Log Horizon is an anime that tells the tale of what happens when players of the MMORPG game, Elder Tale, mysteriously find themselves actually inside the game after the 12th expansion, “Novasphere Pioneers,” is added. The main character of the series is Shiroe, and he is joined by his two companions Naotsugu and Akatsuki.
Right at the end of episode 13, Shiroe and Akatsuki met a mage calling himself Regan of Miral Lake. In episode 14, Regan explains that he’s more precisely a magical scientist. Shiroe comes to the realization that he is the Sage of Mirallake, a character he had heard about in several quests and town rumors; however, before now, Shiroe thought the name was “flavor text” and didn’t refer to an actual character in the game.
Quite a bit of episode 14 ends up becoming an exposition episode, with Regan giving explanations for various things and events in the game. As he gives explanations, both Shiroe and the audience come to realize that Regan is describing things like respawning through the perspective of a character in the game. Because Regan is telling things from his perspective, it introduces concepts that Shiroe had never heard of before. The most startling one is the concept of world-class magic, which is a spell capable of controlling the laws, the fate, or the very existence of an entire world. Regan tells them about the World Fraction spell, and that the Apocalypse is the third time that it has been used in the world of Elder Tale.
As this explanation is going on, we also learn through Shiroe that one day in the game equals two hours in the real world. This becomes important when Regan mentions that Shiroe’s name began appearing in their history books 98 years ago. When Shiroe does the math, he realizes the 98 years in Elder Tale time would be the time that he’s been playing the game. We also learn that adventurers began appearing in the world 240 years ago, and Shiroe figures out that this would align with the start of the open beta for the Elder Tale game.
Later, Shiroe realizes the ramifications of what Regan told them about in regards to their game selves. However, after Shiroe makes this realization, he tells Akatsuki that they won’t tell anyone about it for a while. I can understand that he doesn’t want to cause panic amongst the other players, but I’m wondering if this decision is going to end up coming back and biting him in the butt. This has the potential to become a strategic blunder for Shiroe, and the fallout from such a mistake could be very significant.
There’s a little bit with the party training in this episode, and it’s very important for Minori’s character growth. She’s looking over the notes she’s taken from listening to Shiroe, and realizes that she remembers everything that he’s told her about fighting in a party. So she finds herself wondering why she’s so uneasy and if maybe she’s missing something. Right near the end of the episode, Minori finally asserts herself and expresses an opinion. After seeing this episode, I have a feeling that Minori is going to end up emerging from the party training as a leader; in fact, I could see her leading the group that she’s with for the training after the training is done.
Some of what Shiroe and Akatsuki learn from Regan seems rather ominous for our characters who are now trapped in the game. I’m wondering how soon this information will come out to the others, as well as whether or not their mission may become trying to find out not only how World Fraction got them into the game, but how they can get out of the game and return to the real world.
Log Horizon has become a series that I look forward to watching each week, and I’m looking forward to watching episode 15 in order to find out what’s going to happen next.