The new lineup of anime is here, and Log Horizon is the anime I was expecting to watch. I just watched the first episode over my morning cup of tea and I have to say, THIS is the online game-based anime I’ve been looking for. Just a note, this is a first impression. I’m not by any means judging the entire anime. The review will come later.
Okay, so we have a plot similar to any MMO-based anime these days: you’re stuck in the game. The game is known as Elder Tale, where 30 thousand Japanese are locked inside the game and can’t log out. Our protagonist, Shiroe, is a level 90 Enchanter. Considering most protagonists carry swords, Shiroe is quite a refresher. He is then joined by Naoetsugu, his pervert, buff male friend who is a level 90 Guardian; and Akatsuki, a level 90 Assassin who refers to Shiroe as “lord”. Yep, they’re the best party that a player could ever have: a high damage spellcaster, a tank, and a lightning-fast DPS. They just lack a healer. Their first mission? Find out information.
The plot, if executed properly, should give us a rather interesting, adventurous story. In the preview for episode 2, our 2 man-1 woman party is going to embark on their very first quest: save a damsel in distress. Regarding the levels of the characters, we shouldn’t question “how the hell are they level 90 already?!” because it’s (implicitly) answered in this first episode.
The visuals are pretty nice, especially the skill effects. There was an ounce of combat in the first episode and thank God, it wasn’t a montage of freeze shots. The characters actually moved and, like any action anime, shout out their skills. I just hope it stays this way. I also liked how the monsters exploded in an orgasmic array of colored lights when they get killed (hey, they drop potions and money!). The character design, on the other hand, did not stand out much. Shiroe is just an intelligent guy with blue hair and glasses, but Akatsuki’s character design is reminiscent of my Assassin in Emil Chronicle Online (may she rest in peace). If I may say, the character designs are similar to that of AKB0048, especially the females.
Another aspect that I like in Log Horizon is the occasional comedy. Even though they’re trapped, the main characters can still joke around. Speaking about comedy, there’s a moment when we’re introduced to Marie, the Guild Master, She is an elf…. wait for it….. yeah, she has a big rack and is blonde. Please Japan, stop stereotyping elves this way!
The last aspect that really got me going was the music. The OP was very upbeat and with it was 70% English! The ED was also nice too, I think it’s Akatsuki’s theme.
So with all those aspects in mind, I’m going to say that I have high expectations for this particular anime. The first episode just beat SAO, the “best” anime of last year, in every way possible. By the way, did I mention the SAO parodies near the end of the first episode?