the Age Premium magazine. Another manga illustrated by Sōchū and titled, Log Horizon Gaiden: Nyanta-honcho Shiawase no Recipe began serialization on December 21, 2012 and was published by Enterbrain in the Comic B’s LOG magazine over the span of six volumes. Another manga Log Horizon: Kanami, Go! East! was illustrated by Kou and serialized in Comic B’s LOG October 2015 in two volumes.
The Anime Seasons
The first season was comprised of 25 episodes and was produced by Satelight and aired on NHK Educational TV from October 2013 to March 2014. Additionally, Crunchyroll streamed it for North American and other parts of the World. The second season also had 25 episodes and was produced this time by Studio Deen and ran from October 2014 to March 2015. These first two seasons were licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for both digital and home video. The two seasons also share the same opening theme song funny enough! It is ‘database’ by Man with a Mission featuring Takuma. However, the ending theme for the first season is ‘Your Song’ and for the second season it is ‘Wonderful Wonder World’ and both were performed by Yunchi. The third season is much shorter at 12 episodes and is titled Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table. It was supposed to debut in October 2020, but it has been pushed to January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third season takes its name from the 12th volume of the web novel series.
Types of Guilds
In Elder Tale there are two main types of guilds: ones that are dedicated to battle and raiding and those that are focused on producing and crafting items.
This particular guild is characterized by using the collective strength of all members to execute and claim territory, gather ingredients, explore dungeons and complete fighting missions such as Boss Raids. Because of the catastrophe many battle guilds are hired as bodyguards for people who are traveling from city to city. They are oftentimes also used as defense and impromptu armies.
This guild is structured towards combining member’s subclass skills to create raw ingredients into useful products to sell usually to other players, usually those in the battle guilds.
Small to Medium Sized Guild
These guilds have a small to medium range of members with important duties. Since the Catastrophe, many smaller guilds restructured into largers ones to gain strength. After some time, some smaller guilds have appeared again as the fear they once had dissipated and they find protection with the Round Table. Usually these smaller guilds begin as a small group of friends for fighting smaller raids and creatures or to investigate and search the new world.
This unfortunate group’s members commit horrible crimes like looting, slavery, PK-ing and other crimes. As more guilds become more organized, these types of crime guilds slowly become less and less volatile as they disband or become banished.
The Future of Log Horizon
The battles continue and tensions come and go as players continue to find new monsters, new powers and new alliances. A year later, in the anticipated release of season 3, after the adventures blown into the Elder Tale world, Akiba’s prosperity becomes highly threatened with the discovery of a new monster (‘Genius‘), an ongoing power struggle between the east-west aristocrats, and a developing disconnect amongst platers.
Finally, the Round Table, the symbol of their unity, faces a decisive crisis…
Whether another monster, another raid, more discovers…be sure to follow along with this fantasy escape of battles, of alliances, of power and of chaos this coming fall!
Log Horizon is a fantasy escape of ecstasy, gripping intensity and worldly apocalyptic heroism and adventure. A show that any anime lover would be crazy not to take time for!