Log Horizon (2014-2015)


Season 2

Log Horizon - Season 2 (2014-2015)

Director: Shinji Ishihara
Studio: Studio Deen
Starring: Takuma Terashima, Emiri Kato, Tomoaki Maeno
Episodes: 25

Shiroe goes on a secret mission to Susukino, leaving Akatsuki in Akihabara to watch over Princess Lenessia. As Akihabara prepares for Christmas festivities, a serial killer emerges amidst disturbing new changes to world.

Man, I don't think I've seen a series throw away its potential like this in a while. I'd heard the second season was bad, but I'd heard the series as a whole was bad and given how I liked the first season well enough, I was willing to approach this with cautious optimism. I was wrong. First off, we have the change in studios from Satelight to Studio Deen. Log Horizon was never that much of a visual treat in the first place, but at least the aesthetic had a simple appeal and the quality was consistent. The visuals look worse in general with a lot of off-model stuff and lower quality of animation. Studio Deen doesn't exactly have a great track record, so I hope they were at least cheap (my sources indicate otherwise). You can't blame the animation studio for the story taking a nosedive, though. There are some interesting elements, but they're presented in such a way that sucks all that interest right out. In the first arc, you have Shiroe participating in a raid and it's about as interesting as watching someone run a raid in WoW, which is to say mind-numbingly boring. Nearly an entire episode is devoted to William Massachusetts giving a "motivational" speech extolling the virtues of being a loser hikkikomori gamer. It seems to work in-universe but is all sorts of depressing IRL. Tetra, a new addition to the cast introduced during this arc, is teeth-grindingly annoying and gets way too much screentime to grate on my nerves.

While I thought the time spent with the junior members of Log Horizon was an effective tool in the first season, dedicating the second arc to their meandering quest felt really pointless. I stopped caring at that point, even with the introduction of the Plant Hwyaden plot that I thought might be enough to redeem the second half of the season. (Spoiler alert: It wasn't, but I'll give it credit for coming close.) It isn't until the last few episodes that the story finally starts to square itself away, but any enthusiasm I might have had was gone. If there's a third season in the offing, I'm not going to be partaking.

The final kick to the old family jewels is the return of "Living in the Database", perhaps the only time I've seen a single OP stretched out across a multi-season run. Figures it'd be one that I hate. I wish I'd never seen this season and I have some serious questions about both my intelligence and my sanity for trudging through over ten hours of this rubbish. If you liked the first season, don't bother watching this. Just imagine what happens in the story. Even if you're not that creatively minded, it probably won't be as much of a chore. Steer clear of this one.

Avoid It