What I ___ Today: Oct. 19, 2014

Posted: October 20, 2014 in What I ___ Today
Tags: , , ,

What I Watched Today: Log Horizion II (episode 3) & Sword Art Online II (episode 15)

Log Horizon II:

LogHorizon

Full raid! Yes, the full raid has begun. Note that I only said “begun.” If you had any thoughts of Shiroe’s raid in the Depths of Palm to only last an episode, think again. I can definitely see this one lasting another episode or two, and then Shiroe will have to deal with Kinjo and the Kunie Clan on the other side of the last Raid Boss. Speaking of Raid Bosses, Shiroe and friends faced two in this episode, with, by the Villain in Glasses’ figuring, three or four more to come (hence why I expect the raid itself to take another episode or two). Now, I’ve spent my share of time in MMO worlds, but I can’t claim to have ever participated in a raid myself. That said, this episode felt like it was probably a fairly accurate portrayal of a raid, right down to a discussion of tactics. And that’s kind of the one part of this I wasn’t all that fond of. As fun as it was to watch, the narrative for a lot of the raid scenes comes off very much like a “So You Wanna Do A Raid” tutorial. I mean I get it, the show is set in a video game world, so there can be a need to explain the video game related aspects of the show to people who don’t play them, (but honestly, are there really a lot of non-gamers watching an anime like this?) it just felt a bit to scholarly to me, even for Shiroe.

Elsewhere, since the other members of Log Horizon obviously need something to do (besides prepare for Christmas) while Shiroe and Naotsugu are off on the raid, the potential existence of a brand new level of skill was introduced this episode. While “the Teachings” are still seen as a rumour by the characters in the show (though Shiroe has apparently told Tohya they exist), their existence is an idea which clearly got Akatsuki’s attention, which makes sense since she was seen last episode lamenting her current level of strength (because she must always be stronger to protect her lord). This should prove an interesting way to keep the rest of the guild involved in the show while the boss man is off on his own adventures.

And lastly, we have the villains. Yup, villains, plural, because the threat of Demikas’ imminent betrayal (in whatever form that takes) just isn’t enough drama. I kid, but in fairness, Demi-Demi (as Tetra so adorably calls him) didn’t actually do a whole lot this episode other than run around hitting things and not playing well with the rest of the raid party. And freaking out that Shiroe gave him a buff and saved him from a monster. Not much is known about the new villain either as he only appears for a moment at the episode. There is implication, through his disdainful use of the word “adventurers” that he is another Person of the Land and not an adventurer himself. The question is, is this another situation like “The Return of the Goblin King” game event that was featured in season one, or something completely different? Only time will tell.

LogHorizon_s2e03

Sword Art Online II:

SwordArtOnline2

Alright, GGO/Death Gun (and the episode recapping the GGO arc) are behind us it’s time for the series to refocus on…Alfheim Online again apparently (now with 100% more Sinon, since she wasn’t in season one). Now, I’m not complaining here (there are cat girls and fairies, what exactly do I have to complain about?), I’m just saying, they established the premise in season one that there could be an infinite number of these worlds, it seems like a bit of a waste to go back to a previous one, even in a new locale, rather than explore somewhere completely new. But, it is what it is, and hey, for the first time in two seasons (except for that one episode in season one), the story of the show called Sword Art Online is actually about a sword. At least in part. So that’s nice.

Now that I’ve kinda, sorta complained about the setting, I will say that it’s nice to return to ALO for a reason other than  just visiting everybody at the cafe. Instead, Asuna, Klein, Silica, Liz, Leafa (and Yui) are apparently actually going to get to do things now, which is great. Also great? Making Sinon’s ALO character an archer (cause she was a sniper in GGO, get it?). A very ambitious archer who after only two weeks in the world already has her eyes on a legendary weapon, so she can shoot from farther away (cause she’s a sniper, get it?). I know, I’m making fun of it a bit here, but it’s a very appropriate way to fit her into ALO, and the look on Liz’s face when Sinon says she wants to double the range of the bow Liz made for her is pretty priceless.

And now, because I need to have my weekly gripe with this series apparently, let’s talk about Asuna. I’ll start with the good. I like that this episode hinted about something going on with the character in the long term. All it’s probably going to end up being is a means to separate her and Kirito, but it’s nice to know she has something going on in her life that doesn’t revolve around him. Now, the bad. Or should I say needless. Look, I don’t want to be the guy that’s complaining about this all the time. You want to sexy up your anime, that’s fine, I’ve got no problem with that (I’m note complaining about the poster girl freeze frame butt shot of Sinon that I very specifically did not take a pic of. It happens right before the pic below), but come on, Asuna has barely done anything all season, and the first shot of her in the new arc is taking a phone call from Kirito while naked in the bath? She couldn’t have been anywhere else? Doing anything else? Packing maybe, since she apparently has a trip to Kyoto to prepare for? No? Oh, right, guess I forgot what I was watching for a minute.

SwordArtOnline2Episode15

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