Recently I was given the chance to dive back into the Log Horizon series by reviewing the first part of Season 2. Now I’ve returned to finish the job by reviewing the second half of this fantasy anime.
This set picks up in a rather awkward place as it starts with Episode 14, which is centered around a new cast of characters. This includes a girl called Kanami, who used to be the leader of the Debauchery Tea Party – the famous guild that Shiroe was a part of. Back when Elder Tale was a game there were many different servers that players would connect to, directly related to where they lived in the world. For example, players who lived in China and connected to a Chinese server would in turn play the game in a location that was modeled after China itself. This was still true when everyone got physically pulled into the world of Elder Tale as well, therefore Kanami and her current party were in a completely different part of the world than Shiroe and company. Despite the characters being likeable, unfortunately, Kanami and her friends are only featured in this half of the season for just a single episode and then aren’t seen again until a brief appearance in the final episode.
With the awkwardly placed Kanami-focused episode out the way we dive into the real meat of this season’s story, which is based around the younger members of the Log Horizon guild. Shiroe decides to send Tohya, Minori, Isuzu, Rudy and Serara (who is from the Crescent Moon Alliance) on a mission to collect the items needed to create a magic bag: an item that will allow them to carry a great deal of objects with them at all times. The quest is a simple affair and just involves travelling to a town and killing some wyverns, but as a viewer it’s fairly interesting because this is one of the first times we get to see the kids take on their own quest.
I will confess that none of the younger members of Log Horizon are favourites of mine, but this story is a solid one and gives all of them some good character development – especially Isuzu. Back in the real world Isuzu loved music and, like her father, wished to perform professionally, but sadly no one considered her skills good enough. This journey gives Isuzu the chance to play her music in the taverns of many different towns and villages. As she does, Isuzu slowly comes to terms with what music means to her. I’m sure many of you are already aware that I’m a music fanatic, so this storyline is perhaps one of my favourites from the Log Horizon series and is definitely the best featured within this set of the anime.
The problem that I have with this half of Season 2 is that once the arc surrounding the kids is finished, we go into the next plotline without enough time to finish it. When we hit Episode 21, the story suddenly shifts gears toward what I consider a major plot point and then never resolves it. Perhaps the biggest issue is that around the 18-20 episode mark the series had run out of the original source to adapt. While Studio Deen very obviously knew what was coming (the light novels released since have matched the anime’s content) it’s still a prickly situation because the ending is just left too open, especially when there is a chance we won’t ever get a third season.
Away from the story,, Log Horizon fares pretty well. As previously noted, the series continues to be handled by Studio Deen and the animation works well for the fantasy setting we’re in. The changed character designs from moving studios (which I mentioned in my review of Part 1) may still bother you throughout the remaining episodes but, having watched Season 2 multiple times now, I had no issues myself. I’d also like to mention how satisfying the battle scenes were handled throughout this set and that they flowed remarkably well. Even though this series is filled with a lot of talking versus action it’s always nice to see that Studio Deen can handle the action superbly when necessary.
The music for this set, handled by Yasuharu Takanashi, is pleasing to the ear and builds up the dramatics for the battles well. There were also a great deal of cheerful, upbeat tracks for the kids’ adventures that I grew fond of. I think Part 1 of this second season had the better soundtrack but I’m still pleased with what we have here. The opening and ending theme stay the same as the first part.
Voice actors do their jobs well for this set, too. It’s nice to hear more from the younger members of Log Horizon and while there are too many cast members to discuss I’d like to mention a couple. My firm favourites are Eriko Matsui (Nuba Suzuki in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Mio in Young Black Jack), who plays Isuzu, and Nao Tamura (Chika Amatori in World Trigger, Cosmos in Fairy Tail), who plays Minori, as both give very emotional and engaging performances that truly drew me into the world. Although the set does include an English dub, I didn’t sample it for this review as I have not watched the rest of the series dubbed.
This set comes to the UK thanks to MVM and contains Episodes 14 – 25, both subbed and dubbed, and is available on both DVD and Blu-ray. The only extras to speak of are clean opening and ending animations.
Overall I came away from Log Horizon Season 2 fairly happy. I’m disappointed that the ending is so open when the series has otherwise been fairly flawless in terms of tying everything up arc to arc, but there is certainly still good to be found here. Despite the ending I do highly recommend the season as, although this part isn’t as good as the previous one, it’s still really fun to watch.